Monday, November 03, 2008
Chard-Noodle Casserole & Balady Bread
I basically followed Veganomicon's recipe for the spinach-noodle kugel, replacing chard with spinach and breadcrumbs for matzoh meal. Some immensely useful website that I don't remember informed me that you can substitute chard for spinach anywhere as long as you cook it longer*, and I decided to do just that, since spinach recipes abound (rightfully so, spinach is delicious) while poor chard gets lain to the wayside despite being one of those dark leafy greens we hear so much about (not to mention chard was in my produce box this month and spinach is out of season). This casserole is basically mashed tofu, chard, macaroni, onions, and bread crumbs all mixed together.
There are other things to do with chard, like make a lasagna (I was seriously considering this one); there seem to be lots of good recipes on the New York Times blog about health, "Well." There's a basic chard introduction here up there too.
* To cook chard, throw it into a pot of boiling water, and then once the water boils again, let it cook for a minute. It should wilt but still be bright green. Remove and drain.
In other exciting kitchen news, yesterday I made balady bread! In case you don't know, think of it as pita bread's cousin, in the same thin circle but thicker. I used this recipe from about.com's middle eastern section. (Okay, it's really a recipe for pita bread, but like I said, they are cousins and I think in English they're treated as one, despite being divided into sub-types in the middle east.) They even have a video too if you need more encouragement. One thing to bear in mind: when you preheat your pan in the oven before baking the bread, don't flour it. I did and the flour burnt completely, prompting the fire alarm to go off and transforming the flour into what strongly resembled rich fertile soil. The bread also seemed to bake faster than the suggested times, so it's worth it to check it earlier. I used two cups whole wheat pastry flour and one cup plain old white, but I might make it all whole wheat next time for an even coarser texture. It turned out great this time and it was really pretty easy to make, it just needs a little time for kneading and waiting for the dough to rise. But kneading is fun and you can spend the hour it takes for the dough to rise reading, not to mention the bread is great, so go ahead and make it.
Occasional art, comics, food, and other things of less interest to the general public.