Category Archives: 19. Veggies

Massouka Margot’s Way

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Massouka Margot’s Way

moussaka,tomato, bread plated

Serves 4-6

 

At the market today eggplant and shoulder lamb chops were on sale—so of course this led me to salivating for a good Massouka. In my estimation, this is not an absolutely gorgeous dish to view, even when plated, and I do like aesthetically pleasing dishes to serve. However, it’s so good to eat, particularly when you make it the time consuming way, that I have forgiven its looks. I prefer it without sliced potatoes, however, it’s good with as well. I add instead of potatoes a yellow, orange or red sliced pepper and 2 zucchini sliced. I also used my processor for most of the chopping, etc. They come in so handy! I serve it sided with a crusty loaf of French bread and a nice light salad. And for desert, it’s fun to have some fresh cut up fruit along with Greek yogurt.  So, when you have a minute to spare, do give it a try. Also remember, you don’t have to follow the amounts of the ingredients exactly—it’s a very versatile dish and you can alter and make it just to your very own taste and liking.

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Ingredients:

  1. 1 large eggplant-slightly peeled—leave strips of peel about 1 inch wide in-between peeled sections and slice in 1/2 inch slices.
  2. 1/4 lb. potatoes, peeled, boiled whole till just barely done, drained, cooled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  3. 1 yellow, orange or red pepper-seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  4. 2 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  5. 2 egg whites slightly beaten with a dash of water and placed on a plate for primary eggplant dipping –SAVE THE YOLKS FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE
  6. 1 C. (or more if needed) plain bread crumbs placed on one plate for secondary eggplant dipping plus save some extra bread crumbs to place on the bottom of your final baking dish.
  1. Some olive oil to moisten your baking dish and also to moisten the aluminum foil on the cookie pan to bake your eggplant
  2. 1C to 1 ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese or grated/crumbled sheep or goat milk cheese

 

Ingredients for the meat filling: 

  1. 1 lb. shoulder lamb chops if you can’t find ground lamb in the store. Remove meat from chop bone and grind in processor. You can use ground beef but honestly, I love the lamb flavor in this dish.
  2. 1/2 to 3/4 large yellow onion—diced
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. 1 handful of sliced mushrooms
  5. 1/4 C. chopped parsley
  6. 1/4 C. red wine
  7. 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
  8. 1/8 Tsp. ground allspice
  9. 1 C. (divided in two portions) fresh plum tomatoes, crushed in the processor
  10. 1/2 Tsp. sugar
  11. 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  12. S&P to taste

 

Ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce:

  1. 1/4 C. unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 C. flour
  3. 1 C. whole milk, warmed
  4. 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  5. Dash of ground allspice

 

 

 

Directions:

 

For the Meat Filling

  1. In a large and deep pot (but you can use a sauté pan), brown the lamb until the pink color disappears. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or till fragrant. Add the wine and simmer until it reduces a bit. Add the spices, parsley, tomato paste, 1/2 C. crushed tomatoes and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer on low uncovered for about 15 minutes so that the excess, if any, liquid disappears. It should look like a chunky tomato sauce. Season to taste with S&P. Now taste some more and see if you want to add some more cinnamon and allspice.

 

For the Eggplants

  1. Liberally salt each eggplant slice on each side and place them in a colander with a plate on top. Then place a heavy can on top of the plate. Let the eggplant slices sit and weep for at least 15 minutes but better if you can wait an hour.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place aluminum foil on a large cookie sheet and oil it.
  4. When the eggplant slices are ready, wash each slice and pat dry it with a paper towel. Then dip each side of each slice first in the egg whites and then in the bread crumbs and place on the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake the eggplants for 30 minutes but at 15 minutes, turn the egg plants over to the undone side.
  6. When the eggplants are done, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

 

For the Bechamel Sauce: (If you wish a liberal serving of this sauce, double the recipe)

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and using a whisk, add the flour to the melted butter whisking continually to make a smooth past. Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do NOT allow it to brown because otherwise it won’t be béchamel sauce; it’ll be brown sauce.
  2. Add the warmed milk to the mixture in a steady stream, whisking continually. Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit. WATCH CAREFULLY.
  3. Take the skillet off the heat and slowly whisk in the egg yolks and a pinch of nutmeg. Return to low heat and keep whisking until the sauce thickens.

