So Lauren the Poet tagged me to write a blog of my Top 5 Recipes Ever, so here it is! I'm actually trying to make sure that these are different than recipes that I may have already passed on, but there may be at least one repeat. I'm also trying to hit a few different types of dish (sides, dessert, etc) and do things that are a tiny bit more complicated than not. Maybe there should be a Top 5 hard and Top 5 easy recipes... And I'll be posting my first ever fish recipe, sorry for all you real vegetarians out there :) Anyway...
1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread cubes
3 tbs butter
3 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped leeks
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tbs fresh or 1 tsp dried dill or marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz cream cheese, in 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 1/4 cups milk
When I made this, I actually made it mostly vegan, using substitutes for the milk, butter, cream cheese, and roughly half of the cheddar. (The eggs had to stay, unfortunately; I'm still not fond of them.) It was quite yummy, although rather rich.
What you do:
Toast the bread cubes on a tray in an oven at 375. Saute the garlic in 2 tbs each of the butter and olive oil until golden. When the cubes are crispy, toss them in the garlic butter and set aside.
Next, saute the leeks in the last tbs each of oil and butter for a minute or two, then add the mushrooms, herbs, salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan to retain the juices, and keep cooking until the veggies are just tender.
Preheat the oven to 375. Butter a 9x9 pan, and layer the ingredients as follows: bread cubes, cream cheese cubes, veggies, and finally the cheddar. Beat the eggs and milk with some salt and pepper and pour that over everything else. Bake about 30 minutes until the frittata is puffy and golden.
Taken from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
Notes: You can make this with various other vegetables and cheeses, although I haven't tried any others yet. This goes nicely with a tomato soup for brunch or dinner. It's not too hard or even time-consuming to make (and I'm a crazy slow cook), and it's pretty yummy. I think I impressed the guest I made it for :)
Easy Lentil Tomato Soup
I made this the other night by cobbling together what I had in the fridge and consulting a few recipes online, and it was way better than I anticipated, so I have to include it. Plus, it's super easy.
Lentils (I used precooked black beluga lentils from Trader Joe's, the come in a plastic pouch that you just microwave for 75 seconds before adding them, very handy)
1 large can diced tomatoes (handy in these salmonella-ridden times, I guess)
half an onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz chopped mushrooms
tiny pinch saffron
salt and pepper
What you do:
Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, add the muchrooms and stir for a minute or two, then add the spices, tomatoes, lentils, and veggie stock and simmer for a few minutes.
I didn't include measurements because I didn't measure anything. My soup was fairly thick, and I used a fairly decent amount of cinnamon; it was definitely a more prominent taste than the cumin or thyme, but I think next time I might adjust the seasoning so that they come out a little more. But this was seriously good.
I got this from Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell, and she got it from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1. It sounds a little weird, but it's got a great texture and the vinegar gives it a nice bite.
6 medium cucumbers
2 tbs wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
2-3 tbs butter
1/2 tsp dried dill or basil (2 tsp fresh)
3-4 minced green onions or chives
pepper to taste
What you do:
Peel the cucumbers, cut them into long quarters (hot dog style), and scoop the seeds out. Then slice the cucumbers into strips 3/8" wide and 2" long, toss them with the vinegar, salt, and sugar, and let them stand loosely covered for a few hours.
Melt the butter and coat the bottom of a baking dish. Drain the cucumbers and add the herbs, green onions, and pepper and coat well. bake at 375 for an hour, tossing 2-3 times. They should be tender but still crispy. If using fresh herbs or chives, add them after baking.
Notes: I've never made this with the green onions/chives (I'm not a huge fan, so I usually don't just have them around) or dill, but I can't imagine it's any less delicious. Also, cucumbers bake down a lot, so although six sounds like a lot it won't end up being all that much end product.
Fish with French Mushroom Sauce
I've made this twice now, and it's absolutely delicious. Try to chop all of your vegetables close to the same size so they cook evenly, because at least for me it's way better if the carrots and celery are just kind of melting in your mouth.
3-4 tbs butter or vegetable oil
2 cups diced onion
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms (12 oz)
1 tbs fresh chopped tarragon (1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup dry red or white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup veggie stock or water
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs butter
2 tbs unbleached white flour
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 pounds fish fillets (I use tilapia)
What you do:
Saute the onions and bay leaf in the butter or oil until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms, tarragon, and salt. Stir in the wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low heat until the veggies are just barely tender.
While that's happening, combine the stock or water and tomato paste in a small pan and gently heat. In a separate pan, bring the butter to a bubble (don't let it burn!) and gradually stir in the flour while whisking or stirring vigorously. Stir on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then slowly pour this into the warm tomato liquid and stir until it's thick and smooth. Add that into the vegetables, and stir in the parsley.
Put the fish fillets into an oiled pan. Spread the sauce on the fish. It will be thick, but the juices from the fish will thin it out as it cooks. Bake covered at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until the fish is tender. Serve on rice with a nice salad.
Notes: So good! And this was my first roux (is that the spelling?), very exciting. The first time I made it, I think either Tabitha or my guest came in just as that was happening and I was totally freaking out about burning it, but it worked out just fine. Oh, and this was from Moosewood again.
Creamy Rice Pudding
Good for using up leftover rice, and full of fruit, and delicious :) I made this twice in a row over the winter. I used soy milk instead of real milk for Tabitha's sake.
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 1/4 cups half-and-half, milk, or soy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tbs grated orange peel (peel of 1 orange)
2/3 cups raisins
2 medium apples, cored and finally chopped
freshly whipped cream
What you do:
Butter a deep casserole dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325.
In a blender or mixing bowl combine the milk (or whatever), eggs, vanilla, spices, and honey. In a large bowl throughly mix the rice, egg mixture, grated orange peel, raisins, and chopped apples.
Pour the pudding into the casserole dish and bake uncovered for an hour, until the custard is set and it begins to brown slightly around the edges. Stir it at 20 minute intervals while it's baking, and you can add a little more milk if it gets too dry.
Can be served hot from the oven or chilled. You can add whipped cream if you like.
So there's my five recipes!