In My Kitchen, a Note to Self: Live What You Teach

I had an opportunity last evening to employ the skill I love to remind others we all have: be creative with the ingredients you have on hand.

Although I would be not be able to attend a pre-Thanksgiving thanksgiving event with my peers today due to a standing bi-weekly video conference, I wanted to contribute food for the event.  In effect, I’d be there in essence.  The desire to contribute received greater impetus when an agent co-worker sent an email saying, “Are you cooking anything for tomorrow? I need to use my calories wisely!”

Having done no pre-planning, the humor in the question was enough to move me forward into being creative with what I could find in the frig.  It was 8:00 pm.

I had what we all have… golden potatoes, onions, fresh broccoli, a couple of hunks of great cheese and green peppers I had previously roasted and preserved in oil (you have that in your pantry, yes?)

Enter the idea of an amended potato torte.  I say amended because I’ve made a much more labor-intensive version of this dish for many, many years.  Total prep and cooking time for that dish was about 3 hours.  Had neither the time nor the patience.  So I sliced the unpeeled potatoes in the Cuisinart, thin-sliced the onion, peeled the broccoli stalk and sliced it in the Cuisinart (reserved the florets for another time), shredded a little Parmigiano Reggiano and Locatelli Romano cheese, and pre-heated the oven to 400.

I beat two whole (farm) eggs and one yolk with some cream, and mixed in the potatoes to coat.  I lightly oiled a loaf pan and began layering potatoes and onions with grinds of pepper and herbed salt, a layer of roasted peppers and a light layer of cheese. Having zapped the sliced broccoli in the microwave for two minutes, I layered again… potatoes, onions, seasoning, broccoli, cheese, finishing with a top layer of potatoes and a bit more cheese.  I poured the balance of the egg-cream mixture on top, adding a bit more cream.

The dish baked for 30 minutes at 400, then I reduced the temp to 375 for another 15 minutes.  Test for doneness with a cake tester inserted through the potatoes.  If it inserts and removes easily, the dish is done.  I refrigerated the torte overnight and it sliced easily this morning.

Beginning to end, it was a 20-minute prep a 45-minute bake time.

Subtle, earthy flavors.  Easy, easy, easy.

How creative can you be with what’s in your frig and pantry when the need arises?

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One Response to In My Kitchen, a Note to Self: Live What You Teach

  1. Debi says:

    Amazing and inspiring!

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