Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pie for Dinner!

Do you love complements and enjoy savory pie? I've got the perfect recipe! This is one of those dishes I can remember my mother making. I think I enjoyed it back then (I hope I told her so?), and I know my family and I enjoy it now!

from Recipes for a Small Planet by Ellen Buchman Ewald:
Complementary Pie
  • 3/4 cup raw brown rice (or barley), cooked
  • 1/2 cup dry beans, cooked (use large colorful beans like kidneys or black)
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

While the beans are rice are cooking, saute the sliced onions in the butter until they are very soft and just begin to turn golden. Set them aside. 
Beat the milk into the eggs; stir in the grated cheese, salt, tarragon, and worcestershire sauce. 
Then fold in the sauteed onions, cooked beans, and cooked rice.
Turn the mixture into an oiled 10-inch pie plate. 
Bake at 325 F for 25 to 30 mins, until the custard has set and the edges are browned. Let stand for 10 mins before serving, then slice into wedges.
Variation--Complementary Pie with Crust: Prepare any whole wheat pie crust for a more elegant pie. Use a larger pie pan, press the crust in, pour in the custard, and bake as above.

Of course, much of the Small Planet premise (that ingredients must be combined in carefully-considered amounts so that the dishes contain "complete proteins") has since been largely debunked; it's not nearly so difficult to eat well as a vegetarian. But that in no way means that Ewald's recipes shouldn't be made and enjoyed. Reading through the cookbook is a pleasure (for me); it's interesting, even if its concern for amino acids is unnecessary, and the recipes themselves are well-described, delicious-sounding, and hearty. Plus, I appreciate her suggestions for sides, breads, and salads. Makes planning an entire meal simple. This cookbook is staying on my shelf, and this dish will continue to be a favorite for years to come.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

We made these a while ago but I'd troubles uploading the picture. (I know, I know. In the absolute oppositeness of usual food blogging, I usually don't worry about such nonsense as having a picture to go with my posts. But in this case, I knew it was there;  it felt wrong to continue on without it.)

          Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy of Cooking

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease cookie sheets. Mix together thoroughly:
1 cup plus 2 Tbls all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Beat on medium speed until very fluffy and well blended:
8 Tbls (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
Add and beat until well combined:
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended and smooth. Stir in:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Drop the dough by heaping measuring teaspoonfuls onto hte sheets, spacing about 2" aprt. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are just slightly colored on tiop and rimmed with brown at the edges, 8 to 10 mins. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly, about 2 mins. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool.

Our review:  As much as it pains me to say it, we ate these cookies because they were cookies--Hello, cookies!--not because they were good. We made two batches (separate days, different head bakers) just to be certain the first wasn't a fluke of disappointingness. But no. They're just okay cookies. I mean, yes, we totally ate all of them. But we didn't relish the experience. We just stuffed our faces with mediocre cookies and then felt guilty for not holding out for better. But, after all, a cookie in the hand...