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Showing posts from September, 2014

Zucchini Quiche with Herbed Crust

Yes - still more zucchini. I thought I would make a quiche this time. I've used this crust with other recipes but never with a quiche. It came out very good but I forgot to put the pine nuts in. I had toasted them and was waiting for them to cool. I forgot to toss them in the food processor. It came out good but the pine nuts do add a nice flavor. It's a nice and quick crust - no fuss, no rolling - just a press in.

Zucchini Quiche with Herbed Crust

For the Crust (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 1/4 c flour
2 T pine nuts, toasted
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t pepper
about 6-8 basil leaves
1 t fresh oregano
1/4 c olive oil
3 T ice water

Grease a 9" glass pie plate and set aside. In food processor, combine, flour, pine nuts, salt, baking powder, pepper, basil, and oregano. Pulse a few times to combine ingredients. Mix oil and water together. With food processor running, pour the water and oil mixture through the chute. Process until dough is crumbly. Spread dough in pi…

Sourdough Rolls

I haven't really been doing anything with Bertha lately - other than feeding her - so I thought it was time to take her for another spin. I was thinking of bread but then this recipe for rolls caught my eye.

Sourdough Rolls (Adapted from Breads Step-by-Step Techniques)

2 pkgs (4 1/4 t) yeast
1/2 c warm water
4 c  (approx) flour
1/4 c sugar
1 t salt
8 T butter, melted and cooled (plus 2 T for top)
1 egg
1 c sourdough starter, at room temperature
1/2 c warm milk

Remember when working with yeast the first thing you want to do is proof it and make sure it is alive and that you didn't kill it with too hot water or milk. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add about 1t of the sugar. Set aside to bubble up.

In a heavy-duty mixer (AKA Kitchen-Aid) mix 2 c of flour, sugar, and salt.  Add in yeast mixture and the 8T of melted butter, egg, starter, and milk. Beat for about 5 minutes with dough hook.  Gradually add remaining flour (you might not use all of it). Place in greased bowl…

Oatmeal Cookies

I don't usually read Woman's Day magazine but it was a long wait in the chiropractor's office today. This recipe caught my eye. It interested me because there were no eggs in it. They also used a technique of dissolving the baking soda in boiling water and then adding it to the batter. That was intriguing. I assume that this activates the baking soda but I'm not sure why it needs to be activated in this way? If anyone knows why, please post in the comments section because I would like to know.

Oatmeal Cookies (Adapted from Woman's Day)

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c flour
1/4 sugar
1/4 brown sugar, packed
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 c oatmeal (not instant)
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c pepitas
1/2 c butter
3 T flour
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
3 T boiling water

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, cinnamon, and salt.  Add oatmeal, dried fruits, and pepitas. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt butter and hon…

Zucchini & Potato Pancakes

So that wasn't the last of the zucchini. They seem to have made a bit of a comeback. Some of the leaves had that white-powdery mold on them.  The Sous Chef cut those leaves off and they have bounced back. A co-worker sent me this recipe that she spotted on Food 52. It was perfect timing.

Zucchini & Potato Pancakes (adapted from Food 52)

2 c grated zucchini
1/2 c grated potato
1 egg
2 chopped green onions
1 T chopped parsley
approx 1-2 T panko
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
Sour cream & chives (Optional)

Grate the zucchini and potato. Salt the zucchini & potato. Place in a colander for at least 1/2 hour to drain off the liquid. Squeeze liquid. Try to get out as much liquid as you can. I probably got about 1/2 cup of liquid.

In a bowl beat egg.  Add in green onions, parsley, and pepper. Add 1T of  the panko. Add additional panko if needed. It should be moist looking but not sopping wet. When you see this batter, you think that this is absolutely not going to work…

Maple Mustard Chicken

Since I had the maple syrup out for the Brussels Sprouts, I thought well why not try it with the chicken too.

