Roasted Vegetable Frittata

We love quiche in our house, but haven’t really tried a frittata before.  I’m glad I finally decided to try.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, September 2012.

Substitution made, noted below.

frittata 1

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

1 small zucchini, 1 inch sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and 1 1/2 inched diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1 1/2 inch diced
1 red onion, 1 1/2 inch diced
1/3 c good olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
12 extra-large eggs – I used 14 large eggs
1 c half-and-half
1/4 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tblsp unsalted butter
1/3 c chopped scallions, white and green parts (3 scallions)
1/2 c grated gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the zucchini, peppers and onion on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with  1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and toss well.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Add the garlic, toss again and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the oven to 350 degrees.

frittata 2

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, parmesan, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

In a 10-inch ovenproof saute pan, melt the butter and saute the scallions over med-low heat for 1 minute.  Add the roasted vegetables to the pan and toss with the scallions.  Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes over med-low heat without stirring.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the frittata for 2- to 30 minutes, until puffed and set in the middle.  Sprinkle with the gruyere and bake for another 3 minutes, until the cheese is just melted.  Cut into 6 or 8 wedges and serve hot.

frittata 3

cartoon-strawberry-9This puffed up and was beautiful.  The changes I make next time?  Less oil on the veggies.  1/4 c or less would be fine.  Stir the veggies and the eggs when added to the pan.  Since I didn’t do this, the veggies all stayed at the bottom like a vegetable crust; which isn’t bad, but it didn’t match the picture.  Another great recipe for a special Saturday breakfast!

Macaroni Monday

I use this Macaroni Monday feature purely to give into my first love of Mac n Cheese.  The problem is each new recipe becomes my favorite.

This recipe is from Mac & Cheese – 80 Classic & Creative versions of the Ultimate Comfort Food.

No substitutions were made.

chick n broccoli macncheese 1

Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

2 c chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli crowns, cut into 3/4 inch florets
1/2 lb cavatappi
1/4 c unsalted butter
3 tblsp all-purpose flour
3/4 c half-and-half, warmed
1/2 c heavy cream, warmed
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon (sub 1 tsp dried)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
5 oz Emmental, grated, divided
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan
4 oz diced cooked chicken or turkey
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 13×9 baking pan. (I used a 9-inch baking dish.)  Have a bowl of ice water handy.

Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil the stock until it is reduced by half.  Set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the broccoli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Remove the broccoli from the pot with a strainer and plunge it into the ice water to stop the cooking action.

Bring the water back to a boil.  Cook the pasta until it is just beginning to soften to the al dente stage.  Drain the pasta, run it under cold water, and return it to the pot.  Drain the broccoli, and add it to the pot with the pasta.

chick n broccoli 4

Heat the butter in a saucepan over med-low heat.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly and appears to have grown in volume.  Increase the heat to medium, and slowly whisk in the reduced stock, warm half-and-half and cream.  Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.  Reduce the heat to low, stir in the tarragon and nutmeg, and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 c of the Emmental.  Add the remaining cheese to the sauce by 1/2 cup measures, stirring until the cheese melts before making another addition.  Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the chicken and stir well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer the pasta to the prepared pan.  Mix the reserved Emmental and breadcrumbs together, and sprinkle it over the top of the dish.

Bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is bubble and the crumbs on top are a deep brown.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

chick n broccoli 5

cartoon-strawberry-9Mac n Cheese with protein AND veggies?  It’s so good.  I served it with some salad on the side, just to add a little crunch.  I’d never heard of or had Emmental cheese before, its a light Swiss cheese.  Thankfully, Trader Joes carries all the cheeses I haven’t heard of and might need.

Italian Wedding Soup

The temps have hit all time lows here in Nashville this week, the perfect time for warm and nourishing soup.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine.

Substitution made, noted below.

Italian Soup 1

Italian Wedding Soup

1 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 sm onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chopped fresh sage – I used dried sage
3 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 Parmesan cheese rind, plus 1 tblsp grated Parm, plus more for topping
1/2 lb ground pork – I used ground chicken
3 tblsp breadcrumbs (preferaly panko)
3/4 c orzo
8 oz baby spinach (about 8 cups)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat.  Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.  Add half of the garlic and 1 tsp each Worcestershire sauce and sage; cook 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, 3 c water and the Parmesan rind and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.

