Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hominy Casserole
Just made this. It's really tasty--I think because of the amazing heirloom tomatoes (from my garden and Monterey Market).

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped (to make ~1/2 cup)--I used Honeycrisp, because that's what I had, but that's probably not the optimal apple for baking.
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can white hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 leaves fresh sage, chopped
3" stem of fresh oregano, chopped
5-6 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
About 3 cups chopped tomatoes
3 slices of white bread, grated into breadcrumbs (I toasted them and grated off as much as I could--the rest I crumbled into coarse pieces)
About 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Saute the onions, apples, and peppers in olive oil until the onions are soft and beginning to color. Season with the herbs, salt, pepper, and MSG. Add the tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer. Spoon half the hominy mixture into a large casserole dish. Top with the large, crumbled breadcrumbs. Spoon in the rest of the hominy mixture. Mix the fine breadcrumbs and grated cheese and use this mixture to cover the top of the casserole. Dot with butter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Quark Cheesecake
This is still baking as I write this, so we'll see how it turns out...

For the crust:
2 cups almond meal (from Trader Joe's)
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a pie pan. Mush all the ingredients together in another bowl. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Bake for about 15 minutes, until brown.

For the filling:
1 container lowfat quark (16 ounces/about 2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Stir the sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest into the quark. Add more sugar to taste. When you're happy with the flavor, stir in the egg--mix well, until the mixture is creamy, with no yellow streaks of yolk. Pour into the crust. Bake for 45 minutes or so, until the filling is more or less set but still wobbles a little bit. (I'm waiting to see if 45 minutes is an accurate time estimate, and if I should have added another egg for the filling to set properly.)

Coming very soon, because I have a ton of limes: Key lime pie!

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