Sunday, January 24, 2016

Yorkshire Pudding

Not having been born and raised British, but only naturalized in my 30s, I didn't grow up eating Yorkshire Puddings with my Sunday roasts. Come to think of it, I didn't grow up having Sunday roast dinners, either, and if we did, it was most likely venison rather than beef.

However, I distinctly remember the first time I had Yorkshire Pudding and the 'why have I never had this before??' thoughts that accompanied it. It became an experience that I was determined to repeat. It's the perfect thing to warm the body and soul on a chilly winter's day - Sunday or not.

I have been told by native Brits that this is not how their mothers and grandmothers taught them to make Yorkshire Puddings, but this recipe never fails me. I use a muffin pan of the type that makes six extra large muffins for six large, fluffy Yorkshire Puddings.

Yorkshire Puddings

4 oz flour
salt
4 large eggs
10 ounces milk
bacon or beef fat

Measure the flour and a good pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the eggs. Gradually beat the eggs into the flour. When the eggs are thoroughly mixed in, slowly beat in the milk.
Allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or several hours, if possible.

When you're ready to bake them, turn the oven on to 400 degrees. Put about 1-2 teaspoons of fat into each muffin cup. Put the muffin pan into the hot oven for about 5 minutes. Quickly pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven immediately.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the puddings are puffy and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Green Chile Casserole

Over the past few years, I've backed off a bit on the pressure I place on myself to cook the most optimally healthy food I can. The operative word is is 'can'. What I 'can' do now as a full-time working wife and mom with a stressful and tiring job is vastly different from what I was able to do when I was a full-time mom with a small child.

Back then my kitchen resembled a laboratory with jars of fermenting vegetables and drinks everywhere. Surfaces were taken up with sprouting seeds, soaking grains and dehydrating fruits and vegetables. My oven worked overnight making bone broth or yogurt. We drove long distances to buy raw milk and butter. Everything I could make from scratch, I did and my fondest wish was for a wheat grinder so that I could grind my own sprouted wheat.

There is no way I could do all that now. I make no apologies and have no guilt. I do the best that I am able with the time and energy I have, and if a few 'convenience foods' creep in now and then, there are definitely worse things. Much worse things. It doesn't mean I throw up my hands and we eat 'junk' all the time now - doing the best I can means just that.

This is one of the recipes that has moved into our rotation that includes some of those convenience foods - boxed cream of chicken soup and purchased corn tortillas - both things I would have made myself in the past. My family loves it. It's creamy and comforting, and so easy it's now my youngest son's favorite meal to prepare himself. We've tweaked it to suit our tastes, which means fewer tortillas and additional beef and chilies. Freshly roasted green chilies are everywhere this time of the year where I live, but if you can't get them, you can use canned.

Green Chile Casserole

1 box (or can) cream of chicken soup
1/2 pound each grated monterey jack and mild cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1 1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced green chilies
6- 8 corn tortillas, cut in half

Combine the soup, milk, cheese and chilies in a saucepan, reserving some cheese for the top.  Heat until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, brown the ground beef. Add the garlic and onions, and cook until the onion is soft. Add the salt.

Cook tortillas slightly in coconut oil, lard or beef fat until softened, but not hard. Layer half of the tortillas, cut side out,  in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Top with 1/2 the meat mixture and 1/2 the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle on remaining grated cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.