Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Candle 79 Cookbook - Vegan Fine Dining

Vegan Tortilla Soup and Stuffed Poblano
Pictured above is the vegan dinner I made for Anna earlier this week out of the Candle 79 cookbook. It consists of a tortilla soup and stuffed poblano peppers with a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce. This was part of a Valentine's Day agreement to cook each other a semi fancy dinner... at some point... and it only took me a month, so I'm pretty proud of myself. In addition, one of the things I am still not very good at is multitasking in the kitchen, so getting two distinct dishes on the table simultaneously is a bit of a challenge for me... and required some planning. I made pieces of it Saturday and Sunday and pulled it all together Monday night.

Candle 79 is an ambitious and well regarded New York City vegan restaurant, and their cookbook seems to reflect said ambition. What is particularly nice is that they recommend pairings, so for the tortilla soup they said the main could be stuffed poblano peppers or chile-grilled tofu, which makes assembling a dinner menu easy. Now I can only comment from the recipes I've made so far, but while I didn't find the recipes particularly hard from a skill standpoint, they did seem fairly involved with lots of parts... for instance, the stuffed poblanos required two separate recipes on different pages (a grilled marinated tempeh for the filling, and the sauce to finish)... so I doubt this is going to be a everyday cookbook for most. However it does seem pretty great for entertaining and impressing any vegan or vegetarian friends... though you'll likely have to do it on a Saturday or Sunday as a cooking project or figure out parts you can do ahead of time without compromising the final dish.

I'm not entirely sure I need to own it yet, but hopefully we'll get it out from the library again and I can try a few more recipes for a final decision. Certainly worth checking out for any vegans/vegetarians out there.