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Thursday, March 28, 2013

EASTER DINNER WITH A DIFFERENCE FROM "WORLD VEGAN FEAST"

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Hasselback Potatoes and  Vegan Coulibiac 


I'd like to share a festive vegan Easter dinner from my book "World Vegan Feast" that is elegant, delicious and just a little bit different.  

Here's the main course: Vegan Coulibiac or Kulebiaka (Pastry-Wrapped Russian Loaf of Rice, Mushrooms, Dill & Vegan"Salmon") 
This is my vegan (and lower-fat) version of an elegant dish that dates back to Tzarist Russia, but it was also popular in France and in elegant restaurants in North America at the turn of the 20th century. Coulibiac is spectacular and delicious, but easy to make. It makes a wonderful centerpiece for a vegan Easter dinner. The "salmon" is made at least one day ahead of time and then, providing you cook the rice early in the day, it goes together quite quickly. (You can actually make the entire filling the day before, if you wish.) I use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry (to avoid all the hydrogenated fat) and  brown basmati rice for extra fiber and nutrition. I broke with tradition a little by serving it with a light vegan cream sauce laced with spring onions instead of the traditional herbed butter sauce.

To accompany the main course: Vegan Hasselback Potatoes
This recipe is adapted from one served at Stockholm's popular old Restaurant Hasselbacken. It's so easy to make and, at the same time, a good way to "fancy" up ordinary potatoes-- crispy and "buttery".

For the vegetables, keep it simple but luxurious:  Roasted or Steamed Asparagus with Hot and Creamy Orange Vinaigrette
 
The recipe for the vinaigrette is just below (it's not in "World Vegan Feast"), and you can use it on either roasted or steamed asparagus. It can be made several days ahead.

BRYANNA'S CREAMY ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
Makes about 7/8 cup


1/2 cup fresh orange juice (juice of 1 large orange)
grated zest of 1 large orange
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs vegan sour cream (commercial or homemade)
1 green onion, white part only, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
Optional:        
1 Tbs Ajvar (Bulgarian red pepper and eggplant spread/preserve-- see about this and homemade version here)    

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth refrigerate in a covered jar until ready to serve on a salad, or you can heat this gently to use on roasted or steamed asparagus



Last, but never least, is a spectacular dessert: Vegan Lemon/Strawberry Tiramísu

Rich with almonds, fragrant with lemon zest, tangy and sweet, this Tiramísu  is alcohol-free, topped with fresh strawberries and contains more cake than the traditional recipe (making it more trifle-like). It is a gorgeous spring or summer dessert! Like traditional Tiramísu and Trifle, this beauty is best assembled and refrigerated the morning of the day you will be serving it. There are various components, but, to ease the burden on the cook, many of them can be easily prepared several days, even weeks, beforehand.

An alternative dessert might be Vegan Tort Shokoladnyi (Russian Chocolate Torte):
This would complement the Russian main course.  It's a very decadent, moist three-layer dark chocolate almond cake swathed in fluffy, light chocolate frosting and topped with a generous portion of chocolate curls…mmmmmm! Apparently, it is a common torte to serve with afternoon tea in Russian tearooms and restaurants.
 Happy Easter!


1 comment:

Vyvyan said...

Strawberry tiramisu looks yum