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Unless otherwise noted, all content and photos are property of Elle @ Elle's New England Kitchen. Copyright 2008-14. All rights reserved. If you'd like to reprint an article or use a photo, please contact me for permission at ellenekitchen at gmail dot com. All photos, unless specified, have been taken by me, and if used without permission, an invoice will be forwarded to the proper business/individual. Thank you.

 

 

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Monday
Aug122013

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

I’m in love with this frittata! I’ve made them once or twice before, but they never really thrilled me. This one does. Last week, Billy wanted “some kind of eggs” with mushrooms and tomatoes. Um, okay… That could end up being very boring. But not this way! Trying to avoid another boring frittata, I’ve added diced potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, and also some thyme, tarragon and garlic. It’s so full of flavor! Season at each cooking step and you can’t get anything but lots of flavor.

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

I’m working against the clock here, but if I finish this post today, this will be a great recipe for Meatless Monday.

This frittata is made in a 9 x 13 inch pan. You know what that means. Leftovers! I can vouch for this being just as delicious the next day. It could also mean that this recipe is good for when you need to feed more than a few people. I cut ours into eight squares. You could certainly cut them smaller if you were putting them out for a brunch buffet or even a holiday breakfast.

Now let’s get to the recipe. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. This “recipe” is a guideline. I love it as is, but if you absolutely hate one of the ingredients, go ahead and substitute something else. No big deal! If you’re adding in a watery vegetable, it’s a good idea to sauté it first and get the extra liquid out so you don’t have a watery frittata. Do you want to add some sausage, ham or bacon? Be my guest! In fact, those would be wonderful additions. Want to switch cheeses? Do it! No matter how you make it, it’s a hearty meal.

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata
Makes a 9 x 13 pan

12-15 small potatoes, diced in about 1/2 inch chunks
Olive oil, for sautéing vegetables
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound sliced baby Portabella mushrooms (or your favorite)
5-6 green onions, sliced (both white and green parts)
6 -7 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large garlic clove, minced
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of dried tarragon
1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half
Crumbled feta cheese, enough to sprinkle over the entire frittata (I used the better part of a 12 oz container. Because I love cheeeese.)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil, lightly grease, and set aside.

Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a skillet that has a lid on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes and sprinkle in some salt and pepper to season them. Let them sit without stirring for a few minutes to let them get brown on the bottoms. Sauté for about 5 minutes total, reduce heat and cover for about 3 minutes, then stir and give them about 3 more minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

When the potatoes are done, pour them in the prepared 9 x 13 pan, spreading them all over.

In the same skillet, add a little more oil and then add the mushrooms, green onions, tomatoes, garlic, a couple pinches salt and pepper, the thyme and the tarragon. Cook until the vegetables are cooked down, about 8-10 minutes or so. When they're done, pour them over the potatoes in the pan. Again, try to get some everywhere in the pan so you get some in every bite.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, parmesan cheese, half and half, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Whisk it all up well! Pour over the vegetables and potatoes in the pan. Top with feta cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. It's done when you stick a knife in the center and it comes out clean. Mine was done at 40 minutes, so start checking then.

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

Thursday
Feb282013

Chilean Sea Bass and Filet Mignon

As a member of The Foodie Blogroll, we get to work with some great sponsors and this time around, it’s Certified Steak and Seafood Company.

Read through to the end of this post to see how you can win a $50 Gift Certificate to Certified Steak & Seafood Company!

The lucky winner is Martha Cantrell. Congratulations, Martha!

I was sent some of their Chilean Sea Bass and Filet Mignon to try out. We were so impressed! Everything arrives beautifully packaged and ready for you to thaw out and enjoy.

A bit of info from the company:

“Our commitment to our customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. We source directly with no 'middle man' making our supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows us to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate. On top of this, we sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase from us is pure and safe.
 
Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood direct. The brothers experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.
 
