Planet of the Scapes: Fall in stride

by Pearl Pirie

Autumn is a lovely time of year with the fringe of frost and leaves looking like an all-day golden hour. It’s time to get some nutritious, hot comfort food in.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you hybridized cornbread and soufflé? The answer is sublimity. Also, the answer is below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMain Dish: Spoon Pudding (6 Servings)

This recipe is adapted from United Tastes of America by Dorinda Hafner (Random House, 1997).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a casserole or 6 ramekins.

2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of cornmeal

Bring the water (salted) to a boil and add cornmeal, cook on low for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the following:

Mix:
1 medium onion, minced
3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
30 g/1 oz butter, melted
1 cup almond milk (or skim)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3 egg yolks (optional)
1 tsp baking powder

It will look like soft-cooked scrambled eggs. Cover and set aside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3 egg whites
1 tbsp icing sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until light peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until solid peaks form.
Roll clean dry spinach leaves, half a dozen at a time, and cut them so you make thin strips.

Fold in:
2 dozen spinach leaves

Carefully fold in the cornmeal mixture into the egg white so that you don’t flatten the air out of the egg whites. Continue to mix as you add in the spinach.
Pour into your baking dish(es). Bake uncovered for 45 minutes-1 hour until set and browned. Serve hot or cold.
To cook for such a long time, it’s more efficient to bake it with other things. Shown served with baked potato, squash baked with a filling of chopped onion, thyme, butter and mushrooms.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASecond Dish: endive canapés (8 servings)

1/2 can of chickpeas
1/4 cup oil, olive or walnut or what you have. (Any but motor oil)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp cajun spice mix
1/4 cup tofu spread or egg salad
green of a spring onion, chopped
rib of a red pepper, minced
2 heads of endive

Marinate the chickpeas, oil and vinegar with the spice for an hour, or overnight, or as much time as you have.
Pull the endive leaves into boats. Fill them with slotted spoons of chickpea. Stop the end so they don’t roll out with a dab of tofu spread, which is available at many grocery stores or make your own from semi-firm tofu, mustard and mayonnaise to your taste. If you don’t use the egg yolks in the above recipe, you can make a quick egg salad from them. Top with the bright green and red of onion and pepper.

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Pearl Pirie is a host of Thursday night’s Literary Landscape on CKCUfm.com. Her latest poetry collection, the pet radish, shrunken (BookThug, 2015), has been described as “charged with innovative and lyrical energies” and “a gorgeous rebellion.” At www.pearlpirie.com you can subscribe to a writing newsletter.