Holiday Rolls #1 – Herb and Cheese Poppers

cheese and herb rolls

Every holiday season invariably I attend at least one potluck in which I’m the person who brings the rolls. I try to change it up a little bit every year. These petite biscuits from the Nov. 2009 Bon Appetit are flaky (you have to fold them over and over while rolling them out, like croissants, and rich enough to satisfy with just a few bites. I made a double batch and reheated them in the oven right before dinner. A big hit!


Coup de Taco truck

Coup de Taco truck

I love truck food. I love tacos. I love food trucks right by my office that serve up super-special vegetarian-friendly tacos. The sudden surge of young, college-grads starting food trucks to realize their culinary dreams (and work their butts off) has recently brought Honest Tom’s tacos, Hubbub Coffee, and now Coup de Taco. Their website commands “Welcome to the Taco Revolution. Savor the Conquest. Join the Revolution.” They park on 40th between Locust and Spruce. The special love in Coup de Taco is their seriously vegetarian menu. Every item number comes with a veggie counterpart – seitan, edamame hummus, “riblets” and portabello mushrooms.

Indian Tikka Masala Taco with Seitan

Pictured above is the Indian Tika Masala taco with grilled seitan, tikka tomato sauce, coconut rice and cilantro. Wrapped in a flour taco (or served in a rice bowl, an option for all tacos) the only think that would make this taco tastier is if the sietan were shredded (like pulled pork) so that it could soak up more of the delicious sauce.

Thai Coconut Taco with Portabello Mushrooms

Sweet Thai Coconut Tacos with Portabello Mushrooms, however, I wasn’t so sure about. Perhaps it because I over-ordered (these tacos are deceptively filling), but more than that, I think it was the citrus marinated green apples on top of the peanut sauce. I tend not to feel excited about sweet with my savory, and would have really liked to toss the apples, but in a slaw of some sort, and add more mushrooms.

Overall, the truck is a super concept, offering fast, homemade, tasty food at affordable prices. $3.50 for one taco, $5 for two, and $8 for three. Grab a side of baked chips with roasted edamame hummos and a glass of ginger green tea and you’re good to go. I’ve still got more tacos to try (the caprese, a southern bbq, and whatever else they dream up) the only thing that would make me happier right now with the Coup de Taco truck guys (and their sweet smiles) is a brown rice and tortilla option.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Herbs

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Herbs

I love to find new recipes for my in-season vegetables, and often I turn to for inspiration. The Epicurious website catalogues recipes from Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and the late, great, Gourmet. Gourmet was one of my favorite magazine because of it’s beautiful photographs and in-depth foreign food explorations. I decided to submit a few recipes this month to the website Gourmet Unbound, which celebrates the former magazine, but through food blogs that mine the Gourmet Archives. The above is a very simple recipe of roasted parsnips and carrots (I had a bag each in my CSA that week) with herbs. I used the last of the sage from my garden, and some fresh rosemary leftover from another dish. Yum! The recipe is from Gourmet, December 2002.

Winter Vegetable Gratin

Delicious Winter Vegetable Gratin

Sometimes you want to cook something, and you have a fridge full of vegetables, and you have to figure out how to combine your craving with your desire to use everything up before your next CSA delivery. That how this dish was born. A basic gratin, (cream, milk, cheese) with turnips, savoy cabbage, and amazing fractal-style cauliflower. Between the layers of vegetable I added dollops of cream cheese, and topped the entire thing with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs made from leftover herb and cornmeal rolls. It. Was. Delicious.

You can decide exactly how healthy (or unhealthy) you’d like to make this comfort food.

1. Choose any combination of starchy winter vegetables. In the gratin above I used red turnips, savoy cabbage, and what I like to call fractal cauliflower.
2. Place the chopped and sliced vegetables in a gratin dish. Salt and pepper each layer. At this point you can add cheese between layers, if you’d like. The above gratin uses cream cheese.
3. Fill the gratin dish 3/4 of the way with a cream, milk, or a combination of the two. Add herbs to the dairy before you pour it over the vegetables.
4. Top with grated parmesan, and some sort of breadcrumbs
5. Bake in a 350 degree over for 35 – 40 minutes. For the first 20 minutes cover the dish with tin foil, and remove the foil for the second 15 – 20 minutes.
6. When the vegetables are baked through and the breadcrumbs are toasted brown, the gratin is done. Enjoy!


December GRID Happy Hour Tonight

December Grid

Hey everyone! Our favorite magazine about sustainability in Philadelphia hits the stands today! Check out my recipe for butternut squash and mushroom lasagna (pictured below) in the print addition or online.

GRID Cover December 2009 And join us to celebrate its release:

WHERE: The Abbaye (3rd and Fairmount)
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9
$3 drafts and ½ price appetizers!

See you there!

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagne

Brunch at Royal Tavern

I really like Royal Tavern. They have a beautiful bar, dim lighting, and are very veggie/vegan friendly. Unfortunately, I don’t live close, so I don’t get there very often. But when I can convince someone to make the trip, I go.

I’ve been thinking about this amazing “BLT” since a friend ordered it the last time I was there. Double-decker, marinated tempeh, tempeh “bacon,” lettuce, tomato and pesto mayonnaise on multi-grain bread. Slamming. Some dill pickle spears and hand-cut fries. A $5 large bloody mary, made spicy to order.