cheese


It’s time for another recipe from Curtis Stone  This week the IHCC theme is snacks or Something to eat on the Sofa..  I suppose anything can be a snack but when you look at a recipe and the beginning line is, “This is a great snack…”, it kinda solves a problem for you right off the bat.

P1080887

How about a sandwich made with slices of mozzarella and basil leaves between think slices of eggplant and then DEEP FRIED!!!  Curtis named these Deep-Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella with Basil.  Yeah, it is as good as it sounds.  And even better…

P1080889

…served with warm marinara sauce.  I think I am in heaven!  The melty cheese with the lovely flavor of basil.  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!! It was like having a mini pizza without the crust.  Well, if you like eggplant on your pizza which may now be a new thing in this house!

Make sure you slice your eggplant really thin.  Mine was a little thick so they began to limp-out on me after a few minutes.  They really would be better crispy.  But don’t skimp on the cheese.  You want all that melty flavory goodness.

I found this recipe in Curtis’ Cooking with Curtis  {page 49}and also on Take Home Chef.  

Check out more snacks on the I Heart Cooking Club 

 

This was our last week to cook ‘with’ Ellie Krieger for I Heart Cooking Clubs.  She has been our Chef since October.  It has been fun using her recipes.  This is not the first time I have cooked with Ellie.  There have been several groups who follow her and use her recipes year round.  (Like Eating with Ellie)

This week needed to be something special.  I still have several of her recipes marked in the cookbooks I have on the shelf.  This one has been marked for ages.

P1080837

Chicken Parmesan

Imagine chicken breasts ‘fried’ in the oven with a spicy crusty coating then covered with a marinara sauce and then topped with melty mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. HEAVEN!!

I used some of the marinara sauce I made last year from our tomatoes (YUM!) and it was so good.  Lots of chunks of fresh tomatoes and just the right amount of seasoning (with less salt).  I did increase the amount of cheese because – why not?

P1080838

I served it with a simple of side of buttered garlic noodles which mixed nicely with the ‘extra’ sauce on the plate.

Oh! Yeah!  Ellie was right, it did scream “you want me”.  And all that loveliness with only 390 calories (compared to the usual 630).

The recipe is on page 163 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix.

We will miss cooking with Ellie but you can see how the other members of I Heart Cooking Clubs said goodby.

Next month begins 6 months with Curtis Stone. Got my books and I’m ready to go.

There are several soups I order when we eat out.  A local cream of shrimp from The Cottage Restaurant.  The Queen’s Soup (wide rice and chicken)  from Atwood’s Bakery.  And Broccoli-Cheddar Soup from Panera. I don’t think they make any better soups anywhere than those three.  That being said, I have the shrimp soup recipe.  I’m working on the rice soup.  There are ton’s of copycats for the Panera soup.  But I needed to make something quick and didn’t have time to scan all of those recipes.  Lucky for me Chaya’s theme this week for Eating with Ellie was Cheesy Delights and some Broccoli-Cheddar soup was JUST what I wanted.

P1080649

I thought it would be hard to make but it is super simple and super quick.

Saute some onions.  Add garlic and nutmeg.  Add broccoli and chicken broth.  Cook.  Mix milk and flour.  Mix in cheddar cheese.  Add to the broccoli mix.  BINGO! Soup!

While many of the soups you find in restaurants are high in calories, this one is only 320/serving.  Win/Win!

The recipe is on page 95 of Ellie’s comfort food fix.  Also ONLINE.

There are more cheesy delights over at Eating with Ellie. Click on over.

Because this has been an out of town week I am going to cheat just a little and also submit this to I Heart Cooking Clubs for the theme – Bowled Over!

Do you have moments you savor? I do. A particular time with My Babies. A weekend away with The Man. Fishing with Dad. Yep! All important moments to keep in the memory for later.

Well, this month I found something else to savor. A new blog to read and cook from thanks to The Secret Recipe ClubSavory Moments.  This blog is run by Amy and covers

“My journey to learn more and more about food and cooking..”

And she has done a great job.  She has a wonderful collection of recipes that she is keeping for her family and her recipes focus on fresh, local, and healthy.  I was excited to find so many delicious recipes that were also easy to make:  Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole, Peanut butter cup bars, Creole chicken with cheddar and scallion grits,  and Tomato-basil soup are all saved for later.  So if I’m making those later, what did I make this time for SRC?

