Monday, February 17, 2014

A Couple Recipes From Home Economics Class

At the start of this year, I expanded our home economics classes from keeping a weekly grocery price journal, to planning and cooking a weekly meal. The meals Danny has presented us with each Friday evening have been well-executed, and better than expected. He's been sticking to the more basic cookery books in my collection, and doing a fine job of staying within budget (keeping the extra at semester's end may have a hand in that).

Most recipes are adaptable for non meat eaters, and he's substituted soya-based imitations where needed, or omitted if not really integral to the dish. He's not vegan, which does make it somewhat simpler with respect to eggs, dairy, and fish though I'm sure if challenged to do so, he could feel confident enough to make something suitable.

Living with food allergies dictates he will need to cook for himself , and as I won't always be around to do it, the sooner he learns, the better.

Here are a couple recent recipes from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1973

Italian "Beef" Casserole (I know, this isn't terribly Italian. If it had garlic in the 70's, it was Italian)

(This one sounds terrible at first read, but as it bakes you won't believe how good it smells. They really tore into it, leaving very little for the next day).

1 lb. very lean ground beef (we used a soya based mince)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 8 ounce tin tomato sauce
1 6 ounce tin tomato paste
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon basil (Danny sub'd dried oregano)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 3 ounce tin sliced mushrooms
1 10 ounce pack frozen spinach, cooked and drained ( used tinned)
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 ounces mozzarella cheese (Danny used Monterrey Jack)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 or 10 inch square pan.

In a skillet, cook the beef and onion until browned (with soya granules you'll need to add a bit of oil to keep it from sticking). Stir in tomato sauce, paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, sugar, garlic, and pepper. Cook a few minutes until thickened. Stir in breadcrumbs. Reserve 6 mushroom slices, then stir in the remainder.

Pat spinach dry with a paper towel (or squeeze it out in a tea towel as I do )Combine in a medium bowl the eggs, spinach, cottage cheese, salt (if needed) and nutmeg. Slice cheese so that you have about 6 1/4 inch thick slices for the topping. Cube the rest in small bits.

Spread half the meat mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the spinach mixture. Spread with the cubed cheese. Top with remaining meat mixture, then arrange cheese and reserved mushroom slices on top. Bake 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Switzerland Cheese and Onion Pie:

1 9 inch unbaked pastry shell (I would have given it a partial bake, but he was following the instructions. It wasn't soggy, but I think he was just lucky).The crust should be chilled at least an hour before baking.
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 lb. shredded Swiss cheese
\1 tablespoon plain flour
3 large eggs
1 cup half and half (light cream)
1 teaspoon salt (omitted as the cheese was somewhat salty)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the bottom of the pie crust with a pat of butter. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter, and cook onions until tender. Spread in crust. In a bowl, toss cheese with flour, then sprinkle over onion. In the same bowl, with a wire whisk, beat eggs with half and half. Pour over cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F. and bake another 35 minutes or longer until puffed and golden.

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