Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Veggie Casserole

Here is a recipe I tried a couple weeks ago from my new vegetarian cookbook The New Moosewood Cookbook. Before I made it, I was nervous about the cottage cheese in the recipe. I don't really like cottage cheese, and have never used it in a recipe. But, it turned out wonderfully. I had a ton left over after dinner with my friend and it was great throughout the week for lunch. I meant to blog about it at the time, but I was quickly overwhelmed by work and the condition of my kitchen (see recent posts for details). So, now that I've been stuck inside for almost a week with the snow (snowMG, snowpocalypse, etc), I have some time to type it up for you.

Broccoli Mushroom Noodle Casserole (from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook)

What You Need:
- 1 1 lb (or 12 oz) package wide flat egg noodles
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large bunch fresh broccoli, chopped
- 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
3. Cook the noodles until half done and drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and set aside.
4. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add onions and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
5. Add broccoli, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is bright green and just tender.
6. Remove from heat and add white wine.
7. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs with cottage cheese and sour cream.
8. Add noodles, sauted vegetables, and 1 cup breadcrumbs.
9. Mix well!
10. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and top with remaining breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
11. Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes more.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Overloaded Potatoes

Also for the Super Bowl, I made twice baked potatoes. These are a favorite of mine from growing up. They are fun and easy to make, but delicious and very satisfying to eat.

Twice Baked Potatoes

What You Need

-4 large russet potatoes, about a pound each
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup milk
-3 Tbsp butter, softened
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus a bit more for topping)
-4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
-2 small heads broccoli, chopped
-1/2 onion, chopped
-4 strips bacon (optional)

What You Do

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water.
3. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode.
4. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should be soft when you poke a folk in them.
5. If you are including bacon in your stuffing, while the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool and crumble.
6. Sauté the mushrooms, broccoli, and onion in a little butter until the broccoli is bright green. Use as much or as little as you like. This is where you get to play! Think of other items you want in your potato.
6. When the potatoes are done, allow them to cool to touch (10 minutes min.)
7. Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise.
8. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Be careful and make sure to leave the skin in tact.
9. Place the scooped out potato insides, sour cream, milk, and butter into a large bowl.
10. Mix the sautéd veggies and crumbled bacon in with the potatoes. Add in the cheese and mix some more. Reserve some of the cheese and bacon (if you are using it) to sprinkle on the tops of the potatoes.
11. Spoon fillings into the potato shells.
12. Sprinkle with extra toppings.
13. Heat oven to 350°F.
14. Place potatoes on a roasting pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.

Next time play around with some of your favorite items to add into the potatoes. They are good no matter what you put in them!

Sweet Treats

After the Jambalaya was simmering, I got started with some chocolate chip cookies. This recipe was fantastic and I think I will be sticking with it for a long time. The cookies turned out soft and sweet! They were a great hit for the Superbowl yesterday as well.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies(from Bittman's How to Cook Everything)

What You Need

-2 sticks butter
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 cups chocolate chips

What You Do

1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars; add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. (By the way, I hate using the electric mixer and only do so for a short time and then resorted to working by hand. It gets the butter and sugar everywhere!)
3. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and add them to the batter by hand, stirring to blend. Stir in the vanilla and then the chocolate chips.
4. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets and bake until lightly browned about 10 minutes.

Share with friends, and eat with a glass of milk.

Back in the Game

As you may have noticed, 2010 has not been a great year for the blog so far. Some of this is due to the craziness of the past two months, but it has also been because of some trouble I've been having with my apartment. I have been fighting tirelessly against an army of roaches that have made their happy home this winter in my kitchen. I know, it is gross. But, I thought it was about time I blogged about it and got it off my chest. I was finally able to get the exterminator here last Thurs. and so far, things have been looking a lot better. I'm on the "rotation" for pest control in my building and so, hopefully, I will be able to sneak back into my kitchen and get cooking again.

With the two feet of snow we got this weekend, I hardly left my house. Thankfully, the roaches had retreated enough to allow me into the kitchen to try some goodies for the cold weather (and also for the Superbowl).

First was the Jambalaya:

Jambalaya (from epicurious)

What You Need:

- 1 tbsp olive oil
- large onion, chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
- 4 oz extra-lean smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 precooked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 5 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
- 1 1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped into bite-sized pieces

What You Do:

1. Add oil to a large nonstick saucepan.
2. Over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery until onion is translucent.
3. Add parsley, ham, chicken, sausage, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper.
4. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes (with juice), tomato sauce, and 1 3/4 cups cold water.
6. Gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
7. Pour rice into the pan and stir well.
8. Bring mixture to a boil.
9. Lower heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until rice is cooked and absorbs most of the liquid.
10. Stir in shrimp and cook 5 minutes more.
11. Remove bay leaf.
12. Season to taste with cayenne pepper and salt.
13. Enjoy!

This is great for the cold weather... more weekend treats to come!