October 9, 2006
Sometimes when The Spouse is out of town, I revert to a bit of lazy cooking. I have a few easy recipes that usually involve nothing more onerous than a small amount of prepping while the oven heats up. I can pop the dish into the hot oven, pour myself a well-earned glass of wine and watch the food channel while the meal cooks without further input from me.
These meals usually involve a chicken breast and a few vegetables – maybe a cored tomato stuffed with a couple of basil leaves, a few stalks of asparagus, a handful of button mushrooms drizzled with olive oil, some wedges of red capsicum. I might also toss in a couple of baby potatoes, quartered. Sometimes I will add a few tablespoons of chicken stock or wine and sprinkle over some seasoning. Everything goes in the same dish and cooking time is around 30 minutes at 180C – till the chicken is done. The vegetables maintain their individual flavour, the chicken is moist and the calorie count conservative.
Occasionally I crave something with cheese in it and today’s recipe is an old favourite I recently rediscovered, a dish I dreamed up when the sons were very small boys. It’s something of a hybrid, a cross between a bread and butter pudding and a soufflé. But instead of being sweet, it contains cheese, onion and tomato.
This will serve one adult or a couple of small children. It’s good served with a simple salad for a light meal. Quantities can be doubled or trebled as required.
3-4 slices of bread, crusts removed
Turn oven on to 200C.
Spread the slices of bread with butter or margarine and cut each slice into nine squares. Grease a gratin dish or a small soufflé dish. Scatter in the pieces of bread then add the tomato chunks and the spring onion. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together the egg yolks, milk and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk until stiff but not dry. Pour the egg yolk mix into the whites and lightly fold together. Don’t overmix. Spoon onto the bread. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
You can add your own touches – crumbled crisp bacon, zucchini slices instead of tomatoes, some finely chopped red pepper.
| ©2000-2013 Pat Churchill