They have vast experience in sourcing and selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade — and bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores demand – and at a direct price that gives you tremendous value for every purchase.”

“Buttery Prime Angus Filet Mignon

If there was ever a steak that you will believe can “melt in your mouth” the Certified Steak and Seafood Prime angus Filet Mignon is it. With a delectable almost sweet beef flavor, and a strong buttery undertone that only Prime angus offers, it has to be tasted to be believed.

Each Prime angus filet is slow aged,  custom cut and trimmed for consistency in color and quality. It is a flavor you will remember long after your meal is over. Great accompanied by grilled root vegetables and horseradish mashed potatoes.

Chilean Sea Bass

A popular favorite in restaurants across America, the best Chilean Sea Bass now comes to your table courtesy Certified Steak and Seafood. Harvested and processed under close inspection of the National Marine Fishery Service, this soft, tender and smooth fish is a smart and healthy purchase. Impress your family or give as a memorable gift. Facts: Easy to Cook, Wild Caught, 3rd Party Certified, Product of Chile.”

Visit the Certified Steak & Seafood website! Use coupon FBR125D to get $25 off your order.

My 17 year old took a look at this plate and said "I remember making this exact dinner out of Play Doh!" How hilarious is that?!

To cook the filet, get it to room temp and season it well with salt and pepper. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and get an oven safe skillet nice and hot. Really, nice and hot. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add each filet. Cook for 2.5 minutes on one side and using tongs (not a fork!), flip each to the other side. Make sure you get some of the oil in the pan under each filet. Cook it for 2.5 more minutes and then add a tablespoon of butter to the pan.

Pop the pan in the oven for 2 more minutes and remember when you take it out that the handle is hot. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan and tilt the pan carefully toward you. Using a spoon, baste each filet with the melted butter for about a minute. Remove the filets from the pan and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Put the pan back on the heat and add about 1/2 cup of red wine. Add a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of grainy Dijon mustard, and a teaspoon or so of agave or honey. Let it cook down for about a minute, taste and adjust for seasoning, and serve it with the rested filets.

To serve on the side, I quartered one pound of baby Portobellos and sautéed them in a bit of oil and butter for a few minutes. Add 3 minced garlic cloves, a good glug of red wine and 1 teaspoon of beef soup base. Add some black pepper and keep sautéing the mushrooms until they’re nice and dark and rich. Again, this is all to taste.

Cerified Steak & Seafood Filet Mignon

Certified Steak & Seafood Chilean Sea Bass

For the Sea Bass, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pat each filet dry and place in a foil lined pan. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Drizzle each filet with olive oil and lemon juice. Add about 1/4 cup of white wine to the bottom of the pan. Place a pat of herbed butter (I used a Trader Joe’s butter that has garlic and herbs in it.) or regular butter on the top of each piece of fish.

Bake for 17-20 minutes. The fish will flake easily when done.

Certified Steak & Seafood Chilean Sea Bass

So as you can see, each of these can be cooked very simply, even on a weeknight. Don’t’ feel limited to special occasions when you can make any night special!

$50 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

1. So easy to enter. Just leave a comment here on this post and let me know what you'd most like to try from Certified Steak & Seafood Company. 

2. If you'd like any extra entries, you can share anywhere you like: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. It's not required, but you can earn an extra entry for each share. Just leave a separate comment here on this post letting me know that you did.

I'll choose one winner (US only, please) in one week, on Friday, March 8th. Good luck!

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.



Thursday
Jan242013

Traditional Chicken and Rice by Lidia Bastianich (Win the cookbook!)

Traditional Rice and Chicken - Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich This dish just screams come in from the cold and fill your belly. It’s loaded with flavor, along with chunks of tender chicken and perfectly creamy rice. Filled with tiny bits of carrot, celery and onion, and some parmesan cheese that’s been stirred in until melty--it’s comfort food at it’s best. “Here is a dish that rivals risotto for flavor but is much simpler to make,” Lidia says about this dish.

