Cheesetastic!  I didn’t want the chillis that were left over from Anne Baxter’s Mexican Cheese Supper Sandwich to go to waste, so during my weekend writing marathon, I took a break and had a go at Vera’s Cheese Casserole.  When I saw the recipe, it put me very much in mind of John Wayne’s Cheese Casserole, and it is indeed a very similar recipe.  At the risk of irking the Duke though, Vera’s is nicer.

I have a new oven and it tickles me that I can now see food when it is cooking (the glass door of the previous oven was pretty filthy)…

IMG_2732But although the maintenance man that came to fit it said that because they all love me, and know I do a lot of cooking, they’d got me the posher version of the two ovens on offer, I think there’s been some mistake.  My previous oven was fan assisted, and this one is bog standard.  But I rent.  I didn’t have to fork out loads of money just because my grill broke.  They came and replaced it the very next day.  I am grateful to have any oven at all…

So my spin on it is this.  They didn’t have fan assisted ovens in the old days, so my cooking techniques will be more like the stars of ye olden dayes….  It might take me a while to get used to it though…

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Still, the first thing cooked in it, turned out lovely.  Mmmmmm – cheese – eggs – chilli – tomatoes.  YES!  I did 1/8 of Vera’s recipe because it was only me, myself and I, and I didn’t want to take up room in the fridge with lots of left-overs.  So I had half for my din dins, and will have half for lunch tomorrow.  It was delicious.  Here’s what I did for a little two portion version.

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I mixed 75g finely grated cheddar with 75g finely grated Gouda (we can’t get Monterey Jack cheese here).  I separated one egg, whisked up the white until stiff then added 1/4 tablespoon flour.  Then I whisked up the egg yolk and gently mixed that into the egg white mixture.  I buttered my casserole dish and then did layers of 1/2 the egg mixture followed by half the chopped chillies then half the cheese, then did the same again, ending with the cheese.  I put sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkled on a couple of pinches of oregano.  It was DELICIOUS!  I basically used almost a whole little can of Hatch chillies – I’d used a tiny amount for the Mexican Cheese Supper Sandwich so I’d guess I had about 3.5 oz of chopped chillies left.  I used them all, they were pretty mild but super tasty.

Yum!  I have GOT to find somewhere in London to get a decent supply of Mexican chillies of whatever type I can lay my hands on.  Fresh, tinned, dried, whatever.  It’s time I got amongst this super cool cookbook I treated myself to a little while back…

mexicoIt will happen.  Sometime.

Further to discussions about Heineken beer during the Mad Men extravaganza, I am NOT happy about the sudden redesign of my beloved “stumpies”.  Why, oh why, oh why replace the perfect symmetry and fitting-ness of a miniature beer barrel design, with the: “tin can with the label peeled off and a star stuck on” design?

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Like the new oven though, I guess I’ll get used to it…

Vera, I love you.  I always love you whenever I see you in anything, and your Cheese Casserole is terrific.  Next time I make it I’ll wear all white…

vera miles