Using The Force

I usually try to have the meal come logically from what needs to be eaten, whether leftovers or a veggie that’s getting tired. Tonight the cauliflower Christine steamed for Milo was the jumping-off point. Puréed and mixed with a drop of truffle oil, ume shu, soy milk, salt, and dissolved agar, then chilled, it became a sort of vegan panna cotta. Acorn squash, sweet potato, and carrot curry with coconut milk went around them for a nice complement, and a bit of lime zest finished the plate.

The second course could accurately, if inelegantly, be called meatball salad; the remaining lamb mixture from the fridge had gained sausage-like depth of flavor from all the added seasonings, so I made little meatballs with it, and, once they were done, used a bit of their hot fat as the base for an in-bowl vinaigrette (ume shu, salt, and pepper added to the greens, then a dribble of hot fat) that wilted the mesclun nicely and gave the whole salad some of the meatball richness. Both dishes went well with a 2005 St. Urbans-Hof riesling, which, though cheap, has fruit, flowers, decent acidity, and just enough sweetness to handle the curry spices.

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