Showing posts with label Onion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Onion. Show all posts

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

It's Sunday, and I was going to wait till tomorrow to do another post but I feel like I'm just really prolonging it, and trying to "milk" my last post to get more comment?...or maybe I should have replied on my blog to all? I just don't know which would be the right thing to do. Also...I wish I could just whip-up some cakes, cupcakes, or throw in some various different things to brighten up my blog; but honestly, I don't have the time, or the energy to be so ambitious like that. I don't know how others can do a different post just about every day, and come of with the most amazing things!
When I made my Hungarian Sour Cherry Strudel, I mentioned making Spanakopita, and I finally did make it. You can easily double up on the pastry sheets...they are so, so, thin; will not make one bit of difference to use more. Some recipes call for 6 sheets (bottom and top) with filling in the middle, as for the strudel did, but for the Spanakopita, you can easily use 12 each, bottom and top, because it needs to hold the amazing filling, which I totally adapted from the basic recipe I used.
One important advise when making the Spanakopita. DO NOT use fresh...unless you're willing to break your "food budget!" You would need at least 5 bags of it, which would cost about $3.99 each, as opposed to the chopped frozen spinach; 2- 10oz. frozen chopped spinach, less than $2.00 each, and you get a lot, and I mean, a lot of filling when mixed up with the cheeses, and eggs. If you are making the spinach triangle appetizers, then you probably would need about 2 bags of the fresh spinach, which is more affordable.

This is a classic Greek favorite pie than can be served as an appetizer, or side dish, or even a main dish with a side of salad. The main ingredients of course are; Phyllo (fillo) pastry dough, spinach, and Feta cheese. You can variate the herbs such as mint, parsley, or dill. I used a mixture of fresh mint, and fresh parsley.Also, you can add a different cheese with the Feta... as for the onions, you can use scallions, or a sweet mild onion.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
adapted from All
3 tablespoons olive oil
 I used 1 stick butter 4 ozs=113.4g (melted)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped (omitted that)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped
2- 10 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
a handful of chopped fresh mint
No salt needed, just freshly ground pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg added in to the cheeses 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
 1- 8 oz, package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
8 sheets phyllo dough...(omit this)
 24 sheets total...12 for bottom & 12 for top
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9x9 inch square baking pan.I used a 9x11 or 9x13inch is OK to use.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.Bake for at least 45 minutes with the extra sheets. Before you bake the Spanakopita, with a sharp knife, score the pieces but do not cut through (only the top few layers) This makes it easier to cut, when finished baking!
Note: I can't begin to tell you how incredible flaky, and super delicious the Spanakopita was.This is an example how I adapt my recipes. Cannot always remember the ingredients, even though I remember the basic method. It would be nice to see other food bloggers mentioning at least SOME type of source where they got their recipe, or the idea from. Sometimes, when I eat out and a certain type of dish really inspires me, I even ask the chef if he would please just give me an idea of what ingredients are used, and I will create my own. Googling is the best and less troublesome way to get creative with a certain recipe, and make it your own.

Unless you have some old "hand-me-down" recipe from family, I seriously doubt that they mention any source because it's usually handed down to them by a family member, or friend, and those are the best KIND!

Also, I have to be honest with you, I practically given up on my Weight Watchers now...even though I'm still paying for the online program...have gained back 5 lbs of my 15 lbs weight loss over the last month (especially the holidays) ...too ashamed to go for a "weigh-in"...just went back to the gym in one month of absence, not counting points right now...shame, shame. I didn't just fall off the "wagon"...the wagon kind of rolled over me! All-in-all, I feel really good, my cat Prince is still alive (eating me out of house and home)...(although skin and bones)...oh, yes! He even eats from my roasted chicken, as long as it's white meat and cut up in tiny pieces. Poor old little guy, almost 20 now. Just wanted to let you in on the latest!
Have a wonderful Sunday!
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Savory Butternut Squash Tart, the best...Ever!

Am I the only person that doesn't realize that we are in the fall season? it because I live in South Florida?
Well, neither are true. Living in a tropical climate doesn't mean that our temperature does not dip to a comfortable cool in the evening, and early morning. This is the best time of the year. I love fall, and I do miss the changing of the leaves to a gorgeous orange, yellow, and amber colors. I love the pumpkin patches, and the pumpkins sold in all the supermarkets, all the hearty soups, stews, and mostly pumpkin desserts, and savory squash dishes, and this one for example!

