Thursday, May 27, 2010

Menu planning like it's the dead of winter

As the title suggests, we did a weird job planning our menu this week: pesto linguine (with almost our whole entire basil plant), a very rich bread pudding, and a hearty potato, leek, and bean stew with biscuits.

Asparagus Bread Pudding
Kristen has made this one once or twice, but this was my first attempt.

It had a couple of things I liked and a couple I didn't. The gruyere and dill were perfect, and the bread bakes with this crisp chewy top layer that is up there with the burnt edges of a lasagna. As some of the comments on Heidi's site say, the asparagus were way overcooked in the oven. I'm not entirely sure how to remedy this. We have tried both black olives and mushrooms and the olive version was definitely superior. Also, I would maybe pull back on the liquid a little bit next time, enough to moisten the bread but not enough to make it soggy (although it is supposed to be bread pudding, what do I know)

Leek and White Bean Cassoulet
Another one from Veganomicon: At this point I feel pretty comfortable saying, best cookbook ever.

After an unnecessarily long day of work yesterday, I actually really enjoyed cooking this big overcomplicated stew (and eating it wasn't bad either). I did not however enjoy stopping everything to drive to the store for corn starch when I realized half way through that we didn't have any.

The flavors were spot on, with a super savory taste from the leeks and a heaping tablespoon of fresh thyme from our balcony garden predominating. We didn't have any earth balance (and I'm guessing I probably won't buy it again any time soon) so I used unsalted butter. Here is the thing though -- unsalted butter is much less salty than buttery flavor EB -- add salt! Also please don't disrespect me real vegans, I am but a hobbyist.

Couple notes for myself for next time: smaller biscuits will probably cook up a little better. And this should've been obvious, but undercook the potatoes slightly because they'll finish in the oven.


  1. my friend sarah and I made that biscuit topped thing recently. it was good, but unnecessarily complicated if you ask me.

  2. I agree... kinda wish I'd just made biscuits to go on the side of my stew. It was fun though