Saturday, February 17, 2007

We chopped, we sliced, we conquered

So this entry depicts not this past Wednesday (which was Valentine's, of course — happy belated Valentine's everyone!), but the prior Wednesday, which was colourful and quite photogenic. And oddly violent, foodwise. We did something novel and cooked at Meg's for the first time (well, the first time for We Dine, anyway) and went in search of all the chopping power she had at her disposal. Which was plenty, we were to discover.

First, Michelle and Erin chopped various fruits and veg in the usual manner.

We made a salad I had discovered in the British newspaper the Independent (when looking for something else). It was a little impossibly posh, and involved mysterious ingredients such as purslane (though if we didn't have purslane we could've substituted lamb's lettuce, of course). Recipe to follow in a later entry. But the salad called for many lovely red ingredients, the handling of which which turned everyone's hands quite bloody.

The first violent fruit: blood oranges.

We learned that peeling and sectioning oranges by cutting into the segments is actually a cooking technique that has a name: supreming. That's right, you can supreme something.

Then we boiled beets for the salad (which took ages because they were fairly large) and fished them out of the pot and peeled them. And then we mandolinned them! More chopping power. We got to use Meg's (relatively) new mandolin to slice them quite thinly. That part was fun but messy.

Fennel was another salad ingredient we mandolinned:

And the finished salad was very pretty. A photo will appear alongside the recipe in a later entry.

Michelle made a guacamole, which she clearly enjoyed.

And Meg made another kind of mole. Two moles in one meal! Meg's was a chocolate mole sauce over chicken thighs, with a green rice dish — one of her favourites, apparently. I'll have to let Meg explain it, ingredients and recipe, as I really don't know much about it, I've realized, except that it tasted delicious. Alisha read the ingredient list (from the jar) and was fairly disturbed. Something about crackers. And various artificial colourings.

And all these flavours and dishes came together in the finished meal!


Meg said...

Thanks Laura! Lovely photos. It was fun to have you guys at my place, although I don't know how you pull off being so relaxed when we're at yours. Maybe it was all the sharp blades that kept me on my toes... That photo of four of us huddled around the mandolin with such serious-looking faces is hilarious. Especially with the beet-juice looking so bloody. Looks like we may have just had an accident...

I promise to post the green rice recipe soon. One day we should attempt the mole sauce from scratch!

I still have leftover beets in my fridge – do you think they're still good? I haven't come up with any inventive uses for them yet. That salad was the best.

Laura said...

The beets may well still be good! Wait, were they the cooked ones? Hmm. Maybe not. Michelle produced some radishes the other day that had gone missing in the fridge and they had shrivelled and shrunk away to nothing. It was like they had been miniaturized.

Definitely looking forward to that green rice recipe. And I'll have to post the (revised) salad recipe!