May 6th, 2008

Stuff to serve with pizzettas

Hello. I'll be cooking for three omnivores tomorrow night. It's a week night, so I won't have tons of time to make something fancy. I'm planning on a salad and a few pizzettas with various toppings (Isa's tofu ricotta, pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, kalamata olives, roasted yellow peppers, spinach, etc.). I am also going to make a lemon "cheesecake". I feel like I need another element. Usually, I'd make some bread and a white bean spread and call it a day. However, since I'm doing pizza, I don't think bread would be a good choice. What side(s) do you think would go well with the menu I have planned? Bonus points for something that I can make the night before or can make quickly. I'll be home at 6:15, and they'll be arriving at 7:00! Also, I'm probably going to do a basic Greek salad unless you have a better idea. Thank you!

fiddlehead ferns

I went fiddlehead fern picking the other day with my friend. We got a pretty good haul (enough that I'm kicking myself for picking so many because now I have to get rid of their fuzzy scale things, which is a real pain in the butt)

So now I'm wondering what to do with them. I have some clues (sauteed in olive oil with a bit of garlic and pinch of salt) but am looking for more, as well as some basic tips in regards to cleaning and prep. How do you do it?
I've heard things about blanching once, blanching twice, and other random stuff, but nothing really solid.

I'm planning on cooking them up for my lady friend tomorrow with some thinly sliced red potatoes tossed in olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, and then baked. I'm trying to figure out another dish, and if you have any great inspiration, throw it at me!

But mostly, I'd love to hear about your fiddlehead creations.
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Paella

Last night I tried this recipe I got from a low GI veg*n cookbook. It wasn't a disaster or anything ... in fact it was actually not bad. I really liked how the tofu turned out and the combination of vegetables with the rice was very appealing. Plus I roasted the capsicums myself and they came out really yummy. However, their flavor was lost in the dish. Cooking the rice in the veg stock did give it a smidgen of flaver but overall the dish was just SO BLAND and BORING!!! I was super disappointed.

Ingredients for paella included:
red onions
basmati rice
peas
corn
roasted red and green capsicum
tofu
veg stock
tumeric
smoked paprika
pine nuts

The recipe called for saffron, but I didn't have any and instead used tumeric. I knew that tumeric would give the color but not the flavoring but surely the lack of saffron wouldn't make THAT much of a difference would it?

I added some lemon, which perked it up a bit but it was still boring.

My partner added chili powder to hers. I tried it and it wasn't too bad but still not really what I was looking for in this dish. I didn't want spicy, just flavorful. I considered adding curry powder, but again it didn't fit. Besides, I already have so many dishes with curry in them. This was supposed to be something different and new for us. We considered herbs, but vetoed that as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can perk up this dish? (I have leftovers) I'm in Brisbane so only stuff I can get in Australia please.

Thanks in advance for the ideas!!