Saturday, December 5, 2009
Ted's Artichoke and Green Bean Bake
The story behind Ted's Artichoke and Green Bean Bake (p354) made me want to try and love this recipe as much as did the ingredient list. Briefly, it involves one of the book's testers, her deceased father who never had a chance to finish his own cookbook, Hurricane Katrina, destroyed homes, and lost family recipes. So you see my dilemma when I realized I didn't "love" this dish.
I made very slight changes to the recipe as written--baby bellas instead of white mushrooms, because they are the only mushrooms I can tolerate; the can of artichoke hearts in my pantry was 13.5 oz rather than the 15 oz listed; and I left out the parmesan substitute altogether, though I did add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. I followed the instructions as directed, but the texture of this dish (as I assumed it to be) never seemed to come together. It was somewhat liquidy, and despite the inclusion of flour in the recipe, it remained runny, even on the second day. In addition, despite the lesser amount of artichokes, they were overpowering to the flavor of the dish.
This recipe is full of things I like, and I would give it another go with the following changes: decrease the amount of artichokes, perhaps by a quarter or even half; lessen the amount of vegetable broth; skip the bread crumbs; include the parmesan substitution; and I might try cornstarch rather than flour. Despite the pic above, it's actually a pretty dish when you use fresh green beans that are livened up by the pieces of red bell pepper. I think a little less artichokes and "sauce" would make it even more attractive (and taste better).
--The Divine Miss V