Saturday, December 25, 2010

Apple-Pecan-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


Photo credit:  Southern Living

These were wonderful!!  They're a great make-ahead dish, but of course I was running behind schedule and wasn't able to take advantage of that benefit.  :{

Source:  Southern Living Magazine

4 medium-size sweet potatoes (3 1/2 lbs.)
3/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 c. butter
1 large Rome Beauty apple, chopped
1/4 c. golden raisins*
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

Place potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender.

Heat nuts in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5-7 minutes or until toasted.  Remove from skillet.

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add apple and raisins; saute 2-3 minutes or until apple is tender.  Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Remove from heat.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving shells intact.  Add apple mixture to pulp in bowl; stir until blended.  Spoon mixture into shells.  Place on baking sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Top with nuts.

* I substituted craisins in place of the raisins.

Buttered Green Beans with Cashews

I always fall back on this recipe. My friend Amy gave it to me years ago, and I've served it for company more times than I can count; everyone loves it!  I did break my "In-Season" rule and bought fresh green beans from Root's, but I was willing to make an exception since it was for Christmas dinner.  :)

Source:  Amy A.

1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans
3 T. sweet butter, melted
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 c. cashews

Blanch green beans in boiling salted water.

Melt butter, add salt, pepper and parsley.  Stir to mix.

Drain beans and place in warm bowl.  Sprkinle cashews on top, pour butter mixture over.  Toss.

Variations:  Substitute pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts in place of the cashews.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I love this hummus recipe!  The mayo adds creaminess and gives it a bit of a different twist; it's a nice recipe to use if you're not sure your folks are hummus lovers.  I made it for our Christmas luncheon at work today, and got good feedback.  :)
I have a stash of roasted red peppers from this summer in the freezer; I froze them in 1/4 c. quantities, so it's easy to pull them out for this recipe.

Source: adapted from Kristy Y.'s mother- in-law/Taste of Home Magazine

1/3 c. mayonnaise*
1 T. fresh lime juice**
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. roasted red peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. cumin
1 t. sea salt

Blend above ingredients in food processor until smooth.

Notes:
*I sometimes substitute olive oil for the mayo.  The texture won't be quite as creamy, but the flavor is still good.
** I often don't have a fresh lime on hand for this recipe, so I use fresh lemon juice instead.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wild-Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash


Oooh, this was downright yummy!  I tried it the other evening, but didn't have wild rice on hand so I substituted quinoa instead.  It was OK, but much better with the rice - the chewy rice complements the soft texture of the roasted squash.  The wild rice blend adds more color, too (although I still don't understand why it's so expensive!).  And, the caramelized edges of the squash is pretty!  I still have some dried cherries on hand from last summer (compliments of my friend Elma's sour cherry tree!), and the garlic was grown in Silver Spring, so this truly is a local dish.  :)

Source:  adapted from Everyday Food, November 2006

Note:  the recipe is for one acorn squash - multiply as needed.

1 acorn squash (1 1/2 lb.), halved lengthwise, seeds removed*
1 T. butter
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. dried sage
sea salt
pepper
1/2 c. wild and brown rice blend
7/8 c. water
1/4 c. dried cherries
1/4 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Oil cut edges of squash with olive oil.  On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash, cut side down.  Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 30-40 minutes.


 Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and sage.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Add rice and water; bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until tender, without stirring, about 35-40 minutes.

Remove rice from heat; stir in cherries and pecans.  Season with salt and pepper.  Season inside of each squash half with salt and pepper.  Mound rice mixture into squash halves and serve.

Serves 2

*Note: Use a long serrated knife to easily halve the acorn squash neatly.
And, don't forget to roast the squash seeds! Here's the link.

Update, 12/25/10:
I served the rice mixture as a pilaf for Christmas dinner today.  I was a bit frazzled and didn't read the recipe correctly - I missed adding some of the seasonings, but it was still good!

Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds


I like these even better than pumpkin seeds - they're a little more delicate.

Here's the link to the recipe I posted earlier this fall:


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Braised Cabbage with Spicy Croutons



This is a nice, fairly easy way to prepare cabbage, and it has a lovely presentation (if you don't burn it like I did!).  Click on the Better Homes & Gardens link below to be inspired by their picture:

Source:  adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, December 2010

2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
2 c. hearty bread, torn into coarse croutons
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 small head green cabbage, cut in 6 wedges
salt
pepper
1/2 c. water
snipped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

In a very large skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add bread, garlic, and red pepper.  Cook and stir 3-5 minutes until golden brown.  Remove croutons from skillet with slotted spoon and cool in a single layer on paper towels.

Add cabbage to skillet, overlapping wedges if needed.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Add water, bring to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until tender.

Place cabbage on platter; drizzle with remaining olive oil.  Serve topped with croutons, parsley, and lemon wedges.

Serves 6.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rosemary White Bean Soup

The was the perfect use for some of the chicken stock I made the other week since the stock already had a subtle Rosemary flavor.

Source:  Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 pound dried white cannellini beans*
4 c. sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch fresh rosemary (6-7 inches)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 t. sea salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1" and soak in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.  Drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute the onions with olive oil until onions are translucent, 10-15 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes.  Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf.  Cover, bring to a  boil, and simmer 30-40 minutes, until the beans are very soft.  Remove rosemary branch and bay leaf.  Pulse briefly in food processor or blender.  Return soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

*Note:  substitute 4-16 oz. cans, rinsed and drained for the dried beans.

