Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cute, not Garbage

If it's fried, it's food! Plus, all those vegetables (two, not counting the omelet, but it's hard to tell because of the frying).
A while ago I took Cranky to a really nice steakhouse, run by an ambitious and well-known chef (though he's seldom there), and pleasant enough to dress casually for and still feel like a million. Well, half a million.
See, he needed the meat. There's never beef in this house, except for that hulking roast we get for Christmas. I figured a steak was a good treat for my pookie, since he's been doing all the heavy lifting in the garden this summer, AND bringing me a cup of tea in bed every morning.
I had a very nice steak, too, and between us both, there was enough meat to bring home for some snazzy Asian salad or something (though we ended up eating the steak as god intended: like steak).
Ah, but into the leftovers box I also poinked our "used" baked potato skins. I had an IDEA.
OK, the idea: Brush the empty tater skins with oil. Salt, if you like, and place on a baking sheet. Cook at 350-ish until everything looks brown and crisp.
Meanwhile, or simultaneously, cut up a pattypan squash into cute, thin chips (or planks, or Scrabble tiles...) "Cute," remember. Salt them, place them on a baking sheet, not touching, and give them a good swizzle of nice olive oil. You know what? You can flavor them with a sprinkling of cumin powder and probably some cayenne, as long as everything is cute. Bake the little planks until they look brown and crisp. (I can just see my first cookbook now: "Cook until everything looks brown and crisp. And cute.")
Then assemble your Easter baskets: Fill the crisp tater skins with the crisp pattypan planks. Serve and eat, cutely.
We served ours with a healthy omelet (if eggs and cheese are transformed to health by the addition of spinach; plus, the garlic might help).
I was gonna call this dish Five-Second-Rule Potatoes, but I realized they'd never actually fallen on the floor. Their only sin was being almost garbage.
So I call them George Costanza Almost Eclair Taters.


dancingmorganmouse said...

Yummy, if you're eating that you must be feeling better!

cookiecrumb said...

Darling, I'm having the canned peas. Drat; it's all I can do to even swallow.
We promise: On Mercury's winged heels we'll fly to the tryst, if time allows. Let me try to get Zoomie's cell number. (Not sure if you know this part; I have an MD appt. at quarter to 10.)
I've seen your menu for this evening. I hope you'll both be glad you made that choice. Too bad about the travel "surtax." Cranky says your mariner mate should navigate you there easily.
We are in for some great weather tomorrow; I'm dressing the part even if I find myself lost in a lab with a cup in my hand.

Zoomie said...

The jackets are the best part! Glad you saved and gilded them - perfect.

Cyndi said...

My most favorite breakfast potatoes are leftover baked potatoes - I always eat the skins so I have to make extra baked potatoes for the next morning. I cut them lengthwise and then in slices and fry 'em in butter. Sometimes I'll sprinkle a little seasoning salt. Sooooo good with eggs and toast. Glad you're a little better.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: "Jackets." I forgot that name. Yep, they're good and all the nutrients supposedly live there, with the dirt and microbes. Mm!

Cyndi: OMG, I had to jump in and respond! Gah, that sounds so delicious. What a brilliant idea, to make extra baked potatoes and fry them in butter later. You dairy wench! Yow.

kudzu said...

Quick -- copyright that title for your first cookbook: Almost Garbage.

Honest to God, it's brilliant.

Feel better fastfastfast.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Hm, I do rather like that. Kinda White Trash. I'll "develop" some ideas.
(Saw my doc this morning; unofficial diagnosis is Grief. It actually helps me to feel better.)

Zoomie said...

Y'know, I wondered if it wasn't a form of grieving. Hope your symptoms ease soon, both the physical and the emotional ones. Poor you. Heart is sad for you.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Boooo to germs and their resulting sickness, boooo I say.
We did, however have a lovely time, but not as lovely as it could have been :(
Dinner was all we hoped for and more. I slipped a little extra something into the care package from Australia for Cranky, who not only got the reservation but (I believe) the best seat in the house!

dancingmorganmouse said...

I just read the last post - grief, yes, that makes perfect sense - grief is worse than germs.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: From being pasted to the mattress for a week, to feeling tolerable. That's amazing. So yes, there was definitely a mental component. (Woofs to Heart.) Thank you.

Morgan: Now I'm grieving y'all. Damn. Would have loved to enjoy your loveliness. (I even wore brand-new pink socks today, in case I felt well enough to scoot over the bridge.)

dancingmorganmouse said...

I wore pink socks today too! And look at it this way, I'll remain a mystery that cannot disappoint!

Alice Q. Foodie said...

I would totally buy your cookbook. :-)

kudzu said...

You obviously have a very good doctor -- and a compassionate one. I remember how often my wise acupuncturist knew to trigger pent-up tears (leaving me to meditate in peace and quiet) during an especially rough go. Knowing what you do will make it easier to feel better sooner, I hope.

Sam said...

"used" baked potato skins? You don't just eat them in situ? They're my favourite bit().

Sam said...

oops - did I leave out the (e)?

peter said...

They weren't technically garbage-adjacent, just garbage-bound. I'm pretty sure there's a big difference.

I am sorry to hear about your doggie, but getting off the couch is a big step. A week is not too bad, considering. You'll be OK. Next time snuggle some homemade bacon into those crispy skins and you'll be right as rain.

Barbara said...

Love your post title- some of the best things are dangerously close to being garbage. :) There's nothing but good stuff in this potato jacket and I bet roasting the pitty pan squash made them tasty!

RoxieWithMoxie said...

Brilliant. It's been a whbile since I read your blog, when I failed miserably at updating my own. What an inpired post to return to.