Thursday, 26 June 2014

Mushroom and kale canneloni

A quick blog post with a rather delicious vegetarian recipe I came up with the other weekend when the InvisiblePinkKitchen was without its main carnivore.

As I'm writing this I. Enjoying the breakfast buffet at the hotel. I just can't resist breakfast buffets, and to be honest we are enjoying the breakfast buffetso thoroughly that we haven't made it to lunch at all. It's just all about breakfast and dinner, with a few caipirinhas in between. The hotel food is rather mediocre, but there is always fresh grilled fish which is great. Today we are off to try wind surfing!

Mushroom and kale cannelloni (serves 4):
For the Béchamel sauce:
750 ml milk
a few parsley stalks
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1/4 onion, sliced
60 g butter
30 g flour

For the cannelloni:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
150 g mushrooms
200 g kale
250 g ricotta
salt and pepper
cannelloni (I had just enough filling for 15 cannelloni)
grated cheese to sprinkle on top (I used Grana Padano)

The howto:
Start by preparing the Béchamel. Put the milk, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and onion in a large saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. This will take a while, and make sure you keep stirring from time to time so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When milk has boiled, strain to remove the flavouring ingredients. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and keep stirring to make a paste stirring vigorously to avoid any lumps. Start adding the milk while stirring with a whisk constantly. Add the milk in small amounts to start, whisking all the time to incorporate the milk in the butter-flour paste. Keep adding and whisking until all the milk has been added and you have a smooth white sauce. Bring to a simmer and take off the heat.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 F). To prepare the filling for the cannelloni, very finely chop the onion, garlic, mushrooms and kale. You will later be filling the cannelloni with a piping bag, so chop finely enough that it will be easy to do the filling. I used my small food processor and did the chopping in batches.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil to medium. Cook the onion and garlic until starting to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook another few minutes. Last add the finely chopped kale and increase the heat a bit if there is a lot of liquid in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the filling from the frying pan to a big bowl and let cool for a while. Mix in the ricotta and taste, adjust pepper and salt if needed. Transfer to a piping bag with a large opening and pipe into the cannelloni. Place the filled cannelloni in an oven proof dish and cover with the Béchamel. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Cook for 40-45 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

The verdict:
This was just something I made up in my head while walking around the grocery store and being inspired by the cannelloni pasta. As the designated meat-eater was out of the house I thought I would take the chance and prepare a vegetarian meal. I was thinking spinach and mushroom, but then I thought the kale might be a good option instead. This results in a very affordable meal large enough to serve at least four and it turned out really delicious. I didn't use any strong spices so the flavours from the mushrooms and kale would come through which they did. The creamy Béchamel and cheese topping worked really well, and he cannelloni were perfectly cooked al dente in the sauce. I will definitely be making this again.


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