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April 21, 2014

Collard Green & Chorizo Frittata ♥ Treasured Cookware - Recipe Redux Challenge April 2014

When you reach my age, my cooking utensils will inevitably become someone else's treasures. I moved into my first place when I was 21 and I started my single life with all new everything. My mom was on her own and took all her cooking implements with her and my Dad, well he was not much of a cook.

There are a few kitchen tools that I bought 35 years ago that I still use every day. My stainless steel pots and pans, my box grater and one (and my only) cast iron fry pan. When you are single and only cook for one or two, the 8" is the perfect size for eggs or an omelet.

What I did discover as I married a man who loved eggs for dinner, a great way to make a really good frittata. That cast iron pan was perfect. Not only did it fit into a toaster oven, it was the perfect size for two servings.

This was probably in the top 3 frittata recipes I have prepared so far, although there is no bad frittata.
I am all about eggs with meat and vegetables with cheese. They are easy, inexpensive, an excellent user of leftovers and a one pot wonder.
What's not to love?

Yes, I added an ingredient and subbed out another. Why? Because I could and it added no extra non-no's and a whole bunch of okays. I had a small container of really good fresh salsa and instead of hash browns I used cut spaghetti for the crust.

So while The Nudge was away, and I needed a quick healthy meal for one, I immediately thought of a frittata.

Not your usual frittata, which can contain a hash brown base, I like to use leftover macaroni and Mac 'n Cheese would be my first pick but this time I had cut spaghetti's.

I took one bite and almost ate the whole frittata, I had to stop myself, I kept cutting a slice and then another and then I realized half was gone, it was that good. The chorizo gives it a spicy feel, not hot spicy, just a full flavored spice and a great counterpart to the creamy eggs and the fresh greens. I will post the recipe as was written but will add the subs at the end. Either way, spaghetti or hash browns, this is one good meal.

While the original recipe calls for 7 whole eggs, I used 3 yolks and 1 cup of egg whites. I mixed in the chopped greens and put the pan on the fire.

Once the pan was hot I added the scallions, the salsa and a splash of water. Press the pasta into the pan and when the liquid has all evaporated, add the chorizo and the Parmesan, cover and lower the heat to melt the cheese. The melted cheese will act as a binder for the crust.

Pour over the egg and greens mixture and place in the oven to set the eggs.
Once the eggs are set, turn the oven to broil and brown the top.
Can be eaten hot or at room temp.
If you are not a collard fan, or just don't have the time to cook them down, the canned version will work, just make sure to squeeze all the water out. Swiss chard was used in the original recipe but spinach makes a great substitute.

Chard & Chorizo Frittata
Inspiration from with ingredients from my fridge
Makes: 4 servings

EatingWell: Frittatas are the ultimate no-fuss dinner, and that's why we love them for busy weeknights. In this one, we saute earthy chard, chorizo and hash browns in the pan before adding the eggs. The broiler finishes cooking the eggs and turns the top of the frittata a lovely golden brown.

* 7 large eggs
* 3 scallions (1/2 bunch), sliced
* 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cups chopped chard (1 small bunch)
* 1/2 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo or pepperoni (about 2 ounces)
* 3 cups frozen shredded hash browns

1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
2. Whisk eggs, scallions, cheese, pepper and salt in a large bowl.
3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet (or broiler-safe nonstick skillet) over medium-high heat. Add chard and chorizo (or pepperoni) and cook, stirring frequently, until the chard is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in hash browns. Pat the mixture into an even layer in the pan.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and evenly spread to the edges. Cook over medium-high heat, lifting around the edges with a heatproof spatula to allow uncooked egg to flow under, until set around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the skillet under the broiler until the top is cooked and the eggs are slightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
5. To release the frittata from the pan, run the spatula around the edges, then underneath, until you can slide or lift it out onto a cutting board or serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Per serving: 384 calories; 24g fat (8g sat, 12g mono); 345mg cholesterol; 22g carbohydrate; 0g added sugars; 20g protein; 3g fiber; 683mg sodium; 356 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (57% dv), Vitamin C (22% dv), Calcium (20% dv), Iron (17% dv).

My Diabetic Recommendations: Pasta too many carbs?...make a crust using quinoa & Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes to set, then continue with the recipe.

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April 17, 2014

Orzo & Grape Salad with Feta & Mint ♥ Week Three, Day Two - EatingWell Meal Plan

I could not wait to make this salad. I had visions of a deconstructed Waldorf, you know, with the grapes and cheese and olives and of course, almonds. Only The Nudge told me, quite authoritatively, that a Waldorf has apples and walnuts and no orzo.

Poo-poo on him. OK, let's just call it a reconstructed Waldorf-style Pasta Salad. He certainly did not go poo-poo after tasting this.

I am enamored with the Mediterranean Orzo side the Macaroni Grill serves with most of their main dishes. It gave me a reason to love orzo as a side and not just in soups. Orzo works so well in salads and supplies the chew that can support a crunch, a salty and a sweet mixture of ingredients and, allows them to shine. Some pasta salads are all pasta and can be starchy, sticky and require a ton of dressing to keep it loose. This is light and refreshing and worked well with grilled chicken breasts.

