DDD #43 – Vegan Fish Tempura Sushi Rolls

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

6-15-15 (39)

6-15-15 (49)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

Click the image below to watch the video.

gardein_frz_FishlessFilet_US_Sm-225x238

When I went to Dallas in 2015 to MC an event for the Humane League there – everyone kept talking about how awesome these vegan fish sticks are.  So – I bought some as soon as I got home.  My first effort with them was these vegan fish tacos.

6-15-15 (18)

They were delicious!   The fish sticks are triangle-shaped and almost as large as the palm of my hand – and they have 90 calories each.  I am a huge fan.

So – I got it in my head that I wanted sushi.  My first thought was to make tempura chicken with Beyond Meat chicken & tempura batter but I discovered that I had no tempura batter & then I decided I didn’t want to fry anything, anyway.  Then these guys jumped into my mind!  So – while these are not fish & not in tempura batter – they are breaded & they made an excellent substitute.

I buy my nori at Bangluch Market because it costs about $1.25 for a package where Gelson’s charges almost $5 – so I recommend looking in ethnic stores for ethnic supplies.  I bought the fresh ginger & wasabi at Gelson’s.

6-15-15 (53)

6-15-15 (59)

6-15-15 (65)

Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS salt

Put the rice & water in a pan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Let the rice cool & then mix in the other ingredients.

6-15-15 (40)

6-15-15 (41)

6-15-15 (56)

Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Gardein fishless fillets (or other brand) – cooked according to package instructions

Carrots – cut into sticks

Daikon – cut into sticks

Cucumber – cut into sticks (I forgot to use mine)

Avocado – sliced

Nori sheets

Sesame seeds – white & black

Wasabi, ginger & soy sauce for dipping.

6-15-15 (29)

6-15-15 (30)

6-15-15 (31)

6-15-15 (32)

6-15-15 (33)

6-15-15 (34)

6-15-15 (35)

DIRECTIONS

Get all your ingredients ready.  Press some rice onto the nori – leaving about an inch on one end uncovered.  Layer the ingredients & roll tightly.  Wet the naked end of the nori with water on your fingertips.  roll until the seam side is down & rub the roll back & forth on the counter a few times to better seal the seam.  Cut with a sharp wet knife.

Serve with ginger & wasabi & soy sauce & a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

6-15-15 (47)

6-15-15 (61)

6-15-15 (84)

DDD #41 – Vegan Vietnamese Fresh Salad Rolls with Homemade Peanut Dipping Sauce

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

Click the image below to watch the video.

Vegan Vietnamese Fresh Salad Rolls

Ingredients:

FILLING OPTIONS:

  • 1 package vermicelli rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • Tofu or other protein
  • Basil – fresh (Thai sweet or hot basil is nice, too, if you can find it)
  • Mint – fresh
  • Cilantro – fresh
  • Butter lettuce, washed and separated into leaves – ribs removed
  • Carrots, peeled & cut into very thin matchsticks
  • Cucumber, peeled and cut into very thin strips
  • Avocado
  • Purple cabbage
  • Bell pepper strips
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Sprouts
  • Micro greens
 Be sure you have the type of wrappers pictured below (or another brand) and not egg roll or wonton wrappers.  Those are an entirely different breed & need cooking.

Directions:

Prepare the noodles & vegetables in advance – being sure they are washed & dried.  Have a large bowl of warm water ready for dipping the spring roll wrappers.
  • 1  Dip a sheet of spring roll wrapper into water very quickly, no longer than a second or two (or they will get too soggy) and lay flat on a work surface.
  • 2  On one edge, lay a small handful of noodles, some basil & mint leaves, some pressed tofu, some cucumber & carrot strips, purple cabbage, avocado & some micro greens (or whatever fillings you are using) – being careful not to overstuff the wrapper.
  • 3  Roll up burrito style, tucking in the sides, then continue to roll up-but not too tightly or the spring roll wrapper will tear.
You will, no doubt, need a few attempts to get one right. Be patient – it gets easier.  Be prepared to throw a bunch away or to settle for some funky shaped rolls!  They should be served fairly quickly after preparing them. Too much time in the fridge after assembly will dry them out. These can be filled with nearly anything so feel free to get creative!

