E Pluribus Mores

Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

Magic Cashew Goodness Spread

In slow cooking on December 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

This dish assumes you have read the previous post on Magic  Broth.bunny shield (December, 2008; and yes, there have only been four recipes since then; they don’t call it ‘lickedy-split’ cooking in the Knucklehole; and if you have a problem with that you can go watch Paula Deen reruns).  It also assumes…well, just, read the blog.

The great thing about slow cooking is that it takes so long to make you can have the main dish and leftovers, for the same meal!  As with any slow cooked meal, it is important that you have other things you ought to be doing.  For example, the other day I had a credit card expense report due.  Now opportunities like this are rare, so you have to jump on them.  bunny decapitationIn avoiding filing the report I finished two lectures, a review sheet (including a timeline decorated with bunny drawings taken from Medieval manuscripts), undertook a detailed review of John Dewey’s understanding of the relationship of liberty, community, and the liberal arts, and read the first book of Aristotle’s Topica (in the original Greek).  Consider slow cooking as just another quarrel in your arbalest (think bow and arrow, but slow cooked) to put that report off another day.

So imagine that it is six o’clock; you have been cooking the magic broth for the main dish (risotto, white bean soup, gnocchi, paella, gravy–whatever) for, like, four hours.  The wine is gone (guests always bring wine, so no worries).  bunny dogGuests are due to arrive any minute.  In a perfect world you would have a large project due, like a paper for a conference that weekend, and you would have accumulated appetizers across the whole week (a cheese plate, tapenade, balsamic candied almonds, fig and black tea confit [so I bought that one from Apple and Quince, sue me], caramelized shallots with current jam,  fruit platters, fried zucchini and aioli, rosemary roasted potatoes and aioli, aioli and aioli, edamame and gomasio, stuffed mushrooms cooked in magic broth, popovers, white beans with blue cheese and lemon, empanadillas with shallots mushrooms and manchego [my auto-correct just tried to change this to ‘ranchero’, philistine], stuffed fried zucchini blossoms,  tomato bread salad, roasted vegetables in puff pastry, fingerling potatoes with blue cheese and hickory nuts, scallops in browned butter and reduced magic broth, fondue, borsht, gravy—whatever). But on this particular night you have, well, broth.  And, like, some bread.  Have no fear!

It is time for action.  First, grab the phone and call guests or Significant Other to make sure someone is bringing more wine.  Next, check the refrigerator.  There are always crusts of cheese from earlier meals you can lay out artfully on the cheese board, and the balsamic caramelized almonds take about three minutes.  Certainly if you have a jar of the fig and tea confit, given to you for, you know, a present or something…

That brings us to the Magic Cashew Goodness Spread.  In your desperate, semi-inebriated state you have probably forgotten the big steaming pile of goodness left over from the broth you just strained.  Proceed as follows:

Magic Cashew Goodness Spread

1)      Place big steaming pile of goodness in blender.

2)      Add 1 ½ cup of salted cashews.

3)      Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste.

4)      Blend.

If it is too thick, thin with magic broth until it becomes spread consistency.  This should produce upwards of a quart of spread.  Put out a bowl of spread alongside the cheese, bread, and any other last minute brainstorms.

The remainder can always be put over pasta for breakfast the next morning.  Or you can blend in a couple eggs (more or less, depending on how much spread is bunnys attackleft; one egg per cup of spread works), pour the mixture into ramekins, and bake at 350 degrees.  When the custard has hardened remove from oven.  Work around the edges of the ramekins with a knife, and flip over onto a plate.  For a sauce (and what slow cooked dish doesn’t have a sauce) reduce some magic broth from two cups to one, add a half stick of high fat Norwegian butter and a quarter cup of cream.  Top with some course grated parmesan or asiago cheese and garnish with sprigs of thyme.  I call it Sweet Potato Flan with Magic Broth Reduction Sauce.   Aka, breakfast.

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