Italian Soup 2

Meanwhile, mix the pork, breadcrumbs, 1 tblsp grated Parm, the remaining garlic, Worcestershire and sage in a bowl.  Form into 1-inch meatballs.

Increase the heat to med-high and bring the soup to a boil.  Stir in the orzo and cook 6 minutes.  Add the meatballs and cook until they are firm and float to the top, about 4 more minutes.  Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 more minute.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with Parm.

Italian Soup 3

cartoon-strawberry-9The sage lends a rich flavor to the broth and to the meatballs.  I would cut the orzo down to a half cup, and add in a healthy dash of salt and pepper.  Healthy and hearty soup ready in about an hour!

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

I really like eggplant, but for some reason I have never cooked with it before.  After this recipe, I’m ready to find every eggplant recipe and try them all.  Wonder if husband will mind??

This recipe is from Real Simple, March 2012.

No substitutions were made.

eggplant rollatini 1

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

4 tblsp oilve oil
2 large eggplants (about 3 lbs total), sliced lengthwise (about 16 slices total)
1 1/2 c marinara sauce
2 large eggs
1 15oz container ricotta
2 tsp dried oregano
2 c grated mozzarella (8 oz)
1/2 c grated Parmesan (1.5 oz)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Divide the oil between 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Dividing evenly, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn to coat in the oil; season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

eggplant rollatini 2

Bake the eggplant, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until soft and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees.  – I only have one rimmed baking sheet, so this took me 3 rotations in the oven.  I lined the baking sheet with parchment and discarded after each round.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of a 9×13 inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oregano, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

eggplant rollatini 3

Place about 3 tblsp of the ricotta mixture on one end of a slice of eggplant, roll it up, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and ricotta mixture.

Top the eggplant rolls with the remaining cup of marinara sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

eggplant rollatini 4

cartoon-strawberry-9I need to find some better descriptors for the way food tastes.  Just saying “Yummo!”  all the time is boring.  But this one?  Super Yummo!  Even my meat & potatoes husband liked it.

Macaroni Monday

What better treat to have on a rainy Monday than a saucy, gooey pot of Mac n Cheese?

This recipe is from Mac & Cheese – 80 Classic & Creative Version of the Ultimate Comfort Food.

One substitution made, noted below.

sweet onion mac n cheese 1

Sweet Onion Mac & Cheese

1/2 lb orecchiette
1 tblsp olive oil
1 c canola oil, divided
1/2 c (1 stick) unslated butter, divided
1 lrg sweet onion (Vidalia or Maui), diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 c whole milk, warmed – I used 2%
2 oz Fontina, grated
3 tblsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
1 lrg shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 c rice flour (substitute cornstarch)
1 tsp snipped fresh chives
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain the pasta, run it under cold water, and return it to the pot.  Toss the pasta with the olive oil.

Heat 1 tblsp of the canola oil and 2 tblsp of the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, and toss to coat with the fat.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium-high, sprinkle the onion with salt and pepper and cook, uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is golden brown.  Puree the onion in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a blender, and set aside.

Heat the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the flour and cook stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly and appears to have grown in volume.  Increase the heat to medium, and slowly whisk in the warm milk.  Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.  Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until it thickens.

Add the cheese to the sauce by 1/2 c measures, stirring until the cheese melts before making another addition.  Stir in the onion puree, and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

While the sauce simmers, heat the remaining canola oil in a small saucepan to a temperature of 350 degrees.  Coat the shallot slices with the rice flour, shaking off any excess.  Fry the shallot slices for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove the shallots from the oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

To serve, stir the sauce, chives and parsley into the pasta.  Cook over low heat until the pasta is hot and coated with the sauce.  serve immediately, garnishing each serving with some of the fried shallots.

Note:  The sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.  Bring it to a simmer over low heat.  The pasta should not be cooked and the shallots should not be fried until just prior to serving.

sweet onion mac n cheese 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I liked the sweetness the onion added to this sauce.  But I hate using orecchiette pasta, it always clumps together in lines of six or seven pieces of pasta.  And this was enough sauce for a full pound of pasta.  I would use rotini in the future.  And as you can see, I didn’t fry up the shallots.  We were hungry and I didn’t feel like making the mess.  Next time for sure.

ps – Trying photograph all white food?  Super boring.