I'm linking my Savory Butternut Squash Tart to: Full Plate Thursday , 10-27-11
@ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

I didn't want to be the last food blogger to present you with a sweet, or in this case, a savory delectable Butternut Squash Tart...but first, and most important, is the dough, which is used in pies, and for this free-form tart. Very simple, and easy to make; mix the tart ingredients in your food processor...the main thing is, as soon as the dough incorporates, you are ready to wrap it in plastic wrap, pat it down, and chill for at least 1 hour.
Without any further delay, I will let you in on a secret that is not such a secret... "best pie/tart recipe, from my daughter Lora @ Cake Duchess!  >>>> Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

Monday, August 22, 2011

Farm Fresh Eggs...or Egg-Land's Best!

If in to make a perfect omelet...simple or filled with your favorite vegetable, ham, or bacon, mine is just a simple sliced sweet onion omelet, for 2 servings, with 4 eggs. Farm fresh eggs?...Well, daughter Lora, her friend, Lauren and her 3 girls, and my grandchildren Gabby and Luca went on a real egg farm...or correctly, chicken farm, to get fresh eggs! To be perfectly honest, Egg-Land's Best is fresh farm eggs. There is no doubt in my mind that they are the best, as far as I'm concerned, and that goes for my family. I want nothing, but the best for them!

I sauteed thick sliced sweet onion, which I love so much, in 2 Tbsp olive oil, and just added salt and pepper right into the skillet, over the onions for more intense flavor.

Scramble the 4 eggs lightly, and just pour over the sauteed...actually caramelized onions. Do not stir, just lift the pan from side to side, and jiggle the eggs, so they spread evenly. With a spatula, you can lift the bottom around the edge a little, after a few minutes.

At this point, you can flip it over to the other side, and just fold over, as it's shown in the top photo!

For an additional delicious version omelet...check out my friend Michael's @Me, My Food and I
also linking this to my friend Linda, @Vittles and Commitals
...and also to Akheela, @ Torviewtoronto
I'm also a fan of Egg-Land's Best on Foodbuzz, and have been cooking and baking with it for a few years now. Every time my daughter and I go to Costco, we buy the 18 carton of these beautiful eggs. I prefer the Extra Large eggs, although there's not too much between the two sizes.
These are the farm fresh eggs that my daughter purchased, all different colors...price? Triple the cost for the dozen farm fresh eggs, compared to a dozen Egg-Land's Best! Mind you...I did not eat even one egg...just wanted them to enjoy it, but come to think of it, I did take one or two from Lora, and it's still in the carton.

I would like to thank all of you for your kind and caring comments and mostly for your advice for helping ease the pain.
This happened to me last Tuesday, and it has gotten worst after a few days. Not fun, having a pinched nerve, anywhere on your body. I am so glad to have read about some of your similar problems, and thanking you for sharing your experiences with me. Finally, after my most amazing chiropractor, Dr Keith, who is also a Physical Therapist as well, and travels around the globe treating sport stars! Also, I had a massage on the shoulder which did help, but the most therapy that helped was stripping the knot with a gadget (that was so very painful but really helped)...he even suggested that I get it x-rayed and see and orthopedic doctor, but by Saturday, I was starting to be able to actually lift my arm slowly! Now, it is so much better, and I'm getting the use of my right arm back!
Still have not cooked or baked anything, accept my simple easy omelet, and I thought I would share the photos of the egg farm with you. It was so much fun for the kids, and a nice little morning outing on Saturday!
Have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spicy Sautéed Vegetables...and an Amazing Weekend!

It all started Saturday, when my daughter gave me a huge bag of mixed vegetables from our favorite produce of those fabulous deals that her m-in-law discovered, while she was here from Italy. $1.00 for a hug bag of vegetables, all mixed...zucchini, peppers, onions, some iceberg lettuce...a huge bag, no joking. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the veggies, except, they had a few bruises here, and there, and maybe starting to get a bit over ripe on some of the peppers that made the long green peppers turn orange. So, what to do with them?...what is not to do with them, but cook them up, and the best way, is to saute them with the onion, garlic, in some nice fruity extra virgin olive oil, and some great spices...don't forget the red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper, and some nice sea salt, and you got yourself, a FEAST!...well, I prepped up all these great veggies, and took them over to a friends house with all the yummy things that I brought from Lora's to share with her, and her brother who is visiting their mom, from out of state.

