Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Delicious Dinner plus an article about Pirates.

Apparently a cruise ship was attacked by Somali Pirates yesterday. I include this because everyone loves a good pirate story.
Tonight I was finally feeling almost well enough to make a proper dinner. My compromise was to use up not-quite-leftovers. I made a butternut squash gallette on Saturday for Thanksgiving II. Some of the filling didn't make it into pastry (as usual) so it lived in my fridge as not-quite-leftovers until this evening. I tossed the uncooked but sliced squash, apple and onion (already coated in butter, thyme, salt and pepper) in a baking dish with 3 cubes of homemade stock after preheating the oven to 400. While this was cooking I made some buttermilk biscuit batter, with the added deliciousness of cheddar cheese (I also periodically checked on the stuff in the oven, giving it a stir now and then and making sure that the everything was getting nicely coated with juices):

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs cold butter
1/2 cup (or more) grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup chilled buttermilk

I mixed all the dry ingredients thoroughly, then added the butter and cheese. I used a pastry knife to mix it all together until it was fairly coarse. Then I made a hole in the middle and poured in a cup of butter milk and started to bring it together. I found it too dry, so I added another 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Once it was a beautiful sticky dough/batter, I pulled the squash, apples and onions out of the oven (making sure they were done). I spread my batter over the top, making sure it was nice and even, pushing it up to the edges.

I put it back in the oven and did some dishes, interviewed a house sitter and then took it out (after testing it with a toothpick, making sure none of the biscuit topping stuck to the toothipick upon withdrawal). It was nice and browned on the top and the filling was bubbling and boiling. Delcious. Next time, I would prefer more filling, but since I made it out of not-quite-leftovers, I was a little limited.

This sort of thing can be done with all sorts of other stuff - just toss some vegetables in a baking dish with some liquid (the homemade stock works), some fat (olive oil, butter, etc) and flavour (salt, pepper, thyme - whatever goes best with your choice of veggies) and let it cook while you make the batter. You can make vegan biscuit batter by substituting soy or rice milk, so the whole meal could be vegan.

Hearty and theoretically, fairly quick.

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