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Sunday, November 25, 2018

A cooking weekend

scrambled eggs with trout and scallions

Once I started flipping through my bulging file of recipes I want to try, I was committed for the weekend. I found so many, there aren’t enough meals for them all. Last night, to get beyond turkey, I roasted a ruby red trout filet. Simple directions are on my new Gourmet on a Hot Plate blog— . And I got it just right if I do say so—firm but still most and succulent. I dislike dry fish intensely.

But I wasn’t quite through with all Thanksgiving food—fixed green bean casserole. One can cut green beans (not French style) and half a can of mushroom soup makes two generous servings. And I didn’t miss the French’s fried onion rings. Just season with salt, pepper, and a dash of Worcestershire.

Today was a day of sumptuous eating. A sausage sandwich in a biscuit—my version of a McBiscuit—for breakfast. Biscuit, sausage patty, cheddar—no egg. Lunch was scrambled eggs on toast, topped with slivers of leftover trout and sliced scallions. The egg and trout flavors complement each other perfectly. I used good sourdough bread for the toast, but another time I think I’d just do the eggs and trout and green onions. The toast was hard to cut and keeping toast, eggs, and trout together on the fork was a challenge.

Skillet sausage supper

Tonight’s dinner was special—a skillet supper of sausage, onion, and apple. I made lots of adjustments to the recipe to adapt it to my hot plate. Cooked the sausage first and realized it wasn’t cooked through, so while the onion sautéed, I cut the sausage into bite-size pieces. When the onion was fairly well caramelized, I put the sausage pieces back in and added sliced Granny Smith apple. Let the whole thing cook for a while, turning frequently—the apples took longer to soften than I expected. Then I turned it off, so I could heat the leftover green bean casserole in the toaster oven (can’t use both at once). When I turned the toaster oven off, I reheated the skillet. Got to say it was a delicious dinner. One sausage (a blueberry one from Central Market), a half onion, and one apple made at least two servings. My mom used to do an apple and sausage skillet with ground sausage and I may try that, but the onions were a great addition.

And my cooking spree isn’t over. Tomorrow night my oldest son, Colin, will be here for a late supper, and I’ll fix family favorite Doris’ casserole. Since it makes great leftovers, I’ll make a double batch, so the Burtons and I can eat it all week. For breakfast the next morning, Colin gets to choose a biscuit sandwich, lox and bagels, or scrambled eggs and a sausage patty. I’m pulling for the lox though. I am not a bagel eater but when I saw Central Market had a bialy—looks like a bagel with onion slivers all over it but is baked instead of boiled as bagels are—I couldn’t resist.

And I just sent oldest daughter Megan a recipe for truffle pasta. She makes a truffle mac and cheese for holidays that everyone loves, so I thought she’d like this. Just pasta, butter, a bit of the pasta water, Parmesan, and sliced truffles—but I bet you could use truffle oil instead, cheaper by far. Don’t just lump all those ingredients together—there’s a technique, and I’ll post about it on Gourmet on a Hot Plate after I try it.  I just checked online and Central Market has an array of truffles, but it’s hard to tell which are the real thing and which are chocolate. I know nothing about buying authentic truffles and little more about truffle oil, which is expensive enough. The saving grace is probably that it doesn’t take much, either of the real thing or the oil—and I think I’ve heard that sometimes truffle oil is just flavored oil that has nothing to do with truffles. We consumers do get fooled.

Okay, now I’ve overfed and ready for a nap. ‘Night, y’all.

Easy trout with garlic

            Had enough turkey? Not that the turkey and fixings weren’t delicious, but I got a longing today for a light fish dinner. I got one Ruby Red trout filet from the market where I’m sure it’s fresh, not pre-frozen, and roasted it.

            Just put the trout filet, skin side down on a sheet pan. A friend blessed me with a sheet pan that fits into my toaster oven, so I used that. Mix a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, a crushed garlic clove, and lemon to taste, and pour over the trout. Sprinkle some capers on it for an extra tang if you want.

            Pre-heat your toaster oven to 450 and roast the trout until it is opaque—probably ten minutes. Don’t overcook or it will be dry. Just scrape it gently off the pan and directly onto the plate and enjoy. Yeah, I should have taken a picture, but above is the half filet I saved for lunch tomorrow. A bit of lemon, and it will be just great. I like leftovers cold, but you could easily heat at a low temperature in the toaster oven.

            Thanksgiving wasn’t completely out of my mind, though. I so enjoyed the old-fashioned green bean casserole that I made a small one for myself. One can of cut green beans (not French style) and half a can of mushroom soup, a bit of salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire. Who needs French’s fried onion rings? I have at least one serving of that left for lunch tomorrow too.

            How about you? What do you cook when you’re up-to-here with turkey?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A quick and easy side dish for Thanksgiving

Gourmet on a Hot Plate is up and running, and I’m grateful that many readers have said they plan to use it as a Christmas gift. Great for everyone from elderly Great-Aunt Ella who’s in assisted living to that niece who’s a college freshman with a hot plate in the dorm room (if it’s allowed, of course!). And maybe there’s that old college fraternity guy who’s taken a notion to go live in a tiny cabin in the woods.

As I promised though, it’s time to get the conversation started on this blog that will be a continuation of the cookbook—an ongoing dialog, a place for recipes I didn’t have room for, questions you may have, recipes you love (keep that tiny kitchen in mind), and comments in general. I"ll try to keep up witht his twice a week, so send in whatever you want. I'll put new post on Facebook.

Before we get to Christmas, Thanksgiving dinner looms. Some cooking gurus call it the best meal of the year, the time when America shows off its cooking skills. But it can also be an overwhelming time for cooks—how do you coordinate all those dishes so they’re warm at the same time? Okay, maybe sometimes the turkey is cold, but if you can keep the gravy hot….

Today I’d like to give you a recipe that would be a quick and easy side dish, easily doubled—or probably tripled. Thanks to longtime dear friend Barbara Bucknell Ashcraft for this one (we met in a Brownie troop at the age of seven or so and have been fast friends ever since, even though separated by miles—and those few months she insists that I am older than she is). Barbara got this from her stepmother, and we named it for this woman I never met.

I usually don’t like to use prepared foods, like Minute Rice, but I have never experiment with real rice with this, and it’s so good my family clamors for it.

Louella’s Rice

1 c. Minute Rice

1 c. sour cream               

1 c. shredded sharp cheddar

1 can cream of celery soup

1 4-oz. can chopped chilies

Mix and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes

            Happy Thanksgiving everyone!