LJ-Picturing Food, 5.19.06: Pierogies, curry/ice cream, and veal marsala nights.

I'm moving this weekend, so there won't be much cooking for about a week after tonight. *sad* I plugged in some of Violet's beautiful photos because they remind me of how good food tasted at the time we ate it.

Mario did a curry and ice cream night. He made three types of curries (seafood, lamb, and vegan) and set up an ice cream bar. I only got two photos from the night, though, because there was too much cooking and eating keeping me busy. Mario set up shop in his backyard (it's hot here in Tempe (Phoenix) during the day, but at night, it's just about perfect). He has a camp chef stove (three burner capacity) that he does amazing things on. That night, it was stir-fried bok choy and a griddle for naan (flat bread).

Young bok choy for stir-fry.

Two of three curries (the orange one is seafood, the brown one is lamb, the vegan one was white, but I didn't get a chance to try it. =( )

Supreme Master Ching Hai Vegetarian House. Interesting name, but pretty good food. There's one in San Jose, too. One of their special tricks is making tofu taste like certain meats. These are Violet's photos. On an interesting side note--the tables are covered with paper instead of cloth covers. The first time Violet ate there, she got a papecut from the table cover. One of the reasons she turned to vegetarianism was because she didn't want her eating to harm animals. There's some loose irony there--not necessarily funny. Unless you laugh at stuff like that.

Veggie House Tofu dish 1.

Veggie House tofu dish 2.

Dream cake. I just wanted to look at it for about ten minutes before sinking our forks into it. It was pretty tasty!

Random Violet photos.

There's a gallery downtown called Weird Garden, and the owner/artist has this giant cake on the roof of the gallery.

Also downtown is a bakery/grocery called Willo Bakery, and they bake some fatastic things there.

More Willo.

Pierogi night. In a further attempt to use of Violet's flour supply before she moves, Wendy taught us how to make pierogies. Violet made a samosa filling, and I did an Asian-inspired filling. Chris W. brought mashed yams flavored with garam masala, and Wendy made traditional mashed potatoes with cheese. She showed me how to do the dough, so I took on that task, and she showed Violet how to boil then saute them, so she did that. We made them all at once and got them mixed up, so it was sort of like "test your luck" or "pierogi bingo"--you never knew what you would end up with. About 75% were mashed potatoes, there were only four of Violet's (there were seven of us eating), and about ten of mine and Chris W's. People were poking at them to get the filling they wanted to try. They were all really good! Then there was a debate over whether or not we should only slightly saute them or outright brown them to crisp them up. I ate them either way (but preferred them a little little crisped).

Pierogies process.

Pierogies--the orange filling is the yam, the curry-colored filling is the samosa, and the white filling is the mashed potato and extra-sharp cheddar. (We sauted them in butter with onions in the pan; we couldn't put onions in the pierogies because they give Wendy some wicked-bad heartburn.

Nathan ate some of Violet's filling and one of my pierories.

Chris C doesn' cook, so he brought dessert--a chocolate mousse cake from AJ's. No complaints there!

Layers ... oh, layers.

My brother and his housemate requested that I make veal marsala. My brother found two pounds of veal at Albertson's. I don't buy veal myself and very rarely cook it, but since I'm moving kinda far, I considered this a sort of going-away present.

Cucumber and carrot salad with cranberries, pine nuts, and citrus vinaigrette.

Pasta campanelli with banana squash, zuchinni, and red bell peppers. The main sauce came from the marsala.

The veal ... marsalanating ... ? I couldn't find crimini mushrooms, so I just sliced some small portabella caps (but not so small that they were criminis).

The stuff, complete with very garlicky garlic bread.

The roommate specifically requested blueberry cobbler, which I'd never made. This turned out really good, and I liked it better than any other cobbler I've had.

We ate it with ice cream. =)

I finally got to eat at The Cornish Pasty Company. It was so good that I went there the next day to take out dinner for a friend I was meeting later that evening. Whether you eat in or take out (or get delivery--yay!), pasties come wrapped in white butcher paper.

"Shepherd's Pie" pasty. A lot of people might complain that shepherd's pie is actually lamb (it's for shepherd's, after all), but I didn't complain. Cottage pie, shepherd's pie--serve it with red wine gravy, and I won't report you.

Aside from a crust that was a little too thick, this is the best bannoffee pie I've ever had. I got one of these, too, for takeout, and you don't get the little pie tin; they do, however, do a good job packaging it in a takeout container.

Parting Shot

One of my new favorite snacks--Snapeas. They have the texture of Cheetos, and they don't turn your fingers green. They don't really taste like any snap pea I've ever had, though. They kinda taste like Cheetos, but very mellow and not so sweet.


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