• E-mail me!
  • Sweetcorn and Zucchini Casserole

    This is my all-time favorite vegetarian dish, from a cookbook I bought in England. It is not suitable for strict Vegans, and it can be tarted up with meats to please the omnivores. I have adjusted the measurements from UK to USA.

    2 tbsp oil
    1 small onion, chopped (I like to use reds for colour)
    4 ounces zucchini, sliced or cubed
    3 ounces canned sweet corn, drained
               *peas, green beans, or mixed veggies can be substituted
    3 ounces cooked pasta (spirals are my favourites)
    Oregano, salt and pepper to taste
    2 tsp tomato puree

    1 tbsp margarine
    1 tbsp flour
    5 ounces milk
    1 1/2 tbsp white wine (or substitute)
    1-2 ounces cheddar, grated

    breadcrumbs for topping

    Cook the pasta and drain. Meanwhile, saute onion until soft then add zucchini and brown lightly. Add the vegetables, pasta, seasonings, and puree. Once blended, pour into a prepared baking dish. Preheat oven to 350F.

    Melt the margarine then whisk in flour (this is a roux, and the base of any good gravy). Whisk in milk and wine, then blend in cheese. Once melted, pour over pasta blend. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

    For the meat-eaters, add cooked chunks of chicken, turkey, ham, leftover steak, crab, or shrimp. I've never tried it with fish.

    Happy eats!

    Conversion Therapy

    In an effort to assist my fellow cooks, I am sharing a handy chart given to me by the "local liason" at a military base where I was stationed in the 90s. With this chart, you can look up any British recipe and quickly transform it into American measurements.

    In England and Europe, many gas ovens are temped out in "marks," with 1/2 mark being a low-heat slow roast and 9 being "baked to a crisp." They also use obscure measurements like "dessert spoon" and strange ingredients like aubergines and sterilised milk.

    For the record, a dessert spoon is "the big spoon" that comes in a traditional place setting of two spoons, two forks, and a butter knife. An aubergine is an eggplant, a courgette is a zucchini, and sterilised milk is nothing more than homogenized and pasteurized milk. The British don't do this as a rule, so, if you're in England you'll want to shake your milk bottle a little to mix the cream back in before you chug it straight.

    Gas Mark   Degree F   Degree C

    9                     475            250
    8                     450            225
    7                     425            "Hot"
    6                     400            200
    5                     375            "moderate"
    4                     350             175
    3                     325             "moderately slow"
    2                     300            150
    1                     275             "slow"
    1/2                  225            125


    Plain Flour = All-Purpose Flour
    Icing Sugar = Powdered Sugar
    Demerera Sugar = Light Brown Sugar
    Castor Sugar = Granulated Sugar

    Things to note:

    UK Pint = 20 ounces!!
    1 lb of flour = 4 cups of flour
    1/2 ounce of butter = 1 tablespoon
    1 ounce flour = 1 heaped tablespoon or 2 level tablespoons