In celebration of Vegan MoFo, I’m doing a month of themed dinner party ideas! The theme for the second week is a pajama party!
What I have to say today may come as a shock. After six blissful years of marriage, I am now marrying Blair Underwood to live in a New York City apartment, where I’ll work as a cookbook author, have zero children, and drive an aqua Mini Coop. You might think this would devastate my husband since he’s doomed to live in a shack, but he’s really taking it all in stride since he’ll be marrying River Song, driving a Tardis, living in London, working as a Gentleman of Leisure, and having eleven children. (Well, that part is bound to be an adjustment. Luckily, the Tardis is bigger on the inside.) I know you think this turn of events is, well, sudden, and to tell you the truth, it was rather surprising to me as well. But after playing MASH at the pajama party this week, the future became startlingly clear.
To those of you who never played or don’t remember MASH from your grade school slumber party days, all it takes is one piece of paper labeled MASH at the top, which stands for mansion, apartment, shack, and house. Then there are the categories: car, crush, job, and number of kids. You’re supposed to put in a mixture of things you’d like and things you wouldn’t to keep it fun and interesting. Then, using your favorite number, 3 for example, you go through the list crossing off every third thing, until there’s only one item left in each category. Whatever remaining items are there, that’s your future!
In preparation of my Big Apple adventure, I’m packing my bags with big ridiculous hats and tutu dresses. (All women in New York dress like Carrie Bradshaw, right?) And I’m readying myself to be taken to vegan nirvana with Moo Shoes, Vaute Couture, Candle 79, and Blossom. I’m going to take cooking classes from Terry Hope Romero herself and fill my other time watching Broadway shows, while Blair holds my hand from the front row. (He’s got connections.)
Okay, um, so I just received news that this MASH thing may not be as iron clad as I’d once thought. Boy, this is embarrassing. What am I going to do with all of those tutu dresses in Iowa? Here they’ll just be ridiculous.
To salve my disappointments, instead of mash, I’m roasting. If salty, smoky, and savory takes your sadness away, these Loaded Potato Slices with Cashew Cream are just what The Doctor ordered. (That’s what David is calling himself now that his other car is a Tardis.) These roasted Russet potatoes are topped with garlicky cashew cream, minced red onion, diced cilantro, and coconut bacon. It’s the kind of full-bodied appetizer that makes your eyes roll back into your head and requires an audible “Mmmmm….”
If dipping is more your thing, make the cashew cream ahead of time, and then top with your choice of vegan bacon, onions, and cilantro just before serving with baked fries or potato wedges. Why opt for ketchup when you can have garlicky cashew cream?
The cool, creaminess of the topping with the warm potato underneath is the perfect snack for watching Sex and the City reruns and dreaming about what could have been…
Serves Serves 6-8 as an appetizer
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon white miso
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped small
- 3 large Russet potatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch slices width-wise
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Coconut Bacon or fried & chopped Upton's Seitan Bacon
- Start by making the cashew cream. If you're not using a Vitamix or other high speed blender, soak the raw cashews in additional water overnight or for 4 hours. Drain them and continue as follows.
- Combine raw cashews, water, nutritional yeast flakes, white miso, and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until needed.
- Next, prepare the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl toss the potato slices with extra virgin olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper until fully coated. Evenly place the potato slices onto the baking sheets, being careful not to overcrowd.
- Roast the potatoes for 20-25 minutes, stopping once to flip them.
- Once they've finished roasting and they are toasty brown on both sides, move the potato slices to a platter and top them with cashew cream, cilantro, minced onion, and your choice of vegan bacon.