My note:  I added 2 chopped, roasted chicken breasts at the end, as well as some chopped, crispy chicken skin as a garnish - delicious!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Warm Spinach Salad with Fried Egg & Potatoes


I love breakfast salads - probably because it's often closer to lunch by the time I get around to eating breakfast on a weekend morning!  I have just a little bit of Swiss chard left in the garden - perfect for this recipe.  The soft-cooked egg yolk makes a yummy "sauce" for the salad.

Source:  Adapted from Everyday Food magazine

4 T. olive oil
2 baking potatoes (about 1 pound total), scrubbed and cut into 1/2" cubes
sea salt and pepper
2 T. red-wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
2 lbs. flat-leaf spinach, torn
2 oz. Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 large eggs

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 T. oil over medium heat.  Add potatoes; season with salt and pepper.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until potatoes are tender and browned, 12-14 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining 2 T. oil with vinegar, mustard, and shallot; season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.  Add spinach and Parmesan (do not toss); set aside.

When potatoes are done cooking, immediately transfer to bowl with spinach and dressing (reserve skillet).  Toss salad until spinach is slightly wilted, and divide among four plates.

Heat skillet over medium heat, and gently crack eggs into skillet without breaking yolks; season with salt and pepper.  Cook until whites are almost set, about 1 minute.  Cover, turn off heat, and let stand until whites are just set but yolks are still soft, about 2 minutes more.  Top each salad with a fried egg, and serve immediately.

Update 12/11/10
This is excellent with sweet potatoes in place of the white potatoes!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Stock

What's "In Season" about chicken stock?  Well, if you eat local, in-season chicken, then the stock you make from it ends up being "In Season" too!  Over the summer I roasted a fresh chicken every three weeks, stuck the carcass in a zip-lock freezer bag and put it in the freezer for making stock at a later date.  Well, the date had come!  Here's how I did it:

First, I thawed the chicken carcasses overnight in the garage (since it was cool, it was the same thing as using the refrigerator) in preparation for the big event.  First thing in the morning I placed all the carcasses, as well as drippings I had been saving from roasting the chickens all summer, in two stock pots, covered them with water and brought it to a boil.  I skimmed off the brown scum, as well as any rosemary leaves that were floating on the top, then allowed the stock to simmer all day - about 12 hours; that way I could get as many nutrients as possible from the bones.  Part way through, I removed the lids so it could cook down a bit and allow the flavor to intensify. At the end of the day, I strained the broth through a mesh strainer into another stock pot, removing the bones, meat and skin, and added sea salt until I was satisfied with the flavor.  I chilled it overnight in the refrigerator.  In the morning, I skimmed the fat off the top, then filled wide-mouth quart mason jars with 3 cups of stock each (any more than that, and you'll run the risk of cracking the jar if you plan to freeze it) and put them in the freezer.  Yum!!  It was so satisfying!  Of course, it's not possible to attempt something like this if you're not going to be home all day, but I was and thoroughly enjoyed the process.  After all the jars were safely stowed away, I even checked the freezer occasionally to make sure it was still running - I felt like I had gold in the bank and wanted to make sure it was safe!  :)  There's all kinds of good benefits to organic chicken broth, so I'm eager to take advantage of it these next months as I use it in various recipes.

Does the recipe sound too simple to be true?  Well, it isn't!  According to Maria Rodale on the Rodale.com website, anything more than an organic chicken, water and salt just messes up the flavor.  My stock included some onions left over from the chicken-roasting process and the meat had a subtle rosemary flavor, but that was it!


Update, 5/17/11

I bought a pressure canner two months ago and finally worked up the courage to try using it.  Why is everyone afraid of using a pressure canner (me included!)?  There definitely was a bit of a learning curve to it, but it was worth being able to can a bunch of chicken stock in glass jars and not worry about breakage in the freezer, or hogging up freezer space.  Also, it's much handier to open a jar of canned stock vs. remembering to plan ahead and defrost frozen stock.

For today's batch of stock, I had purchased frozen chicken backs from the farm where I buy my chickens.  It made even tastier broth than the what I made using the roasted chicken carcasses.  Yum!  And, what's even better, it's loaded with all kinds of healing properties!


Update, 11/2/15

As handy as it is to have canned stock on hand, I have reverted to simply freezing it.  Wide mouth pint jars work great and are freezer safe!



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spring Greens with Beets & Goat Cheese



I used fresh roasted beets in place of the canned beets in this salad - yum!!

Source:  adapted from Taste of Home magazine, April/May 2009

2/3 c. pecan halves
3 T. balsamic vinegar, divided
1 T. water
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. whole grain mustard
1/8 t. salt
5 oz. spring mix salad greens
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) sliced beets, drained*
1 c. crumbled goat cheese

In a large heavy skillet, cook the pecans, 1 T. vinegar and water over medium heat until nuts are toasted, about 4 min.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Cook and stir for 2-4 min. or until sugar is melted.  Spread on foil to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, syrup, mustard, salt and remaining vinegar.  Refrigerate until serving.

