It's not that I dislike cooking, but that I dislike it as a leisure art. I think it's wasteful to put so much energy into just one meal. If I'm going to make a mess of the kitchen, I want to make it worth my time. I like making multiple dishes I can freeze for later or eat for lunches. I don't like eating the same thing two days in a row either.
When my ma had to cook for a family, especially on Sundays during the fall and winter, she'd keep a bowl of scraps like onion rinds, tops of celery and carrots, bones of chickens or roasts...basically all the unedible tough bits, and boil them in a pot to make broth. I do this too. When it comes to a boil, add bay leaves and whole spices like mustard and caraway seeds. I put in dill, parsley, and sage. Let it simmer for a few hours and drain. Perfect broth for making soup, rice, cous cous or whatever.
Now let me tell you what I recently wanted to make with this broth. Behold!
A vintage casserole dish as haevy and hearty as the Le Crueset kind and just as clean on the inside. No mystery stains or burnt riff-raff at the bottom. Perfection. David purchased it without me at an estate sale. I was at the book sale for the Cat Care Society, but knew he'd find something cool.
Here's what I made in it. I made notes on what I did this time. It turned out delicious. I ended up not having enough home made broth and instead used Swansons which I think is very good.
Wild Rice Caserole
1 c Minnesota wild rice (or mixed rice or brown)
3 c Swansons vegetable broth
dash of salt
Combine all these in a rice cooker and turn it on. Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large saucepan, pour 4 tsp olive oil.
Let that sit on low-med heat for awhile.
2-3 cloves garlic chopped fine
1/2 c yellow onion chopped
Stir and watch until garlic and onion are brown and clear.
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 c frozen corn*
1/2 c frozen spinach*
1 c butternut squash cut into small cubes**
1 can of pinto beans rinsed first
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black peper
Put the lid on the pan and leave it alone. You can give it a stir every 2 minutes or so.
Now the rice is ready. If you used wild rice, the rice cooker probably left some hard kernals in there. No prob.
Get your casserole dish and oil the inside well with olive oil. Put the wild rice on the bottom and add few tbsps water. Stick in the oven with the cover on.
After the vegetable mixture has been in the pan maybe 15 minutes, spoon in into the casserole dish. Sprinkle 1 cup chedder on top and continue to bake the casserole with the lid off. Bake until cheese starts to brown - about 30 minutes.
Serve with sour cream and hot sauce
*most of my veggies are frozen because we live in a food desert. I never thaw them first or squeeze out water or manhandle them in any way. I stick them in, wait for them to thaw and cook and the water just evaporates away. It has never had a negative effect on my cooking.
**to get to your butternut squash easily (or any squash, really) I stick a few holes in it and put it in my oven whie it's preheating. After 5-10 minutes, the squash is softer and easier to cut up. If it;s too hot, just run it under cold water for a second. It will remain soft.
Also, like I said, there was a book sale where we found some wonderful vintage volumes. I actually will read Peyton Place, I think.
We also scored this beautiful hearth piece. It was very heavy but obviously old and only $20! I love the brick design on it. It really matches everything in our home. I'm very proud of it. D and I also bought a chimnea in great shape for $10. I can't wait to fire it up for s'mores
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