Saturday, October 16, 2010

Recreating a Meal

Last month, N's brother and his girlfriend came for a visit. They kicked us out of the kitchen and made a wonderful meal: portobello mushroom burgers, wilted spinach salad, and roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower is easy: toss chopped cauliflower with oil and salt, and bake at about 400F until browned, about 20-25 minutes. The salad and burgers were a little more challenging -- our visitors hadn't given us the recipe, and we didn't want to try and wait for an answer via phone or email. So, to quote Tenacious D, this is just a tribute. (YouTube link, yay music!) But it's a delicious tribute, if I may say so myself.

2 portobello mushroom caps
2 slices wheat bread
2 handfuls fresh parsley (about 1/2 cup)
5 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
salt to taste
3 T chevre (goat cheese)

Coat the mushroom caps with a small amount of oil, and bake at 400F until mushrooms are starting to soften, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, toast the bread, then add to a food processor with the parsley, garlic, and olive oil. Process to coarse crumbs, then add salt to taste. Spread each mushroom cap with 1.5 T chevre, then top with the bread crumb mixture (about 2 T for each; you'll have leftover bread crumbs). Bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese softens and the bread crumbs brown.

Wilted Spinach Salad

1 zucchini, chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped (optional)
1 bunch fresh spinach (the smaller the leaves, the better)
a few chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
2 T olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Coat the zucchini (and pepper, if using) in olive oil and roast for 20 minutes at 400F until browned. Mix the spinach, olives, cheese, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl to make the dressing. When the zucchini and peppers are cooked, add them to the spinach mixture and toss until the spinach is dark green and wilted. You may need to heat a small amount of the dressing and add to the salad to get enough heat to completely wilt the spinach. Add dressing to taste -- we had a little dressing left over.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lasagna and Garlic Rolls

I've been on nights for a few weeks, and during the week all that I do is work and sleep. Weekends are free time -- but the first weekend I was a zombie from adjusting to the schedule, and last weekend I was sick. (How nice for me that my 24-hour bug corresponded to my 24 hours off!) This weekend was wonderful, and N and I got to do a lot of cooking. I've got some Onion-Garlic Soup on the stove, and some Bad Mood Soup in the fridge, but the Mushroom Lasagna and Garlic Rolls are a tough act to follow. We actually followed the recipes for both of them (?!) -- the only change that we made was omitting the nutmeg from the lasagna. There were a lot of steps involved, but it was worth every pot, pan, and calorie :)

The lasagna tasted even better the next day when the flavors had been able to mellow and mingle a little. Highly recommended!