So many recipes, so little time

CurryChickenAndEggplant

As I travel though the blogosphere, I have a tendency to bookmark recipes for future use.  Most of these bookmarks never get revisited and “my favorites” in my browser are littered with good intentions.  I also have a real world example of this horrible pack rat tendency of mine.  I am a magazine junkie and I tear up my magazines, saving recipes that look good.  I currently have two file folders bursting with clippings from years of reading and hoarding.  I don’t often weed through these folders either.

One day, as I was admiring other bloggers that are hosted on WordPress, I stumbled upon a gorgeous blog called See Beautiful.  Beth Ann is a talented photographer who moved to Japan and was chronicling her life there through her photos and her blog.  As I looked at her photos, I stumbled onto some delicious looking recipes and I bookmarked them for later.  A few months later, I actually remembered the recipes and made them.  They were so delicious that I have made them again and again.  Beth Ann has reworked her blog and it is now called Beth Ann Blog.  Click on the link to enjoy her amazing photos of Singapore!

About those recipes?  I highly recommend you make this food for dinner soon, so click on the links for Curry and Dijon Baked Chicken and Roasted vegetables with soy sauce and ginger.   Don’t be put off by the idea that an Asian style chicken recipe has Dijon mustard in it.  It is pure genius.  The sauce has a lovely sweet and spicy flavor.  I add twice the ginger and garlic to the veggies for a spicy and sweet but mellow flavor.  Round out this meal with a hot serving of plain brown rice to soak up the sauce from the chicken.  You’ll be happy you are cooking with other bloggers, just as I am.

Pure comfort food

baked-penne

I have a recipe I love for baked penne.  It is loaded with three kinds of cheeses and these ethereal chicken meatballs that you fry in olive oil until they have a brown crunchy crust.  It is wonderful and when I make it, it takes hours to prepare and I always feel vindicated to have an especially massive piece of it after such hard labor.  Since I embarked on my weight loss journey, I have been terrified to make this particular dish because I know it is loaded with fat and calories and I know that I can’t be trusted to eat a tiny portion.  In fact, I have been known to dig cold meatballs out of the casserole and pop them into my mouth at a moments notice.  Not a good thing to have in my house, no.

 

I love Italian food and I especially love all of the baked dishes.  I didn’t think I could indulge in such cheesy, saucy fare so I have seriously been depriving myself for so many months now.

 

Recently, I have expanded my usual magazine fetish due to finding out how great Cooking Light and Eating Well have become.  As a matter of fact, I can’t get enough of Cooking Light magazine.  During the holidays, I noticed a special edition Meals in Minutes issue of Cooking Light at the store and took it home.  There was a baked pasta dish included in this issue.  It sounded sort of pedestrian.  Not so special as the baked penne I love so much.  However, looking at the nutritional information, it looked like it would fit nicely into my allotted food for the day.  I decided to give it a try.  The original recipe called for spicy Italian turkey sausage, regular white pasta and full fat mozzarella.  I switched these ingredients for chicken basil sausage, whole-wheat penne and part skim mozzarella.  I used a really full flavored parmesano reggiano.  What came out of my oven last night made me want to weep.  Nothing can replace my original favorite recipe but this was so very good, so healthy and so simple to make that I am very happy indeed.

 

Baked penne with sausage

Adapted from the best of Cooking Light meals in minutes

 

1 pound whole-wheat penne rigate

1 pound chicken and basil sausage

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp tomato paste

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (with basil and garlic if available)

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella

1 cup grated parmesano reggiano

Olive oil cooking spray

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and return to the pot.  Cover and set aside.

 

Remove the casings from the sausage.  Heat pan over medium heat and spray liberally with cooking spray.  Add onion, garlic and sausage.  Cook until sausage is browned.  Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Add the fresh basil and sauce into cooked pasta and mix well.   Oil a 9”x13” pan.  Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared pan.  Top with half of the mozzarella and parmesan.  Pour the other half of the pasta mixture on top of the cheese layer and smooth with a spoon.  Top the pasta with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.  Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly.  Makes 8 servings.

 

 

The best use for a tiny ciabatta roll

smoked-salmon-ciabatta

Since I baked up my teensy ciabatta rolls, people all week have been telling me that size doesn’t matter.  I decided to listen to them and enjoy them in the form of a diminutive breakfast sandwich.  After all, I love tea sandwiches and they make up for their size by sheer force of will.  Any good tea sandwich will be loaded with creamy, sweet, smoky, meaty, eggy flavors.  A tea sandwich is so rich that a smaller size is almost required so that the eater is not overwhelmed.

