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Menage a deux

19 Oct

RED AND WHITE FOOD FOR THE REDBIRDS: GO CARDINALS!!!

I was a bit puzzled why this was “boulangerie” fare. A boulangerie is a French bakery. Then I read my darling Mark Bittman’s blurb for this dish where he says it was traditionally cooked in a baker’s oven for hours. So I guess that’s the connection. Now that today’s lesson in French food words is done we can get on with it. Mais oui. Damn I want a croissant now. Avec beurre. Beurre makes everything better. Stop rambling Ellen. Okay.
French cooking can be remarkably downhome. Downright hippie. A glass of green tea with some of my SSSS ginger water would go well with this. Or some French wine. Take your pick. Eat this and you’ll be ready to go do things like wash your hair with baking soda. Which I do periodically and it rocks. Thanks for that hippie tip, Joy the Baker.
I played around a bit with this one…and it turned out well. I used red beans instead of white(Bittman says its ok, I did not peel my potatoes, and I reduced the recipe to serve deux and baked it in two individual pie plates instead of making a big casserole.
Of course, if you bake in disposable aluminum bakers you realize you cannot reheat these suckers in the microwave. But all can be unloaded onto a plate then zapped:

Now, time to menage a deux. It’s sexy to have a menage of two when it’s dinner.
Boulangerie Bean and Potatoes for deux(adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, cookbook love o my life):
1 cup of cooked red beans
1/4 + 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup water
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. butter
Preheat oven to 325. Put divide beans between two small bakers. Stir in 1/8 a tsp. of thyme into each, then salt and pepper to taste. A goute as the French say. Layer taters over. Pour the H2O over. Dot with butter, sprinkle with remaining thyme, and some more salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook 45 more or until the potatoes are looking a bit brown.
Go wash hair with baking soda while its cooking. Your locks will be sqeaky clean.
AND GO CARDS!!!

Got any random beauty tips? What’s your favorite French food?

CleanCabinetCasserole

15 Sep


I’d made this before. I had ingredients nearing their expiration dates, and work is getting busy again so I was not in the mood to experiement. Try going to an audition playing someone on a first date(double the nerves!), then changing in your car to head off for an audition in which you play an inept magician’s assistant. Such is the bizarre life of a Los Angeles actor. Fortunately the magician assistant garb segued perfectly to ballet class, my next stop of the day. And then the audition room was running so behind that I didn’t make it to class and had to give myself a ballet barre at home.
Enough of that nonsense, back to wanting to clean out the old stuff. It lead to my decision to make this chili relleno casserole. As if my own life were not spicy enough. The original version had cheddar in it, but the mozzerella was what needed using. So I did.
In retrospect, the version with cheddar was better, and I’d add some more seasonings, seeing as I did find myself grabbing the salt shaker for this. I’m imagining a version with roasted bell peppers and mushrooms instead of chilies, oregano, and a roasted garlic tomato sauce. Ok, except for that imaginative idea I am still creatively brain-dead(though it could be the heat more than the auditions responsible for that), so I’ll quit the yammering and leave you the recipe.
Chili-cheese-y Goodness(Based on a recipe from Evelyn Tribole’s Healthy Home Cooking)
7 oz. can of fire-roasted whole green chilies
1/2 c. evaporated skim milk
2 egg whites
2 T. and 2 tsp. whole-wheat flour
8 oz. shredded mozzella
1/2 c. tomato sauce
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slit, seed, rinse and drain peppers. Mix milk, eggs and four until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup cheese for topping. Layer 1/2 of the chilies, remaining cheese, and egg mixture in an greased 8×4 pan. Repeat layers. Pour tomato sauce over all and bake for about 30 minutes. Add cheese and bake about 20 minutes more, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Question of the day:
What dream-ingredients would go in your pantry if it was magically suddenly empty?
What are your staples?

