Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What's for lunch,Baby?

A question of which I am expected to answer every single day....

Everyday, I wake up earlier than G to fix breakfast and his "baon" for lunch. I know that there are times when thinking of what to cook can be nerve wrecking but luckily, I have a husband who is just so easy to please.

Well, thank God for ready-to-eat meatballs because that was exactly what he had for lunch yesterday with an extra special gravy of course, which I made from scratch. I got the recipe from Yummy magazine (August 2007, p.56) entitled "Swedish Meatballs with Pasta". I have to do away with pasta because he prefers rice and do away with the meatballs because we don't have ground meat in the freezer...besides, what we have are cooked Italian meatballs!

The gravy, I followed to the letter but made it extra special by adding in some chopped small bella mushrooms. I was a bit nervous when I was mixing the melted butter and the flour. I was murmuring "No lumps please" the entire time and phew! Thank goodness it was smooth.

To make up for my cheating (using ready-to-eat meatballs), I decided to fulfill my promise of making an Apple Charlotte using the recipe from "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible" (p.459). The recipe that I am putting here is a little different because I made some modifications which includes putting a streusel topping to add more crunch. ;)

Apple Charlotte with Streusel topping

4 Gala apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp lemon juice (I like mine a little tart)
10 Tbsp butter, melted
18 slices of wheat bread, crusts removed
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Combine the apples, sugar, raisins, lemon juice and cinnamon in a heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes until the apples are very tender and beginning to fall apart.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush your pan (I used an 8 inch square glass Pyrex dish) with some of the melted butter. Cut each of the bread (for the base) in half and brush both sides with butter and slightly overlap the bread which will form the base.

3. Spoon the apple mixture into the bread then, cover with the remaining bread slices which are also buttered on both sides.

Streusel Topping (p.462 - adapted from German Apple Cake of The Illustrated Kitchen Bible)

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon (+ 2 dashes coz I just heart cinnamon!)
6 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

In a bowl, simply mix everything with your hands and once combined, sprinkle on top of the Apple Charlotte, then bake for 35 minutes.

This is a very good recipe especially for the holidays because of the abundance of apples seating on top of the dining table plus the almost forgotten bread.

We ate it for dessert while it's still warm and had it with a vanilla fudge brownie ice cream. It was good but I secretly wished we had a plain vanilla ice cream which is a better pair for this one. Maybe I can go and get some later....

Today, I'll be preparing porkloin steak, my pinoy bistek version minus the beef and calamansi. Hope this one's good!!!

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