Wednesday, May 25, 2011

UnRecipe: It's the End of the World as We Know It and I'll Have Pie

So, like everyone else, I was talking with some friends about the fever pitch over the Rapture that was supposed to have happened this past Saturday, and being a believer or not, is it really something newsworthy? I have little doubt that even if the holy heavens swept through to claim the faithful, I'd most certainly be left behind with my heathen ways, but I came to the conclusion that yes, the Rapture-fever is relevant, because then I can do a totally silly post about it. So there.

The almost-last supper - Photo by Wasabi Prime

While there's nothing particularly Biblical about a savory bread pudding, I did en-Rapture my arteries in a lot of cheese and bacon for this dish. During the week prior to the supposed End Times, I tried cleaning out my fridge like the world was gonna end, cooking with every random scrap of food we had sitting around. We always wind up with spare bits of stuff from previous dishes. I'd used some bacon for pork meatballs, bread for sandwiches, and random things that were impulse buys at the farmers market -- my fear of wasting food kicks in and then a whirlwind of cooking panic drives me to make something that uses as much of this stuff as possible. Compulsive cooking syndrome? There's a reality TV show waiting to happen there.

End of Days ain't so bad, there's dinner and cocktails involved - Photos by Wasabi Prime

As always, UnRecipe-ness rules supreme. See that random pile of ingredients? Just throw it together and hope for the best! In this case I felt fairly certain it would be a tasty pile of UnRecipe-ness. Chopped up bacon, rendered crisp with the fat reserved to saute leeks and some shallots until lightly caramelized. The leftover bread was just the stale heels from two loaves bought at the farmers market. This was a great way to use up the weird little pieces, as it's too small for a sandwich and while they would have made great croutons, their stale-ness made them extra thirsty to soak up the flavor of the bacon, leeks and creamy egg custard that brought the whole thing together. I had a little wedge of gouda, also from the farmers market (it was on sale, and I can't resist discount cheese), and the flavor is a bit pungent, so it's not something you just bite a hunk off. The cheese-wang was strong with this wedge, but crumbled and mixed into the egg batter, and it melted down in wonderful ways, seeping into the bread and making the whole thing savory and rich. The garden is finally yielding a healthy batch of herbs, so I was happy to sprinkle in handfuls of fresh parsley, sage, chives and thyme into the mix.

Savory bread pudding that just came together on its own - Photos by Wasabi Prime

You can't face your maker without dessert. Again, an impulse buy of rhubarb, likely from my impatience with our own rhubarb plant taking forever to grow edible-sized stalks, was cooked with strawberries and made into a pie. Nothing fussy with perfectly woven lattice-work, just a simple foldover of the excess dough and a sprinkle of sugary oat crumbles to make a crusty top. This was more like a "yay, the world didn't end" reward, as the day of the supposed Rapture had us getting gussied-up and going out with some friends for dinner and drinks. It wasn't to party-on through the reaping of souls, it was just good timing. But we raised our glasses after 6pm and said, yep, we're still here. And we had a strawberry rhubarb pie, with strawberry ice cream, to celebrate with on the following post-Rapture Sunday. Win-win, right?

Get fancy, have pie and ice cream, avoid the end of the world -- good weekend, no? - Photos by Wasabi Prime 

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1 comment:

  1. A great plan for just those days! I love your attitude about mixing stuff and un-recipe everything!


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