You can BUY a spicy peanut sauce in a jar or can at most Asian markets or online (for example – http://www.lynmarket.com/proddetail.asp?prod=011152198903).  They are usually quite good, but, if you are feeling motivated –

Peanut Sauce Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter – smooth or chunky
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBS low sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • cilantro, crushed nuts or a swirl of sriracha for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine
  2. Garnish with a squeeze of sriracha or nuts or cilantro

Of not in the mood to make sauce – many options are available at the store.

Vegan Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Grilled Eggplant, Mushrooms & Spinach

2 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

5-25-16 (86)

5-25-16 (79)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

5-25-16 (60)

5-25-16 (84)

5-25-16 (97)

Everybody has had stuffed cabbage but, typically, it is stuffed with a mix of meat & rice.  This recipe uses neither – though you could add some – if you wanted to.  This recipe is more rustic & lighter.   No carbs.  No animal products.  Just loads of veggies & sauce!   I had grilled eggplant in the fridge – leftover from a night of Grilled & Baked Eggplant Pizza Towers with Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Chiffonade – seen below.

6-22-15-1

If you have a grill pan or a grill where you can easily grill the eggplant – I recommend it because it adds a smokey char to the dish that is lovely – though not necessary.  If grilling the eggplant first sounds like a pain in the ass – blow it off & just cut your eggplant into small cubes

Grilled Eggplant

INGREDIENTS

1 eggplant – sliced into rounds

Olive oil or some kind of oil & vinegar salad dressing

DIRECTIONS

Dredge the eggplant through the olive oil or dressing & grill (either on a grill or in a grill pan) –  just to get some grill marks on them & cook out some moisture.  I did it on the grill & it took about 5-7 minutes – flipping the slices occasionally.  You can do this on your burners on the stove or in a grill pan or on a real grill – with or without oiling the slices.

5-25-16 (3)

5-25-16 (50)

5-25-16 (54)

5-25-16 (71)

UPDATE – after eating this for lunch – at dinner – I wanted something more substantial.  So – I added a bag of Beyond Meat crumbles & some grated cheese to the top before I reheated these guys.  AMAZING!

Vegan Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Grilled Eggplant, Mushrooms & Spinach

Serves 4 very well

INGREDIENTS

1 head cabbage (I used Napa but any kind will work

Olive oil

1 eggplant – either grilled as outlined above or not – and, either way, cubed

1/2 lb mushrooms – sliced or chopped

2 tomatoes – diced

1 onion – diced

2 stalks green garlic or 1-4 garlic cloves – chopped

2+ cups fresh spinach

1 TBS dry parsley

1 TBS dry oregano

Crushed red pepper (to taste)

S&P

2-3 cups pasta sauce (homemade or jarred)

Fresh basil as garnish

OPTION – vegan or fresh mozzarella baked on top of these might be nice.  I opted not to use any – in an effort to keep these very healthy – but I bet it would compliment this dish nicely.  Additionally – adding some faux beef crumbles on top or underneath the rolls makes this dish more substantial.

beefybagv3highresrgb

5-25-16 (65)

5-25-16 (75)

5-25-16 (4)

5-25-16 (16)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Boil a large pot of water – deep enough for the head of cabbage.  Remove the cabbage core & drop the head into boiling water – whole.  With tongs – pluck out each leaf as it becomes tender & plunge into a bowl of ice water.

5-25-16 (6)

5-25-16 (7)

5-25-16 (15)

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.   Add the onions, mushrooms, tomatoes & eggplant.  Saute until the vegetables get tender.  Add garlic & spinach & stir until the spinach wilts.  Add the oregano, parsley, S&P and crushed red pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.

5-25-16 (9)

5-25-16 (11)

5-25-16 (13)

5-25-16 (14)

5-25-16 (17)

Spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan.  Place a cabbage leaf on a kitchen towel & scoop a few TBS of filling into it & roll it up.  I did not really bother with the ends but if you are good at making closed ends – knock yourself out.  Place in the casserole pan – seam-side down.  Continue until all the filling is used up.  Season the rolls with S&P.

