Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Cat-Cane and the Hat - Asian-Glazed Roasted Vegetables

I take a walk everyday, me and my cat-cane and a hat.  The whole idea of the hat kind of tickles me, because I was always of the strong opinion that hats did not look good on me, as I did not have a Hat Head. #spooniegotissues

Many years ago, when I was working for Alexander and Alexander in Melville, I admit to being somewhat envious of my supervisor, Denise Frobey, who always wore a hat with her power suit, and always looked frankly fabulous because she had been blessed with a genuine Hat Head. I wear them now for the utterly utilitarian purpose of keeping the sun off my face.  While Denise looked sharp and professional, I look like Farmer Green-Jeans.

Admit it, that's dreadful

Speaking of hats, I highly recommend you check this link to Primarily Art With Mrs. Depp.  Today's post is all about how Mrs. Depp, an elementary school art teacher and prolific blogger, created the fantastic hat she wore to the community theatre awards dinner.  I don't wear anything this amazing, ever, but then I don't have Mrs. Depp's talent.  

Mr. & Mrs. Depp, en costume

Mrs. Depp, who is my friend Sheryl and my cousin-by-marriage, is blessed with artistic and creative talent from both sides of her family.  Not only that, she's a natural redhead and she has a Hat Head. Quite the combo platter!

Sheryl's spouse, "Steampunk" Gary, and my son's partner in cosplay crime, is featured in the photo as well.  There must be a lot of good humor in that house.  God bless them, and their hats, and don't forget to check out Sheryl's blog.

The vegetable dish that is the subject of today's post is the result of more inspiration from another cooking blog, called Back To Her Roots. It's not always easy to know what to do with 2 pounds of Brussel sprouts and some leftover parsnips.  The idea for the glaze comes from Home Sweet Jones although the original has nothing to do with vegetables and everything to do with chicken. The idea for putting an Asian glaze on oven-roasted vegetables comes from my own fevered brain. The result was okay, maybe a smidge over okay.  Definitely serve over white rice or thin pasta.

Assembling the glaze ingredients 

Asian Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup mild balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (I used the chunky garlic in a tube)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced (I used ginger-in-a-tube)
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
Combine everything, except the sesame seeds, in a bowl and whisk together.  Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.

Roasted Vegetables:
  • 6 carrots, peeled, and cut into diagonal slices
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 12-15 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed, but not chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, rough chopped
  • kosher salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine the carrots and parsnips in a metal colander or steamer insert, and steam for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are barely tender. Separate the carrots from the parsnips, and place in an aluminum baking dish.  Set aside.

Combine the parnsips and Brussels sprouts in an extra large aluminum pan.  Divide the garlic cloves and rosemary between the pans, and add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the olive oil over both pans,  and toss to coat.  

Place the carrots in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Remove, stir just a little and return to the oven, along with the other pan of vegetables.  Roast for 15 minutes, then remove both pans from the oven. Divide the glaze between the two pans and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes.  Remove the pans again, drizzle the vegetables with some more honey, and sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Return to the oven one last time, about 10 minutes. Combine the contents of the two baking pans.

The color is waaay off, sorry

Taste and re-season as necessary.  I ended up adding more Sriracha and ginger, but your mileage may vary. To serve, spoon it on top of plain white rice or thin noodles; sprinkle with more sesame seed and finish with a dusting of the dried chives.  Not bad.

Color is accurate - and I served it on my fanciest china

So you were wondering what is a cat-cane? Well, since I have to walk with a cane most of the time, I wanted one that would occasionally make me smile.

An Ira cat is sitting just above the orange tabby, and that always makes me smile.  Thank goodness for Amazon.com.

I am sitting on the front steps,  a nervous wreck as my cousin undergoes surgery.  The Pan de Mico is in the oven, I'm drinking iced coffee, and it is late enough in the day that this is now officially a residential neighborhood.  I should be relaxed but I am worried.  Please keep those prayers coming, I know they will make a difference.

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