I'm linking this to Tuesday Night Supper Club # 40... Christy @Fudge Ripple
Also made some pork ribs, marinated in Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and garlic powder, and baked to perfection, in a 375 degree F. oven for about 1 1/2 hrs. till tender. (These were also the ribs my daughter gave me that were in her freezer from my son, who is the on-again, off-again vegetarian.) Lora did not want to deal with these because she said it's been in the freezer too long. Yea, right!!! ...since December? that makes it 5 months?...still like fresh, no freezer burns, so why not cook them up. They were so tender, fall off the bone, delicious!...So that's what you do for your share!...and you cook for them.
These sweet potatoes are my friend Dianne's creation. She cuts them in half, drizzles a little olive oil on them and sprinkles them with cinnamon, and adds bits of garlic...encloses the potatoes in aluminum foil and bakes it in the toaster oven on 350 degrees, F. till tender, which is at least 1 hr. or longer.
Saffron Risotto with Shrimp, Zucchini, and Peas....recipe, on this page

This is Lora's creation, and she makes this just about once a week. She does not post it on her blog because her blog is mostly about cakes, and desserts. She does not like leftovers, as a rule, unless it's spaghetti, and meatballs, lasagne, or pizza leftovers and I get her leftovers to share with friends...and truly this is gourmet, and yummy, even reheated. Just add a few drops of water, and heat on top of the stove. Now, on to the next fabulous things!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chili Con Carne and Buttermilk Corn Bread

I had this yummy Chili post up for about 10 minutes earlier, and for some technical problem, lost the entire here I go again, repeating the post, and my recipe.
Also, my apology to Sandra @ Sandra's Easy Cooking for having to remove her kind comment to re-do the post.

As I mentioned earlier, we've been having some pretty chilly weather here in South Florida, as an example, last night the temperature dipped down to 31 degrees and the wind chill made it drop down an additional 10 degrees or more. It was unbearable for the Palm Beaches, but than again, at least we only had to just watch all the snow storm up north.
The best thing to make when the weather is as CHILLY, is to make a nice batch of take the CHILL off.
Wow, it even rimes...chilly...chili...and chill, as long as I get the spelling right, you know what I mean.
Lora @Cake Duchess  has a wonderful recipe called: Grandmother's Buttermilk Corn clue as to whose grandmother, but it sure is the best, with real butter, and the buttermilk.
As you can see, I photographed this with my awesome new camera, and this is the actual color, and the moist texture, and also the nice wedges cut, from the cast iron skillet, which it was baked in. If you would like the recipe, you will have to click over to Lora's blog. My recipe for the chili is to follow. It's my very own recipe, and I did not want to even check for references, because I prefer the simple, yet homey and tasty chili, without all the mystery ingredients added to it. This doesn't have any kind of peppers, so the kids won't complain, so it's just the beans, and the meat sauce, with a medium spicy flavor to it.

Chili Con Carne
my own recipe

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. organic ground beef
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2-15 oz. cans light kidney beans
2-15 oz cans dark kidney beans
2-15 oz cans black beans
1 teaspoon good quality chili powder
(more if you want it spicier)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dry oregano
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Saute onion and garlic in the oil, until it starts to wilt. Add the ground beef, all the spices, and cook until it loses all the pink color, and starts to get brown. Now, add the crushed tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, and simmer for about 30 minutes till it gets thick, and the excess liquid starts to evaporate. If it doesn't, you can always ladle out the excess, from the top. At this point you can add all the beans, but drain the liquid from them, before adding them to the sauce. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and serve with a dollop of sour cream if you like, and some shredded Cheddar, or mixed Cheddar, and Jack cheese.
Very delicious, and filling. Serves 6.

note: You can also make this vegetarian if you omit the ground meat, and follow the rest of the recipe, after sauteing the onion and garlic
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe for the: Light and Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

 Light and Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs
for the meatballs
1 lb ground sirloin
1/2 lb ground chuck
1 whole onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup cracker meal (or 1/2 cup breadcrumbs)
1 handful chopped parsley, (or about 1 teaspoon dry parsley)
a few fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, Romano (I used grated Granana Padana)
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons olive oil for frying meatballs, and onion
salt and pepper to taste

22 uniform sizes, no getting your hands all dirty, and just gently roll them together with wet palms, ready to brown them in olive oil, and throw them into the sauce. You don't have to use all of them. After frying, you can freeze probably half, it's up to you.
Meatballs should look like these, nice and brown. They're ready to go in the sauce when all pink is browned evenly. 

