Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Visit from Mimi, Part 1

Cocktail Snacks

Vegetarian Toad in the Hole. Our fluffy, tangy version was only slightly adapted from blogger Marte Marie Forsberg's recipe in Food and Wine magazine. See below at bottom of post how to make it your own.

We all look forward to a visit from Mimi. Lloyd and Arabella spent as much time as they could with their grandmother, even sleeping in her bed!


Mimi/Mother raided the Cutting Garden to assemble beautiful arrangements for the kitchen, dining room and living room.


Assembling the ingredients for a Persian dinner.

Wild red snapper fillets.

The fish was dredged with a seasoned flour and then quickly pan-fried.

Our Persian Fried Fish with Cardamom Rice and sauteed leafy greens from the garden.

A typical Middle Eastern side dish assembled from roasted onions and broiled peppers, sliced tomatoes (homegrown Pink Brandywine) and olives.

An essential component of any Iranian dinner is the ubiquitous platter of warm flatbread and mountain of herbs, to be grazed upon throughout the meal. We snipped parsley, basil and mint from the garden to compose our condiment tray.

Ready to eat! The fish was served with a light Pinot Noir from nearby Hudson-Chatham Winery. Earlier in the day we sipped our way through many samples at their Tasting Room in Tannersville.


Many different veggies were harvested from the garden during the visit. Above, lemon cucumbers, Asian eggplants, long beans and radishes.

Mimi always arrives with plenty of treats for Lloyd and Arabella!
Summer's Bounty. The Honey Drop cherry tomatoes have been prolific and true to their name this summer, sugary sweet and velvet in texture. The Italian plums were a gift from our neighbor Barbara. Mother made them into a delectable cobbler.

The World's Fastest Easiest Homemade Pizza Crust makes another regularly scheduled appearance at Cafe Drake HRV. Instructions for making it can be found in THIS ARCHIVED POST. We topped ours as seen abive with Pink Brandywine, Yellow Pear and Honey Drop tomatoes, all from the side yard garden, as well as house-pickled chili peppers, basil and capers.
A fairly typical Cold Leftovers Side Dish at Cafe Drake HRV, usually served with sandwiches or soup. Tomatoes from the garden, homemade bread and butter pickles (crafted from our own Lemon Cucumbers), olives, roasted tofu, roasted carrots, newly sprouted radish sprouts and chilled eggplant salad.

Leftover Pizza reheated for lunch.

Dinner in a Bowl is a concept that not only eases dish cleaning duties, one-vessel dining is ideal for those rare occasions when we eat in front of the TV. Above, Orecchiette and Roasted Tomatoes with a Parsley and Caper Sauce and Sunny Side Up Free Range Egg.

Yet another way to preserve the harvest!

VEGETARIAN TOAD IN THE HOLE

Traditionally this pub standard would be made with sausage and served with onion gravy, although variations are limited only by the ingredients you have on hand and your imagination. We nixed the tomatoes in the original recipe and chose vegetables that could be cooked in the same pan and in the same time frame. An autumn version might feature onions and parsnips, or assorted wild mushrooms and diced butternut squash.

In a large bowl beat 2 free-running hens' eggs with 3/4 cup whole milk or unflavored soy milk. Stir in 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 T. vegetable or olive oil, a large pinch of salt and 2 T. Dijon or grainy mustard. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Let the batter stand for at least 15 minutes while you proceed with the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour 2 T. vegetable or olive oil in a 8 or 9" square baking pan or 8" round iron skillet and heat in the oven.

Now, melt 2 T. butter in a large skillet. If you prefer, you can use olive or coconut or vegetable oil instead of butter. Add to the skillet 1 sliced onion and 2 cloves of sliced garlic. Sprinkle with salt and cook over a medium flame until the onion begins to soften. Toss in a handful of thin, chopped string beans and around 1/2 cup each thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers. Add 1 carrot, cut into very thin matchsticks. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes or until the veggies are all somewhat soft. Add 1 T. chopped basil, 1 t. chopped thyme leaves and 1 t. chopped marjoram or oregano. Stir in 1 t. of the mustard and season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat.

Now remove the heated pan from the oven. Don't forget to use oven mitts! Pour the batter in the hot pan and spread it evenly. Scatter the veggies and herbs on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden.


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