27 June 2010

an exciting disaster

Oh readers, let me tell you a tale of two thirds fail. My second Boston Organics delivery was chock full of vegetables I'd never really cooked with before, and I was ready for the challenge. But some challenges remind you that life is full of setbacks, and the important thing is to keep on going.

So everything started okay. I had some potatoes from a shopping trip that needed to get used up, so I threw them on the boil. I mean the basics of mashed potatoes are pretty easy, right? Boil the potatoes until they're soft, with or without skin, then mash into a bowl with milk/cream, cheese maybe and salt & pepper.

From the Boston Organics order, I had a bunch of spinach, which I chopped and simmered in olive oil with an orange pepper and some onions. Then I sort of saw the eggplant of the corner of my eye and decided to throw that in. I skinned it, sort of squared it (cut the sides off some it was moderately rectangular), and then cubed it. I had done this for a nut loaf before, and liked the way it looked. But that wasn't where the fail came in -- because I hate dry/rubbery eggplant, I decided I should add some veggie stock to make it juicy. It did that, I guess. But mostly, it just made it taste like soup. The most boring soup you've ever had.

You may have noticed that I shied away from explaining further about the mashed potato, well, no, that was not the 1/3 win. I also had a beet handy. I've posted my beet salad before -- oh wait! i haven't! i must do that! -- but I wasn't ready for anything quite so sweet. So, yeah, I boiled up a beet and threw it in the mash, which made it this ludicrous pink. It didn't mash as well as the potato, probably need another twenty minutes longer if it would ever get that way. And THEN I ADDED HAZELNUTS. Le sigh. Awful idea. Great with potato salad, but there is nothing great about hard nuts in your mashed potato, because even though you know what's in there, every time you bite down on the nut you just get this idea that the potatoes didn't cook enough. Awful.

However, the meal was saved by the asparagus. It was beautiful, a great mix between thin and thick, and I copied a recipe Nicole told me over drinks -- brush them with olive oil, salt & pepper, then broil in the oven for 15 mins. I also took the liberty of adding some secret seasoning. I'm not gonna lie, they were AMAZING. Anyone baking asparagus instead of broiling or grilling is a fool. There, I said it.

Anyway, I look forward to righting the wrongs I inflicted on these innocent vegetables in the future. Thanks for listening.

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