I did a couple of exciting things this week. On Monday, I got into the Signature Café Kitchen (I’d highly recommend the restaurant, just off Hwy 280 & Franklin Av. between Mpls and St. Paul.) I assisted with food prep and service for a 49-person wine dinner, and got to see first hand how to coordinate and get 49 plates out at the same time.
I also worked in my kitchen yesterday with Tamara, who has purchased a food truck. The truck is currently finishing conversion to a commercial kitchen, and she is in the final stages of preparing a menu (she wants a Gluten free truck). My cooking this week is a result of that collaboration!
Pinto Bean Cassoulet (gluten free)
This rich dish features seasonal vegetables braised with pinto beans, tomatoes, and some red wine. I whipped up some scratch sausage by grinding some fresh local pork roast with Italian seasonings like marjoram, basil, oregano, rosemary, toasted fennel, and a bit of peppered bacon for some smoky flavor. The freeform patty was placed right on top!
Wild Rice Salad with celery, toasted walnuts, and citrus dressing (gluten free, meat free)
This dish will fill you up with goodness… and the dressing has some fun flavors that are asian inspired: freshly squeezed orange juice & zest, seasoned rice vinegar, shoyu sauce.
Lasagna (meat free)
I intended for this dish to be gluten free too. I mixed some gluten free dough together (using a blend of two rice flours and some Bob’s red mill all purpose GF flour). The flours don’t have gluten (duh!), so it was pretty “crumb-y”. I couldn’t get it to roll out into sheets for lasagna, so I decided to form them into orechiette “ears” and adjust the dish accordingly. Well, good thing I taste the components of what I’m making before I serve it because the pasta tasted awfully “crummy”. I threw it away and quickly made lasagna sheets this morning- with wheat flour- and made a nice non-traditional lasagna which has a green edamame crème layer, a tomato/roasted red pepper/caramelized onion/wilted beet greens layer, a few olives tossed in, and lots of mozz. I’m enjoying this mistake!!!
The new website development is ongoing… I’m hoping to convert all of this website to the new one (which will have the same address, www.catalystcooks.com) by the end of the month! It will have a whole new look and is very exciting!