The randomly chosen winner of the cookbook is Jen B. Congrats, Jen, and thank you to everyone that entered! 

I love Lidia Bastianich--I always have. She not only makes the most amazing Italian food, but I find her comforting. Her voice is calming to me. I want to be in her kitchen and have her talk me through making all of her recipes. Weird? Of course not! If you like more information on Lidia, check out her site, Lidia’s Italy. It’s filled with information, including recipes, a blog, Lidia’s appearance schedule, and more.

I recently received a copy of her new book, Lidia's Favorite Recipes: 100 Foolproof Italian Dishes, from Basic Sauces to Irresistible Entrees. I’m in love with this cookbook! These recipes are the ones that you’ll want to make and share with the ones you love. These aren’t over complicated dishes to make, either. There are no crazy long ingredient lists using fifteen pans to prepare and serve. They’re family style--and suitable for weeknight dinners as well as hearty Sunday dinners.

Lidia's Favorite Recipes

From the book’s dust jacket: “Lidia Bastianich—one of the most beloved chefs and authors in America—presents her most accessible and affordable cookbook to date, a gathering of the recipes that have become her go-to meals for her very own family. But these are not only Lidia’s personal favorites; this book is a love letter to her fans. Here, she is giving us the recipes for dishes that you have raved and written about over and over—the best, the most comforting, and the most delicious dishes in her repertoire.

  From the classic sauces to the delicious desserts, these recipes have been revised and updated to be more concise and clear, but just as soul-satisfying as ever. With new information about the affordability, seasonality, and nutritional value of the ingredients, this book shows there is no question why these dishes are the easiest and most enjoyable to bring to the family table for your most memorable moments. Beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, Lidia’s Favorite Recipes will give both new cooks and longtime fans something extraordinary to celebrate.”

This chicken and rice dish is a convenient one pot meal, and it’s ready quickly enough to be a weeknight meal, but also wonderful on those cold weekend afternoons and evenings. It’s also an inexpensive meal. I’m going to give you one warning, though. It’s filling! It’ll stick to your ribs, for sure. Take a serving that’s a little less than how hungry you feel, then go back for more if you think you need it. I’ve made this about five times already, and I still haven’t gotten this though my head. It’s just so tasty that I can’t help myself. It’s also husband and kid-approved, and let’s just say that it isn’t pretty when we fight about who gets the leftovers.

Traditional Rice and Chicken - Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich

Traditional Rice and Chicken

Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup onion cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup carrot cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup celery cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled (I use 3, or 4 if they're smallish)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt (I use 2 teaspoons. Always better to start with less and season later!)
1 fresh bay leaf (I use 2 dried bay leaves)
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups hot chicken or turkey stock (I use Better than Bouillon, which explains why I use less salt.)
2 cups Italian short grain rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli (For great creamy risotto texture, don't substitute.)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for passing

 

Trim any extra fat from the chicken and cut the thighs into 1 inch chunks, set aside. In a food processor, mince the onion, carrot, celery and garlic into a fine textured pestata. Not a puree, not large chunks, but in between--minced.

Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan with a lid, and set over medium high heat. (Seriously, a large pan. At least a 12 inch pan with a fairly high side, or a large saucepan. This dish grows as it cooks.) Stir in the pestata and and season with one teaspoon of the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pestata has dried.

Toss in the chicken and the bay leaf (or leaves), and sprinkle with one more teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the chicken is browning and caramelizing. Raise the heat and add the wine, stirring and deglazing the pan. Cook until the most of the wine has evaporated. While stirring, pour in the hot stock and the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to keep it bubbling gently (a nice low-ish simmer). Cook for 14-17 minutes (It's 14 for Lidia, and about 17 minutes for me.), or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked and the rice is a creamy consistency.