In a large bowl, combine salad greens and dressing; toss to coat.  Divide among eight salad plates.  Top with beets, goat cheese and glazed pecans.

Yield:  8 servings

*Note:  To roast beets, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a 9x13" baking dish, toss 1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 lbs.), scrubbed, with 1 T. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cover dish tightly with foil; roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 45-60 min., depending on size.  When cool enough to handle, rub with a paper towel to remove skins (if desired).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Roasted Winter Squash Seeds



Pumpkins aren't the only squash that yield tasty seeds for roasting - be sure to try butternut or acorn squash as well!

Source:  allrecipes.com

1 c. winter squash seeds
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt, or to taste

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, or use a non-stick baking sheet.
After removing the seeds from the squash, rinse with water, and remove any strings and bits of squash.  pat dry, and place in a small bowl.  Stir olive oil and salt into the seeds until evenly coated.  Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until seeds start to pop.  (Pumpkin seeds may take a bit longer.)  Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet before serving.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mixed Bean Salad




My mother used to make a similar salad, but I think I prefer this updated version.

Source:  Everyday Food magazine, September 2010

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
2 T. cider vinegar
3 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced*
2 t. grainy mustard
1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
sea salt
pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until bright green and crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, oregano, shallot and mustard.  Add green beans, kidney beans and chickpeas.  Toss well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

*Note:  I substituted 1 small red onion and a clove of minced garlic for the shallot.  (I never have shallots on hand!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Roasted Potato Mix

This is such a simple recipe, but always gets rave reviews.  It's great for company or for just you!

Source:  Mary Beth W.

1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 c. diced onion
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil

Melt butter and olive oil in 9x13" pan.  Toss with potatoes, onion, salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Swiss Chard with Carmelized Onions and Walnuts


I'm not 100% sure I love this recipe, but I'm determined to come up with a good sauteed Swiss chard recipe, and this is getting close.  I like the fact that it uses the chard stems in addition to the leaves.  It is an odd combination of sweet and savory, but it works for some reason.  I prefer the addition of the chick peas - it keeps the chard flavor from being too overpowering.


Source:  Adapted from chowhound.chow.com

2 T. walnuts
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 lb. or 10 large stalks), washed
2 T. golden raisins
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. sea salt
ground black pepper to taste

Toast the pine nuts in skillet until golden brown; set aside to cool.

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat; add onions and cook until golden brown and very soft, stirring from time to time, about 10 minutes.

While onions are cooking, prepare chard:  pull leaves off stalks by folding leaf together along stalk and pull the stalk away like pulling a zipper.  Cut the stalks into 3/4" pieces; set aside.  Cut or tear leaves into 2" pieces.

Add chard stalks and raisins to onions and cook until stalks are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir occasionally while stalks are cooking.  Once tender, add chard leaves and balsamic vinegar.  Toss to coat the leaves with oil, and cook for about 5 minutes or until leaves are wilted and tender.  Season with salt and pepper; transfer to serving dish and top with pine nuts.

Note: if you would like to turn this from a side dish into a main dish, add 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (drained) that have been sauteed in olive oil and 1 clove minced garlic, and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.



Just a warning: This may not be dish you will want to serve for company, to a picky eater, or to anyone who's not committed to the virtues of Swiss chard. But it's a great recipe to introduce you to chard and its magical qualities. You may need to tweak this recipe to suit your own palate, just as I did. However, hopefully it will inspire you to continue on the chard journey, just as it did me!










Monday, October 18, 2010

Stuffed Green Peppers Casserole




I still have a lots of  red and green cubanelle peppers in the garden, as well as some scroungy-looking tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, so I decided to make a double batch of this casserole for the freezer.  It also allowed me to make use of some fresh basil and oregano before the frost hits.  It's basically a recipe for stuffed peppers that I turned into a casserole so I could feature cubanelle peppers in place of the bell peppers; the cubanelles don't lend themselves to being stuffed, but they work nicely in this recipe.  Cubanelle peppers are similar to sweet Italian frying peppers and have a wonderful flavor.  Plus, for whatever reason, I have no trouble growing them, unlike Bell peppers!
For the meat, I usually use a mixture of sausage and ground beef for the best flavor.  But, since I'm trying to avoid pork these days (unless I can get it from a reputable source at a reasonable price - not very likely!), I simply used grass-fed ground beef that I get from the farmer down the road.  It was still tasty!
Organic cheese is terribly expensive, so I used just a sprinkle of a non-organic brand.

Source:  Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

2 large green peppers, or the equivalent of cubanelle peppers (red or green), seeded and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound ground beef, ground pork, ground lamb, or bulk pork sausage
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 8-oz. can tomatoes, chopped or 1 c. fresh tomatoes
1/3 c. brown rice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. fresh basil, chopped, or 1/4 t. dried basil
1 t. fresh oregano, chopped, or 1/4 t. dried oregano
1/2 c. water
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown meat with onion; drain fat if necessary.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, uncooked rice, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, water, salt and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until rice is tender, approximately 45 minutes.

While the meat and rice mixture is cooking, parboil peppers in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes; drain.

When rice is tender, stir in 1/4 c. cheese and peppers.  Place in an 8x8x2" baking dish.  Bake at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese; let stand for 1-2 minutes.