 

I haven’t gone to a favorite breakfast place of mine in awhile but that particular restaurant had the best bagels I have ever had (which probably isn’t saying much since I have never had a New York bagel, but trust me, these were pretty amazing bagels!).  One way they served their delicious bagels was as a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich.  I decided the mini ciabattas would make a great stand in for those wonderful bagels and once I heated them in the oven so that the crusts crisped back up and the insides became warm and soft from the heat, I had an amazing breakfast on my hands. 

 

Most smoked salmon sandwiches seem to be made with the kind of smoked salmon that comes in slices.  I prefer the chunks of smoked salmon instead.  I am lucky to have Trader Joes where I live and they currently have wild caught smoked king salmon.  The salmon is merely cut into half-pound slabs of salmon filet on the skin and then smoked.  I prefer it this way because the salmon seems meatier yet delicate in texture.  That texture is just right for such a rustic sandwich as this.

 

Smoked Salmon Sandwich

For each sandwich:

 

1 mini ciabatta roll, small multigrain bagel or two diagonal slices of

baguette (or the bread of your choice)

 

2 oz smoked salmon filet

 

1 tbsp whipped light cream cheese or regular cream cheese

 

Thinly sliced red onion to taste

 

Capers to taste

 

If using the ciabatta roll or a bagel, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  When the oven has warmed, put the bread in the oven to warm for about 3-5 minutes.  Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing it open.  If the center of the bread is still very hot, let it cool slightly, then spread cream cheese on both halves.  Sprinkle the thinly sliced red onions onto the sandwich halves and then top with sliced salmon.  Sprinkle liberally with capers.  Enjoy!

 

Sweet and Savory

I have to admit to debauchery this week.  It was my boyfriend’s birthday and we planned to travel and with travel for us comes eating.  We started out by driving to the Pasadena area to visit the Huntington Gardens.  The gardens were gorgeous and we made sure to see the lovely new Chinese garden as well as the Greene and Greene exhibit of craftsman furniture. But… we also stopped for tea at the rose garden tea room where tea is not the dainty thing a Victorian party would leisurely sit and pick at but an all you can eat extravaganza of tea sandwiches, scones, caviar, spreads and cheese, oh and really good tea.  The next day, we drove to Cambria and visited Hearst Castle for the evening tour but we spent two nights there and ate and drank to our hearts content.  It was a lovely time but I was very, very bad.

 

I would like to say that once we got home, I got back onto the healthy eating program, but I didn’t.  Not right away anyway.  Today we finally went grocery shopping where I found a wonderful fillet of Steelhead Salmon to go with some rainbow chard that I already had in my crisper.  I went to the Epicurious site to see if I could find something delicious but healthy and I found just the right things. 

The Salmon recipe called for making a glaze of honey, coarse grain Dijon mustard and crushed caraway seeds.  The glaze is broiled onto the salmon.  As the salmon cooks, the broiler heat caramelizes the glaze into a chewy, sweet and savory but flowery glaze that is just heavenly.  Here is a link to the recipe.  You must try this yourself!

The chard recipe calls for both the stems and leaves of the chard, which somehow makes me feel virtuous, like I am not wasting a bit of this delectable vegetable.  Redolent with garlic, the fruity sweetness of the currants and the tangy saltiness of a fine goat feta that I used, this was a remarkable side dish to go along with my salmon.  Go here for the chard recipe.

 

All in all, this meal was a winner.  I rounded it out with hot chewy short grain brown rice.  It was the kind of meal that feels decadent but really is virtuous and when you know you are taking care of yourself while pampering yourself, it is fine indeed.

A most excellent soup

I love fall.  Where I live, it is still clear and warm during the day but the air gets a definite bite at night.  When the evenings get cool, my thoughts turn from salads to warm food.  I want things that cook on the stove top for extended periods of time, food that roasts in the oven, perfuming the air with the scent of good flavors.

 

I have been intending to make Lentil Minestrone for weeks.  I got a dutch oven for my birthday last month and I have wanted to try it out but soup just wasn’t meant to be until today.  I stumbled onto the recipe while looking up something entirely different.  The soup makes good use of pantry items and staple veggies.  The only problem I had is that the dutch oven I got turned out to be a bit small for this particular soup recipe.  I have a three and a half quart dutch oven.  This recipe makes more like four or five quarts of soup.  The soup should have been brothier than it turned out, but I was determined to use my new pot so I used much less vegetable stock than called for.  I enjoy a thick lentil soup anyway.  I also traded out some of the herbs and flavorings called for in the original recipe with items I already had.  The herbs seemed a little more French inspired so I went with Italian herbs instead.  It was a good choice.  Redolent with parsley, rosemary and fresh bay leaves, this soup was delicious!

