CHEESE & MUSHROOM FLATBREAD

cheezy shroom flatbreadThis picture says it all : perfect late night snack.  I used a health food omega 3 flatbread but a flour tortilla or bottom half of pita would be just as good.  The main thing is to toast both sides before putting on topping so you get a thin crust pizza effect.  15 minutes and you have this gorgeous savory treat.  You can go to bed on this and not feel gross.  I did : )

 

INGREDIENTS

Flatbread, roll up, tortilla or bottom half of pita

olive oil

salt

TOPPING:

olive oil

thin sliced onion ( red, yellow, shallot, scallion – whatever you’ve got)

thin sliced fresh pepper ( once again whatever pepper you have on hand)

mushrooms, chopped ( I used baby portobellas but any mushroom )

grated cheese ( I actually used Jarlsburg because that was all I had.  Of course grated cheddar, Jack or crumbled goat cheese  or feta would all be tasty)

chz n shroom flarbread

DIRECTIONS

Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in skillet.  Add onions, peppers and mushrooms.  Fry around till everything is tender but not fried.  You want the mushrooms and onions juicy.

Put pan to the side.

Toast bottom side of bread under the broiler till golden .  Take out and flip over.  Sprinkle top side with olive oil and salt ( if you used pita, the fuzzy side is the top)

Once the oil starts sizzling and bread is getting slightly toasty, take it out and assemble toppings – cheese first.

Put it back under broiler till everything is sizzling and bubbling and cheese is melted.

Top it off with fresh ground black pepper.

Voila !

chz n shroom flatbread

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ZUCCHINI ROLLATINI

zucchini rollatiniI decided to serve this on a tomato slice and pesto* because I wanted to make pesto … but you could also use a tomato sauce or bechamel.  I was thinking you could wrap them tight with less filling spilling out and stick in a toothpick and they would be awesome little hors d’oeuvres.   Anyway you choose to serve em, they are tasty!

INGREDIENTS
4 medium sized zucchini, sliced lengthwise about 1/8 inch

olive oil

1/2 lb ricotta cheese ( you can also use farmer cheese)

2 tablespoosn minced onion

2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh finely grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

> > I didn’t use an egg because I made extra filling and saved some to use as a spread for crackers.  But adding 1 egg beaten to this filling would make it lighter.  You would have to bake it until it was fully cooked.  The non-egg way you could literally skip the baking altogether and serve room temp.

DIRECTIONS

Add olive oil in skillet on medium heat.  Fry the zucchini slices until soft and browned on edges.  Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

zucchini strips

Mix the rest of ingredients in a medium bowl.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Using a teaspoon, drop a spoonful of cheese mixture about 1 inch from one end of zucchini strip and roll up from that end.  Place into lightly oiled or buttered glass or ceramic baking dish.  Heat zucchini rolls in 350 degree oven until hot, about 15 mins.  Don’t overcook or they will be messy and lose their shape.

Serve on top of sauce.  A slice of tomato is a nice little plate and contrasting color when using pesto.

zucchini rollatini

** BUTTER LETTUCE AND BASIL PESTO

a handful of butter lettuce

a handful of fresh basil

1 garlic clove, crushed

a small handful pepitas, raw

a generous pour of olive  oil

salt

You can use a blender or food processor.  Add all ingredients and blend until smooth.  You can pour the oil in while blending to gauge consistency.

> The butter lettuce makes the pesto a little lighter and sweeter and pepitas are almost more flavorful than pignoli.  And actually quite a bit healthier : )

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Madeleines

madeleine/napkinThe full name for this recipe is Les Madeleines de Commercy and comes from a  Julia Child’s cookbook.  I found a nicely used metal Madeleine tray at a thrift store and couldn’t wait to make a batch.  They are such a sophisticated and simply delicious cookie.  Rather a tiny cake.  When they are done you have the one side with the shell pattern and the other with a lovely hump that is often a bit cracked.  Traditionally, the hump side is the top and so gets the powdered sugar.  These really are delightful and not difficult to make.

 

Madeleines/milk

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs, beaten

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

4 ounces unsalted butter  ( plus 1 1/2 tablespoon for buttering the molds)

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated lemon zest from 1/2 lemon

3 drops lemon juice ( or 2 of lemon and 2 of bergamot)

 

2 large Madeleine pans

Madeleine pan

DIRECTIONS

> All ingredients should be brought to room temperature before mixing so that the melted butter does not congeal in the batter before the ingredients have blended together.

Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and add three-quarters of the eggs.  Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend into a heavy cream – if very stiff, add a little bit of the remaining egg, one droplet at a time.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring all of the butter a boil until it begins to brown very lightly.  Combine 1 1/2 tablespoon of the butter and tablespoon of flour in a small bowl and set aside.

Stir the rest of the butter over cold water until cool but still liquid.  Beat the remaining bit of egg into the batter and stir in the cool butter.  Stir in the salt, vanilla, grated lemon zest, lemon juice ( and bergamot if using).  Cover the batter, and set aside in the refrigerator for at least one hour.  Meanwhile, paint the Madeleine cups with a light coating of the browned butter and flour mixture, wiping up any pools that form in the bottom.  Set aside or refrigerate if the kitchen is warm.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Using a spoon and rubber spatula, drop a rounded tablespoonful of batter into each Madeleine cup.  Do not spread the batter to fill the mold.  Repeat with remaining batter and mold.  Set pans on the middle rack and bake for about 15 minutes.  The batter will spread on its own to fill the cups and a hump will gradually form in the middle.  Unmold onto a rack, humped side up.

Serve as is, or sprinkle tops with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

 

 

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BROCCOLI GARLIC QUICHE

quiche slice

This recipe is from Gourmet and it’s assembled sort of backwards to what I normally do.  First you pour the egg mixture, then the broccoli, then the cheese last.  I like the way the cheese make a kind of crusty layer on top.  I do think next time I won’t use orange colored cheese though.  It’s a little bright…

INGREDIENTS

> All-Butter Pastry Dough

10 oz broccoli florets

2 large garlic cloves

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

5 oz extra sharp cheddar (2 cups)

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

quiche

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 13 inch round.  Fit dough into pie plate (or tart pan) folding excess in and pressing into edge.   Prick bottom all over with a fork.  Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Line pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or dry rice.  Bake until pastry is set and edge is pale golden ( about 20 minutes).

Carefully remove foil and waits and bake until entire shell is deep golden 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and put pie plate on a 4 sided baking sheet.  Leave oven on.

Cook broccoli in salted water about 4 minutes.  Rinse with cold water and pat dry.

Mince and mash garlic to a pasted with a generous pinch of salt.

Whisk together eggs, garlic paste, half n half, nutmeg and cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until smooth.

Pour filling into pie shell, add broccoli then add cheeses.

Bake quiche until custard is set (about 45 minutes).  center will tremble slighty, filling will continue to set as it cools. Cool about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

quiche slice**This photo is more about my awesome placemat and napkin set.  Cute ?

 

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VEGETARIAN SHEPHERDS PIE

SHEPHERDS PIEI made 4 individual pies in these cute little dishes.  If you make one big one just use a casserole dish.  The only thing you have to do to make this vegetarian if following any recipe is to switch out tvp ( rehydrated) or meatless ground beef from health food store in place of lamb or beef.

shepherds pieIt’s such a simple dish and really you do not need to be exact.  For years I have used the Colemans seasoning packet because there is a flavor in there I love and I still don’t quite know what it is.   But, basically, you saute chopped onions, carrots, peas, ( I used broccoli and cauliflower), till veggies are tender then you add the veggie ground beef. Add  worcestershire sauce, red wine, vegetable stock ,thyme, salt and pepper, maybe a dash of dry mustard, a bit of butter and a bit of flour and keep cooking till you have a nice gravy.  The consistency is up to you ( we like it thick !)

shepherds pieButter the dish.  Fill with meat/gravy.  Top with mashed potatoes and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Nice n easy.

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APRICOT TART BRULEE (with sour cherries)

apricot brulee sliceThis is taken from Donna Deane’s Apricot Tart Brulee recipe.  I had a bag of apricots from the farmers market and decided this would be fun but I also had a bunch of sour cherries from the farmers market that I didn’t know what to do with so…  I think I made the right choice.  the brulee custard is so rich that the addition of the cherries helps give it that fruity zing that the apricots alone would not.  I also added a tablespoon of lemon zest to the crust and omitted the pats of butter on top.  So so satisfying… mmm.

apricots/cherries

 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour ( toasted blanched almonds ground fine)

9 tblsp sugar, divided ( I used coconut palm sugar)

1 tblsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold butter ( 1 stick)

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided

1 cup plus 2-3 tblsp whipping cream

6-7 apricots cut in half, pits removed

small handful sour cherries, cut in half, stones removed

2 eggs, slightly beaten

tart

 

DIRECTIONS

> Heat oven to 375 degrees.

