Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

So, we were supposed to have some neighbours over this afternoon for a (mostly) fall-themed vegan spread, but Son #1 developed a fever and we had to cancel at the last minute. But, all was not lost. I had a chance to try out a new recipe, and I learned what I will do differently next time. The full menu was going to be:
1. Warm apple cider (steeped with cinnamon sticks).
2. Meatless meatballs (in slow cooker w/BBQ sauce).
3. Pretzel bites (with hot dog pieces inside, for the kids). Just cut hot dog in four pieces, wrap each piece in a pretzel dough, dip and cook as usual.
4. Sweet potato quesadillas (this time I added 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted pecans to the filling (roast on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, turning pecans over after 5 mins). Very good!
5. Butternut Squash Cakes (recipe follows).

Butternut Squash Cakes (adapted from The Artful Vegan)
- 3 cups finely grated butternut squash (peeled and seeded, of course)
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 6 green onion, thinly sliced (reserve some for garnish--I forgot to do this)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (more as needed)
- oil, for frying

Mix all ingredients together with enough cornstarch that it can be formed into patties. Fry on med-hi heat in oil, 3 mins each side, until crispy and golden. Top with roasted apple chutney and green onions. Serve.

Roasted Apple Chutney:
Core and dice 4 small cooking apples. Mix in 1 tsp canola oil, 2 tbsp sherry, 1/2 tsp salt, and freshly ground pepper. Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 mins (until apples are soft and slightly golden). While apples are roasting, heat 1 cup of apple sauce in a small saucepan (blend with hand mixer if chunky). Thin with a few tbsp apple cider. Add in roasted apples.
NOTES: I did not finely grate the squash (recipe did not specify), and so it was hard to form into patties. That meant I put in way more cornstarch than I wanted to. I think a fine grate will fix this. Also, don't use your hands to form the patties. I pressed the mixture into a round metal ring I use for making crumpets.