Jan 28th dinner: the reviews
#11
  Re: (...)
Okay. Time to review this month's dinner recipes.

Italian "Nachos":
Quite frankly, this did not impress me at all. To be fair, I must say that I couldn't get Fontina, and used Gruyère, instead, but I don't think having Fontina would have saved this renamed bruschetta - not that it was bad, only that it wasn't anything special. I would definitely choose the Macaroni Grill Bella Napoli recipe that I posted earlier over this.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower:
This was good, but still nothing spectacular. It was somewhat bland, for my taste, and I probably would prefer it with some chipotle pepper powder mashed into it, although I didn't do that this time. My initial taste of this made me think that I was, perhaps, correct in my original guess that the mushroom-sherry sauce had been intended not just for the meatloaf, but for these potatoes, as well, so I went ahead and made the sauce.

Mushroom-Sherry Sauce:
This was good, but I could not find any fresh mushrooms, here, and had to use canned mushrooms. The canned mushrooms, however, did not cook down very much, and I wound up with about THREE cups of sauce that was more like seasoned mushrooms than an actual sauce - hence my earlier question as to whether the recipe had been type correctly or not. Either way, this really helped the potatoes. In fact, since there was so much of it, I also used it to help the Italian "nachos," and it was really good there, as well.

I shall make this again, but shall only use 3/4 cup of the canned mushrooms, so it will be more of a sauce, and so that the flavours are not as diluted by the presence of too many mushrooms.

Thai Chicken Skewer Wraps:
These were absolutely fantastic! I did have to make some substitutions, but WOW! Absolutely, I shall make this again.

As for substitutions, there was really only one, as far as the magazine's recipe was concerned, and that was for the red curry paste. None of the stores, here, had red curry paste. One did have yellow curry paste, but that is quite different, and would have changed the character of the entire dish. In addition, that small jar of yellow curry paste was about $11! Thus, I decided to use this recipe from one of the links I had posted earlier.

The recipe for the paste led to other substitutions, however. Naturally, I used ginger in place of the galangal, and (as the recipe suggested) fresh lime peel in place of the kaffir lime rind. Coriander roots or stems are just cilantro (except that we usually use just the leaves for cilantro) so that was no problem. White peppercorns, however, were nowhere to be found, but I do have a good supply of ground white pepper, so I used a teaspoon of that (it was all going to be ground up in the mortar and pestle, anyway). Finally, the shrimp paste was not available here, and is supposed to be a real pain to make, so a number of other websites suggested substituting anchovy paste or anchovies (although they did say that it would not be as strong a flavour as the shrimp paste). Since anchovy paste wasn't available, either, I used a little bit of canned anchovy. The whole thing was a lot of work in the mortar and pestle, but was worth every bit of it, and I shall definitely be making this again. In fact, since I have some of the red curry paste left over, the dinner I shall be making tonight is "Traditional Thai Red Curry."

Back to the chicken skewers - I almost forgot one other substitution: I couldn't get the specified variety of lettuce, so I used Romaine, instead.

For me, this was the clear winner of this month's dinner recipes, and is the one I shall, most enthusiastically, be making again.

Boston Cream Cupcakes:
As stated when I chose the menu, I elected these in case anyone also wished to make a dessert. Since they had already been discussed in other threads, I left them as optional. In fact, I haven't even made them, myself, yet, but shall do so at some other time.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
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#12
  Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by labradors (Okay. Time to revie...)
Interesting combination of flavors here! I had the Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes & Cauliflower one night with the Skinny Meatloaf and Mushroom sauce – what a wonderful comfort dinner that was. We both loved the flavor the cauliflower added to the potatoes. The only thing I did to the recipe was not use the entire 3 T. of butter – didn’t think it needed that much, so I used probably a good Tablespoon, and it was plenty buttery.

The following night we had the Thai Chicken Skewer Wraps. The marinade for the chicken is wonderful and I’ll certainly use this again and again; and the peanut sauce was very good, but I do have one that I like better.

Somehow, after liking the components so well, I was surprised I didn’t think too much of the completed wraps. Picked up a box (ready-made thing) of Annie Chun’s Miso Noodle Soup to try, so had this with the wraps – the purchased soup was just that…. Purchased, but added some of the chicken and peanut sauce and boy what a nice soup it turned out to be.

