Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Night Dinner and Dessert

Tonight's dinner and dessert kicked some serious bootay. I made Sesame Falafel with Coconut Tahini Sauce from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I love falafel and this was my first time making it. I've got to say this recipe is awesome and the tahini sauce is downright over-the-top deliciousness. I only made a slight modification: more garlic! So I now offer you ...

Coconut Tahini Sauce
  • 1/2 cup tahini, with a tablespoon or two of its oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic (the original recipe called for 1 clove)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put it all in your food processor and flip the switch 'til it's smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately or cover tightly and use within a day or so.
This sauce would also be great on a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions or any sort of salad, grilled veggies, and Bittman even suggests trying it on pasta. Yum!

Mango Key Lime Pie
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
For dessert we had a Mango Key Lime Pie with Coconut Graham Cracker Crust topped with Candied Macadamia Nuts, Mango, Kiwi, and Coconut. This pie was a bit of work, with several steps involving both the oven and fridge time, but well worth it. All the tropical flavors really compliment each other and the taste is subtle and seems to get better with every bite.

We both loved it! I found the recipe on the veganfood website, but I'll post it here to make things easy. My only modification was adding some coconut to the topping.

Mango-Key Lime Pie with Coconut Crust

Coconut Crust
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup, fruit source syrup, or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 2 tablespoon agar flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ripe medium mango, about 450 grams / 1 pound, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • Water
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 5 to 7 key limes or 2 to 3 regular limes
  • 1/2 cup fruitsource syrup or brown rice malt syrup, or part pure maple syrup
Candied Macadamia Nuts
  • 16 macadamia nuts, toasted (they usually come roasted and salted, rinse them first in cool water to remove salt)
  • Brown rice syrup or fruitsource syrup to barely cover
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise off pit
  • 3 kiwi fruit, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. To prepare the crust, grind graham crackers with coconut in a food processor. Pulse in the oil and then the sweetener. The consistency should be such that the ingredients hold together when squeezed between your fingers. Add a little more sweetener if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 25 centimeter / 10 inch pie pan and press it to cover the bottom and sides. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. If the crust buckles, gently press it back down after it cools.
  3. To prepare the filling, place the soy milk, agar, and salt in a 1 liter / 1 quart saucepan. Stir to submerge the agar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Do not cover the pot. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching and watch for foaming upon boiling. Turn the heat low and simmer until the agar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
  4. Blend the mango until smooth. Makes 1 cup puree.
  5. Dissolve the arrowroot in water to cover and add it to the pot. Whisk until somewhat thickened and smooth. Turn heat off. Whisk in lime juice, sweetener, and mango puree.
  6. Transfer filling to pie shell. Refrigerate until set, 45-60 minutes. Gels at room temperature in about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. To prepare the nuts, mix nuts with sweetener and transfer to an oiled pie pan. Bake until dry, 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool, then scrape nuts off sheet. Soak sheet in water for ease in cleaning.
  8. To prepare the topping, peel mango and kiwi with a vegetable peeler. Arrange slices spoke-fashion and slightly overlapping over filling. Place nuts in center of pie, letting a few fall where they may. For a simpler topping, omit fruit. Instead, coarsely chop macadamia or cashew nuts and sprinkle over surface.
NOTES:  A choice of sweeteners is given because the light color from Fruitsource syrup or brown rice malt syrup allows for a pie with a more authentic light yellow color from the mango puree than does maple syrup, although maple syrup tastes the best even when used in such a small amount.

I'm full.  I'm tired.  I'm happy.  And I'm ready to sit down with a book and a cool drink (aka a margarita).  Don't forget "Corn Week" starts tomorrow.  I'll be offering up at least one different recipe using corn in various ways each day.

All the sudden I hear Korn playing in my head.

Time for my 'rita.  Hope you had a fantabulous weekend.


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

The coconut milk in tahini sauce sounds great! I wouldn't have thought of the combo. Looking forward to corn week...

jessy said...

your sunday dinners always look so glorious! the falafel looks perfect - and the pie is beauuuuuuuuutiful, Marni!

hooray for corn week! i can't wait! excitedface!

Marni said...

Lisa - The coconut milk tahini sauce is outstanding. I highly recommend it.

Jessy - Thank you!

Corn week ... yay!!!!