Friday, November 30, 2007

Obsessive Cooking

So, every once in a while, I get on a kick where I just want to eat the same thing over and over. This is not normal for me. Usually the key to our meals is variety. I have recently discovered a couple of food blogs that have amazing photography, witty script and, often, challenging recipes. One of the blogs encouraged readers to make popcorn on the stove top instead of in the microwave. (This is obviously not a "challenging" recipe and probably not so novel to most people). After one attempt, I was in love. We have had popcorn nearly every night since. The method is quite simple. I use my non-stick wok, add 3 TB oil and a few popcorn kernels. I heat this on medium high heat until the 3-4 kernels pop. Then I add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer on the bottom, sprinkle it with some coarse salt and take it off the burner for 30 seconds. Then, back to the burner it goes with vigorous shaking until the kernels have stopped popping. Dump this in a bowl, add some butter to the hot pan and then pour it over the popcorn. Yum. Unfortunately, we're out of popcorn tonight or I would be headed to the kitchen right now.

My other new favorite thing is a simple salad we've been eating with great regularity. We take some spring greens, a sliced pear, some dried cranberries and toss it all with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. I could eat this for every meal. (We just had it for dinner, thus prompting this post.) It would be great with some toasted almonds added, too....sweet, salty, juicy, chewy, crunchy, crisp. Enjoy these simple pleasures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Easy Thanksgiving Side

Here is a fool-proof recipe for you. I told someone a couple months ago that I would post this recipe and have subsequently forgot...until now. This corn casserole is so simple yet is always popular. The key to this dish is sauteing the onions in butter before adding them to the other ingredients. It gives it more flavor than many traditional corn casseroles/corn puddings. Try it for Thanksgiving!

Corn Casserole

1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, well beaten
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Saute the onion in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper. Combine the sauteed onions and the remaining ingredients. Mix together and bake in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish/3 qt dish at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.