June 27, 2014 by Zuri
More cooking adventures! Yesterday, I tried to make curry. I chopped up a boatload of vegetables: spinach, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli (and not in the photo: onions, baby corn and pineapple)…
That’s the only picture I have, because the curry was a bit of a failure. It was ugly to look at, the broccoli was overcooked and it tasted… odd. I later discovered why I didn’t like the taste: I’m accustomed to the dairy in curry being coconut milk, where the recipe I used called for plain yogurt, so it was a much more tart, much less sweet curry. The yogurt also isn’t as creamy as the coconut milk, so it looked like it was trying to separate. All-in-all, I’ll chalk this one up to lesson learned. Next time, coconut milk.
Tonight’s adventure went much more succesfully! I decided to make use of some wonton wrappers I had in the fridge, and made mini vegetable lasagnas in cupcake tins – a recipe I’d been dying to try for a while!
The first new thing I got to do was make a cheese sauce. This particular recipe didn’t call for red sauce, of which I am thankful, because my stomach doesn’t always enjoy tomato acid. The recipe called for Asiago, but I didn’t have any on hand (and right now I’m on a very scant budget), so I used the cheddar that I had in the fridge. Milk, cheddar cheese, flour, and blammo! Cheese sauce! Score one for food adventures!
Next came the veg. In a skillet I put a little oil, and some diced up orange bell pepper, mushrooms and spinach. I considered broccoli, but maybe next time, I didn’t think I would have room. In hindsight, I should have chopped up more vegetables, because towards the end I ran out. Bummer.
I combined pesto and ricotta to make the filling, and then alternated a wonton wrapper, ricotta mix, cheese sauce, and veggies in a greased cupcake tin. Repeat. Pop in a 375F oven for 19 minutes, til the tips of the wonton wrappers brown. Viola!
Plus: They were very cheesy, and I love cheese! I didn’t realize how much I had missed ricotta until I tasted it. The veggies didn’t get overly soft, which is good. I like a bit of “tooth” in my veg. It was super easy to put together and quick to cook. They popped out of the greased cupcake tin with zero effort. There’s a lot of creativity that can be taken with the recipe, changing cheeses and veggies to your heart’s content!
Downside: Really needed more veggies, I totally didn’t chop up enough. I might go lighter on the cheese sauce too. I also forgot salt and pepper – d’oh! I have such a hard time remembering salt and pepper.
I think next time I try this, I’ll try a different cheese, add in the broccoli, and try to overstuff them a little bit. I’d also like to get the extra large size cupcake tins and make bigger ones, I think they’ll be more appropriate for dinner. The tiny ones just feel like snacking. But, oh, what a terrific snack!
I’ll be doing another food adventure later tonight, though I don’t think I’ll be doing a blog post on it because of it’s simplicity. I picked up a package of flour tortillas and I’ll be making them into chips. I’m thinking of maybe doing a sweet and a savory flavored variety – salt and lime for one, maybe honey or agave for the other? I’ll figure it out later. Also this weekend I’ll be making a second attempt at making crunchy chickpeas. My last attempt produced chewy, not crunchy, chickpeas, though the flavor (agave, soy, salt) was actually really good.
Thanks for enduring my adventures in newbie cooking!