 

Assembling the Moussaka:

  1. In a well oiled large round (10” or 12”) Pyrex dish, sprinkle the bottom with breadcrumbs. You are going to make at least 2 layers but it can be even three—so divide your ingredients accordingly.
  2. Leaving about 1/4″ space around the edges, place a layer of all of the potatoes if you are using them and if not, then start with placing a layer of sliced eggplant, then some of the remainder of the 1/2 C. of crushed tomatoes, and then the zucchini and pepper, then some of the meat sauce, then some cheese and so on except be sure to save some cheese for placing on top of the béchamel sauce.
  3. Then pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow the sauce to fill the sides and corners of the dish. Smooth the sauce on top with a spatula and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15-20 minu8tes before slicing and serving.
  5. This dish can be refrigerated and made ahead up to when you place the béchamel sauce. If you do that, let the dish come up to room temp and make the béchamel sauce right before baking.

 

 

 

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Ten Wonderful Recipe Ideas for ALLLLL of that Zucchini in Your Yard

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10 ideas for eating all that zucchini in your garden

1 Pasta: Grab yourself one of those veggie spiral cutting gizmos, which let you render produce into pasta-like ribbons. Zucchini does particularly well. Toss the zucchini spirals in a hot skillet with a splash of oil for a minute or two, then dress with sauce and cheese as you would pasta. Or boil up real pasta, then add the zucchini for the last minute. Drain and dress.

2 Dip: Slice a zucchini in half and toss it on a medium hot grill. Cook until lightly browned and tender, then pop it into a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice, then process until very smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables and chips, or as a sandwich spread.

3 Salsa: Dice and toss together 1 medium zucchini, 1 large tomatillo and 1/2 red or orange bell pepper. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos and a splash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Fries: Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick sticks, then toss them first in a beaten egg, then in seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake until crisp outside and just tender inside. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.

5 Boats: Slice a zucchini in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of each half. Mix together loose sausage meat, grated cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out zucchini halves, then bake or grill (over low heat) until cooked through.

6 Frittata: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Whisk 6 or so eggs, then pour them into an oiled pan and cook over medium-high until the bottom is just set. Scatter the zucchini slices evenly over the top of the egg, then crumble feta over it. Broil until lightly browned and the center is set.

7 Grain salad: Toss finely diced raw zucchini with cooked and cooled farro or barley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and crumbled soft goat cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

8 Tart: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry (thawed according to package directions). Run a paring knife along the outside of the pastry about 1 inch from the edge and cutting only halfway down. Arrange the zucchini slices in the center, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 400 F until puffed and lightly browned.

9 Chips: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, mist with cooking spray, then season with herbs, spices, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Bake at 375 F until the chips are nicely browned.

10 Casserole: Cut a whole mess of zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange several layers of them in an oiled casserole dish. Top them with a bit of marinara and some ricotta cheese. Repeat this layering until you fill the casserole dish about three-quarters of the way. Bake at 350 F until tender, lightly browned and bubbling at the edges.

Collards (or other dark greens such as kale or chard) With Onion, Garlic and Tomatoes

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Now honestly, isn’t this a picture for an artist to paint?

Collards (or other dark greens such as kale or chard) With Onion, Garlic and Tomatoes

Serves 1-2 (I can easily eat it all in one sitting)