Serves 4.





Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Here's another variation on a Tomato Bread Salad.  Again, I used some of my Rustic Italian Bread that I had in the freezer - it was the perfect texture for toasting in the oven; actually, it was the best part of the salad!!

Source:  Everyday Food, September 2010

2 c. crusty bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
5 t. olive oil, divided
sea salt
pepper
2 t. sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T. coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2" wedges
2 red bell peppers, roasted and cut into 1/2" strips
1 T. fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with 2 t. olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.  Spread bread pieces in a single layer and bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine 3 t. olive oil, vinegar, garlic and almonds.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Add tomatoes, peppers, parsley and toasted bread; toss to combine.

Serves 4.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Roasted Grape Tomatoes



I made these for breakfast this morning (minus the balsamic vinegar) - yum!  With all the rain we had yesterday (5"!), I thought I had better pick all my grape tomatoes before the skins split from absorbing too much water too quickly.  A number of them had already split, but they worked well in this recipe.


2 c. grape tomatoes, washed
1-2 t. olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4-5 fresh basil leaves, cut in thin strips
Balsamic vinegar, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rub olive oil on a 9x9" baking dish.  Add tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat evenly.  Roast in oven for approximately 15 minutes until plump and just about to burst.  Remove from oven and drizzle with basil and balsamic vinegar (optional).




Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home-canned Grape Juice


Photo Credit:  Melissa Binder



This has been my specialty for years, and yet is one of the easiest things there is to can!  My mother always made it with  our own grapes on the farm, and I have fond memories of the smell of concord grapes in the fall, as well as drinking grape juice on special occasions; I feel connected to that era every time I can a batch.  I used to can 50-70 quarts every other year so that I would have plenty to give as hostess gifts, etc. but in recent years I've scaled down to more reasonable amounts so that I have just enough on hand for my own use and for company (and so I don't OD on canning!).  I wanted to use local grapes to stick with my local produce goals, but the PA grapes were in and over before I realized it.  These grapes came from New York and were sweet as well as beautiful.  I used 10 pounds of grapes which yielded 21 quarts of juice (three canner loads).

Source:  Adapted from Mennonite Country-Style Recipes Cookbook



Remove grapes from stems and wash thoroughly; drain.  Place 1 c. grapes and 1/2 c. sugar in each quart jar.  Fill with boiling water, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Add lids, tighten and process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. 
When ready to serve, strain into pitcher, discarding grapes.

Note:  Depending on how sweet the grapes are and your preferences, you can use less sugar.  This year I used a heaping 1/4 c. sugar per quart.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rustic Swiss Chard and Mozzarella Tart



Source:  Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

Pastry:
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour*
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
1/4  c. cold ice water
1/4 c. sour cream*
2 t. fresh lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Cut up butter; cut into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Combine water, sour cream and lemon juice.  Add half the sour cream mixture to flour mixture; toss with a fork.  Add remaining sour cream mixture; toss with a fork until mixture is moistened.  Form into a ball.  Wrap and refrigerate (up to an hour) while preparing filling.


Filling:
1 bunch Swiss chard, washed and chopped (about 5 c.)
1 c. chopped leeks*
4 gloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 T. olive oil
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Preheat oven to 400 deg.
In a large skillet, cook chard, leeks, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in hot oil over medium heat for 4 minutes or until chard wilts and leeks are tender.  Cool slightly.  Stir in cheese, set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 12" circle.  Transfer to a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet.  Spoon filling into center of pastry circle, leaving a 2" border.  Fold dough over filling, leaver center open and pleating edges of dough.  Bake for 30-40 min., or until golden.  Sprinkle with parsley. 
Serve hot.

Makes 4 main-dish or 8 appetizer servings.

*My substitutions:
whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour,
 my homemade yogurt for the sour cream,
 and onions plus 2 extra cloves of garlic for the leeks.





Thursday, September 16, 2010

Panzanella Salad (Italian Bread Salad)


I discovered "Chef Tim's Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette" earlier this year at Root's - Chef Tim has a stand there, and he always has samples of this yummy salad.  Tonight was the first I actually tried his recipe, which is listed on the bottle.  The Country Store also carries this dressing.  Instead of croutons, I used cubes of leftover homemade Italian bread I had in the freezer.

6 cubed roma tomatoes
1 peeled, deseeded cucumber
1 T. minced red onion
16 medium fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
3 c. cooked, cubed seasoned chicken breast
3 c. croutons
8 oz. Chef Tim's Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Toss all ingredients with dressing and place on a bed of 8 c. lettuce greens.  Drizzle greens with additional dressing.

Serves 4
Note:  This is a perfect use for the roasted chicken breasts that I keep in the freezer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hitting the Wall

I don't know what happened, but I hit a wall on the cooking thing!  I think it was a combination of the garden fizzling a bit with the lack of rain, me getting side tracked with some other fun endeavors (see my All Things Andrea blog!), trying to sort out the implications of my numerous food allergies, and just plain laziness on my part when it comes to food prep.  Meanwhile, my garden produce was rotting away in my refrigerator....  I should be back around shortly, though.  I have a few recipes I still need to post, then plan to post the rest of the recipes from my collection, even if I didn't actually get them prepared this summer.  All in all, it's been a great venture - I've been stretched in lots of meaningful ways.  But, best of all, the season isn't over!  There's all kinds of wonderful produce coming in season (even if it's not happening in my garden!), and I still have a stash of recipes I want to try.  So, check back shortly!

