Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mashed Cauliflower (p. 267), Baked Eggplant Slices (p. 273), and Filled Savory Crepes (p. 649)

Now this was a strange day where I cooked a bizarre mixture of foods...and found my first error in TJOC. Now, I am inclined to believe that it was my problem in cooking, not the problem of the book but I truly don't know what I could have done wrong...

What was this recipe? Mashed Cauliflower (p. 267). My problem? How in the world is a cauliflower, even one cut into florets, to cook in about 1 inch of broth with no cover? It was never going to cook! So I placed a cover over it. I didn't want to add more liquid because you never drain the cauliflower and I was afraid that it would get goopy (yes, that's a technical term). Has anyone else made this or does anyone else have any recommendations?

It was good. I think in a certain way, that mashed cauliflower is better than mashed potatoes because the cauliflower has a stronger flavor than potatoes. I doubt I'll make it again, but it was okay.

Here is a picture of the mashed cauliflower after it went through the world's smallest food processor. In real life, it doesn't look like a mixture of scrambled eggs and rice pudding.

Oh eggplant. How I fear you. I just found out, after making Baked Eggplant Slices (p. 273) that apparently I'm supposed to be "sweating" the eggplant. TJOC talks about sweating the eggplant like it's a option, not a necessity, so I have not done it so far. Does everyone else do this?

The baked eggplant was decent, but strange. The first bite wasn't good at all. The second bite was better. By the time that I finished a couple slices, I liked the flavor. Now you could ask why I kept eating the slices and I couldn't tell you the answer to that. I am guessing that it is the same reason that people like Napoleon Dynamite (everyone says that they didn't like it the first time, it took a couple watchings. I've always wondered why you would watch it more than once if you didn't like it...).

I suppose that I will have to learn more about eggplant, I have 5 more eggplant recipes to make...

Well, they look tasty. But zucchini is ::gasp:: better...

The main dish of the night was Savory Crepes (p. 649) that were filled with ham and cheese (p. 649). Delicious! Josh's mom makes crepes all the time and they are terrific. She always seems to whip them up in about ten minutes, which was a skill that I wanted to gain.

What can I tell you about crepe-making? It takes practice but it isn't difficult. If you've been scared in the past of making crepes because you think it will be hard, just open up your copy of TJOC and try it. They are delicious--even with nothing in them. I can tell that crepes are going to become a common part of our meals...

To sum it up, you make the crepe batter, full the crepe, roll it up, and bake it again. I used store-bought ham and sharp Cheddar cheese and they were awesome! Josh also said that they heated up really well when he took a couple for lunch, which is always important in our household. TJOC says that crepes can be frozen, so I should make a whole bunch of them and keep them in the freezer (sounds like a good weekend task).

A crepe in the pan is worth two in the bush?

Unlike blintzes, which you don't need to flip, you do have to flip crepes. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better.

3 happy crepes, nestled up against each other.

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