Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Avocado Margherita

I love avocados, even if I seem to be alone in that love in my household. This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare them.

  • Avocado - halved and pitted (I also peel mine, but you don't have to)
  • 2TBS diced red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 2 TBS fresh basil, shredded (can substitute 1 tsp dried basil)
  • 2 thin slices of mozzarella
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Oil a small bread pan. Place the avocado halves into the pan and sprinkle with a tiny bit of olive oil. Place the garlic, tomato, onion, and basil into halves. You can pre-mix these first if you want. Cover the avocado halves with the mozzarella slices and bake in a 350F oven until cheese is melted, and golden brown if you like.

Serve them warm with salt and pepper.

They are hearty, tasty and filling!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Delicata with Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing

I grew delicata for the first time and wasn't exactly sure what to do with it. The recipes I found online were your standard squash recipes: butter and brown sugar. I wanted something more savory, so I came up with something on my own. Our exchange student had never had wild rice before, so I knew that was in and it just sort of evolved from there.
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 2 TBS chopped scallions
  • 1 TBS chopped medium-hot pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground rosemary
  • 3 TBS fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp fresh chopped sage
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 2 Delicata squash

Cut the delicata lengthwise and scoop the seeds out. The seeds are said to be good for roasting, and this is an heirloom squash, so you may want to try to save the seeds.

Cook the wild rice in 2 cups water until tender. Add craisins, onion, herbs, and honey. Mix well and stuff the delicata halves with the mixture.

I baked these at 400F in a claypot cooker for 40 minutes. You could probably get by with 350F in a regular baking dish.

This was the first time that I had eaten delicata. It was a tiny bit mealy, but sweet. The skin, although fairly hard when raw, is soft enough to cut with a fork after cooking and completely edible.

The recipe? It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again. And the stuffing could be a stand alone dish as well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Morel Cream Sauce

I had my best morel year ever. My son and I usually just saute the mushrooms and eat them as a treat, but I actually had enough to make some kind of a dish with the morels that I found. I wanted to keep it simple and mild, since this was the first time that I was actually cooking them into a dish and wanted to be sure they would hold their own.

So, although I was going to do a stroganoff or an Alfredo, I opted for a simple cream sauce. I basically went out to my garden and pulled what was available.

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 TBS garlic chives, chopped - whites and greens
  • 1-2 TBS chives, chopped
  • Small leek, chopped - whites and tender greens
  • A few rosemary leaves, chopped (or a pinch of ground rosemary)
  • 1/3 cup (or more) morel mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 TBS flour
  • 1/2-1 cup cream or half-n-half - enough to get consistency you want
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Saute the chives and leeks.
Add mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are fully cooked.
Sprinkle in the flour and mix well.
Pour in cream/half-n-half a little at a time and mix well. You want to dissolve all the flour into the liquids.
Add the salt and pepper and cook until thickened.

I used this over egg noodles. It was delicious!!

The sauce was mild enough that the three mushrooms I used easily held their own. If you want to add a little more spice, like thyme or convert it to a stroganoff by adding sour cream, or an Alfredo by adding some Parmesan; I would add more morels. Heck, if I had had them, I would have added more anyway :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tunisian Brik

I wanted to add some more appetizers to my repertoire, so when I found a recipe for Tunisian Brik in my appetizer cookbook ("Appetizers, Finger Food, Buffet & Parties", by Bridget Jones) I had to try making it. I did make a few small changes - of course. The following is what I came up with.
  • 3 TBS butter, melted
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 TBS finely chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 eggs, scrambled
  • phyllo dough
Start by mixing everything but the egg and phyllo dough in a frying pan and cook until meat is thoroughly cooked. Then it is on to phyllo dough!

Let me start by saying that phyllo dough is a mother to work with! It is very thin, tears easily, dries out quickly, and then crumbles. I kept a mister handy to keep the dough moist; but be careful! If you get the dough too moist, it sticks to everything!

I laid out two sheets. the recipe called for brushing with melted butter, but due to the delicacy of these sheets, I sprayed them with Pam instead.
The sheets were rather large, so I cut them into sixths.
Then I folded each of the pieces until they made 3"x3" squares.

They don't need to be perfectly even. As you can see, some parts have more layers than others.
Place a tablespoon of the meat filling in the center of each square and a teaspoon of egg over that.

Fold the phyllo corner to corner and seal with a little water. Place the triangles on a greased/oiled baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 425F for 8-10 minutes. They should be golden brown.

These were AWESOME! And once you get the hang of handling the phyllo dough, they are amazingly easy to make!