Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zucchini-Onion Frittata

Our family was recently invited by a dear friend to a cookout, for her husband who was celebrating a milestone birthday. We were asked to bring a side dish. So, as usual, I agonized over what to bring. Do you do that? We are still getting a few zucchinis and plenty of tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden, so finally, I landed on this dish!

I started by slicing up the stars of this dish–zucchini and onion.

Although the original recipe uses only parmesan cheese, I grated up some mozzarella, because I'm a huge fan and I think it goes great with eggs!

Next up, whisk up the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

As they sauté, the zucchini and onions make the kitchen smell oh so good!

Rather than keep the veggies in a skillet—for travel convenience—I transferred to this casserole dish, and sprinkled on some of the cheese.

I popped it in the oven for about 15 minutes—then broiled it slightly.

Top with the rest of the cheese, fresh chopped basil, and chopped onions.

This is a great, healthy, summery, side dish that is easy to prepare and oh so flavorful!

Zucchini-Onion Frittata
Adapted from Southern Living

1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Garnish: chopped seeded plum tomatoes

Melt butter with oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add zucchini and onion, and sauté 12 to 14 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat. If desired transfer to a casserole dish. Top with half of the cheeses.
Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients at least 1 minute or until well blended. Pour over vegetable mixture.
Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until set; increase oven temperature to broil, and broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. If using a casseroled dish, watch carefully while broiling, you may also wish to skip the broiling. Sprinkle evenly with remaining chesses and basil. Garnish with tomatoes if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Walmut Pear Salad

Recently, a friend at church brought buckets full of sweet pears they had picked from their burgeoning trees. I brought home a bag of the sweet juicy fruit. My thought was that they would go perfectly in this salad.

I actually prefer to call this "Asian Pear Salad." The soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic certainly give it an Asian flare.

For that reason it really pairs well (pun intended), with dishes like Kung Pao chicken, stir fries, beef or chicken teriyaki, and of course Sushi!

It is an all around great salad and would be a complement to other salads as well.

Drizzle on your dressing and enjoy all the flavor.

Walnut Pear Salad

  • 8 small or 4 large Boston lettuce leaves, torn if preferred (if unavailable, use Romaine, Bibb, Red Leaf)
  • 2 small pears (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Line four salad plates with the lettuce leaves. Set aside.
To prepare the dressing, in a medium bowl combine the dressing ingredients.
Pare, core and slice the pears. (If not serving the salad immediately, toss the pears with a little lemon juice to keep them from discoloring).
Arrange the pear slice on the lettuce and drizzle evenly with the dressing. Sprinkle evenly with the walnuts.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

I know I have mentioned here before my deep love for all things breakfast. Pancakes are right at the top of my list for great morning fare, perhaps with a side of crisp bacon and a nice hot cup of coffee. What a great way to start a day!

So, I was recently at the library and this is what went home with me. This, is what I call a good time. I know—I'm a cookbook nerd! I don't mind cuddling up to one anytime of day!

Inside this Moosewood Restaurant cookbook I discovered these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. I new when I saw it, I had to try it.

The ingredients are simple enough. I always love the combination of lemon and blueberry.

To start, we separated 6 eggs. Don't let those egg yolks go to waste...

My imagination was running wild with what to do with the rich egg yolks…perhaps some creme brulee, or how about some homemade ice cream?

The egg whites after beating. What do you think, do they look "fluffy" to you?

We didn't end up putting any syrup on these, just some butter and fresh blueberries. Try them with any combination of fruit and perhaps a dollop of whipped cream. Another serving suggestion would be as a dessert, topped with ice cream and fruit. Yum!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
From Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

Dry Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of cinnamon
Wet Ingredients
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries or pitted cherries, thawed frozen blueberries can also be used.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until fluffy. Thoroughly fold in the ricotta, vanilla, and lemon peel and then the fruit. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just enough to combine.
Lightly oil a skillet or griddle and place on medium-high heat. Use about 1/4 cup of better for each pancake. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on the first side until bubbles appear on the top. Turn the pancakes and cook on the second side until golden brown, about 1 minute.
Serve topped with your favorite syrup, additional fruit, or fresh whipped cream.

Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shrimp Salad

Easy, elegant, versatile and oh so good! How can you go wrong with this salad? I recently catered an event where I made this salad and I had several people ask me for the recipe. It's too good not to share. And, it's so perfect for summer!

I start by taking my thawed, already cooked shrimp and laying them on a paper towel to get all the moisture out.

A few simple ingredients all thrown in a bowl ready to stir-up and you are done.

I love all the possibilities with this salad. You can serve it as a stand alone, in a bowl for lunch.

You can also serve it as an appetizer with crackers.

And of course, it would be a great first course to any meal, baked fish or grilled chicken or beef, to name a few. I have also made this ahead of time and packed it up for a picnic lunch or dinner.

Shrimp Salad

  • 4 cups chopped cooked shrimp
  • 3 thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 diced celery ribs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place shrimp, green onions and celery in a bowl. In a separate bowl stir together the dressing ingredients. Stir together shrimp mixture and dressing.
See above for serving ideas.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chocolate Chip Bars

Believe it or not, I have actually made these 3 times in the last week and a half. These treats were my contribution to a couple of different church functions. One was for our "5th Sunday Sing" that we had (a week postponed) at our church this past Sunday.

In spite of my intention to take all the pictures before I left for the event, I ran out of time and didn't get any shots of the finished product. I came home with a completely empty plate, so I knew I would have to make them again. Was the empty plate a sign of their popularity? Oh yeah! Many people raved.

I have had way too many cookie bars that are, on the dry side. So I went to a very trusted source to find the best of the best bars and cookies.

Anna over at Cookie Madness has a whole treasure trove of great recipes for cookies, bars, brownies and desserts. I knew I could trust her to come through and these were perfect.

They were moist, full and flavor and loaded with chocolate. Now we have plenty for all my hungry boys to eat over the next few days.

Anna's version was larger and went in a 15x10 inch pan. I cut the recipe in half to fit in a 13x9.

Chocolate Chip Bars
Adapted slightly from Cookie Madness

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) regular salted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose four
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugars, beat in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and blend in. Add chips and nuts. Spread in a greased 13x9 inch baking pan and bake for 20 minutes or until bars appear set. Cool and cut into bars.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

Are you getting lots of zucchini from your garden or perhaps the farmer's market? Looking for a different way to prepare it? We enjoyed these zucchini pancakes as a great side dish to just about any entrée. I love the fresh colorful foods of summer!

These beauties came straight from our garden. We are presently also getting some squash, green beans, peppers and a variety of tomatoes.

These savory pancakes are easy to throw together. Starting with just 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini.

Next comes the egg, fresh parmesan cheese, flour, and a pinch of this and that and they're ready for the griddle.

It helps to have a nice big griddle, but if you don't have one, no worries, just use a frying pan.

Fresh zucchini + simple ingredients = a wonderfully tasty side dish. Cooked to golden brown perfection–yum!

This post has been linked to Eat at Home.

Zucchini Pancakes
Adapted from Taste of Home

1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini
2 tablespoons four
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Dash pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola oil

In a sieve or colander, drain the zucchini, squeezing to remove
excess liquid. Pat dry; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the
baking mix, cheese and pepper. Stir in egg until blended. Add the
zucchini; toss to coat.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; drop 1/4 cupfuls of
batter into skillet; press lightly to flatten. Fry for 2 minutes on
each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 pancake equals 88 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 134 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.