It was a night filled with fun, friends, food, and overall funkyness!
The folks over at FoodBuzz selected my event proposal as one of the 24 meals in 24 hours for 24 blogs this month. My proposal? To combine my full-time profession (DJing) with my part-time obsession (food blogging)... vegan style!
For those who don't know much about me, my husband and I own a professional DJ company that focuses on cutting-edge video DJing and turntablism. My crew of DJs and staff are not just people who work for me, but people I consider family, and accordingly, I'm always in the kitchen cooking them meals for when they come over to do production, hang out, or come back from a gig.
custom music videos for our shows. We ate some fabulous vegan finger foods, and had a Movie Night Screening of our latest works, choosing one winning video to be posted at the end of this blog.
Now, on with the PARTY...
Not all of my staff are vegans, in fact only one is a vegan (Mr. Vibe), one is a vegetarian (DJ Groovesmith), my husband (DJ Destiny) and best friend (Cee) are occasional fish eaters but otherwise vegan, and the rest are omnivores (except when they eat from my kitchen, which is fairly often). My housemate and Marketing Director (Mark) and other housemate (DJ Novel) are what I like to call "Honorary Vegans," who regularly eat vegan due to their habitat, but occasionally stray from the vegan burrow and binge on hamburgers.
Keeping up with our DJ theme, I did an eco-friendly thing and reused old unwanted vinyl records, CD's, and even an old turntable to serve as trays, coasters, and a decorative lazy susan that actually spins. I think Ed Bagley would be proud... then a bit angry if he noticed our energy usage! (oh, well)
DJ Novel & Mark surprised me with a SPECIAL video they created just for me and this event! It is a collage of as much vegan references as they could piece together with their twisted humor... word of caution: this video is Rated MA for language and overall silliness!
And now, for our MENU (and recipes!):
The ideas for two of the finger foods served, were graciously submitted by Tami of Vegan Appetite, and Hannah of Bittersweet. They were both killer, and I received many complements!
Here's Tami's Red Curry Lime Wings. In my Iron Chef-style haste, I found that I had used up all my home-made seitan in another recipe (oh no!), so I made a big batch of this marinade with a little tomato paste mixed in to use as a hot dipping sauce for my Fried Chickn Legs. Spicy, sweet, exotic... delish! Btw, Tami- Those beer battered onion rings... oh, my...!
Here's my photo...I cut up my drumstick and put it on a skewer to get the most flavor...mmm!
Here's Hannah's Whoopie Pies. I have to be honest, this was the last item that I made, and had to recruit my best friend, Cee to help assemble them. Boy, was it worth it! Mine didn't turn out as pretty, and I completely blanked on adding the vegan sour cream in the cookies, but they turned out fantastic anyway! I had to make my own confectioner's sugar out of corn starch and granulated sugar (again, Iron-Chef haste), and used my trusty food processor instead of my high-powered blender, which was in the sink coated with pesto. So, my filling didn't turn out very thick (oh, no!). I blended in some Tofutti cream cheese and put it in the freezer to help it set. Worked like a charm, and everyone's eyes got big when they came out!
Here's my photo:
Cashew Pesto Phyllo Stix
These were a big hit- crisp flakey phyllo and cheesy cashew and basil.
I made about 16 stix, and cut some in half to arrange in a tall glass.
Ingredients were simple: ground cashews, lemon juice, basil, and olive oil. Spray delicate sheets with oil and stack about 4. Place a thin line of pesto and roll a couple times, cut, and carefully transfer by putting the seam side down on your baking sheet. Each stack makes about 3 stix. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 and broil on low for about 2 to get golden.
Pigless in Puff Pastry
Cute and scrumptious! Ingredients were not even semi home-made, but the assembly gave it an elegant touch! I used Pepperidge Farm's Puff Pastry sheets and Tofurky Italitan sausages, cut into thirds. 4 packs of sausage and 2 packs of pastry made 48 of these, with some pastry left over. To make these pretty, I rolled the dough out fairly thin, and cut 2X4-inch strips. Each strip was then cut into thirds lengthwise, without cutting all the way to the ends. Then I simply placed a sausage in the middle, wrapped and pinched to close, baking with seam side down for 10-14 minutes and broiling til brown (about 2 minutes). Served with dipping sauces and usual condiments.
