Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vegetarian Times Recipe Review

Ah blogging...something I haven't had time to do lately...Or do much cooking for that matter. Working and being in school (with finals!) has sucked up my time! But I did get to make some things from this month's Vegetarian Times and 2 out of 3 recipes came out really well.

1) Samosa Casserole (Excellent)
It was from their "healthy casserole" section that is also meant to be great foods for freezing. And it was very tasty. It was mostly easy too - not a weeknight meal since it took about 30 minutes to prep and 45+ minutes to cook, but not difficult at all. You make a crust out of whole wheat pastry flour (which I didn't have, so substituted regular whole wheat flour) and all-propose flour. Then you cook potatoes and roughly mash them. You also saute some diced carrots, onions and frozen peas with Indian spices and mix it in to the potatoes with vegetable stock to resemble samosa filling. You put that in a pie plate and put the dough on top. Then bake.
It came out really well. The dough wasn't super flaky - because I didn't use pastry flour - but it was truly delicious. I think it is an excellent addition to our Indian curry repertoire and we can pull it out for an Indian feast!

2) Sicilian Green Beans with Balsamic Glaze (Very Good)
This was in their "best of" section for best side dish. It was very good. Pretty easy to make too. Just put some EVOO on green beans and a red pepper and put them in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. Then you make a sauce with orange juice, orange zest and balsamic vinegar that you let boil to a syrup. We were supposed to mix the green beans with the glaze, then transfer to a serving platter. I'm incredibly lazy and didn't do it (one more dish to clean? No thank you!) but it might have made it better, since there was plenty of sauce. It was still really, really tasty. We made it with a simple pasta dish (whole wheat noodles, a can of roasted tomatoes, garlic, seasoning).

3) Ricotta Ravioli with Sweet Potato Sauce (Meh)
This recipe had great potential: ravioli made with won-ton wrappers and a sweet potato sauce. What could be bad!? I love ravioli, I love sweet potatoes! Plus, this was a great way to make homemade ravioli since I don't have a pasta machine or the counter space to do it. The recipe says to make the raviolis and then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. This way, they will stick together and the filling won't fall out when cooking. Brilliant! I didn't mind the patckah-ing since I was up earlier than The Pedant Saturday morning (and procrastinating studying for a final). It worked really well. I did run out of filling, which I thought was odd. And, I totally didn't have space in my freezer for 2 (!!!) baking sheets with raviolis, so I put them in a deep container and put parchment paper between the layers.
We went to go make the sauce for dinner (which called for 1 cup cooked, pureed sweet potato, a shallot, garlic, some sherry and EVOO) and cooked up and mashed a sweet potato. Because that's the same as pureeing, right?! Wrong. Well, maybe not. Plus, we used a whole sweet potato and it was more than a cup, but it was just THICK. So we added some white wine which made it really tasty.
Then we went to go make the ravioli. We boiled the water. Great. I went to take them off the parchment paper - not so great. They stuck more than I expected. But it was fine. Then we drop them in the water. Fine. (Confession: I might not have used enough water. But it was 8:30 and I was getting ready to eat.) We stir them oh so very gently. And then TP is afraid they aren't cooked through. So we wait a bit. And then they get mushy and fall apart. And we waited, maybe 4 minutes to take them out (not the requisite 2). And they taste like won-ton wrappers with ricotta cheese. Not like delicious raviolis. We are bummed. It was not easy.
Lesson: Make ravioli with real pasta. Make won-tons with won-ton wrappers. Or buy pre-made raviolis. Or just eat it at a restaurant and do zero work.

I did make a pretty awesome vegetable soup to go with the ravioli. That came out perfectly.

1 comment:

bluesleepy said...

I have a recipe for "Last Minute Lasagna" which calls for frozen cheese ravioli layered with spinach and cheese and sauce. It's yummy, easily customizable, and most importantly, quick! Five to ten minutes to assemble, half an hour to bake. Nom. Let me know if you want the recipe.