Tag Archives: Spinach

Crustless Ham, Potato & Spinach Quiche

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Adapted from Shannah Coe
My Suburban Kitchen
October 2017

A perfectly protein packed dish that can be served  any time of the day that you desire.  Serve for breakfast, brunch or even for  a light dinner with a mixed  greens side salad.  It is fast and easy to prepare and so delicious!

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
8 ounces cooked ham, diced
6 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 package of commercially prepared refrigerated Southwestern shredded potatoes
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, diced
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.  Lightly grease a 9- inch pie pan and line  with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add in ham, cream chili powder, curry powder and cumin. Stir in potatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Stir in spinach, bell pepper and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into prepared pan. Top with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake in the  preheated oven for 25 minutes. Increase heat to
400°F, remove foil and bake for an additional 10- 15 minutes or until the middle of  the quiche is set.

Cook’s Notes:
You can easily use Swiss cheese to replace the Gruyere and use kale in place of the spinach. Any type of commercially prepared shredded potatoes can also take the place of the Southwestern  seasoned version. The combination of the mild spices from the Southwestern potatoes give and extra punch of flavor to the fresh spinach used in this dish.

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Vegetable Frittata

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Photo Credit: © 2017 GIANT LLC All Rights Reserved.

Frittatas just happened to be one of those dishes that you can use up a whole lot of random leftover vegetables and turn them into a savory meal for brunch or dinner. We like to serve this classic egg dish with fruit for breakfast or with Italian bread and a small mixed greens side salad for a light dinner.

Adapted from Giant LLC
Savory Magazine
September 2017

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
One 8-10 ounce bag baby spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 cups baby Yukon gold potatoes
2 medium tomatoes, diced
8 large eggs
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach to the skillet and cover; allow to cook 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic salt and cover again for another 5 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool. Place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Roll the towel up and squeeze the moisture from the spinach. Remove the spinach from the towel and place in a bowl and set aside.

Cut the potatoes into quarters. Heat the remaining olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes start to brown.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Arrange the spinach over the potatoes. Scatter the tomatoes over the spinach, then pour the eggs over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cook until the edges are set, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until the eggs are completely set in the center.

To serve, slide the frittata out of the skillet and onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice it into wedges and serve warm with a fresh fruit for brunch or with a small side salad of mixed greens for a light lunch or dinner.

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Crespelle alla Fiorintina

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catherine_de_medicisThe culinary historical trail leads to Catherine de’ Medici, the Florentine Queen of France, for introducing these savory crepes to French cuisine with the help of her Tuscan chefs.

In 1533, at age fourteen, she was married to Henry of Orléans, the future king of France.
When she moved to France, an entourage of friends, servants, and waiters accompanied her. The Florentine cooks who went with her brought with them the secrets of Italian cooking to France, introducing peas, beans, artichokes, canard a l’orange, (duck a la orange) and carabaccia (onion soup). The pastry makers also demonstrated their innovative genius with sorbets and ice creams, marmalades, fruits in syrup, pastry making, and pasta. A certain Sir Frangipani gave his name to the custard and the tart known in France as Frangipane. Is is not ironic that all these dishes that are considered so quintessentially French, are actually Italian in origin.

Catherine also brought with her to the French table a new protocol, such as the separation of salty and sweet dishes, at a time when sweets were still consumed together with meat and fish in the medieval style all over Europe. Everyone in France was amazed by the Florentine elegance she  introduced, including gracious table settings and dining, fine linen with elegant embroidery, as well as luxurious silverware and crystal stemware.

At the time, French cooking was already a rich, evolving discipline, and the presence of the new style profoundly influenced French cuisine over the next few centuries. Catherine and her army of Florentine chefs reformed the antique French cooking of a medieval tradition and transformed the food we know as today as the modern French cooking. As time went on, French cooks improved and magnified the Florentine contributions. While many dishes and techniques were being forgotten in Italy, the French made them into international cuisine.

And based on the  various  evidence in the culinary literature, it suggests that crepes were also Florentine in origin and the French adapted them into what we now enjoy  today, in both sweet and savory forms. Crespelle  appears to be like Cannelloni, which are pasta tubes filled with spinach and ricotta, but the crespelle is actually a very thin pancake crepe made of flour and eggs instead of a thick sheet of pasta.

