Katessa Harkey & Jonathan Mooney served as chefs to the November 2014 Portland Blind Cafe event. The Blind Cafe provides an opportunity for guests to experience fine dining and live music... in complete darkness!  Blind waiters serve the guests and answer questions about what it is like to live with blindness. A portion of proceeds from the event go to support organizations serving the blind community.

We received many requests from our wonderful team of volunteers and guests of the event for the recipes to various of the dishes on the menu. As there wasn't time during the event to distribute these, we promised to offer the full menu here. All recipes are vegan-friendly and gluten free!

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Apple Barbecue Tofu

Yield: 12 Servings with extra Sauce

Apple Barbecue Sauce

This unusual barbecue sauce contains no tomato - but that can be your little secret! This is the perfect recipe for those winter months when fresh tomatoes are out of season.

This unusual barbecue sauce contains no tomato - but that can be your little secret! This is the perfect recipe for those winter months when fresh tomatoes are out of season.

  • Onions, minced: 1.5 lbs
  • Garlic, minced: 1 head
  • Ginger, peeled & grated: 2 oz
  • Olive oil to saute

Caramelize on the stove-top in 1/4" olive oil. Option: transfer to crock pot or continue stove-top method.

  • Applesauce: 24 oz
  • Molasses: 8 oz
  • Applewood Smoke Flavor: 2 tsp
  • Mustard: 2.5 oz
  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos: 5 oz
  • Cider Vinegar: 2 oz
  • Cayenne: .5 tsp or to taste

Combine all ingredients and simmer on low or cook in slow cooker at least two hours to allow flavors to combine. Blend with immersion blender. Continue cooking at least one hour. Finish with Salt and Apple Cider Vinegar to taste. May be made in advance and held in refrigerator up to three days. Serves well on any meat, tofu or Tempe; baked, grilled or open barbecue.

Tofu

  • Extra-firm tofu, filet sliced 6 per block: 2 blocks (or substitute Tempe)
  • Olive oil or other vegetable fat
  • Apple Barbecue Sauce

Coat cookie sheet generously with olive oil. Arrange tofu slices on tray with edges touching. Ladle barbecue sauce over tofu and spread evenly with ladle; just enough to coat. Allow to marinate at least one hour. Bake at 375 until surface of sauce has caramelized, 15-20 min.; more or less to preference. Serve with additional sauce ladled over the filet.

Orca Bean Succotash in Creole Mustard Sauce

Yield: 12 Servings

Make with Black Eyed Peas for an earthier flavor.

Orca Bean Succotash

  • Orca Beans: 1/2 lb

Place beans in container that has at least twice the volume of dry beans. Fill container with water and soak overnight. Simmer soaked beans just until tender, remove from heat and drain. Spread on trays and allow to completely cool; or rinse under cold water to quick-chill.

  • Red Onion, med. diced: 1/2 lb
  • Red Bell Pepper, med. diced: 5 oz
  • Organic Corn, frozen, defrosted (or Fresh Organic Corn, blanched and cut from the cob): 12 oz
  • Salt to taste

Toss all ingredients to evenly distribute.

Creole Mustard Sauce

  • Olive Oil: 4 fl oz
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 4 fl oz
  • Mustard: 2.5 oz
  • Cayenne 1/4 tsp
  • Black Pepper: 1 tsp
  • Water: 4 oz plus additional to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender, food processor or with wire whisk. Add additional water to adjust for thickness/desired potency of sauce. Balance flavor to your preference with salt, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. More Cayenne may be added for additional heat.

Carrots Waldorf Slaw with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Yield: 12 Servings

Just a drizzle of dressing adds character and a zesty punch. If allergies aren't an issue, garnish with walnuts and toasted, salted sunflower seeds. Either way, this slaw is spectacular!

Carrots Waldorf Slaw

  • Carrots, grated: 1.5 lb
  • Raisins: 1/4 lb
  • Apples, med. dice: 3/4 lb

Toss to evenly distribute ingredients. (If holding cut apples, be sure to toss with a little cider vinegar or lemon juice immediately to prevent browning.)

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 oz
  • Cayenne: 1/2 tsp
  • Black Pepper 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: 2 tsp

Whisk together and pour over slaw mixture. Thoroughly toss to coat. Let set at least 1 hour before serving. May be held overnight.

Optional:

  • Sunflower seeds, toasted & salted: 1/8 lb
  • Walnuts, raw chopped: 1/8 lb

Combine and serve sprinkled over slaw as garnish.

Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Yield: 12 oz

  • Olive Oil: 6 oz
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: 2 oz
  • Lemon, juice and zest: 1/2 ea
  • Poppy Seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Combine ingredients in jar or bottle, close and shake to blend. Drizzle in spiral over slaw.

Tex-Mex Pasta Fresca

Yield: 12 Servings

  • Pasta, Brown Rice (any bite-size shape): 1 lb
  • Olive oil to coat
Light and luscious gluten free fare. You can learn to make the perfect brown rice pasta with patience and practice.

Light and luscious gluten free fare. You can learn to make the perfect brown rice pasta with patience and practice.

Brown rice pasta must be handled with excellent technique or it becomes gummy. Make sure to use a pot that has plenty of space in which the pasta may move. Add pasta to swiftly boiling water; allow a few moments to settle; then gently and briefly stir. Cover pasta and let cook eight minutes, briefly stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking together. Begin taste-testing pasta for "done-ness", and pull just when it is tender but still has a little resistance in the bite ("al dente"). Immediately drain. Quickly pour olive oil over pasta and toss to coat completely; then run cold water over it to shock it - arresting the carry-over cooking process. Rinse until completely cooled.

  • Black Olives, sliced: 2 oz
  • Corn, Frozen Organic, thawed: 2 oz
  • Tomatoes, diced canned, drained with juice reserved: 14.5 oz
  • Green onion, thin sliced: 1/2 bunch
  • Cilantro, fresh, picked leaves: 2.5 oz
  • Black beans, pre-cooked: 1/2 lb dry weight (or 14.5 oz can)

Combine and distribute evenly.

  • Olive Oil: 8 oz
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 4 oz
  • Reserved tomato juice to taste
  • Salt to taste

Shake together; toss with above mixture and pasta just until incorporated.

Dilly Yam and Beet Potato Salad

Yield: 12

  • Yams, large dice, Garnet variety preferred: 2 lbs
  • Olive oil to coat

Generously coat diced yams with olive oil. Spread on baking tray(s) in single layer. Roast at 375 until tender and exterior caramelized, 45 min to 1 hour. Allow to thoroughly cool.

Roast your beets whole to improve texture and make the peeling process a snap.

  • Beets: 1/2 lb or more as desired
  • Olive oil to coat

Handle beets with gloves to prevent staining of the skin. Use stainless steel and be careful to wipe up any juice that gets on counter-tops immediately. Beets will stain cutting board. Wash, remove ends and coat in olive oil. Line baking tray with parchment or tin foil for easy clean-up. Roast beets whole at 375 until tender throughout, 30 min to an hour and a half depending on size. Use a fork or skewer to test. Remove smaller beets as they finish cooking. Allow beets to cool, then (wearing gloves) peel the skins from the beets. Skins will come away easily, and the interior will be juicy and of a rich texture. Dice beets, small to medium size as desired.

  • Celery, small dice: 1/4 lb
  • Red Onion, fine dice: 1/2 lb
  • Water Chestnuts, canned; drained and rough chopped: 4 oz

When Yams and Beets are completely cooled, toss with remainder of ingredients just to distribute, being careful not to break up the yams.

  • Olive Oil: 8 oz
  • Cider Vinegar: 4 oz
  • Mustard: 1 oz
  • Dill, dry: 2 tbsp

Whisk together and pour over mixture. Toss just to coat. Let sit at least 1 hour. May be made up the night before and refrigerated.

Sparkling Ginger Fudge

Yield: 1 18 x 12" tray

  • Crystallized Ginger, chopped: 8 - 12 oz, to taste

Try substituting your favorite "chocolate accomplices",  such as nuts, dried fruits, mini pretzel twists... The possibilities are endless!

Line 18 x 12" tray with parchment paper. Evenly distribute the crystallized ginger pieces over the surface.

  • Vegan Semi-sweet chocolate Morsels: 2 1/4 lbs
  • Coconut Milk, full fat: 1 1/3 cup
  • Coconut Oil: 4 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp

In a large capacity preheated double boiler, combine the above; folding gently and constantly with a heat-resistant spatula. Heat just until all ingredients are incorporated and morsels have completely melted. Pour evenly over ginger pieces in lined tray. Carefully and quickly spread mixture with spatula to edges of tray. Refrigerate three hours or over night. Cut into 1" squares to serve.