Maple Mustard Chicken (Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 t olive oil
1 lb chicken breast
2 clove garlic (chopped)
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c maple syrup
1 T vinegar (I used Kressi)
1 T dijon mustard
4-6 Fresh thyme sprigs

Place the chicken breasts between a piece of plastic and sprinkle a little water so they do not stick. Pound the chicken thin. Season with salt and pepper.

Place oil in hot oven-proof skillet. Add chicken to the pan and cook until browned and turn. DO NOT crowd the pan. Remove chicken from pan.

Add garlic to the skillet and good until fragrant. Add broth and syrup and cook for 2 minutes, scraping the pan to loosen the brown bits (fond) from the pan.  Add the vinegar and mustard; stir until mustard is incorporated into the liquid. Cook for 1 minute. Add thyme and chicken to pan; turning chicken over to coat with sauce. Place pan in oven at 400 and co…

Brusssels Trees

It isn't too often that you find Brussels sprouts still on the"tree" so to speak. But there they were in Trader Joe's. They also came with a nifty recipe and so I decided to make it.
Brussels Trees (Adapted from Trader Joe's)

1 Brussels Sprout Stalk
3/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c olive oil
1T fresh thyme

Trim any really ugly looking parts off. Rinse and place in plastic wrap. I had to cut the stalk into two pieces in order for it to fit in my microwave. Cook on high in microwave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile mix maple syrup, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Carefully remove stalk(s) from microwave. It is really hot! Remove plastic wrap. Place on a foil lined tray (I had thought of using the silpat but this is really sticky and I was glad I went for the easier clean up method). Pour maple syrup mixture over stalk. Turning the stalk over to coat evenly. 
Roast at 400 for about 35-40 minutes. Turning stalk over once or twice to coat with the syrup mixture. Remo…

Tomatoes & Cream Pasta

So here's what I made with the fresh pasta.

Tomatoes & Cream Pasta (Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta)

1 lb fresh tomatoes (preferably plums or grape tomatoes)
1 T fresh basil
2 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 lb pasta

Boil water for pasta. Peel, seed, and rough chop the tomatoes. If you are using grape tomatoes, there is no need to peel and seed them. Just cut them in half. Place the tomatoes in a skillet and a little salt to help the tomatoes release their juices. Cook off some of the liquids from the tomatoes probably about 10 minutes. If you are using regular tomatoes, it may take a little longer. If you are using grape tomatoes, it may be less time. Add garlic and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant. Add the heavy cream and basil. Cook over low until the sauce thickens slightly. Add salt and pepper. Pour over fresh pasta.
This is a very fresh tasting sauce. You would think that it would be too rich with the heavy cream but it's reall…

Fresh Pasta

There is nothing like fresh pasta.  Several years ago when we got back from Italy we sat down at the table to pasta that was perfectly acceptable before going to Italy and just looked at one another.  We all agreed that dried pasta was absolutely not the same. That is when I started either making my own pasta or buying it fresh from a local pasta store. There is really nothing more to it than flour and eggs. Sit back and have a cuppa - this one is a long one. But don't worry there are a lot of pictures.

Fresh Pasta
2 1/4 c flour
3 eggs

Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Crack the 3 eggs into the center.
Begin to mix the eggs with a fork, slowly picking up more flour from the sides.

Once all the flour is incorporated, turn it out onto a silpat or floured surface.
It will look like a big mess and you will start to wonder what is wrong.  Stick with it and knead the dough. This is great for building up those arms.
Eventually it will come together but it's still …

Zucchini w/Sun-dried Tomatoes

We're starting to come to the last of the zucchini, which I have mixed feelings about. I really haven't done a saute with them yet this year so I thought that it would round out the season nicely.

