My Top Ten

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quiche: Lish Style

I used to make my own quiche and pie shells. Then I became a mama. So I happily traded in the glory days of whipping up my own from-scratch shells for the Wholly Wholesome shells (found at King Soopers & Whole Foods). They are moderatly priced and make the whole quiche process such a snap. I am one who bakes my shell before filling it with yummies because I personally abhor a soggy quiche or pie shell. But the directions say it's not necessary. For me, it is!

1)Bake or Don't (I'm wincing even as I type that) Bake your Shell
400 degress for approx. 10 minutes

2)Fill it with yummies
Ideas: Choose at least one of each
Veggie - chopped onion, bell pepper, green onion, leeks, tomato, spinach, asparagus, potatoes
Meat- ham, turkey, bacon, crab
Shredded Cheese -anykind, use 1 cup shredded cheese. If you like a creamier flavor, stick with mozzarella, or mix in some parmesan or romano. Otherwise, go for a sharp flavor with white cheddar or swiss.
Pour the yummies into your cooled pie shell

3)Whip up in a bowl:
5 eggs
1 cup half and half
salt & pepper

Pour the eggs over the yummies and fill that shell to the brim.
Bake @ 375 for approx 40 minutes.
Serve with hashbrown for breakfast or a nice green leafy salad & hearty roll for dinner.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lentils & Saffron Rice with Almonds

This is a middle eastern dish that is highly nutritious and cheap. It's official name would be Dal Bhat, but Lentils & Saffron Rice with Almonds just sounds better, eh?

Lentils are high in protein on their own; but to make this meal into a complete protein, all you've got to do is add some rice. Vegetable sources of protein, such as lentils, offer healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals and are very low in fat.

Dal "lentils"
1 1/2 c lentils (any color will do; rinse well in cold water & sort)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Bring broth to a boil, stir in lentils and reduce heat to light simmer.
Cover and cook for 30+ minutes, do not stir while cooking.

Once they are easily "mushed" between fingers, they are done.
Add 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 tsp tumeric, 1/2 tsp ground red chili pepper, salt to taste.
*Puree in blender to a smooth sauce.

*When you are blending hot food, it is important to be careful. Remove the middle circular piece of lid (usually this is clear plastic) from the blender lid to allow steam to escape and cover over the open hole with a towel while you blend. Always start slowly and increase your speed slowly to prevent any explosions.

This is not traditional, but I like to add potatoes and carrots to my dal.
Peel & dice potatoes in small bite sized pieces. Lightly boil, maybe 12-15 minutes until just barely softened. Do not overcook them as you will cook them a bit longer in the dal and you don't want mushy potatoes falling apart in your dal. Peel & dice carrots to same size cubes as potatoes, once dal is pureed, pour it back in your pan and add in the carrots and potatoes. Simmer gently to allow flavors to come together and to thicken a bit.

Bhat "saffron rice with almonds"
Naturally, you can serve your dal with any rice that you like.
But here is one of my favorite middle eastern style rice dishes.

Bring 2 cups water to a boil, stir in 1 cup short grain brown rice
Cover & simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.

In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons rose water and 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads. Let them sit while rice cooks.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees and roast 1/2 c blanced almonds in a bit of olive oil. They are done when they turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.

Once your rice has cooked through, fluff and add the rosewater, saffron and roasted almonds.

Serve your lentils over your saffron rice with whole wheat naan on the side. Enjoy!