5-25-16 (20)

Top with sauce – as much as suits your taste.  You might want t reserve some to add – warmed – to the finished rolls.  Bake for about 40 minutes.   Serve with additional warm sauce – if you like – and some fresh basil.

5-25-16 (26)

5-25-16 (33)

5-25-16 (46)

5-25-16 (52)

5-25-16 (80)

5-25-16 (88)

Vegan Crab California Rolls – Sushi

6 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

5-4-16 (17)

5-4-16 (40)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

5-4-16 (18)

5-4-16 (19)

5-3-16 (68)

Yesterday, I posted my Vegan Hearts of Palm Crab Salad (seen just above) – fully intending to make these California rolls with it and – today – I did!  California rolls are no mystery & this is just a suggested way to use the crab salad.

If your local market makes sushi or carries fresh sushi – they usually sell extra wasabi & ginger there, too.  That is where I get mine.  Powdered wasabi (that you add water to) is also good but just buying it ready to go is cheap & easy so – why the fuck not?

I buy the nori at my local Thai market because they charge under $2 for a package & Gelson’s charges closer to $5.  Same for the sushi rice.  Ethnic foods are – typically – WAY less expensive in ethnic markets than they are in the ethnic aisles of your local grocery store – so – look into that option (if saving money appeals to you).  Indian markets & Asian markets & Hispanic markets are great resources for rices & spices at drastically discounted prices.  Just FYI.

Sushi rice is shorter than most other common rices but I think you can make sushi rice with any rice.  I used the stuff you see below.

5-3-16 (20)

5-3-16 (78)

As to the filling of a California roll – I went pretty traditional – using the vegan crab, avocado and cucumber – and I added carrots.  This is absolutely not a science so do what suits you.

Sushi Rice

2 cups rice – washed until the water runs clear

3 cups water

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (I like less sugar but this is a matter of taste)

5-3-16 (80)

DIRECTIONS

Put the rice in the water & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Wrapping the lid of the pan in a kitchen towel creates a tighter seal & cooks the rice more quickly but be careful not to set the towel on fire.  When it is done – transfer to a large bowl, fluff & allow to cool.

(Photo stolen from Google)

Allrecipes-How-To-Cook-Rice-7

Heat the vinegar & stir in the sugar & salt.  Stir until the salt & sugar dissolve.  Allow to cool.

When the rice is cool – stir in the vinegar & mix it in well.  Store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  I actually like the rice room-temp, so I leave it out before I use it – but this is just my preference.

5-3-16 (81)

5-4-16 (10)

5-4-16 (42)

5-4-16 (46)

California Rolls 

INGREDIENTS

Cooked sushi rice

Nori sheets

Vegan crab (see link above)

Avocado – sliced

Carrot – cut into long matchsticks

Cucumber – cut into long matchsticks

GARNISH – wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, black and/or white sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

I don’t use a sushi roller mat.  I just free-form it.  HERE are a bunch of videos & other technique options you might like to try.

I do it near the sink with cool water running.  Sticky rice is, indeed, sticky & will stick to everything.  The water helps rinse it off.

Put the shiny side of the nori down & pack some rice onto it.  Go light.  I went heavy & my rolls were huge (in girth) and messy to eat.  You can probably go more sparse with the rice than you guess – just leave about 1-inch clean on one end.

Layer the other ingredients in there & roll it.  Wet that clean inch with wet fingers & roll over that to close to roll.  Leave it resting on the seam as you roll any others you might be making.

Slice with a wet, sharp knife.

Garnish as you will & eat!

