Fresh Veggie Frittata

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Temperatures are rising here in Bozeman. Today we enjoyed a bike ride through town which led us to a community garden just beginning to really take off with everyone’s love-sewn vegetables. I just like to peek at what everyone is growing. It made me think of what to make for dinner. Summer is in our faces today. What are your favorites to make on a warm day?

This frittata was a tasty meal to close our day; sweet bursts of flavor soothed by creamy goat cheese, feeling ultimately healthy. I had never made a frittata. I mean, I had certainly come close, making an omlet will guarantee you to be almost there. Simply leave it alone in its pan, dollop with the cheese and bread crumbs and bake in the oven to get the eggs to set. It will work with what your garden offers you, but I really love the corn and tomatoes in this.

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SUMMER VEGETABLE FRITTATA

Inspired by Clean Eating, July 2011

INGREDIENTS

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion, Diced

1 Clove Garlic, minced

1 Meduim Zucchini, cut into half moons

1 Ear of Fresh Corn Kernels, sliced from the cob

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Cut in half length-wise

Salt and Pepper

6 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Water

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Oz. Soft Goat Cheese

1/2 Slice of Whole Wheat Bread, processed into Crumbs

PREPARATION

Set oven to Broil.

In a large, oven-safe skillet, pre-heat Olive Oil and/or Butter. Add Onions and Garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

Add Zucchini and Corn Kernels and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until softened.

Add Tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute. Add Salt and Pepper to taste and stir.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine Eggs, Water, and Dijon Mustard and a little Salt and Pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour Egg Mixture into skillet with Vegetables. Allow to set over medium heat for about 3 minutes, pulling back sides to allow eggs to settle in evenly. After 3 minutes, it will be wet on top, but nearly set on the bottom.

Dollop Goat Cheese over Frittata and sprinkle Bread Crumbs on top.

Place into oven for 4-5 minutes or until completely set. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute before transferring gently, with a spatula, to a cutting board.

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Blackened Salmon on Linguine

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The wild Sockeye Salmon is a wonderful and rare indulgence in our home.   We splurge on salmon only every now and then and when we do the family is happy! It is as if I can see all the nutrients, proteins and omega 3 oils come to life in front of my very eyes as my children seem to hone super powers after a meal like this. Salmon is a great choice when choosing seafood because it not only has great flavor and can be cooked in a variety of ways but it is also rich with Omega-3 fatty acids, making it one of the healthiest fish to eat.    The linguine has a Parmesan cream sauce drizzled on it and the spinach was cooked in a hot iron skillet for only a couple of minutes without oil or butter. This is a rich and delicious meal and should definitely be paired with a good bottle of wine.  I also served a whole wheat baguette (a post for another time)  fresh out of the oven that we pulled apart with our hands  – great for picking up the last of the cream sauce. I hope you enjoy.

By the way this is the second post using seafood since the beginning of nu-trio.  I am anxious to talk about the issues and our impact as consumers.  I don’t want to be preachy so please feel free to  proceed to our Earth page if you share an interest on the topics of fish farming, over fishing and our ability to make a difference.

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INGREDIENTS – Blackened Sockeye Salmon

Serves two

6 ounces of linguine

1 bag of baby spinach

2, 5 ounce salmon filets

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olive oil

lemon juice

balsamic glaze

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INGREDIENTS – Parmesan Cream Sauce

¾ stick of butter

8 ounces heavy whipping cream

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

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SALMON PREP and STEPS

  1. Marinate the filets in salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic glaze.  Refrigerate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Prep ingredients for cream sauce
  3. Cook pasta, toss with a little olive oil, cover and set aside
  4. Heat an iron skillet on med-high until the pan begins to smoke.  Pour a small amount of olive oil onto the skillet before you place your filets skin side down and do not touch them for about 90 seconds
  5. Flip the fish onto the side with the marinade and then use your spatula to peel the skin from the filet.  It should peel right off. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little balsamic glaze.
  6. Allow it to cook for approximately 3 minutes before flipping – do not touch the fish while it cooks. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the filet. Take a paring knife to cut a small incision into the thickest part of the filet to determine whether it is cooked enough for your taste. wrap in foil and place in warm oven until you are ready to serve.
  7. Wipe iron skillet with a paper towel add spinach to seasoned pan on med-high and toss until wilted. 2-3 minutes. Leave in pan to keep warm but remove from heat.
  8. Prepare Parmesan Cream Sauce (cook time is 10-15 minutes):
  • melt butter and cream in a sauce pan on med-high
  • stir constantly
  • cook at a simmer for approx. 6 – 8 minutes until visibly thicker
  • add cheese and lower heat
  • stir until cheese is melted

9. Serve filet on a bed of pasta and spinach, drizzle sauce, garnish with paprika and enjoy!



Tacos

The taco is a  delicious creation in which the eater is able to design a new masterpiece with each tortilla. Really…building a taco is just good fun. On tap tonight; a meatless taco, made with Morningstar Crumbles, topped with all the good stuff.  Super easy to throw together and you can use any filling that sounds tasty – try grilled shrimp, ground beef, or tofu.
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TACOS

makes 8 tacos

INGREDIENTS

1 bag of Morningstar Crumbles

1 avocado diced

1 tomato diced

1/2 cup red onion diced

10 sprigs of cilantro

1/2 cup  cheddar cheese shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

1 lime cut into wedges

flour or corn tortillas

hot sauce

PREPARATION

Prepare your toppings

Cook your filling

Heat tortillas  – I use tongs and heat mine over the flame of my stove top

Build a taco and enjoy!

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Spicy Thai Noodles

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The aroma from this sauce will dance off your stove and have your family investigating the peanutty, sweet smells.  ‘What’s for dinner?‘ is a typical response.  Compliments of The Grit! – an amazing vegetarian fare restaurant in the hip downtown of Athens, GA- these Spicy Thai Noodles are one of my favorite recipes from their cookbook.  My friend, Helen, introduced me to this place a few years ago and it is the kind of food that I sit around all day dreaming about.  Their Thai Noodle Bowl – ‘special of the day’ – had me talking about it for weeks! The list of vegetarian options at The Grit are endless, and each one is mouth-watering good.

I love to make these Noodles for parties – always a crowd pleaser!  Also, it makes the best leftovers in the world and your kids will love them too.

I added a couple of carrots, sliced julienne. I love the color and it compliments the dish well. Also I want to mention that this recipe is not very spicy – my kids love it just like this – but if it were up to me I would add more chili paste, or oil, to turn up the heat on this dish because I love spicy!

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

12 ounces of slender pasta

4 quarts of water

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons chili paste or 1/2 teaspooon chili oil

2 teaspoons granulated garlic, or fresh

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 lime – freshly squeezed

5 green onions

1 cup of snow peas or 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 carrots julienne

1/2 cup slivered almonds

PREPARATION

Combine water and salt in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain thoroughly in a large colander, rinse with cool water and drain again; set aside.

Combine all other ingredients except green onions, peas, carrots and almonds in a saucepan and stir well over high heat until gently boiling. Remove from heat. Toss noodles and sauce in a large bowl. Allow to cool slightly. Toss with remaining ingredients cover and refrigerate. Serve well-chilled.

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Tomato and Vidalia Onion Tart

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Let’s talk about Vidalia onions today. Now, if you happen to be from Vidalia, Georgia- or the 20 counties surrounding the town which are able to grow these famously sweet onions, or have a mother from south Georgia- you know that the pronunciation goes like this:

[VI (like “pie“) DAY- YUH] (don’t forget your southern drawl)

The deliciously sweet taste of Georgia’s official state vegetable began on a Toombs County family farm in 1931. The sandy soil and mild climate was just where these babies wanted to grow, so as more and more onion lovers sought out that sweet, sweet flavor, more south Georgia farmland was dedicated to the cause. You’ll pay a little more per pound for a Vidalia, but it is worth it, given that you might actually catch someone eating one apple-style one day. The Vidalia onion is distributed far and wide these days, and finding them in our beloved appalachian market was no surprise.

My challenge was finding just the right recipe to share with you. Which of dozens of onion recipes would showcase the sweetness that no other onion-growing region can mimick? My answer, believe it or not, lay in a random and old issue of Taste of Home that literally fell into my lap (but that’s just because I haven’t cleaned off that shelf where I tend to stack random things). Before I settled on modifying the 2001 recipe for a tomato-onion phyllo pizza, I thought I would do just one last internet search for extra inspiration. A search for Vidalia onion recipes on Epicurious brought me right to a fantastic cookbook I had just purchased over Spring Break, reminding me of a to-die-for recipe for a Vidalia Onion Tart.

