Sunday, October 9, 2011

biryani improv

It all started last night, coincidentally while I was cooking dinner.  My cell phone rang, and although I usually ignore it, I decided to see who it was.

"Hey Natalie, I'm sorry to disturb you on a Sunday night, but blah-blah-blah-building-up-to Can you work tomorrow even though you're scheduled off?"

"Uh...yeah.  Can I be off on Friday in exchange?"

"Uh.... I can probably make that work.  Does this throw a huge wrench in the works for you?"

"No, not really, but it would be great to have Friday off."

"What about an allen wrench?"

"Yes.  It throws an allen wrench in the works.  Can I have off Friday if I come in tomorrow?"

"Yes.  Thank you so much.  I owe you. At least a caffeinated beverage."

"Friday off will do just fine.  I'll see you tomorrow."

And that's the story of why I was working today, instead of sleeping in and drinking coffee and eventually going food shopping, but mostly, having enough energy to properly prepare the Vegetable Biryani from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.

I didn't get a very good picture, but rest assured, it tasted much better than it looks.  Authentic?  Probably not - I skipped a few steps and improvised a few others (ghee is not exactly vegan), but it came out just fine and finished cooking much sooner than it wanted to.

I made an excessive amount of rice because I was supposed to layer it with a veggie filling before baking it for a half hour.  I'm sure it would have been even more mouth-wateringly delicious if I had done that, as I have in the past, but tonight, after working due to a big street festival right outside our store encouraging higher-than-average foot traffic, I just didn't have the energy to go through the entire process, so instead, I just heaped the rich veggie curry on top of brown basmati rice.

It was delicious and  hit the hungry spot just fine.

I did construct the "rest" of my incomplete menu last night.  Mind you, the only reason it was incomplete is because I meant to be off today and then not again for a week.  Now I'm just trying to make it through Wednesday (I work later on Thursday, so Mister's on his own).

1. Pineapple Curry Tofu from the most recent issue of Clean Eating magazine.  I used to buy these every time they hit the newsstand, then contemplate whether to subscribe, then end up not subscribing because of how meat-centric most recipes are and how illogically protein-focused the magazine can be sometimes.  Nevertheless, I agree with its most basic tenets so I always end up buying it again.  It's probably been about a year, though, so I figured I'd look again and this issue had a decent number of "safe" recipes.

2.  Southwest Meatballs with Warm Corn-Black Bean Salsa, also from Clean Eating.  The recipe in the magazine includes instructions on constructing the ground turkey-based meatballs, but I'm just going to buy some Nate's at Whole Foods tomorrow.

3. Vegetable Chili Bowl from The Low GI Cookbook, contributed by one of Australia's National Treasures.  I've made this once before and remember being pretty impressed with how it came out.

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