Saturday, December 17, 2011

dinner time roundup

So I've been lax the last two days posting food. Which is sad, because I've done some truly delicious stuff while I've been home.

Thursday night was a great dinner. Nothing too far out there, a simple honeyed ham because hams were on sale at Freshco this week. Scored the rind and just sqeezed a tablespoon or so of honey on top, and baste every fifteen minutes or so as things baked. For carbs we added a simple Uncle Ben's flavoured wild rice.

The real star on Thursday was the carrot and parsnip gratin. After the success of the broccoli/cauliflower gratin I've been wanting to experiment with other gratins. It's even got me excited about the idea of casseroles, which is impressive since I've never been a big casserole person. But this could be my new thing!

The carrot and parsnips? Super simple:
  • Blanched off about 3 cups of chopped roots, to help them cook faster
  • Caramelize some red onions, as Bunny loves onion and I figured they'd add some depth of flavour
  • Make a bechamel, as per usual; season to taste
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan turns the bechamel into a mornay
  • Add the carrots, parnsip & onion to a baking dish. (I used a 2 quart, because my 1.5 quarts were a leetle small - but the 2 quart was larger than needed)
  • Dump your sauce on top of the veg, mix until evenly coated
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs lightly on top, as well as an additional sprinkling of shredded parm
We liked it, but not as much as the last gratin. I'm thinking that maybe I needed a more melty cheese, and something with a little bit of stronger flavour than parmesan. Thoughts for next time involve leeks and asiago, with maybe a bit of acid to brighten things up.

Last night, we strayed from the menu plan (I do this a fair bit, but shopping for a menu always helps us out.) Somehow, I got it into my mind that I should attempt to make crepes. I love me some crepes, but have never actually attempted them on my own.

Smitten Kitchen had a few different ideas that looked good, but in the end I stole a crepe recipe off of a mushroom crepe cake that she had posted and worked with that. Of course, every resource I've read on crepes tells me that the first one will be garbage, and maybe the second. This is entirely true.

But the third and onward? Perfection. I was quite happy with the results. Next time I'd use a smaller pan, as I used an 11" nonstick ... I would have been more than fine with the 8", and will definitely do that next time.

Fillings were super simple, featuring thinly sliced leftover ham, wilted spinach and parmesan for dinner. Afterwards Bunny slapped some Nutella on one for dessert, and I had more than 1 done my favourite simple way, with citrus juice and sugar. Heaven!

I'm not sure what's on the menu tonight right now. I do have a pie shell and a tupperware of chicken pie mix (veggies and diced chicken, just needs to be dethawed and a gravy made) in the freezer that was meant to be on the menu this week, as well as a spaghetti squash that I would like to get to.

Since it's so cold I'm thinking we will go with pot pie, but you never know.

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