Saturday, November 6, 2010
Baby pattypan squash, vegetable pancake redux, and a teaser
Last night I was tired and not feeling very adventurous, so after reading a few recipes, I ended up following the package directions and doing a simple saute.
Start by blanching the pattypans whole in boiling water for one minute, then rinse under cold water to stop them cooking. You can leave them for a while now, while you prepare the rest of the meal. Then, just before you're ready to eat, put them in a medium-hot skillet with a little Earth Balance or olive oil, and saute just until they're hot again and beginning to brown in spots. It's a nice, uncomplicated way to have them. Now, less tired after a night's sleep, I'm wondering what they would look like in a clear soup or a stew...
What do they taste like? Pretty much exactly like young zucchini, only the texture is a bit crisper. Raw, they have that same slightly creamy-bitter aftertaste that zucchini has, but if you like zucchini, you will like these.
Over the last few days I've again accumulated bits and ends of things, including some leftover Vegan Brunch omelet mix, not enough for a whole omelet, though, so what I ended up doing was adding some flour, water, and (thanks, Katharine) a pinch of baking powder, and trying the vegetable pancake again.
Here are the vegetables in the pan:
Beech mushrooms, the last of the mo qua, orange sweet pepper, one serrano chili. Lightly stir fry just until they begin to soften:
Pour on the batter and cook covered on medium heat until the bottom is golden and the top is set. This was one large pancake so I used the inverted plate method to flip it (wear oven mitts, as I have learned to my cost in the past). Now continue to cook, uncovered this time, until the bottom is golden too, and you're done. The batter mix worked well; as you can see I used more vegetables than last time, so unless I had actually deep-fried it, crispy all over would be too much to ask of it. It was a big soft fluffy delicious pancake, though.
I was so clever and on the other side of this pancake, the one currently frying, I had placed thin slices of lotus root just before the batter was set. Maybe you can see some of that lotus root action in the finished plate (yes, I know, it would have been easier to see if I hadn't topped the whole dish with blanched snow peas, radishes, sweet millions, and green onions, but I can't seem to resist vegetable sprinkles); it's the slice nearest the top. Anyway, that was fun and I'll be trying for better photos of it in the future:
A yummy, healthy meal. Pancakes and frittatas, or a bit of a mix like this one, are a wonderful way to use leftovers.
Now, lest you're thinking, "Busy day, all tired, sure--she's run out of ideas/nerve/enthusiasm," let me tell you that my friend Fi has caught the spirit of my MoFo project and yesterday brought me various items she doesn't know the English names for but that she uses all the time and that look, to me, awfully strange. We had a big talk about Chinese herbal soups and a dish called Buddha's chicken that her Buddhist Japanese mother-in-law used to make with sheets of yuba and sesame oil, so my quest for today is to identify all this stuff if I can and find some way to use it:
...and see about that "chicken" recipe. Wish me luck!