Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feta Stuffed Zucchini

I hadn't made these guys in a long while even though they are a particular favorite of the Monster. Mostly because they are a bit fussier than I like (I feel the same about stuffed tomatoes...what a pain). I mean, with the scooping of the zuke innards, the chopping and sauteeing of said innards, the cooling of the innards, then the stuffing of the zuke shells. C'mon, can't we just have sauteed zucchini and call it a day??
But, he does like them. And, I'd mistakenly bought a second container of feta when we already had a new one in the
They really are lovely though. :-)

Feta Stuffed Zucchini:

2 large zucchini (you might want to make more if you're going to the trouble and all...)
1 Tbs butter
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbs flour (I used brown rice flour and I think I'll reduce this amt. next time since the stuffing kind of pulled away from the shell)
2 oz. crumbled feta
dash of salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish.
Cut the zukes lengthwise, then scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4" shell.
Save the zuke scoopings and chop them.
Melt the butter in a skillet, add the chopped zucchini scoopings, shallot, garlic and salt and saute until soft.
Let the mixture cool a bit, so you don't cook the egg in the next step.
In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly.
Stir in flour, feta, and cooked zuke/shallot mixture and little black pepper.
I like to sprinkle a little salt inside the zuke shells then fill them with your mixture.
Sprinkle tops of filled zucchini with paprika.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, then pop them under the broiler for a few minutes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spinach and Rice Casserole

Lovely comfort food that's not too unhealthy...I'll definitely be making this casserole as a Turkey Day side dish. Great, quick-to-put-together weeknight dish that can be a vegetarian meal in and of itself, or as we served it, with chicken sausages and some sliced tomatoes. This is another casserole that hails from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook...a book I've been happily rediscovering of late.
We had brown rice already cooked and in the freezer which made putting this together a snap, but because of that I don't have a firm amount on the rice I used. I think using the recipe as written might end up using a higher ratio of rice to spinach? But heck, it IS a casserole. Just use what looks good to you! :-)
I halved the recipe the recipe as printed in the book because we were eating it as a side dish last night. Had plenty for a nice lunch the next day too. I'm writing up the halved version, so just double and use a 9x13 in. pan if you want more.

Spinach and Rice Casserole:
(Moosewood Cookbook; Mollie Katzen)

1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used a combo of brown and a little red)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb fresh spinach, finely chopped (I screwed up and cooked it first, then chopped, but I think that was a less messy way to do it in the end)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, divided (I questioned the use of these, but they really added a great texture! They also up the protein content if this is your whole meal)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne
fresh black pepper to taste
1/2 cup low-fat milk (I used unsweetened soymilk)
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup grated cheese (I used Cave-aged Gruyere, but recipe suggests cheddar)
Optional: we enjoyed topping our servings with Cholula hot sauce. :-)

Cook brown rice as per package instructions.
Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 1 quart casserole (I think!...I just used what looked like half of a 9x13).
Heat oil in a deep skillet (I used a Dutch oven) on med-high heat.
Saute onion for about 5-8 minutes until soft; add garlic, spinach and salt and cook about 5 minutes more over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Add to the rice, along with nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper and half (2 TBS) of the sunflower seeds.
Beat together egg and milk and add to the spinach-rice mixture.
Add in cheese and transfer to your buttered casserole dish.
Sprinkle with remaining sunflower seeds and dust with sweet paprika.
Bake uncovered for ~35 minutes, or until heated through and lightly brown on top.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rosemary Fig Confit

I made this once, years ago...but with figs all around me in the store figured it was about time for another batch. I add balsamic to taste (probably ~2+Tbs) and a touch of sea salt as the figs simmer. I find it's awfully flat without those additions, but you can be the judge.
The original recipe is for using in sammies made with brie and prosciutto on ciabatta rolls, but I remember liking a wee sammie made with either melty Manchego cheese or Cave-aged Gruyere and just the confit much, much better. So that's how we'll be using this loverly goo tonight. Think I'll make mini panini with Kaltbach Gruyere and the confit as a nice side to soup for dinner.
Fyi...this is awesome stirred into Greek yogurt for breakie!

Rosemary Fig Confit:
(Gourmet, July 1995)

1 cup dried Calimyrna figs, chopped fine
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
3 Tbs honey
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
(add balsamic and sea salt to taste as figs simmer)

In a heavy saucepan stir together ingredients and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
Remove lid and continue to simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until most liquid is evaporated and mixture is thickened.

In a food processor coursely purée fig mixture.
Confit may be made 5 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Bring confit to room temp before using. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.