Carry-outs revisited

For most of people, carry-outs are something to pick up on the way home, or more frequently menu items to have delivered when you are within the radius served by the restaurant of choice.  During the years we lived in an isolated part of North Carolina, carry-outs were only an option if we picked them up – since we were far beyond any delivery routes.  Now that we are living inside the District of Columbia, numerous restaurants will deliver to our location, or we can walk a block in any direction to pick up whatever type of food we want.  But given our past experiences, that would be too simple, especially once we discovered The Vegetable Garden in Rockville, MD.  This restaurant prepares the most amazing vegetarian food we have ever enjoyed and we frequently talk about having their Moo Shi Vegetables, which are served with the thinnest of crepes with plum sauce.  Their physical location is not in an area that we have any reason to visit, but it is accessible by Metro.  Granted, it’s a bit of a trip, but last week it was time to pay them a visit.  I hopped on the Metro late in the afternoon, and after five stops and a short walk, a container of beautiful stir-fried veggies and crepes was on the way home.  Worth the trip – absolutely!

While we can’t recreate anything we’ve enjoyed from The Vegetable Garden, we did have great results with a recipe recently published in the New York Times.  The Butternut Squash and Mushroom Wellington appealed to us as a Thanksgiving entree since we traditionally do not prepare turkey.  Our Thanksgiving meals have ranged from shrimp and grits to almost anything as long as it isn’t turkey.  After reading through the recipe, we decided we would roast the squash in the oven to give it more flavor.  While the squash was roasting, we sauteed the mushrooms and shallots and prepared the puff pastry (now defrosted) for assembly.  The recipe contains some crumbled goat cheese which we used, but after sampling the dish, we may try a combining some low-fat cream cheese with a bit of blue cheese for a slightly different flavor.  The finished product was visually appealing, tasted delicious, and made much more than we could possibly eat.  Surprisingly, the reheated leftovers were also quite good.

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