Turn off the heat and drop in the butter, stirring until it's completely incorporated, then stir in the parsley and the 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Check for seasoning  now. Spoon into pasta bowls and serve immediately with additional cheese to pass around at the table.

  • As you can see, I forgot the fresh parsley. D’oh!
  • This is a great dish to make and take to a friend/family in need of some nourishing love. New parents, friends dealing with a crisis, sick friends--you get the idea.

________________________________________________________________________

Giveaway!

 

Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Has generously offered to give a copy of Lidia’s Favorite Recipes to one of you! And entering is so easy…

  • Just leave a comment here. That’s it!
  • If you’d like additional entries, you can share this on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. Leave an additional comment for each share here on this post letting me know you did.

I’ll choose the random winner (US only) on Thursday, January 31st. Good luck!

Traditional Rice and Chicken - Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Lidia's Favorite Recipes at no cost to me. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House will be providing the prize for this cookbook giveaway and will send the prize directly to the winner. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

 


 

Thursday
Jul282011

Portland Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Portland Eggplant Veggie Burgers

We’ve seriously cut back on the amount of meat that we eat in my house. We try to limit to once per week. It’s not as difficult as some of you may think! We were actually vegan for an entire year just a couple years back. After that year, we decided to add some meat back in, like I said--about once per week. We also let dairy back in, mostly in the form of cheeeese. There happens to be some cheese in these burgers, along with the main ingredient--eggplant!

Some of our vegan habits are still in practice, though. We love almond and coconut milks, and those are pretty much the only milks we actually drink or have with cereals. The biggest vegan/vegetarian benefit that we still enjoy is to eat tons of vegetables. We’ll never give those up. I know it’s not easy, and I’m the last person in the world to be preachy about it. I mean, come on--the mouthwatering aroma of meat sizzling on a grill, or a pot roast slowly braising all afternoon…those are scents that evoke so many memories and awake my senses. So we indulge once a week.

Portland Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Now, after the meat love I was just talking about, I have this recipe to give you for a meatless burger. It’s not quite vegan, because there is shredded cheese in it, but it’s definitely vegetarian. We really loved these, and as a burger alternative, these are especially good. Versatile, too! You can use your favorite seasonings in this recipe, and totally customize your veggie burger experience.

I was inspired to make these from watching an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” on the Food Network. If you haven’t seen it, the premise of the show is asking the FoodTV chefs what their favorites are. Favorite burgers, pizza, ice creams, desserts, crunchy things, crispy things, decadent foods, etc. They tell you about them, show them to you, and then, tell you where you can get them. If you’re lucky enough, one of those places will be near you!

While recently watching the Burger episode, only one veggie burger was mentioned as a fave, and that was by Duff of Ace of Cakes. The burger he described (and they showed) looked fantastic. The chef at the restaurant actually showed what was in them (no measurements, but we eyeballed it). We grabbed pen and paper and scribbled the basics down. All I heard Duff say about the location is that is was in Portland. So now, our version of Portland Eggplant Burgers…

Portland Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Portland Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Makes 8-10 regular sized patties
Inspired by The Farm Cafe

3 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
6 green onions, sliced, both white and green parts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar (or your favorite cheese)
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp Adobo 
pinch of Kosher salt and fresh cracked back pepper
1 3/4 tsp Weber Grill Creations Gourmet Burger Seasoning (or your favorite blend)


In a large pan (Seriously, you want a large pan--I used my electric skillet.), heat a bit of oil over medium-low and cook the cubed eggplant down completely, till it's sort of a mushy mass of eggplant. (I know, but trust me on this!) This takes about 25 minutes, and be sure to stir occasionally. I also put a lid on it a few times to keep some moisture in it. When you stir, smush it with your spoon or spatula. You don’t want cubes of cooked eggplant, you want it all mashed up. Remove it from the pan and put it in a large bowl.

In the same pan, lightly sauté the green onions and garlic, just about 2-3 minutes to take the raw edge off. Add to the bowl of cooked eggplant.

