Recipe Review: Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi Review from Relish the Feast

The latest dish to enter my I-make-it-so-much-I’m-bound-to-tire-of-it-but-don’t-care-because-OMG-so-yums rotation is Mango Lassi. I had previously only ordered this at Indian restaurants because I assumed it would be terribly involved to make at home. WRONG! Enter Pinterest. I found two easy, delicious recipes that result in a pretty good Mango Lassi at home in under 5 minutes. Using frozen mango chunks makes it no muss, no fuss. My favorite recipe is from Dassana Amit on Veg Recipes of India. Several variations are given. Head there to read the recipe.

Notes:

  • I use cardamom for flavor, left out the extra cream and did not add ice.
  • I have made it with both frozen and fresh mango. I prefer using frozen. I tried fresh several times, and the riper your mango, the more delicious your drink.
  • I added honey a couple of times. It helped add flavor when the fresh mango was not as ripe. I didn’t feel it added a lot to the frozen or very ripe mango versions.
  • I blend everything at once, not in steps.
  • I add water to thin it out.

This drink has so many variations that it can taste different each time you make it, but it is always good. On a hot summer day or after a spicy meal, Mango Lassi is even more enjoyable.

Happy drinking!

-L

Recipe Review – White Bean and Radish Salad

I have a  large magazine collection/pile. When they arrive, crisp and new in my mailbox, the excitement is palpable. A big smile spreads across my face as I hustle Lola home because NEW MAGAZINE! I must read it. NOW!

We scurry up the stairs. She’s hungry. Food. Done. Out of water, too? I’ll fix that. Ball time? No ball time. Well, maybe a little. Let me set this stuff down for a second. … and … and … and … sleep.

The magazine gets forgotten, eventually moved into the cabinet, lost in the pile. I retrieve it weeks, months or years later. That’s what happened with the May 2013 issue of Bon Appetit. It has now been salvaged, scrutinized and scrapped, with delicious recipes, like this White Bean and Radish Salad, ripped out and saved. Let the review begin!

White Bean and Radish Salad Review by Relish the Feast

The good:

  • Yums, yums, yums. Bright and hearty, making it an all-season dish in my book.
  • A surprisingly small portion will fill you up.
  • Pretty healthy.

The could be better:

  • I forgot to add the scallions and olives. I was also heavy-handed with the sauce. I see this all as room for improvement.
  • As expected, three cans of beans is a whole lot of beans. If you don’t have a large family or are not attending a potluck, I’d cut the recipe by ⅓. I ate this for many more days than I wanted.
  • This might be me-specific, but I wanted more crispness. The radishes provided some, but the overarching mouthfeel was more mushy than I like in a cold salad. I’d add more to the dish for extra snap, slices carrots or celery perhaps.

Overall assessment: Try it! I’ll definitely make it again. It was different from a lot of what I cook, making it a welcome addition to my table.

Enjoy!

-L

Recipe Review: Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk Pie Slice from RelishTheFeast

After making the Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake, I was left with an item I (a) don’t use a lot and (b) don’t like a lot. Buttermilk. Not wanting to waste it, I hopped on Pinterest (the black hole of ideas) to see what other yummy recipes use this odd ingredient that I find less than wonderful. One of the first recipes to pop up was buttermilk pie from The Coers Family.

Pause here to consider that I – an avowed avoider of buttermilk – am preparing to make a pie that is named after and features this ingredient. Crazy? No. I cheated and have tasted this pie before at a potluck. I remember thinking it was good, so I figured what the hey. Let’s give it a shot.

I followed the recipe exactly as written, and OMG DELICIOUS! Easy, too. But the main takeaway from this is how delicious it is. Sweet – but not too sweet. Kind of a cross between cheesecake and flan consistency. Definitely a winner. You should try this immediately. You should also make, like, four of them, so you aren’t left with a ton of buttermilk; I still think it’s ew outside of pie form.

Enjoy!

-L

Recipe Review: Cauliflower Breadsticks

Coming up with original recipes isn’t my forte. Using what I have and riffing on / tweaking other people’s recipes is. Enter Recipe Reviews – where I tackle recipes from blogs I follow, pins I like, magazines that are piling up and cookbooks I most likely borrowed from the library.

If you’re a sailor, you’d feel right at home in my kitchen while I try new recipes. Maybe one day I’ll film it for a laugh. TV cooking shows make it look so easy, but my reality is a little messier. Hence why I forgot to take any photos of this effort. #blogfail

This past Sunday, I made cauliflower breadsticks from Oleana found on ifoodreal.com. In the end, they were delicious, but during the process, it was very WTF. In hindsight, it wasn’t as hard as I was making it. Here’s how it went down:

Note: See the original recipe for solid steps, tips, amounts, etc. This is a broad overview of my process the first time I attempted this recipe. She made it multiple times before posting and provides very good tips.

Step 1: Turn a head of cauliflower into a rice-like texture in a food processor.

  • Easy enough…if you chop that head into small, small, smaller pieces to begin with. I did my head in two batches. The first batch was large florets and stalks. WRONG! It took much longer. I would have mush parts and whole florets still. There was a lot of opening and scrapping. Chop those suckers up! I did this for the second batch, and it took half the time or less and required much less start & stop. As for the rice texture, it’s a fine line between rice-like and mush. My definitely ended up on the side of mush, which in the end worked out ok for me.

Step 2: Cook rice-like cauliflower in the oven for 20 min.

  • Success! I can place a pan in a hot oven.

Step 3: Remove cauliflower from the oven and let cool before wringing all the water out of it with a linen dishcloth.

  • This step was entertaining (see paragraph 2 and use your imagination) because I misread it and didn’t let the cauliflower cool first. Hot, steamy, feet-smelling water all over my hands. It took some effort to wring it out, but with some assistance from the wall of my sink, I think I did an ok job. Her recommendation for a linen dish cloth over cheesecloth is a good one BTW. You really twist the material a lot.

Step 4: Add seasonings, cheese and egg whites. Mix.

  • I just used two whole eggs because I had nothing to do with two yolks and didn’t want to waste them. Also, you should probably check that you have seasoning before you begin this recipe. Turns out, I’m down to Indian spices, wasabi, garlic powder & dill (in addition to S&P, which doesn’t count). In went a heavy dose of garlic powder and hope.

Step 5: On a parchment lined baking sheet, flatten mixture to roughly some thin size.

  • Done! And I trimmed the edges of the parchment because I had visions of my gas oven going up in flames from draping parchment paper. I don’t know that that could happen, but I did not want to find out.

Step 6: Bake for 20 minute.

  • Done!

Step 7: Pull out, top with cheese and bake 5 more minutes.

  • Done!

Step 8: Let cool a bit. Slice and enjoy with marinara!

  • Super done!

Overall assessment: The burning sensation on my hands nearly lasted longer than the food did. It was filling & yummy. It also made a good lunch the next day, although it did make my office smell a bit weird. Also, rinsing the towel you use to wring the water out of the cauliflower is not enough; throw it in the wash fairly quickly. It will smell and will make your sink smell and will make you think the trash or the dog smells until you realize it’s the rinsed, though still gross, dish cloth in your sink. The lesson of all this is that you should probably read a recipe – really read, not scan – before starting it. Lesson learned? Probably not.

Until next time, enjoy your kitchen adventures!

-L