Un-texas-afying a recipe aka making it healthier

17 Jun

Brunch Enchiladas? Tortillas filled with spicy cheese and baked in a bath of eggy creamy spicy goodness? Yeah, baby. This recipe from Texas Blossoms was an opportunity for me to use up more of the soy turkey I’d bought, as well as some half and half and cheese that was on its last legs. But like most Tex-mex, it was also a bit in need of lightening up. I subbed in whole wheat tortillas and flour in the sauce, almond milk for some of the half and half, low-fat cheese, and soy ground turkey for ham. This was really good, the only thing I’d do differently would be to roll the tortillas tighter next time. They were loosely rolled and puffed up over the cream/egg mixture and got a bit dry on top. Otherwise I totally dug this:
Brunch Enchiladas(adapted from Texas Blossoms)
Mix:
1/2 cup meat substitute
1/4 cup diced green chilies(the kind you get in a can)
3 oz. reduced fat sharp cheddar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Divide this between 4 whole wheat tortillas, roll, and put in a 8×8 baking dish.
Mix:
3 eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 tsp. whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
dash of tabasco
Pour over rolled tortillas, cover and refrigerate about 4-8 hours. Remove about a half hour before baking then bake, covered for about 20-30 minutes then uncovered for 20-30 more at 350 degrees. Use your senses, if it looks done way early, it probably is, if it still seems underdone, cook it longer:)

I vant to be alone. Dahhhling!

16 Apr

That was my sentiment this Friday. It was an exhausting week due to work and social duties and I wanted a night in. Plus I had not made anything new in a while. So! Hot date with myself, my oven and “The Big Book of Breakfast” by Maryana Vollstedt. I love breakfast foods, though definitely not in the morning. The idea of any food, let alone hot, sweet, and heavy food(my, but that sounds pornographic) first thing in the morning turns my tummy. But late at night? Bring it on.
I have hash brown potatoes in my freezer as well as soy bacon in my fridge that needed using so I decided upon the Hash Brown Potato Pie. I had to make a few adjustments: using hash brown patties instead of loose measurable hash browns, egg beaters instead of eggs, swiss cheese instead of monterey jack and of course soy instead of real bacon. So my recipe:
1 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
3 hash brown patties, thawed and chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped green onion
4 slices of soy bacon, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar
1/2 cup swiss
Mix everything but the swiss, spray a 9 inch pie tin with nonstick spray and pour in. Top with swiss. Cook at 350 for around a half hour.
The results:

I am now off to eat this pan of deliciousness. Well maybe not the whole thing…

meh

23 Feb

Meh describes my feelings about these taters:

Which is too friggin’ bad since I used the last of my organic fingerling potatoes to make them. The recipe? Buttermilk scalloped potatoes from a super old school vegetarian cookbook: Laurel’s Kitchen. That’s what I get for foresaking Bittman again, perhaps. I mean, the potatoes weren’t bad, but they needed a heck of a lot of salt. I am not even gonna leave the recipe cause it’s not worth making in my book unless you happen to be a huge buttermilk fan. Which if you are I am tickled. That’s sort of adorable.

Back to the Bittman Book

31 Jan

Oh Mark, I did not mean to neglect you. I am sorry for the affairs with Bon Appetit, and I know that cooking around with Hungry Girl was truly crossing the line. And I cannot promise it will not happen in the future. I confess in being poly, I need the content from cookbooks, magazines and blogs to be truly satisfied in the kitchen.
But you will be my main cookbook man.
And I gave you the benefit of the doubt, trying a dish with yogurt in it. I don’t normally care for yogurt so surely this gesture shows how much our relationship has come to mean to me.
I tried the baked version of your spinach with fresh cheese an yogurt. I used the mozzerella option instead of fresh cheese. I did not have garam masala so I made my own mix of spices: heavy on the coriander and cumin, accented with cinnamon, cloves, turmeric and freshly ground black pepper. And instead of a quarter cup of oil I used 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Smart Balance to toast the whole wheat flour in. This roux, mixed with the yogurt, cheese, spices, and blanched and shocked baby spinach was warming and delish.I promise not to forsake you for so long again, dear How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook!