Apr 282017
 

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Nut loaf

A friend who bought a half dozen bottles of Salt of D Earth as holiday gifts wrote to say, “how the RhODy blend really pulled her nut loaf together.”  I wrote back immediately saying, “NUT LOAF, what do you mean nut loaf? How have I never heard of a nut loaf? You’ve gotta talk me through this one.” Within minutes she texted back saying that she’s never used a recipe to make a nut loaf & she’s been making them for years but she did include a link for a recipe in her text none the less.

I checked the recipe in the link knowing full well I too would be ‘Making it my own”.

I hemmed & hawed about whether or not this nut loaf could really constitute being a true Recipe 4 Survival since a majority of the ingredients are not basic staples and some of them are quite expensive, for instance organic nuts.  I knew I’d love it, I wanted to make something I’ve never tried before and the play on words that a nut loaf is NUTritious made it all worthwhile.

Now that I’ve made it, nut loaf is a perfect recipe for survival. So here’s the rough math: the ingredients used to make a 9″ loaf cost about $18. At least 10 hearty slices can be had from the 9″ loaf which I know would suffice a family of 4 with left overs, so YES, nut loaf is a Recipe 4 Survival.  A slice, pan-seared makes a killer sandwich – especially since I used up my ancho chili infused maple syrup roasted butternut squash like a jam on the toast.  It freezes & reheats really well and it’s so NUTritious! IMG_8885

The ingredient’s & quantities called for seemed like overkill to me and I could tell what they were calling for and the final product would be very forgiving short of picking up mushrooms & cottage cheese I made my first nutloaf with basic staples I have at home.

If you happen to have left over or cooked rice, putting a nut loaf together takes almost no time at all. Let’s say 20-30 mins prep & 50-60 mins baking time.

Here’s what I did to make my nut loaf.

Preheat the oven to 350°

2 – 3 Cs cooked (short grain) brown rice – 1 cup of short grain brown rice yielded .

2 Portabello Mushroom tops & 1 stem – chopped.

2 dents of Garlic – minced or diced

1/2 large Onion – diced

sherry – splash/1/4 cup.

1 C Almonds – toasted & 1 C Walnuts – toasted

3 or 4 eggs – beaten

1 C – cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese

1 C Grated cheese – Cheddar or Smoke Gouda

(Pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews – whatever your fancy. I used nuts that are staple ingredients for me and I believe everyone should too)

I cooked 1 cup of short grain brown rice which I let toast lightly in the pan I sautéd the mushrooms in  then I added two cups of water, let that come to a boil for 5 mins. Turn the heat down, put a top on the pan and let the rice steam for a good 20 mins.

I pulsed to a fine chop 2 Portabello mushroom tops & 1 stem in my small food processor then cooked them off in a heavy bottomed pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, 2 good sized dents of garlic roughly chopped  & 1/2 an onion diced.  I added various pinches of dry herbs, primarily thyme & sage which probably equal about a teaspoon each.  When the mushroom liquid evaporated I splashed in some sherry – a staple for me and let that cook off. Turn off the heat & let the mushroom mixture cool in a bowl.

Next I toasted the nuts, 1 C of  almonds & 1 C of walnuts I toasted each separately, a handful at a time in a small saute pan over a medium heat. This takes no time at all, just until you smell the aroma of the nuts by wafting the air over the pan. I tossed those into small food processor and pulsed.

In a large bowl combine the nuts & the cooked rice    IMG_8874

In another bowl beat 4 eggs, & 1 cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese. The recipe called for 5 eggs & 1 Cup of the pot/farmer’s cheese. Believe me, if I hadn’t been able to get the freshest most beautiful farmer’s cheese, I would have left it out. Season with Salt of D Earth or S & P.

Add the egg & cottage cheese and the sautéd mushrooms to the nut & rice mixture and stir to incorporate well.  This is when I added about a 1/4# of grated smoked Gouda & handful of dried cranberries.  I think apple chunks would work nicely in the mix. Maybe in place of a cup of nuts?  There’s sO much one can do to make this dish their own it’s NUTS.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ Pyrex loaf dish IMG_8877and decorated the top of the loaf. I used slices of apple. IMG_8881 Sliced mushrooms, a sprig of thyme, would look beautiful. I slid this into the preheated oven and let it cook for 50 minutes, turned the heat off & left the loaf in the oven another good 10 minutes.