Lt’s start with breakfast.  Pancakes.  Pumpkin Pancakes.  With Maple syrup and toasted pecans  I love pancakes.  They are probably my favorite breakfast.  More than waffles.  More than eggs and bacon. m So when I saw these Pumpkin oatmeal pancakes {for two} I knew I had to try them.  It was the right thing to do.

P1080644

They reminded me of pumpkin bread.  Full of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar.  I made just a couple of changes.  I increased the pumpkin to 3/4 cup rather than 1/2 and I added some cooked 7-Grain cereal to the mix.  I figured a little more fiber wouldn’t hurt  Then instead of toasted walnuts, I used toasted pecans.  I do enjoy pecans in or on my pancakes.  Perfect.  Amy said these were for two and I ended up with 8 medium sized pancakes.Perfect!  I think these would make good waffles as well.

 Next on the list I found several muffin recipes.   I love making muffins.  No frosting. No papers to peel off.  Just out of the oven and eat. Sweet?  Not Sweet?  How about some delicious healthy muffins?

P1080640

Whole Wheat Muffins to be exact.  With a little brown sugar to bring out the sweetness of the bananas.  Amy suggested folding in some walnuts, cranberries, or chocolate chips but I opted for some big sweet blueberries instead.  Blueberries are so good for you so adding them to the whole wheat muffins makes them almost guilt free.  And delicious.

That’s what I made to have around for a snack.

For supper we had…

P1080606-001

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie.  This is not your usual hamburger pie.  Instead of adding some veggies and covering with mashed potatoes this pie is baked in a pie crust with all the ingredients of a bacon cheeseburger – thus the name!  There’s bacon, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and yellow mustard. And of course, lots of cheese.  Amy used  Yancey’s Fancy Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger cheese but I could not find that here in South Podunk so I followed her suggestion and used a sharp cheddar mixed with some crumbled bacon. YUM!!

I have the ingredients for her Cheddar Broccoli soup and the Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole waiting in the wings.  Looking forward to making them real soon.

Thanks for some great healthy recipes,  Amy.  I enjoyed my visit.  I’ll be back!

For more recipes from the Secret Recipe Club just follow the Frog.

How many times over the past 20 or so years have we made New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight?  Or at least eat healthier?  Only to have those initiatives fade after a couple of months.  Diet is a four letter word.  I don’t use it any more.  I also don’t make resolutions any more.  I use the word suggestion and it is easier to follow.  So is eating healthier when Ellie Kreiger is around.

Our ‘assignment’ this week was to find something from Ellie to give us a FRESH START.  So, owning 5 of Ellie’s books I went recipe hunting.  It is cold and windy outside.  It is supposed to rain and thunder.  I needed comfort food. What about Mac and Cheese?  Perfect!

P1080538

Not as ooey-gooey as my regular M&C but tasty and definitely healtheir.

It’s all about not using as much cheese as you normally would and subbing in something to replace the flavor.  Like Winter Squash. And low fat milk.  And ricotta cheese.

    1 pound elbow macaroni
    2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
    2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
    4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
    2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
    1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon powdered mustard
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.    Original Recipe The recipe is also from The Food You Crave. page 168
We liked the sweetness of the butternut mixed with the spice of the cayenne and dried mustard. The only change I would make would to make the chess sauce ‘saucier’ before adding to the pasta, or using less pasta.

I only made 1/2 of the recipe and cut the ricotta in half because I didn’t have enough.  (I think that is why it was just a tad dry.) It was plenty for two people to have more than two medium servings each.  Ellie said the whole recipe made eight 2-cup servings and I didn’t need that much. Each serving is only 390 calories.

Definitely something to make more of this winter when the wind is howling.  The rain is blowing.  The night is dark and dreary.

Check out what the other IHCC members made for their FRESH START.

 

Or the name you might be more familiar with – Eggplant Parmesan.

When we visit antique stores and flea markets the first thing I look for is cookbooks. I don’t NEED any more but they are so fun to look through and sometimes I find one that is ‘reasonable’ and has great pictures and recipes. I found one just like that in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Elodia Regante’s Italian Immigrant Cooking . Inside were 150 or so recipes handed down through 4 generations. And each one with a story, picture, and family hints. The whole book is full of stories with the introduction telling the story of Elodia’s grandparents arrival in the U.S., meeting in Little Italy, having children, losing children, and celebrating holidays with family and food. And that is what is wonderful about this book – family recipes: authentic, unchanged for 100+ years except to adapt to American ingredients. I have so many recipes marked and ready to share.

This one caught my eye immediately because I have found/tried so many recipes that really aren’t ‘real’. This one was simple and delicious. I even made her Marinara sauce {1 hour, maybe 2} to go with it.

