Saturday, May 08, 2010

Two New Recipes That You'll Want To Try

This evening presented a rare break in our schedules, allowing us the opportunity to do something we hadn't done together in weeks. . .

Cook a fun little meal  :)

The inspiration for the recipes we chose to prepare was drawn from none other than two lovely local foodies whom we respect and enjoy their company: Heidi Robb and Michelle Venorsky (aka Cleveland Foodie)

After a conversation with Heidi regarding a recent purchase of a Donna Hay cookbook that was unknowingly written in Spanish (she was so taken by the beautiful photographs that she didn't notice that the recipes were not written in English), we were pleasantly reminded that we have quite a few Donna Hay magazines we somehow forget to peruse while brainstorming for recipe ideas.  As a result, we experienced no shortage of creativity while revisiting the breathtaking food photography contained within the pages of Donna Hay.

And, thus we arrived at the following delicately indulgent hors d'oeuvre:

Lemon and Zucchini Puffs

Note: Be careful while frying and don't try to burn down your place like Kelly nearly did

3 large zucchinis, shaved into ribbons (courgettes)
3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves sliced thinly
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for shallow frying
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Lemon Aoili
1/2 cup mayonaise (we forgot to buy, and simply used lemon and garlic, still fabulous)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed

Whisk mayo, lemon and garlic and set aside.

Combine zucchini, flour, eggs, mint and seasoning. Heat 1 cm oil (1/3 inch) in a large non stick frying pan. Add 2 tablespoonfuls and fry in batches until puffed and golden.

And, after reading Michelle's Quinoa post a little while back, we became very excited to not only try the Mark Bittman recipe but the following NYT recipe as well:

Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 plump garlic cloves, minced

4 cups cooked quinoa, (1 cup uncooked)

2 large eggs

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.

2. Heat a medium frying pan or a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Wash the spinach and without spinning dry, add to the pan and wilt in the liquid left on the leaves after washing. You may have to do this in 2 batches. As soon as the spinach wilts, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water. Squeeze dry and chop. Set aside.

3. Wipe the pan dry and heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in it over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir with the onion until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the quinoa, the onion and spinach mixture, the Gruyère, and the sage. Add freshly ground pepper and stir the mixture together. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until nicely browned on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit for about 5 minutes, and serve. 

We are happy to say that both of these recipes will be repeated again very soon.  Each being versatile and unique, having potential to be easily incorporated within a variety of meals/occasions.  Also, it's always a nice bonus when you can enjoy something delicious while being healthy, low-cal, and meat free!

Not to mention, thanks to The Blisslist, we listened to several of her great playlists while whipping up this memorable meal  :)

This was yet another motivator to post a few tracks that have been getting non-stop spins in our household:

[Mp3] Lisa Papineau - White Leather Pants

[Mp3] Peasant - Well Alright

[Mp3] The Radio Dept - Heaven's On Fire



Tino said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE quinoa! It is so versatile and really just delicious. So in this baked version, was the end result something that held together? Or were the quinoa grains still separate? It looks like the makings of a very tasty side dish that I might just have to try out for myself.

Pulp said...

Both of these look fantastic! Going to try to quinoa this week for sure.

Michelle V said...

So glad you enjoyed the quinoa! I made another quinoa dish last night with black beans, cilantro, pepper in a cumin dressing - so good!

Heidi Robb said...

Thank YOU for introducing me to the Ephemere - love it and am now (well, not right now, it's 7:15 a.m.), sipping my way through a 4-pak of the La Fin du Monde.