Monday, March 11, 2013

FFWD February (Squash and Brussel Sprouts, Coeur a la Creme, and Pea Soup)

I don't eat pork so I skipped the tenderloin, but I did make all of the other February recipes--with mixed results.

I would give the Brown Sugar Squash and Brussel Sprouts en Papillote a C-.  First, I know I need to learn to be more adaptable, but it frustrates me when vegetable recipes don't make use of the entire vegetable.  I never know what to do with the extra half of a butternut squash.  Because the recipe didn't use up either the whole squash or the bag of brussel sprouts I bought, in addition to preparing this recipe I also cooked the rest of the squash and brussels on the same night.  I followed this recipe exactly, and then after preparing the remaining vegetables the same way (halving the brussel sprouts and cubing the squash) I just tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and threw them on a sheet pan.  I put them all in the oven and then worked on the rest of the dinner.  After about 30 minutes, the sprouts and squash on the sheet pan were cooked through and browned in spots--exactly how I like them.  The ones in foil were still largely raw.  Because the rest of dinner was ready I decided to just serve the cooked ones, saving the ones in foil for the next night.  The ones in foil probably took at least an additional hour to cook.  They tasted just fine, but I didn't like them any better than the ones on the sheet pan, and will not bother with this recipe again.

I'm definitely not going to quit my day job to try anything artistic!  However, despite my best attempts to ruin it, the Coeur a la Creme was an easy and delicious dessert.  I'd give it an A.  I thought I had raspberry sauce in the freezer but didn't, so I decided to defrost and warm up some chocolate ganache I found instead.  Raspberries were also insanely expensive at the store (I'm guessing due to Valentine's) but blueberries were on sale, so I bought those instead.  In hindsight, while I actually really like the blueberry and chocolate flavor combination, the color combination didn't exactly scream Valentine's Day.  I also knew I was in trouble the second I tried to "drizzle" my chocolate ganache over the dessert.  It turns out ganache (at least mine) doesn't drizzle at all, and I was left with random puddles of chocolate on my white dessert.  Not exactly appetizing.  I started to panic, reminded myself that it was only Paul and I, and did the best I could to push the ganache off the edges and decorate the top with blueberries.  Still not pretty, though.  The taste, however, was excellent.  A lot like a cheesecake but not quite as dense, and so much easier to make.  When I make this again I'll either spring for the raspberries, or serve the dessert plain with sauce on the side.

I was really unsure about cooked lettuce, but we actually liked the Cheating on Winter Pea Soup.  I wouldn't say it was exciting, but it had a good clean flavor and was certainly easy to make.  I'd give it a solid B.  Next time I'm definitely going to pull out my real blender, though.  The immersion blender left some small pieces of cooked lettuce, which definitely weren't so appetizing.

1 comment:

  1. Presentation can be the hardest part - but as long as it tastes good, that's what matters, right?

    We thought the pea soup was a nice surprise - especially the use of lettuce in soup...