Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegetarian Chicken and Broccoli Rolls Recipe

I've done some once a month cooking lately and recently saw the need for more vegetarian conversions for once-a-month cooks. Tricia over at OnceaMonthMom.com puts together a great menu every month for freezing and reheating throughout the month. She basically does all the work for you (except the cooking) so that you and possibly a friend can cook for one day and have enough meals stored away for the month. The recipes for this month are delicious and several start out with no meat already. For those that include meat, I will give you the skinny on my conversions. I'm doing the half menu here designed for one 4-person family. If you're doing the buddy system, double it up or go back to Tricia's original posts and simply swap out the chicken. This recipe has a filling consistency similar to cream of anything soup, so Quorn chicken tender cubes work great. That's the basic rule with the Quorn "chicken," if it's creamy, it's dreamy. Quorny, I know. :) Anything without much of a sauce, like, say, lo mein noodles or fried rice, not so good. Believe me, I've tried it, a lot. It always tastes yucky to me. I'm planning to try a different "chicken" for those non-saucy recipes. Stay tuned.

"Chicken" and Broccoli Rolls                                   
2 loaves frozen bread, unbaked       
4 Tbsp. butter       
6 Tbsp.   flour           
2 C milk
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C mayonnaise
4 tsp. curry powder         
4 tsp. salt            
1 tsp. black pepper
2 C Quorn chicken tenders cubes           
4 C chopped broccoli, steamed
2 gallon freezer bags         

Dough: Prepare/thaw according to package directions.                                   
For filling: If you haven't already done so, steam or microwave broccoli until tender. Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add milk and bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently. Let slowly boil until thickened to about a canned cream of soup consistency. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Stir in remaining ingredients, one at a time, in order listed, until well combined.                                    
To assemble: Divide dough in 24 balls of equal size. Roll each ball on a floured surface into a circle. Place .25 cup of filling in the center. Bring the sides up and pinch together tightly to form one seal across the top. Tuck that seam under itself and turn over. Shape into rounded roll shape and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all rolls are filled. If desired, lightly brush the rolls with egg white. Bake rolls at 375F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped. Flash freeze, then freeze in gallon bags. To serve: Microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through or warm on cookie sheet in oven for 10-12 minutes or until heated through).

The Results
Unfortunately, there were a couple of issues with this recipe as converted. As it turned out, eventually, the rolls were quite tasty. But, from following the directions  (with slight vegetarian modifications), my rolls were a disaster. I recall reading in the comments on Tricia's site that there was quite a bit of leftover filling in this recipe. Not knowing whether that was right, I made it basically as written. But whoah, there is a whole lot of leftover filling--about 3 cups worth. So, if you want to do this recipe, I'd suggest making 24 rolls instead of the originally-posted 12. After baking mine, I think the directions should have read divide EACH LOAF into 12 rolls. My rolls came out pretty doughy after 15 minutes, so I had to bake them an extra 15 minutes just to get them fully cooked. I did make a few alterations to the recipe, which I changed in the ingredients list above. If you prefer to use the original recipe, check Tricia's original post or check the original recipe at StolenMomentsCooking. For the 15-20 minute version, cut the loafs in 24 total equal balls of dough. If you do 12 balls of dough, cook for AT LEAST 30 minutes (more likely 40). The changes I made were to the amount of butter (6 Tbsp. just sounded like too much to me), the broccoli (5 cups! wow), and the "chicken" (1 cup didn't seem enough, so I swapped 1 cup of broccoli out for an extra cup of "chicken").

As I noted before, these were quite good once I adjusted the cooking time. I imagine if you followed the intent of the original recipe and made 24 rolls, they would be a lot meatier (more filling in the goo to bread ratio), but I like bread so they were pretty good like this. But, it was pretty hectic, and obviously I did not enjoy biting into the doughy uncooked roll initially (it looked all browned and was even crispy on the outside). That was pretty gross. After two oven extensions, the rolls were finally edible. I think if I were to do it again, I'd make 24 rolls.

I made the leftover filling into 12 rolls with the one leftover loaf of frozen bread dough and everything turned out PERFECT! Delicious, too. It's almost like Broccoli Cheese Soup with curry inside a bread roll. Yummy. I'm eating them for breakfast now. Quick, easy and delicious.

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