Sauteed Green Beans and Red Onion

Source:  adapted from Everyday Food
This is one of my favorite ways to use up an abundance of green beans, as well as red onions, which don't store over the winter as nicely as yellow onions.

2 T. olive oil
1 t. sea salt
1/8 t. ground pepper
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 3" lengths
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2" wedges
2 t. balsamic vinegar

In a large nonstick skillet, bring 1 c. water, olive oil, salt and pepper to a simmer over medium heat. 
Add green beans and red onion.  Cover; cook until beans are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. 
Uncover; continue cooking, stirring often, until water has evaporated, beans are tender, and onions are beginning to brown, about 5-8 minutes more.  Stir in balsamic vinegar and serve.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rustic Plum Tart

Photo Credit:  R. Charles
Oh my, I don't know why my several attempts looked nothing like the pictures in the magazine.  I guess I used the wrong varieties of plums, even though I used firm, slightly ripe plums on my 2nd try.  The plums were just too juicy, and the juice leaked all over the place - not the cute little bubbly leaks of juice to give it a rustic feel like in the picture!!  But, it was a breeze to make, and the flavor was delicious - everyone enjoyed it.  I didn't attempt making my pie crust from scratch - had too much other cooking to do that day!

Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine, July/August 2006

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated pie crust

Filling:
1 1/2 lbs. red plums, quartered, pitted, and sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. all-purpose flour*
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 T. water (egg wash)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss together plums, sugar, and flour.  Mound plum mixture in center of prepared crust, leaving a 2" border all around.  Fold border over fruit in a pleated pattern.  Brush dough with egg wash.

Bake tart until crust in brown and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes.  Transfer baking sheet to a rack; let cool 20 minutes.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

* I don't know what to suggest on the flour amount!!  I used 1/4 c. flour, but it was still too juicy!

Tomato-Mozzarella-Basil Rounds



Photo Credit - Melissa Binder
These are so simple that you won't need the recipe, but the flavor is out of this world!

Simply layer slices of mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Or, if you have access to Chef Tim's Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette, that's all you need.  I could live on these!


Photo Credit:  Melissa Binder



Parsley Pesto


Photo Credit:  Melissa Binder

I discovered this recipe last fall; I had tons of Italian parsley left in my garden and hated to see it go to waste. So, I looked up parsley recipes on line and found one for parsley pesto. I made a bunch of different variations, before I came up with the perfect recipe. Yum, YUM, YUM! It’s fabulous and freezes well.
(Adapted from the following link: http://www.ilunchbox.com/recipes/recipes-categories/dressings-and-dips/parsley-pesto.php?searchresult=1&sstring=parsley+pesto)

4 cups flat Italian parsley leaves, washed and drained *
½ cup pine nuts **
½ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 - 1 t. sea salt
pepper to taste

Process above ingredients in food processor until the pesto is smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add more oil as needed to get a smooth consistency.

Freezes well.

MY NOTES:
* Be sure to use Italian parsley – the flavor is much better.
**Walnuts are just as good – pine nuts aren’t worth the expense!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cream of Zucchini Soup


This is surprisingly delicious!  It's always a hit, and catches people off guard.  Often, when I serve it for company, I don't reveal what it is until after they taste it.  I served it a few years ago for Christmas dinner when my nephew was just a little guy, and he asked for seconds.  :)  What I really like about this recipe is that it makes use of the summer's abundance of zucchini in a way that is truly helpful for winter dining.  You simply puree the sauted zucchini mixture and stick it in the freezer.  Then, when ready to serve, thaw and add the cream base.  Yellow squash is just as tasty; my zucchini plants kicked the bucket, so I used yellow squash this evening to make a batch.  Yum!!  (Healthier verison is noted in green.)

Source:  Melanie D.

3 c. peeled, diced zucchini (no need to peel)*
3 chicken bouillon cubes (omit)
1/2 c. water (chicken stock)
1 t. minced onion (1 tiny minced onion)
1 t. seasoned salt (1-1/2 t. sea salt)

Boil above ingredients until zucchini is soft.  Puree in blender; freeze if desired.

When ready to serve, remove zucchini puree from freezer and thaw (if frozen).

2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/8 t. pepper
1/4 t. celery seed
2 c. milk, half & half or cream (raw milk cream)

In saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour and seasonings; cook until bubbly.  Slowly add milk or cream; stir until thickened.  Add zucchini mixture.  Heat thoroughly.


Update, 11/3/2011

I've been wanting to tweak this recipe to make it a bit healthier, and think I've succeeded.  The healthier version is noted in green font.

* Note: not peeling the zucchini gives it a stronger zucchini flavor and changes the color from a creamy shade with a tint of green to a much more dominant green shade, but I'm happy to endure that for the sake of the nutrients!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Zucchini Tomato Toss

This is so good (and colorful!) - I wouldn't eat raw zucchini any other way!
Source:  Adapted from Kristy Y.
4 c. thinly sliced zucchini
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 c. sliced red onion
3/4 c. white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
2/3 c. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 T. (or more to taste) fresh basil, chopped or 1 t. dried basil
1/8 t. pepper
In a serving bowl, combine zucchini, tomatoes and onions.  Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over zucchini mixture; toss gently to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Serve with a slotted spoon.
Yield:  8 servings

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tomato Bread Salad

One of my favorite ways to use up grape tomatoes!