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Photo Credit: Josephine Guerriero, Pezzole delle nonna, Posta La Ricetta

In the Tuscan countryside, this dish was formerly  called “pezzole delle nonna.” Pezzole is the Tuscan way of saying “fazzoletto” which means “handkerchief”  and so pezzole delle Nonna  can be translated as  “Grandma’s Handkerchiefs“. Pezzoles can be described as omelets or crepes stuffed with ricotta cheese and vegetables covered with a Béchamel sauce. They are neatly folded into quarters and served family style in a dish, looking very much like handkerchiefs in a stacked in a drawer.  Given its past, and its modern incarnations, this  dish is definitely a home-style comfort food and is  found in extremely traditional Tuscan trattorias.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Crespelle batter:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

For the filling:
1 pound fresh spinach, washed, stems removed
1/2 pound ricotta
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

For the Béchamel:
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

To Finish:
About 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup tomato passata or  prepared tomato sauce (See Cook’s Notes)

Directions:
For the crepes: In a bowl whisk together all the ingredients to form a smooth, thin batter. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. Heat a small skillet or crepe pan and when hot, brush lightly with butter. Ladle about 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the pan, tilting the skillet to evenly coat the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom and the top begins to look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the crepe and cook the second side until the bottom colors slightly, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter to yield 8 crepes

For the filling:  Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and blanch spinach for a few minutes. Drain and dry  the spinach with a kitchen towel by squeezing the spinach to extract any remaining moisture, then coarsely chop to yield about 1 cup. In a bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

 Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.

Lightly butter a 1  1/2 quart casserole dish.

Divide the spinach filling evenly among the crepes, using about 1/3 cup filling for each. Roll the crepes, like enchiladas, up around the filling and place in the buttered dish. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

For the Béchamel sauce: In a saucepan,  melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth and continue to cook for 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Slowly whisk in the cold milk, and cook, stirring, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking until the floury taste is gone, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

To finish: Pour the béchamel over the crepes, drizzle with butter, and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Serve hot, with a little tomato passata spooned over the top of each serving.

Cook’s Notes:
You are probably asking yourself, “What is passata?”  Well, passata is basically just an uncooked sauce made with crushed and sieved tomatoes. What makes it so special? Usually, high quality ripe tomatoes are used for passata, resulting in a well flavored tomato base that is generally superior to standard canned tomatoes. Passata is an excellent base for sauces and perfect as a pizza sauce.

Passata is available in Italian delis and specialty gourmet markets. In Europe, passata is widely available in supermarkets. You will find it near the pasta sauces and canned tomatoes. Usually it is sold in a tall jar or a carton. But for some reason, although it is found all over Italy and Europe in general, passata does not seem to be sold widely in the United States. That’s a pity because it’s a great store-cupboard ingredient to have on hand. If you are having trouble getting your hands on passata, you can purchase it online. Amazon stocks good quality Cento Tomato Passata made from Italian San Marzano tomatoes.

How To Make Passata: If you do not have the real thing, you can make a reasonable substitute at home. Use the best quality tomatoes you can find, drain them and sieve or purée in a food processor. But do not use tomato paste, because it is thick, concentrated and highly processed. You can also add salt and other seasonings to taste, like basil or oregano.

Sources:
Orieux, Jean. Catherine de Médicis, ou, La reine noire. Paris: Flammarion, 1986.

Volpe, Anna Maria. “Caterina de Medici: A Tuscan Queen In France.” Caterina de medici, http://www.annamariavolpi.com/caterina_de_medici.html. Date Accessed: 16 December 2016.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Roasted Red Beet, Spinach and Goat Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Mushroom

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Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, halved through core, thinly sliced lengthwise, fronds chopped
1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage coarsely crumbled
One 8-ounce package sliced fresh baby bella mushrooms
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
One 16-ounce fresh tortellini with 3-cheese filling
One 5-ounce package fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional, for serving

Directions:
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage, and mushrooms; sauté until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute. Stir in cream, then 1 cup broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain tortellini; return to same pot.

Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended. Add spinach; toss gently until spinach wilts. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve, passing additional cheese.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Zuppa Toscana

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I love the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.

I loved it so much I decided only recently to make it home. This creamy concoction has Italian sausage, hearty potatoes and just a hint of heat with the crushed red pepper flakes. The ingredients are a perfect combination if there ever was one, not to mention the velvety-rich broth that warms us from the inside out. The ingredients list is budget-friendly and, while it tastes indulgent, there is also a hefty amount of leafy greens, making this soup one of the healthiest dishes out there.

 

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into wedges then halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups kale or Swiss chard or baby spinach, rinsed, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove an drain on paper towels and set aside.

Leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the sausage in the bottom of the Dutch oven, stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven over the onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale into the soup just before serving. Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Bacon, Spinach and Tomato Sandwich

 

So I am back to basics……… well almost, with this sandwich. Once again, I found myself scrounging in my refrigerator. What  I found  was a few strips of bacon, a couple of cherry tomatoes, and  a slice of cheddar cheese. I also had some whole wheat bread in the pantry. But what really made this sandwich sing was the Bacon Mayonnaise…………..Enough Said!