Our grocery stores in town have almost gotten to the point that when I look at their produce, I think that I’m back in California—the salad bowl of the world. Everything looks so delicious and I do love my veggies. So, when I see those huge big collard leaves in a large bunch for really such an economical price, I cannot resist. It used to be that the rule was boil these dark leaved things like mad—long and hard. Well, of course very few people liked them. There was no taste left. So, here’s the way I cook them: easy and fast which results in a very healthy and delicately tasting treat. This is a colorful vegetable presentation that can compliment most any meal.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Large bunch of Collards(or kale or chard) well cleaned and rough chopped even the stems except maybe for the very,very tough ends of the stems
  2. 1 onion-rough chopped
  3. 1-2 garlic cloves-rough chopped
  4. 1-2 fresh tomatoes—I’ve been using Roma’s lately- quartered
  5. 1/4 C. olive oil
  6. S&P to taste
  7. Optional: fresh sliced mushrooms that have been already sautéed in either olive oil or butter and kept warm to place on top of your veggies
  8. Some freshly shaved or grated Parmesan

 

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil.
  2. When the oil is heated, place the onion and garlic cloves in the oil for just a minute or two and then add the greens. Stir them well and place a cover on the skillet.
  3. Cook the mixture about 5 minutes—stirring every now and then. It should be just a bit under done but if not cook a bit longer —-but not too long. Keep tasting and S&P now to your taste.
  4. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook about 1-2 minutes longer. You want them to just be warm.
  5. To serve, either top with your prepared mushrooms and Parmesan or with just the Parmesan.
  6. Enjoy———

 

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Be sure to take a minute to visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com for over 200 more simple and delicious recipes. You also can call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting for small B&B kinds of food gatherings. Margot’s phone number is: 208-721-3551. Friend Margot on Facebook and also find her on Linkedin,Twitter,Pinterest and other social sites.

 

Zucchini Pasta Topped with Roasted Tomatoes, Basil Pesto and Walnuts

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zucchini pasta and roasted tomatoes

Zucchini Pasta Topped with Roasted Tomatoes, Basil Pesto and Walnuts

Serves 4

 Here’s a very delicious and economical healthy dish that is perfect for the vegetarian, the person who wants no carbs and for the person who wants to loose some weight. It’s also a pretty one to serve.  It’s a dish that does entail a bit of effort and time but the end result is well worth it and you can cut out some steps if you so desire.  As well, if you wish to serve it for guests as a more “complete” meal, you can serve it topped with lightly sautéed shrimp–and I like them sprinkled with some crushed red pepper flakes- and a side of crusty French bread.  Bon Appetite!!

roasted tomatoes

Ingredients for the Roasted Tomato Topping:

  1. 1 ¼ lb. Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
  2. 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  3. 3 Tblsp. olive oil
  4. S & P
  5. 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  6. 5 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line a cookie sheet or other baking sheet with aluminum foil
  3. In a medium size bowl lightly mix the tomatoes with the garlic cloves, olive oil and S&P until they are evenly coated.
  4. Place the seasoned tomato slices in one layer on your pan and bake on middle rack in the oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes—till the tomatoes are shriveled and softened.
  5. Also bake the zucchini inner cut parts for the last 15 minutes (see step #2 below in the instructions for the Zucchini Pasta).
  6. Remove the tomatoes from oven and wrap the aluminum foil around them and place back in oven to keep warm.  Same for the zucchini. Hint: Before serving the tomatoes, remove the herb sprigs.

zucchini pastazucchini ready to be made into pasta (2)zucchini ready to be roasted

Ingredients for the Zucchini Pasta:

  1. 2 ½ lbs. of zucchini, julienned into long strips with your vegetable peeler
  2. 1/2 C. Pesto –(see recipe below—or you can use a purchased product)

 Instructions for the Zucchini Pasta:

  1. With a vegetable peeler, peel the unskinned zucchini into long strips down to the soft and seedy inner part. Save these parts and cut them into halves. You will be roasting these for a side garnish to your dish. (see instruction step # 5 above).  Place the zucchini “pasta” peels in a large pot along with the pesto. Mix well to coat all of the peels and cook and stir lightly over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Do this step right before serving.
  2. Place the cut seedy zucchini parts on a separate baking dish lined with aluminum foil.  Brush each slice with some of your pesto and bake in the oven for the last 15 minutes of your tomato slice baking.  When somewhat browned and softened, you can wrap this in the aluminum foil to keep warm in the oven. (see instruction step #5 above)

Ingredients for the Basil Pesto (This makes 1/2 C. of pesto):

  1. 1 C. of washed torn off basil leaves
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1 Tblsp. lightly toasted chopped walnuts or whole pine nuts
  4. 1/4 C. olive oil
  5. S&P

Instructions for the Pesto:

  1. Place ingredients basil leaves, clove, nuts and half of the olive oil in a processor.  Process and then add the rest of the olive oil.  Finish processing.
  2. If you want extra pesto, double (or more) this recipe.  It’ll store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and will also freeze well (particularly if you top it with additional olive oil) for several months.