Source:  Adapted from Kelley H.

1 loaf Italian bread, halved and toasted
1 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
1/2 c. fresh basil, torn
2 T. red wine vinegar

Tear bread into bite-sized pieced; place in a large serving bowl.  Drizzle 1/2 c. olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Add tomatoes and cucumber to bread, tossing to combine.  Add basil, vinegar, and remaining 1/2 c. olive oil.  Toss and season with salt and pepper. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Firecracker Ice Pops



This is a fun recipe to do with kids, and is healthy too!  I used raw milk yogurt that I had strained overnight in the refrigerator so that it would be similar to the texture of commercial yogurt.

Source: Everyday Foods

1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 lb. blueberries (1 1/2 c.)
1 1/4 c. plain yogurt

In a food processor, puree strawberries with 1 T. sugar. Transfer to a small bowl. In processor, puree blueberries with 1 T. sugar. In another small bowl, whisk together yogurt and 2 T. sugar. Pour the 3 mixtures, alternating, into ten 3-oz. ice-pop molds, making 3 to 5 layers each. With a skewer or think-bladed knife, swirl mixtures together in an up-and-down motion. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or up to 1 week).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

White Bean and Tuna Salad



Mmm...
I had just enough fresh spinach left in the fridge from my spring harvest for this recipe - otherwise, I would have had to wait until fall or next spring to try it out.  I didn't have any tuna or green olives on hand (and was determined not to run to the grocery store!), so I substituted some left over roasted fresh chicken breast (yum!) for the tuna and sun-dried tomatoes for the olives.  Delish!

Source:  Everyday Food, May 2010

2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt
ground pepper
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 T. plus 1 t. red-wine vinegar
2 cans (5 oz. each) solid white tuna, drained and broken into chunks
1/4 c. green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
crusty bread, for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine beans, 2 T. oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until beans are warm, about 4 min.; remove pan from heat.  In a large bowl, combine spinach, 1 T. oil and 1 t. vinegar; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Divide spinach among four plates.  Transfer beans to bowl and stir in 1 T. vinegar, tuna, olives, onion and parsley.  Season with salt & pepper.  Top spinach with bean and tuna mixture and serve with bread.

Serves 4.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Roasted Zucchini



I made Roasted Zucchini for supper this evening; even my 7-year old nephew liked it! 

Simply slice zucchini lengthwise into strips, drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper, and roast in at 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Easy!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Salmon Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette


(FYI, Nicoise is pronounced "nee-swahs".)
This is a perfect salad for hot summer days and makes wonderful use of new potatoes and fresh green beans.  It's even better when tomatoes are in season.  My dad was kind enough to share some new potatoes from his garden with me; I happily accepted.

Source:  Adapted from Everyday Food magazine
Ingredients:
12 oz. red new potatoes
8 oz. green beans, trimmed
2 (8-oz.) skinless salmon fillets
3 hard-cooked eggs
lettuce
4 plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. black olives

Directions:
In medium pot, bring 1/2" water to a boil; potatoes and a pinch of sea salt.  Cover and cook until tender.
Transfer potatoes to a bowl; set aside to cool.  Add green beans to pot of boiling water.  Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender.  Drain in colander and rinse under cool water; set aside.
Bake salmon in 425 deg. oven until flaky, 12-15 min.  Transfer to a plate; flake with fork and let cool.
While salmon is cooking, peel and quarter eggs.  Quarter potatoes.
Arrange salmon, green beans, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, and onion on individual beds of lettuce or Swiss chard.  Serve with vinaigrette (recipe below).

Dijon Vinaigrette:
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 c. olive oil

In medium bowl, whisk lemon juice, mustard, salt and a pinch of pepper until combined.
Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a steady stream; whisk until thickened and creamy.  Or, shake all ingredients in a small jar.

Serves 4

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Audrey's Refrigerator Pickles



I used raw apple cider vinegar in place of the white vinegars, which may have been a mistake, but they weren't bad (just not so pretty in the jar - the photo was taken before I added the vinegar mixture).  And, nothing beats the ease of refrigerator pickles! 


1 pound medium cucumbers
3 cloves garlic
1/2 t. black peppercorns
1/2 t. whole mustard seed
1 t. fresh dill weed
1 whole dried bay leaf
2/3 c. brown sugar
6-1/2 T. white distilled vinegar
6-1/2 T. white-wine vinegar
3/4 c. water

Cut cucumbers into spears or slices and place in a 1-quart mason jar.  Add the garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed, dill week, and bay leaf.
Stir together the brown sugar, vinegars, and water.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers, add lid and shake the jar well to combine.  Cover and chill.  For fullest flavor, wait at least 24 hours before serving.  (These pickles will keep up to 3 months in the refrigerator.)

Update:  9/5/11
Note:  These are a nice option if you don't want to mess with canning pickles, but keep in mind that they won't have the flavor and texture of traditional canned pickles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Squash & Pepper Saute

This is so simple, it hardly warrants a recipe!

