23 June 2008

okara egg bake •

I tend to make this dish when I can’t bear to hear any more complaints in my day. Any one of my readers with children old enough to speak will know where I am coming from. Now, I know they are darlings. Of course you love them. Unconditionally. But after one of those days where you bounce from one crabby darling  to the next, and your patience was left down in the laundry room where you picked up another hamper full of supposedly dirty clothes, the last thing you want to hear out of their mouths is how much they really don’t like the dinner that you just spent two hours on. Now, this doesn’t happen very often in my house. Because frankly, if it did, they would be cooking their own dinners. But it does happen, usually when we are all too hungry, too tired (nap times were abandoned long ago) and too hormonal to show each other some common courtesy. The darlings love this recipe; it is not too spicy, it is full of their favorite vegetable and cheese. Their only complaint (you knew there had to be one) is that there isn’t more to enjoy the next day. I think I can live with that one.

Okara Egg Bake •

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 cup milk 
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup wet okara (this is referring to the okara straight from your machine, not drained or dried)
3 egg whites, beaten until stiff but not dry
3 cups chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt, and quickly whisk in milk. Stir constantly until thickened. Add cheddar cheese to white sauce and stir until melted. Add okara, and mix well. Add egg yolks slowly, whisking well. Add nutmeg, parsley and black pepper, broccoli, red pepper and onions. Fold in beaten egg whites. Butter a casserole dish (approximately one and a half quart), sides and bottom. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, pressing it up on the sides of casserole. Set the casserole dish inside a 13" x 9" baking pan that has water in it one inch deep. Pour in egg mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until puffy, golden brown and center is set.