I have a fierce affinity for the little cookbook that was. Or that didn’t. Or that’s sitting alone on a shelf, in the bookstore. The edges frayed from having sat there too long and being shuffled about while the new books takes its place.
And I have another fierce affinity for cookbooks from yesterday. Cookbooks from founding members of the culinary world. Escoffier (given to me by my Mother), Dione Lucas and Julia Child (given to me by my dearest Auntie Ellen). They are my most cherished books.
Sometimes, when I find myself with a rare quiet moment, I love to browse my collection of cookbooks. So diverse, unique and all so delicious.
Reminds me of the world in which we live.
Winter Vegetable Cobbler
A lovely little dish I found in a fabulous Irish Pub Cookbook. Here in the U.S. we find cobblers typically served as a sweet dish. But in Ireland, and other parts of Europe, you’ll find hearty savory cobblers with meat, poultry and vegetables. This recipe is a delicious vegetarian version. But for those who’d like to make this a bit heartier, add some diced roasted chicken to the dish. Divine!
The ingredient list looks long, but it’s really a breeze. Just a little bit of chopping and then it all goes in the pot and into the oven.
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 rutabaga, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup sliced cremini or button mushrooms
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
2-4 cups vegetable broth (I love the Rapunzel brand Veggie bouillon cubes with sea salt and herbs)
1 sprig fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Dash of Tabasco, or your favorite hot sauce
Fresh chopped Italian parsley or chive (for garnish)
*2 cups self rising flour
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shred
2 teaspoons fresh chive
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
For the cobbler topping:
Cut butter into flour and then add the chive and cheese. Whisk together the egg and milk and add all but a tablespoon of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until the dough is soft. Set aside until ready to top veggies.
For the veggies:
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Heat a Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot over medium high heat with the tablespoon of oil or butter.
Then add the onions. Let the onions cook down and wilt and caramelize a bit. When the onions are golden add the garlic, sautéing for one minute.
Then add the celery, carrots and remaining veggies. Cook until the veggies are softened and wilted.
Then add the mushrooms and tomatoes.
Next, mix together the cornstarch and water. Then stir it into the pot with the broth, Tabasco, dried and fresh herbs.
Place in the oven and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
To Finish the cobbler:
Drop the biscuits onto the vegetables, brush with remaining liquid and bake the cobbler at 400F for about 10-12 minutes.
Options: Add diced roasted chicken to the veggies before adding cobbler topping.
Recipe adapted from the cookbook Irish Pub Cooking, Parragon Books ltd.
*To make self rising flour:
For each cup of all-purpose flour add 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix to combine.