Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Vegetables are Outrunning Me

I have quite a few recipes from Perfect Vegetables that I haven't posted about, so I'll jump right in.

I love fennel. Anything licorice-ey, really. Fennel and Tangerine Slaw (pg 125) caught my eye after I'd bought some tangerines at the farmer's market. This slaw had too much mustard in it for my taste. It overpowered every other flavor. If someone told me I was eating cabbage, I'd have believed them.

Conclusion: Disliked.
Slaw and sweet  potatoes.
Despite how horrible the baked oven fries were, I tried Master Recipe for Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes (pg 290), because I would love to find a decent, un-fried french fry substitute. The method for cooking these was different. For the sweet potatoes, you just toss the sliced sweet potatoes with peanut oil, salt, and pepper, then bake. My ideal fry is crisp on the outside and moist/mushy on the inside. These just came out like roasted sweet potatoes, which, I guess is what they are. I need to stop looking for fries in my oven. I think it's a lost cause.

Conclusion: Liked them, if I think of them as roasted sweet potatoes. They're not a fry replacement, though.

Perfect Vegetables' recipe for Sauteed Zucchini (pg 315) says that if you salt the zucchini and let it sit for a half hour, it will brown when you sautee it. I don't think enough liquid came out of mine. They said 1/3rd of a cup would drain. After cooking the zucchini for ten minutes, as instructed, every last slice was mushy. It was brownish, but I expected a nice, flavorful, caramelized brown. I'd rather just lightly sautee it with garlic, like I usually do.

Conclusion: Hated it. I didn't eat mine.
The good and the bad.
On a much happier note, Mashed Rutabagas with Apples, Sage, and Bacon (pg 279) was great. It had me at "add the shallot and apple to the bacon drippings in the pan." Don't mind if I do. I made the recipe as written this time--cream, butter, bacon and all. I think that replacing the cream with milk and cutting back (or maybe omitting) the butter would still be good. Maybe not as good, but good enough. Matt said that this was the first time in his life he liked rutabaga.

Conclusion: Loved it. Yum yum.

All my life, I thought artichokes were some fancy-shmance food that people only ate on special occasions. Imagine my disappointment the first time I ate one. I built them up too much in my imagination. They don't taste like a whole lot. I've had them stuffed, I've had them dipped in butter. I've never been impressed. Figured I'd try Master Recipe for Steamed Artichokes (pg 4). I have to say, I don't understand why they call so many things that have no variations a "master recipe." They provide no other way to make a steamed artichoke, or season a steamed artichoke. Shouldn't it just be called "Steamed artichokes"? I digress.
Why bother?
These were easy enough to make. Clip the tips of the leaves, cut the top and the stem off, and then place the artichoke on an onion ring settled in water. Then you just boil it for a half hour. I melted some butter to dip the leaves in. Easy as they were, they still didn't impress me. Oh well. No harm done.

Conclusion: Just okay.

Okay, that's it for now.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, sorry to see that several recipes were letdowns. I don't care for fennel, so I would've skipped that altogether.