Friday, June 4, 2010

Recipe: Cheesy dumpling disaster ends up edible

In my attempt to learn how to make better vegetarian entrees, I bought a wonderful cookbook called "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian."

Beware of the ricotta dumpling recipe, however, especially if (like me) you have never made dumplings. My attempt turned into a near-total disaster when I dropped a dollop of batter into the pot of boiling water and it completely dissolved. Clearly, something was wrong.

With my toddler at my feet and family stomachs growing hungrier by the minute, I contemplated my options for salvaging the meal. Here's what I came up with: an upside-down cheesy tomato pie. Oh, and if you have any idea where I went wrong in the original recipe, please do let me know.

Recipe: Upside-Down Cheesy Tomato Pie

Preheat oven to 375F.

The cheesy part (ie failed dumplings)
Mix together and let sit for 30 minutes:
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cream or milk
2 cups chopped up stale bread
(meanwhile, start the tomato part below)
After 30 minutes, add:
1 cup fresh grated parmesan
4 eggs
chopped herbs (optional)

The tomato-y part
Saute a large chopped onion in a large oven-proof skillet, then add chopped garlic to taste.
Add canned or fresh tomatoes and their juice (equivalent of about 28-oz) and simmer.
Add chopped basil to taste and about 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Simmer.
(alternately, use canned tomato sauce)

Make the pie by spreading the cheesy part on top of the tomato sauce (right in the skillet) and then baking it in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top is browned. Check it early and set the timer (I didn't and almost had a second dinner disaster).

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