The Bored Vegetarian

Do you keep running to-do lists?  I have ones for karaoke, restaurants, NYC, books, wine, art & photography.  Any time I check something off a list, I feel a bit more productive.  My Things to Learn to Make list is growing slowly and I thought I’d cross one off tonight.  At my work I’m constantly asking the chefs how they’re cooking something, why they’re doing something a certain way etc. and it blows my mind that they can remember so many different techniques without constantly messing up like I do.  There are so many basics and classics I feel like I should know.. so I hope to explore some here.  It’s like classical music - ones you have the melody down, you can create all sorts of variations on the theme, right? 
Carbonara with Peas & Parsley1 lb Pasta (I used Bucatini)2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 small Onion, chopped1 clove Garlic, minced2/3 cup dry White Wine2 Eggs3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese (brands like BelGioioso have rennet/enzyme free versions)3/4 cup Peas, cooked 1/4 fresh Parsley, choppedSalt to tasteFresh Cracked PepperIn a sauce pan, heat up olive oil.  Add chopped onion and minced garlic.  Season with salt and saute until soft.  Add white wine and simmer until it thickens slightly.  Set aside.  In a bowl, whisk together egg and cheese.  Set aside. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 7-9 minutes).  Reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta liquid and then drain pasta.  Add pasta to a clean bowl and toss with onion and garlic mixture.  While the pasta is still hot, add egg mixture slowly, stirring into the pasta constantly.  The heat from the pasta will cook the egg mixture.  Add in peas and parsley and toss together until incorporated. Salt to taste and add a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper.  Serve immediately with more grated cheese on top. I must admit this didn’t go as smoothly for me as I hoped.  When I’m researching a dish like this, I’ll usually read a bunch of different versions and then pull ideas for each one. I should have picked one and stuck with it!  I will need to give this another run in the future.  In the words of Aaliyah, if at first you don’t succeed, then dust yourself off and try again. 
I’m headed to WA next week (with Chris!) to see my family and meet my new nephew Killian.  After these last uhhh 5 months of crazy amounts of work (btw check out these INCREDIBLE pics that Seattle-based photographer shot for a wedding I planned last month), I’m excited to have a long break and regroup.  A redesign is coming soon as are hopefully more things.. Special shout out to Joan Y for your patience - sorry it’s taken so long for a new post! View high resolution

Do you keep running to-do lists?  I have ones for karaoke, restaurants, NYC, books, wine, art & photography.  Any time I check something off a list, I feel a bit more productive.  My Things to Learn to Make list is growing slowly and I thought I’d cross one off tonight.  At my work I’m constantly asking the chefs how they’re cooking something, why they’re doing something a certain way etc. and it blows my mind that they can remember so many different techniques without constantly messing up like I do.  There are so many basics and classics I feel like I should know.. so I hope to explore some here.  It’s like classical music - ones you have the melody down, you can create all sorts of variations on the theme, right? 

Carbonara with Peas & Parsley

1 lb Pasta (I used Bucatini)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry White Wine
2 Eggs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese (brands like BelGioioso have rennet/enzyme free versions)
3/4 cup Peas, cooked 
1/4 fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt to taste
Fresh Cracked Pepper

In a sauce pan, heat up olive oil.  Add chopped onion and minced garlic.  Season with salt and saute until soft.  Add white wine and simmer until it thickens slightly.  Set aside.  In a bowl, whisk together egg and cheese.  Set aside. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 7-9 minutes).  Reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta liquid and then drain pasta.  Add pasta to a clean bowl and toss with onion and garlic mixture.  While the pasta is still hot, add egg mixture slowly, stirring into the pasta constantly.  The heat from the pasta will cook the egg mixture.  Add in peas and parsley and toss together until incorporated. Salt to taste and add a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper.  Serve immediately with more grated cheese on top. 

I must admit this didn’t go as smoothly for me as I hoped.  When I’m researching a dish like this, I’ll usually read a bunch of different versions and then pull ideas for each one. I should have picked one and stuck with it!  I will need to give this another run in the future.  In the words of Aaliyah, if at first you don’t succeed, then dust yourself off and try again. 

I’m headed to WA next week (with Chris!) to see my family and meet my new nephew Killian.  After these last uhhh 5 months of crazy amounts of work (btw check out these INCREDIBLE pics that Seattle-based photographer shot for a wedding I planned last month), I’m excited to have a long break and regroup.  A redesign is coming soon as are hopefully more things.. Special shout out to Joan Y for your patience - sorry it’s taken so long for a new post!

Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Galette with Caramelized Onion and Crispy Sage Galette

I’ve been laying out my goals for 2013 and I must say I’m pretty excited about what’s to come for The Bored Veg in the next several months.  Some things are already in motion, some I’m still working on (hey, it’s only January 2nd).  One area I want to focus on is incorporating more baking into the blog.  It sounds silly, but baking has always intimidated me.  It’s so exact and… scientific.  So much of what makes a delicious baked good is ingredients reacting with one another, temperature etc.  Not to mention the fact that my convection oven is a giant POS and it’s difficult to evenly cook anything. Anyway, my point is that 2013 will be the year of baking.  Or slightly more baking.  This galette was the perfect way to get things started.

Dough  (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/4 cups Flour, chilled in freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 tsp Salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces and chilled again
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Ice Water

Crust Glaze
1 Egg Yolk beaten with 1 tsp Water

Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl.  Add chopped butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea.  The flour should be a meal consistency.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, ice water and sour cream.  Add to the flour & butter mixture and mix together with your hands until the dough forms into large lumps.  Pat the dough into a ball, being careful not to overwork.  Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.  

Filling

1 small Butternut Squash, peeled and slice thin (about 1/4 inch thick)
1 small Red Onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
15-20 fresh Sage Leaves
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Canola Oil for frying
Salt & Pepper to Taste 

Preheat oven to 350. Toss butternut squash with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven, turning occasionally until the squash is cooked through.  In a saute pan, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil.  Add onion and toss in olive oil.  Saute over low/medium heat for a few minutes and then sprinkle onions with salt.  Continue to cook over low/medium heat until onions caramelize (up to 30 mins).  In a saute pan, add a couple of inches of canola oil and heat over medium heat for about a minute.  Test a sage leave - it should crisp up in about five seconds.  Be careful not to brown the leaves.  Fry all sage leaves and drain.

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove dough from the fridge and roll out into a 12-inch circle on a well floured work surface.  Transfer onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Leaving about 2 inches around the edge, layer the butternut squash in a spiral towards the center.  Spread the caramelized onions over the top.  Fold over the edges of the dough, pinching together where needed so that it partially covers the filling.  Brush the crust with the egg yolk mixture.  Bake in the oven about 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.  Turn off the oven, pull the galette partially out and sprinkle with cheese and sage.  Return to the oven until the cheese melts slightly.  Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate.  Cut into wedges and serve.   

Creamy Sweet Potato & Apple Mash with Mascarpone & Brown Sugar Whiskey SauceIt’s peak sweet potato season… and whiskey is in season all year round. 
1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed1 Apple, peeled and cubed1/4 cup Heavy Cream 4 Tbsp Butter2 Tbsp Brown Sugar3 Tbsp WhiskeySalt & Pepper (to taste)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add sweet potatoes and boil until soft.  In a pan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter.  Add add apples and saute until slightly soft, but not mushy.  Drain sweet potatoes and put back into pot.  Add sauteed apples and cream and mash until potatoes are smooth.  The apples will retain their shape.  Salt to taste and keep warm as you make the sauce.  In a saute pan, melt remaining butter.  Add brown sugar and whiskey and whisk together over low/medium heat until it reduces a bit.  Serve sweet potatoes hot topped with mascarpone and drizzled with whiskey sauce. View high resolution

Creamy Sweet Potato & Apple Mash with Mascarpone & Brown Sugar Whiskey Sauce

It’s peak sweet potato season… and whiskey is in season all year round. 

1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
1 Apple, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup Heavy Cream 
4 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Whiskey
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add sweet potatoes and boil until soft.  In a pan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter.  Add add apples and saute until slightly soft, but not mushy.  Drain sweet potatoes and put back into pot.  Add sauteed apples and cream and mash until potatoes are smooth.  The apples will retain their shape.  Salt to taste and keep warm as you make the sauce.  In a saute pan, melt remaining butter.  Add brown sugar and whiskey and whisk together over low/medium heat until it reduces a bit.  Serve sweet potatoes hot topped with mascarpone and drizzled with whiskey sauce.

