Christmas dinner lunch

 

 

P1110855
Clockwise from top: Roasted cauliflower with toasted quinoa, Vegetarian summer rolls, Vegetarian Thai Curry with quinoa, Bacon-wrapped scallops

I feel like the holidays should come with some kind of overarching theme, like caveat emptor, a Latin law term meaning buyer beware.  I consider it for a moment as an expanding world view of mine in the face of holiday stress that comes with the glee that results in over gifting, cooking too much, sleeping too little, and maybe thinking too much into the spirit of Christmas to realize that my candle is burning too low. The wick disappears on its own, dissolving into liquid wax. Wicks to wax, dust to dust, as they say, or perhaps that’s not a thing at all, but I still feel comfortable with caveat emptor.

They were mentioning the phrase today on NPR while discussing how to bottle and mass produce resveratrol, a chemical found on the skin of grapes and also in wine. Diane Rehm was exasperated, baffled, perhaps, at why as humans we cannot consume so much of seemingly life-saving panaceas in food, and if not, where one would be able to buy such a thing. Although I cannot quite put my finger on it, I feel like I can relate with the interviewer’s sentiment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 9.55.14 PM

Source:

 

 

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-06-29/anti-aging-research

Vegetarian summer rolls

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 9.29.53 AM

This dish falls at the midpoint between boiled and raw green bean.

Summer rolls are super fun to make if you like working with your hands. I made these recently several times over for some Christmas get togethers and once by myself, and I can say while this dish takes minimal exertion, it is painstakingly slow.

If you are about to eat with a group of hungry and/or hangry folks, make rolls ahead of time. I have considered this a great solo dish to eat alone or in the presence of gracious guests.

General prep note: Make up to two hours ahead of time. If not served immediately, rice paper gets sticky and dries out.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Cucumber julienned

2 medium carrots (equivalent to 5-7 baby rainbow carrots) julienned

1 avocado

1 bush basil

2-4 ounces rice vermicelli

6-8 rice papers

Equipment:

butcher knife

1 medium sized bowl filled halfway with warm water

1 plate

1 medium pot filled with boiling water

cutting board

vegetable peeler

strainer

Directions:

Cook vermicelli rice noodles 5 minutes in rolling boil water.

Dump noodles into strainer and let sit.

Chop cucumber, carrots, and basil. Set aside.

Place a sheet of rice paper into warm bowl of water for ten seconds.

Then place on plate.

Place small clump of cucumber, carrot, basil, and noodle onto the center of the rice paper. Slice a pat or two of avocado on top.

Fold top and bottom of rice paper over filling. Wrap sides over like a burrito roll.

Asparagus chop

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 9.07.00 AM

Slow food takes a turtle view of life. What with all the exertion of effort and boundless exasperation, comprising the vegetable trials is the asparagus.

The texture and consistency of this veg is a meatiness that blends well with other slippery veg, like mushrooms, and root veg including sweet potato and Brussels sprouts. Better still, the pairing of fish, tuna and salmon, uplift the experience.

To prep the veg, I wash them under the faucet for a minute and then snap the root end. The bend will find a natural chop point if you break it off in your hands.

Although I love it, the cook experience is an art. I have had sampled raw and nearly liquid state asparagus, so the most important point to consider is how to cook to done and yet avoid pushing over the edge to mushiness.

I. Pour veg into rolling boil water pot for one minute

II. immediately remove from heat

a. either stick in strainer or

b. pour in bowl of ice water