Combine all your ingredients for the meatball, and just lightly form them, scooping them out with the 1 1/2 inch scooper. If you like, use 1/2 of the onions in the meatball mixture, and use the other half to saute them to put into the sauce.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce 

In a blender, blend each 28 oz can of Marzano tomatoes, one at a time, give it a whirl, and it's done. Pour into a med.large sauce pan, just like that, and start heating it at med.high. Saute half the onions if you like, and add them in the sauce, along with some of the parsley, the basil, bay, leaf and a small amount of chopped garlic. A generous grinding of fresh black pepper, kosher, or sea salt...PLEASE NO SUGAR! Tomatoes are sweet as honey...HONEST! When meatballs are browned, just throw them in there, partially cover the pot, and on med.low cook for about 4 minutes, or until you see the liquid evaporating. You won't be sorry you followed this method, because sometimes you just want to make a vegetarian sauce, and leave out the meat. Serves 6.

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The easiest way to chop garlic and onion, is to first, buy a plastic jar container of whole peeled garlic, and put them into a food processor, larger than this size, and process them till they're finely chopped, and spoon them into a small mason jar, fill them with canola or vegetable, and use them for whatever your garlic calls for. Sure beats all that chopping by hand. This little food processor I got at Goodwill  $2.99, and whenever I just want to chop onion in it, just quarter the pieces and drop them in there. For meatballs, or meat loaf, they are especially goo, because you don't have all the large unwanted pieces in there, that usually don't cook all the way. This is such a time savor. The garlic will last you at leas a good whole month.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup

Today, is one of those South Florida days, that you welcome a nice bowl of soup. It's raining, and a nice breeze, but still a hot 82 degrees. We're not seeing fall or falling leaves around here, that's for sure! I connected with a lot of nice friends through Foodbuzz, and they are from all over the United States, and the World. I'm glad that I have the Google Translator on my blog, so other people with different languages can actually translate it to their own. I think it's so cool to have that widget. Sure brings a lot of us together...and not have to have the mishap of the biblical Tower of Babel. We're all ONE...and one thing I'm sure of is that we all share common interests, being FOODIES!
I didn't feel like going to the store to pick up any specialty items, my "good old standby" bag of shrimp in the freezer always is a good "friend." Ready, when I am...sounds kind of corny, but it really is true. For the Thai shrimp noodle soup, all you need is the shrimp, the rice noodles, some vegetable, and don't forget the spices. The Thai sweet, and spicy chili sauce, always works, and it's good for dipping as well. Instead of posting the recipe later, I will start now. I hope you enjoy a different soup, instead of the same old...same old, and also really good if you're a vegetarian, No meats of any kind that is in the soup. Just all fresh ingredients. I wanted to keep the broth separate, and the shrimps separate, but decided to combine the two, so instead of eating a vegetable soup, and shrimp with vegetables on the side the best of the two are happily joined together.
The first thing I do, is saute the onions, garlic, and peppers, add some chopped fresh cilantro, and the strained cooking liquid from the shrimp shells and tails, and add it to the heated up vegetable broth that already has the sugar snap peas in it.
...and here's the finished product. The shrimp goes in with the sauteed vegetables, at the very last minute, when vegetables are soft and just tender, and let shrimp turn pink. Add together the shrimp and vegetable mixture, and serve it in a nice soup terrine. This is not just any soup terrine.
Did I get lucky?...or did I get luck! A Graf von Hennenberg Porzellana 1777, from The German Democratic Republic. It has the green crest on the bottom, and the coat of arms. Truly a beautiful porcelain work of art. Don't know what year, don't know what it's worth, but I would not want to sell this beauty. It's a keeper! Paid $7.99 for this truly antique at World Thrift, in West Palm Beach. The elderly couple that some me buy it, suggested that I take it to the  antique fair that we have here, to have it appraised! I just might do that out of curiosity.
Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup

