Monday, July 26, 2010

Zucchini Overload

What do you do when you have 7 billion pounds of zucchini and you've already made chocolate zucchini cake (twice) and several kinds of zucchini pasta (okay, really just one kind over and over again. But it's good). Zack and I were watching the Barefoot Contessa and she had a special French themed episode. It totally inspired me to break out my Barefoot in Paris cookbook and make this zucchini gratin. It's creamy, it's summery and it rocks hard core.

Ina's Zucchini Gratin - slightly adapted by me

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
1 pound yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large) - I used cippolini onions that I had in my fridge, so I just used those.
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Gruyere

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned (I totally browned mine. Whoops.)

(Also I used not a saute pan and later, it was harder to get all the zucchini cooked evenly. Don't be like me. Although it all turned out fine, so maybe it doesn't matter). Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce.

Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

Doesn't it look awesome? It tasted great. There's something amazing about taking something really healthy like green vegetables and making them super decadent and delicious. You should try it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amazing Miracles

It's the return of Nurses in New England! It's bigger, better and longer than ever. I'm going to sing and dress up like a nurse. There are EMTs, stuffed animals, lesbians and amazing music. You know you want to see it.

Written and Directed by Tina Satter, with Music by Chris Giarmo
presented by SoHo Think Tank's Ice Factory 2010

Starring Jess Barbagallo, Eliza Bent, Emily Davis, Erin Markey, Annie McNamara, Lena Moy-Borgen, Julia Sirna-Frest and Greg Zuccolo.

With Matt Bogdanow on Drums, Shane Chapman on Guitar / Bass / Ukulele, and Chris Giarmo on Keyboards / Piano.

Andrea Mincic : Set Design
Zack Tinkelman : Lighting Design
Nathan Lemoine : Technical Director
Eliza Laytner : Stage Manager

July 28 – 31, 2010
Wednesday – Saturday, 7pm

The Ohio Theater
66 Wooster St. (btw. Spring + Broome)
New York City

TICKETS : General $15 : Students + Seniors $10

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE HERE or call 212.868.4444.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good lord, this is ridiculous

It happens against my best intentions. I want to blog, but I work 37 hours a week at school and then I agreed to house manage a show (part time), downtown, really far away from school (travel time is a bitch) and then rehearsals (in Brooklyn! Oy vey) started for the play that I'm performing in and soon, there's nothing left but an empty shell of Lena skin (sorry for the gross imagery - I'm so tired).

But I start getting these emails/facebook posts saying "why don't you blog? Haven't read anything in a while..." in which case I feel a) guilty and b) excited that people actually read my blog and care if I don't update it. So here we go.

Sometimes on my days off, I sleep for 13 hours and then cook all day. One of things I decided to cook all day was pie. I had one and a half containers of blueberries (Zack ate some. Curses) and a container of gooseberries which I had little idea what to do with, except make a pie.

I decided to try a new pie crust recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It called for Crisco and I had just realized how much of that I had in my pantry.

I also decided to use my pastry cutter instead of my food processor (or my fingers). It was use all the random things in my kitchen day.

That was back when I had a manicure. Good times. This pie crust recipe made three discs like this.

I used two and put one back in the freezer. I rolled out one for the pie pan and set the second one aside.

Then I combined my berries, some sugar (enough to coat the berries - gooseberries are sour), a dash of nutmeg, a few Tablespoons of flour (to make the insides of the pie thicker), put them in the pie crust and laid some pats of butter on top.

I covered it with my second pie crust. It broke, but I just smushed it back together and cut a few slits on top so that it didn't explode in the oven.

35ish minutes at 400 degrees later and bam! I had pie.

The crust was amazing - flaky like nobody's business (although I kind of missed the butter taste). The filling was sweet and just a little bit tart. It was juicy and went perfectly with the crust. Look at those pretty berries!

I wish I could say I brought this somewhere to share, but really, Zack and I ate the whole thing (mostly Zack). If you come over for dinner, maybe I'll make it again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!!

This is what I'm doing all the time now - so Happy 4th! Enjoy this musical clip -

- and try to imagine my 12 year old students doing this song. Amazing.