So I'm obviously a bit behind on getting all my recent meals posted for you, but part of the reason for that is that I had my friend Nicole visiting for a week, during which we cooked a lot. Having a guest to do the dishes and chop things is never a bad thing, and I'm always more enthusiastic about tasty food when there's someone other than me around to eat it. Of course, the flood made impromptu grocery trips difficult, but we managed to do pretty will regardless. The apricots pictured here were purchased one night during a walk downtown that turned into a swim, practically, when the sky opened up. Judith's flood tip of the day: always go to the store with a buddy, so that when you need the last gallon bottle of water on a high shelf, said buddy can give you a leg up.
The apricots were breakfast for most of the week, because I came up with the most amazing crumble recipe. It was actually a hybrid of a few different recipes, because I wanted to use fresh apricots but the crumble topping I liked most came from a recipe that used the dried variety. I used this in terms of oven temp/time, and I used about a pound of apricots, halved and stones removed. I baked in a greased casserole, not a pie dish. I then prepared the topping from this recipe and sprinkled it on top before baking, but without the whole pecans. So tasty, especially if you're a big fan of tart fruits (which I am).
We also did some dishes that I didn't bother to photograph - Nicole's amazing grilled cheese, my goat cheese enhanced scrambled eggs, and the zucchini patties I posted about before (that are still amazing) - but I decided that this grits dish deserved a snapshot. I cooked the grits in the usual way on the stove, then added a bit of butter and a LOT of cheese. Parmesan, mozzarella, and goat cheese all made an appearance, making the grits thick and cheesy and amazing. Sauteed onion and canned (blame the flood) mushrooms went on top, cooked with a little sherry.
The last food adventure we tried was a cheesy tortilla pie. I made a lot of variations on the original recipe, but I loved my version. I used an 8" springform and 8" flour tortillas, so no trimming. I think I used six tortillas. For the cheese, I mixed cheddar and mozzarella. I only used on can of black beans, but I also added a can of mushrooms. Once the bean mixture was a few minutes from done, I added a chopped zucchini in place of the corn. I didn't use a jalepeno, and I used water because I didn't have beer. It turned out great though, despite all the changes. Very cheesy, and I loved the green onions on top. The springform pan is also great for presentation.
One last thing I wanted to mention is a trip to Masala, a restaurant in Iowa City, for dinner. I've been to one of Iowa City's two Indian places, but not Masala, which is all vegetarian. I really enjoyed it! We got an appetizer platter, which may not have been the best idea, and I was so-so on some of that, but the garlic naan was amazing, as was the rose lhassi. For my main course, I had punjabi curry, and it was perfect for my tastebuds. I asked for it "very mild," and it was just spicy enough for me, with a delicious rich curry sauce.
Don't forget! Entries for A Vegetarian Picnic Feast are due a week from today, July 4th!