Apr 212016
 

Passovernutloaf

In preparation for Passover I went through my refrigerator & cupboards to search & Dstroy all neglected, forgotten, leftover ingredients taking up space only to realize they would all be perfect to make a nutloaf with.

Here’s what I scavenged: 1 Portabello mushroom which a friend gave me since she signed up for one of those meal delivery plans & can’t stand mushrooms. A red onion that needed to go to good use & I had 1/2 a plastic bag of faro & some cooked off oatmeal that would have gone right down the toilet had I not used it in this dish. I can see this being a stretch for some folk but it really worked. The nut loaf cooked beautifully and was very moist. This goes to show how forgiving this ‘recipe’ is.  I had 1/2 a dozen eggs so using three rather than the called for 5 was a no brainer and I had a heel of smoked gouda that had seen better days.  The only thing(s) I purchased was a 2nd Portabello mushroom & some gorgeous farmers cheese which had I remembered I had the cooked oatmeal I would have forgone this ingredient.

If you have cooked rice, or any grain for that matter, putting a nut loaf together takes almost no time at all. Let’s say 20-30 mins prep & 40 – 50 mins baking time.

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

Preheat the oven to 350°

2 – 3 Cs of a cooked grain –  faro, short grain brown rice, quinoa, cous-cous, oatmeal, …

1/2 large Onion – diced

2 dents of Garlic – minced or diced

2 Portabello Mushroom tops & 1 stem – chopped or pulsed.

sherry – splash – 1/4 cup.

1 C slivered Almonds – toasted

3 eggs – beaten

1 C – farmer’s cheese

1 C or more of cheese – Smoke Gouda, Gruyere, or cheddar – grated

1/2 apple –  grated

I used nuts that are staple ingredients for me and I believe everyone should too. I have 1/2 a bag of  walnuts but I’m going to use them in the beet, apple & orange salad I bring to my cousin’s Sedar.

I cooked off about a cup of the faro which is completely painless. It cooks in boiling water in under 30 minutes.

Then I quickly diced 1/2 of the red onion, pulsed each of the Portabello mushroom tops & 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. The recipe calls for lots of herbs to be added to the sautéd mushrooms.

Next I toasted the nuts, 1 C of  almonds. 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 & whatever cooked grain you’re using  IMG_8874

In another bowl beat 3 eggs to which the farmer’s cheese,cottage or pot cheese will be mixed into. 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 sauteed mushrooms to the nut & rice mixture and stir to incorporate well, then the egg & cottage cheese.  This is when I added the smoked Gouda & the grated apple. Mix well. Only because I have flat leaf parsley around from having made anchovy butter toast for my cheese souffle I roughly chopped about 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley and mixed that in at the very end then poured the mixture into a greased 9″ Pyrex loaf dish IMG_8877 I slid this into the preheated 350° oven and let it cook for 40 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. I blanched a handful of string beans and ate 2 almost piping hot slices in a bowl never taking the time to plate the dish and take a snap for a blog entry – GREAT – NOT…

So the following day I cut out of work & came home and served myself the beautiful dish you see uptop, the nut loaf with steamed corn & Ceres pear juice. Now here’s a funny one for ya; I am not a ketchup person but I remembered I picked up a bottle of Rhode Island’s own Cowboy sauce which is more a BBQ sauce than a ketchup and poured that on. Oh My God – again, I ate this so fast I could have choked.

I can’t speak more highly of this dish. A true new specialD!

 

There’s sO much one can do to make this dish their own it’s NUTS.

 

 

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Apr 112016
 
1stsouffle

Cheese souffle’

I offered up my humble abode to a visiting luminary/dear friend who would be hard at work in NY on the Spring Affordable Art Fair so she insisted on a few meals out to celebrate my return from Cuba, (where yes, I did go to see The Rolling Stones) and the joys that had come into her life.

Friday night we walked into Cherche Midi after 10:30PM and got 2 seats right in the middle of the bar. The tables were bustling and everyone, patrons & servers had a smile on the. The bar seats were perfectly inviting. I ordered the pot de fromage, one of my absolute favorite things, a Parmesan custard w. anchovy butter toast and the kale salad which was better than most. Filling, bright, tangy and perfect with the pot de fromage.

My friend up & at it Saturday morning while I was home to work on my Altered Book project which was expected to be delivered via FedX on Monday.  I also planned to make me my 1st cheese souffle. Short of a recipe in a friend’s very old French cookbook for pot de fromage  I settled on a recipe for individual cheese souffles which I doubled. The ingredients are all basic staplessouffleingredients

Within 5 minutes of finding the recipe I would work from I was at it. I removed the pots & pans from the oven & preheated that to 375 degrees. Next I quickly prepared the souffle dish which I was given just the day before by lightly buttering the sides and a dusting of grated Parmesan. Believe me, I was at the point that I would have made the souffle in a sawed off soup can or the 1940’s oven proof casserole I picked up at a yard sale last summer. Then I got to grating a chunk of smoke gouda and lobbing off a chunk of blue cheese which both melted beautifully into the bechamel sauce I started with an oversized pad of goatmilk butter and 4 ts=1T + 1t of unbleached all purpose flour then slowly whisked about a cup of milk into – once the flour & butter had a bit of a nutty aroma to it .

Next separate 4 eggs, add the yolks to the cheese sauce, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks tho not dry peaks. Begin by gently folding 1/4 of the whipped egg whites to the cheese sauce, then the whole lot. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake in a water bath or not in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Frisee salad w/a lemon vinegrette way worked. Green olives if I’d had em. Oh and a Sauvignon Blanc.

2ndsouffle

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