Sunday, January 31, 2016

Deception on 5th Sunday

At Amazing Savior Church, our tradition is to have potluck together on any month that has a 5th Sunday.  We're a small congregation but we manage to have an interesting array of good things to share and we have a pleasant time of fellowship together over our meal.  Today was a 5th Sunday.

As late as 8 PM last night I had no idea what I would bring to church as my share for the potluck but after chatting with a friend on the phone, I decided to make my version of an old favorite called Vegetable Upside Down Cake--you can find the original in Mollie Katzen's wonderful vegetarian cookbook called The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. 

I carried the cake to the church's kitchen area this morning--it was still quite warm, tented in foil with a cut vent to let the steam out.  Since it was cake-shaped, it caused a lot of amusement to those who were fooled into thinking it might possibly be pineapple when, in reality, it was cauliflower!  We all ended up laughing over my "deception" cake.

My version is quite a pale imitation of Mollie Katzen's original.  But it's a very forgiving recipe, and I have made many versions of it over the years.  Here's what we had today:

Zydny's Simplified Veggie Cake
~ the deceptive January 31, 2016 version ~

Line 9 X 13 baking pan with foil.
Coat with butter.
Layer bread crumbs on the bottom of the pan.
Top with about 5 to 6 cups cooked veggies* seasoned to your taste.**
Top with cheese.***
Finish with 2 boxes of prepared Jiffy Cornbread mix.****
Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes until cornbread tests done.
Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
Place tray or baking sheet over the pan and carefully invert.
Gently peel away the foil so the crumb layer stays in place.
Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
Freezes well in individual portions.

*Veggies: I used cauliflower and broccoli that I cooked in water. However, you can add the veggies of your choice; just about any combination will do. You can boil, steam, or stir-fry them. It's better to leave the veggies somewhat crisp-tender rather than overcooked because they will continue to cook in the oven.

**Seasoning: I seasoned the veggies with homegrown lemon-basil. And I also added 4 large cloves of chopped garlic that was stir-fried and browned in butter. No salt or pepper was added during cooking; however, I sprinkled the top of the finished product with some rough cut Kosher sea salt.

***Cheese: I thinly sliced some processed American cheese and layered it over the top of the veggies. I also added a layer of shredded extra sharp cheddar. Pile it right on top of the still-hot cooked veggies, and it will start melting before you add the cornbread. Any cheese will do, or you can leave it out altogether.

****The Bread Layer: you might choose to use biscuit or other dough to finish the cake. I like the little boxes of Jiffy just because they are simple; sometimes I use only one box rather than two—depends on what I've got available.

This recipe is very adjustable. Adapt it to whatever you have on hand!

Based on "Vegetable Upside Down Cake"
from Mollie Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

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