Feb 28, 2012

vine and dine + cassoulette

The final dish for Tami's Vine and Dine from Bryanna Clark Grogan's fabulous new cookbook, World Vegan Feast, is Cassoulette. This meal is a veganized version of the original French dish, which uses beans along with a variety of fatty meats. Bryanna uses vegan sausage, carrots, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to achieve an equally complex and flavorful dish. I had no technical problems with the recipe and the flavors were great. Although the ingredients list is a bit long, as Bryanna put it, the recipe is easy to prepare. 

As for the wine, I'll hand it over to David, but I want to insert my two cents first. I did not think our wine added anything to the meal. By itself, it was a nice mellow wine, but with the meal, it was just okay. Unlike the few other times we have paired wine with food, this time it didn't enhance the flavors of the meal. I was beginning to think that wine always added or complemented the meal - until now. With this one, David and I didn't really see eye to eye. Wine disagreement!

The wine I chose to pair with the Cassoulette was the 2010 Orleans Hill California Organic Syrah.  This was a full bodied wine with a little earthiness and just a hint of pepper.  A little on the sweet side, until your pallet adjusts, but it worked quite well with the Cassoulette which enhanced the peppery flavor of the wine. 

Feb 22, 2012

"the inspired vegan" + gumbo zav

Bryant Terry, who authored Vegan Soul Kitchen, has come out with another great cookbook, The Inspired Vegan.  I love Southern style of cooking and I love the cover of his new cookbook. You can feel the nonchalant, care-free and supremely content attitude of Terry. Super cool. It basically foretells the flavor and rhythm of the recipes in the book. The recipes are also seasonal, which is totally up my CSA-alley. Those boxes that you get are all about the seasons and recipes that utilize those foods are not only more nutritious, but are needless to say, more locally grown. 

The first recipe I made was a winter gumbo, Gumbo Zav. This dish was packed with greens - mustard, collard, kale, chard - really any bounty that the cooler months offer. You can tell by the picture that it was chock full of these leafy greens. Nothing less than sensational and nothing less than what I expect Terry to deliver. 

Cost Breakdown

 collards, mustard, kale, spinach: $11
garlic, onion, flour: $1
stock, herbs: $3
Total to make 8 servings: