Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Holiday" Feast

Happy Halloween everyone! But doesnt it feel so strange to wish someone happiness on a day that celebrates death, or, if anything, the stimulation of cavities and erratic bloodsugar levels? Nevertheless, it is a "holiday" of good spirits, no pun intended, and one that i tend to partake in thematically.

What i mean is i too use the day as an excuse to indulge in copious amounts of candy, and though i may not dress up, i befittingly wear orange and black, and cook in the same colors.

This time i may not have made my own (you'll recall my obsessive need for molasses candies last year, which, i might add, are in great abundance here in Vancouver, including in a giant bowl at a coffee shop i like but couldnt take one from because i didnt even order anything, just checked out the pastries for a plum cake of desire--long story...) but i have a bag of black licorice waiting for me, after my black and orange dinner.

Thats right, i cooked a dinner in halloween colors. Not so lame really; my ma used to make homemade macaroni and cheese halloween morning, cool it in a large bowl in the refridgerator so that by dinner time it was set, inverted, stabbed with her chefs knife, and served as "stabbed brains," ketchup streaming onto the plate from the wound. Less gory, try this:

Eggplant, Pumpkin, and Cauliflower Curry
with currant pine nut rice pilaf and minted yogurt

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, toast:
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black cardamom seeds

Loosen toasted seeds with olive oil (a good glugglug) and stir together with:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp smoked paprika

Drizzle over and roast in the same castiron pan, covered, at 325F:
1 lg eggplant, cut in chunks
1/2 head cauliflowed, in large florets
1 small pumpkin (or other winter squash)
2 dried bay leafs
1 cinnamon stick
coarse sea salt

Meanwhile, bring to boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer:
2 cups water
1 cup brown basmati rice
sea salt

Stir into finished rice:
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup currants (or sultana raisins)

Top rice with finished veg, and serve with plain yogurt and freshly torn mint leaves to top.

a side note--i miss Torrance the pumpkin ale and molasses candies from last season (though the latter could probably have lasted til now), but got to take my little second cousins trick or treating, so another good "holiday."

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