Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fearless Feasting

I found a recipe over the weekend and knew I had to try it because (1) we usually have all the ingredients on-hand and (2) it looked super easy. I was not afraid! And so I made it today. And of course (1) we didn't have two of the ingredients and (2) it took twice as long to cook as the directions indicated.

That's how it goes, right?

I chose my recipe from Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman. I've never used her cookbook before, but paging through it I found a lot of recipes that sound delicious (cold cherry-lemon soup, coucou a l'Iranien [basically a flat omelette with nuts], garlic souffle, curried lentil pate, and many more). Today's dish was one of the most simple in the book.

Cheese, Bread, and Tomato Casserole
Serves 6-8

  • 4-6 slices whole wheat bread
  • 8 onces Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried or fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • pepper, freshly ground
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 2-quart baking dish or souffle dish.
  2. Layer bread, cheese, and tomatoes in that order, two layers each in prepared baking dish.
  3. Beat together eggs, milk, wine, thyme, mustard, pepper, and salt. Pour over cheese, bread, and tomatoes.
  4. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until puffed and browned.

I didn't have any thyme so I used tarragon and basil. And we were out of wine, and I probably could have just skipped the 2T, but I substituted some apple cider (I don't know why. Made me feel crafty or something).

How did it taste? Great! In fact those 6-8 servings disappeared into the bellies of just two adults and one-year-old. How long did it actually take to cook? Just shy of 90 minutes. I don't know what was going on, but there was a persistent runniness that took forever to cook out. Combination of cheese and egg and tomato or something.

Would I make it again? Yes. It was quick to put together and tasty in a simple, cheesy, egg-ish way. But next time I'll count on cooking it for an hour (checking on it after 45 mins).

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