> To make crust, combine the flour, ground almonds,1tblsp lemon zest,  3 tblsp sugar and the salt in a bowl.  Cut 1/2 cup cold butter into small pieces and work it into the dough with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the dough is crumbly and evenly combined but not pasty.

> Combine the egg yolk, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 to 3 tblsp whipping cream.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the egg yolk mixture in.  Use a fork to quickly stir until the mixture can be formed into a ball.  Gather the dough into a ball and knead several times to blend the ingredients.  Form into a ball again; wrap it in plastic and chill 30 mins.

> Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to about a 3/8 inch thickness.  Lift the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and gently press it into the bottom and up against the sides to the top edge of the pan; remove any excess dough.  Chill for 30 minutes.

> Line the pan with foil, then fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and lift off the foil and pie wights.  Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork and return the crust to the oven.  bake until lightly browned, about 10 mins.  Remove the tart shell from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

>Arrange the apricot halves pitted -side- up in the tart shell. Sprinkle the cherries evenly around.   Combine the remaining whipping cream, the remaining vanilla, the eggs and 1/4 cup of the sugar.  Gently pour this custard over and around the fruits. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tblsp of sugar.

> Bake until the custard tests done in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Place the tart under the broiler until the top is browned, about 30 seconds.  Remove the tart from the oven and cool.  Serve warm or chilled.

finished tart

 

slice of tart

 

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CHIVES

POTTED CHIVESMy potted chive plant was getting kinda wild so I decided to make up some chive-centric recipes.  These really are So Satisfying.  Chives and cheese… what’s not to like?  But really, take a look at that sandwich ( and the ice cold beer) and tell me you’re not running to the kitchen to make one  : )

chive walnut crackers

 

GOAT CHEESE WITH CHIVE AND WALNUT

INGREDIENTS

Plain Chevre ( It comes in a log so depending on the size of your party …)

finely chopped walnuts

finely cut fresh chives

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

CHEVRE,CHIVE,WALNUT

 

DIRECTIONS

Pretty simple.  Put it all in a bowl and mash together with a fork.

chevre,chive,salt,pepper

I didn’t give exact measurements because it’s so simple and the amounts will depend on how many hors d’oeuvres you are making.  The salt should be slightly coarse for texture and the cracked pepper gives the punch so be generous.

 

GRILLED CHEESE WITH CHIVES AND MUSTARD
GRILLED CHEESE CHIVES

 

INGREDIENTS

sourdough bread

cheddar cheese, grated

fresh chives, snipped about 1/4 inch pieces

mustard of choice ( I use Dijon almost anytime I use mustard.  But that’s me. I think even a coarse grain mustard would work with this).

butter

grilled chz in pan

 

Depending on the size of your bread, grate about 1/2 cup of cheddar per sandwich.  Mix approx 1 tblsp mustard, 1 tblsp cut chives with grsted cheese in a bowl.  Then spread this on one slice of bread.  Melt 1 tblsp butter in skillet and place the open face sandwich in.  Once it’s starts getting melty and bread gets golden put top piece of bread on and flip over.  Once this side is golden the cheese should be deliciously gooey and sandwich is ready to serve ( with ice cold beer?)

gooey grilled chz

 

 

POTATO, CHEDDAR AND CHIVE FRITTATA

CHEDDAR, CHIVE FRITTATA* I made this at around 11p so I served it simple.  If I were serving it for lunch etc I might have put a dab of sour cream on top…

 

INGREDIENTS

2 – 3 eggs slightly beaten

1 red bliss potato par boiled and diced

1 tblsp chopped fresh chives

2 tblsp grated cheddar cheese

1 – 2 tblsp olive oil

sea salt / fresh ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat olive oil in skillet and add potatoes.  Once they are a little golden add the eggs and chives.  Salt and pepper to taste.  The heat should be med-low. Once the egg sets add the cheese.  Cover and turn off heat.  The bottom should be nicely browned and the cheese melted.  Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream, or ketchup…

frittata in pan

* Like I said, I made this late at night and messed up the serving just a bit.  the good thing is it tastes just as good perfectly cut as it does flopped over in the pan… the important part is of  course eating and enjoying !!!