 

Lentil Minestrone

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

 

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

¼ cup chopped parsley

4 large garlic cloves

3 carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup French lentils, rinsed

3 fresh bay leaves (or 2 dried)

8 branches parsley

2 branches fresh rosemary

6 cups vegetable broth

Soy sauce to taste

1 bunch chard, washed thoroughly and chopped

1 cup dry pennete (or any small pasta of your choice)

Optional toppings:  drizzle of olive oil, shredded parmesan

 

Heat the oil over medium heat in a dutch oven.  Add onions and saute for ten minutes until lightly caramelized.  Add tomato paste, chopped parsley, garlic, carrots, celery, salt and pepper.  Cook for another three minutes.  Add lentils, bay leaves, parsley branches, rosemary branches and vegetable broth.  Bring to a simmer and cook thirty minutes.  Meanwhile, boil water for pasta in a small pot.  Boil water for chard in a large pot.  Boil pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and set aside.  Cook chard for three to five minutes, drain and set aside.  When the soup has cooked for thirty minutes, season the soup with soy sauce to taste.  Remove the parsley branches, rosemary branches and bay leaves.  Stir in the cooked pasta and chard right before serving.  If you would like, serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan.  The soup is wonderful without these condiments.

 

Lean, Mean Tuna Salad Sammie

Attendance on this blog is dropping off precipitously.  Is it I? Do you not love me anymore?  Is it the fact that I have been posting new blog entries slower than a snail can cross the road?  Is it the fact that nobody is eating anything good around here and people are getting crabby?!  Can it be that someone posts a lovely peach cobbler weeks ago and then tells you that you can eat five pounds of fresh peaches for one puny slice?????

 

Anyway.  The weight loss program is working and it is working well so any of you that are still hanging in here with me, thank you.  Hopefully I will be sleek and sexy again in no time and then the lessons I have learned on this program will be ingrained and I will stay healthy for life. 

 

One thing that you tend to do on Weight Watchers is try to lighten up your foods a bit because eating a giant hunk of real cheese could mean the difference between eating a satisfying amount of healthy food for the day and well… eating a huge hunk of real cheese.  So, you tend to make choices like:   I can go to a chain restaurant and eat a quesadilla or I can eat three meals and two snacks today.  One thing that I haven’t been eating is tuna salad and I certainly don’t eat tuna melts for now.  I love real mayo and I tried so hard to like reduced fat mayo in my tuna salad but it didn’t work out for me.  I just didn’t like it at all. For me, it is the real thing in all of its fatty glory and full serving size or none at all.  So I was pretty intrigued when I was browsing the Eating Well magazine site and came across a recipe for a hot tuna salad sandwich that had all sorts of goodies in it but very little fat.  I made these sandwiches today and they were surprisingly good.  Now, I do have to warn you that they are suffering from good marketing.  When I think of a panini, I think of gobs of melted cheese on artisinal bread.  This sandwich is a hot sandwich but it is not melty or moist.  But what it lacks in fatty goodness, it makes up for in clean flavor.  I lightened up the sandwich even more by toasting it up in my George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat reducing grilling machine.  (O.K. go ahead and laugh but it is a great invention!).  Here is my version of the sandwich:

 

Mediterraean Tuna Panini

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine (use this link to find out what to do if you don’t have a George Foreman grill or a panini press)

Makes 4 Panini

 

2 six ounce cans of chunk light tuna, drained

1 plum tomato, chopped

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (preferably Mediterranean herb flavor)

2 tbsp chopped marinated artichoke hearts

3 tbsp minced red onion

1 tbsp chopped, pitted kalamata olives

1 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped

Juice of up to half a lemon

Black pepper to taste

8 slices whole wheat bread

Olive oil spray

 

Place tuna in a large bowl and flake with a fork.  Combine well with tomato, feta, artichoke hearts, red onion, kalamata olives, capers, lemon juice and pepper.  Divide Tuna mixture between four slices of bread.  Top with remaining four slices of bread.  Preheat your George Foreman grill to 400 degrees F. for five minutes.  Spray the inside of the grill with olive oil cooking spray. Arrange sandwiches in the grill and close the lid.  Grill for three minutes.  Remove the sandwiches and serve them immediately.