1/2 lb. shells and tail on, large deveined shrimp
(you can use 1lb. if you like)
32 oz carton all natural. vegetable broth, or 2 16 oz. cans
1 cup water
2 1/4 in. thick slices of peeled fresh ginger
( or 1 teaspoon of good quality powdered ginger)
1 red bell pepper, sliced diagonally, or
(1 orange, or yellow bell pepper)
1 green bell pepper sliced diagonally, or
(you can stay with just the yellow, orange or red)
1 medium onion cut in half, and sliced diagonally
3 oz. fresh snap peas, string removed from the back
( you can use frozen pea pods if you like instead of fresh)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
juice of 1 lime
handful of fresh cilantro chopped
3 oz. rice sticks (rice noodles)
1 Tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce (also used for dipping)

Remove shells and tails from shrimp, and boil them in the 1 cup water, strain the liquid, and set aside. In a large skillet,over medium high heat. Saute the onions, peppers, garlic and ginger, (or add the ginger powder) in the vegetable oil. When the onion starts to get wilted, add the cilantro, and saute for another few minutes. Add the chili  Add the shrimp, the chili sauce, the juice of the lime, and  the reserved strained water. Let the shrimp get nice and pink and take it off the heat. Have the broth ready at this time, warming it up, adding the snap peas, At this time, you can add all the ingredients from the shrimp, and mix it into heated broth. It's ready to ladle out, adding a little more chopped cilantro on the top. Serves 4.
This is not too spicy, but you can add more chili sauce to the individual bowls, and also extra lime juice.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Hungarian Cabbage Noodles

I've been talking about my Hungarian Cabbage noodles on Twitter, and on Foodbuzz several days ago, when I decided to make this. Bought a beautiful perfect head of cabbage, but I had so many other things that was in my refrigerator that I had to deal with, that I kept procrastinating with one excuse, after another. First, I kept saying to myself that I have to make home made noodles for this, second, it will take too long to make...yes, this one is true. You literally have to stand in front of the stove for at least 45 minutes, longer than making a risotto, third, I will really have to make this from memory, because the original recipe has way too much salt, and cooking with lard, is cholesterol "overkill." Actually, I have a 5th excuse too. All the other recipes found on the Internet are not the way I want to make it, and NO, I don't want to add poppy seed to my cabbage, as I saw one recipe out there, call for it. My 1963 Hungarian cookbook which I have inherited from my aunt Mariska, is a good source, which I am grateful that I can read it in Hungarian, but understanding the old European metric system is not going over too well for me. Although, I did figure how much 10dkg. of lard is; a whopping 2/3 cup! Wow!...and it goes on, and on with all the other recipes as well. Very short versions, no photos, you really have to know what you are doing, because they don't give you directions too well, or cooking time in most recipes. So here goes, I once again had to create my own, from memory, but without all the extra fat, and salt. Recipe will follow, along with photos.
 Hungarian Cabbage Noodles 
1 nice large head of green cabbage, grated, or hand sliced
1/2 a package of a (17oz) Flora fresh dried Pappardelle
or any other dry noodles
salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup pure vegetable oil
1 pat, ( a Tbsp) butter (opt.)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup cooking water saved, from the pasta
Halfway through the sauteing process
Grate, or slice finely with a good sharp knife, by cutting the cabbage in half, cutting out the cores, and discard the outer dark leaves. Cut cabbage into smaller wedges that can fit into the chute of a food processor, of slice the wedges into fairly thin slices. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the cabbage and chopped onion, directly into the skillet, Don't worry if it seems a lot, it will cook down, just have patience sauteing it, and slightly caramelizing it. Add salt, and pepper, start stirring, on med. high heat, and lowering heat, when it starts to get some color, and starts to get translucent, along with the onions. At this stage, you can add the sugar to start to caramelize. Don't leave it alone, you constantly have to stir, probably in all, about 45 minutes to an hour. No joke...unless you want to have a burned awful mess, because the sugar caramelizes quite fast, so at this point you have to lower the temperature to low. In the meantime, boil the noodles, or Pappardelle, and drain, saving at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the cooked pasta, right into the skillet, the 1 Tablespoon butter if you like, and add the reserved water, to loosen it. This will give it a nice body, and texture. Add more salt, and pepper to it, and serve. This is at least 4 servings, and very tasty, if you are a cabbage lover, like we are. Great, as a leftover to heat up, and serve as a side dish.