July 23, 2009

Disaster for a Recipe

Regular surfers of the foodie blogosphere may have already read about this, but since Gena was kind enough to let me poach her pictures AND host the event in question, I feel the need to record Tuesday's meet-up for posterity up in herre.

In order to welcome Lindsay (aka the Happy Herbivore) to New York City, Gena had a wee gathering at her fab pad and outdid herself with the homemade raw goodies, such as these jicama roll-ups with avocado-cumin dressing...

...and raw pizza bites of Italian flavored cashew cheese atop zucchini slices...

...and what we all know by now to be some of the best guacamole this side of the border.

I had a truly grand time chatting with bloggie friends new (Elise, Ashley, Lindsay) and oldish (Heather, Katherine and Gena). I was contentedly maintaining my perch aside the delicious cookies that Ashley and Heather baked (Super Charge Me and Carrot Oatmeal, respectively) when in a sudden burst of gravity, the ceiling in Gena's bathroom decided it could resist the floor's charms no longer and this happened:

I'm so glad no one was in there trying to make it a menage a trois. That toilet bowl sustained some serious love bites!

Needless to say, poor Gena has been displaced for a couple nights while the situation is dealt with, but thankfully her mom is nearby and ready to protect her daughter from rogue pre-war bathrooms.

On a less leaky note, I'm so glad I made one of Lindsay's recipes for dinner on Monday because I was then able to fully appreciate the talent behind it when I met her in person. Delightful! However, though I've been enjoying Monday's leftovers very much, I still had half a package of vegan chorizo to use, so I had to think of a way to make that happen tonight, lest it perish.

After a little brainstorming, taking into consideration the Great Kitchen Purge and various things I wanted to use up before I go restocking, this became my dinner:

Vegan Polenta-Chorizo Torte with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Drizzle

For the torte:
  • 1 cup dry polenta (corn grits)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 package vegan chorizo, crumbled (I got mine from Trader Joe's; non-vegans feel free to use actual chorizo sausage)
  • 2/3 cup diced onions
  • scant 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (or grated parmesan cheese, if you're not vegan and/or think nooch smells like feet)
  • artichoke hearts (or other vegetables) for topping, optional
For the drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup hummus (I used Sonny & Joe's Garlic Addiction flavor - que fuerte!)
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper slices, drained
  1. Boil 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Whisk in polenta gradually and continue stirring as you reduce heat to medium-low, making sure no clumps form.
  2. Once the polenta begins to thicken (after just a minute or two), stir in onions, chorizo crumbles and all but a tablespoon or so of the nutritional yeast. Turn off the heat and continue stirring until everything is well combined and thickened up.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 8- or 9-inch pie plate (prepared with nonstick spray) and spread evenly. Top with the remaining nutritional yeast and sliced veggies, if desired (I thawed some frozen artichoke hearts and marinated them in Italian dressing while the polenta cooked on the stove).
  4. Let the torte sit for 10-15 minutes while you preheat the oven to broil and do the dishes. :)
  5. Broil the torte for 5 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.
  6. Meanwhile, blend the drizzle ingredients together until smooth (an immersion blender works fine).
  7. Remove torte from the oven, let stand for a couple minutes, then slice into four wedges.
  8. Serve each slice with about 1/8 cup of the drizzle.
Serves 4

I'm pretty proud of how this came out! Sort of odd, I know, but I always come up with the most interesting and unlikely meals when I'm trying to eat down the contents of my kitchen. This is the kind of challenge I like!

And if anyone has any alternative name suggestions for this dish, I'm all ears. According to the dictionary, a torte is supposed to be a dessert cake with little/no flour and a rich frosting (as in the Sacher variety...mmm), but I'm having a brain fart and can't think of any other gastronomic term for a sliceable vegan polenta cake. Can't imagine why! ;) In the meantime, I'll just call it what it sounds like, which is nom nom nom nom nom...


VeggieGirl said...

Gena's guacamole is DEFINITELY the best. Period.

Love your dish!! No new name suggestions though... yet. I'll sleep on it ;-)

katherine said...

I don't care what you call it - your dinner looks awesome!! I've got to try this magical vegan chorizo at some point :)

Elina said...

Oh man, I saw Heather's recap of that dinner - that's some scary stuff. How does that happen?! Good think the ceiling collapsed after your dinner... it looks delicious! :)

Erica said...

That party looks like it was so much fun! I cannot believe the leak in her bathroom!

Um...I'm am twilight crazy....I haven't been this excited about something so cheesy since New Kids on the Block

K from ksgoodeats said...

What a great NYC blogger meet up! It sounds like so much fun and tons of good food (and stories ;) )!

That dinner looks amazing! I would like to eat it now!! :D

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

Having read several recaps of that fateful night, it never ceases to surprise me that my bathroom ceiling caved in. Period.

What a gorgeous creation! Way to kick butt in your post-purge return.

elise said...

I still can't get over the photos...each time I look at them I'm amazed. That guacamole whet my appetite for avocado in a sick way! I've been pounding them all week :)

I say we make it a regular thing. I'll host next time if you bring the sabra :)

Jenny said...

you blogettes are such classy chicks! Gena's guac looks like heaven!

Special K said...

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fitforfree said...

Your vegan dish looks incredible!!