5-4-16 (6)

5-4-16 (7)

5-4-16 (8)

5-4-16 (9)

5-4-16 (11)

5-4-16 (31)

5-4-16 (35)

5-4-16 (25)

Vegan Cabbage Cake (Stuffed Cabbage Tower)

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

IMG_7029

IMG_7056

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

IMG_7016

I had cabbage & I had a desire for some old school comfort food.  I was Googling around looking for inspiration & saw this thing of beauty by Proud Italian Cook:

unmolded-cabbage-1

sauced-cab-sliced

Both my friend, Rose, and I were blown away & both swore to make it immediately.  And we both did.  I think she stuck with the original recipe but I had to make it vegan & make it before work – including going to the store to buy a different kind of cabbage – Savoy cabbage – so I could get that pretty lace effect – so I had quite a task ahead.  My cabbage, ultimately, was not quite as vascular as the one Proud Italian Cook used & my oven heats unevenly – so I did not get quite the forest effect they did & I browned one side.  No matter!  This was easy to make & is really delicious & quite the show stopper!

I used:

12-1-15 (26) 12-1-15 (30) 12-1-15 (70)

I would have just used two bags of the Beyond Meat rather than add tofu but I only had one bag.  I used frozen tofu that I thawed & then squeezed the water out.  It gives the tofu a spongy-texture that resembles ground beef more than raw tofu does.  It also has the added benefit of removing lots of the moisture.

12-1-15 (27)

12-1-15 (24)

I also added maitake mushrooms (seen above) and 2 grilled zucchini – simply because I had them.  You could fill your cake with whatever traditional filling you would use for cabbage rolls or use this recipe or tweak this recipe.  I used Rao’s sauce for ease & because it is the best jarred sauce on the market.  You can use your own favorite – homemade or from a jar.  Whatever you decide – I promise you will be delighted with this unexpected & regal reinvention of the humble stuffed cabbage roll.

12-2-15 (4)

IMG_7023

Vegan Cabbage Cake (Stuffed Cabbage Tower)

Serves 4-6 (depending on appetites)

INGREDIENTS

1 head of Savoy (or other green) cabbage

2+ TBS olive oil

9 oz vegan beef crumbles (or 18 oz or more and skip the tofu below)

1 lb tofu – frozen, thawed, water squeezed out & crumbled

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 celery stalk – chopped

2 zucchini – grilled & diced (optional – both the grilling of the zucchini & the zucchini themselves)

1/2 lb mushrooms – chopped (optional)

1/4 cup parsley – chopped

1-3 tsp fresh thyme (or oregano) – less if you use dried

1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown) – or more if you eliminated the zucchini & mushrooms

S&P to taste

24 oz of your favorite red sauce

1 cup or so of Grated Parmesan (vegan – or not, if you are not vegan) – optional

12-1-15 (23) 12-1-15 (25) 12-1-15 (31) 12-1-15 (32) 12-1-15 (69)

IMG_7055

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Core the bottom of the cabbage (leaving it in tact) & place in a deep pot cored-side down.  Add 2-3 inches of water & bring to a boil – covered – for 5 minutes.  Plunge into cold water & when it is cool enough to handle – carefully peel the leaves away & place on paper towels to dry.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan & then cook the onions, celery and mushrooms (if using) until soft (my photos do not reflect the proper order & it doesn’t really matter).  Add the beef, tofu, zucchini (if using) and garlic, thyme, parsley rice & 1 cup marinara.  Blend well.  Season with S&P.

Grease a deep, round casserole or souffle-type dish & then arrange the prettiest and largest leaf on the bottom. Place another leaf on top of that and up the sides of the dish all around.  Layer in some beef mixture (maybe 1/2 inch) & top with another layer of cabbage.  Repeat until you reach the top or run out of filling.  Finish with cabbage on top making sure to tuck it in the dish all around.  Drizzle the top with olive oil and a sprinkling of about half your cheese (if you are using vegan or real cheese) all over.  The cheese can be eliminated completely with little impact on this recipe.

12-1-15 (72) 12-1-15 (73) 12-1-15 (74) 12-1-15 (75) 12-1a-15 (2)

Bake for about 40 minutes.  Let it rest then invert a serving plate over the casserole dish, then carefully flip it over.  Top with more warmed marinara & some of your cheese.  Cut into slices and serve with additional warmed marinara and more grated cheese.

