Tag Archives: Eric Tucker

Millennium Green Thai Curry

The picture does not do this dish justice. Apologies for the very poor quality!

The picture does not do this dish justice. Apologies for the very poor quality!

If I could re-name the summer of 2013, I’d call it the year of the zucchini. My CSA showered me with zucchini (courgettes) and summer squash. I did my best to keep up, and what wasn’t eaten raw or cooked was diced, grated, steamed, and frozen for delicious treats come February when I am tired of winter produce. With over 100lbs of zucchini and summer squash this summer, and an apartment sized deep freeze full of the stuff, I have gotten very creative! This Green Thai curry is one such example.

I have waxed poetic about the Pumpkin Thai Curry in the Millennium cookbook before, and am adamant that Eric Tucker is a genius. This Green Thai Curry version uses the same curry paste featured in that recipe, but substitutes all the winter squash for summer squash. Brilliant, right? I then used that curry sauce and included the rest of the curry vegetables that I love to use, as shown in my other Green Thai Curry recipe: eggplant, zucchini (more!), green beans, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and swiss chard. All save for the mushrooms were compliments of my CSA. I don’t know if it was the garden fresh veggies, the new and unique sauce, or the delight in knowing that I used two zucchinis for this bowl of greatness, but this Thai curry is a keeper! I love how the same ingredients for the curry sauce can end up with a completely different taste – it’s all dependent on how you cook it. The scientist in me is fascinated by the different flavour profiles if you add a certain spice in step one or step five, or if you pre-simmer the sauce before adding the vegetables.

There is no new recipe for this dish, just some creative imagination on how to combine two existing ones! So if you are like me and have zucchini coming out your ears and are sick of raw zucchini pasta with pesto (delicious!), try this recipe out – not only do you decrease your zucchini count, but you end up with a delicious, slightly spicy, and very piquant curry! Definitely one to keep for a rainy day!

The curry paste/sauce recipe can be found here: Winter Vegetable Pumpkin Thai Curry

The rest of the vegetable medley can be found here: Green Thai Curry

 

*Note that the vegetables are suggestions only. Use your imagination! In this edition, I also added some home-sporuted mung beans for some extra crunch, which were amazing.


Onion and Apple Soup with Apple Sesame Ginger Chutney

Onion and Apple Soup

There are some things that are sacred in the kitchen. “Thou shalt not mix fruit with savoury dishes” is one such axiom. And yet when I found myself with a glut of apples that were about to go bad all at once, I knew that rules were meant to be broken. I generally don’t like sweet savoury dishes (whoever thought of pineapple on pizza should be given a harsh reprimand) so with this conundrum I went looking for the most overpowering flavour I could think of. Enter the onion. As background: I generally don’t like onions either, much preferring garlic. When a recipe calls for “1 medium onion” I translate that to “half of the smallest one you could possibly buy”. So when this Onion and Apple Soup with Apple Sesame Ginger Chutney recipe flipped past when I was looking through my Millennium cookbook, I knew that this was a personal challenge. Make it or else.

This soup is the reason I love daring myself to try new things in the kitchen. The caramelized onions add a bold flavour that isn’t too ‘onion-y’ and pairs nicely with the apples. The apples themselves lend a subtle flavour to the dish, and when cooked with the onions and red wine it’s more of an apple cider vinegar flavour than an apple-pie flavour. Wild rice was also a new discovery for me, and I am a convert! It is much chewier than normal rice, and doesn’t get lost among the onions and apples. The thyme and tarragon round the bowl off, adding that extra something to the bowl that immediately transports you to the southern regions of France. The chutney is a simple apple salad made with (you guessed it) apples, sesame seeds, ginger, and scallions. A light and refreshing condiment, it added a subtle Asian twist to your otherwise Rivera-inspired bowl. I was almost more surprised that I loved this soup so much than I was that I’d actually entertain making it!

The recipe is another winner by Eric Tucker in his cookbook Millennium, found on page 62. Unfortunately, I cannot find a Google-Book preview of the recipe, but its well worth the library trip!

So challenge those dear kitchen rules. Throw the rule book out the window and make something completely out-of-the ordinary and completely delicious – like this soup!


Winter Vegetable Thai Pumpkin Curry in Roasted Pumpkin Bowl

Creamy, spicy, and altogether pleasing, this winter vegetable curry will have you crawling back for more! And yes, you can eat the bowl too!

This Thai Pumpkin Curry is what I imagine Thanksgiving in Thailand would be like. Rutabagas, turnips, potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, and pumpkin are slow cooked in a pureed pumpkin red Thai curry sauce. A bunch of kale is added near the end for a pop of green and another layer of texture, then ladled with love into a roasted pumpkin bowl. The bowl is delicious and a tasty addition to the curry, but the curry can also be served in a bowl. The list of ingredients and vegetables is definitely not what people classically think when they see the words “Brussels sprouts” but I guarantee that after a morsel of this creamy spicy curry is tasted they will never crave sickly-sweet maple Brussels sprouts again! The roasted pumpkin bowl is highly recommended, however if your oven is like mine and you quickly run out of real estate when roasting winter squash, feel no shame in saving the fresh pumpkin and throwing a bit extra into the curry!