Ingredients for the topping of the served dish:

  1. 1 Tblsp. lightly toasted chopped walnuts or whole pine nuts. So when you toast the nuts for your pesto toast an extra Tblsp. for your topping.
  2. Shaved Parmesan

zucchini pasta and roasted tomatoes

Serving the dish:

  1. Place the zucchini pasta in the middle of your dish. Top with the tomatoes and garlic and the toasted nuts and Parmesan.  Place the roasted inner zucchini halves around the “pasta” (pictured above) or if you wish you can serve the “pasta” surrounded by shrimp.  (pictured below)

zucchini pasta with shrimp

Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash

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Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash

mini-pumpkin, egg and squash hashegg in mini pumpkin w sweet potato hash

Serves 4

Left picture with squash; right one with sweet potato

This is probably not a dish that you will make more than once or twice a year, but for around Halloween or Thanksgiving, it’s a colorful and yummy dish with which to surprise your family and overnight guests for a breakfast or brunch. It’s a pretty and unique dish to serve and I think just plain memorably fun.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 mini orange pumpkins (4 inches in diameter) which you’ve cut about 1/3rd of the way down, seeded and spoon-scraped clean the insides so that an egg will fit in nicely. The pumpkin inner flesh is delicious to eat with the egg. SAVE THE TOPS FOR DÉCOR and if they have a stem, all the better.
  2. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil for the frying pan
  3. 1 small package cut up fresh squash and cut up even smaller by you into 1/2 inch diced pieces or 1 sweet potato peeled and coarsely shredded or grated.
  4. 1/2 C. onion or shallot, minced
  5. 1 red pepper cut longwise into slender strips
  6. 1/2 C. uncooked bacon, diced or Black Forest ham diced
  7. 1/2 C. olive oil
  8. 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
  9. 1-2 Tsp. red chili flakes
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 2 Tblsp. fresh sage or rosemary, minced
  12. S&P
  13. 4 large eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 the day of serving.
  2. In a small bowl whip together the olive oil, vinegar, chili flakes, garlic cloves and sage or rosemary. Reserve about 2 Tblsp. to either brush on the bottom of the pumpkins before placing in an egg or to drizzle on top of your egg when the egg is cooked.
  3. In a medium sized frying pan, heat up the 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil and sauté the onion or shallot along with the red pepper strips until both are softened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the vinaigrette to the onion/red peppers and quickly add the sweet potato or squash; gently stir everything so well mixed.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, uncovered until softened and tasting pretty good (about 10 minutes).  At this point you can put a lid over the skillet to keep warm until you serve your egg/pumpkin or you can refrigerate it and reheat it with the pumpkins and eggs when you cook them. If you refrigerate the hash, let it come to room temp before putting in the oven with the pumpkins. Baking the hash in the oven will crispen the hash and you may prefer it like that.
  5. The day of serving, for the pumpkins, line a baking sheet with foil and place them on the foil lined baking sheet, cut side down.
  6. Bake the pumpkins on the sheet for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Turn the pumpkins right side up on your baking sheet and if you wish, brush the inside of the pumpkins with a little of the leftover vinaigrette and season with S&P or save the vinaigrette for top of the egg drizzle when the egg is cooked. Crack one egg into the center of each pumpkin and if you wish to have a crisper hash or need to reheat your room temp hash, single layer that around your pumpkins.
  8. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the eggs are almost set—around 15 minutes.  Start keeping a close eye on them about 10 minutes on and remember that when the pumpkin is out of the oven, the eggs will cook a bit more inside the hot pumpkins.
  9. To serve: Spoon the hash onto plates and nestle the pumpkins in the center. Lean one pumpkin top on the side of each pumpkin.  Drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette on top of the egg if you desire.