Sriracha & Sesame Brussels Sprouts
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar2-3 Tbsp Sriracha2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds (I used bamboo smoked)1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OilSalt to tasteDepending on the size of your Brussels spouts, either cut in half, fourths or leave whole.  In a saute pan, heat olive oil.  Add Brussels sprouts, toss in olive oil and season with salt.  Begin to cook over medium/high heat, turning often to brown evenly.  It’s ok if they get a little crisp.  In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil and sugar.  Once Brussels sprout are cooked through, turn down heat to medium/low and pour Sriracha mixture over the sprouts.  Toss to coat and turn up heat towards medium/high.  The sauce will begin to bubble, so be careful not too burn.  Once the sauce starts to reduce and get a little sticky to coat the sprouts, remove from heat.  Move to a serving dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. View high resolution

Sriracha & Sesame Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Sriracha
2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds (I used bamboo smoked)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Depending on the size of your Brussels spouts, either cut in half, fourths or leave whole.  In a saute pan, heat olive oil.  Add Brussels sprouts, toss in olive oil and season with salt.  Begin to cook over medium/high heat, turning often to brown evenly.  It’s ok if they get a little crisp.  In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil and sugar.  Once Brussels sprout are cooked through, turn down heat to medium/low and pour Sriracha mixture over the sprouts.  Toss to coat and turn up heat towards medium/high.  The sauce will begin to bubble, so be careful not too burn.  Once the sauce starts to reduce and get a little sticky to coat the sprouts, remove from heat.  Move to a serving dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Gala Gala Hey! made it onto the New York Times Dining Calendar!  

We are super excited about Sunday and I hope to see some of you there! Working on a vegan apple jello shot recipe and my apple costume came in the mail a few days ago…

It’s not too late to order a whole pie from Kate. Just email kate@pie-school.com

Gala Gala Hey! made it onto the New York Times Dining Calendar!

We are super excited about Sunday and I hope to see some of you there! Working on a vegan apple jello shot recipe and my apple costume came in the mail a few days ago…

It’s not too late to order a whole pie from Kate. Just email kate@pie-school.com

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[reblogs appreciated! help spread the word!]

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[reblogs appreciated! help spread the word!]

Roasted Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Sea Salt and Meyer Lemon Zest
5 Mission Figs1/3 cup Ricotta1 Meyer LemonSea SaltFrench BaguetteExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the stems off of the figs and slice in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, tossing to coat.  Roast in oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sugars start to caramelize.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Slice 5 1/2 slices from french bread and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven until crunchy and starting to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  To assemble, spread each crostini with a generous amount of ricotta and spread two fig halves onto each one.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Using a microplane,  zest the lemon over the crostini.   View high resolution

Roasted Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Sea Salt and Meyer Lemon Zest

5 Mission Figs
1/3 cup Ricotta
1 Meyer Lemon
Sea Salt
French Baguette
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the stems off of the figs and slice in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, tossing to coat.  Roast in oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sugars start to caramelize.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Slice 5 1/2 slices from french bread and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven until crunchy and starting to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  To assemble, spread each crostini with a generous amount of ricotta and spread two fig halves onto each one.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Using a microplane,  zest the lemon over the crostini.  

Sweet Corn & Sun Gold Tomato Quinoa SaladThis salad has a natural sweetness from the corn and sun golds and would be a perfect side for a end-of-summer BBQ or even brunch.   2 ears fresh Sweet Corn1 container Sun Gold Grape Tomatoes1/2 cup Quinoa (uncooked)3 Tbls Shallot (chopped)Handful of fresh Basil (chopped)Handful of fresh Italian Parsley (chopped)Sea Salt to tasteBring 1 cup water to a boil with a pinch or two of salt.  Add quinoa and bring down to a simmer, cover with a lid.  Cook until water evaporates and quinoa is cooked (I like a little bite to mine).  Remove husks and threads from corn.  Using a knife, cut off kernels and break apart in a bowl.  Slice grape tomatoes in halves and toss with corn.  Add shallots, parsley, basil and quinoa and toss together.  Salt to taste and serve at room temperature.   View high resolution

Sweet Corn & Sun Gold Tomato Quinoa Salad

This salad has a natural sweetness from the corn and sun golds and would be a perfect side for a end-of-summer BBQ or even brunch.   

2 ears fresh Sweet Corn
1 container Sun Gold Grape Tomatoes
1/2 cup Quinoa (uncooked)
3 Tbls Shallot (chopped)
Handful of fresh Basil (chopped)
Handful of fresh Italian Parsley (chopped)
Sea Salt to taste

Bring 1 cup water to a boil with a pinch or two of salt.  Add quinoa and bring down to a simmer, cover with a lid.  Cook until water evaporates and quinoa is cooked (I like a little bite to mine).  Remove husks and threads from corn.  Using a knife, cut off kernels and break apart in a bowl.  Slice grape tomatoes in halves and toss with corn.  Add shallots, parsley, basil and quinoa and toss together.  Salt to taste and serve at room temperature.  

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