February 7, 2006

Spinach-mushroom cornbread casserole

It's that time again. Yeah, that's right, instead of finishing my Moral Character Application for the Bar, like a good law kid, I'm cooking.

Anyways, this one turned out pretty damn awesome. It started as an idea for spinach quiche to kill the large number of eggs in the fridge. Then, after we had eggs for breakfast on Sunday, but I'd already promised Spinach casserole to E ('cause real men don't each quiche, as a former roommate once informed me by giving me a much appreciated book), I had to do some quick thinking. So, I did what I could with the list that I'd already sent E to the store with, which involved 1 pound of spinach, a couple of handfulls of mushrooms and well... I figured I'd wing it from there.

And I did!

Try this recipe on for size if you've got similar ingredients (feel free to improvise, you know I did...note the lack of crust, the low number of eggs and the creative use of pantry extras.)

1. Chop 1/4 white onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Throw into large saucepan and turn heat to medium. Pre-heat oven to 350F.

2. Think about adding olive oil to sauce pan. Realize you have 1/2 cup unused sun-dried tomatoes in oil, add them instead. Sautee 'til onions are clear.

3. Add 2-3 handfulls of sliced mushrooms, realize the oil from the tomatoes is insufficient to cook them.

4. Add 1/2 stick of butter. Sautee mushrooms, onions, garlic. When S/O comments on wonderful smell, smile knowingly -- you planned this all along, remember?

5. After mushrooms are covered in butter and have absorbed all possible grease (which isn't a ton, in all fairness) add 3/4 lb of fresh spinach. Sautee 'til wilted throughout. Turn off burner.

6. Beat 3 remaining eggs and the last tidbits of the coffee half-and-half pint in a metal bowl (approx 1 Tablespoon). Add 1 box cornbread mix that's been sitting in your pantry for at least one year (less aging time will probably be okay, although it'll lose some of the subtle qualities that make this meal really shine).

7. Crumble any crumbling cheese you can find into the egg/cornbread batter (I used approx 2 T of cotija). Fold cheese into batter.

8. Fold spinach/mushroom/butter/onion/garlic/spinach-water-dripping mix into egg/cheese/cornbread batter.

9. Butter a 9X12 baking pan. Pour batter/spinach mixture into pan. Cover with grated cheddar (1-2 T left in a sorry-looking rectangular prism in the fridge) and parmigiano (stop when you have 1/2 an inch covering every visible square centimeter).

10. Top with a liberal sprinkling of ground white pepper (no doubt any pepper will do).

10. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Serve immediately by cutting into squares. (Note: it should dish from the pan easily in one structurally sound unit. If not, something went wrong. I take no responsibility.)

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