Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celebrate- Frye Style!

Photo source

The newly-married Frye's invited us over for a vegan meal at their new home.  I was thrilled, but Emy was nervous.  This was her first experience cooking vegan!  She did such a wonderful job!  I had no doubts...Emily is the head pastry chef for a prestigious country club in Mooresville.  If she can handle that pressure, she can handle anything!  Of course, Travis was a big help to her.  I was excited to learn that Trav is no stranger in the kitchen and actually did most of the research to find and create the recipes and menu for the evening.

Appetizer:
Sundried Tomato Hummus and crackers

Dinner:
Mushroom and Walnut burgers
Spaghetti Squash with olive oil and grape tomatoes
Fresh salad with strawberries and toasted walnuts (feta optional!)

Dessert:
Chocolate Sorbet Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches

We started with a glass of Merlot and some delicious hummus!  I couldn't keep my paws out of this stuff.  It was sweet and savory and so good! 
We got a full tour of the new crib and it is already so welcoming, warm and cozy.  I can't believe they just moved in! Travis and Emily have been working hard on their new home!
(of course there are no pics of the house...just of the food)
Dinner was served with more wine.
Check out this colorful plate!

I topped my burger with a little of the hummus (as suggested by Emily and Travis).  I love that this burger had the color of a real burger.  Emily was disappointed in the texture, it didn't hold together well, but I assured her that most veggie burgers ended up that way.  The flavor was perfect, despite the texture.  And as a vegan, and an experienced veggie burger eater, I loved the texture just the way it was!

This was also her first attempt at Spaghetti Squash, and I was so excited to see it on the table.  Since our first attempt with Spaghetti Squash, I have been dying to eat it again.  I loved the new take with grape tomatoes, olive oil and spices.  It was perfect!

And of course the salad.  Is there really anything better in life than a fresh salad made with yummy ingredients, a mix of sweet and savory, crunchy and tangy?

Emily had planned a Chocolate Sorbet for dessert but unfortunately the ice cream maker was not cooperating with her plans.

Fortunately Travis decided at that very moment to admit his Vegan Faith blog readership and exclaim his love for grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  Luckily for us, Emy and Trav are flexible and it was quickly decided to enjoy grilled PB&B for dessert! Yes!

Our evening concluded with more wine (of course) and Yahtzee! Thank you Travis and Emily for hosting last night! We had such a blast.

It was fun to celebrate our anniversary with great friends--especially friends who are still in the "honeymoon" stage...because that is how I still feel after 2 whole years of marriage!
Kauai Honeymoon, November 2008
I begged for the yummy recipes from the Frye's so here you have it:

Mushroom Pecan Burgers
recipe from Epicurious

1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large-size yellow onions, finely chopped
3 large-size garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 to 2 cups bread crumbs or cracker meal
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
salt and ground pepper, to taste

In a food processor, mince mushrooms and parsley. Remove and set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook onions and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a large-size bowl, and combine with minced mushrooms and parsley, bread crumbs, tahini, hoisin sauce, chopped nuts, tamari, oregano, sage, salt, and pepper.

Place mixture in refrigerator for at least half an hour. Mixture will be soft, but you should be able to form patties. Add additional bread crumbs or tahini, if needed.

Create patties using your hands. In a sauté pan, warm remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, and fry patties over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and crispy. Be careful to keep patties intact.

Spaghetti Squash with Shallots and Tomatoes
1 large spaghetti squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 shallot

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and bake cut side down in casserole (with 1 inch of water in bottom) for 1 hour at 350*

Meanwhile, saute olive oil, shallot and tomatoes in pan until fragrant and tomatoes are soft.

When squash is done, use fork to scoop out the "noodles" Combine in bowl with tomatoes and shallots and serve.

Strawberry Walnut Salad
spinach
toasted walnuts (1/2 cup)
sliced strawberries (1/3 of a container)
chinese noodles (1/3 cup)
feta (optional)

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup white vinager,
1 tsp each: sugar, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder
(only half of the dressing was used on the salad)

Mix together and serve!

Thanks Emily and Trav for the recipes!  By the way, Emily mentioned that the Chocolate Sorbet turned out great, it just needed to be frozen overnight.  Hopefully they will invite us back over soon to try it out!

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