IMG_7003

IMG_7044

IMG_7051

IMG_7011

IMG_7045

IMG_7054

Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

6-15-15 (39)

6-15-15 (49)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

gardein_frz_FishlessFilet_US_Sm-225x238

When I went to Dallas last month to MC an event for the Humane League there – everyone kept talking about how awesome these vegan fish sticks are.  So – I bought some as soon as I got home.  My first effort with them was these vegan fish tacos.

6-15-15 (18)

They were delicious!   The fish sticks are triangle-shaped and almost as large as the palm of my hand – and they have 90 calories each.  I am a huge fan.

So – yesterday – I got it in my head that I wanted sushi.  My first thought was to make tempura chicken with Beyond Meat chicken & tempura batter but I discovered that I had no tempura batter & then I decided I didn’t want to fry anything, anyway.  Then these guys jumped into my mind!  So – while these are not fish & not in tempura batter – they are breaded & they made an excellent substitute.

I buy my nori at Bangluch Market because it costs about $1.25 for a package where Gelson’s charges almost $5 – so I recommend looking in ethnic stores for ethnic supplies.  I bought the fresh ginger & wasabi at Gelson’s.

6-15-15 (53)

6-15-15 (59)

6-15-15 (65)

Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS salt

Put the rice & water in a pan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Let the rice cool & then mix in the other ingredients.

6-15-15 (40)

6-15-15 (41)

6-15-15 (56)

Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Gardein fishless fillets (or other brand) – cooked according to package instructions

Carrots – cut into sticks

Daikon – cut into sticks

Cucumber – cut into sticks (I forgot to use mine)

Avocado – sliced

Nori sheets

Sesame seeds – white & black

Wasabi, ginger & soy sauce for dipping.

6-15-15 (29)

6-15-15 (30)

6-15-15 (31)

6-15-15 (32)

6-15-15 (33)

6-15-15 (34)

6-15-15 (35)

DIRECTIONS

Get all your ingredients ready.  Press some rice onto the nori – leaving about an inch on one end uncovered.  Layer the ingredients & roll tightly.  Wet the naked end of the nori with water on your fingertips.  roll until the seam side is down & rub the roll back & forth on the counter a few times to better seal the seam.  Cut with a sharp wet knife.

Serve with ginger & wasabi & soy sauce & a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

6-15-15 (47)

6-15-15 (61)

6-15-15 (84)

Pizza Treats Two Ways – Baked Wonton Pizza Rolls & Pizza Pinwheels

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Image

I almost didn’t post these guys because I am having oven issues.  It seems the fan in there and/or the thermostat are kaput so the oven seems to really overheat.  The result is – I am burning everything I bake and these guys only narrowly avoided that fate.  Because of the unreliable temperature in my oven – these guys are not as pretty as they could be but they remain easy to make & delicious – so fuck it.

Image

Baked Wonton Pizza Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Wonton skins

Some kind of tomato sauce (I used a chunky, homemade pasta sauce with lots of peppers etc)

Grated cheese (I used a shredded mozzarella) – or vegan alternative

Extra sauce for dipping

Image

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

Treat a cooking sheet with cooking spray or use a silpat baking mat.

Lay out some wonton skins.  You can either top them in layers, moisten the edges with water, fold over & press sealed – like this:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Or – you can mix the sauce & cheese in a bowl & top the wontons with that mixture, moisten the edges, fold & seal.

ImageImage

Spray the rolls with cooking spray.  Bake them for about 15 minutes or until they are golden/browned & crisped.  Serve with extra tomato sauce & devour!

Image

Image

Pizza Pinwheels

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough

Tomato sauce

Grated cheese – or vegan alternative

Any other toppings you like on pizza

Extra tomato sauce for dipping

Image

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface.

Top with the sauce, cheese & anything else you like.  Roll it up & slice into rounds.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Place the pinwheels onto a greased cooking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the dough is browning.

Serve with additional sauce.  Eat them all, alone, in the kitchen – while standing up.  There are no calories that way – especially if there are no witnesses to your indulgence.

Image

Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Well now – here is an embarrassing blog post: I am posting two recipes here WITHOUT any photographs of the final results.  (Update!  I made these a second time in 24 hours & have result photos to share.  They will follow at the end of the original post.)  This happened because I had a dinner party yesterday & by the time these guys came out of the oven – I was more interested in serving them & eating them that I was in photographing them.  Let me assure you – there were no visual surprises when they came out of the oven so do not be afraid to try these.  They are easy & delicious!!!!  They are an interesting alternative to tradition lasagna.  My sauce was made with the produce I had handy – which included a leek & both a red & yellow pepper.  You need not use two colors of pepper nor a leek.  Onions alone would do as would just a single red bell pepper.  I am going to list quantities here but they are really approximates.  When making dishes like this that require layers of assembly, I always err on the side of making or buying more of each ingredient than the recipe calls for.  That way, you do not run out of sauce or cheese or whatever midway through putting it all together.  This made about a dozen of each of the two rose varieties.  And – as a brilliant coincidence – I served my guests pasta roses & after they left – my awesome stud of a boyfriend, Miles, presented me with these roses!  At like – 11pm.  It was a total surprise.  Isn’t he great?

Image

Image

Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Approximately 1.5 lbs lasagna noodles (I cooked two boxes but threw a lot away)

For the sauce

1/2 onion – diced

1 bell pepper – diced

1 leek – diced

6 garlic cloves – minced

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 (29 oz) cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

2 TBS crushed red pepper

2 TBS fresh basil – chopped

1 cup heavy cream

S&P to taste

For the ham & fontina roses

Approximately 1/2 lb sliced ham

1/2 lb sliced fontina

For the zucchini, mozzarella & basil roses

1-2 large zucchini – sliced into rounds

12-16 oz fresh mozzarella – sliced

1 large bunch basil

Image

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles.  About 2-3 minutes before they are done – add the zucchini rounds to the water.  I cooked mine for 5 minutes – which was too long.  Then – rinse the noodles & zucchini under cold water.  Then set the zucchini aside & lay the noodles out to dry.

Image

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a stock pot & saute the onion, bell pepper, leek (or additional onion) & crushed red pepper for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the garlic & basil & stir for another minute or so.  Add the canned tomato sauce & simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Stir in the heavy cream.  I used an immersion blender here & pureed the sauce into a smooth & creamy texture.  You can do this in a blender or skip this step & leave the sauce with the vegetable texture.  Set aside.

ImageImageImage

To assemble the roses, layer a casserole pan with the sauce.  I needed two casserole pans to fit all my roses.  Roll the ham & fontina in some of your lasagna noodles.  No need to roll them tightly.  A nice loose roll is good.  Stand the roses up in the pan.

ImageImage

I cut the ribbon edge off one side of the lasagna noodles on the ham rolls so I could identify which roses had meat in them & which did not.

Image

Roll up some zucchini, mozzarella & basil in the other lasagna noodles.

ImageImageImageImage

I had a little extra zucchini & mozzarella left over so I just stuck in in where I could fit it – once my casserole dishes were filled to capacity with roses.

Image

I then slathered lots of sauce on top of both casseroles.  You might want to go lighter than I did & leave the edges of the lasagna noodles uncovered.  That way they will brown & curl a bit & create the rose effect you want.

Image

Bake for 20-30 minutes – or until the top of the noodles are golden.  Again – apologies for the lack of final result images!!!  Serve with additional sauce if you have more left over.

7-14a-13 003

UPDATE at 3:00pm!

I made these again so I could show you results.  This time – I used oven-ready lasagna noodles soaked in warm water until they were pliable.  I cut them in half to make smaller roses.

7-14a-13 002

7-14a-13 005

I made the ham & fontina again and the zucchini, mozzarella & basil again.  I added some amazing garlic sauce that I bought at Super King to the veggie ones but I might not in the future.  It made them too wet & sort of limp in the end.

7-14a-13 018

Here is the assembly of the two versions.

7-14a-13 006 7-14a-13 007 7-14a-13 010

7-14a-13 015 7-14a-13 025

I’ve read that slicing an X into the tops of the roses will allow the lasagna noodle to curl outward as they cook – creating a better blooming effect for your roses.  I neglected to do this.  Just cut about a 1/2 inch down into the tops & you should get a good curl.

