Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A gourmet picnic

I took the boyfriend on a picnic on Sunday, and wanted to impress. The menu:
  • Artichoke. Set a couple inches of lightly salted water with lemon juice in a large pan tall enough to fit an artichoke the long way. Trim from the artichoke the lowest (leathery) petals, and peel the stem. Also slice off the top spines with a clean horizontal cut. Place the artichokes top down in the water, stems pointing up, put on the lid, bring to boil, and simmer/steam for thirty to forty minutes.
  • Aioli. In the kitchenaid fitted with the whisk, combine to taste melted butter, olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, and salt. Beat well. To thicken, whip in a little arrowroot at the end.
  • Hot dogs. I based my recipe on this one from PPK. First combine wet ingredients, mashing beens with a fork or in the kitchenaid: 1/4 cup pinto beans, 1 cup veggie broth, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 small bulb fennel, minced, and the leaves of 2 sprigs fresh oregano, minced. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 2 tsp ground paprika, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add wet into dry, mixing by hand; knead a bit by hand. (I'm serious: this is much better if done by hand than machine.) Set up the steamer (I don't have a real steamer, so I used my steam canner). Cut six sheets of aluminum foil — 8 1/2 by 11 will do it — and divide the seitan into sixths. One-by-one, knead each a little more, and then roll into a log, and wrap tightly in the foil, twisting the end like a tootsie roll. Steam the logs for 45 minutes.
  • With the hot dogs we had various pre-made fixings: mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut, and buns.
  • Strawberries. From Lucero
  • Whipped cream. 1/2 cup whipping cream, 2 Tbsp sugar, a hint of vanilla. In the kitchenaid with the whisk it is very fast.

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