Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cannelloni Comforts!

After a hard day at the garage sale (will do a wrap in another post - profit made, some lessons learned and some played right) we all needed some food that would be easy, comforting and filling.

There was a limitation in ingredients - I had some mince thawed - and tastes - 'Salina has definite views on her food horizons, as does V. They don't happily coincide at all times - isn't that life? I, of course, am very easy to please as long as it does not involve offal.

But I wanted to move us just ever so slightly from what we always have, so I made the brave suggestion that we have cannelloni.

V was all for it, but 'Salina had her doubts. After all, she hadn't heard of it and what is wrong with lasagne?

I made a pledge to make it as lasagne like as possible for her approval. So here it is for yours:

Lasagne-like Cannelloni
  • I used my wonderful (but getting old and feeling it) food processor to grate 1/4 of a Jap pumpkin and to slice 2 zucchinis.
    As you can see from this shot, it is not just my food processor feeling the age and space issue!!
    And isn't that a wonderful yellow for the benches? Oh, and note to self - must get that door fixed and reattached - it came off when the stove we put in was 2cm too wide for the space we had measured. We only got the stove last June...
  • Meat Sauce - Chop 1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic and gently fry until clear in olive oil. Add 1/2 kilo mince and brown. If mince is not lean enough, drain fat.
  • Add the grated pumpkin, 1 can condensed tomato soup (my mother swore by Heinz but I have found generic works just as well), 3/4 can red wine, bay leaf, whatever italian herbs and salt and pepper. The mixture should look dark and rich and smell divine.
  • If you prefer veggo, I used to make a similar sauce with no mince (d'uh), more pumpkin and whatever other vegies available, some red lentils and a handful of chopped cashews and called it "happy sauce".
  • White Cheese Sauce - Melt some butter in a pan, add about the same amount of plain flour and toast slightly. Mix in about 600 ml milk - gradually at first to stir out any lumps. Cook until this mix thickens to about cream consistency. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg and 1/2 cup cheese.
    I know there are many foodies out there who would do a far superior job, but I have a limited audience and they don't complain too much!
    I think there are theories out there about the temperature of the milk and the exacting way to get the "roux" - that is a fancy term for the butter and flour bit - just right - but I am fairly rough and ready.
  • I sprayed a baking tray with oil and lined it with my wonderful zucchini slices.
  • 1/2 of the White Cheese Sauce was poured in.
  • We (because V came to help) stuffed the canneloni tubes with Meat Sauce and laid neatly.
    Of course, I forgot to photograph that step, so you will have to imagine how neatly they were placed and how much fun that step is, and how fiddly the term "stuffing canneloni tubes" can really be. We had about 1/2 of the sauce left over, which will be handy for a kids meal when we want an adult meal later in the week!
  • The other 1/2 of the White Cheese Sauce was poured on top, then the wonderful zucchini slices covered it. On one end we also had sliced mushrooms and sliced tomatoes also made a stand. 3/4 cup grated cheese sprinkled over the whole amount and put into a moderate-hot oven for 40 minutes.
  • It was absolutely scrumptious - or to use 'Salina's preferred term - delicious.
  • Improvements for next time (which there will be) would be to halve the White Cheese Sauce mixture and have a vegie sauce for the first pour.


Unknown said...

Jeanie, heard a food history program on Radio National a while back and on this a woman referred to her husbands food tastes as Gosford (NSW central coast) Kosher - pre 1949 meat & 3 veg. It reminded me of a Writers' Festival conversation with Stephanie Alexander & Guy Grossie (top Melbourne foodies and restauranteurs) a few years ago. Stephanie said that the food revolution happened about 1967 when broccoli appeared: this was Australia's move away from just potatoes, pumpkins, peas, beans, carrots & cabbage.

Blessings and bliss

Debby said...

You have the same plate my mother does!

David said...

I love cannelloni, but am intrigued by your food processor. It looks like it should be in a museum of artful cooking.
Great post

Pencil Writer said...

Great Post, Pioneer Woman-esque. (Did I spell that right?) Love zuccini, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese and all that good stuff. Pasta ain't bad, neither!

So glad V assisted AND Salina LOVED it! Hip, hip, hurray! Isn't that most of the battle? Making the eaters happy eaters?

Crazed Nitwit said...

Ummmmmmmm, what's a Jap pumpkin? Can come by and eat dinner with you next time you make this? Looks extremely yummy!!!

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

mmm that looks delicious - yes pioneer Jeanie - very scrumptious

Anonymous said...

Yummo! That looks scrumptious.

jeanie said...

miss eagle - lol love those references!

debby - universal design then.

david - its only from late last century - is that what they call the dump?

pencil writer - sort of a poor woman's inadequately photographed pioneer woman, surely? V is actually often a great kitchen hand.

crazed mom - a "Jap" pumpkin was named by the farmer whose farm they were first found on - "Jap" stands for "Just Another Pumpkin" - may only be an Aussie variety...

tiff and baby amore - it was, and apparently even more so for V's smoko yesterday - he had all his workmates very envious.