cheese


Which translates into darn good fresh veggie quiche!! Lots of leeks {first time fresh from MY garden}, sweet peppers, celery, carrots, and very, very little custard.

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One of my favorite things to make is quiche. But I don’t make them as often as I would like because they usually call for TONS of eggs. Not this one – one whole egg and one yolk. {I used two whole eggs instead.} That’s it!! And some cream. I am wondering if I can use this little bit of custard in some other quiches!

While the veggies and custard were VERY tasty, the star of the show was the Gruyère sprinkled on top. The smoky flavor just took the quiche to a much higher level!! I will be very sad when this one is gone….oh, wait, I can make another. Maybe with some squash this summer from the garden, or eggplant, or Romas, or…shoot, the possibilities are endless.

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More quiche can be found on French Fridays with Dorie and the recipe is on page 158 in Dorie’s around my French table.

Once a month I get to cook/bake with an awesome bunch of bloggers who live all around the world. Each month a theme is announced and then we all get busy and find something that goes with the current theme. Sometimes it is easy – PIE! Sometimes it is hard – literary meal! This month I thought would be difficult but it turned out, once I got my thoughts straight, to be quite simple. Come up with a dish using just 3 ingredients!!!

Now how on earth can you make any…… nevermind. Lots of things are possible

How about MAC AND CHEESE?

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    2 cups elbow macaroni
    1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
    3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Cook elbows in salted water until al dente and drain. Return to saucepan.
Add in 1/2 and 1/2 and grated cheese.
Stir until cheese melts and the mixture is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

OR how about Peanut Butter Cookies?

    1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
    1 egg
    1/2 to 1 cup sugar (and you can sub out about 1/2 of that for Splenda if you like.)

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Peheat oven to 325.
Mix the three ingredients together.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake 8 – 10 minutes.
EAT!!

Okay I could go on but thought I better quit with two goodies. But that’s not all there is for lunch. Check with the other Let’s Lunchers by visiting Linda over at Free Range Cookies who is hosting our lunch this month.

    Mac and Cheese!

I can do Mac and cheese.
Even when it’s call dressy pasta ‘risotto’! Next time you want to make mac and cheese, instead of your regular ingredients. use chicken broth, mascarpone, and Parm. And lots of pepper!

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This was nice and creamy and peppery. It was perfect with B’s ribs on New Years Day. Along with the cabbage and black eyed peas.

The only thing I would change would be to use less Parm cheese. We like it, but not THAT much (1/2 cup).

The recipe is on page369 of Dorie’s around my French table

And the rest of the Dorista’s mac and cheese can be found HERE!!

    Whatever you do, don’t slam the oven door or the Soufflé will fall!!

Turns out, that isn’t necessarily true: According to The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen

    “The sturdy muffins emerged unharmed, as did the yellow cake. Even the notoriously fragile angel food cake and the soufflé survived the vigorous slamming. Why? A properly developed foam – whether powered by baking soda, baking powder, or beaten egg whites – is pretty resilient.

But that is probably why so many people are afraid to try a soufflé. I know I was the first time I made one for Tuesdays with Dorie I kept a careful eye on the little babies. They came out just fine. AS did my Spinach and Cheddar ones I did 4 years later. And since this is DORIE, again, I was confident they would turn out just fine. And they did!

Since I was the only one home and the Hubs is NOT a cheese lover I had these all to my self. 1/2 of the recipe resulted in 3 little soufflés which I ate for dinner.

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Of course once they come out of the oven all the air that was nice and warm cools and the soufflés deflate IMMEDIATELY! But that’s okay.

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The flavor doesn’t deflate at all!

Muenster cheese is very mild and the cumin seemed to over power it. I think I like mine with a stronger cheese. But still good.

Visit the other members of French Fridays with Dorie and check out their soufflés. I already have and they are quite tall and lovely.

The recipe is on page 152 of Dorie’s around my French table

Moxie’s blog that is! And glad I did cause there are plenty of great recipes there to try. Which is the problem. Which one(s) to make for this months Secret Receipe Club. And if you don’t know what that is you need to visit SRC and get the low down! Every month we get a SECRET blog to cook from and then we all reveal it on the same day. You get to know so many great bloggers and their recipes. Like Moxie!

Moxie lives in Boston with her pug, Ginger. She grew up in Long Island with four siblings. A nice large Italian family with lots of great recipes passed down through the family. So it is no wonder it was hard to pick. I managed to narrow it down to 20 recipes which I pinned for later. I finally narrowed THAT down to three quick ones I knew we would enjoy – often!!

    Like her….

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    Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

There is nothing better than good fresh beans with lovely onions cooked down in butter and brown sugar.

