The Vegetable Envelope

This is great for a barbeque or a vegetable side. Though I’m not as technical about the exact amount of vegetables….remember The Common Chef is about concepts. So here is how I throw down. Let’s say we are feeding 6.

Approximately 3 pounds of vegetables. These can be in various combinations. However, if you intend to include green beans or carrots you need to blanch those first. I prefer Water Blanching.

Now the cheese part of this is important. There are so many varieties of cheese. And feel free to include as much as you wish, both in variety and in volume. For recipe’s sake, let’s say half a pound of assorted cheeses. I love Goat Cheese for this dish. It gives the whole thing a very creamy, mellow flavor. Goat cheese is a wonderful blending cheese. It brings all the flavors together. I use a lot of goat cheese when I cook. Other good options would include; parmesan, cheddar (grated) and who doesn’t love Smoked Gruyere? You’ll want to grate any block cheeses you use. The point is…you decide which combination of cheese you like.

Also, the meat options. I know it’s called a vegetable envelope but hey let’s face it, me and my friends are significant carnivores. So there isn’t anything wrong with adding a bit of meat to the combo, (this is entirely optional). We don’t want to add a lot of meat because it is mainly a vegetable dish but just enough to say….hey that meat morsel was fantastic amidst this array of tasty, cheesy vegetables. I recommend about a quarter pound of meat. You want this meat in small pieces so that it is balanced throughout the entire vegetable envelope. My favorite is Bruschetta. What an awesome addition to this dish. Another great option is cutting bacon into half inch squares and frying it in honey…then adding it to this dish. Or why not both?

OK, so we have our vegetables, cheeses and if you went with some meat (good choice) then all the main ingredients are in place.

1. Use a large piece of tin foil and start stacking the vegetables of choice (asparagus, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, freshly minced garlic) really get some variety with the vegetables.
2. Then throw on the meat.
3. Generously douse with Olive Oil
4. Season with your favorite seasonings. I’d use Sriracha, Tony Chachere’s More Spice and Crazy Salt. But you need to find your favorite seasonings and learn to work with them.
5. Use your hands to mix it all together. The meat, vegetables and spices should be balanced throughout the mix.
6. Now comes the cheese. Pour it on top of the mixture baby.
7. This is also optional but I’d consider it a sin if you didn’t use at least a half a stick of butter cut into 3 pieces and placed strategically on top of the mound.
8. About 5 to 7 table spoons of soy sauce on top of that. (the sauce at the end of this bad boy is unbelievable)
9. Wrap the whole thing up like a burrito.
10. Place on a Cookie Sheet.
11. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
12. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.

This dish is a treasure that will go a long way with your friends and family.

The original Veggie Envelope

The original Veggie Envelope