There is something amazing about the fresh taste, scent and texture of simple dishes. So many dishes require items found only in catalogs or the "expensive" aisle of your grocery store and quite frankly don't live up to expectations.
I love simple dishes with basic ingredients I have on hand or can purchase within my food budget. Yesterday we set off in search of a coop owned grocery store rumored to be south of our home. Like some juicy gossip... Friends whispered to me how reasonable the prices and how amazing the meat selections. At some point in these gossip sessions, I should have gotten the address... Because as fate would have it we never found the place. Instead desperate for a new culinary experience we ended up in a large Asian grocery store. Taking home exotic snacks and some lovely green beans.
Tonight I will be cooking something warm and comforting for a friend who lost her mom. My mom was believer in the healing power of a well cooked casserole and I carry on her beliefs. The secret to a good comforting casserole is to have all the flavors blend into something soft, savory and soothing. Casseroles should be served very very warm and the texture should be even throughout with no strange crunchy things. My friend is a vegetarian with a wheat allergy, so this casserole contains cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and brown rice baked in a simple cheese sauce. I carmelize the carrots with a small bit of sweet onion and add a dash of cinnamon to the cauliflower.. Some how it all works and the result is an edible equivalent of a cleansing nap.
Currently for my own palate, I am on the hunt for sharp sweet fresh tastes to herald the approaching spring... Luckily I found this recipe for Asparagus Risotto with Poached Egg(click and scroll) on my favorite food porn site, delicious days...(by the way the whole point of this post was to share this recipe)