Getting Back to Business

A Happy New Year to All!

If it weren’t logically impossible, I would resolve to make no resolutions.  They too easily act like a set-up for failure and guilt.  And yet, after all the season’s hubbub and distractions, it’s only natural to want to bring our focus back to the work of improving our lot, both singular and collective.  A desire to get back to business.

And so, a few offerings along these lines…..

Words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama in his book “How To Be Compassionate

“Ideas Worth Spreading” from TED (Technology, Education, and Design) has a talk by Daniel Goldstein:  “The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self

The mundane matters too……and here I’ve got for you a household hint that is so nifty, Heloise herself must surely know about it.  I have found that the storage time for leafy greens and mushrooms can be doubled and maybe even tripled by placing the contents first in a paper bag and then in a plastic bag.  This is pretty significant with something as perishable as spinach or as expensive as the so-called ‘wild’ mushrooms.  You may thank me later.

But perhaps most pressing on everybody’s mind:  what’s for dinner?  Not knowing can be very agitating when it’s already 6 p.m. and you’re ready to pack it in for the day.  For at least the next few posts, I’m going to offer some suggestions for simple meals which are also quick to prepare.

Molletes with Spinach, Escarole and Orange Salad

Blue Plate Special #101:   Molletes with Spinach, Escarole, and Orange Salad

Molletes is an ultra-simple Mexican dish composed of a hollowed-out baguette which is filled with chili and topped with cheese.  I use canned chili unless I have a homemade version in the freezer.   The salad calls for escarole which I like to have on hand because it is not too expensive, keeps well, and has a better texture than the mesclun mixes.  Romaine is a perfectly fine substitute.

Recipe:  Molletes

1 Baguette
2 cans chili
1 cup grated cheddar

Heat chili in saucepan.
Halve baguette vertically and then horizontally.  Hollow out the soft part and set aside for later use as breadcrumbs or rough-shaped croutons.
Fill baguette pieces with chili and top with cheese.
Heat in 350 degree oven (or toaster oven) for 5 minutes or until cheese is well melted.
Serves 4, unless you make vertical cut into thirds, in which case, serves 6.

Recipe:  Spinach, Escarole and Orange Salad

2 cups spinach leaves
2 cups torn escarole leaves
½ small clove garlic
dash of salt and fresh ground pepper
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
a few thin slices of red onion
olive oil and white balsamic vinegar
1 orange, peeled and sliced
4 to 6 olives, pitted and sliced

One of these days I’m going to photograph my technique for salad making.
For now, just these instructions….
In a medium sized bowl (I use metal) sprinkle salt and pepper.  Add garlic.  With the tines of a fork, mash the garlic, against the salt and pepper, into small pieces.  Then with the back of the fork above the tines, smash it (with a fury) into a paste.  Place the greens in the bowl.  With a pair of tongs, work the leaves around and around, against the garlic.  Try to incorporate and distribute the garlic evenly.  Pour on some olive oil, mixing it all with the tongs.  Add vinegar and do the same again.  Add the fennel and mix all with the tongs.  Place on serving plates.  Intersperse the oranges, onions, and olives amongst the greens.
Serves 4.

Everybody's Gotta Eat

Good Health and Good Eating to All in 2012……

And, is this not cool?  Besides having significance in measurements, time, physiology, religion, sports, music, and the arts, the number 12 has an almost unique characteristic.  It is designated as a Sublime Number, one of only two.  You’ll have to click on the link to find out which one the other is.

This entry was posted in Blue Plate Specials, chili, fennel, MOLLETES, ORANGES, salad, sandwiches, SPINACH, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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