My dear friend Vinitha had a birthday this past Saturday, so tonight I gave her the gift of nourishment and, for probably the first time ever, I spent as much time stewing (side note: I probably shouldn't use food metaphors on a food blog, huh?) over the presentation as I did over the yum-factor. Much to my delight, both taste and appearance weighed in pretty well!
Here is a picture of the main plate:
Down the center of this bad boy I put pan-seared sea scallops, first dredged in whole wheat flour, cooked in olive oil, then topped with a roasted garlic-parsley-white wine sauce and placed on a nest of spinach fettuccine. On the left are ginger and tamari braised carrot slices and on the right is a puree of slightly cooked carrot (so they still had a bite), garlic, and a bit of yogurt to fluff it up.
For dessert I made a pumpkin custard found in my Moosewood Low-Fat Restaurant Favorites book that was essentially a healthier version of pumpkin pie (sans crust, no refined sugar, less fat, etc.) - and it's quite WHOA. This is a Turkey Day show-stealer if I ever saw one!
- 1 16-oz. can cooked pumpkin
- 1 12-oz can evaporated skimmed milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg whites (I used just 2 and it was fine)
- 3/4 c. maple syrup (I think 1/2 c. is enough)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange eight 6-oz ramekins (or a pie dish, or whatever other oven-proof vessel you happen to have lying around - the shallower the better, though) in a shallow baking pan. Mix everything in a blender and pour into the cups. Pour boiling water into the baking pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes, till custard passes the knife test. Remove the cups from the water and refrigerate (after letting them cool a bit on the counter first).