So we decided to throw an unbirthday hangout. Not quite a party, but food, board games, movies, etc. When I mentioned the menu, Becca and Rebekah were amazed that I could put these things together so fast, so I figured I’d elaborate.
*NOTE* All measures are approximate. I don’t usually measure, unless I’m planning on sharing a recipe.
Mock-turtle split pea soup:
Take ~1lb split peas, dump in crock pot. Add itallian seasoning, bullion, preminced garlic, a few drops of lemon juice and enough water to a bit more than cover it. Turn crockpot to low for 8 hours.
Time taken: ~5 minutes, counting finding where the hell the bullion got put.
Grow me/shrink me mushrooms:
wipe mushrooms off with a paper towel to remove dirt. De stem, putting the whole mushrooms on a sprayed, foil lined tray. Chop the stems (and any broken mushrooms) into a pan and saute with itallian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and enough bread crumbs to make everything stick together. While that cooks, put ricotta cheese into whole mushrooms (in our case, soy ricotta. Yes, it exists! Toufutti makes it! It’s not exactly like good ricotta, but once melted, it’s delicious). By then, the mushrooms should be cooked. Put the sauted mushrooms over the ricotta, spray edges of mushrooms with cooking spray, put in the oven (350 until they look dark)
Time: ~8 minutes
Mad Hatter’s Veggie casserole:
I have a mandoline (not to be confused with the musical instrument), and I’m not afraid to use it.
Spray a casserole dish. Slice on mandoline a potato, put that on the bottom. Sprinkle with a bit of itallian seasoning. Slice a zucchini coins into the dish. Spread that out. Sprinkle with a bit of itallian seasoning. Slice up fresh garlic if you have any (I thought I did, but apparently used it all up again, oops!). Slice a summer squash coins into the dish. Spread that out. Sprinkle with a bit of itallian seasoning. Slice a tomato (not on the mandolin, unless it’s REALLY firm. I tried that once, it was a mess!!), deseed. Spread that out. Sprinkle with a bit of itallian seasoning. repeat until your dish is full (I did twice, but my pan is sorta small. A third time probably would be nice). Sprinkle a bit of salt/pepper over the whole thing, and give it a round of olive oil. Put in oven @350 until the potatoes are cooked. (I didn’t time them, alas. I’d guess about an hour to two, flipping the tomatoes on top if they start looking too crunchy on the edges.) When serving, sprinkle with cheese of your choice (I’m going to use this artichoke soft cheese spread)
Time: 10-15 minutes.
Obviously, these things take longer to actually cook than assemble.
Make mashed potatoes, however you normally go about it (I dice potatoes and add them to water I set to boil before I started chopping, cook, drain, then add salt, pepper, butter, and a bit of (soy) sour cream and mash them up). Put dollops of it into a muffin tin. When it’s almost time for the party, spray the tops with cooking spray, and bake @425 until the tops are crispy/golden. (Takes about 10 minutes of actual hands on time, the rest is waiting for the water to boil/potatoes to cook).
See! Not that time consuming! It does help having things like the mandoline to do the thin/fast chopping. For the non-vegetarians, I’ll cook up some bacon or proscuito to add to the soup in their bowls (We have two vegetarians, one person with food allergies that is basically vegan+meat, and my omnivore self tonight!), and there are a bunch of little things that I’ll be able to mix in for the tea sandwiches later… Fruit and cheese, meat and cheese, veggies and cheese, meat and veggies, fruit and meat… Yeah. I get into party cooking!
Serve with tea from tea pots, with the movies playing in the background. Wheee!