It is a little intimidating when a Master Chef comes over for Sunday night supper.
And when I say Master Chef I do not use that term lightly. I’m talking about a man who has received the highest level of certification possible in American culinary arts AND who has been invited to compete in the Worldwide Culinary Olympics in Germany, with his team this October.
This, is exactly the perdicimant I found myself in Sunday night. Italian born Chef Salvatore Gisellu and his family drove 4 hours from his in-law’s home in Venice, Florida to visit my family. A cozy dinner where the kids could swim off some cooped-up energy seemed like the best way to welcome my beloved visitors.
“Chef” is definitely the best cook I know and I wanted to serve him a great meal that would make him happy but as I poured over my recipes I just couldn’t decide on the perfect menu.
Until it hit me! Chef loves his wife more than anything in this world and if I could make her HAPPY, then Chef would definitely be pleased. You see, Jeanne-Marie Gisellu is a “Vegan,” she does not eat anything made from animals, which means no meat/fish or dairy. With these restricted choices sometimes tastey dishes are hard to find on a night out so I knew a yummy meal could be greatly appreciated.
Never having cooked a Vegan meal before I wasn’t sure where to start, so I turned to my OTHER favorite chefs, Gina and Pat Neeley. Why, would I look to the King and Queen of Barbecue to cook a meal without meat? Because their cook book was on my kitchen counter. Convenience.
The Menu I decided upon was below and I was quite pleased. The meal ended with smiles on both Gisellus’ faces. Despite what the “feel good” experts say, for me that night wasn’t just about us all being together. I wanted my friend the Chef to enjoy a good meal with his family. I felt pretty good about the outcome.
The Five Bean Picnic Salad
Sweet and Salty Slaw “Veganized”
Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
**Find these recipes in the posts that follow with the same name as recipe title
Rib eye steak for the non-Vegans in the rooom, including our 5 kids
For the steak, I marinated in salt, pepper and Worstshire for about 4 hours, opting for simplicity rather than overdoing it as to not offend Chef’s tastebuds. We seared both sides of each steak in very hot olive oil on the stove top then cooked in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes to a nice medium or medium rare for a few).
Warm Vegan banana bread http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/breadsbakery/r/vegan_banana_bread_recipe.htm
Tofutti ice cream