Simply saute squash, cubanelle peppers and onions in olive oil until tender.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  That's it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Raspberry Sorbet with Fresh Whipped Cream


Oh my word!!!!  This is absolutely divine, not to mention BEAUTIFUL!  (I didn't even think to take a picture - I was too busy devouring it!)  And, not difficult at all!  I've been missing ice cream and Italian ice, one of my ways of celebrating summer, but more and more I can't bear to put any non-foods in my mouth.  This not only fills that longing, but totally tops anything Turkey Hill or Rita's could offer.  I used some red raspberries that I had left over in the freezer from last summer.  I had picked them at a farm not far from here last July on a gorgeous summer day.  It was such a scenic setting - it looked like it could have been a magazine spread right out of Country Living magazine.  This wonderful sorbet brought back those lovely memories.

Source:  Adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine, July 2010

1/4 c. water
1/4 c. plus 1 T. sugar
1 12-oz. bag frozen red raspberries or 3 c. fresh raspberries, frozen
1/2 c. heavy cream

Stir together water and 1/4 c. sugar until sugar dissolves.
Pulse raspberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped.  With machine running, pour in sugar-water; pulse until mixture is smooth.  Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, about 30 min.
Whip cream and remaining 1 T. sugar until soft peaks form.
Scoop sorbet into 4 glasses and top with whipped cream.

Serves 4.

Update:  I served this to my sister last night, and she thought it was sour - maybe I'm so sugar deprived that it was sweet enough for me.  Let me know what you think!
Also, I just tried making this with frozen strawberries that I had picked last year instead of the red raspberries.  The color isn't as striking, but it's still very good.  The red raspberries, though, are my fav!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Broccoli Salad


This is the classic Broccoli Salad that everyone loves.  I tried giving it a healthful tweak by using yogurt in place of the mayo.  I'm not ready to recommend that yet; there's got to be a better option, but I haven't figured it out -  I'll keep working at it!  But, I did substitute sunflower seeds for the bacon which worked nicely. 
My broccoli is continuing to produce sideshoots despite the initial rabbit onslaught, so I'm quite pleased.  :)

Source: Chambersburg BIC Church Cookbook

2 bunches broccoli, chopped (use stems also)
1/2 c. raisins*
1 med. onion, chopped*
12 slices bacon, fried and crumbled*
Dressing:
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sugar (scant)
2 T. vinegar

Mix dressing and allow to stand 2 hours.  Toss with broccoli, raisins, onion and bacon when ready to serve. 

*My variations:  try substituting craisins in place of raisins, red onion in place of onion, or sunflower seeds in place of the bacon.
Note:  The salad doesn't keep well once the dressing is added, so only add dressing to the amount of salad you plan to eat that day.
 
Update, 6/4/11
In keeping with my Local/"In Season"/Sustainable Living goals, I've been using dehydrated strawberries in place of the raisins/craisins.  
Tastes great and makes me happy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pecan-Crusted Salmon


Photo Credit:  Taste of Home

My first cucumber of the season was destined for this recipe!  I make this recipe a lot in the winter without the sauce, but it's even better served with the sauce in the summer when fresh cucumbers and dill are in season.

Source:  Taste of Home

2 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
2 T. mayonnaise
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
1/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1 T. butter, melted

Cucumber sauce:
1/2 c. chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 t. snipped fresh dill or 1/8 t. dill weed
1/8 t. garlic powder

Directions:
Place salmon skin side down in a greased 11x7x2" baking dish.  Spread 1 T. mayonnaise over each fillet.
In a small bowl, combine the pecans, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and butter; spoon over salmon.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cucumber sauce ingredients.  Serve with the salmon.
Yield:  2 servings

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Smashed Chickpea, Basil and Radish Dip



This is delicious!! 
I always grow radishes every spring, but never know what to do with them other than eating them fresh.  Growing them always brings back fond memories of my childhood; serving radishes and green onions at the supper table was always a rite of spring. 
I know they are a healthful veggie, so I planted a second batch this year, determined to come up with a good way to use them.  I tried roasting them last year, but wasn't impressed....  This morning I tried this recipe for the first - yum, yum, yum!!  My intent was to pack it for my lunch; it quickly became my breakfast instead!  (Nothing like going to work first thing with garlic on your breath!)  I was expecting this recipe to simply be another variation on hummus, but the texture of the smashed chickpeas and crunchy radishes along with the flavor of garlic and  fresh basil and made this divinely different and colorful!

Source:  adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine

2 cans (15 oz. each) unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed (reserve 1/3 c. liquid)
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
8 radishes, chopped
1 small garlic glove, minced
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

Lightly mash chickpeas, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl until creamy but still chunky.  (You may want to pulse briefly in a food processor instead of mashing by hand.)  Stir in basil, radishes, garlic, and lemon juice.  Stir in reserved chickpea liquid, 1 T. at a time until dip holds together.  Refrigerate for at least 30 min.  Serve with pita chips.
Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cucumber, Avocado and Dill Soup

I wouldn't normally include this recipe since it calls for an avocado and I'm trying to stick to 100% local as much as possible, but this is so yummy and healthful that I had to make an exception.  My friend Rose made it for me this evening; I couldn't get over how good it was!

