Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011 :)

We don't like to venture into the city on New Year's Eve. It's a frightening place, so we opted to stay home inside :) We made it into a date night (which seems to be becoming a tradition) so I cooked a simple 3 course meal and we bought some pink bubbly to drink in our fancy glasses :) It was nice.

I had been up since 4:30am because I had to start work early (and finish early because the boss wanted to get ready to party haha) so I was exhausted by 9:30pm. So we crashed and went to sleep. However, technically we were awake to ring in the new year because the fireworks from the city woke us up! We could see them from our front stairs, but there's one stupid tree that's in the way so we couldn't :( Oh well.
We started off with a little bowl of cleansing cucumber and ginger soup, recipe from Boy George's Karma Cookbook. It was surprisingly delicious! Not very flavourful, but it wasn't intended to be a main dish. Put a bit of chilli in this and it'd be perfect if you have a cold! (The ingredients are: cucumber, leek, lots of ginger, shiitake mushrooms, kombu seaweed, water, tofu and parsley for decoration.)
The main was the best. The recipe is from Robin Robertson's Vegan on the Cheap. Fusilli with Potatoes, Green Beans and Lemon Basil Creme. The creamy sauce was made from cashews, soy milk and lemon juice, basically. It's a pity I can't post the recipe. Maybe just buy the book, it's brilliant.

Now this is truly a crap picture. We have more for dessert tonight so I'll try to take a better photo! Ijust threw this together off the top of my head. I'll call it...Summer Fruit Freeform Tart with Balsamic Reduction. Yum.
Summer Fruit Freeform Tart with Balsamic Reduction

1 sheet square vegan puff pastry (I use Borg's)
*1 small nectarine, thinly sliced
*1 small peach, thinly sliced
*1 apricot, thinly sliced
*4 mulberries cut into thirds
Vegan margarine, for brushing on pastry before cooking

Half a cup of regular balsamic vinegar

While letting the pastry defrost on the bench, pour the half cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Turn element to it's lowest heat, and let vinegar reduce until thick. (Mine actually reduced all the way down to barely 2 tablespoons. It was very rich and sweet!) Set aside when it's done. I don't know how long it will take, just keep an eye on it.

When pastry is defrosted, cut across and down to make 4 squares.

Arrage slices of fruit in a fan (like in the photo) and top with the little bits of mulberry.

Smoosh sides of the squares of pastry up to surround the fruit so it won't go everywhere. Brush with melted margarine and put on a baking tray lined with baking paper. (I even buttered my paper because I was paranoid it would stick. It shouldn't.)

Turn oven to 200 degrees C. Cook pastries for about 25 minutes (I checked mine after 15, then every five minutes after that).

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with the balsamic reduction!

* Any fruit would work, really. Apples and strawberries? Banana and blueberries? Yum. Use whatever is in season and slice it thinly so it cooks in the oven :)

My mulberries were labelled as blackberries in the shops. They aren't :S Perhaps they are some sort of cross? Whatever they are, they were on special for $4.80 or something at Woolworths so I couldn't resist. Frozen berries would work perfectly as well.


Theresa said...

Your new year's eve sounds like an ideal night, to me. Those champagne glasses are great, and all your dishes sound pretty amazing!

Emma said...

Thanks! Date nights are always good nights :)
The glasses were left behind by an old flatmate, score for us! They all have a different pattern on them but I like to swirl best.

Rebecca said...

I'm definitely going to have to try that soup! But I have to ask...what the heck is mulberry? I don't know if we don't have those in America or if they're just called something else?

Emma said...

A mulberry is a large purple berry that grows on a tree. They are all over Brisbane. I'm not sure if the US has them...