Monday, December 22, 2008

Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is one of those things that remind people of their childhood holidays. It's usually something their mom always made and as such they have a very distinct idea of what it should be like. Similar to potato salad, everyone makes it just a little bit differently and thinks theirs is the best. I did not grow up with this (we had green beans with spetzle for holiday meals) so I can be objective in these recipes. I found one on that did not involve cream of mushroom soup and I liked it a lot. Naturally I made a few changes which are reflected here.

2 T butter
2 T flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
diced onion
1 c sour cream
one big bag frozen french cut green beans (it called for three cans, steamed fresh beans would also be good)
2 c grated cheese (calls for cheddar, I used leedermeyer because it was what I had)
1/2 c crushed Ritz crachers

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and saute onion. Mix in flour and cook for one minute. (This was a bit odd, it would probably have been good to cook the onion, set it aside then melt the butter and add the flour.) Stir in salt, sugar and sour cream. Add green beans and stir to coat. Mix in about half of the cheese.

Transfer to a casserole dish. Spread the remaining cheese on top with the crushed crackers. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spinach Cannelloni

This one came out of one of the local free newspapers so it is in metric. It is a bit time consuming but in spite of that, it's pretty good.

450 g cooked chopped spinach
250 g ricotta cheese
1 egg
60 g grated parmesan
ground nutmeg
16 cannelloni tubes, uncooked
600 ml bechamel sauce (I just used a jar of alfredo sauce, point is, something white)
For Napoli sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g can chopped tomatoes
75 mL vegetable stock
basil leaves

Preheat oven to 190 C (I have no idea what this is in F, less than 400, maybe 350 or 375?) Put ricotta in bowl. Mix egg and half of parmesan (although it never says what to do with the other half so I guess you could use it all if you want. Add spinach and nutmeg, mix. Spoon filling into cannelloni (this will take a long time. The first time I did it, I used a spoon to get it in, the second time, just my fingers. I'm not sure which way went faster but the later was definately messier) and place in baking dish.

For Napoli sauce: fry onion in oil. Add celery and garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and stock. Simmer 15 minutes (you can start filling the tubes while this is simmering but don't loose track of time as it will probably take longer than 15 min to fill all of the tubes). Add basil. Pour bechamel over cannelloni (I'm guessing this is where the other half of the cheese would go but it doesn't say). Spoon napoli sauce on top. Bake 35 minutes or until golden.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Zucchini Grinders

I got this recipe from which has pretty much gotten me through being away from my cook books. I have made some changes to it (I think for the better) but if you are interested in the original recipe, you can check it out here.

2 zucchinis (or however many you need for the right volume)
touch of oil
green pepper, sliced
onion, sliced
clove of garlic, chopped
jar spaghetti sauce
fresh mozzarella, sliced
ciabatta bread

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the green peppers, onions and garlic. Add the zucchinis and cook until soft. Pour in the sauce and heat until heated through.

Meanwhile, cut open the bread and lay the cheese slices on one side (or two if you like a lot of cheese). Put on a cookie sheet and cook until the cheese melts. (I didn't really notice the temperature and you can use the broiler but watch it carefully.)

Once the cheese is melted, top with the zucchini mixture and serve. The cheese helps hold it together but it is still pretty messy. It would also be good with mushrooms in the mix. We like to have it with potato salad or the like.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Surprisingly Good Greens

I was trying to come up with a snack for Anna to eat and came up with this. She didn't like it all the much but I thought it was great.

1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
Chopped Kale
Baby Spinach
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt

Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add the pepper and saute for a bit. Add the kale (in batches if you are doing a lot) and wilt then add spinach. Season with garlic salt.

There are a number of variations you can do: use butter, add onions or any other kind of pepper, change up the spices.

I love food

I love food. At least, I love good food and when I find/make some, I want to share it with others. So, this blog will be about food: good recipes I find, things I come up with on my own and other general food musings. Feel free to let me know what you discover and we can all enjoy good food together.