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Monday, May 9, 2011

Messes and Successes

Just like with anything in life, cooking provides ample opportunity for 1)errors and 2)things that just don't turn out like you'd hoped and expected.  We've had a few of those in the last few weeks and I thought I'd share some.  Along the way, though, there've been some pretty good successes.

First to the messes.

Asparagus Ravioli.  I read this recipe in Fine Cooking.  Then, one of my favorite bloggers wrote glowingly about the end result.  I couldn't wait to try it.  If I ever make it again, I'll change the recipe up big time.  The filling is made with asparagus, ricotta and mascarpone cheese.  I found it very blah and watery.  Next time, instead of cooking the asparagus in water on the stove, I'll toss it with a little olive oil and roast it.  That'll give the flavor some oomph and will eliminate the problem with the wateriness.  The filling may still need to be kicked up with hot sauce or herbs or something but I'll wait and see what needs to be done.  The other issue was using won-ton wrappers instead of making my own pasta dough.  Let me just say that won-ton wrappers are a fine substitute if you're willing to settle for thin, tasteless pasta.  Never again for me.  If I don't have time to make my own pasta, I'm not making ravioli.  And, yes, I know the photo makes it look tasty. 

Rhubarb Goat Cheese Crumble.  I got to watch an episode of Chopped not too long ago.  One of the dessert items was Cheezits.  YUM!  The gal turned them into a wonderful topping with cinnamon etc.  I had rhubarb and goat cheese and thought since they're wonderful together in a salad - Rhubarb and Shagbark Hickory Salad -  they'd probably be equally wonderful in a crumble.  Wrong.  The rhubarb might as well have been celery for all the flavor it provided.  I mixed eggs and goat cheese and Shagbark Hickory Syrup and other cheesecake like stuff then topped it with crumbled Cheezits tossed in a skillet with butter and allspice.  The topping was pretty good.  The base, not so much.   The rest of the crumble went down the disposal...

Rach's Pimento Cheese Sliders.  Normally, Rachael Ray hits home runs.  This wasn't even a single.  Sliders made with beer and a lovely pimento cheese sauce sounded wonderful.  Fortunately, I did a taste test and cooked a little of the burger before making the whole meal deal.  Insipid.  Totally insipid.  I added Tabasco, Worcestershire, two more cloves of garlic...  And, finally got the taste up to ok.  The pimento cheese sauce was good but even though I put in 50% more cheese than called for, it was a bit thin in the flavor category. 

Blueberry Superman Drinks.  Connie's our bartender so I'm not at all certain what went into these other than Blue Curacao.  All I know is they tasted like rocket fuel.  Except, this rocket fuel it's safe to pour down the drain.  Thank goodness!


Roasted Radishes - I've been reading a bunch about these so decided I'd try to make some myself.  They were ultra simple.  You cut them in half then toss the radishes with vinegar and sweet.  Balsamic is a good choice for the vinegar.  Honey or agave nectar are great for the sweet.  Coat the baking dish with a little melted butter or olive oil.  Toss the radishes with the dressing and roast away.  I prefer to roast vegetables at 500.  These may need to go under the broiler for a bit at the end.  Next time, I'm going to try this with fig balsamic or chocolate balsamic.

Crabmeat Stuffing - Crabmeat and mushrooms do seem to have a special affinity for each other.  I thought some crab stuffing for a couple of the morels would be good.  It was.  Very.  Now, I wish I could tell you exactly what went into it.  But, I can't.  It started with a bechamel sauce.  And, some dry sherry and a bit of cayenne.  They were topped with some nice, crunchy toasted pine nuts.  A couple of days later, I sauteed a 6 oz package of sliced creminis and combined them with the stuffing we didn't use in the morels.  Crab pot pies.  Again, very good.  And, even though I'm a pitiful artist, I did manage to cut out some freehand hearts to decorate the tops.  Here's the trick to cutting out the crusts for the top.  Use refrigerated pie crust.  Upend the baking dishes and use them to cut the tops. 

1 comment:

spcookiequeen said...

I haven't seen the roasted radishes yet, I will try those I love radishes. Too bad the others weren't good. Hope you are having a great week.