30 August 2012

Looking forward to Monday

It's a blessing to be able to look forward to the week starting; many people aren't willing to do that.  I love what I am doing with my life and I feel so blessed to be beginning this new chapter in my life with so many wonderful things right at my fingertips.  I biked down to Town Lake and swam in the Barton creek this Sunday. Austin is a great place.

Braised Cabbage, Fennel and Leeks
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel greens. 
1 small head of green cabbage
1 leek, greens trimmed
2 Tbls EVOO
1-2 Tbls shoyu
3 sprigs of thyme
Preheat oven to 400 deg F.  Peel the outer leaves of the fennel, keeping the root end intact.  Halve bulb lengthwise and then into quarters.  Set aside.  Trim greens and root end of leek.  Cut white part of leek lengthwise and submerge in water to release any dirt.  Cut leeks into 2 inch pieces.  Set aside.  Cut green cabbage into 3 inch wedges.  Heat EVOO in a large skillet.  Sear cabbage wedges and fry for 1 minute on each side.  Sprinkle with shoyu on top.  Add vegetable stock or water to cover bottom of skillet by ¼ inch.  Add fennel and leeks to dish.  Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and baste the vegetables with its juice.  Continue baking until vegetables are tender.  Serve with chopped fennel greens. 
Tuscan Pureed White Beans with Roasted Garlic
1 cup dried white beans
2 quarts water
1 postage stamp size kombu
1 head of garlic roasted
2 Tbls. EVOO
1 tsp. rosemary, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Sort, rinse, and soak the beans overnight.  Discard the bean soaking water.  Add fresh water and bring to a boil.  Skim foam.  Add kombu and cook for 1 hour or until beans are tender.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of bean stock.  Cut the top off a whole head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast head of garlic in oven until soft and brown, about 40 minutes.  Place beans, garlic, EVOO, rosemary, sea salt, and a small amount of bean stock in blender and blend mixture until smooth.  Add stock as needed for smooth mixture.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 
Vanilla Poached Pears with Chocolate Drizzle
½ cup of rice syrup
¼ cup of apple juice
1 quart of water
½ vanilla bean
2 inch pieces of lemon zest
2 pears
1 teaspoon kuzu
¼ cup non-dairy chocolate
1 Tbls. Unsweetened soymilk
Bring water to a boil with rice syrup, apple juice, lemon zest, and vanilla bean.  Stir to dissolve rice syrup, and lower the heat to simmer.  Peel the pears and then cut in half.  Remove the cores and stems with a melon baller.  Add them directly to the simmering syrup.  Poach until pears begin to look translucent around the edges, about 40 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the syrup.  Combine kuzu with just enough apple juice to dissolve it.  Stir into saucepan and simmer uncovered until thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool until just warm.  Just before serving, combine the chocolate and soymilk and melt in a double boiler.  Heat until smoothly melted.  Drizzle syrup and chocolate sauce equally onto the pear halves or slices. 

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