I baked them in about 1/4-1/2 inch of the spicy pink sauce at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I then took them from the oven & added a tad more sauce & some grated Parmesan to the roses.

7-14a-13 027 7-14a-13 030 7-14a-13 039 7-14a-13 043

Ten minutes later – they looked like this.

7-14a-13 059 7-14c-13 005

And they serve up looking like this!  Whew!  What a relief!  I felt like such a fraud!

IMG_0560

Pretty, right?  And yummy!

Caprese Lasagna Rolls

2 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

 

I WROTE A NOVEL!  Please read it!  🙂

vromans front vromans back

~

Pardon me for revisiting this concept so soon after my Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna Rolls but this dish is so simple & such a sure-fire crowd pleaser – I just had to go back to the well.  I had dinner guests last night – most of whom I have never fed before – so I was unaware of any food objections they might have (high on the list of “controversial” foods are: eggplant, beets, mushrooms, seafood, spicy things, garlic, peas).   So – I decided to make something I thought nobody could object to – these caprese rolls.  Of course, tomatoes are often cited by wary diners as something to avoid but – everyone likes lasagna – right?  So I risked it.  I liked these better than the previous effort & found them far prettier.   They were a huge hit – even with the teenager in attendance so – I hope you give them a go!

Image

Caprese Lasagna Rolls (this makes about 16)

For the marinara

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 (28 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

1 small onion – finely diced

3 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

S&P to taste

For the caprese lasagna rolls

1 lb lasagna noodles

2 cups ricotta

2 eggs

5-6 Roma tomatoes – sliced VERY thin

2/3 cup grated Parmesan

1 lb grated low moisture (packaged) mozzarella (or blend)

S&P

1 cup fresh basil – cut into ribbons

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350

For the marinara

Heat the olive oil & saute the onions until translucent.  Add the garlic & stir for about a minute.  Add the other ingredients & simmer 30 minutes or so.  Adjust S&P.  Set aside.

Image

For the caprese lasagna rolls

Cook the lasagna as directed & when they are just done, drain them & rinse them under cold water.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan and most of the grated mozzarella.  Reserve some cheese to top the rolls.

Image

Cut your basil into ribbons like these tutorials show or by rolling several leaves at a time into long rolls & then slicing them up.

Assemble to rolls by putting some of the cheese on each piece of lasagna, adding some tomato & basil & gently roll without applying any pressure so that the contents do not squeeze out.

ImageImageImageImage

Put a thin layer of marinara in a baking dish & place the rolls, seam side down, in the pan.  Top with enough sauce to cover each roll (so they do not dry out) & top with extra cheese.

Image

ImageImageImageImage

Image

Cover tightly with foil (or they will dry out) and bake for about 30 minutes.  Serve with additional sauce & basil.

I cut into one to show you the melty goodness!  MANGIARE!

Image

Image

Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna Rolls with Feta & Homemade Ricotta Smothered in Marinara Sauce

8 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

I was inspired to make these because I had a shit-ton of fresh spinach that was about to go bad.   Once I was well into the process here – I got the spinach out to steam it & realized some of it had already wilted to the point that I didn’t want to use it but I was able to save enough that I could still pull this recipe off.  I added mushrooms to the filling to make up for the lost spinach.  I also used some leftover feta because the homemade ricotta quantity was smaller than I felt this dish needed.

This is not a difficult dish to pull off.  In fact, I’d call it easy – if you used a jarred sauce & a store-bought ricotta.  I have no life & my boyfriend lives in Arkansas – so I have nothing but time.  So – I made the ricotta from scratch (which takes about 10 minutes – I swear) and I made the marinara (also pretty easy).  I used fresh spinach – not frozen – but frozen would work, too.  I would like to have added some sliced, fresh Buffalo mozzarella to the top at the end of the baking process but, alas, all I had was this ghetto pizza cheese.