    1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 lb shallots, halved lengthwise and peeled
    1/2 tsp fresh thyme OR 1/4 tsp dried thyme
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook green beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until semi-tender; drain. Dump green beans into ice water to stop cooking so they don’t get mushy. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter, olive oil and brown sugar over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 5 minutes, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon. Stir frequently so the sugar does not burn. Reduce heat to medium-low, add thyme and vinegar, and sauté 10 minutes or until shallots are golden brown and tender.
Increase heat to medium-high and add the green beans back to the pan. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Serves 2 as a side dish.

The only thing I did different was to sautee the beans in a little butter and olive oil, instead of boiling them, and then add the cooked onions and cooked a little longer. So good!

One of my favorite soups is Tomato Basil so I am always looking for a good recipe. Moxie had one. And it so good. I am excited, also, because I got to use some Basil from the garden. She served hers with a grilled sandwich and that sounded like a perfect lunch.

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    2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup olive oil, divided
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 stalks celery, diced
    2 small carrots, diced
    1 large onion, diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    3 cups chicken broth
    2 bay leaves
    4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
    1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain cans of tomatoes, reserving juice for later. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil on foil-lined baking sheet along with diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through baking.
Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic, cooking until softened, about 15 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved juices, chicken broth, bay leaves and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Serves 4.


Instead of her basic grilled cheese, though, I made her

    Grilled Cheese with ‘Shrooms

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    Dash of thyme
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 ounces shredded mozzarella, divided
    2 slices of wheat bread
    Cooking spray

In a small skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms until they start to turn golden brown, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Set mushrooms aside in a bowl and wipe out your skillet with a paper towel.
Spray your skillet with cooking spray and turn back to medium-high heat. Place one slice of bread in pan and cover with one ounce mozzarella cheese, reserved mushrooms and then remaining one ounce mozzarella cheese. Top with the other slice of bread and spray more cooking spray right over the top.
Grill sandwich about 2-3 minutes per side, just until it starts to turn golden brown and the cheese melts, flipping once. Serves 1.
And I was right. It WAS the perfect lunch. So many more dishes I want to go back for, but until then, as Moxie would say:

    Tutti Mangia!

JUNE!! Seriously? SERIOUSLY!! Well at least there is a bright spot to the first of June.

    Secret Recipe Club Reveal

The first Monday of the Month is always the reveal day for Group A. And there are always some delicious recipes to be had. Like the ones I found on Lisa’s blog – Cook Lisa Cook. Lisa says her blog is where she shares her favorite recipes. Well, many of them just became my favorites, too. I managed to narrow my choices down to 15 which I stored on Pinterest but then narrowing it down to just a couple I could handle in a few days was harder. In the end I ended up with THREE….okay four!!

I was going to make Lisa’s Hearty Sausage Cheese Quiche but found out I didn’t have any sausage. So I switched over to the Bacon and Swiss Cheese Quiche to find I didn’t have any biscuits. SHEESH!! So..I put the two together and ended up with

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      Hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Cheese Mini Quiche.
    7 slices bacon, diced
    1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms
    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    10 eggs
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 cup sliced green onions

Perheat oven to 350. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet and add in the bell pepper, mushrooms and green onions. Sautee until tender. Spray 10 regular-sized muffin cups with cooking spray. Mix the bacon and veggie mixture with the eggs and cheese and fill the muffin cups until about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until filling is set and edges of biscuit cups are golden brown. Remove from the oven and into the top center of each Quiche Cup.

For dinner this week I made her

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Potato Crusted Chicken Tenders
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
1 TBS. Italian seasoning
1 TBS. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Peanut oil or cooking oil of your choice

Slice the chicken breasts into strips about pointer finger wide. In a shallow bowl mix together the potato flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt & pepper and set aside. Over a medium-high flame, heat a large heavy bottomed or cast iron skillet. When hot, add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. One-by-one press the chicken strips into the potato flake mixture to coat completely and then carefully add to hot pan. Do not crowd the pan. Turn the chicken when the potato flakes get golden brown and remove from pan once the chicken strips are cooked through. Add oil as needed throughout the cooking process.

I loved the texture the potato flakes gave the crust of the tenders. It was different from anyway I had ever made them. Lisa chose to use the potato flakes because Maisie, her ADORABLE daughter, has some allergy issues. So Lisa has to be very creative. Definitely a keeper.

With the tenders we had Lisa’s Bacon and Cheese Zucchini Fritters.

fritter

I have made zucchini fritters before but they have always been a little bland. Now I know what they were missing – Bacon AND Cheese!!!

