|Lorilyn's table settings which made the perfect setting for our special dinner|
|Unveiling the vegan paella|
The Paella was our main dish, with gluten-free oil-free vegan sausage, fennel, eggplant, cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, yellow squash, tomatoes and saffron. I made a Sofrito sauce of plum tomatoes and Spanish onions and smoked paprika - but without the usual oil. For the aiolli sauce as the garnish on top, I made a vegan mayonnaise base and added fresh lemon, garlic and saffron for color and more flavor. That recipe is below:
Recipe for Aiolli
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1 12.3 oz. box extra-firm MoriNu tofu
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoon agave
2 - 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
juice of 1 - 2 fresh lemons
1/2 teaspoon saffron
Peel the garlic cloves and put in food processor. Process, stop, scrape down sides and process again, until the garlic is finely minced. (Alternatively, you can use a garlic press to crush the garlic.) This will not be cooked, and so you will be biting into raw garlic - that's why you want it finely minced or crushed.
Cut the box of tofu open with scissors and add, processing until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and blend. Taste and adjust - you may want more lemon juice (or more garlic, which would have to be crushed before adding it at this point). You could also be creative: add pepper, or even Himalayan salt or salt substitute, if you wish (I did not use any for our dinner).
Refrigerate at least one hour before eating. The flavors will intensify. The saffron threads will gradually "dissipate" in the sauce, turning it yellow. Stir the sauce well after it has chilled to even out the color.
|Our two young helpers with the last-minute fresh veggies|
On the side of the paella was a Roasted Millet dish that Ted made that had great flavor thanks to the roasting, and great texture, thanks to the rice cooker. Grape leaves stuffed with brown Basmati rice and yellow raisins, flavored with fresh lemon and lime were on the plate, as was a fresh jicama and fresh mint (from our garden) garnish - also made by Ted. Yes, some guests were "stuffed" at this point, and we had "to go" containers, too.
|Lorilyn and I - longtime friends since our youth in Hollywood. You could not ask for, or imagine, a better friend than Lorilyn! She really knocked herself out for our dinner to help make it the big success that it was.|
|Some of our guests, enjoying themselves|
After a short break, dessert was served: Key Lime Uncheesecake. Someone let us know whose birthday it was, and we all sang to her - Lorilyn had candles!
|The Key Lime Uncheesecakes - the very same that Huell Howser of "California's Gold" featured years ago on his show, at the Hollywood Farmers Market. In other words - a classic.|
Also - we plan to offer this same dinner menu in Tucson, at La Mariposa, in July. Let us know if you'd like an invitation!
The new phone number is now 520-954-2409.