Summer Salvation 

                                           
Ennui (noun) – a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction. Miriam-Webster.comKitchen ennui (noun) a a feeling whereby the cook lacks inspiration. An infectious state of culinary boredom, weariness and dissatisfaction. Betsy Karetnick

 It’s not for lack of actual cooking that I’ve been absent these past few months. I’ve actually committed quite a few dishes in two kitchen in as many states. I think maybe I caught a case of kitchen ennui, possibly sparked by packing one kitchen into another, at times a little like ill fitting Tupperware. There were even a couple of seminal dishes I will recount at a later date – I’m talking about you spiced nut, citrus salad! Or perhaps it was the 6 inches of April?

Regardless, summer produce has romanced the cooking stones right out of the cabinet. The attached recipe is a reminder that a simple and delicious dinner is a google search away…even if the tomatoes aren’t from Jersey. 😉

 I followed the recipe but feel free to abandon or reduce the basil. Cooking with fresh thyme and/or oregano would be great too. Don’t bother to strip or chop a few sprigs, just layer them in and remove before serving. Also don’t cheat the olive oil, or garlic. Have some guts.

                                               

 

Chocolate Pudding!

Pot de creme is just fancy pudding, but this recipe is the opposite of the original. No need to waste time with a water bath. All the ingredients minus the chocolate get cooked together (watch the heat so the egg yolks don't curdle!) and blended with chopped chocolate. Hellooo Ninja – it's been a while. Leave time to chill in the fridge and feel free to meringue the leftover egg whites. (Click here for the recipe from The Food Network)

Notes: lazy chefs (me) use chocolate chips. If it's not smooth enough, push all the ingredients through a sieve after blending, then chill.

Eat –B

 

When Life Gives You Leftover Challah Pudding

So this seemed like a good idea and the non-baker's way to offer up super fast dessert. Adding chocolate chips makes bread pudding Valentine's Day friendly too! More to the point, I scored some major household points.

As this was a first timer for me, I admit I may make adjustments. That said, baking eggs and milk is science, just not the rocket kind. It's forgiving.

Ingredients

2 cups milk room temp

2 eggs room temp

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or more

Pinch of salt

(Maybe 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon next time)

1/2 challah or loaf of brioche, stale or not, roughly 1 inch cubes

Big handful of chips, or more

Unsalted Butter for baking dish, 2 quart dish

*note, mine was more deep than shallow meaning extra baking time. More shallow = less baking time

Preheat oven 350

Rub butter all over baking dish and up the sides. Mix milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Toss that mixture with the bread. Let it soak a few. Pour half into baking dish, sprinkle generously with chips. Pour in the rest. More chips! Bake 50 min – 1 hour until the middle shows no sign of liquid when pressed.

Rest 10 minutes.

Eat – B

 

Thanks, Mario

Thanks, Mario…

Mr. Batali saved me a trip to the grocery. And he can save you too if you have a head of cauliflower, pasta and a handful of pantry/fridge staples. I'll tell you flat out I reduced the pasta by 25% and could have done with even less. I also added 3 pinches of pepper flakes (much less) and had a free hand with the cheese (atrophied piave in my case but perfect for grating.).

Btw the recipe uses the whole head of cauliflower, stems included. Leave an hour for slow cooking. It's worth it. Vegetarian! Can be gluten free. Click here for the recipe.

 

Eat -B

 

Not Oatmeal Breakfast Salad

For the ladies and gents who asked. Salad is good any time of day. I like it in the am instead of hot cereal. In this case bulgur subs for oatmeal, but so could barley or wheat berry. Any whole grain. The veg can be poached from leftovers. Do yourself a favor and dress with olive oil or lemon juice, or better yet make a super simple vinaigrette that has zero of the additives of store brands.

1/2 cup cooked bulgur warm, cold or room temp

Handful cooked green beans whole, or 1 inch

Handful grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 bell pepper, sliced and diced

2 spoonfuls feta (or cooked white beans for dairy averse)

Sprinkle of chopped parsley, dill, both or nothing

Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon-ish

A few grinds of pepper

2 big pinches salt

Shake & drizzle over salad

Double down if you're feeding more than one

Eat – B

 

It’s a Bundt

When you don't have butter, make this cake. Thank you @Hersheys.com for keeping this classic for us. Hot water and veg oil make for a super moist cake. I sacrificed snow day cocoa for this confection and it was worth it. The online version calls for frosting. My number 1 son doesn't care for it, nor did I have much of the aforementioned butter. You can find the recipe here.

I added the fruit just for the photo.

 

Eat sweet – B

 

In Search of A New TB Fave!

 

From my Martha days, I make a great turkey burger called with full truthfulness, “my favorite turkey burger”. But I needed another alternative and a quick search turned up this recipe from the cult eating mastermind behind Ottolenghi. Don't let the fluidity of the meat fool you – it will firm up in the cooking process. That said grilling these burgers is not an option. It is perfect for kosher friends. The serving sauce calls for sumac. Rest assured it works without it.

I'm including links to the recipe in its original (metrics) and to the blog where I found it.

http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/turkey-courgette-burgers-with-spring-onion-cumin-shop

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/turkey-and-zucchini-burgers-with-green-onion-and-cumin/

Eat – B