Thursday, October 4, 2007

inventory reduction dinner

Here's another quick after-dinner meal that's modeled somewhat on the work of Ernest Matthew Mickler's series of White Trash Cookery. It's for those days when you're too tired to go to the store or even for take out. There's always something in the pantry or fridge that needs to be used. This meal can be used for inventory reduction purposes, thus one can clear the pantry so that the next time you find the end cap with sales, sales, SALES, you can re-stock. Winter's coming! Stock up today.

This is really just fast food with a few fine ingredients thrown in to 'dress' it up, improve the palatability, and get you out of the kitchen in less than an hour and onto the latest episode of Law and Order, CFR (Campaign Finance Reform).

Kitchen Sink Corn Bread with Lentil, Chevre, and Rosemary.

Kitchen Sink Corn Bread.
1 package of cornmeal meal mix.
1/2 red pepper.
1/4 poblano pepper (seeded and deveined).
1/4 onion.
3 cloves garlic.
1/2 portabella mushroom.
1/2 cup of stale bread
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds.

Preparing the corn bread is the only part of this meal that requires any modicum of 'skill' and that's streching it a bit.

Liberally butter a small baking pan. Line with bread crumbs. You want enough crumbs to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Not that wishy washy bread, but something better, past the point of making sandwhiches or toast. Anything will do here, but for this one I used a mixture of Farm to Market Grains Galore and sourdough.

Sprinkle a layer of sunflower seeds on top of the bread crumbs. Together, the crumbs and nuts will form one layer of crunch (the top crust will form the other layer of crunch).

Quickly sauteed the onions, peppers, garlic, and mushrooms until tender in butter. Add one teaspoon cake flour at the end to absorb some of the liquid. Cook for an additional minute, then press this layer onto the crumb and nut layer.

Prepare the cornbread mixture as per the package instructions except altered as follows. Add one extra egg yolk and an additional 1/2 cup of milk (or buttermilk or clabbered cream [remember it's the kitchen sink corn bread]. The extra moisture is needed because the bread crumbs are going to adsorb more liquid and without it, you'll have dry, crumbly cornbread. Yecchh. Not amount of butter can repair dry cornbread.

Pour the very liquid cornbread mixture over the other ingredients and the pick the pan up and repeatedly tap on the counter to insure that the liquid fills the gaps in your mixture.

Pop in a hot 425 degree F oven. After 10 or 12 minutes check for browning on the top and reduce the heat to 325 for another 5 minutes or so. You want it to just set up and then remove it from the oven. The final product will be firm enough to cut, and have the consistency of CRUNCH, moist tender, yummy goodness and then a nutty CRUNCH.

For the soup.
One can of Progesso Lentil Soup.
Heat 2 minutes over medium. Enliven with fresh rosemary.
Pour in bowl.
Garnish with chevre and fresh rosemary.

And serve with cornbread.
m.o.i.: inventory reduction dinner
m.o.i: standards updated
m.o.i: chili 'n out
m.o.i: bioaccumulation
m.o.i.: autumn trout
m.o.i.: purple food, purple food
m.o.i.: life is corny
m.o.i.: Fruit cobbler for breakfast?
m.o.i.: post-modern breakfast

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