Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Do-over needed with tonight's choices...

Over the years I have been pretty good at picking and choosing what recipes I end up making and have had very few duds. Tonight though, was certainly the exception! Fair warning... It's not that they were inedible, they just didn't do much for us and I would not make them again.

Tonight's side dish, Brussels Sprouts with Sherry-Asiago Cream Sauce, was the better of the two though. I knew it was not going to go over well already with Jeff, as he has never really cared much for Brussels sprouts - but I keep trying. As the Brussels sprouts steam, a thick sauce is made from shallots, milk, dry sherry and Asiago. The sauce was actually pretty rich, tasty and smooth when it was right out of the pot, but it began to get a little pasty after sitting for just a couple minutes. While I did think the total package was not bad, I would probably choose something else if I were to look the recipe over again.

Dinner, Cellophane Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing, sounded better on paper than it turned out. I think the "Peanut Dressing" is a little misleading as some chopped peanuts are just thrown into the salad after it's put together. I think a spicy Thai peanut sauce or something might be a better choice as a dressing. While I like five-spice powder, it didn't seem to taste right with the combination of the other ingredients in the dressing as well. The salad part of the recipe was not too bad, until the cellophane noodles came into play. I've never used bean threads before, so I didn't know what to expect. They just immediately seemed to be a gelatinous clump after they were cooked - the dressing did loosen them some, but not as much as I hoped. The recipe calls for boiling them for 1 minute, but maybe they should be prepared another way? I did have to make one substitute, the original recipe called for Bok Choy, but the ones in the market I went to just looked terrible, so I ended up just using shredded hearts of romaine. I did finish mine, but Jeff only ate about half - we'll see if the leftovers turn out any better after sitting overnight. I don't particularly care for how it presented either...


  1. Did you try stirring the noodles when you boiled them? Also, I'd advise spooning a few tablespoons of dressing on them immediately after you boil them to loosen them up; progressively add more dressing and *then* mix in the salad?

    It's worth a shot.

    -- Miriam

  2. hi jeff, don't despair! by coincidence i made cellophane noodles tonight ("mung bean vermicelli" on pkg.) it's a pesky little thing to cook, because it can easily become lumpy or stringy and tough. that's why they're left boiling forever in the hotpot, while people chug beer or get lost in an impromptu karaoke contest:-D anyway i've been soaking them for ~20 min before boiling in miso-veggie soup. The Lump (aka McQueen Jr.) can be alleviated by cutting up into manageable bites with a scissor beforehand, after it's softened enough. i also do the same cutting up with rice noodles/sticks.

    addicted reader,

  3. p.s. sorry, i meant "joe"!

    (there's a subliminal effect going on here...)

  4. Miriam - I did stir them, but the recipe only calls to boil them for a minute.

  5. It's funny how you can develop a sense of what will work and what won't for the most part - but there are always those duds that just don't work for whatever reason.

    Brussel sprouts - I suppose I should give them a try again. Some day....

    For today though, I'm off to make the Cran-Apple muffins you posted a while back. No dud there, I'm sure. :)

  6. Yummy... brussel sprouts, I haven't had those in awhile.