Friday, February 18, 2011
Inaugurating the new oven
Our new oven was delivered and installed on Wednesday, but since we had plans on Wednesday evening, we did not have a chance to try it out until Thursday. After picking Paloma up from school yesterday we each grabbed a cookbook and starting looking for a good recipe with which to break in our new appliance. Paloma picked up Jane Brody's Good Food Book (she says she was in the mood for good food!) and selected Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie. This isn't a completely new recipe for us, as we make some variation of Shepherd's pie a few times a year, but it is usually loosely based on a recipe I clipped somewhere. Brody's recipe had a few things we don't normally include, for instance tomaotes and greens. But like any other time I make this dish, I don't really follow the recipe exactly anyway. In fact, Brody suggests that the ingredient need not be followed exactly, and that it is okay just to use up whatever vegetables are on hand. Taking that advice, last night's version included asparagus, green beans, baby onions, and garlic, in addition to the tomaotes and greens. We also threw in some soy-based "crumble" as a meat substitute. The instructions said to cook the vegetables in a pan, and then transfer to a 2-quart casserole. No My Friends! No I say! What could Ms. Brody have been thinking? If there was ever a job for the indepensible cast-iron skillet this is it. The vegetables were cooked in the skillet, and then the mashed potatoes were added on top of them, and then topped with shredded cheese, at which point the skillet when directly into the preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. I believe all three of us had seconds of this dish, although James and Paloma both agreed that they prefer the recipe I usually follow, as it makes a bit of a gravy, which this one did not. I think I liked this one better, though.