It’s Friday night, time for a stiff cocktail and a blog whilest dinner is in the oven. My meat is rubbed and resting in prep for the grill.
I have been in cooking indecision mode, not sure what I want, so I will cook everything, faster than I or my friends can eat it. Mostly ethnic foods, experimenting with lots of Indian dishes, some Bangladeshi, lots of Thai and always
authentic Mexican and New Mexican.
But tonight, I reverted back to a long time fav, a sort of French style cassoulet/fondue cross, a white bean, onion gratin if you will. Maybe because it is snowy and cold out and I am not yet ready for heavy stews of potato and beef. I do have a yummy potato leek soup with weisswurst (a german/irish morph) planned for the weekend to utilize the 5 gallon bucket of leeks that I have stored in my basement. I harvested them from the community garden yesterday in the snow. It is a lot of leeks!!!! And I have more to harvest in the backyard garden, but those can stay put in the ground for a long time.
I began slicing the onions for the dish, the dish takes two onions, two cans of Northern White Beans, some leftover yummy bread (in lieu of this option, ie using old sourdough bread, I am attempting this dish for the first time ala gluten free and using Kinnickinick White Bread) Swiss cheese (almost a pound, grated) some Parmaesan cheese and yes, an entire bottle of dry white wine.
Onions are sliced so I start putting them in the casserole dish, sprinkling them with some freshly cracked pepper, salt and marjoram and thyme, a little parm, arranging the bread, layering the Swiss cheese on top and then again, onions, herbs, bread, cheese. I am about to pour the wine in and …… something is missing, what seems to be missing? This looks great, but….oh….. .. the beans. Forgot the key ingredient, white beans. I had to laugh, as it is funny. No point in getting upset. I briefly considered leaving the beans out, but nah, then it is just onion gratin.
Luckily for me, I have many, many bowls. I slowly began deconstructing my recently constructed casserole. Cheese in one bowl, bread in another and then one for the onion rings. Then, I start over, putting a can of rinsed beans in the bottom, onions, herbs, bread cheese and repeat. Ah, now that looks better, it almost doesn’t fit in the dish. Now, the finale, the entire bottle of sauvingnon blanc over the top. Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw)works great for this from Trader Joe’s (in MI it is 3 Buck Chuck…shipping). Now it is in the oven for a long time at a lower temp so that everything melts, softens, adsorbs and gets nice and gooey. It smells fabulous from here.
I am also grilling a couple of sirloin steaks in an Ancho chili/cumin rub for some quesadillas tomorrow. I just realized that someone gave me a Quesadilla maker 1.5 years ago and I had not even taken it out of the box until today – it might double as a panini press too. Sometimes it is good to clean the pantry out, great forgotten discoveries!
The garden is finished now with the exception of those veggies that like the cold, brussel sprouts (I am really hoping that I will get to eat my first one by November, they are growing so slowly) the rest of the leeks and swiss chard and collard greens. I harvested the rest of the peppers and beans the other day. The final eggplant was turned into a Thai curry last night.
Next year, just one garden. Need more time for knitting……stay tuned for a review of my new knitting projects.
Time to go, the wood stove is raging and it is a toasty 73 F in my living room, ok, the rest of the house is 62F, but it is nice and cosy in here. The oven timer is ringing…..smells like wine and swiss cheese…yummo