All of the ham. And quite a bit of the Swiss cheese.

Ham and Swiss Strata.

Make this. It is damn good.

4 cooked small potatoes,  cut in half
1/2 onion, diced
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes and onions until cooked through. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Cooking oil as needed
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup of fresh dill fronds
1/2 cup chard or kale, torn into pieces
1/2 cup shaved black forest ham
3 slices swiss cheese
3 slices bread, buttered on one side

Optional:
1 egg beaten with 2 Tbsp milk

Garnish:
Hemp hearts and more dill!

Heat up a heavy bottomed pan (that has a tight fitting lid) over medium high heat. Lightly grease the pan with oil. Add the cooked potatoes and onions. Put the lid on the pan. Let cook until hot and steamy.

Lift the lid. Scatter the tomatoes, greens, dill and ham on top of the potatoes. Add the ham here and there as well. Replace the lid. Leave it alone. Perhaps lightly wiggle the pan so that nothing sticks and burns but do not stir unless you really really feel you need to. After several minutes lift the lid and add the Swiss cheese slices to cover as much of the strata as possible. Top with a layer of sliced bread, buttered side down.

*I used gluten free sourdough 100% Buckwheat bread for this. It was pretty awesome. Cornbread would also work fairly well. If you can eat gluten then try to find a levain type bread to use here, or a dark pumpernickel. Try to use something with a rich deep flavor that will pair well with the ham and the Swiss.*

Put the lid back on the pan and let the strata steam for a few minutes. If you are adding the egg and milk wait a minute then quickly poor it over the bread and replace the lid. Once the egg cooks and/or the plain bread is nice a steamy remove the pan from the heat. Use a rubber spatula to gently ensure the strata is not stuck to the pan.

Invert a dinner plate on the pan and hold it firmly with your palm. Flip the pan and the plate together and hopefully the whole thing falls down in one perfect piece onto the plate. Scatter with hemp hearts and more dill.

Enjoy!

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Tamarind chut

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While searching for uses for the extra tamarind concentrate I had in my fridge I came across this little jem. My diet these days is a little repetitive – meat protein, rice, root veggies….. I did not think I would ever get tired of salsa on everything but I am nearly there. Condiments are pretty important when you have a severely restricted diet. Don’t get bored, get creative. Work within the boundaries that keep you feeling good and don’t forget that there is still a lot of room for play. I am going to use this chutney as a sauce for some curried potatoes with peas and onions (think deconstructed samosa), as a glaze for chicken, to round out a rice based meal, and maybe even to enhance a quick broth soup (with my new favorite gluten free King Soba black rice ramen noodles). Food doesn’t have to be complicated, just tasty. It sure helps to have fun (homemade, additive free) condiments on hand. Enjoy.

grief and food

I know most people don’t think about food when shit goes down. Some don’t want to eat at all or cannot stand the thought of preparing food. I panic and end up baking and cooking enough food for a small army. I switch from needing to feed two or three of us to needing to make sure everyone everywhere has something to eat whether they need or want it. I am ready. I have lasagna. I am prepared.

A very good and dear friend of ours suffered two massive brain anerysms on Thursday night. Everyone is just waiting. Grant keeps going to the hospital and hanging out there, but I have nothing to do. I don’t know what to do. I have to do something but there’s nothing to be done. How do you just keep on…… how do you “go about your business” as if nothing is wrong. How do you play peek-a-boo and chase and do stickers with a two year old when inside you are just devastated…

I mean. I guess you just do. And that’s all there is to it. You just do.

I’ve baked muffins and loaves and have food ready for at least four or five meals for 10- 20 people if anyone should feel like eating or hanging out here or need anything sent to the hospital.  Not that I expect anyone to. I don’t think it’s going to happen. Everyone is just waiting. Everything is very quiet. Phone conversations are all quiet. We speak quietly to each other. Everyone is just sitting around shaking their heads and trying to wish the whole situation away.

I feel entirely useless and not hungry at all.