Thursday, September 8, 2011

Belated Birthday Beat

It is customary at my work to bring edibles for the staff when its one's birthday. This year I have been so negligent that I am already six months overdue. Yesterday, on our way back from the Plot, we stopped at Riviersonderend to buy some goodies at the Ou Meul, a bakery which sells the most divine Venison pies and Bobotie pies, amongst other items of delight. They also bake a delicious Melk Tert and I bought one for the belated birthday feast at school on Friday. Tonight I baked the savoury part of the menu and it is a recipe that I use every year (I tend to stick with recipes that work and do not venture too far afield!), varying the filling according to what I have in stock. This time, its mushrooms and bacon. (I doubled up on the following quantities, for fifteen people.)

1.  Cut off the crust from 9 - 10 slices of white bread and then cut each slice
     into little blocks.
2.  Beat 6 eggs in a mixing bowl.
3.  Add 500 ml cold milk to the beaten eggs and mix.
4.  Add the blocks of bread to the egg/milk mixture. Let it stand for about 5 minutes 
     and then beat it  all up until it is like a porridge.    
5.  Turn on your oven to 180 degrees C and while it heats up,  add the following
     ingredients to the egg and bread mixture:
     * 250 grams finely cut cold meat - any kind: leftover bits of gammon or bacon 
        or smoked pork or bully beef or Vienna sausage and/or left over veges and/or 
        mushroom or asparagus bits.
     * 2 coffee cups of grated cheddar cheese
     * 1 finely chopped onion
     * some parsley
     * ½ teaspoon mild mustard powder (or less if it is strong mustard)
6.  Melt 50 grams of butter or margarine in the microwave and add that to the mixture
7.  Mix all of this together, lightly yet thoroughly, with a fork. Add some salt.
8.  With butter or margarine, smear a casserole or pie dish or non-stick baking
     dish  which can hold about two litres.
9.  Smooth the mixture into the dish and bake for 30 minutes in the ready oven on the  
     middle rack. The mixture will rise completely as it bakes and turn pale golden 
     brown before it is ready to remove. Once it is removed, it will sink down as it cools
10. Serve hot or cold with some salad.    

I placed the left-over bread crusts into a roasting pan and then into the warm oven, stirred them around every now and again until they dried out. I  sprinkled the hot crusts with some Green Onion flavouring and allowed them to cool into crunchy snacks.

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