 

 

It hit the spot

I have to admit.  I am an addict.  I love melted cheese.  Just love it.  I hate to admit it, but a lot of the weight I packed on over the years was due to melted cheese.  The salty, creamy, soft textured beauty of melted cheese.  Over the past few weeks, melted cheese has been seriously scarce in my diet.  There was the one day I went on a two hour hike and rewarded myself with half a plate of nachos but other than that, the only cheese I have been friends with is light string cheese. 

 

Last week, I must have gotten a whiff of fall in the air.  Although coastal California is known for fall days that are hot, the morning and evenings can be tinged with the salty tang of the fog and that is when you feel it.  Fall is in the air and it is time to shift away from cold food and barbecued food and start thinking about food that gets baked or roasted in an oven.  I was searching several healthy food sites for meatloaf.  If you are a longtime D.T. reader, you know that I am beefaphobic.  Lately, I have been rediscovering the joys of ground poultry and a poultry meatloaf was what I wanted.  I stumbled onto a recipe called Santa Fe Meat Loaf.  It had ground turkey, bacon(!) and a layer of melted cheese.  How can that be healthy?  Well, the bacon is center cut and there is just enough of it for flavor.  The cheese is reduced fat.  But… although it is reduced fat cheese, the cheese layer in this concoction was what got my attention.  It is a Mexican style four-cheese blend and the picture I saw showed a yummy melty ribbon of it.  This looked like just the ticket.  I figured it would hit that melted cheese spot that had been so neglected for so many weeks.

 

Well, let me tell you, this meatloaf was a big hit.  It is moist and spicy.  The cheese, (which tasted like salty rubber when it was cold) became cheesy and melty and goooooood!  We are looking so forward to spicy meatloaf sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

 

Before the recipe, I have two tips to pass on to you.  The recipe calls for dry breadcrumbs.  I was going to buy some but I was in a fancy store today and the breadcrumbs they offered cost anywhere from $3 for a handful of them to $5 for a decent amount.  Tip:  Make your own.  You know you have lots of stale bread in your fridge.  I know I do!  Grind the bread in your food processor, spread the crumbs out on a cookie sheet and bake them for several minutes at 350 degrees F.  You can save the leftovers in an airtight container for later.  Tip number two do not try to cook sweet potatoes faster by cooking them at a high temperature and if you do, do not use parchment paper to line your cookie sheet.  The ensuing near fire catastrophe is not worth it, lol!

 

Santa Fe Meatloaf

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

 

Cooking spray

½ cup chopped onion

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground cumin

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 – 1 ½ tbsp minced, canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce

½ lb dark meat ground turkey

1 lb ground turkey breast

¾ cup homemade whole wheat bread crumbs

2/3 cup medium salsa, divided

1 tsp oregano

6 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 large egg whites

¾ cup reduced fat finely shredded Mexican style four-cheese blend

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Coat the pan with olive oil cooking spray.  Add onion, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin and garlic to the pan.  Sauté the veggies for 1 ½ minutes or until the onion is tender.  (You may need to lower the heat; the spices may tend to burn).  Stir in the chipotle chile and sauté for 30 seconds.  Cool the mixture.  Combine the onion mixture, the two types of turkey meat, the breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup of the salsa, oregano, bacon and egg whites in a large bowl.  Make sure the mixture is combined well but not over mix.  You are looking for assimilation of the ingredients but you don’t want tough meatloaf.

 

Place half of the turkey mixture in an 8.5” x 4.5” loaf pan (preferably glass so you can see what you are doing).  Make a slight curve in the center of the mixture so that it will hold the cheese.  Add the cheese on top of the meat.  Top the cheese with the remaining half of the meat mixture.  Tuck the meat in so that you can crimp the top and bottom meat layers together over the cheese (you don’t want the cheese to leak out).  Spread the remaining 1/3 cup of salsa over the top of the meatloaf.  Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F., Let stand 10 minutes, cut and serve. 

 

Makes 6 servings.

 

 

 

The color red

I’m very blue.  I can’t discuss why but my blue demeanor is why there has been no activity on this blog for a while.  I’ll just leave it at that. No sense making everyone sad and worried.

