Highlights from Noor’s Visit

Have I mentioned that my BF is an amazing chef?  He cooked a ton of delicious food for me and my friends over the past 10 days.  He’s back in San Francisco now, and I miss him terribly, but at least I have a full fridge.  I drowned my sorrows in a big bowl of leftover curry this evening.

One evening I came home from class to a delicious meal of wild rice pilaf, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, and grilled portabellos.  Yum.  This photo was taken at night, so it really doesn’t do the meal justice.

On another evening, he cooked an elaborate Asian meal for my BFF, my Dad and myself.

Clockwise from bottom: deep-fried, tempura-battered walnuts (!) with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce, deep-fried emping (pounded nut chips) with Major Grey’s chutney, shrimp chips (not vegan but that’s okay), salad (iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and bean sprouts), peanut sauce for the salad, and veggie curry (with bamboo shoots, okra, sugar-snap peas, and baby corn, served with jasmine rice).  Yum.

  Here’s a much better picture of the curry and salad, taken the next day.  Confession time: a LOT of the photos on this blog are photos of leftovers at lunchtime the next day, because food photographs MUCH more beautifully in daylight.

Last night we met up with our friends Troy and Sarah, who suggested dinner at The Farmhouse:


This is an absolutely lovely little restaurant that focuses on fresh, local ingredients and sustainable practices.  The vibe isn’t too hippie, though.  It apparently appeals just as much to omnivorous gourmands as to vegans.  I ordered the Vegetable Wellington, which was a light, flaky pastry, filled with zucchini, mushrooms, fresh black-eyed peas and other goodies.  It was served with flavorful balsamic glazed onions and a smooth carrot coulis.

We sat on the patio and enjoyed a perfect fall evening, enhanced by comfort foods and good live jazz.  It’s funny how sometimes I don’t discover the gems in my own city until I have an out-of-town guest.


5 responses to “Highlights from Noor’s Visit

  1. Wow, this really looks amazing! You are such a lucky girl! 😉 I had never heard of walnut tempura, but it sounds intriguing. Any chance of maybe getting the recipe out of Noor? lol

    • I think the “recipe” is just:
      Buy a packet of tempura mix from the Asian market.
      Mix that with water according to the package directions, then coat walnut halves with it.
      Fry the battered walnuts in boiling hot peanut oil.
      Drain thoroughly on paper towels.
      Dip in good quality sweet-and-sour sauce from the Asian market (Noor used Lee Kum Kee brand).
      It’s brilliant in its simplicity and its novelty. Vegetarians always appreciate a truly unique take on an old favorite. Let us know if you try it, Laura!

  2. Scott Lee Spence

    Ooh… The Vegetable Wellington looks really good. I love things wrapped in dough. BTW when you were out here did Noor take you to Chaat Paradise in Mountain View?

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