Scalloped potatoes with poblanos; roasted asparagus with feta – 4 April 2019

When I needed a tiny bit of roasted poblanos for something… oh right, the sauce for the polenta and black beans… D bought me two whole peppers. I roasted both of them along with the red pepper that went in the black bean salad, and used maybe 1/3 or less of one pepper for a double recipe of the sauce. I tucked the rest of the poblanos, already skinned and seeded, in the fridge, and then we decided this dish would be a good use of them. Still had extra cream, too, so that was a plus. I’ve never made this smaller than a 9×13″ pan, so this was an experiment. The recipe calls for 6 chilis (but YMMV b/c how big is a “chili”?). But making a best guess, I decided 1/4 recipe might work. I tried using our tiny, single-serving Corning Ware cooking dishes, and 1/4 of all the ingredients. I ended up using about 10 oz russet potato (weighed before peeling), and 1/2 cup total of cream. Calculating from the potato gratin the other day, I then reduced the salt both b/c there are no cheeses in this recipe, and b/c for 1/2 lb potatoes (and I used 10 oz) the gratin would use 3/4 tsp salt and I used 1/2 tsp. This recipe is one of the stupid ones that says “salt to taste” when the potatoes are still raw and the dish has not been composed. Idiots! Anyway, it is no longer online so here are the original measurements: 2 1/2 lb russet potatoes, peeled, and cut with mandoline or Benriner into 1/8″ slices; 2 cups cream; 6 poblanos, roasted, peeled, and seeded, then diced; one clove garlic. You bring the cream to a boil with the peeled garlic in it, and keep warm till needed. Layer 1/4 of the potatoes, then “salt to taste” – and for these little dishes with 10oz potatoes I used 1/4 tsp salt and it was great – then 1/4 of the poblanos. Repeat three more layers, pour over the garlicky cream, and bake 375 45 minutes, covered with foil, and 30 more minutes (or until browned and bubbling and cooked through) without the foil.

I had bought both asparagus (down to about $2.19/lb for California stuff) and itty bitty baby bok choi (8 plants, 74 cents!) at the Bowl. I was going to prep the bok choi, but D said lets roast the asparagus b/c we have feta and could have asparagus with feta. Problem: I have the small oven at 375, not 500, and the large one takes forever. We were having a workout walk at the time. By the time we got back I was in “good though” mode, and just washed and trimmed half the bunch of asparagus and let D figure it out. When I told him I had removed the foil and please check at 20 minutes in case the potatoes were brown and bubbling, he decided to put the asparagus into tne wamr oven, and turn up the heat after pulling the potatoes out. It’s probably the oven never even made it to 500, but after maybe 15 minutes at 375 and 5 minutes on the way to 500, the asparagus had gotten a bit blackened, and it was just fine. Score one for D.

We had a tiny bit of bread with dinner. I had tried to get an Acme Levain before lunch, but of course they had sold out of the morning’s delivery and the afternoon’s was not there yet. So I bought an Upstairs Bread – another Survivor – that will be great with the Seven Bean Soup I’m defrosting for tomorrow’s lunch, when it should be grey and rainy, according to NOAA.

We had leftover wines – half bottle of CalStar San Giacomo Pinot Noir from last night, and 200 ml of [probably] Douro from about 10 days ago when D was not feeling great. Both survived quite well, though one started obviously better than the other.

We each had two more “Tagalongs”ย  – Girl Scout cookies from my brother B – which were delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ Too eager to eat them and forgot a photo.

Lunch:

D bought a couple of Bartlett pears last time he went shopping, to try out with the “stinky cheese” we got at Country Cheese the other day. The cheese is called “French Reblochon.” Neither of us was crazy about it with the small Acme sourdough baguette piece the other day, but D suggested maybe it would be good with a pear. Hence, the pears, one of which was ready today. And he was right – it was much more interesting with the pear. Nevertheless, we don’t particularly think we should buy this one again. Especially at $25.99/lb ๐Ÿ™‚ D mixed up more Persian cucumber slices with the Strauss yogurt, and added some lemon chunks this time.

Actually, the big deal at lunch – well, there was more than one – was tiny artichokes that D bought the other day, evidently on a whim. He pressure cooked them 8 minutes on a rack in the pressure cooker, after chopping off the tops of the leaves. He also melted some butter to dip the leaves and itty bitty hearts into. Nice treat!

 

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