 

Let’s talk about red.  Red is happy.  I made a sanguine risotto tonight.  I also sort of messed up on the recipe.  I bought the ingredients last Tuesday(!) and I was too upset to cook all week.  I didn’t grocery shop this weekend and when I went to figure out what there was to eat, I was amazed that the beets and basil I bought almost a week ago were in really good condition.  I was so excited that I didn’t let the food go bad that I didn’t follow directions.  I was using the recipe for Beet Risotto with Greens from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  When I went shopping I made my first mistake.  I read the recipe as needing chard or the greens from the beets (I read an “or” not an “and”).  I was going to get both anyway but the chard looked bad.  I decided that the bunch of beets I got had more than enough greens for the recipe.  Then tonight, I misread that I was supposed to add chard (or ½ of those beet greens) with the rice and the rest of the beet greens towards the end.  The beet greens cooked down to a silky soft consistency that was really a pleasure to eat, but I can see where she was going with the recipe.  It might have been nice to have some greens with a chewy texture too.  Either way, this dish was super healthy and really satisfying to eat.

 

Beet Risotto

Accidentally adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

 

5 ½ to 6 cups vegetable stock

 

1 tbsp butter

 

2 tbsp olive oil

 

½ of a large yellow onion, diced

 

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

 

½ cup dry white wine

 

2 tbsp chopped parsley

 

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

 

3 – 4 medium beets peeled and grated in a food processor (about 2 cups)

 

4-6 cups beet greens (washed well to remove sand), chopped finely

 

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Grated zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon

 

½ cup parmagiano reggiano

 

Chive blossoms (optional)

 

Bring the stock to a boil and then leave simmering on the stove.  Heat the oil and melt the butter in a deep, wide pot.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes until softened.  Add the rice.  Cook for one minute stirring to coat.  Add the wine.  Simmer until the wine is absorbed.  Stir in half the parsley, the basil, the grated beets and the beet greens.  Add 2 cups of stock.  Simmer, stirring until most of the stock is absorbed.  Add more stock ½ cup at a time stirring until the stock is absorbed.  Repeat the adding of stock, stirring and absorbing until you use up most of the stock.  When ½ cup of stock is left, taste the risotto to see if the rice is al dente.  If so you may not need more than 5 ½ cups of stock total.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the juice and zest of the lemon.  Serve dusted with cheese and garnished with the remaining parsley and chive blossoms if you have them.

 

Soufflé on a weeknight… are you nuts?

Am I nuts?  Well maybe.  But until I got to the cleanup part, it really wasn’t that bad.  Really.

 

How on earth did I manage to get the idea in my head that I could make a soufflé on a weekday during a time when I am working harder during the day then I ever have?  It all started last night.  No scratch that.  It all happened on Sunday if you really think about it.  But then again, it was probably Michael Pollan’s fault.  Who is that?  You mean that guy who wrote the Omnivore’s Dilemma?  That guy?  Well yeah.  I bought his new book:  In Defense of food: an eaters manifesto.  While not as engaging a read as OD, his new book was full of factoids.  Facts I know already because I read everything.  Facts that should make me a healthier person, that is if I paid any attention to the facts.  But I don’t.  This book opened my eyes to the fact that although I buy a lot of veggies, I am not so successful at getting them into my body before they melt down to a little smear in the bottom of my refrigerator’s crisper.  The fact that I am perfectly happy to cook healthy meals at home and then supplement these meals with god knows what at a restaurant.

Well.  I am trying to be better.  So I bought beets on Sunday.  I bought beets because beets are a bargain.  You get two veggies for the price of one (as long as you don’t let them melt in the fridge)!  You’ve got your sweet orbs of red, orange or yellow root for cooking or crunching up raw.  You’ve got your vitamin-enriched greens to eat like chard or kale.  This is a spectacular veggie that nobody is eating. 

 

Last night, I suddenly remember that I need to cook the greens before they melt.  I know how to make cooked greens taste pretty good but I wanted some inspiration.   I started leafing through the stacks of cookbooks.  I picked up Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  Yes!!  This has got to be the right book.  I found the recipe that would do it:  You boil beet greens for a couple of minutes and then sauté them in olive oil, sliced garlic and tomatoes.  Add a touch of dried oregano and top with Asiago (which I didn’t have so I used Parmesan).  I Plopped this ethereal mixture onto the top of a warm piece of leftover cornbread and I was in heaven.  It was the best thing I put in my mouth in a long time.

