Mexican Themed Shavuot Dinner

This one’s belated, but hey, it’s here!

 

For the one dairy meal I managed to put together for this holiday, I went vaguely Latin flavored with a detour to France for dessert. I also pretty much relied on one cookbook: Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most-Requested, Naturally Delicious Recipes from One of America’s Best-Loved Restaurants. I really like this cookbook – the food and recipes are generally very approachable, and it’s always nice to have a cookbook that I don’t have to spend hours modifying the recipes for it to be useful.

The main course was Mexican Corn & Cheese Casserole. I’m still tweaking this, because Himself is convinced that it doesn’t count as a main dish if you don’t include an actual dead animal or a facsimile of a dead animal. This means that since the main seasonings of the casserole are coriander and cumin, we turn to Tofurkey’s vegan Chorizo crumble to bulk out the dish. Because there’s more in the casserole than the recipe calls for, it doesn’t *quite* set properly. The texture is a bit closer to overloaded scrambled eggs than a properly set egg custard. I’m going to post the recipe as written, though we leave out the peppers and, as I said, add a full package of chorizo crumble.

The recommended accompaniment to this casserole is Green Beans with Lemon Zest Dressing. These were excellent, though I would be willing to sacrifice the color of the beans to a dressing that had lemon juice rather than zest. I think that it might marry better with the dijon and olive oil than the zest did. The best thing about these beans is that they taste great at any temperature, from right out of the fridge to fresh from the pot.

Because I generally like to put a starch out, I figured I’d continue with the theme and make the Spanish Rice from the same cookbook. This I wasn’t thrilled with. The recommendation to add a pinch of cayenne drowned out the more subtle cumin seeds that were sautéed with the onions and garlic. Either that or my cumin seeds are just old. The salt levels were low enough that the tomato purée didn’t add ANY flavor whatsoever. Basically this rice tasted like texture with heat on the back end. Will not make again without several adjustments. Not going to post the recipe either.

For dessert, I went with a simple concept that can be easily prepared on Yom Tov – a clafoutis. Specifically, this clafoutis from one of my all time favorite recipe sites: Smitten Kitchen. You can pretty much always rely on Deb for a stellar example of any recipe you’re looking for. I used cherries, a common clafoutis ingredient. Recipe is found at the link, and I see no need to retype Deb’s excellent instructions.

Overall, more successes than failures. I’m going to make the rice at least one more time with some adjustments before I write the recipe off entirely (every cookbook has its duds). Below are the recipes for the casserole and green beans. Please enjoy them!

 

Corn & Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 T oil
  • 1.5 cups diced onions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup seeded and diced bell pepper (I leave this out as Himself doesn’t care for bell peppers)
  • 3 generous cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (1 16 oz package frozen) split into 2 cups and 1 cup
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease an 11 x 7 x 2 inch casserole dish.
  2. In a covered saucepan, warm the oil on medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, sprinkle with half the salt and cook for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the 2 cups of corn and peppers and stir in the cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes.
  6. Cover and cook until the veggies are tender (about 7 minutes).
  7. While the veggies are cooking, purée the eggs, milk, other half of the salt, black pepper and the reserved cup of corn in a blender (I use an immersion blender in a bowl) until smooth.
  8. When the veggies are done, spread them evenly in the casserole dish. Pour the custard on top and sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Bake, uncovered, for about 35 minutes. The cheese should be golden and a knife inserted into the custard should come out clean.

 

Green Beans with Lemon Zest Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil (spring for the good stuff)
  • 1 minced garlic clove (a nice big one)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 T finely grated lemon zest (VERY fine)

Instructions:

  1. Steam or boil the beans until tender
  2. Stir everything else together in a bowl
  3. Toss the hot beans with the dressing, making sure the coating is even
  4. Salt and pepper to taste

 

You will note that the cookbook is actually linked to the Amazon listing. I’m using Amazon affiliate links now, so please use the ones in the blog entries!

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