intrepid archaeologist, avid cook

last night’s dinner

Tonight we had leftovers.  Glorious leftovers.  It means I get to make other things that I normally wouldn’t actually have the time for.  Tonight I made little half-moon pies with peaches and blueberries and chai masala (which I will talk about later) and I am making chocolate bread with a strained yogurt spread (also discussed in detail later).

I have already (as promised) tortured J (who was eating PB&J) with photos from last night’s dinner, so I have the photos on hand to torture or entice others.

 they sell these bunches entirely too large at the market

I had bought a large bunch of kale at the farmers’ market last week, and really wanted to use that, but I had had a vision of a potato gratin earlier in the afternoon.  I still had some white carrots in the fridge too, but no eggs and not enough milk.  I sliced all the vegetables, including the kale and mixed it in a bowl with house seasoning and urfa red pepper (which I have been fairly obsessed with lately) and added a healthy dose of garlic infused grapeseed oil and some Parmesan cheese.  Then, I crossed my fingers, covered the dish, and popped it in the oven.


I turned my attention to the large chicken breast on the cutting board, and proceeded to beat the hell out of it.  I chopped onions and garlic and coated the chicken in the same spice mixture I already added to the vegetables.  I sauteed the hell out of the chicken in some more of that garlic-infused oil and added a bit of cream cheese and some milk.  I added more kale, and then a butternut squash gnocchi that I had in the freezer.  In retrospect, if I do this again, I will use butter and wine; it was a tasty sauce, but slightly creamier than I was aiming for.  The kids loved it, though, except for the kale…


At any rate, the recipes follow:

colorful not-gratin

2 med purple potatoes, thinly sliced

1 med red, white, or yellow potato (I used red), also thinly sliced

1 med onion, thinly sliced

3 med carrots (I used white, but any color is fine), thinly sliced

2 cups coarsely chopped kale

1/4 cup, plus more for sprinkling, Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup garlic-infused oil

1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (this 1:1:1:1 mixture is known as house seasoning)

1/4 tsp Urfa crushed red pepper (you can use whatever pepper you want, or no pepper at all)

oven at 425 F

mix all ingredients in large bowl, tossing to coat vegetables eveinly with oil ans spices.  Transfer into a 2 qt casserole dish and cover with foil.  Place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.  Reduce heat to 359 F for another 20 minutes.  Remove the foil, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and return to oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables look similar to the following photo:


My son doesn’t much care for kale and as a result, my daughter now thinks that she also does not like kale (a complete LIE!), but both ate this, after picking the kale out and piling it in isolated corners of their place settings.  If they don’t grow out of this, they will wind up very disappointed with meals in their lives.

As I think about it, I am going to leave you with this. I want to work on the chicken.  I will try to make it with wine next week and I will let you know if it is any good.


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