My mission now was to combine these two into something marvelous…

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I had a fit over the taste of this dish. I seriously did. I mean, the hubby and I ate half the tart for dinner and were all excited about lunch the next day, where we finished off the rest. Gone. It was seriously good. Now, I do have some, um, revisions to make, however. I did not put enough tomatoes on mine; I let the onions steal the show, and I’m sorry about that. My apologies to the tomato. I will make up for it in the recipe posted, instructing you to make full layers of tomatoes, both beneath and above the onion filling.

 

TOMATO AND VIDALIA ONION TART

Adapted from Holly Herrick’s Southern Farmer’s Market Cookbook

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks cold butter, cut into 1″ cubes

5-6 Tablespoons ice water

For the Filling:

3 Tablespoons butter

4 or 5 large Vidalia Onions, cut in half and sliced thinly

2 Tablespoons fresh Thyme, minced

2 Tablespoons fresh Oregano, minced

1/2 Cup White Wine

3 Tablespoons Honey

1 Egg, beaten

2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

5 or 6 Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

salt and pepper

PREPARATION

Prepare the crust- Mix flour and salt together. Cut in the butter by pulsing in a food processor or cutting with two knives until mixture forms pea-sized clumps. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough can be pressed into a ball. Form into ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for a half hour or so (or up to 3 days).

In a large skillet, melt butter and add thyme and oregano to infuse. Add onions and Cook down for about 15 minutes over med-high heat, but don’t let onions brown. Add the wine and the honey and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in Egg and Cream.

Drizzle sliced Roma Tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375°. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out into a 1/4″-thick circle on lightly floured surface. Place in pie plate and flute as desired. Fill with pie weights (I used parchment paper and uncooked rice, but also pricked dough with a fork) and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove weights and reduce heat to 350°, bake for 15-20 minutes more. Allow to cool.

Line bottom of crust with half of the sliced Roma tomatoes to cover bottom of tart. Top with Onion mixture. Top onions with remaining tomatoes and press them into the onions slightly. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

* a side note about cheese: cheese is probably the best food on this earth, and I love it, truly. My husband really wanted to put cheese on this tart. Because I had some gruyere on hand, I gave in and hesitantly allowed him to sprinkle some on half of the top after it came out of the oven. I also had someone else ask if I would put cheese in this dish. It seems fitting enough, but here’s the thing: this tart is all about the onions and the tomatoes. The white wine and the herbs in the mixture make these flavors so, so poignant, and I feel that adding cheese takes away from them. No more show-stealing. This is what it is… but I’m a softy. If you absolutely must put cheese on yours, make sure it is a good one and not too much, okay?
  
Now that you know what to do, build a simple green salad with mild flavors- may I suggest lettuce and oil and balsamic vinegar, perhaps some black pepper? Pour a glass of wine, or what-have-you, and savor this! Let me know how you like it…just don’t rub it in my face when your crust turns out prettier than mine. I am a little sensitive about this right now…but that’s a post for another day.

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Our Kid-Friendly Meal: Louisiana Red Beans and Rice with Cheddar Puff Pastries and Roasted Green Beans

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Our schedules are hectic. Days are full and crazy, but everybody in the family appreciates a hearty, homemade meal, and this “go-to meal” gets all-around approval. We are entering this post into Kitchen Corners’ May Cook-off , which challenged us to “bring it” with our kids’ favorite dish, so we could help moms and dads tackle the hectic job of dinner by sharing a recipe that ensures that the kids are going to smile…and so are they.

Elisa grew up in New Orleans, and if you’re not already excited about this blog, get there, because she has some AMAZING food to share with us all, I kid you not. She recently made the Louisiana favorite, red beans and rice, for a get-together, and not only was it outstanding, it was cool to see all the kids gobble it up and ask for more. This is our kid-friendly, go to meal.
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It’s always a parent’s favorite thing to see some healthy green on their tot’s plate. These roasted green beans have flavor that typical steamed beans can’t match. And just wait until you say the words, “Cheddar Puff Pastries” to your five-year-old and see if their eyes don’t light up like twinkle lights. Elisa showed me how to make these tonight, and I guarantee I will be making them again real soon…because naturally, there are no leftovers.

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They eat it, moms and dads. They really do. Even Harper came in, exhausted from an outing with Nana tonight, having already snacked herself silly, but we fixed her a plate anyway, and I don’t think there was a bean left on it. She’s 14-months-old, people. 14 months.

