Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday Night Dinner at Pam's

Almost every Sunday morning, my friends and I go out for vegan brunch — usually either at Imagine Vegan Cafe or Irie Vegan Kitchen (inside The African Place). This Sunday was no different. Around 11:30 a.m., we were seated around a table inside The African Place, spiking our fresh watermelon juice (that Cassi us brought from home, made in her juicer!) with vodka and ordering tofu scrambles and such.

While we were eating, Pam mentioned that she'd made an awesome dessert for a vegan potluck on Saturday night that neither of us ended up going to. And she needed help eating it. So she invited Cassi and I over for dinner later. Why not?

After brunch, we parted ways for a few hours and then met back up at Pam's on Sunday night at 7 p.m. She told us not to bring anything, but I really wanted to share some of my most recent review shipment of Miyoko's Creamery cheese. I've done a full review of Miyoko's cheeses before, and some of the flavors they sent are repeats, so I'm using them to develop recipes or, in some cases, I'm sharing with friends and getting their reviews. I brought over the French Style Winter Truffle with some crackers.

This is a soft, spreadable cheese with a strong umami flavor, thanks to the truffle oil and mushrooms. It's one of my top two faves of Miyoko's Creamery cheeses, and it's the one that has the shortest shelf life (fridge life?). So I wanted to share this one first before it went bad. Before dinner, we sat around in Pam's living room and sipped on red wine and nibbled on cheese and crackers. Both Pam and Cassi loved it!

Here's what Cassi had to say: "I love that the texture is creamy and smooth like 'real' cheese. And I love that the hint of truffle is perfectly balanced."

And Pam said: "Tastes awesome. I could eat 20 every day!!!"

Haha, 20 wheels of cheese! Damn, girl. But she's right though. It's that good. We almost filled ourselves up on cheese, so I politely suggested that we move to the dinner table. I could tell prying Pam away from the cheese would be difficult, but we did it. Pam had an amazing spread waiting for us!

For starters, there was Pam's famous (at least in our circle) Asian Cabbage Slaw with Tofu. This has a sesame flavor and lightly fried tofu. It's amazing. 

For the main, there were Balsamic-Marinated Portabella Steaks. So savory!

On the side, we had Green Beans with Whole Grain Mustard. These were crisp and slightly tangy, thanks to the mustard seed.

My very favorite dish of the night was Pam's Vegan Alfredo Zoodles — lightly steamed zucchini noodles with a cashew cream alfredo. So good! I need more zoodles in my life.

No meal is complete without Bread and Earth Balance!

Pam is from Chile, so she loves her red wine. And she kept our glasses full throughout the meal. Here's Pam and Cassi taking a wine break before dessert.

Uh oh, my glass is almost empty here! Don't worry. Pam filled it right back up after this picture was taken.

Finally, it was time for dessert — the whole reason Pam invited us over in the first place. She'd made a ton of Marsala Wine-Spiced Peaces with Cashew Cream Mascarpone. This was so cooling and fresh on this hot summer night. The temps outside were in the 100s, and Pam kept these chilled until serving time. Her mascarpone had just the right level of tanginess and creaminess. And the peaches were spiced with all sorts of things — cinnamon, clove, etc.

I was stuffed, so I took a few bites and packed the rest of my peaches up for a Monday afternoon snack. And just when I thought we were done, Cassi breaks out yet another dessert — Pomegranate Mascarpone-Stuffed Phyllo Cups!

When Pam was discussing her mascarpone dish last week, before the potluck that she ended up not going to, Cassi was inspired to create her own tofu-based mascarpone. She's catering a wedding soon, and she wants to serve these. So we were her guinea pigs. These definitely passed my test! Love the contrast of the crunchy phyllo cup with the cool, creamy, sweet vegan cheese and tangy pom seeds.

I have the greatest friends, y'all! 


Babette said...

A real feast for the eyes!

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

That all looks so good, especially the dessert!!

Jonathan Cole said...

I'd love to try the zoodles with cashew alfredo sauce. Where could I find a recipe?