Tuesday 1 November 2011

A Snack Meal

Sometimes you don’t feel like a proper meal; sometimes you’d just like to collapse in front of the TV and have nibbles while you sit and stare at the screen.

This was one of those nights.

Horseradish-Sesame Rice Balls with Cucumber
from Red Hot and Green, Janet Hazen, Chronicle Books, 1996.

A book that’s all about cooking vegetarian food with hot ingredients such as ginger, mustard, peppercorns, horseradish and chillies suits me fine. The book is divided into sections according to the heat ingredient used. All that’s left is to ensure that the recipes come up to the anticipation.

These rice balls are not difficult to make—just a little on the fiddly side. First you cook the rice. Then add the flavourings: teriyaki sauce and horseradish. Next comes the messy stage: forming the sticky rice into balls and pressing cucumber bits into the centre. To finish, roll the balls in sesame seeds and place in the fridge to set.

I found the balls to be nicely flavoured though a little on the heavy side. They’re fine for a nibble before a meal or when friends arrive for drinks, but one should do it. I suspect I could have increased the amount of horseradish.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

Mushroom Pâté on Melba Toast
from Commonsense Vegetarian, Murdoch Books, 2011.

This is a useful pâté. It keeps reasonably well for a while in the fridge and if you want a fairly cheap spread then this will serve well.

As usual Commonsense Vegetarian comes through with a recipe that well suits the book's name. It’s easy to make. It works well. It tastes good. I must try some more recipes from this book.

All that is required is to cook the mushrooms and flavourings. When they are cooled they are blended in the processor with almonds, parsley, thyme and cream. It is then set in the fridge for a few hours.

On thin melba toast it is a tasty snack.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Peanut Masala
From The New Tastes of India, Das Sreedharan, Headline, 2001.
Peanuts always make a good nibble dish. This recipe sounded a little dicey to me because it sounded as though the peanuts would be wet. My fears were unfounded as the dish worked out quite dry, sufficient to dip your fingers in to pick up the nuts.

I had not used this recipe book prior to this but it looked as though there might be some worthwhile items in it. A glance through the pages revealed some ingredients that were not obtainable at all, such as drumsticks. This caught my eye because it is a vegetarian recipe book but it turned out to be a particular type of vegetable.

The peanut masala only needed the peanuts to be dry roasted in a frying pan. They are then mixed with the remaining ingredients—and it’s all ready.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Eggplant Salad (Melitzanosalata)
from À la Grecque: our Greek table, Pam Talimanidis, Hardie Grant Books, 2009.

While this is called a salad it seems to be more like a dip or spread to be used with bread. I guess it could be used alongside another dish as an accompanying vegetable. Whichever way you choose to use it, it is very tasty.

The recipes in this book all come with an introductory comment as well as giving some details on the dish and some hints about the cooking or preparation.

There’s not much work involved in this melitzanosalata. The eggplant needs to be cooked on a barbecue until it is soft. I cooked it under a grill in the oven. It was then peeled and drained in a colander. It was chopped and had garlic, parsley and olive oil added before it was whisked and then had crumbs of feta added.

Easy to make and a satisfying appetiser.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔ 

As some of these books may be out of print if anyone would like a particular recipe, email me (alfcooksvege@ozemail.com.au) and I’ll send an abbreviated version. Of course, the whole book would be better; it’s loaded with other goodies.

No comments:

Post a Comment