Source: Rose C.

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chunked
1 medium cucumber, chunked
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt
4 T. fresh dill (or less)

Simply place all the above ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  (No need to peel the cucumber unless you purchased it at the grocery store and it has a waxy coating; if so be sure to peel it.)
Serve with sun-dried tomatoes.

Yum!!



Friday, June 25, 2010

Cilantro Pesto

I still have a bunch of cilantro in the refrigerator that I wanted to use up (it keeps great, by the way!), so I thought I'd try making some pesto with it this evening.  Blech!!!  I had several recipes, all different, so I tried tweaking it by using a second recipe.  Blech again!  Then, I started over with a new recipe that used half cilantro and half parsley.  Better, but I don't think I'm going to waste any more time (or olive oil!) trying to perfect the recipe, especially since I have a fabulous Parsley Pesto recipe that I discovered last fall.  To stay on the up and up, I'll wait to post it until I actually make a batch this year.  :)
But hey, if you have a Cilantro Pesto recipe that you like, please let me know!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Roast Chicken

Photo Credit: Melissa Binder

You may ask, "What's 'In Season' about chicken?"  Well, believe it or not, summer is the best time to eat fresh, pasture-raised chicken because the chickens are out and about the fields these days, eating grass and all kinds of tasty bugs.  We benefit from their diet!  (If you're interested in more details about the benefits of eating grass-fed meat, check out this link.)  I'm fortunate enough to have a farm just three miles away that sells this type of chicken.  I've arranged to purchase a fresh whole broiler chicken or two every three weeks as they "harvest" them, then plan to buy a few extra at the end of the season to stash in the freezer.  I have to admit, I did feel a bit like a chicken-killer - a freshly-dressed chicken straight from the farm looks and feels a bit too alive for me compared to buying them wrapped in plastic from a sterile grocery store that is nowhere in sight of their happy home .... (And I even grew up on a farm and have plenty of experience plucking chickens!)  I had never roasted a chicken before, but have been practicing and think I've gotten the method down now (except for the part about setting off the smoke alarm....).  I usually eat the legs/thighs right away, then freeze the breasts for another time; the breasts are so moist and tender prepared this way!  I've also been freezing the leftover carcasses for making a big pot of chicken stock at a later date.
Enjoy!! 

Source: adapted from  The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

one small chicken, 2-3/4 to 3-1/2 pounds
4 tender sprigs of fresh thyme, marjoram, rosemary or sage, about 1/2" long
2-3 t. sea salt (3/4 t. per pound of chicken)
1 t. freshly ground black pepper

One to three days prior to cooking (at least two days for 3+ pounds chickens):
Rinse chicken and pat dry thoroughly.  Snip skin and shove an herb sprig under each breast and thigh.  Season chicken liberally all over with salt and pepper.  Twist and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders.  Cover loosely and refrigerate. 

To roast chicken:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Preheat an oven-proof 10" skillet over medium heat.  Wipe chicken dry and set it breast side up in pan.  (It should sizzle).
Place in center of oven and watch for it to start browning within 20 min.  If it doesn't, raise the temperature progressively until it does.  The skin should blister, but if the chicken begins to char, or the fat is smoking, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees.  After about 30 min., turn bird over.  Roast for another 10-20 min., depending on size, then flip back over to re crisp the breast skin, another 5-10 min.  Total oven time will be 45 min. to an hour.
Remove chicken from oven.  Lift chicken from skillet and set on a plate; place in a warm spot to rest.  (The meat will become more tender and uniformly succulent as it cools.)
Cut chicken into pieces and serve!

Note:  Salting the bird at least 24 hours in advance is the secret - it improves flavor, keeps it moist, and makes it tender. 

Update - 8/20/10
Rosemary Roast Chicken
I roasted 4 chickens last night for my "August in Tuscany" dinner.  I followed the above directions, but instead of tucking an herb sprig under the skin, I simply put 1/4 c. chopped rosemary and 1 small onion, quartered inside the cavity of each chicken just before roasting - even easier and tastier!

Another update - 10/14/12
I typically eat the wings, legs and thighs, then remove the white breast meat from the carcass and chop and freeze it for later use in recipes calling for chopped, cooked chicken.  But more recently, I've been been shredding the breast meat, then pouring the clear drippings over it to keep it moist before freezing it.  The drippings give it great flavor, and I like the texture of the shredded chicken vs. chopped.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trouchia

Trouchia is simply a Swiss chard frittata flavored with Parmesan cheese, a classic French egg dish.  It was featured on the Martha Stewart show today.  It sounded so simple and wonderful, I knew I had to try it.  And it was just that! 

For one serving, simply divide the ingredients by 4.

Ingredients:
8 large eggs
8 c. thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves
1 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. plus 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. sea salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
freshly ground pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs.  Add chard, cheese, 1/4 c. olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper; season with black pepper, and stir to combine.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add egg mixture and reduce heat to low.  Cover and let cook until eggs are set, 10-12 min.  Holding the lid tightly to cover skillet, invert and turn trouchia onto lid.  Gently slide trouchia into pan and cook until bottom is golden, 2-3 min.

Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Serves 4.