Stir the parsley, cheddar, bread crumbs, and seasonings into the eggplant mixture. Get in there with your hands and mix it up. Set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill. After chilling, form the mixture into patties.

In the same large skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium high heat (400 degrees on my electric skillet). Get the oil nice and hot, and cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip and cook on the second the side for about 5 minutes. You want them nicely golden brown and crispy on each side.

Serve with your favorite burger accessories.  Store any leftovers in the fridge!

  • As much as I love burgers with all kinds of fantastic toppings, at heart, I’m a simple girl. My favorite way to have a burger is with sliced tomatoes and ketchup. That’s what I had on mine. Along with some garden fresh baby lettuce leaves. Use whatever you like on your own burgers!
  • These are veggie burgers, and not a hunk of meat, so we’re not going to just toss these on the grill, or they’ll likely fall apart. If you want that smoky flavor, you could cook these on a pan on your grill and see how that goes. Maybe cook them almost completely and then quickly toss on the grill for that smoky flavor. Let me know if you try it!
  • As I was looking for the links on Food Network for the show, I found that the place where Duff gets his eggplant burger from is listed. I don’t know why I always forget I can do that! It’s The Farm Café in Portland, Oregon. So there you go. If you’re in the area, stop in and grab one. If you’re not, make mine!

Don't forget to enter to win a $70 Summer Brewing Gift Pack from Mighty Leaf Tea! Winner will be chosen on August 3rd.



Tuesday
Sep222009

Take a Dip into Edamame

edamame-dip-4

Have you all tried Edamame?  If you haven’t, you should.  It’s good--really good.  And versatile, too!  You can enjoy it boiled in salty water and straight from the pod, or use it in lots of other dishes--salads, with rice, in a stir-fry...you get the idea.  And I’ll bet a lot of you have favorite ways to use it, as well!

We love the edamame at our local Japanese restaurant.  Like I mentioned above, it’s still in the pod, but boiled in salty water.  It’s tender and delicious!  The first time my husband had it, he was having lunch with friends at work.  His friend ordered some for the table, and my husband dug in.  After a few, he said “Wow, these must be loaded with fiber--they’re really chewy!”  To which his friend replied “Um, Bill?  You’re supposed to remove the beans from the POD first!”  How funny is that?  What a goof!  Since then, we’ve enjoyed them many times, after removing them from their chewy, fuzzy little pods.

edamame-crop-3

Not only do they taste great, but they pack a nutritional punch!  Here’s just a few of the nutritional benefits in a half cup serving of shelled edamame:

  • 9 grams fiber (My husband was right--they do have a lot of fiber. Even out of the pod!)
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat
  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 11 grams protein

You can find them right in most grocery stores, in the freezer section.  Trader Joe’s has them, as does our regular grocery store, already shelled.  (Not sure if TJ’s are still in the pod.)  Go ahead and pick some up!  You’ll be happy you did, and you can stow them in the freezer while you decide what you want to try them in first.  And this recipe would be a great introduction!

edamame-dip-6

A few weeks ago, I picked up the latest issue of Eating Well Magazine.  Also a new favorite of mine!  It’s a great magazine, full of recipes and great articles.  Check it out!   I came across this recipe for Edamame Ginger Dip, and knew right away I needed to make it.  It’s a different take on hummus, with Asian inspired flavors.  And so simple to make, like any other hummus.

Edamame Ginger Dip

8 ounces frozen shelled edamame (see note)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste

1. Cook edamame according to package directions.
2. Puree all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
3. Chill for about an hour before serving, if you can wait.
4. Serve with your favorite chips, crackers, or veggies for dipping.

Note: I had a 14 oz bag of edamame and decided to just use the whole thing.  So I almost doubled the other ingredients, but not quite.  If you do the same, just eyeball your stuff, and season to taste, which is what I did.

 

  edamame-dip-7