It’s been a colder then average fall here in VT, and that’s saying a lot! While I was camping at Rhinebeck Neil was at home watching the dogs enjoy their first 3 inches of snow for the year. All this cold and rain may be part of what’s causing my crazy sweater knitting madness right now. But it’s also the reason for fires in the woodstove and comfort food for dinner. We’ve made a lot of soup: veggie soup with the squash so soft it falls apart and thickens the broth, chicken soup with rice and barley, and my favorite – Neil’s amazing beef stew that stews for hours in the dutch oven.
We’ve made a lot of what I like to call “one dish” meals too, which would probably be generalized to “casseroles” in most homes, except I don’t like that word. To me a casserole is a soggy noodle dish, probably flavored with a can of condensed soup. The other night I made a broccoli, potato, and hamburg dish with cheese sauce. Sure sounds like a casserole right? But the broccoli was cooked just enough and still had the texture of fresh cooked broccoli. The potatoes weren’t crumbly, and the cheese sauce was made from a flour roux with cabot hunter cheddar and fresh parmesan. What can I say? I like good food.
Last night was Neil’s turn to cook. Over the phone I told him I didn’t care what we had for dinner as long as I didn’t need to think about it. Oh, but we should probably use up the leftover ham in the fridge. After I got off the phone I realized that ham would be amazing cut into little chunks and mixed into home made baked mac & cheese (another of Neil’s specialties) I almost called him back, but decided he’d probably already started something else. Luckily for me, Neil was reading my mind. He must’ve been because when I got home that’s exactly what he made for dinner. It was just as tasty as I’d imagined too.
Tonight we both get home late, so it may be time for one of my favorite, quick one-dish meals. Chop bacon fine and fry it up while boiling potatoes. Once they potatoes are almost cooked add them to the bacon pan (yes, with all the grease) once they’re just about finished cooking add some green beans. Again, I like the veggies in these dishes to still have their own personality and texture, they should just take on a hint of the flavor of the rest of the meal. In this case that flavor is BACON. Yum.