Bacon. When I tell people I’m a vegetarian the first food I’m always asked about it Bacon, normally somewhere on the lines of “how do you live without it?!?” When I go on to explain that I haven’t had bacon in well over a decade, long before I even went Vegetarian due to other reasons, the look on their face resembles that of horror. People have tattoos to honor this food, and it’s impossible to go to most restaurants without finding at least one item that is enhanced by its miracle. Bacon also has this amazing smell…a smell that permeates the room it is being prepared in, a smell that can travel up three floors and wake-up a group of snowed-in college students, a smell that makes most people think back to Sunday mornings and family breakfasts. However there is a dark side to bacon, a messy dark side that can last beyond the smell. This would be the residue left behind by this bacon, a residue that is recreated whenever the grease is reheated, a residue that can make a yummy vegetarian (or vegan) dish taste like the latest bacon wrapped food de jour. Bacon ice cream anyone? Or going back to Top Chef what about Bacon foam? I know that right now people are reading this and drooling, imagining crispy bacon sizzling away; however, for those of you about to indulge in this food of the gods I have one request. Please clean the microwave when you are done, there are hungry people behind you that want to enjoy their own yummies sans the bacon aftertaste.
Creamy Double Potato Casserole
On that note, on to the recipe of the day, one that doesn’t include bacon but rather an odd collection of vegetables including those super “sweet carrots” from the other week.
3 baking potatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick circles
1 large sweet potato, cut in 1/4″ thick circles
1 large onion, diced
1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips
4 cups white sauce (see recipe from last week, I added nutmeg and cinnamon to mine!)
1/2 cup rutabaga, cut into 1/4″ thick circles
2 cups shredded Harvati cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Layer the potato slices on the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish. Add 1 cup of the sauce and 1/3 of the red peppers and onion. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Repeat with the sweet potatoes, overlapping the edges of the rings before adding the peppers, onion, and sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layering with the rutabaga, adding the last of the onions, and red pepper and another cup of the white sauce with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Top with the remaining potatoes and one last cup of white sauce and the last of the shredded cheese.
3. Cover with tin foil and bake for an hour and 35minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 45minutes, the cheese should be bubbling and brown around the edges.
I think Joe had finished his first bowl of this before I made a comment about how amazing the sweet potatoes tasted. He looked at me and said “sweet potatoes? I thought those were carrots…”