Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day and Comfort Food

We had great plans for Memorial Day: ride into Boulder, hang out at the Boulder Creek Festival, watch the Duck Race, grab some dinner at the new Mexican joint in town, and then catch a relatively early showing of Indiana Jones before riding home. That was the plan. Instead it went something like this: ride into Boulder as it starts to sprinkle, walk around the festival as it continues to rain harder, get so cold and hungry that we decide to get some lunch and skip the ducks, dash out of lunch in time to get the bus that already has two bikes on the rack, figure when the next bus is (one hour!), ride to the bus station as our shoes get ever squishier with water, wait for a different bus in the rain, get home, take shower, jump around in pain as hands and feet feel like they're on fire, and collapse on the couch to watch American Fliers.

Needless to say, I was too cold and tired to make dinner. And, yesterday the weather continued--more rain and 40 some-odd degree nastiness. So, I decided that it might be one of the last times a casserole is in order for quite some time and decided to try making a baked fettucinni casserole with asparagus and garlic bread. It tasted really good, but the color leaves a lot to be desired. It turned a strange shade of gray somewhere in the process. Gray isn't the best color for food.
Baked Fettucinni Casserole
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with a little bit of water
1/3 cup faux parmesan

Asparagus mixture:
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of green onions, whites and greens finely chopped
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

1 lb. fettucinni
Bread crumbs for topping

Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to sauce pan, add cornstarch, and cook over low heat stirring until it thickens. Take off heat and fold in the faux parmesan. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in a bog pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from water with slotted spoon and run cold water over asparagus. Cook fettucinni in leftover water leaving it slightly under done. In a frying pan, saute green onions for a minute, ass asparagus and saute for another minute, then take off heat and add lemon zest and juice. Combine the noodles, sauce, and asparagus mixture (mixed well) in a baking dish, cover with bread crumbs and cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Roasted Garlic Oil and Puree:
Several heads of garlic, cut horizontally
Olive oil
1 tsp. peppercorns
Several sprigs of fresh thyme

Arrange cut garlic flat side down in a baking dish and cover with olive oil (it should be at least half an inch deep). Add peppercorns and thyme. Bake at 300 degree for around 50 minutes.

There are several things you can do at this point: I think it would be lovely served straight from the oven as a dip for a party. You can also strain the oil and use it in toasted bread as I did to go with the casserole. And, I also removed all the cloves and pureed them for future use.


veganboyjosh said...

nice hoodie.

veganboyjosh said...

heh. you forgot the lady who rushed to the bus we got on, only to find both bike racks full--of our bikes!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I hate it when food comes out gray too, but it happens sometimes! at least it was tasty and comforting!

Jen said...

Bummer the weekend didn't turn out as you'd hoped! And yeah, that hoodie is awesome! (Do I spy herbivore clothing?)