Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a hit and a miss

D's been having stomach troubles of late and was recently diagnosed with GERD. In an effort to solve his gas issues and get away from medication he started googling the other night. Among other somewhat contradictory information, we found lists of foods to avoid with GERD. And right there, at the top of the list, is tomatoes. Now, my people, you know I love cooking casseroles. And usually I use tomato sauce or tomatoes in my dishes. So I was a bit stymied the other night when I tried to make a tomato-less version of what I call mexican lasagna. I tried. I made the veggie sauce with a half an onion (onions aren't the best either), some diced celery, carrots, red pepper, sliced mushrooms, drained black beans, creamed corn (I didn't have any frozen), Yves non-ground round and some stock. It looked odd without the tomato but I carried on - adding a bit of cayenne and lots of cumin.

 Then I made the white sauce - 3 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp flour and 1 c each stock and 2% milk. Now normally to this I add about 1 c of salsa but mine is heavy on the tomatoes so I gave it a miss. So in a greased 9x13 pan, I layered the two sauces, some plain tortillas and some sharp cheddar and shredded parmesan and baked it all at 350 deg F.

Now this part is where it all fell apart because it might have all worked if I hadn't baked it for too long and it got too crispy around the edges. D liked it but I hated it. Sigh. So if you can eat tomatoes make mexican lasagna - and add a jar of your favorite tomato sauce to the veggie sauce and 1 c of salsa to the white sauce - making it pinkish, I know - and then layer with tortillas....and don't bake it for more than 30 minutes and it will work.

On the plus side, I made this cake. It was (and is) delicious. 

Gingerbread Apple Upside Down Cake (from Smitten Kitchen)

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 tbsp butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
pinch of salt

1/2 c soft butter
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1/3 c molasses
1/3 c honey
1 c buttermilk (1 c milk with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the sugar over medium heat and stir for 4 minutes. Add the salt, stir and pour into a greased cake pan. Lay the apples slices in a ring over the caramel, fitting in all the slices.

Beat the butter until fluffy and light. Add the sugar and beat until well blended and light. Beat the eggs with the molasses, honey and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together. Add the flour and the egg mixtures alternately, blending well after each addition. When all incorporated, pour over the apples.

Bake at least 45-50 minutes (I did 60) at 325 deg F until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes and then invert on a larger plate, in case there are drips.

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