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Archive for February, 2011

My sub-headline on this site has been “and then I cracked an egg on it” since I started this blog – the reason for this is that I often make something that is chock full of veggies and stuff but fairly devoid of protein and finish it off with an egg (or two) on top.  Runny yolks make the best sauce for food, and I am in love with eggs in a serious way.   But then for a long time I wasn’t doing this so much – in large part because I started eating eggs almost every morning for breakfast, so having them at dinner as well seemed like overkill.  Now I’m working a lot more morning shifts at work, so I often don’t have my eggs in the morning because I’m rushing off to work; so recently, the egg-on-top-of-stuff dinner has come back in a big way.

A few weeks ago, on cook-n-blog Monday with Kat Burns, I was tired.  I didn’t feel like cooking at all.  I wasn’t organized.  Then Kat came over and said “how about I cook for you this week!” and I welcome the opportunity to just watch and snap the photos.  Now, this particular Monday fell right after my birthday weekend – and on this birthday weekend I had a lil dinner party in my dear friend Krista’s lovely dining room.  I cooked for twelve people on my birthday.  What was I thinking? I don’t know, but it ended up not actually be stressful at all, and just being quite lovely.  But I had some leftovers.  I had made a salad of cooked butternut squash and beluga lentils with goat cheese on arugula, and there was a TON leftover.  It was yummy, but if I was going to finish off the leftovers, I needed to reinvent it in some way.  If there’s one thing Kat Burns is really good at, it’s not letting food go to waste.  So she went to work on my leftovers.

She cooked up some zucchini and mushrooms that I had, and added that leftover squash salad – just dumped the whole container into the frying pan.  I was not particularly hopeful, because I wasn’t sure that this cold salad with all its parts was going to heat up all that well.  I was wrong!  All those things mixed together and sauteed ended up being wonderful, especially when it was finished with a perfect sunny-side up egg on top.  Let it be known that I never cook my eggs sunny-side up, because I like the security of knowing that my eggs are fully cooked that comes with flipping them.  But Kat Burns is a sunny-side-up master.  She’s got it down.  She can even cook that egg in a cast iron pan without wrecking it.  That is a skill. She’s proud of that skill, and she should be.

Kat and I had to take a hiatus last week – it was Family Day, so she didn’t have to work in the city, and I wanted to get to bed early because I had an interview for Teacher’s College the next day.  We will soon meet again, however, and now I have a brand spanking new camera all my own, so you can expect a lot more blog posts to be coming your way.  First, though, I have to take my laptop in to be fixed AGAIN because my disc drive is broken, which means that I can’t install my new camera’s software, which means I can’t upload any of my food photos yet.  Le sigh.  Soon, my friends, soon.

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Let it be known that I carried a food-grade large white bucket and lid home from work on the TTC on Monday so that Kat Burns and I could use it to make sauerkraut.  Before I left work I kept wearing it like a purse and saying things like “It’s the new Dolce & Gabbana”.  Do D&G even make purses? I’m not the type of person who would know.  Anyway, sauerkraut has been postponed until next week.  The real story is that on Sunday night Kat sent me the following email:

“Can we make Hors d’Oeuvre pie? I found the recipe in a 1978 National
Geographic advert and it sounds both gross and awesome. Behold:

1 x frozen pie shell (blasphemy!) flattened to a big circle
340g of Cream Cheese
60 g of Blue cheese (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp onion or garlic salt

Garnish: cherry tomato halves, sliced mushrooms, parsley sprigs,
chopped hard boiled egg and sliced ripe olives (in a circular pattern,
looks pretty nice). Bake pastry, cool. Places on serving platter. Blend first 4
ingredients until fluffy, spread on pastry. Garnish as shown. Makes 12
wedges.

YUm”

Now I myself (unlike many reasonable and unreasonable people of this world) am a big mayo lover, but even this I thought was a little much.  Still, I’m always up for a food adventure.  I had a frozen pie crust that I’d made awhile back so I took it out to thaw.  Later on, though, Kat and I decided that eating a mayonnaise pie between just the two of us was not such a good idea afterall.  So instead! We made a sort of quiche/tart thing.  I (as usual) took inspiration from Smitten Kitchen, but mostly because I thought to myself “does cauliflower even go with eggs?” because I had eggs, and I had cauliflower.  I trusted that based on that recipe, the two would combine well.

 

For Christmas I got a set of pie weight chains in my stocking, and decided to give them a whirl, since quiche is the type of thing you’re supposed to blind bake pastry for.  Let me just say, I don’t think I can be bothered so much with the blind baking.  I have always found that if you chill your crust in the pie plate for awhile before filling it, it may get a bit soggy on the bottom but not unreasonably so.  This blind baking business is a lot of hassle, and even with my new pie weights, the thing shrunk so much!

Giant hand pinches the butts of unsuspecting onions.

 

So anyway, I rolled out my crust and I weighted it in the pie plate and I baked it empty for about 20 minutes and then quickly put a baking sheet of cauliflower in to roast as soon as the pie crust came out and all the while I was caramelizing some onions in my trusty cast iron pan.  I whisked together some milk, ricotta cheese, a tiny dollop of mustard, grated gruyere and a mere 2 eggs in a bowl and ground in some salt and pepper.  When the onions and the cauliflower were done, I put the onions in the pie crust, then the cauliflower, and then poured the egg-milk-cheese mixture over it all.  Then we baked some more.  I always have a hard time telling when eggs are done if they’re being baked and there’s cheese or other dairy in them – they always seem undercooked but it’s so hard to tell if they’re just deliciously silky from the cheese and whatnot.  Better safe than sorry though I guess.  I turned the oven to broil for the last few minutes to get a nice browned crunchy top.

Meanwhile, Kat made a salad with romaine, raw collard greens, and some of my rainbow carrots.  She told me I had to eat all my salad so I ate it first because I hate raw vegetables for the most part, and salad especially.

The quiche/tart/whatever it was was delicious, and as per usual, Kat and I washed it all down with many hours of 90210.  Later we made a giant chocolate chip cookie.  Mondays are awesome.

I dog-eared the corner so I wouldn't forget which cookie I was eating.

 

P.S. If you happened to NOT click on the link on Kat’s name above, please do, and here it is again.  She’s undertaking a really awesome project for the month of February, and you can snag some awesome original art for a great deal!

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