I didn’t make the nachos, I’m still trying to be very careful food wise, although they look so good, I’ve marked the recipe to try later. (although, after Lab’s comments, don’t know that I’ll bother – being there are so many wonderful dishes waiting out there for me…)



Overall, I’d give the potatoes an 8 and the wraps a 6 or 7.

I think I posted this in another post (somewhere) re the mushroom sauce. Using fresh mushroom, 3 cups was a perfect amount - halving and/or quartering them (not slicing), they are so bulky that 5 1/2 oz. really fills up a measuring cup.
Using canned mushrooms - wow, three cups would be probably five times too much!!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#13
  Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by labradors (Okay. Time to revie...)
I made the cauliflower mashed potatoes with the skinny meatloaf also. Thought they were a good alternative to regular mashed potatoes. My daughter couldn't even tell there was cauliflower in them until my hubby asked about it. Once she new the ingredients, she pushed them aside.

Hubby made the Italian "nachos" to go with the Italian chili. This was kind of funny. He notoriously cooks by time as much as I try to dissuade him. He had a whole baguette toasted and was broiling to finish off one half of the breads with the olive oil before adding the cheese. Well they all caught fire and were blazing away when I pointed it out to him. He's put them in and set the timer... Fortunately we had the other half of toasted bread to work with. They went well with the chili, but I agree with Labs... nothing special.

Didn't get around to trying the Mushroom sauce, Thai chicken wraps or the Boston Cream cupcakes.
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#14
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by HomeCulinarian (I made the cauliflow...)
I made the Skinny Meatloaf, Mashed Potatos/Cauliflower and Mushroom Sherry Sauce.

We really enjoyed this dinner and I could eat the Mushroom Sherry Sauce with a spoon. I used oats in the meatloaf instead of bread crumbs or panko. The potato cauliflower mash was ok, nothing special. I would have probably thought they were plain mashed potatos if I hadn't made them myself - especially with the sauce. It did get a vegetable into DPicky though. That's a great thing.

It was a pleasant meal.

Is there a difference between sauce and gravy?
Cory

I am not the model.
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#15
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by Corinne (I made the Skinny Me...)
"Is there a difference between sauce and gravy"

well, to be picky - gravy is made from meat juices or as simple as the juice (jus) left in the pan.

sauce - simplest definition is "...flavored liquid designed to accompany food to enchance or bring out its flavor. And here's a funny (?) addition to this - "In the days before refrigeration , sauces were more often used to smother the taste of food going bad..."
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#16
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by cjs ("Is there a differen...)
I made the Thai chicken skewer wraps and was fortunate enough to have all of the suggested ingredients---we really liked this dish only because we do not do Thai very often---nice change of pace and I always love something different (as long as the ingredients are palatable for Peter!!!)

I will make this again, for sure!!!!

We thought that the cauliflower/mashed potatoe is a different twist---we loved it with extra bit of garlic and a tad more of butter (sorry Jean!!!) But I cut back a bit on the buttermilk---nice change as well!!

I made the "nachos" ---these are very similar to the ones that I often make for a light lunch or as an appy for a brunch type thang!!! I thought they were quite good!

Now the Skinny Meatloaf---how on earth did I miss that recipe??? HINT!!! HINT!!!!

I did not do the cupcakes either----calorie counting in this part of the world. I have to keep DH at a weight that he (and I) are happy with----cut desserts and add more fruits---not a bad option!!

Thanks, labs---interesting menu!!! Fun adventure, for sure!! Meatloaf recipe???? ANYONE!!!! (I love skinny---in my former life!!!)
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
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#17
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by Roxanne 21 (I made the Thai chic...)
P.S.: The skinny meatloaf recipe was not posted with the rest of the "28th" recipes, since it wasn't part of the "28th" menu. That's why you "missed" it.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
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#18
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by labradors (P.S.: The skinny mea...)
It's posted for you, Roxanne -
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#19
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by Corinne (I made the Skinny Me...)
Quote:


Is there a difference between sauce and gravy?





$15.95 a plate

The only thing I made was the mushroom sherry sauce and I loved that! I somehow lost this whole review, and I was doing so well until this point. There's always next time.

PJ
PJ
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#20
  Re: Re: Jan 28th dinner: the reviews by pjcooks ([blockquote]Quote:[h...)
Stay with us, honey...
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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