Zucchini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (adapted from Fine Cooking)

2-3 small zucchini
3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T sun-dried tomatoes, fine chop
10 basil leaves
1/4 of a preserved lemon or 3 T lemon juice and zest of whole lemon

Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice the zucchini length-wise into quarters. Slice off the seeds. Salt the zucchini planks and place on paper towels.  Let sit for about 10 minutes. Dry zucchini with paper towels and cut into diamonds (cut the planks on an angle) about 1" size chunks.
Heat skillet and add 2T olive oil. Saute zucchini, tossing occasionally. You want the zucchini to get nice and dark so don't toss them too much. Cook about 5 minutes or until they soften. Add garlic and saute until aromatic. Remove from heat. Toss …

Bananas Foster Pudding

It was really hot and humid this past week.  I had bought milk as I was planning on making ricotta to go with pasta and fresh garden tomatoes. But with the weather, there was NO WAY I was boiling water. So I had this milk; I also had some bananas that were rather quickly ripening in the heat. It was too hot to make banana bread. I thought well I've had some good banana pudding in my time but have never made it. I did a search and found most recipes are just vanilla pudding, with bananas, and some vanilla wafers. I thought I could do better. I got to thinking well why not make a pudding with brown sugar and some rum and mix in some bananas and that's what I did.

Bananas Foster Pudding (Adapted from David Lebovitz)

3T cornstarch*
1/2 c milk
2 eggs
4 T butter
1 c light brown sugar
3/4 t sea salt
2 c milk
1 T rum (I must confess it was closer to 2T)
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
2-3 bananas, sliced

Mix the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup milk. Whisk until totally dissolved. Add the eggs a…

Peachy Cake

Just happened upon this recipe and I had some peaches that I bought recently and figured why not?

Peachy Cake (adapted from Food 52)

3 ripe peaches
3/4 t freshly ground nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 c sugar
6 T butter
1 egg
1/2 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1/4 t almond extract
1 c flour
1/2 c almond meal (ground almonds)
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3T Turbinado Sugar (Raw sugar)

Grease and flour a 9" round pan. Set aside.  Cut peaches into bite-sized pieces. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 T of the sugar.  Set aside. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in mixer.  Add the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour into pan.  Spoon peaches over the batter, lightly pressing them into the batter. Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over peaches.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes; then reduce oven to 325 and bake another 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in t…

Grilled Foil Potatoes

I like to have potatoes in the summer but I don't like heating up the kitchen (not that that has been such a problem this summer). I like to grill them. This is a good recipe because there is minimal clean up. Cooking in foil on the grill is just great. Since we've had a bit of warm weather the last few days, I thought I better share this recipe.

Grilled Foil Potatoes

6-8 potatoes (yukon, russet, red)
fresh herbs (tarragon or rosemary, thyme)
olive oil or butter

Cut potatoes into large chunks. Place on large piece of aluminum foil. Either toss with olive oil or use about 2T of butter cubed and even distributed.  Season with herbs and salt/pepper.  You can also add a splash of vinegar (I used Kressi this time but Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar might be nice) or even a splash of white wine. Seal foil. Cook on grill at 350 for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Sometimes the potatoes get a little burnt on the bottom and those are my favorite. They didn't…

Ketchup Wannabe

The title of this entry could also be called: Ketchup attempt #1, almost ketchup, Tomato-based sauce, or hmm not quite ketchup. This recipe has been kicking around since 2011 from the NY Times. I really based it very loosely on this recipe since when I made it following their directions, it came out very loose. I didn't even add the water as suggested and I had to cook it to make it thick. It is nonetheless quite good but I would not exactly call it ketchup.
Ketchup Wannabe

3 tomatoes
3T vinegar
1 garlic clove
1/3 t ground cloves
1/3 c sugar
1T maple syrup
1/4 t sriracha (or cayenne pepper)
1T Worcestershire sauce
1t ground mustard seed
1T cornstarch

Slice the top off the tomato and squeeze the seeds out. Place the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Puree. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer until thickened to a ketchup consistency.
Now this might not be ketchup but I do have to say it was quite tasty on oven fries. It was a little on the sweet side bu…