04 January 2013

Vegetable Purée Cubes


I have a love and hate relationship with Lego blocks.  If I am undisturbed, I can sit down contentedly for hours and build houses or cities and come out totally relaxed from the almost immobile activity.  There are also times when I would make a quick trip to the toy store just to buy a box of Lego to assemble.  When I hand the finished product to my kids, I know that it will last for only an hour before it disintegrates and end up in the big box of other Lego blocks. 


If there is a big box of Lego bricks and there are two kids, there is also an endless litter of Lego all over the house.  One of my main daily activities from morning until night time is picking these bricks up from the floor, from the furniture, from the bathroom sink, lying down on them on our bed, sitting on them on our couches and extracting them from the pockets of  freshly-washed clothes of my kids.  There's no escape.  They are everywhere!

 

One of the worst noises that I dread and hate is a box of thousands of Lego bricks falling on the floor.  When it happens, I want to run away because it means that when I will walk in the room, I will not see the floor anymore and that we (me 90% and the kids 10%) will pick the bricks up one by one.  Sometimes I suspect that the kids enjoy "accidentally dropping" the box because from the point of view of someone who doesn't need to pick them up, it can be fun to have them all over the floor. 

 

Inspite of my Lego predicament, I got something wonderful out of it.  Because of looking at those colored bricks everyday for so many years, something clicked and I was able to use in in my cooking.  Here is my plate of Vegetable Purée Cubes, inspired totally and completely from my Lego adventures and misadventures.  I couldn't help feeling giddy when I was assembling this.  And I couldn't erase the stupid smile I had on my face when I was photographing it.  I love it and I hope you do too!

Buon appetito and have a great weekend!



Vegetable Purée Cubes

Ingredients:
Serves 4

Carrot Purée
  • 200 g. carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano 
Pea Purée
  • 200 g. peas
  • knob of butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 fresh sage leaves 
  • white sesame seeds
Yellow Potato Purée
  • 200 g. potatoes, peeled & quartered
  • knob of butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • pinch of nutmeg, grated at the moment
  • salt & pepper
Violet Potato Purée
  • 200 g. vitelotte potatoes, peeled & quartered
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • knob of butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons milk (Add more milk because this variety is starchier than regular potatoes.)
Directions:
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add carrots & potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender but still firm.  Drain.  Separate carrots, violet potatoes & yellow potatoes in individual bowls. 
  2. In another smaller pot, bring salted water to a boil.  Add peas and cook for about 10 minutes.  Drain.  
  3. Carrot Purée - Transfer carrots to a food processor or mash with a masher, potato ricer or fork.  Add thyme (leaves only), salt & pepper.  Purée until smooth.  Put in a small saucepan on low fire to dry up the purée.  Turn off fire.  Add parmigiano reggiano.  Set aside.
  4. Pea Purée - Transfer peas to a food processor.  Add sage, sugar, salt & pepper.   Purée until smooth.  Put in a small saucepan on low fire to dry up the purée.  Turn off fire.  Add butter and parmigiano reggiano.  Set aside.
  5. Yellow Potato Purée - Mash potatoes with potato ricer, masher or fork.  Add butter, milk, nutmeg, salt & pepper.  Mix well. 
  6. Violet Potato Purée -  Mash potatoes with potato ricer, masher or fork.  Add butter, milk, lemon zest, salt & pepper.  Mix well.
  7. In the serving plate itself, position square mold (I used a small square cookie cutter) and fill up with different kinds of purée alternately.  Rinse & dry mold everytime you change vegetables to make the cubes clean.  Potatoes are easy to shape.  Carrots and peas tend to be a bit softer and harder to shape.  If this happens, add more parmigiano reggiano. 
  8. When all the cubes are positioned on the plate, sprinkle peas with white sesame seeds, carrots with thyme, violet potatoes with lemon zest and yellow potatoes with sage.  You can substitute with other ingredients that you have at the moment. 





16 comments:

  1. Those cubes are gorgeous, and what a wonderful colors. Just beautiful!
    Oh and about lego I am so thankful that my kids are off of them, and there is a time of the year when lego see the light, but mostly they are in the box. I can't count how many times I stepped on those, specially those little ones...my poor feet:)
    I wish you an awesome weekend!

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    1. It's really painful to step on them! It happened to me more than once. Ugghh! I had so much fun assembling this plate because of the colors. I'm glad you like it!

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  2. This is so creative! thanks for sharing this inspiration.
    Legoland just opened in Malaysia and all kids (with adults) go crazy over them.

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    1. Lucky you, having a Legoland just close by! I would love to go to Legoland too. LOL! I'm glad you like it Shannon. Thanks!

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  3. Seriously, I don't mind having THIS kind of lego in my house all the time! You are such an artist, Weng! :D My son is "slowly" graduating from Legos after spent hours and hours with them. I feel kind of nostalgic and probably won't be able to donate or give away... I'll be the one who's making a lego house (which is my favorite things to make). :) Beautiful post!

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    1. It's nice to know that you are a fellow Lego housemaker. Haha! I can forget about time building houses and just be completely absorbed doing it. I'm glad you like this one Nami. Thanks!

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  4. I love these cubes too, Rowena! So whimsical and fun (plus I have a feeling they'd convince the kids to try some vegetables ;)).

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    1. The kids were attracted to it but when they found out that they were veggies, they ran away! LOL!

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  5. These are just gorgeous! You had fun photographing them, I keep scrolling back and forth laughing - lovely on a Sunday noon :) ! No small children and no lego around, but will surely put your directions aside and surprise some friends!

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  6. Lol, love that Legos can inspire in the kitchen! Gorgeous vibrant colors and I think there your veggie cubes are versatile (soups, sauces, pasta) as well. Happy New Year, Rowena!

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    1. Thank you Priscilla and Happy New Year too!

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  7. I can so relate with the Lego predicament! Ahhhh....! Whenever I hear those plastic blocks spill out on to the floor, my bloog pressure rises! Hahaha. But it's good that you see a good in those pesky Lego blocks, because look what you've created. Beautiful and versatile veggie puree cubes. These are perfect for my 1-year-old also - great idea! Love the colour of the purple potato! Reminds me of our "ube."

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  8. It's been years since I've last played with Legos but I remember how fun it was. The vegetable purees are so pretty arranged this way. You always know how to put the right finishing touches on your food. Great job!

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  9. It actually reminds me more of mahjong blocks ;)

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    Replies
    1. It does have a similarity with the formation.

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I would love to read what you think!