For my 3rd dish, I took on the red pepper. But I needed help because taking on the red pepper involves more than just red peppers…
Celery Bites with Roasted Red Pepper Cream
Taste – um… good, but bland-ish (though that’s probably because I didn’t make it correctly – use actually roasted red peppers & it’ll probably be amazing)
Preparation Score – 10 out of 15 (minutes on the phone with my Mom)
Overall Outcome – My guests liked it (I’m now posting post-party) and it went well on toasted pita bread, so that’s all that matters
The dish is a roasted red pepper cream that is to be spread on celery bits. Pretty simple, no? take ingredients, throw ingredients in food processor… process… done.
This is another Whole Foods Market recipe that you can find here. It has two parts – the cream (which I’m currently blogging about because cutting celery for the celery bits is boring unless someone is hurt… and since I’d be the one doing the cutting, alone… anyway)
Attacking the Green Onions
In a situation where you are doing domestic-like chores and you’re not entirely certain what to do, who are you going to call? (no, not the ghostbusters). The correct answer is Mom.
In my case, I had the green onions (yes, I remembered what they looked like!) and the recipe said to chop them into bits & blend them with the roasted red pepper. But when I looked at the green onions… I realized that I didn’t know if I was supposed to peel it, slice it in half or just chop indiscriminately.
ME: How do I chop a green onion?
MOM: You take off the hairy bits, peel the outside and chop.
ME: Am I supposed to cut off the white part when I cut off the hairy bits?
MOM: No, the white part is the best part.
ME: How big are the pieces supposed to be when you “chop”? (she couldn’t see my air quotes though… but I’m fairly certain she knew they were there… she is my mom after all)
MOM: Bit sized
ME: How big is bit sized?
(I’ve already started chopping at this point; our conversation drifted to a new topic for a bit)
ME: How far up the green onion are you supposed to chop? The whole thing?
MOM: Oh no, don’t chop the dark green part. Just chop until you think ‘ew, I don’t want to eat that'”
ME: Oh… my pieces have green in the middle, I don’t want to eat that.
MOM: You know, if we were on skype, this would be a lot easier.
ME: Well, we’re not on skype mom…
Our conversation then went on to how I should be on skype and I explained I couldn’t because 1) I was in the kitchen and my computer is in the living room and 2) my internet connection is unreliable since I use the free wifi that is floating in the airwaves around my building.
But that’s besides the point.
So I threw all of the green onions in my blender and moved onto the red peppers.
Roasted Red Pepper
I couldn’t find the roasted red pepper at the grocery store – not surprising because apparently they come in cans. And I was looking in the vegetable isle. But after my experience there was no way I was going back in… So I used a regular red pepper, hoping it wouldn’t taste too different.
Turns out, it does. For those who are reading this as a what-not-to-do blog (and that should be all of you really), don’t assume that roasted red pepper equals red pepper. One is flavourful and delicious. The other is bland, though still delicious.
I chopped up that sucker real well & tossed it into the blender.
MOM: You know, if you had an actual food processor, this would be easier.
ME: Yeah, I know. But the blender was on sale for $30!
MOM: No wonder it doesn’t work.
TOFU – the ingredient to control them all
The recipe called for 3oz of tofu… I had purchased a box of tofu… 12oz. And in my efforts to open the box, realized that vegans & vegetarians were all typically thinner than their omnivoire cousins because they had to struggle so much just to get to their protein.
ME: How do you get tofu out of the box?
MOM: I don’t know. I stay away from Tofu. For all I know you add water and wait for it to grow. Like a chia pet.
ME: I’m just going to cut through the box.
MOM: You can just pick off the green stuff… Sounds just like tofu…
ME: You think they’ll notice if I leave the box on the tofu?
MOM: Probably not.
The Screw Up
Because there’s always one.
Basically I forgot an entire ingredient. No wonder my blender worked so well. Which kind of sucks because now I have a blender that still doesn’t blend & half a can of white beans I’m never going to use.
So, I have no clue how this stuff is supposed to stay on celery (you’re supposed to cut up a stalk of celery then spoon the cream into the middle part) – anyway, my red pepper cream is more like a red pepper juice… it’s so liquidy I could put it in a sippy cup & give it to a small child (who probably wouldn’t like it).
In an effort to make it thicken (and because cold air is the best medicine for liquidiness) I put the cream into the fridge over night. The next morning it was slightly thicker, but it ended up being a dip instead of a cream.
And that is the end of my story.