      3 cups grated zucchini
      1 medium sweet onion, grated
      3 large eggs
      1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
      1/2 cup bacon bits
      localoffersIcon
      1/2 tsp sea salt
      1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
      peanut oil or oil of your choice

Add the grated zucchini and grated onion to a cheesecloth lined sieve and squeeze & press out as much of the water as possible. In a large bowl add the squeezed out zucchini & onion, eggs, grated cheese, bacon bits, salt & pepper. Stir to combine well.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a large cookie scoop portion out the zucchini mixture into the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan. Press and spread the zucchini mixture just a little. Cook until the bottom side is golden and then carefully flip to cook the other side. Once both sides are golden remove to a paper towel lined cooling rack. Serve hot. Definitely on my summer rotation when the zucchini start coming in.

If you want to join in with the Secret Recipe Club just click on the link and follow the instructions and make new friends. Easy Peasy and GREAT COOKING!!!

And visit the other members by clicking on the link below.

I found out after the fact that this post never made it up. To Lisa and the other members of SRC I sincerely apologize.



This week was my pick for Wednesdays with Donna Hay. Not only did I have one pick, I had two. My pick was the Arancini Balls on page 144 of Donna’s modern classics Book 1 but in order to make the balls you had to make the

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Lemon and Parmesan Risotto first.

I have discovered that making risotto is actually quite easy. Arborio rice and lots and lots of liquid. Stir constantly. You end up with a tasty treat. In this case, Donna added Parmesan cheese and lemon zest to the mix. It was delicious. Now, take the risotto, let it cool enough to handle it and then wrap it around a small cube of cheese. Donna called for Mozzarella but I forgot to get it so I used sharp cheddar instead. It was a good sub.

P1010313Nothing better than melted cheese encased in a ball of Parm-y creamy rice and fried.

Couple of tips: make the balls small so they fry quickly. If they fry too long you end up with hard rice on the outside; make sure you use a cheese that melts easily or you will have just soft cheese inside.

These are definitely on the repeat list when I have left over risotto. And I think the little mozzarella balls would work perfectly with this.

Check with Gaye

Kayte

and Chaya for their Arancini balls.

You can find the recipes on page 140 and 144 in her book. I left links above for the online recipes I found. Buy the book. Cook with us and join Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies. I grow them every year and if I am lucky I actually harvest enough to cook with. Last year was a bust, this year, hopefuly, will be better. I have about 5 different kinds planted. Fingers crossed. And one of the reasons I am hoping I get a bountiful harvest is so I can make this again….

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This was probably the easiest Moussaka I have ever made. Mostly because it did not include a Bechemel Sauce like others I have made. The meat sauce, which called for ground lamb {and I used beef because one doesn’t find ground lamb here}, was a tasty onion-y, cinnamon-y, garlic-y, tomato-y combination. I made about 1/3 of the recipe which fit nicely into a 7′ by 7′ casserole. I used one eggplant, 1/2 of the other ingredients, except the cheese – I used all of the Parm and Mozzerella Donna called for. It made a perfect 3 servings.

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You can find Donna’s recipe on page 110of modern classics: Book 1.

Check out the Moussaka from

Translated it means cheese dumplings. Dumplings! Cheese! How can you possibly go wrong with that? It is very much like our Mac/Cheese but with a VERY different pasta. In Leichtenstein it is one of really very few actual Leichtensteiner dishes. {I found only two initially and then ran across several more thanks to Celt Net}

liechtenstein-flag

Liechtenstein is a small principality bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. It is the smallest German speaking country in the world. For most of its 2000 year history it has been under the control of one country or another and its cuisine reflects that. But according to some of the web sites I visited THIS recipe is considered the national dish.

These dumplings can be made by simply dropping little pieces of batter into the boiling water or by using a special cutter They are very similar to German spaetzle.

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    300g plain flour
    1 1/2 tsp sea salt
    3 eggs
    1 tbsp water
    1 large onion, chopped
    150g mixed grated cheese {I used Gruyere and cheddar}

Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix them into a dough. Leave for 10-20 minutes. Then pass the dough through a colander or dough cutter into boiling, salted water. Leave the small pieces of dough in the boiling water for a couple of minutes, then place them in a bowl, add grated cheese, and mix together. Fry onion rings in butter until they are golden, then place these on top of the dish and serve.

I made 1/3 of the recipe and that was plenty for two healthy servings.

This was very easy to prepare and very tasty. And since these little free form noodles are so easy to make it will be served often.

It isn’t often we go completely meatless at a meal. But when we do we want something filling and TASTY!! This veggie pie fit the bill perfectly.

A simple collection of veggies went from this…

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…to this…

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….in just an hour.

A simple pie crust filled with potatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow squash (didn’t have zucchini), mushrooms, red bell pepper and asparagus. ANd if I had had some eggplant, it would have gone in, too. But not just veggies. There is also ricotta, cheddar, and Parmesan cheese thrown in as well.

P1010029So good!!!

You can find the recipe on page 164 of Donna’s Modern Classics Book 1. And check with Gaye and Kayte and Chaya to see what they did with this pie.

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