Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mr. Creative Has Another Brainstorm

Richie is tireless in his efforts to provide fun events for others. His suggestions to the Thurs. Writers have been largely ignored by them. They're really too old to go for a shot and a beer after critique, among other daft schemes.

Our leftover turkey provided him with a new challenge - make something with it! I was against this since our turkey had not been all that good to begin with.

Cartoon: a turkey stands alone in a barnyard, looking pouty. Caption: "You only want me for my breasts!" Our turkey was (to be charitable) a B cup at best. Just as I'd said, no one wanted dark meat, so the legs and wings lay forlornly next to a picked-over breast.

Undaunted, he disappeared downstairs to his lair yesterday and soon re-emerged, waving a French cookbook (Charles Virion's French Country Cookbook.) He had just the thing - and if it was good, he'd suggest it to Michelle for their Christmas leftovers!

HACHIS A LA PARMENTIER (Hash a la Parmentier)
2 to 3 cups leftover, cook meat (turkey, chicken, ham, veal) finely chopped
Minced onion sauteed in butter
1 egg
Finely-chopped parsley
Beef consomme
Bread crumbs and sesoning to your taste (he went with Italian seasoning and pepper)
2 medium-sized potatoes
4 T sweet butter
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Mix the leftover meat with the onions, add the egg, parsley, consomme, bread crumbs and seasoning. Spread this in a layer across the bottom of a meatloaf pan.

Boil the potatoes and make mashed potatoes with the butter and Swiss cheese. Cover the meat with the potatoes and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, browning the top in the broiler at the end.

Basically, this is a meatloaf covered in mashed potatoes; "a la so-and-so" be damned. It turned out well, a nice winter comfort food. He was so proud of himself for using up the leftovers. "Waste not, want not" he cooed as he put it on the table.

This morning I was relieved that this latest burst of creativity had passed. Until, brandishing the newspaper, he said, "I'm going to re-do the kitchen!" I said, "No, Richie, you say, 'I want to discuss re-doing the kitchen with you.'"

He showed me the article which featured a kitchen photo with a long mirror, tilted over the stove top. "Are you expecting the Food Channel?" I asked dryly. "Not a bad idea ..." he said thoughtfully, lost in a new dream.

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