The next day, I chopped the chicken and made a chicken & orzo salad wrap, yummy! I will be making this many times this summer. It would travel well and be a nice surprise treat for picnickers.

Orzo, Grape and Blue Cheese Salad
Makes: 6 servings

* 3/4 cup orzo
* 2 tablespoons EVOO
* 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon honey
* Salt & pepper to taste
* 2 cups quartered green or red grape
* 1 ounce buttermilk blue cheese or, feta cheese
* 2 tablespoons almonds or, walnuts
* 2 tablespoons chopped red onion or shallot
* 2 tablespoons minced Kalamata olives

1. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
2. Whisk oil, mayo, lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper. Add the grapes, onion, almonds to the orzo. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.

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April 15, 2014

Artichoke & Meatball Easter and Passover Appetizers

This year my contribution to our Easter table is a roasted carrot & goat cheese tart & this salmon meatball appetizer dish, but for those looking for a few artichoke dishes, these two hits were from Easter 2011.

Artichoke Fritters and Hearts of Gold with three dipping sauces. These were a hit, and nothing was left over.
Since I usually do stuffed mushrooms, these were a nice change.

Artichoke Fritters
adapted from
makes about 40 small fritters

* 2 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed well
* 1/2 medium sized onion, skin removed and trimmed
* 3 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 1/3 cup garbanzo/fava flour
* 1 large egg
* kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
* 3 teaspoons salted capers, rinsed and minced
* vegetable oil for frying

1. Add all the ingredients, except the capers, to a food processor and puree until you have a smooth paste. It should still be loose not stiff. Stir in the minced capers. Ask a question about this step.
2. I like to use a wok to fry them but a deep pot would work well here too. Put enough oil into the pot so the fritters will float without touching the bottom of the pan. Just make sure the pot is no more than 1/3 full of oil. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Ask a question about this step.
3. Heat the oil to 350 degree or if you do not have a fry thermometer drop a little dough in and if it pops right back up and bubbles furiously you are good to go. Ask a question about this step.
4. Using a #60 scoop or a tablespoon slip the batter gently into the oil. Do not over crowd and do not let them brown to quickly. Reduce the heat if necessary. Ask a question about this step.
5. When they have finished cooking remove them to a paper towel lined plate or oven proof dish to drain. Slide them into the oven to keep warm while finishing. Repeat the above step until all the batter is gone. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Garlic Mayonnaise
* 1 egg yolk
* 1/2 lemon, juiced
* salt & pepper
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 tsp Dijon mustard
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a food processor, place first 5 ingredients and process until smooth. With machine running slowly drip the oil into the processor until thick and creamy.
Taste for seasonings.

Savory Grapefruit Sabayon
* 1/4 cup chicken stock
* 1 1/2 tablespoon grapefruit flavored vodka (or vermouth)
* 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
* 2 teaspoons grapefruit zest
* 1 teaspoon honey
* 2 egg yolks
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small saucepan, simmer the stock and vodka until reduced by half. Let cool. Ask a question about this step.
2. Combine grapefruit juice, zest and honey in a small bowl. Add to cooled stock mixture. Ask a question about this step.
3. Make a double boiler by bringing some water to boil in a saucepan. Place egg yolks in a small bowl, preferably metal, and place over saucepan. Slowly begin to add the stock mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. You may need to take the bowl on and off the hot water so as not to overcook the eggs. The sabayon will start off frothy and then become thick and creamy. Ask a question about this step.
4. Cook until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

I wanted to make a whole artichoke heart fried with a dipping sauce. This next recipe was perfect.

Artichoke Hearts of Gold
* 2 globe artichokes, preferable with some stalk
* 1/2 lemon
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1/2 cup Panko and dry bread crumbs, mixed together

1. Prepare the artichokes: Peel all the leaves off the choke. Peel the stalk and with a paring knife neatly trim the bottom where you removed the leaves. Ask a question about this step.
2. Cut the trimmed artichokes in half vertically and with a spoon remove the hairy choke. Be careful when cutting in half to evenly cut the stem, too. Ask a question about this step.
3. Rub immediately with lemon juice so the artichoke doesn't get brown (which happens very quickly!). Steam the hearts until tender. Time will vary depending on the size of the hearts (about 15 minutes). Ask a question about this step.
4. Dip each artichoke half into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Ask a question about this step.
5. Fry in the olive oil over medium heat until golden.
6. Set on paper towels to absorb the oil. Ask a question about this step.

Creamy Cumin-Lime Dipping Sauce:
* 1/2 cup creme fraiche
* 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
* finely grated zest of a lime
* juice of a lime
* salt

1. Mix all the ingredients together, adding salt to taste. Ask a question about this step.
2. Serve the golden hearts warm with the creamy dipping sauce.

Hope your Easter and Passover was wonderful this year!!

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