Sunday, January 9, 2011
Fancy-pants hors d'oeuvres
I'm trying to expand my recipe repertoire of recipes by using my cookbooks more, so this is the first of a series of posts in which I'll feature a smattering of recipes from a wide array of cookbooks. I decided to start with hors d'oeuvres and made a meal of "small bites." I wouldn't make any of these the same way again, but it was interesting to try some new techniques.
1. Rice Croquettes from The Urban Vegan
I thought these were pretty, but looked better than they tasted. They are basically rice mashed with herbs and avocado, coated in nutritional yeast and baked. I had never thought of using nutritional yeast as a coating before, and I liked how crisp and golden it got in the oven, but I thought the flavor was too strong (and I LOVE nutritional yeast) and didn't really go with the herbs used in the recipe. I guess I like the idea of croquettes in theory, but they seem a little too fussy in practice; I'd have preferred eating a bowl of rice with sliced avocado on top.
2. Garlic Puree from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
This recipe calls for simmering unpeeled cloves of garlic in vegetable broth until most of the broth is reduced off, then running it through a food mill to make a spread. I've always enjoyed baked garlic as a spread but had never simmered it before; it was tasty, if a little too salty from the broth. However, the peels on the garlic gummed up the food mill so much that I didn't end up with much spread; in the future, I'll peel the cloves before simmering them so they're easier to mill.
3. Artichoke-Mushroom Packets from 1,000 Vegan Recipes
These were supposed to be Artichoke-Mushroom Phyllo Packets, but I accidentally bought puffed pastry instead so I went with that. The filling is artichokes, mushrooms, and onion, sauteed and then pulsed in a food processor. I liked the filling, but it made the pastry a little soggy on the inside; maybe this wouldn't have happened if I'd used phyllo. I used the leftover filling as a dip for raw cauliflower, and I preferred it that way; the crunchy cauliflower was a nice contrast to the gooey spread.