Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cold-Cuts Bread Pudding

A strange idea?  Maybe.  But delicious?  Oh yes!

Just roll with me on this, people: when you find yourself with a fridge stocked with a surplus of maple ham, smoked turkey, muenster cheese, sandwich bread (plus a few eggs), and little else, you'll be happy to have this in your back pocket.

Cold Cuts Bread Pudding
Serves 6

5 slices stale sandwich bread, cubed
1 bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and diced
4 slices smoked turkey, chopped
4 slices maple ham, chopped
4 slices deli cheese (swiss, muenster, cheddar, etc.)
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups low-fat milk
8 shakes of oregano
salt and pepper

- Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease a casserole (glass is nice).
- In a large bowl, toss together the bread, pepper and cold cuts and set aside
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, and season with oregano and salt and pepper.
- Spread the dry ingredients evenly across the bottom of the casserole and pour the egg-milk mixture over.
- Lightly poke the bread that's at the surface into the liquid, ensuring everything is wet - otherwise, those pieces of bread will burn.
- Place the casserole on a sheet tray to catch any spills and place in the center of the preheated oven.  Bake for 1 hour, until the liquid is almost completely set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set up before serving, or cover and refrigerate for later.  This is best served at room temp.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Use Your Bean

Continuing on my journey to strike a balance between work and everything else, I've been keeping up with my weeknight home-cooking ritual with pretty great success!  A highlight of last week was a super fast and easy bean stew that literally takes 20 minutes (or less!) from start to finish.  It's the kind of Wednesday night squeeze-it-in meal I can rally around, after the work clothes have been shed, the sillies shaken out, and a few minutes of staring idly at the wall have been achieved.
It's called Indonesian Bean Stew, but neither myself nor Dan can attest to its authenticity, given that our only encounter with Indonesian food was a Hell's Kitchen spot on 9th Ave that tasted delicious but ended up being so packed with MSG that our post-dinner activity that night was holding our heads in our hands and moaning like feral cats.  Not fun.  But this is!
The recipe comes from my dear friend Genna's mom Karen, who has followed this blog since the very beginning.  Thanks, Karen! for the recipe and your readership :)

Indonesian Bean Stew

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small knob ginger, peeled and minced
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 28-oz box diced tomatoes (Pomi brand is the best)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 can black beans, drained
1 can garbanzos, drained
Cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Saute the onion, pepper, garlic and ginger until softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes and brown sugar, stir and bring to a steady simmer.
3. Stir in the peanut butter, spices, and then add the rest of the beans.  Cook just until heated through.
4. Serve over bowls of rice, topped with a few cilantro leaves.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm still here!

Lovely folks - I wanted to let you know I'm still here, albeit off the grid.  Busy with work, yoga, life, and creating a family dinner ritual (a la Jenny Rosenstrach, author of newly released Dinner: A Love Story).

Here's something to hold you over till I return to the blogosphere...

Chicken Milanese with Baby Arugula + Shallot Vinaigrette
Thanks for continuing to tune in!  I apologize for the lapse in posts.  I <3 U!