Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cooking for the Polish Army

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately, enough so that my own mother called me “Suzy Homemaker” while I was home for a visit this past weekend. Now, I am not a gourmet chef by any means. I’m a girl who is on the run many nights a week, and likes to fit as much activity as possible into my evenings between 6 and 11:15pm after work each night. That being said, I like to cook at home so that I don’t spend all of my money on food (so there’s more for shopping and fun!), and to eat healthy without the temptation of oversized restaurant portions packed with an undisclosed amount of cheese and butter. I like to eat things that are filling and delicious. Yet, I don’t have the time or the desire to cook an elaborate meal every night.

Luckily, I was raised in a home where when we cooked, we cooked a large amount. We always call it “cooking for the Polish army,” a habit my mother never quite snapped out of after growing up with 7 brothers and 3 sisters in a household where 7 pies could go missing in a matter of minutes. I’m cursed, or blessed (depending on how you look at it) by never being able to cook just the right amount for the number I am serving, but rather ending up with much much more food than necessary. Since I’ve been working 9-6 Monday through Friday, I’ve figured out how to put this ability to good use. I cook a couple nights a week (different things), and make everything in the largest portion that my heart desires. Then, I put the leftovers (once I’m sick of them) into single portion gladwares and pop them in the freezer. This works out to give me a nice variety of healthy and delicious little dinners that I can pull out and pop in the microwave when I’m in a rush, or just too lazy to go to the grocery store.

I recently went through a rice and beans phase, when I made an entire bag of rice, an entire bag of beans, and a pound of veggie crumbles, which once cooked filled my entire gigantic soup pot. My next food obsession has been quiches. Not only can you whip them up in 15 minutes or less, but you can really put anything you want in them and they still come out good. AND if you choose your ingredients wisely (think Spinach and Feta, or Tomato and Bacon) they can be eaten for breakfast or for dinner. I mean they’re really just an omelette in a crust rather than with toast after all. This is my favorite recipe as of late, courtesy of my Family Circle cookbook.

Asparagus Quiche

-2/3 cup half-and-half (I've used milk in a pinch, and it works just as well)

-3 eggs (4 if you have a big pie pan)

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon black pepper

-1 refrigerated, rolled 9-inch pie crust

-1 box (10 oz) frozen asparagus, thawed (I've used one bunch of fresh asparagus slightly steamed too)

-4 oz dill-flavored Havarti cheese, shredded

-1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper.

2. Unroll pie crust into 9-inch pie plate; flute edges. Cut asparagus pieces into thurds. Brush 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture over pie crust; top with asparagus and cheese. If desired, sprinkle with fresh dill. Pour remaining egg mixture into pie crust.

3. Bake on lower rack at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes; serve.

It's super fast, and super delicious, win-win.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails