Izzy has been home from school this past two days, feverish and mopey. I can't go near him which is hard on us but he has been spending time reading and playing quietly in my bedroom, even allowing me my reflexology session (deserving of a post all its own).
This afternoon he got a sudden burst of energy and began to dance around madly. At the same time, I somehow summoned the energy to make dinner for him, with the help of our Mary Poppins, Claudette. I made Kasha Varniskes , a variation of my grandma's recipe, as I had been dreaming about them last night. Izzy seemed so pleased that I managed to make them for him that he happily gobbled a huge platter of them, as he sat with me in my bedroom. Sadly I could not eat any. Make some and eat them for me!
Grandma Ida's Kasha Varniskes (Buckwheat Groats and Bow ties)
1 cup whole buckwheat groats (small pieces will not do)
2 leeks, sliced fine
1 large onion, chopped
handful shiitake mushrooms, sliced
several sprigs thyme, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (or a bouillion cube if you must, dissolved in boiling water)
1/2 box of small bowtie pasta, cooked, drained and set aside.
1. Place kasha in a large bowl and break egg on top. Use a spoon to coat kasha with egg so that every piece is shiny. Heat a large non-stick pan and place kasha in pan. Toss continually until kasha is dry and smells nutty, be careful not to burn it and break up any pieces that have stuck together. Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile(or simultaneously) place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet with cover (large enough to hold vegetables,kasha and broth). Saute onions, leeks and mushrooms until soft and slightly caramelized, about 10 or so minutes. Toss in thyme.
3. When vegetables are ready, add kasha to skillet and combine with vegetables, pour boiling broth over everything and cover. Simmer very gently for 12-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. Toss with bowtie pasta and serve.
Notes: This can be served as a side dish or as a main course with salad on the side. It also freezes well and can be made a day or so in advance and warmed in the oven. Izzy even eats his cold for lunch.