 

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FROSTED SOFT SUGAR COOKIES

frosted sugar cooliesI got this recipe from the back of the 10lb Dominos sugar bag.  I’d been eyeing it for a while.  The name alone was calling me then I read the recipe and the bottom suggestion ‘for an extra special touch’  called for the colored sugar garnish.  I could imagine the textures – soft sugar cookie, sweet fluffy frosting, crunchy sugar crystals…   These cookies totally lived up to expectation.  A perfect alternative to the cupcake.  I am always disappointed with cupcakes – they leave me wishing I had just gone for the actual slice of cake.  These are little chewy, frosted satisfying bites.  Try them.  You’ll see !

sugar cookis on sheet

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIES

1 1/2 cups (Domino) granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups butter or margarine (room temp)

2 eggs

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl. combine sugar and butter and beat with an electric mixer until creamy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the flour mixture to gutter mixture one cup at a time, and blend until all the flour mixture is incorporated.  Roll into 1-inch balls* and place on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bottoms turn light brown.  Cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING FOR COOKIES

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING FOR COOKIES

ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 lb (Domino) confectioners sugar (approx. 3 3/4 cups)

2 tsp vanilla or almond extract ( if you want your frosting very white, use almond)

1 tsp water

1-2 drops food coloring

directions

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth.  Add cream of tartar.  Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time, blending until fully incorporated.  Add extract and water, mixing until combined.  Whip frosting at a high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add food coloring.

sugaring the cookies

FOR AN EXTRA SPECIAL TOUCH,  you can garnish your frosted cookies with colored sugar.  To make sugar, simply add a few drops of food coloring to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.

*You can slightly flatten cookies with the back of a spatula if you dont want them as rounded as mine.  They end up almost semi-spherical otherwise.

 

Here’s the Christmas version!

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Crispy Breaded Tofu Stix w Marinara

tofu stix

 

I have made these many times over the years in various shapes and techniques and this is the best.  Keeping the sauce separate for dunking ensures crispiness, putting fresh minced garlic and grated parmesan in the bread crumbs gives the flavor and zest to the otherwise mild tofu.  I make a simple yet satisfying marinara for dipping and the rest is history.

 

INGREDIENTS

>tofu stix

1 pkg xtra firm tofu

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 – 2 cups flour (for dredging)

1 – 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

2 garlic cloves minced

2 tblsp grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

olive oil or canola oil for frying (about 1/2 cup)

DIRECTIONS

> Drain the block of tofu and press the excess water out with paper towels

> Beat the eggs with milk adding salt and pepper to taste

> Combine bread crumbs, minced garlic and parmesan cheese in shallow dish or large plate

>Depending on the size and shape of your tofu block, cut the stix 1/2 inch thick and 1 – 2 inches wide.  you want them thin but not so thin that you have a hard time handling and cooking them without breaking

> Heat oil in large skillet

>Dredge the tofu stix in flour covering both sides

> Dip them into egg mixture evenly

> Lay stix in bread crumbs covering thoroughly

> Fry them in oil being careful not to overload the skillet. 2 or 3 at a time is good.  Fry until golden brown and crispy.

> Drain on paper towel.

> Serve with marinara sauce

MARINARA SAUCE

sweet white onion

3 garlic cloves

3 tblsp olive oil

1 can crushed tomato

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp oregano

salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

chop, mince or thinly slice onion ( your preference)

chop or mince garlic

saute in olive oil

add the rest of ingredients and simmer for half and hour.  EZ schmeazy.

 

 

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Peach Blueberry Cake

peach blueberry cakeToday is the 4th of July and this cake does a good job of it !  I made this one gluten free but I only substituted gluten free all-purpose flour for regular all-purpose flour so no big deal.

INGREDIENTS

>FOR PASTRY

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( regular or gluten-free)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

FOR FILLING

1/2 cup sugar

2 tblsp all-purpose flour ( of your choice)

1 tblsp  tapioca starch

2 lb firm-ripe peaches ( about 4 ), halved lengthwise, pitted, and each half cut lengthwise into fourths.

1 cup blueberries ( 1/2 pint)

1 tblsp fresh lemon juice

MAKE PASTRY

> Pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined.  Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea sized) butter lumps.  Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until dough clumps and begins to form a ball, about 15 pulses.

> Press dough onto bottom and evenly all the up side of springform pan with floured fingertips.  Chill pastry in pan until firm, about 10 minutes.

MAKE FILLING WHILE PASTRY CHILLS

> Preheat oven to 375 degrees

> Stir together sugar, flour and tapioca starch in large bowl.  Add peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice.  stir gently till coated.  Spoon filling into pastry and bake, loosely covered with sheet of foil until filling is bubbling in center and crust is lightly golden, about 1 3/4 hours.

>Cool on rack about 20 minutes, then remove side of pan.  Cut with sharp knife.

*  With gluten free be careful not to let crust get too brown.  also we found it was kind of better the next day.  ( like a lot of things…)

peach blueberry slice

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