Saturday, December 5, 2009

Spontaneous Casserole

Jårg always says that I am the master of universe of cleaning out the refrigerator, using the rest of fresh and available ingredients to create a fantastic meal. He is just too kind and hungry ;-) Well, I usually do this when we are leaving for the trip. I stop buying fresh grocery and use up whatever there. We did not go shopping this time when we came back from Berlin. The trip was short just a week. I packed all fresh vegetables properly and froze whatever that had to. Last night we were hungry and too lazy to go out. I gather my fresh produce: organic carrot, fresh bulb of fennel, small potatoes, some grated Emmental cheese. I always have the most fun and become very creative in this situation. I like to eat good food. So I created a light but hearty casserole meal for the cold weather.
Potatoes, Carrots and Fennel in Cheese sauce with Spicy bread crumb topping
I turned on the oven for 200 C degree. I washed and sliced carrots and fennel bulb into ca ¾ cm thick and steamed them separately they need different time: carrots 8 mins and Fennel 4-5 min. Boiled potatoes in salted water for about 20 mins. Mixed about a cup of bread crump I have in the cupboard with spices: 1teaspoon each oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, onion and garlic powder and 11/2 teaspoons of paprika and salt about ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix well and then add about 2-3 table spoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil - stir it until there is no crumb stick to the spoon and set aside. 
I make a cheese sauce using a Roux basic recipe – heat butter till brown add some flour mix well for 3-4 minutes the add milk cook it but not let it boil then add grated cheese slowly and stir well. The sauce should not be too thick I added a cube of vegetable bullion some freshly ground pepper and salt.
I drained the steamed vegetables and boiled potatoes. Cut potatoes in half. Layer the glass or ceramic casserole dish first with halved potatoes, cheese sauce, then vegetables, cheese sauce then sprinkle mixed bread crumb evenly on top and bake it for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubble and the topping is nicely brown and crispy. 

Personally I like casserole when the textures are combined – soft and crunchy or soft and chewy. Nice table red wine such Minervois made a perfect dinner last night and we still have left over for lunch today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HI! I am a friend of you sister Chittrayo. I live just outside Boston. I just wanted to let you know I will save your blog in my favorites and check it for recipes. I like to cook and am not that great at it, not bad but no Julia Childs! I wanted to also tell you that your site is very did a great job with it. Love the pictures! Happy New Year! Carroll