I made a yummy soup for dinner and needed something for us, to eat, after the soup. I would normally go to potatoes or pasta or possibly fish. I was looking to use up some of my frozen vegetables so I did take a potato dish but altered it to share the starring role with spinach, corn and red pepper.
It is interesting that the corn seemed to be the vegetable that stood out. It added the most flavor to the mixture which surprised and pleased me. I like corn more than spinach. The spinach was more of the background. The potatoes had onion mixed in them which added to the flavor.
Spray cooking oil
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped (You could use frozen hash browns.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup Egg Beaters or 4 eggs
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray bottom and sides of 1 1/2 quart casserole.
Press chopped potatoes and onions on bottom of casserole. Bake 10 minutes.
While potatoes are cooking, mix the remaining ingredients (except cheese) in a large bowl. Pour on top of potatoes.
Return to oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set.
Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Sometimes, honesty works against me. I am compulsively honest and this gets me into trouble. I know how to be honest if someone asks if I like her shoes when I don’t. I know, I can say, “What a great color!” or “Wow! Where did you get them?” I can walk away, feeling fine with myself. Honesty can’t be meant to hurt the feelings of someone who has already paid one hundred dollars for the shoes that can’t be returned.
I remember, working for a man, who was rather sneaky. Giving him the truth was like turning over the secrets of the atom bomb (OK, something more current). When he asked me who had said something, at a meeting, I went to, the previous night, I jumped in and said, “It was me.” Well, it was and eventually, he got rid of me. I have no regrets. No one else got hurt.
What am I leading up to? The name of the recipe which is called Summer Corn Soup in Fine Cooking –I couldn’t leave it like that when it is winter. Please, stop laughing at me. I honestly could not do it.
At least, you know, you can trust me.
Winter/not Summer Corn Soup (adapted from Fine Cooking)
2 cups of frozen corn (Fresh corn when available…)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes, for garnish
chives for garnish
I made this in a crock pot.
Place olive oil, onion and celery into crock pot on high and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Add the garlic powder and cook for 1 minute, additional.
Add the potatoes and black pepper and stir to distribute the seasoning.
Add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of vegetable broth.
Turn crock pot on high and cook until bubbling.
Add the corn kernels. Cook for an additional 3 hours. Add avocado. (I found one at the last minute and added it.)
Add 1 cup of milk or half and half. (I used milk. If you want a richer soup, use the half and half.)
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to the thickness you like. If you like it chunky, save some corn and add it, at the last-minute. I didn’t but you can also remove a few potato chunks and replace them after removing the immersion blender. You can use a regular blender for this, as well. I would divide the soup into smaller portions so you don’t have a streaked kitchen.
I was browsing through recipes that interested me and hit upon Bittman’s vegetable pancakes. I am always interested in Mark Bittman’s recipes. I find the flexibility he gives to almost any recipe makes cooking a joy. Since, I tend to change recipes, as a matter of habit, he is giving permission and ideas as to how to do just that. He is also down to earth in his approach to cooking and I need that.
These looked great and I thought of them as a side to the salmon until a light bulb went on and I decided to add the baked salmon into the pancakes.
Vegetable Pancakes, adapted from Mark Bittman
About 1 1/2 pounds grated vegetables, peeled first if necessary (3 cups packed), and squeezed dry
1/2 small onion
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 slice salmon, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup corn meal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive or vegetable oil or butter for greasing the pan
Grate the vegetable or vegetables with the grating disk of a food processor. (I love my food processor.)
Squeeze out the liquid. Save for soups or other dishes.
Mix together the vegetables, onion, egg, salmon and 1/4 cup of the corn meal.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a little more flour if the mixture isn’t holding together.
Put oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, drop in spoonfuls of the batter, using a fork to spread the vegetables into an even layer, press down a bit. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding.
Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. (I used my cookie scoop to get the same size pancakes.)
Many laugh at how some drown their food in ketchup, covering up the innate flavors of the food but dousing food is not unique to Americans. Asian countries use soy sauce as their “liberally added sauce”. Branded adds that Yucatan liberally spices their food with hot Habanero chili.
And we have ketchup…… This started in 1844 as a horseradish source and the specialness of this was in its container, a glass bottle. In those days, there was cheating done, with food items, on sale, and the unscrupulous would add fillers to the produce. In a glass bottle, this would show up so Henry Heinz started this as a moral statement.
Tomato ketchup was born in 1876. When America adopted ketchup, they did not know what to call it. It was defined as “a sauce of which the name can be pronounced by everybody and spelled by nobody.” Indeed, I spell it catsup and call it ketchup.
The manufacturers pride themselves on the thickness of the sauce and they have a standard of how fast it can pour, to decide if it is acceptable.
This is a recipe from Heinz. I cut the ketchup down. I was afraid it would overpower the other flavors. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup. My husband thought it was too spicy because of the chili. I thought, it was just right. That makes sense. He does not like “hot” food and I like food that is not too hot but has a bite to it.)
Tex-Mex Rice and Beans
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked rice
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 can black beans
1 cup corn kernels
1 – 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, stir in the rice and tomato juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover tightly. Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Fluff rice with a fork and increase heat to medium.
Stir in beans, corn, and ketchup. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.