Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Easy, tasty, pretty vegetarian meal

Ohh, I love it when a plan comes together and experimentation pays off. That was precisely what did not happen when our friends joined us for our impromptu dinner last night. Tonight, however, ahhh, it all came together so well.


Our meal consisted of roasted new potatoes topped with steamed asparagus topped with Parmesan cheese topped with a fried egg. Delicious. Here’s how I made it happen:

I chopped 5 Yukon new potatoes into bite-size pieces and put them in a quart-size baggie. I tossed in a couple of tablespoons of pesto, but I would suggest instead that you toss in chopped garlic, Italian herbs, and olive oil . . . or some garlic & herbs Mrs. Dash, salt, and olive oil. I zipped the bag shut and mixed it all together; then I let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. (It would probably be fine to use within 15 minutes.)

I put the potatoes in to roast at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes, taking them out to flip them half-way through the cooking time.

In the meantime, I heated a pot of water with a steamer basket and a lid until the water boiled.

I grated about three tablespoons of high-quality Parmesan cheese and set that aside.

When the potatoes were nearly done, I steamed the asparagus until they were tender-crisp: very thin asparagus needs about 4 minutes; these thicker ones needed about 7.

While the asparagus was steaming, I heated a non-stick pan to medium heat. When it was good and hot, I added a tablespoon of butter. As soon as the butter had melted, I cracked a line into two eggs on the ridge of a bowl and gently cracked the eggs open a half inch from the hot surface of the pan. Then I put in another tablespoon of butter to melt next to the cooking eggs (don’t worry–it didn’t all cook into the eggs). Over the next 2-3 minutes, I occasionally spooned up the pooling hot butter and basted the egg yolk with it. My goal was to have an egg yolk that wasn’t raw but would still turn into a runny, flavorful sauce when we cut into it to eat.

The asparagus and eggs were done about the same time, so I took the potatoes out of the oven; put the asparagus on top of it; sprinkled Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper on top; added more pepper and a tiny bit of salt to the eggs; and then used a spatula to scoop one egg on top of each plate. (There was a lot of butter left in the pan.)

Voila . . . an easy, delicious meal. But I wasn’t done yet.

We bought a round of Sweet Grass Dairy cheese a couple of weeks ago. We hadn’t used it yet because I was trying to do something a little special with it and needed time to think what to do. Tonight I mixed together about 1 teaspoon of melted organic butter, 3 tablespoons of (real!) maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, and 3 tablespoons of organic pecan pieces. I sliced the top rind off of the cheese and spread that mixture on top. I put the cheese with topping in the fridge for about half an hour.

After dinner, I put the cheese in a 400 degree F oven for about 7 minutes, which solidified the top slightly and made the cheese start to melt. Meanwhile I chopped up an apple and a pear to go with it.

Yum–easy dessert as well. I had to stop us from eating all of it with a reminder to my husband that he could eat the rest for breakfast!


This meal had a lot of great elements to it, but with dessert, it was a bit high in saturated fat. It's the kind of meal you can eat once a week but certainly not anywhere close to daily!


lisa jane said...

I love your cooking you make vegetarian meals look grand! I am feeling very inspired :)

celtic_girl said...

I love reading your recipes, I am going to try making the Pumpkin Lasagna on the weekend.

jeena said...

Mmmm your recipes look delicous!
you have Great blog from Jeena :)

visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog