Anyone who does much cooking on a regular basis will tell you that the most difficult part is the planning. What to cook? Will the family like it? Do I need to buy any special ingredients? How long will it take? All these factors must be taken into consideration if you are going to have dinner on the table at a reasonable hour on a weeknight.
After poking around in the refrigerator on this particular afternoon, I came up with a bag of very spotty apples, a pie crust that has been defrosting for about a week, eggs, ricotta cheese, a box of spinach, and an onion. I enlisted the help of my four year old by talking up the apple dessert we would make. Since I have a problem with soggy bottom crusts, I decided to use a pretty casserole dish and put the crust on top. After some quick research, I discovered that this type of deep dish dessert with pastry on top is called a pandowdy.
Evidently there was no romance involved in naming apple desserts in days past. As I searched for the proper name for my creation I discovered the apple buckle, the apple slump, the pandowdy, and worst of all: the apple grunt. Gross. The pandowdy was so named because it was baked in a deep dish and topped with a crust, which looked dowdy. I'm pleased to say that my creation didn't look frumpy, it didn't slump or buckle, and I didn't make any gutteral noises while making it. Toss the fruit with a little bit of sugar and some cinnamon, place the crust on top and bake in a hot oven for about an hour.
After this was in the oven, we turned out attention to a making a simple frittata. This is an easy dish to fall back on no matter how little you find in the refrigerator. Eggs are the main ingredient, and everything else is optional. You can add onions, veggies, cheese, or even leftover meat or pasta.
Crack a few eggs into a bowl and whisk them up with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute some chopped onion in an oven proof skillet, add garlic, spinach, or any other vegetable that will need time to cook and soften. Pour the eggs over the cooking veggies, sprinkle cheese on top and any other topping such as herbs or tomatoes. Put the pan into a hot oven and cook until it puffs up a little and the eggs are done to your liking.
Do you have any simple, easy and versatile recipes you fall back on when you want a hot meal for your family?