Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cookbook Review

I have a fall cookbook fetish; it's one of my few weaknesses. Every year when the next supermarket cookbook magazine comes out, there I am buying another one, in spite of the fact that I haven't made a thing from the one before. Well, NOT THIS YEAR! This year I am going to make Every. Single. Recipe. In order, no exceptions, and lucky you gets to go along for the ride.

I am using the Walmart special, Fall Baking as my culinary muse. I have decided to divide the book in half and make one recipe from each section so I won't end up with 40 deserts at the end. I will also use whatever substitutions necessary, so the finished product may bear very little resemblance to the original dish, but that is what vegetarians must do.

My first recipes were Harvest Casserole and Tangy Cranberry Cobbler. Let me begin with Harvest Casserole, a stuffed acorn squash dish. Since this is a book for sale, and not recipes off the internet, I will not reproduce the recipe, but I will list the ingredients:

Acorn squash
Dried cranberries
Black pepper
Chicken broth

Immediate substitutions were made for the sausage; Morning Star does a tolerable sausage, though I much prefer Trader Joe's Gimme Lean. Alas, there are no Trader Joe's around here, so I must make do. Chicken broth was replaced by vegetable broth, but I think veggie broth may be saltier; whatever the cause, the recipe turned out way too salty.

Review: Bleh. This recipe, while attractive, was not that tasty. One major problem was the squash was VERY stringy, to the point of in-edibility, but that can't really be blamed on the recipe. But the filling was, at best, unmemorable. If I were to make this dish again, I would decrease the salt, add way more sage and thyme (I added those in because they make everything better!), add a little sweetener (brown sugar, honey, or maybe even maple syrup), and increase the cranberries.

Tangy Cranberry Cobbler is somewhat self-explanatory in its name, yet understates the matter quite a lot. Powerhouse of Tangy-ness Cranberry Knock-Your-Socks-Off Cobbler might be a more appropriate title!

Cranberries (fresh or frozen)
Dried Cranberries
Orange Juice
Baking Powder

I didn't have orange juice, so I used pineapple-orange, and I only have soy milk and margarine, so those were substituted as well. I will need to get an oilier margarine next time, because the brand I had on hand had too high a percentage of water in it.

I have never had any native talent at cobbler, so I am not crushed at the results. My dad really did not care for it, but he is somewhat of a cobbler snob, though you didn't hear it from me. As referenced above, I (and everyone else!) felt the recipe could have used a touch more sweetener. It says delicately that it can be served with whipped cream as desired. Let me tell you, one bite of that plain, and whipped cream WILL be desired! The cobble top was average, but that might have been the cook. I would definitely try this one again, but for potluck, because a little goes a long ways. Be warned, church family, be warned.

No comments:

Post a Comment