 

While I was looking for the beet recipe, I stumbled onto her soufflé section.  Ms. Madison has this recipe for Goat Cheese Soufflé with thyme that she follows with a half dozen veggie infused variations.  I couldn’t stop obsessing over the possibilities.  As you know, I am a sucker for the bonus meal, the meal you make that comes about from the serendipity of having just the right things in your kitchen that aren’t on a shopping list that becomes something really amazing.  I thought about this recipe all day while I was at work.  You see, I never thought I could make a soufflé because I don’t own the right dish to cook it in.  Deborah Madison cooks soufflés in a gratin dish.  I have a gratin dish; I could do this!!  I could finish up that little bit of cream from last week.  I have plenty of eggs.  I can substitute Rosemary for the thyme and green onions for the white onion slices, etc, etc.  My mind kept rewriting the recipe to suit my needs.  This would work!

 

Well. Let me tell you! You need to make a soufflé.  Even if it is a weeknight and you are tired.  It was that good.  It was flavorful and it had a texture that was both fluffy and lightly bready.

 

Being the crazy gal that I am, I made a salad of two lettuces, thinly sliced yellow beets, radishes, grated carrots, green onions, avocado, and blood oranges.  I also made homemade buttermilk dressing.  Aren’t you jealous I didn’t invite you over?  Well, I’m kinda peaved I didn’t invite you over because the kitchen was grotesque and I could have used your help cleaning!

 

The moral of this story is, read in Defense of food.  It will make you a better eater.  Make sure you have a copy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  It is one of the best cookbooks I own.

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soufflé

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

 

Butter for greasing the pan plus 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan for coating the dish

1 ¼ cups milk or cream or milk and cream (which is what I did)

Aromatics:  Rosemary (or thyme), fresh bay leaf (or dried), 3 2” pieces of green onion

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly ground pepper

Dash of cayenne

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 cup steamed and then finely chopped broccoli

½ cup sharp cheddar, grated

4 egg yolks

6 egg whites

Minced parsley and cilantro for garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Butter an eight-cup gratin dish and coat the butter with the Parmesan.  Heat the milk/cream with the aromatics until it just boils then remove it from the heat and let it stand 15 minutes.  Remove the aromatics.

 

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat until foamy.  Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for a few minutes (it should get thick and aromatic but don’t let it burn!).  Whisk in the milk all at once, stirring vigorously for a couple of minutes until it thickens.  Add salt, pepper, cayenne and mustard.  Mix well and remove from heat.  Beat in the egg yolks one at a time until well blended.  Fold in the broccoli and the cheese.

 

Beat the egg whites with a dash of salt until they form stiff peaks.  Mix a quarter of the egg whites into the soufflé mixture to lighten it up.  Fold the rest of the egg whites into the soufflé mixture being careful not to over mix and deflate your egg whites.  Transfer the soufflé from the mixing pan to the gratin dish.  Put the dish into the center of the oven and lower the heat to 375 degrees F.  Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and brown.  Serve immediately garnished with parsley and cilantro.

 

 

Pizza madness – 2 pizzas for the price of one!

Tonight was sourdough pizza night.  I love making pizza at home.  The way I do it is a lot of work but the end product is truly worth it.  The pizza crust I work with makes enough dough for two pizzas.  What I try to do is make the starring ingredients things that are very different from each other.  The supporting players can be the same to help cut down on the work.  This strategy gives us two very different pizzas to choose from

.

If you want to make my pizza, go here to read an earlier post that will give you the crust recipe and a general idea of what to do.  Make sure all of your ingredients are as dry as possible.   Cook any extra liquid out of your sauce and drain then squeeze excess liquid from all canned ingredients such as olives or artichokes.  Here are the ingredients lists for tonight’s featured pizzas:

 Salmon pizza

Salmon and beet greens pizza:

Pizza sauce (this was merely a can of whole roma tomatoes cooked down with fresh garlic, onion powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper)

 

Beet greens (sautéed in olive oil, fresh garlic, green onions and red pepper flakes.  This mixture was then braised in red wine until soft and all liquid was evaporated)

 

Shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Shredded Quattro Fromaggio (four cheese blend from Trader Joes)

 

One can of boneless, skinless pink salmon

 

Chopped artichoke hearts (canned, packed in water)

 

Sliced black olives

 

Sliced red onions

 

Sliced roasted red peppers

 

Chopped fresh garlic

 Canadian Bacon Pizza

Canadian Bacon and pineapple deluxe:

Pizza sauce

 

Canadian bacon

 

Pineapple, (canned and packed in it’s own juices)

 

Sliced black olives

 

Sliced roasted red peppers

 

Chopped fresh garlic

 

I hope you’ll try to make your own pizza.  The sourdough crust is wonderful but if you need to use store bought pizza dough, it will still turn out better than anything you can buy!

    

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