My good friends Mike and Liz hosted their Bastille Day party down in Kent this weekend. They’re both very talented vegan chefs that can take just about any dish, make it vegan, and most importantly, make it delicious (sometimes even better than the original recipe).
This evening, over glasses of champagne and wine, we sat out on their balcony overlooking their backyard jungle (coyotes, deer, frogs, turtles, and everything else can be spotted from this point in their house) enjoying a wonderful dinner and marveling at the hot air balloons flying around their property.
For the appetizers, Mike and Liz served up blinis with vegan “caviar” (tapioca pearls).
These were WONDERFUL (and especially since I don’t care for actual caviar, so in my opinion this was far better). We all pretty much scarfed these, as well as their mushroom and walnut pate’, and another treat that they had discovered by accident to be a great flavor pairing:
Our hosts prompted us to brush our hands on the rosemary leaves, eat the almonds they had set on the table, and then sip our champagne. The result was an excellent mesh of flavors, the scent of the rosemary, the flavor of the almonds, and the sweet carbonation of the champagne all collided into what I can only describe as something like my old art teacher used to call a “happy accident”.
While we mingled with two very nice people that I had met at this past Christmas party, Anna and Phil, Mike and Liz were hard at work making dinner.
Seitan Roulade with Petit Pomme de Terre, Ratatouille, and Haricot Verts.
Liz rolling the roulade
This. Was. Excellent. I could have dove into a bathtub filled with the ratatouille and eaten my way out. So good. And the great company made it even better.
After dinner we carried on the usual tradition at their house of heading down to the basement bar, which is usually my favorite part of the night. Here, Liz served us the most incredible chocolate ganache torte that she had made with coconut milk and then sprinkled with sea salt.
I feel like kind of a rube for forgetting what kind of wine we were drinking with it, but it was a great pairing with the dark chocolate. And look, I have pictures!
(this gadget was dubbed “The Wine Dildo” by Anna, so that’s what I’m going to call it)
Ending the evening, we watched some of the videos Mike had made, putting various intros and soundtracks to train rides, his son Andy’s school projects, and other things. These were fabulous, and when we sort of accidentally tuned into the movie “Whip It” on TV that seemed rather anticlimactic compared to Mike’s home movies (which were great). But making fun of watching one or two once-famous movie careers die in front of us was a unique entertainment in itself.
In all, this was a terrific party with great people, and a lot of wonderful food and fun was had.
Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: “Traveling” – Nitzer Ebb