Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sewing, No; Cooking, Yes

Okay, so I never did start sewing. It is still sitting there mocking me. But I DID do some cooking. I was inspired by those pretty green beans I brought in from the garden this morning.

I wanted something with olive oil. (The beans are Italian after all.) Anyway, I remembered a show I had seen on PBS a couple of years ago with Lidia Bastianich. I'm not sure if it was Lidia's Kitchen or Lidia's Italy, I was in the hospital at the time and she was cooking all sorts of good-looking things. One of the dishes she prepared was her mother's favorite Sunday dinner, a braised skillet of chicken, potatoes, onions, and green beans. It occurred to me that I could do something like that with those fresh green beans. So, I got started. First I washed the beans and cut them into about 2 inch lengths, then I peeled and quartered some medium sized potatoes, and peeled and chopped a large yellow onion. I heated my trusty iron skillet and when it was good and hot, poured in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then dumped in the vegetables I had prepared.

I lightly browned them, then lowered the heat and covered the skillet and let it cook, turning the vegetables now and then.

Once they were nicely done, I added some sliced ham cut in strips about 1 inch by 2 inches, covered again and let that meld its flavors.

Then I added a small can of mushroom slices, drained, and let that heat through.

While all that had been minding its own business getting ready, I had prepared this pretty salad.

So, here we have it: my new dinner creation! I've recently discovered the joys of tarragon vinegar and olive oil for a salad dressing. I recommend it! And have you seen these sea salt and pepper grinder/shakers? They're the best.

After all that I decided to cook some dessert. I had some dried apple slices, and those I put in a skillet, covered them with water and simmered until they plumped. I then added about a quarter cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon and simmered some more.

While that was cooling, I made up some plain pie pastry, rolled it out and cut in 4 inch circles. I heated about a half inch of canola oil in a skillet. (Can you tell that I really love cast iron skillets?) On one pastry circle I put two of the cooked apple slices and then covered that with another pastry circle, crimped around the edges and cooked it in the canola oil, turning once.

I drained them on paper plates and sprinkled with sugar.


It was really good. I had vanilla ice cream with mine.

My grandmother used to make these little fried pies for us when we were kids. We loved them. The dried apples give them a more authentic flavor for me, but you could just use canned pie filling if you didn't want to go to that extra bit of trouble.

Enjoy your evening, and I hope you've had something really good to eat, too!



Charlie P said...

Mmmmmmm...mmmmmmm! Please come and cook for me! Those little pies look especially tasty :)
I love the quilt you're making too, the colours look great.

Cheryl said...

What time do we eat???? One thing to say yum, yum, yummy - Ok, more that one thing!!