Good Intentions

Yesterday I was going to start this whole experience right. I made dinner and was having a lovely time in the kitchen taking pictures… and then I had such a lovely time cooking that I forgot to take a picture at the very end. So what I ended up with was a delicious souffle/casserole – soufflasserole (that’s a lovely hybrid word that I’ll keep around, now) that I don’t have any pictures of.

Well. I have a few pictures. I cut some corn off the cob. I Mixed up some eggs, 1/2 & 1/2, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Cut up some yummy, crusty bread. dumped it all in there… and that’s about when I stopped taking pictures.

I’ve been doing some pro-bono work for a fellow graduate of my alma mater and it has been an awesome creative outlet, albeit a difficult one to keep up with. I manage the social media aspect and a lot of the idea and content structuring behind the local marketing for this business. While I would say that it is amazing in that I have learned so, SO much from working with a woman who is running her own business in the design industry (something I am very interested in some day) – the work I do could constitute a full-time job…if I didn’t already have a full-time job.

So any way, back to the souflasserole, after dumping everything together (corn, bread, egg mixture, feta) and topping with more feta. I left my dear significant other with “step 4” to complete, a pre-heating oven, and told him I’d be back around 7.

I went to meet the woman I have been working with, had a good chat, came home and was focused on getting everything out of the oven and together for eating. And maybe also on my half-finished beer that I had started before I ran out the door an hour earlier. So I don’t have any pictures of what the golden souflasserole topped with feta and tomatoes should look like. Nor do I have a picture of what the delightful souflasserole topped with feta and tomatoes, plus some parmesan (because damn I like cheese and who doesn’t), and also kalamata olives on half (because they didn’t go into the souflasserole because my S.O. is NOT a fan) looks like.

Dissapointing.

For you and for me.

But here are some tips:

  • When cutting corn off the cob, place the corn on a cutting board on a jelly-roll pan (or any baking pan with sides) as long as you cut gently, it will catch the corn. (See picture below.) OR if you want to get fancy and happen to have a bundt cake pan lying around your decked-out, gourmet, kitchen – turn the pan upside down, stick the end of the cobb in the hole and slice away. The kernels will fall right into the pan and VOILA! One less thing to clean. (I had a cookie sheet and a cutting board…)

DSC_0551 DSC_0550 

  • TURN ON SOME JAZZ. I hope you like jazz. I did this yesterday and it always seems to help me feel more creative. …anything too rigid just squelches all of my creative cooking juices. Dance in your kitchen too and only mostly follow the recipe, unless something really bad might happen. Then follow the recipe.
  • Don’t be afraid. The best way to learn how to make something new is, unbelievably, to make something new. Don’t let a recipe that sounds fancy make you believe it is fancy. Every ingredient is humble on it’s own, it takes a little bit of patience and the other ingredients will do the rest of the work for you.

 DSC_0558 DSC_0559 

Tomato-Topped Corn and Feta Casserole (as printed in Better Homes and Gardens)

BHG notes that you can add 2 cups of cubed chicken to the casserole mixture before baking to ‘make this a meal.’ Personally, this souflasserole is filling enough for me with the eggs and bread. We ate it as the main dish and, as long as you are not a staunch believer in ‘meat makes a meal’ this will serve 3-4 people as an entree. Otherwise, it serves 8 as a side.

Ingredients:

6 ears corn, shucked

6 eggs

1 C. 1/2 & 1/2

3 cloves garlic

1 t. fresh snipped marjoram (you should be able to find this in the fresh herbs section of your grocery, or a whole foods grocer like Lunds, Byerley’s, Kowalski’s, etc.)

1 T. stone-ground Dijon-style mustard (I used the largest grain mustard I had in the fridge… you could probably use a basic dijon, too – but I would stay away from using ‘yellow’ mustard)

4 C. country-style white bread (again, I used the nice bread I had on hand, not processed, sliced, sandwich loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes and dried. I didn’t dry mine…but if you want to, cut them up in advance of making and leave out to dry for a day or two. Or you can toast them for about 10 mins on 350

2 T. olive oil

1/2 C. chopped pitted kalamata olives (this is the part I put on top, frankly I liked the souflasserole with and without, so if this is a hassle or you hate olives (TSK!) never fear! …but you should really try them in the dish)

4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halve the large ones

1 T. snipped fresh marjoram (not a duplicate, just used later in the recipe

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 3-qt. baking dish. Cut corn kernesl from cobs (no need to cook first); set aside. In a lg. bowl whist together eggs, 1/2&1/2, garlic, 1 t. Marjoram, 1/2 t. (…be generous – an easy way to make a dish delicious is to season appropriately with enough salt, most cook-book/magazine recipes do not call for quite enough in my opinion), 1/2 t. pepper, and mustard. Stir in bread cubes and set aside.
  2. In a lg. skillet heat 1 T. of olive oil over med-high heat. Add corn kernels and cook/stir for 12 mins. Add corn to the bread micture and stir well.
  3. Stir in olives and half of the feta cheese. Transfer the mixture to the greased 3 qt. dish. Crumble the remaining feta cheese over the top and pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until set. (40 minutes was perfect for my oven, golden-brown, no burning, egg set in the middle)
  4. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a small baking dish with enough surface for the little guys to not be heaped on top of each other, but for them to bake individually. So a pie plate, small casserole pan, anything of the like would work just fine. Drizzle the little bulbs of juicy tomato goodness with a T. of olive oil, sprinkle with salt (again, be generous), pepper, and the remaining 1 T. marjoram. Toss the tomatoes to coat them in everything. After the souflasserole has been baking for 20 mins, put the tomatoes in the oven in their separate pan/tray/dish.
  5. Remove the casserole and tomatoes at the same time. Let everything stand for 5 minutes so you don’t burn your arms, fingers, hands or anything else and then spoon the tomatoes over the top of the casserole. This is when I sprinkled the parmesan on top and let it melt a bit while I was setting the table, getting drinks, etc. (Don’t worry, it won’t get cold quickly.)

Scoop onto your plate, pick up a great bite that has every ingredient in it and foose on it (that’s what my mom used to say when we needed to blow on our food because it was too hot to eat) then indulge in the creamy, salty, warm, tomatoey goodness. aaannnd repeat.

Good luck not going for seconds.

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