Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to get your husband to eat more veggies:baked spinch and swiss

This one is for all you vegetarians out there.

This is a Real Simple Classic. We've got wine, cheese, and whole milk and cream!

Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1hour 25 minutes (not really. We watched like 2 1/2 episodes of Mad Men).

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the dish
6 shallots, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 10-ounce boxes frozen leaf spinach, thawed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
2 cups grated Gruyere (8 ounces)
1 cup dry white wine

Directions
Heat oven to 400° F. Coat a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish with oil; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.

Squeeze the spinach to remove excess liquid. Stir the spinach, shallots, Gruyère, and Parmesan into the egg mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes.



Cook's Notes:
Because I love my husband and like my father-in-law, I pulled the old bait-and-switch and used half and half and skim milk.

The recipe calls for Gruyere but the grocery store I was at charged an arm and leg for it, so I went with Swiss.

I also forgot the shallots, so I omitted the step with the shallots and wine.

Mr. Snowgoose roasted potatoes and winter squash to add as a side. H even had seconds!

My father-in-law demanded the leftovers and that I make it again soon, which I will. It was wicked good.

And the baking time was only about 35 minutes.

Rosemary Apple Scones

A few weekends back, before the pesto incident and all the rain, I had family over for coffee one Sunday morning. Since it was above 50 and not raining (and there was sun!) we dined al fresco at the patio Chez Snowgoose.

I haven't made scones from scratch (or if I have I can't remember) and was eager to try them. I had seen a vegan apple-rosemary scone recipe in the Vegan Brunch cookbook, but want to feed it to my carnivore family, so I merged the VB apple-rosemary scone recipe with the scone recipe in Joy of Cooking.

8 to 12 scones

Increase the sugar up to 1⁄4 cup for a sweeter scone.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Sift together into a large bowl:
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Cut in, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, until the size of small peas:
1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) cold butter
Beat in a small bowl:
2 large eggs
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs. Beat in to the reminder:
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 cup diced apple
1/4 cup fresh rosemary (less if you don't like it)
Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the liquid and combine with a few swift strokes. Handle the dough as little as possible. Turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Pat to 3⁄4 inch thick. To make the classic wedge shape, pat into an 8-inch round and then cut into 8 to 12 wedges or cut into diamond shapes or as for Biscuit Sticks, above. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with the reserved egg and sprinkle with:
Salt or sugar



Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook's Notes

Of course we added extra sugar.

Who owns a pastry blender. What is that?

The rosemary was from our yard!



Trying to make them into wedges was a pain in the ass. I just dropped them in lumps like cookie dough. No one complained.

Serve with butter and jam.

The four of us ate them all within an hour. They were that good.
And I will totally make this one again. It's perfect for fall baking.

How to give yourself a heart attack: creamy shrimp and bacon

As much as I love Real Simple magazine, I think they might be trying to kill me. I swear that every dish has at least three of these ingredients:
1)bacon
2)whole cream
3)wine
4)cheese

Not that it's a bad thing, but I would like us to still be cooking 50 years from now.

Creamy Shrimp With Corn and Bacon

From the April 2009 issue

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes (ha!)

Total Time: 25 (more like 40!)

Ingredients
1 cup long-grain white rice
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (or depooped in the Snowgoose house!)
1 10-ounce package frozen corn

Directions

In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine rice, 1 1/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 18 minutes. (Do not lift the lid or stir!) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork before serving.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, let cool, then break into pieces. Wipe out the skillet.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in the shrimp, corn, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon; serve over the rice.

Cooks notes:

We don't eat white rice in the Snowgoose household and we didn't have brown rice on hand, so we used orzo instead.

As requested by Mr. S, we used 2x the bacon

But omitted the white wine because SOMEONE drank the cooking wine. I'm not naming any names (Mr. Snowgoose). But actually, the wine wasn't missed.

We cooked this late one Sunday night, so there are no photos, by Real Simple has what theirs looks like.

I sent the leftovers to work with Mr. S and his dad and all they other attorneys were jealous of the bacon goodness.

Would I make this again. Probably not.

The time I tried to make pesto and nearly cut off my finger

You know how this one ends, but do you know how it begun?

Ten or so days ago, I was home prepping dinner before yoga for Mr. Snowgoose and I. We had just cleaned out the lettuce and herb containers and planted garlic and onions, so I was using the last of our homegrown basil to make pesto.



We love pesto in the Snowgoose household, and Mr. Snowgoose usually makes it.

This time I decided to try. The recipe was from Better Homes and Gardens.



Ingredients
1 box Thin Spaghetti
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 clove garlic
2 tablespoon pine nuts (I used 1/4 cup cheese)
2 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese
1 tablespoon Romano cheese (Actually I used more like 1/4 c cheese)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
To taste salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add garlic, pine nuts, grated cheese to blender and blend for about 15 seconds until brought together.



(note: this was when it went downhill and when I discovered that Mr. Food. Processer would not be fufilling his sous chef duties.

Add basil, oil, salt and pepper and continue to blend until a slightly loose pesto forms, about 2 minutes.


Cook pasta according to directions.

Toss pasta with pesto in a bowl and serve immediately.

Cooks notes:

I think the key to success in this dish is just mixing in the amount of oil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, and basil, that you feel like and it makes a creamy paste.

What you don't want to do is use your immersion blender to grind the stuff up when you can't work your husband's food processor that was made in 1984. Immersion blenders do not bode well with dry goods, stick to soups that need to be pureed. Otherwise, this happens:



and this:




8 stitches, 4 cute fireman, and a trip to the ER in an ambulance. Fortunately I still have a functional index finger.

But I'll leave the pesto to chef Snowgoose.

Oh, and yes, the pesto was ruined.