Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Walpurgis Night Feast

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, May 1st is Beltaine, a Gaelic holiday celebrating the fertility of the Earth and the abundance of Spring. Walpurgis Night is sort of like Beltaine's Christmas Eve. It's the traditional celebration awaiting the arrival of I made a special meal to celebrate. Spring is my favorite season!

For the main entree, I created a new recipe for my cookbook - Black-Eyed Pea Corn Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Creme.

Basically, it's a fritter made with purple hull peas (pretty much the same as black-eyed's what I had in the freezer) and corn. The creme topping is a combination of silk tofu and roasted red peppers. The mixture of cool cream and hot fried fritter was like a party in mouth.

On the side, I found some AMAZINGLY HUGE purple asparagus. Check this stuff out!

I've never seen purple asparagus, not have I ever seen asparagus this girthy. Even though it was a little more pricey than the regular old asparagus, I couldn't resist. I ended up boiling it instead of steaming like I usually do ... that's because the spears were too large for my mini-bamboo steamer. Unfortunately, like many purple foods, these guys lost some of their nice color while cooking. But they still tasted delish!

After boiling, I tossed it with some sesame oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper to make the "Sesame Asparagus" from Vegan with a Vegeance. The recipe also calls for sesame seeds, but I was out. The sesame oil gave the asparagus plenty of flavor though.

I washed it all down with homemade Agave Mead. My friend Leslie and I had a mead-making session in my kitchen back in February. Traditionally, mead consists of honey, water, and yeast. But since we don't eat honey, we substituted agave nectar. I also steeped my mead with herbs - jasmine, meadowsweet, and woodruff. It had to ferment for three months in a dark, dry place (my closet). Tonight, it was finally ready to crack open. I only had a small wine glass full, and man, this stuff is strong. It tastes like a cross between wine, beer, and rum. Good stuff.


funwithyourfood said...

Agave mead?? OMG you need to do a whole post about this... it sounds awesome

Alicia said...

May 1st is also workers day and it looks like you worked a lot to create those fantastic cakes! And you rewarded yourself with the agave mead, haha. I want to know more about it too!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Wine+beer+rum/vegan goodness= Wiberum! I can't wait to try the apple mead I was still bubbly at the end of March, it's gonna be SO strong!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

wow, Black-Eyed Pea Corn Cakes & Roasted Red Pepper Creme? Sign me up to purchase your cookbook, Bianca!

I just bought some organic purple asparagus at the market yesterday!

agave mead? intriguing!

Marisa L. S. said...

Wow! Those patties look amazing! Purple asparagus, huh? I've had purple cauliflower, which also loses its color when cooking.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for your cookbook!! Everything looks so goo. =)

Ooh and purple asparagus?? I had no idea it existed!! I need to find me some.

J said...

MMMM, that looks fantastic!

Homemade mead, that's so cool!

I'm really excited for your cookbook! You're not just throwing things together as you go, it seems like you are really taking your time to make sure you produce quality work. This is quality!


Anonymous said...

Those fritters are making me hungry, and your mead sounds amazing! I saw purple asparagus the other day too, but I talked myself out of buying it. Did it taste different to regular asparagus?

I just made chocolate mousse this week (for a pie!) and it turned out really good. I used 1 package of silken tofu and blended it until smooth. I melted 1 1/2 cups of vegan chocolate chips and added that to the tofu along with 1/4 cup Kahlua and a squeeze of agave, then spread it in the crust.

It was delicious, but if I were going to make it to serve right away I would add a little more liquid (maybe 1/2 cup soy milk instead of the liqueur) and probably heat it as well so the mousse would be more warm than it was. Add in a little flavoring and it would be great!

Jess said...

Uhhhh... Purple asparagus?! I have never seen that in my life, but I WANT IT! I love purple cauliflower, but I assumed that's where the purple vegetables ended. I'm on the hunt now!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oooooohhhh it's purple!!!

*Does a happy dance*

When does this cookbook come out? I want!

Bee Roach said...

Those asparagus are a thing of wonder.

Vegan_Noodle said...

That fritter looks absolutely delicious! Oh, and now I want to find me some purple asparagus!

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