On the Menu

I have now been in the culinary industry for over 2 and a half years, and I have worked my way up the line to get to this point in my career. There is still a lot that i have to learn, but the thing about this industry is there is always more to learn. when giving an opportunity to learn new things you have to take it. It has been nearly six months since my Chef challenged me to start creating vegan dishes for our plate up dinners. I am proud to say that one of my recipes for vegan menus will be on our banquet menu this Fall! I cannot take credit for the falafel recipe that I will be sharing, I got that from a Food and Wine cookbook, but the combination of all the components was my original concept. For finding flavors that would complement the butternut squash, i consulted “The Flavor Bible.”

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So here is my “on the menu” recipe, I hope you enjoy and remember to always stay hungry!

Butternut Squash Falafel with chickpea flour fried spinach, watermelon radish, green apple, pomegranate seeds, tarragon oil, yam and coconut puree.

Butternut Squash Falafel 

Makes 24 pieces

  • 3 lbs (6 cups) Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 1/4 cups (1.11 lbs) Canned Chickpeas, rinsed and dried
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Tablespoon (4 grams) Lemon Zest
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp (20 g) Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 Teaspoon (4 g) Baking Soda
  • 1  1/2 Tsp (8 g) Coriander
  • 1  1/2 Tsp (8 g) Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp tightly packed (30 g) chopped Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp tightly packed (30 g) chopped Cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (25 g) Salt and Pepper mixed
  • Oat flour
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss butternut squash in olive oil and roasted for 25 minutes until fully cooked. Put into a bowl or tupperware and put in the fridge to cool.
  3. In a food processor mix together all ingredients except the oat flour, until smooth. Mix in oat flour by hand until the constancy becomes firm enough that it can be formed into balls.
  4. Preheat fryer or pot with 4 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Fry falafel until golden brown.

 

Fried Spinach

  • 1 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Carbonated water
  • 3/4 cup Chickpea Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Mix together water and chickpea flour until it makes a thin batter, mix in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Dip spinach into batter until completely covered. Fry in 350 degree oil until crispy. Season with salt and pepper as soon as it comes out, let dry on a paper towel lined plate.

Yam and Coconut puree

  • Yams, Pealed and cut into chunks
  • Coconut Milk
  • Water
  1. Bring water, coconut milk, and yams to a boil. Cook until yams are soft.
  2. Using a slotted spoon remove all yam from liquid and place in a bowl, reserve liquid.
  3. In batches blend yams using reserved liquid, to thin it out the puree, and season with salt and pepper. Blend until easily spreadable.

Green Apple and Watermelon Radish salad

  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 2 Watermelon Radish, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Using a madoline slice the apples and radish about credit card thin. Julienne both the radish and apple, put into a mixing bowl season with vinegar salt and pepper to taste.

Tarragon Oil

  • 4 cups Tarragon leaves tighlty packed
  • 2 cups Olive Oil
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt, prepare a bowl of ice on the side. When the water reaches a boil add in the tarragon leaves, let them sit in the water for 1-3 minutes until they become bright green. strain the water and put the Tarragon in the ice bath.
  2. once the Tarragon is cooled, add it and the olive oil into a blender, mix until smooth.
  3. In a sauce pan of medium high heat simmer the olive oil and basil puree for 45 seconds. transfer mixer into  a bowl lined with a coffee filter. Let the mixture filter and cool for a few hours. Transfer into an airtight container.

For this plate we garnished with blanched asparagus tips and pomegranate seeds.