The curry sauce itself is composed of a homemade fiery red Thai curry paste that is a “dump and puree” procedure. Add to this fresh roasted pumpkin, and a half-and-half mixture of coconut milk and almond milk and puree some more. This sauce is very versatile, and would be at home in a spring Thai curry just as much as a winter one. Or use as a salad dressing, topping for a pasta dish (if you add some nutritional yeast you would have spicy Thai curry mac and cheese!), or leave it as is for a pureed soup. The almond milk cuts the richness of the coconut milk, making the curry sauce more flavourful and less rich. The vegetables you add are completely up to you – Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, or whatever your freezer is bursting with! If you think it would taste good, throw it in! Once you have gathered, diced, and cut your desired veggies, they are quickly sautéed and then simmered in this curry sauce until al dente and delicious. If you are addicted to fresh greens like I am, add them in and stir until they are bright green and wilted just a bit. Sprinkle with some lime juice, cilantro, and serve with some Sriracha if you can take it! This is without a doubt my new favourite winter holiday meal. Step aside boring steamed squash and maple-syrup brussels sprouts – fiery red Thai curry is here to stay!

The full recipe is from Eric Tucker’s Millennium Cookbook (pg. 133-135), which has been prominently featured here previously. It is my go-to for something fancy or different, and always delivers fresh bold flavours and flavour combinations that I would have never dreamed up myself! So give yourself and your Brussels sprouts a treat and cook this delectable dish this year – save the maple syrup for dessert!


Lentil Stew with Millet-Almond Pilaf

Another genius recipe from Eric Tucker and his Millennium Cookbook. The full recipe is found on pg. 120, and is called “Lentil Stew with Millet-Almond Pilaf and Millet Crepes”. I have learned my lesson regarding crepes during previous attempts at buckwheat crepes, and more recently at my misshaped (but tasty!) dosa attempt. This did not stop me from trying this delicious recipe. This was also my first experience with millet, and it is now in the ranks of quinoa in my eyes. A staple.

Millet is like quinoa, but remains somewhat firm and slightly crunchy even when fully cooked. The texture is welcome – I am not a fan of mush. It contrasts nicely with the lentils in the stew, and absorbs the stew flavour even better than rice would. In fact, leftovers are almost better than the fresh dish – a quick warm up in the microwave and it’s like the stew is made anew, but marinated! The stew itself is based on Ethiopian flavours, and makes use of Berber. I had some extra from Papa Tofu, and used that instead of the Millennium spice blend. The results were delicious! I don’t know if they have eggplant and plantains in Ethiopia, but they are gorgeous in this lentil stew. The plantains add a different texture to the stew deepening the flavour profile. Subtly spicy, it is a warming spice instead of a heat/spicy hot. As always, eggplant adds a nice meaty texture to the stew, absorbing all the lovely flavour and adding a toothsome texture. Do not be daunted by the number of steps to the recipe or of all the components – all in it took me less than an hour to pull the dish together, and I am one of the slowest prep cooks you will ever find! And as always, cooking from this book makes me feel like I belong on Top Chef Canada or at the very least a ticket to a cocktail party with Marcus Sameulsson.

This recipe can be found on page 120 of the Millennium Cookbook, which if you scroll ~2/3 of the way down can be found here on Google Book Previews. I highly recommend this recipe for your next weekend meal – either for yourself in your sweats or for company in your LBD, it’s sure to impress everyone!


Roasted Madras Spring Vegetables with Saffron Rice Pilaf

This delectable bowl of goodness was my first attempt at a 5-star recipe. I received Eric Tucker’s Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine as a gift, and couldn’t wait to test my cooking skills. After two cover-to-cover in-depth study sessions, I settled on the Roasted Madras Spring Vegetables with Saffron Rice Pilaf and Peach-Lime Chutney. Easily the longest recipe title that I have ever attempted, with the bonus of making me feel like Julia Child when I said it! My expectations were quite low that I could actually pull it off, I was so intimidated. But I shouldn’t have worried, as the book is so well written anybody could be the Frugal Gourmet! The book also includes the suggested serving size and associated nutritional information, which I find helpful sometimes when eyeing the pot on the stove. Millennium Restaurant is now on my ‘must visit’ list so I can eat Eric’s five star vegan delicacies. What more of an excuse does one need to travel to San Francisco?

 

I don’t like re-publishing recipes on my blog without the author permission, so I apologize for making you work for it. The recipe can be found on page 118-120 of Millennium Cookbook, which I can see on the Google Book Preview if I scroll ~2/3 down. Or of course you can get it from your local library – you won’t be disappointed!

 

Of course, I made some modifications to the recipe. I had excess vegetables and no tempeh, so I marinated the vegetables in all of the Madras marinade then baked them at 400 dF for ~40min. They turned out beautifully! As always, the eggplant gave a nice meaty texture to the dish while soaking up the wonderful marinade. The asparagus came out slightly crispy and not stringy at all – a definite win. And the zucchini added some moisture to the marinade as it cooked, which serves the dish well when reheating! This was my first time making any sort of pilaf or risotto, and I was successful. Maybe not quite ready for Top Chef yet, but mastering a five star recipe and risotto must make me one step closer … The saffron made the rice very pretty, and added a little extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the dish. The peach chutney that went on top was a qualified success; by itself the favour combination seemed to me to be a bit off, but then again I’ve never been a big fan of fruit in savory dishes (hello, pineapple on pizza). But when paired with the dish it worked wonderfully. Next time I think I will either omit the chutney or mix it straight into the dish when serving. But overall, the roasted vegetables were wonderful with the saffron rice, and the dish looked as fancy as its name! Make this dish and you will be amazed at your culinary skills hidden within you. Guaranteed.

 


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