P1080209

    3 medium eggplants, peeled if the skin is tough
    6 eggs, beaten
    4 cups Italian bread crumbs
    Olive Oil
    8 cups Marinara sauce {you COULD use your own recipe}
    2 cups grated Romano cheese
    1 1/2 lbs Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

P1080211

Slice the eggplants about 1/4″ thick. Place on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with more paper towels. Weight them down to drain as much liquid as possible. This may take up to an hour.
Dip slices in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs. Fry them until olden brown, drain, and cool. {You can also bake them.}
Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Layer with eggplant, then Mozzarella and Romano cheese. Cover with sauce. Repeat until your pan is just about full. You may get 4 – 5 layers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until the Mozzarella melts.
Allow dish to sit for about 10 minutes to let the ingredients settle before slicing and serving. (serves 6)

Marinara Sauce Salsa al Pomodoro

    1/8 cup minced garlic
    3 Tbl olive oil
    5 lbs ripe tomatoes {I used some I canned this summer}
    1 cup red wine
    1 Tbl oregano
    1 Tbl basil
    1 tsp thyme
    1 pinch rosemary
    Salt and Pepper to taste

Sautee the garlic in a large saucepan until soft but not browned. Remove the pan from the heat.
In another pot boil some water and add the tomatoes just long enough to soften and slip the skins. Smash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Add the tomatoes, their juices, wine and some of the boiled water to the pot with the garlic. {If you used canned tomatoes you don’t have to do this, just add the contents to the pot with the garlic.}
Add the spices and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. Two if you have the time. Stir periodically.
{Original recipe page 127}

This was delicious and one of the easiest recipes I have found for the Parmigiana. I made just 1/2 of the recipe and it was plenty for two people.

This month’s Lets Lunch comes to you from Germany. Octoberfest! An annual all out Beer Party held in Munich. It is the World’s largest VOLKFEST or “Public festival” where the beer is served in huge 1 litre steins carried 8 – 10 at a time by comely waitresses. By the way, that’s 8 – 10 in EACH HAND!!

What better way to celebrate Octoberfest if you cannot be there than to cook or bake with beer. Ok, I CAN think of better ways but this is the easiest!!

      Beer recipes all around!!

When I was little we lived in England. We spent four years there and moved 5 times. The Military is really good at that! While there we discovered lots of great food, despite what people said British food can be delicious, one of which became one of my Dad’s favorites – Welsh Rarebit. Or is it Rabbit? Rarebit? Rabbit? No one really knows, or cares for that matter, what it’s called. It is a wonderful easy dish for snack or lunch or dinner. This is the recipe my Mom got from one of her English friends and I still use it 55 years later.

P1080189

This is NOT just melted cheese, this is melted cheese mixed with beer, cayenne, paprika, and Worcestershire. MUCH better….

    1 lb sharp natural Cheddar {Use the really good fresh cheddar not the shrink wrapped from the grocers. Other wise it will not blend with the other ingredients.}
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp dry mustard {or 2 tsp prepared English mustard}
    Dash Cayenne pepper
    Dash Paprika
    1/2 cup ale or beer
    Buttered toast cut into triangles

Shred the cheese and set aside
Mist the Worcesertshire, mustard, cayenne, paprika and beer in a saucepan and place over low heat until beer is hot.
Add cheese and stir until melted. {Don’t let the mixture come to a boil}. Just keep it over low heat until all the cheese melts and blends with the rest of the ingredients. If it boils, the cheese solidifies and separates from the liquid.
Pour over toast triangles.

So simple. So quick. So good.

I was going to stop there but then I ran across a recipe for Pumpkin Beer Bread and knew I had to try it and include it here.

P1070809

It is made with Pumpkin Beer which just enhances the flavor of the pumpkin.
This recipe is enough for two loaves or one loaf and some muffins or one loaf and some mini loaves.

    1 15oz can of pumpkin
    1 2/3 cup sugar {I used 1 cup Splenda and 2/3 cup sugar}
    1 bottle pumpkin beer
    1 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup oil
    4 eggs
    4 cups flour {I used 1/2 AP and 1/2 Whole Wheat.}
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    3/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray two 9×5 loaf pans
In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, beer, oil, eggs and spices
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add those slowly to the liquid ingredients.
Pour into 2 loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove pans from oven. Let bread cool in pans completely before slicing. (Recipe is from Dessert before Dinner

What else is on the Lunch Menu?

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 216 other followers