 

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Beet and Potato Egg Baskets

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Makes 12 Single Servings
Ingredients:

For Hash Brown Nests:
3 cups  refrigerated shredded Simply Potatoes hash brown potatoes
1 cup freshly shredded red beets
4 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
A pinch ground black pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups fresh baby spinach, shredded, for garnish
24 hard boiled quail eggs, peeled, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Be sure to spray generously to keep the cheese from sticking.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined.Scoop about 1/3 cup of the hash brown mix into each muffin tin.Press the hash browns down into the tin and up the sides. Let it come up over the top a little bit, as they will shrink down once baked.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Set aside until you are ready to garnish.

To serve, place the baskets on a serving platter. Fill each basket with a scant teaspoon of the shredded baby spinach. Place two quail eggs on top of the bed of spinach; split on of the eggs and sprinkle with salt, if desired.

 

 

 

T-Bone Steak, Seasoned Steak Fries and Creamed Spinach

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This meal was kept real simple with whole and fresh ingredients.

The secret to cooking a great steak is simple gentle seasoning and high searing heat. But most importantly “Don’t touch that steak!” Not until you are ready to flip after 2 to 3 minutes of cooking it on one side and then cook the meat without disturbing it, for another 2 ½ minutes.

On another note, to save on calories, cauliflower was used as substitute for the cream and starch in this version of “Creamed Spinach”. Another calorie cutting tip is that the steak fries were oven baked.

Serves 4
Ingredients:
For the Seasoned Steak Fries:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 to 6 Russet potatoes, cut into wedges

For the Creamed Spinach:
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt,to taste
1 1/4 pound fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Fontina Cheese, cubed
For the T-Bone Steaks:
2 teaspoons canola oil
Four T-bone steaks, each about 1-inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:
For the Steak Fries:
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Combine oil, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.Place potato wedges in the bowl with the seasonings and toss to coat the wedges with the spices.

Transfer potato wedges to a large ungreased baking sheet.Bake until the potato wedges are golden and crisp for about 35 to 40 minutes.

For the Creamed Spinach:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Add oil and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and purée until smooth. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach, and cook until slightly wilted. Add salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stirring occasionally, add the cauliflower mash and stir in the Fontina cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve at once, or keep warm in the top of a covered double boiler over barely simmering water for up to 30 minutes.

For the Steaks:
Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking.

Brush the oil on both sides of steaks and sprinkle steaks on all sides with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Place steaks on the grill and cook 3 minutes; rotate each steak about 90 degrees and cook 3 more minutes. Flip steaks and repeat grilling and rotating process, cooking until steaks reach desired doneness, about 5 minutes more for medium-rare (145°F internal temperature). Transfer steaks to plates and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve the steaks with the steak fries and cream spinach on the side.

Cook’s Notes:
If you are pressed for time, here is an alternative recipe for making seasoned steak fries using commercially prepared potatoes.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
One 28-ounce bag frozen steak fries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

Directions:
Open one 28-ounce bag frozen steak fries. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt to potatoes in the bag. Close bag, and shake vigorously to evenly coat potatoes. Spread potatoes evenly on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet Bake at 425°F for 45 minutes, stirring once. Serve immediately.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

 

Green Pasta Dough

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Pasta Verde…..Beautifully-green, fresh spinach pasta. Making your own pasta is not difficult to make, nor does it take much time. This basic recipe can used for all types of  home pasta and can be used in countless dishes.

Ingredients:
For the Spinach:
3 quarts water
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 cup packed, fresh spinach leaves

For the Pasta:
2 1/2 cups flour
3 Eggs
A pinch Salt
A pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Bench Flour, for dusting

Directions:
To prepare the spinach, remove the tough stems from the fresh spinach leaves, so they will not tear the pasta during rolling. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil and set up an ice bath next to the stove.

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Photo Credit: Ruchi’s Kitchen, 2015

 

 

Blanch the spinach leaves in the boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or and immediately plunge into the ice bath to cool.Once cool, using a strainer, squeeze out the excess water. Then place the spinach onto a kitchen towel and twist it to remove as much moisture as possible.

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Photo Credit: Ruchi’s Kitchen, 2015

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Place the flour, eggs, spinach, salt, and nutmeg in the bowl of the processor and pulse 15 times for 6 seconds at a time. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.

Photo Credit: Birdworms and Buttermilk, 2010

Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour the countertop and continue kneading for about 10 minutes. Dust with a bit of flour, each time the dough sticks to your hands or the counter. Scrape the counter from time to time, just to make sure any dried bits aren’t being incorporated into the dough.

After kneading for about ten minutes, the dough should be smooth and soft and just a touch tacky, but it should no longer be sticking to your hands or the countertop.

Once ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out.The wrapped dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 day.

This dough can now be rolled into any pasta shape, whether it be lasagna noodles, pappardelle, fettuccine, or ravioli. The variations are endless.