p.h.d.elicious cooks plants in tiny kitchens

Plant-based Cooking!

Christmas Feast

with 7 comments



Here’s what my boyfriend and I ate for Christmas dinner last night! I was so pleased with how everything turned out.
The soup is the Scarlet Carrot Soup from the final printed issue of Gourmet magazine, November 2009. I thought they reproduced all the recipes from Gourmet on epicurious, but apprently they don’t. Someone’s reprinted the recipe here, though, so take a look if you like. It’s a great soup– very simple yet interestingly layered in flavour. Because it’s so simple, be sure to taste and fiddle at the end with the salt level and so forth. I tasted it and found it a little too bland, but just one more twist of salt brought out all the flavours as if by magic. The carrot ribbons were a great touch and worth the effort.
The crazy-looking entree is from The Artful Vegan, one of Millennium Restaurant’s cookbooks. I’ve had this cookbook for years, but have really only had the chops to cook from it properly for the past year or two (my first attempt to make an entree out of it, years ago, was one of the most stressful experiences ever!) Now I know better what kind of prep is required, and what I can substitute and how I can streamline the process. Necessary knowledge when you’re cooking from an ingredient list that’s not only lengthy, but includes multiple other recipes from the book that I don’t have a sous chef preparing for me at 5AM. I made this entree last year for a para-Christmas meal in Vancouver, and didn’t get any photos because I didn’t bring my camera on that trip. For that meal, I had made a parsnip puree in place of the garlic grits you see here. It had been delicious, but I think in the end the Millenium folks sure know how to pick the elements of a dish and I’m glad I followed them this time. Yet instead of the the grilled broccoli rabe, here you can see I substituted a saute of beet greens– I just prefer beet greens over broccoli rabe, and so does my boyfriend! But beet greens still fit the tuscan profile very well.
So, what you see here is a pool of wine-mushroom sauce– they call it zinfandel porcini sauce, but what you see here is cabernet-portobello sauce. Now, this is one of the most flavourful sauces around. Not only is this–


–not even all the shallots I used, but this–


is just the first flavour layer of the sauce: Dark Roasted Vegetable Stock from the same book. This stock alone has two layers of wine flavour–the vegetables are roasted with wine, and then simmered with more wine and herbs. The resulting stock is just one element of the final sauce. Along with the shallots I already showed you, there’s also a pound of mushrooms, a beautiful dark roux, and more wine. Nuts. Special-occasion worthy.

Okay, enough about the sauce. The purse is filled with a beautiful mix of white beans, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, fennel bulb, onions, herbs, and a bit of crispy vegan sausage (the only Tofurkey product that made its way into this holiday meal, incidentally). The purse sits on a cloud of garlic grits, which have been elevated to crazy decadence with some cashew cream. Grilled bosc pear and sauteed beet greens complete the picture. And below we have a picture of the stars of the soup, just because it looks pretty:


Stayed tuned for a plum pudding post!


Written by phdelicious

December 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Daaaamn. Mac is a lucky guy!


    December 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    • Haha, I’ll let him know!


      December 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      • Somehow I don’t think he needs to be reminded!


        December 29, 2010 at 3:12 am

  2. Wow … just wow!
    Very inspiring: thanks for posting these great images and the motivating details of your culinary adventures. –J.


    December 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    • Thanks, Jacqueline– I’m so glad you liked it!


      December 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

  3. Mmmmmmm! I was lucky enough to try some of these dishes last year and my mouth is watering!


    December 27, 2010 at 12:01 am

  4. mmm, beautiful! I’ve never made this, but I have made many good dishes from The Artful Vegan. I definitely agree that you need to be skilled and comfortable in the kitchen to make the most of that book!


    December 27, 2010 at 12:58 am

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