The trick to pulling this meal off without a hitch is doing enough planning ahead to get your beans soaking. That is pretty simple. After that, your tasks include chopping veggies and simmering. Not. hard. The green beans are absolutely easy, and the cheddar puff pastries, you can make ahead of time. Use canned kidney beans in a pinch. I hope you will have as much fun with this as I did today, and maybe your kids will offer their gratitude with a Justin Bieber dance party after dinner, just like ours did!

LOUISIANA RED BEANS AND RICE

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

INGREDIENTS

1 pound red kidney beans

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 med. onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 cup celery, chopped

8 cups water

3 cubes vegetable bouillion

2 teaspoons creole seasoning

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

PREPARATION

  • Sautée vegetables (pepper, onion, celery, garlic) in butter in large dutch oven or pot until soft
  • Add the creole seasoning and the thyme and oregano while stirring
  • Add soaked beans* to the pot and add the water, bring to a boil, add bouillion
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 1- 2 hours
  • Serve over cooked rice
* Once you have picked over and rinsed dried beans, place in container and cover with water by 2 inches. Soak in fridge overnight.
 

ROASTED GREEN BEANS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh green beans, washed and snapped

drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

garlic powder

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 450°
  • Drizzle beans with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Roll the green beans to coat.
  • Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until tender
  • Turn oven to Broil, roast another 3-5 minutes until beans develop a bit of a crisp texture on the edges.
 

CHEDDAR CHEESE PUFF PASTRIES

Adapted from the Beechwood Inn‘s recipe for Gourgeres

INGREDIENTS

7 tablespoons of Butter

1 Cup Skim Milk or Water (or a combo of the two)

1 1/4 Cups Flour

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

Dash of White Pepper

Dash of Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

4 eggs

1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated finely

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 450°
  • In a medium saucepan, combine butter and milk/water, sugar, salt, white pepper, nutmeg and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and stir constantly with a strong wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, transfer to a mixing bowl (you can use an electric mixer or by hand) and continue stirring for 30 seconds to allow it to cool slightly. Add in one egg at a time – mixing each one thoroughly.
  • Mix in Cheese
  • Spoon onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper (use 2 oiled spoons for scooping the dough – it will make a perfectly sized puff) and bake for 7-8 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350° and bake for 18-20 minutes more.
 

Sautéed Shrimp with Basil Orzo

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This is so delicious!  Thanks to my friend, Nikki (owner and 0perator of the best sandwich shop on Lake Burton – “Take it on the Lake”), I was introduced to the best Basil and Orzo recipie from allrecipies.com.  Then… as if she had not given me enough already… she suggested adding shrimp to this simple mecca of flavors, and it is proving to be an all time favorite!  Very easy to prepare (other than the tedious job of deveining shrimp) – it is so simple.

I served this as an entrée along with a green salad (tossed with homemade bleu cheese dressing) and a homemade loaf of bread with local Spring Ridge Creamery butter. Yum!
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SAUTÉED SHRIMP WITH BASIL ORZO

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp*

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons butter (2 for orzo, 1 for shrimp)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat orzo and 1/2 cup durum wheat semolina orzo -this is not necessary but it adds color, depth, and nutrition to this dish)

14.5 ounces of vegetable broth (Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

PREPARATION

  • Peel, devein, and rinse shrimp.  Marinate in lemon juice and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.
  • Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and sautée until lightly browned.
  • Stir in vegetable stock and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 – 20 minutes (times may vary depending on what type of orzo you use – the mix I used required 15 minutes in order for the liquid to absorb) Set aside.
  • Season shrimp with Tony Chachere’s to taste.  Heat skillet on medium high, add 1 tablespooon butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sautee shrimp for 2 – 3 minutes per side – until golden – Do not move shrimp while they are cooking – the secret to getting them golden is leaving them be.
  • Season cooked orzo with salt and pepper. Mix in parmesan cheese and basil.  Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish shrimp with basil sprigs
* See deveining tutorial below.
 

The deveining tutorial

My uncle Stephen taught me, not only how to devein the top of a shrimp, but also the underside.  Did you even know there was a vein there?  Anyway, some people find this totally unecessary but I thought I would show you how it is done.  I use a paper towel, folded and placed right in front of me, to wipe the vein from the knife.  After slicing the shrimp down the center of the back, with a sharp paring knife, you can grab the vein with the knife, press it onto the towel and pull it off in one motion (takes a little practice).  Then, flip the shrimp over and do the same thing; however I find this vein a little more difficult to remove and I will sometimes use the tip of the knife to scrape the vein out a bit until I can grab it- press and pull.  Hope this is clear enough.

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