Cooking Up a Storm

I had insomnia again last night. I was up from 4 am to 7 am.  There were reports of snow in a local town where my in-laws live.   We live in a part of the country that never gets snow.  It’s a bummer because I do love seeing snow  — this may be why I subconsciously dropped and spilled 2 lbs of salt on the kitchen floor.  It was an accident but it sure was pretty. 🙂

For dinner, we adapted a recipe I saw on Rachel Ray for Kale & Pancetta Gratin.  Instead of kale, I used two different types of bunches of chard and instead of pancetta, I used 6 slices of thick cut bacon that we needed to use up.  As the topping, instead of processed bread crumbs, I use 2 slices of old multigrain bread I kept in the freezer because I didn’t think I could use it up before it went bad.  I pulsed it in the food processor with parmesan and maybe a tablespoon of olive oil.  It gave the dish a nice hearty texture rather than the more sandy breadcrumb topping from Progresso.

J. made lamb chops which were absolutely fabulous. 

For dessert, I tried my hand at apple coffee cake.  I think the cooking time is closer to 55 minutes rather than the 35-40 listed in the recipe.  We skipped the glaze — the cake was moist and delicious and it didn’t need it.


Lamb, chard, apples, garlic, butter, bread = farmer’s market. 

Cream, sour cream, local dairy.  Parmesan cheese, olive oil, local.

Flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, vanilla – not local.



  1. Gretchen said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:26 am

    I just can’t get into chard. I love most other greens, but chard just is too…something…for me. I feel like a kid trying to mask the taste with lots of ranch dressing whenever I cook chard – doesn’t it defeat the purpose if you pile the green with lots of fatty salty tastes? Anyway, I applaud you for your use of chard! 🙂

  2. almostima said,

    December 17, 2008 at 9:26 am

    I suppose the purpose could be defeated depending on your goals. For me, I need to eat a lot of leafy greens for milk production for the upcoming baby/milk production. With the bacon and cream, I wouldn’t consider this a low fat dish — but were I to make it again, I’d use less bacon. There was probably a slice left over in the dish after we finished all the greens.

  3. Gretchen said,

    December 17, 2008 at 9:49 am

    No, I didn’t mean your use of chard! I meant that whenever I cook chard I tend to pile on the cheese or other strong taste to mask the chard (and end up having a really unhealthy, fatty dish as a result). Anyway, wish I liked it – it’s so pretty!!! The ones in your pics are yellow? We only get with red stems in my CSA bag. Is there a taste difference?

  4. almostima said,

    December 17, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I don’t notice a taste difference. Do you like Kale any better?

  5. October 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    […] a chard and bacon au gratin dish, lamb chops, and an apple coffee cake for dessert, Einat made her baby-to-be-born a little too comfortable. Although her recipes sound […]

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