Whole Chicken Fryer Casserole (for the busy cook)

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chicken fryer casseroleplated chicken fryer casserole

Whole Chicken Fryer Casserole

4 servings

 Here’s another easy, financially economical and healthy chicken veggie dish for a busy mom or dad to make. It’s also easy for a single person who comes home to weary to really cook and also wants some good left over’s for the rest of the week.  The 3.5 lb. fryer coast under $7 at Atkinsons’ and the veggies I used didn’t cost that much and actually were what I already had in the frig.  I used a large round deep Pyrex casserole dish and it baked at 375F in an hour and a half.  It was delicious and will easily feed 4.  It’s a breeze to assemble and I warrant that the kids will like it as well.

Ingredients:

  1. One 3.5 whole fryer chicken
  2. One 8-oz pre-packaged fresh  brown or white sliced mushrooms
  3. 1 Zucchini cut in half and then cut the halves in half so you have 4 long pieces
  4. 2 peeled carrots cut in huge chunks
  5. 2 celery ribs cut in huge chunks
  6. 4 Green onions—cut in chunks
  7. Fresh basil—place some in the chicken cavity and more within the veggies and if you wish a bay leaf to put in the veggies.
  8. 4-8 cloves of garlic—unpeeled or peeled—left whole—put one or two in the chicken’s cavity
  9. 1 large tomato cut in chunks
  10. Any other veggie you have and think might go well including parsley, etc.
  11. S&P to taste
  12. Up to 3/4 C. olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Smear or spray some olive oil all over the inside of your dish.
  3. Place the veggies in the dish and mix well with some S&P to taste and some olive oil as well.
  4. Place whole rinsed and pat dried chicken which has some basil and garlic cloves in the cavity on top of the veggies and pour more olive oil on it.  Then S&P it to your taste.
  5. Place in oven and bake for about 1.5 hours.

I served this with rice and if you wish, a green salad on the side.  Desert? I had some of my homemade no-churn Mango Ice Cream only I had put fresh blue berries in it which turned out very yummy.  I  now am almost never without some sort of version of this ice cream in my freezer.  Enjoy!!!!

Creamless Creamed Corn with Shitakes and Lemon

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Creamless Creamed Corn with Shitakes and Lemon

creamless creamed corn

Serves 6

I love our wonderful Hagerman white corn.  So, while it lasts and is so well priced, here’s a recipe that I thought was easy to make and very good to eat.  Hope you enjoy it as well.

Ingredients:

  1. 6 medium sized shitake mushrooms (I used the fresh but if you wish use the dry and dehydrate them in boiling water for 15 minutes before using.)
  2. 10 ears white corn, shucked
  3. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  4. 2 medium shallots, minced
  5. 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  6. 1 Tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  7. 1 Tblsp. lemon juice
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a grater, the box or ladder kind, in a large deep bowl.  I put the bowl in my sink to keep the splattering to a minimum because the following process can be a bit messy.  
  2. On the coarse side of the grater, grate 5 ears of the corn all the way to the cob.  With the other 5 ears, take a serrated knife and cut off the kernels.  Then coarse grate the empty cobs to release all of their juices.  If you wish to have fewer whole kernels, totally grate more of the ears and leave fewer for the larger kernel selection.  (You can also release the cob juices with the dull side of a knife; however, I found that grating them on the coarse side of my grater did the trick very nicely.) 
  3. Mince the shitake mushrooms.
  4. Over medium high heat, place your oil and when it is hot, add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic.  Turn the heat to medium low and cook them, stirring every now and then, till softened—about 10 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to high and when the oil sizzles (you may want to add more oil if you feel there isn’t enough), add the corn and its juices.
  6. Cook the mixture over medium high heat, till corn is thick and shiny—about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and S&P. 
  8. Serve and enjoy!!!!

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.