Asian Chick'n Lettuce Wraps
One of the night's favorites, by far! Even had some eyebrows raised as to the question of it being faux meat. This was Mark's creation: Butter lettuce leaf filled with a filling of sauteed onions, cilantro, and faux chicken (marinated in a little sesame oil and soy sauce), chilled, then topped with an Asian salsa consisting cucumbers, avacado, carrots, apples, a splash of vinegar, and a scant amount of Vegenaise (vegan mayo). Salt & peppered to taste.
Giant Seitan Pot Stickers
This has got to be my all-time favorite dish and brings back childhood memories of making home-made potstickers with my family. The skins are simply made of 2 parts water to 1 part flour, allowed to rest in the fridge for 1-24 hours, rolled very thin, and filled with ground seitan, green onions, ground nuts, cabbage, soy sauce, and minced ginger. Fillings and sizes may vary! The method for assembling them can be found here.
Mini Shepherd's Pies
This was another of Mark's creations, which we warmed up for the party, but forgot to serve! Delicious layer of TVP (textured veg protein), onions, carrots, peas, and corn, topped with a piping of seasoned mashed potatoes. He packed them into muffin tins, but in hindsight would have used cupcake liners to make them easier to lift out. Baked them at 400 for 15-20 minutes and broiled to make the tops crispy and brown. We were happy to eat them the next day, smothered in onion gravy!
Mike's Southeast Asian Sushi Rolls
The one dish I failed to get a photo of!! The hubby made a small batch of these, which were gobbled up so fast, I didn't have a chance. This picture looks the most like it, however the rice was seasoned with vinegar, sugar, red curry and a bit of coconut milk. He made a filling of spicy marinated faux fish, avocado, and tempura onions and rolled the nori inside-out like the picture. It brought together wonderful flavors and was a great alternative to the usual sushi!
A VERY good soy chicken "drumstick" was purchased from our local Asian market. The texture is freakishly like real meat and comes with it's own wooden stick handle! I dipped it in a tempura batter mixed with Panko bread crumbs, smoked paprika, poultry seasoning, and black pepper. These were quickly deep fried, just until the batter was crisp. You can also pan fry them, as I have done in an earlier post.
Couldn't have Movie Night without some popcorn! I used Mr. Redenbocker's kernals and popped them right on my stove inside a covered soup pot (Mark showed me how!). Just put a single layer of kernals on the bottom of the pot with a little canola oil to coat. Once sizzling, cover partially with the lid and wait for the first pops. Cover and shake. Once it starts to get going, turn off the heat and shake every few seconds until the war is over! The caramel can be made by heating white sugar in a sauce pan until it turns to a golden brown liquid. Add a few tablespoons of margarine-the kind that melts (we use Earth Balance buttery sticks), and a pinch of salt. Whisk together until bubbly and pour over pop corn. Toss quickly to coat. These were addictive! :)
Cee's Sweet Potato Mini Pies
She used the recipe from The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook by Robin Robertson, and put them into mini muffin tins. These were sweet, creamy, and the perfect bite with a dollop of Rod's non-dairy whipped cream in a can.
Vegan Ranch Dressing: 1 part soft silken tofu (Mori-Nu) + 1 part Vegenaise + dried dill, basil, salt & pepper- SO good, and much better for you than the dairy stuff in a jar!
Spicy Thousand Island: 2 parts Vegenaise to 1 part tomato ketchup, and enough Siracha chili sauce to give it your desired kick.
Hummus: 1 can chickpeas, squeeze of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt to taste. Blend together until smooth.
The last sauce on the turntable was the curry lime sauce mentioned earlier.
And now for the WINNER of the Movie Night Remixed Event... (drumroll, please!)
Congratulations to DJ iKronix for all of you Techno/Comic Book/Action CGI Heads...check this out! I can't start to imagine all the piecing together THIS video must have required! Great job!!... I had some trouble embedding his video here, so you may click on this link to see it on our DJ site. Enjoy!
Thanks to everyone who helped me put this night together... Thank you, FoodBuzz.com, and Thanks to everyone who stopped by! Leave me a comment - would love to hear from you!
...keep it Spinnin'!!