Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hot Broccoli Tartlets

These are some super easy tarts you can make for Easter or for whatever gathering you have planned.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 leek finely sliced
6 oz broccoli, broken into florets
1/2 oz butter
1/2 oz all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
2 oz Cheddar cheese

For the pastry
6 oz all purpose flour
3 oz butter
1 egg or egg substitute
pinch of salt

Make the pastry by combining the flour, salt and butter with the egg to make a dough.
Add a little cold water if necessary, knead lightly and cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Allow the dough to return to room temperature and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Line 8-10 deep muffin pans. Prick the base with a fork and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is firm and lightly grolden. Increase the temperature to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the leek for 4-5 minutes. Add the broccoli, stir fry for about 1 minute. Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli is just tender.

For your sauce, melt butter in a separate saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring all the time. Slowly add the milk and stir to a smooth sauce. Add half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon a little broccoli and leek into each tartlet case and then spoon over the sauce. Sprinkle each tartlet with the remaining cheese and then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden.

Serve the tartlets as part of buffet or serve as a starter.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Annie Chun

As a vegetarian and a bit of a foodie I prefer preparing as much of our food from scratch as I have time. And I do. But between my work and Jenni's, not to mention the boy's busy schedules; it's hard to always plan ahead, or find the time to get it all done. I try to grab as much on the go healthy food as I can; some almonds, fruit, a Clif bar. But sometimes I need something a little more substantial. Lately,  I've been stashing these quick little Pan-Asian meals from Annie Chun in my pantry and desk. Many of them, like the Korean Kimchi soup bowl I had for lunch today are vegan/vegetarian. The noodles are delicious and they taste surprisingly fresh. The Miso soup was also very tasty. They've started carrying these products in Bloomington, so I'm sure they're available just about everywhere.

No Reservations

I find it hard not to enjoy Anthony Bourdain. He's become an institution all to himself. A writer/traveler/ex-chef with a successful Travel Channel show and numerous bestselling books. In the age of the celebrity chef and the reality TV star, why shouldn't we have a celebrity ex-chef and travel host/author? People who aren't fans of food or travel seem to enjoy Tony Bourdain. His appeal owes as much to his intelligence, frankness and underlying humanity as to his ability to skewer people and places like a roving Simon Cowell. Sure, he's not a fan of vegetarians, or Rachael Ray, but nobody's perfect.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Travel Detective Bible

I picked up this well-regarded Peter Greenberg book from 2007 over the weekend. At 600 pages, it covers a lot of ground, quite heavy too. But I'm a sucker for reference materials. One of the great things about travel is that it is ever changing and always expanding. Looking through the book this morning, I noticed quite a few things that have changed just since the book was published. But such is the world these days. Who knew there was such a thing as 'Medical Tourism, Spiritual Travel, Educational Travel?' Well, I knew about the last one. Nevertheless, Peter had a few links to some vegetarian resources that I thought I would pass along:
Happycow.com: A guide to raw-food restaurants, with 6,000 listings in 96 countries. 
Vegdining.com: A worldwide guide to vegetarian restaurants, with more than 1,000 listings and 2,000 reviews.
Vegtravel.com: An online travel agency specializing in packages for vegetarian/vegan/eco travelers.

Irish Fireside | Ireland Travel and Heritage

Irish Fireside | Ireland Travel and Heritage

Here's a great podcast for those of you looking for some Ireland information.