When I see a recipe like the “Mushroom & Hazelnut Loaf,” from greenkitchenstories.
com, I’ll always think, “Here’s something to do with my leftover Chinese-takeout rice!” Don’t expect a meaty loaf here; this one is dry, crunchy, and would benefit from a sauce. It’s a celebration of mushrooms and hazelnuts, and that alone might be reason enough to try it.
I poured a generous amount of olive oil into my frying pan, as the nuts and mushrooms readily soaked it all up. After adding the herbs, I also added 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Instead of using soy milk, I used buttermilk. This seemed fine. The recipe asks for “lemon pepper” to be added to the egg/milk/leftover rice mixture, but I tossed in 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and a small splash of lemon juice. I coated my loaf pan with vegetable shortening.
While the resulting loaf was too dry, as I said, my young child actually liked it. I preferred to eat cool slices of the leftovers, with a smear of mayo and sriracha hot-chili sauce.
Take a look at the recipe for “Mark’s Yam and Acorn Squash Holiday Casserole,” from allrecipes.com. I regarded this as a challenging mix of ingredients, weird and curious. I didn’t know what to expect, really.
First, I baked the squash and yam for 45 minutes, until they were very soft (too soft). Next, I made the wacky sauce. One whole cup of balsamic vinegar is a lot, though the recipe asks us to reduce the sauce by half in the saucepan. This amount of balsamic vinegar turns the whole casserole on unappealing brown color. Instead of apricot jam, I used peach jam. Then, in went other crazy ingredients: pomegranate juice, roasted peppers, garlic, ginger, Chinese five-spice powder. And that’s not all! I then stirred in white rice flour (!) and coconut milk. What’s going on here?!
As a final display of outrageousness, the casserole is then topped with chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and basil leaves. Whew. By this time, I admitted that this recipe experiment would not be easily accepted by my diners. The odd, soupy mix may have been more likable had it been thicker. It was too tangy, due to all that balsamic vinegar. Dave and my young child did not like this. They barely dared to taste it. Oh well. Try to turn this recipe into something we could eat.
Hazelnuts (7 oz.) = $3.06
Leek (7 oz.) = $1.14
Acorn Squash (1) = $1.50
Yam (1) = $1.33
RECIPES: a meal from the vegetarian outfield
PREP TIMES: eat the loaf after more than an hour of prep and cooking; the kooky casserole also needs at least an hour
TASTES: hazelnuts are wonderful, but are too dry in a loaf without a sauce; sweet squash and yam are not enhanced by tangy vinegar
Now let’s get a grip and regain our recipe sanity. Next time, I will cook “Maple Apple Turkey Burgers,” inspired by allrecipes.com. I’ll also make the “Broccoli Cheese Casserole,” from simplyrecipes.com. See my meal when you come back to my site on Friday, January 28.