Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vegetarian Bacon Wrapped Scallops & Homemade Pasta

The scallops were adapted from a recipe from Olives for Dinner, but instead of using mushrooms we used mock scallops that Brian picked up on a whim at the health food store.  I also used almond milk instead of coconut cream in the sauce, and did not add liquid smoke.

The pasta was from New American Vegan and the garlic-fresh herb sauce from The Vegan Family Cookbook.   

Tonight on the menu we have bacon wrappeYES PLEASE


Allie: I made the appetizer while Brian was practicing with his band, and it was easy!  I've never made scallops before and I've only eaten them a couple of times, but I watch a lot of Hell's Kitchen so I'm basically an expert.  I was kind of skeptical about the weird frozen fake scallops that Brian got, and I also failed to properly thaw them before I started cooking them so I was sure they would be gross but they actually maintained a scallopy shape and texture and even crisped up nicely in the pan.  Next time I would thaw them but it's good to know you can wing it.  The smoked paprika sauce was amazing and so simple to make.  I am leery of coconut cream because it's packed with saturated fat, but the almond milk worked well.  The tempeh bacon was easy to use as always, and the wrapping process was easy and made the scallop the perfect little vessel for holding sauce.  I give this recipe 5 out of 5 slices, it was fun and surprising.

Unfortunately I ran out of steam after eating a bunch of scallops and could only have one bite of pasta so I can't rate it.  However, we are doing recipes from The Vegan Family Cookbook all week (after they won the pizza dough recipe bake-off last week) and I am looking forward to trying more stuff from that book.

Brian: I am grateful to Allie for transforming the vegan scallops I bought on a whim in to something so delicious, when I thought they would probably end up being just weird. The lesson? When unsure about how something will taste, find a recipe that wraps it in (tempeh) bacon. I can't say for sure that I would buy the scallops again since, on their own, they didn't knock my socks off, but when I was at the store I did see some vegan calamari they also sold. Look forward to a post about Allie making something delicious out of that.

The sauce on the pasta was delicious despite not being the hugest fan of sun dried tomatoes. It was super garlic-y and had a whole bunch of fresh basil in it so how could I not like it? However, I think it could have used more of a spice element, but we generally feel that way about everything. Side note: Allie and I appreciated the simplicity of the recipes in the vegan family cookbook, but this recipe called for "a bunch" of basil and "a bunch" or oregano. I am familiar with the concept of bunches of herbs, but maybe something a little more precise would be helpful. Rather than make fresh dough, we used some left over dough from making lasagna a while back which we had frozen. I don't think this really affected how it handled, but I kind of had a pain of a time trying to make the pasta. I had bought the pasta machine on a whim and opted for a cheaper one, so it might just not be up to the task, or I could have been rolling the dough too thin, but it was really hard to get individual strands of pasta from the machine. We also don't have a pasta rack so I was just laying them out on a plate, which led to some clumping, so the final product was some really fine strands of pasta and some really wide noodles. I look forward to attempting pasta again when we are better equipped and have made fresh dough. Overall I give the scallops 5/5 and the pasta a 3.5/5.

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