Image

It seemed a bit of a crime to bother to make the ricotta & then top these guys with processed cheese food.  Especially as I had sprung $14 (yes – FOURTEEN DOLLARS!!!) on these two cans of San Marzano tomatoes.  WTF?  But, shit happens so I just went with it.

Image

As an aside – I have recently discovered the joy of buying whole peeled tomatoes & squishing them by hand.  I cannot explain why I find it so satisfying – but I do.  Maybe I feel more Italian?  Maybe I get out some buried aggression?  I don’t know – but I suggest trying it – even though I felt I had to finish this sauce by punishing it with an immersion blender – to break up the bits I’d missed.

ImageImage

But let me promise you – these lasagna rolls are delicious!  You could really roll anything up in lasagna noodles – a meat sauce or – you know – anything you would put in a traditional lasagna.  Try them.  You won’t regret it.

Image

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna Rolls with Feta & Homemade Ricotta Smothered in Marinara Sauce

INGREDIENTS

For the ricotta

1/2 gallon milk

2 cups buttermilk

1 tsp salt

2.5 TBS white vinegar

(or just use about 1 1/2 cups or so of store-bought ricotta)

For the Marinara

2 28 oz cans or tomatoes (crushed – or you crush them by hand)

1 small onion – diced finely

6 cloves garlic – minced

Olive oil

1 packed cup fresh basil – chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley – chopped

1/4 cup fresh oregano – chopped

1 tsp dry oregano

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar

For the lasagna rolls

12 (or so) lasagna noodles (more if you fear tearing some)

1 egg

12-16 oz spinach

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – grated

1 cup feta cheese – crumbled

1 small onion – diced

1/2 lb mushrooms – sliced

4 cloves garlic

1 TBS crushed red pepper

S&P to taste

Extra Parmesan & basil or parsley as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Image

For the ricotta

Heat the milk & the buttermilk in a pan.  When it just begins to bubble in the corners – turn off the heat.  Add the salt & the vinegar & stir.  With a slotted spoon – scoop out the curds that form until all that is left is the yellowish whey.  Alternatively – CAREFULLY pour the curdling milk through a cheesecloth-lined colander.  In either case – let it cool a bit & then wrap it up in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Unwrap the ricotta from the cheesecloth & put in a bowl & set aside (or chill).  There is video of this process in my Lasagna Cupcakes post.

Image

For the marinara

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a large stock pot.  Saute the onion until it is soft.

Image

Add the chopped herbs, dry oregano & minced garlic & saute another minute or two – or until the spices become aromatic.  Add the two cans of tomatoes & the S&P.  Simmer a few minutes (or more).  Add the balsamic & stir to get it fully incorporated.  Allow to simmer on a very low flame until you are ready to assemble the rolls.

Image

Image

For the lasagna rolls

Heat your oven to 350.

Cook at least 12 lasagna noodles (I cooked the whole box & threw away the extra) until just al dente.  Rinse in cool water & set out to dry.

ImageImage

Bring some water to a boil.  Submerge the spinach until it just wilts.  Drain & run under cold water.  Squeeze out all the moisture & chop the spinach finely.

Image

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add the chopped onion & the sliced mushrooms. I used  a red onion – which is why these images look kind of pink.

ImageImage

When the mushrooms are just about done to your liking – add the garlic & saute another minute or two.  In a bowl – mix the mushrooms, egg, ricotta, feta, Parmesan, crushed red pepper, spinach and some S&P.

ImageImage

Spread a bit of the mix on a lasagna noodle.  Roll it VERY loosely – applying no pressure – so that the filling doesn’t squeeze out.

Image

Put a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of a baking pan.  Then place your lasagna rolls on that – SEAM SIDE DOWN.  You might need two pans to fit all your rolls in.

ImageImageImageImage

Top with some sauce & a bit of additional cheese.  If you are using buffalo mozzarella – add that about 10-15 minutes before the rolls are done cooking.

ImageImage

Wrap tightly in foil & bake for about 40 minutes.  Serve with more sauce, additional grated Parmesan & some fresh herbs.  Yum!

6-25a-13 002