Cold Noodles with Tomatoes

It’s cherry tomato season in my garden. So when I saw this recipe in the New York times for a cold noodle soup with oodles of cherry tomatoes, I was intrigued. I added marinated Asian tofu from Veganomicon to add some protein.

The soup was very easy to make, but underwhelming. I didn’t like the flavor of the broth, though I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with it. I won’t make this again.

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant Parmesan. I usually make my mother’s vegan version of the recipe. But I felt like trying something new, so I tried a recipe I found on the ny times. I used vegan Parmesan, which worked well. But the recipe had issues. The big issue was that there just wasn’t enough sauce. It calls for 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes. I think it probably needs 1.5x or 2x that. The other issue was that the eggplant didn’t get cooked all the way through, but since my oven is broken, I’m not going to blame the recipe for this. I was able to fix it by pouring tomato sauce over the dish, covering it, and cooking it on the stove until it was cooked through. It made a little mess, but was quite yummy. I honestly think I could make eggplant parmesan without using the oven. And since I really try not to use my oven in he summer, that is quite an appealing prospect. I’m going to try it an report back. I also want to experiment with a gluten free replacement for the breadcrumbs. Lots to try.

Asparagus Frittata

A few weeks back I was getting ready to leave for a trip and needed to use up the asparagus from my garden before I left. I’d be doing a lot to get ready for the trip and didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. Thus, I was intrigued by this quick recipe for an asparagus frittata that called for broiling instead of baking. Alas, in this case you get what you wait for. Speeding up the cooking process under the broiler technically worked, but the result was much less enjoyable than a baked version. The timing on this recipe was a big issue and in order to fully cook the center it was necessary to dry out the top. I can’t imagine cooking for the upper end provided (10 minutes). Even the 8 I used was dubious. It ended up not quite burned, but very dry. The recipe only called for 4 eggs so this was a pretty thin frittata as well, not my preference.

I’d say if you’re in a big pinch you can use the broiler to cook your frittata. But unless you’re in a mealtime crisis, use the regular oven method.

Quick and Easy Braised Tofu (Hongshao Dofu)

I found the instructions for this recipe really confusing. I feel fairly confident that if I had figured out the instructions, the result would have been pretty good. But as I made it I ended up with burned crumbly tofu, mushy vegetables, and little sauce.

The core problem was that the recipe said to turn down the pan to medium while cooking the tofu if it took you more than a minute to flip it all. I did that, but the tofu didn’t actually end up cooked, and then later crumbled once I added the veggies. In trying to compensate for this, I ended up overcooking the veggies. Then I tried to fix it by taking out the veggies and cooking the tofu further, but the tofu burned and all the sauce evaporated.

The flavor wasn’t bad but everything else was a mess. I might try making this again, but I just don’t see how it’s possible for the tofu to fully cook in one minute.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole

Growing up I didn’t like sweet potatoes. And I don’t like marshmallows. So I’ve never really been into sweet potato casserole. But recently I got some sweet potato casserole at a grocery store hot bar and really enjoyed it. So I thought I’d try making the dish for Thanksgiving. I wanted to make a version without marshmallows and my friend is gluten free. It took my a while to find a recipe with a topping that fit the bill, and this recipe from the New York Times looked like the best option.

But it wasn’t good. It was way way too sweet. The orange juice, which seemed like a good idea, just added more unwanted sweetness. And the brown sugar in the topping was basically like eating candy. We barely ate it.

Fresh Corn Polenta with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes

Well here we are again old friend. It’s me and a polenta (i.e. grits) recipe. Of course I’m going to make it. This particular recipe is from page 126 of Fresh Food Fast. I thought the idea of making polenta from fresh corn instead of traditional dried polenta was interesting. What I learned? Fresh Corn Polenta is not polenta. It wasn’t bad per say. But it wasn’t at all what I was expecting or looking for. I love fresh corn. Honestly, I’d rather it fresh corn in salad and leave the polenta to the regular dried variety.

Warm Chickpea Salad with Shallots and Red Wine Vinaigrette

This recipe from page 65 of Fresh Food Fast was fine, but not good enough to make again. Between the amount of shallots and the amount of vinegar in the recipe, it was too sharp for me. I cut the olive oil down from the 1/3 cup called for by Berley to 3 tbsp. As usual I used dry beans instead of canned.