Thursday, January 29, 2009

Carrot Souffle

It's badly kept secret that The Professor doesn't much care for things of a vegetable nature. Pretty much any plate of food I give him is met with a "You just had to put the vegetables in there, didn't you?".

One of the few exceptions to this - if it's even an exception - is sweet potato casserole. With a maximum of butter, brown sugar and cloves. Two of those three pretty much negate the benefits of giving him vegetables in the first place...but it's better than nothing. Right? RIGHT?!?

So when I fixed a carrot souffle for a small dinner party a few weeks ago, he immediately thought he was getting sweet potatoes. I didn't disillusion him until he'd taken a few bites, and then he had stopped listening. I *think* he heard the word "Carrots"...but sometimes it's hard to tell when he's paying attention.

The comments on Recipezaar - from whence this recipe comes - mentioned that even carrot-haters love this dish. Which means I'm going to have to make The Best Friend eat it at some point, just to see if it's true. Even if I have to trick her into trying it.

* 1 1/2 lbs carrots, sliced
* 1/2 cup butter (I used Smart Balance)
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used Splenda)
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste - I definitely used more, but didn't measure)

  • Add carrots to a saucepan; add water to cover; bring to a boil; cook 20-25 minutes or until tender; drain.
  • Add carrots, butter, and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor.
  • Process until mixture is smooth.
  • Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart souffle dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set.
Note: Remember how I didn't have a food processor? Well, that hole in my heart has been plugged. The Bestest Friend gave me one for Christmas! And this was the first thing I made with it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baked Perch...I swear!

Fish. I love it. I'm not that great at cooking it. Mostly because all I really know how to do is throw on some lemon pepper, pop it in the oven and call it a day. Ok, there was the dish I made in here. And then my Salmon Masterpiece. But salmon is really more like meat than fish. Is there anyway to really make salmon inedible? Cook it and it's yummy.

Perch, on the other hand...

I don't know what made me purchase the perch. (HA! That alliteration just made 1 semester of the English degree worth the pain). But it was there, and I thought: "I should eat more fish. Fish is healthy. I can cook that."

Then I got home and stared at it. For many minutes, before I realized that maybe? Fish shouldn't sit on the counter that long. So I put it in the fridge and did what I do best: I researched.

Somehow, this is what was created. I've given it the creative name of "Baked Perch topped with Sauteed Vegetables". Because I'm creative that way.

The picture looks like a vegetable stew over rice, with maybe a hint of cheese in there somewhere. But I swear there's fish under there. Somewhere. And who knew that cheese went with fish? Just typing that, I cringe. But the final dish was amazingly good.

Baked Perch topped with Sauteed Vegetables Ingredients
4 perch filets
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
14 oz can diced tomatoes, Italian flavored, undrained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook over medium heat until deeply carmelized.

  3. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook until they have released their water and it has evaporated.
  4. Spray glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and lay Perch filets skin side down.

  5. Add tomatoes to the onions & mushrooms and heat until boiling. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Stir in Spinach leaves and stir until they are mostly wilted.

  7. Spoon vegetables over Perch and Bake for 10 minutes or until the fish is almost done
  8. Top with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and pop under broiler for a minute.

  9. Serve over rice.