Nut loaf is so great on so many levels. It travels well. It’s a great pot luck dish for a party, it’s filling and again, oh so NUTritious. The first time I made the nut loaf  it was so well received I scored big time as it took center field on the grazing table at a Superbowl party amongst a huge pot of vegetarian chili, cheesy nachos, traditional toppings, 2 different bowls of guacamole  & various dipping chips.

You too will score big time with this one. YUM.

 

 

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Feb 162016
 

 I love this entry & recipe. I first posted it last year on President’s day.oysters finishe dish

 

I’m sure you’re all wondering, ‘ How can Oysters Rockefeller be a Recipe 4 Survival?’  I’m not going to labor over the point but on some level, Oysters Rockefeller is a perfect recipe for survival. Short of only a few ingredients that are not staples the benefits of the vitamins & minerals intake balance it all out in my book. The dish is quite reasonable to prepare, whether you’re up to shucking your own oysters or if you’re not, oysters can be opened painlessly by par boiling them.

I was an oyster shucker for an Open Oyster party at The Diamond in Greenpoint. Obsessed with these Fisher Island oysters, I asked if I could take a dozen home with me.  My request was obliged kindly .

I got the iDea to make Oysters Rockefeller because I have creamed spinach & butter in the freezer from my crepe making caper last week it was Presidents Day, an R month and I had 9 unshucked oysters in the vegetable crisper draw in the fridge.

So I began my research into Oysters Rockefeller.  Thanks to Wikipedia I learned that the closest anyone can get to a recipes which of course is top secret and may even have been taken to the grave is that there is no spinach in Antoine’s Oyster Rockefeller. Antoine’s Restaurant,  where the dish was developed after the craze for escargot waned. Its said that there are 18 ingredients in Antoine’s recipe. Legend has it that a patron exclaimed with delight after eating this dish, “Why, this is as rich as Rockefeller!”

Seeing that Pernod, Herbsaint or Absinthe is a traditional ingredient in the recipe I was out the door like a bolt to get a bottle of Pernod which I love anyway and can’t imagine why Absinthe has been absent in my cupboard. I picked up a more reasonably priced bottle of Absinthe, Absinthe ordinaire liqueur.  With this bottle in hand I then trucked down to the Essex Street Market to get a bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley, scallion, watercress.  Breadcrumbs, garlic  & capers are staples to me.

So that’s it.   A stick of butter warmed while I was out getting the liquor & the greens.  Immediately upon getting home, out came my compact Cuisinart. I roughly chopped half of each bunch of the greens, parsley, watercress & scallions. I added this to the warmed stick of butter I broke down into 4 pieces in the Cuisinart. Then I added 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 Ts, capers, & 2 Ts of the Absinthe to make a compound butter. I was so excited I completely forgot to add the breadcrumbs nor did I top them with Parmesan which is not called for in the closest I think I could get to a traditional recipe – even tho I have it.  Tarragon & celery are believed to be in the original recipe. I neglected to use these ingredients but if I had easy access to tarragon, believe me, I’d use it. I’d also use fennel in place of celery but let me tell you – by making a compound butter with basic greens like I did and OH, and a splash of an absinthe, anise flavored liquor – I believe you can feel confident saying you made Oysters Rockefeller.

With the compound butter made I preheated the oven to 375 and set up to shuck and prep the oysters.

oysterknifestrainerliquoroysterspreppedoystersinthepanonsalt

 

 

I spread a bed of Kosher salt in an oven proof pan with then gently placed the freshly shucked oysters topped with the compound butter into the oven for 7 minutes.

Place the hot out of the oven oysters on a plate w/rock or kosher salt, if you have it, or forego any of that but remember a few lemon wedges. A cold bubbly drink always works.

Remember, eating oysters is good for the environment!

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