Monday, February 28, 2011

Soul Food - Arugula

Arugula in my garden that has gone to seed.

Arugula is one of those herby/salady/gourmet greens that I absolutely love and will find just about any use for in a soup, stew, for breakfast with eggs, salad or just plain.  I think it has a buttery taste with a kick and on of my favorite ways to serve/eat it in a salad with pears, walnuts and goat cheese with drizzled evo and balsamic.

I found a few more fabulous ways to use arugula at a very fun food blog - La Table de Nana where I found both of these recipes.

Lindsays Arugula and Red Pepper Penne Dish.

This "soul food" is her " arugula mashed potatoes and garnished with a parsley coin." Does this NOT make you want to go whip up some? She found this recipe here.

Lylah's Mexican Quiche Recipe

It's great for an evening meal, a ladies luncheon, a spring tea and definitely a pot luck. Try it and let me know how you like it! I know you will.

Lylah's Mexican Quiche Recipe
1 pie crust (cheat and use Trader Joe's frozen pie crust or another kind)
1 1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) can green chili, chopped.
1 cup of half and half
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp ground cumin
5 eggs - beaten

Partially bake pie crust for about 10 - 12 minutes. Sprinkle all Jack cheese and 1/2 Cheddar over the bottom of the crust. Add the chopped chili.

Mix together the half and half the eggs, salt and cumin. Mix until blended. Pour into the crust.

Sprinkle the rest of the Cheddar cheese on the top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the center is done with the 'knife test.' Serve with Maria's Best Salsa and a nice green salad!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maria's Mexican Salsa - The Best Ever!

Maria makes the best Mexican Salsa in the whole world and if you don't believe me - try this recipe!

1 jalapeño (fresh)
1 whole tomato – diced (can use 8 oz can of diced tomatoes instead)
¼ small small onion
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 lemon - squeezed(may substitute lemon/lime juice)
½ tsp salt
1 dash cumin (not necessary, only if you’d like)

(if you like more of any of the above, feel free to add them)
1.        Cook jalapeño in water (until turns light green)
2.        Chop jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, and tomatoes in food processor (to desired consistency- may add water)
3.        Combine all ingredients in bowl
4.        Squeeze lemon or lime
5.        Add salt and cumin (to taste)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lemon Tarts

There's just something good about a thirty year old recipe . . . sorta timeless. Thirty years ago, a dear older woman in my life made this almost on a weekly basis. It's easier than pie and incredibly yummy.

Lemon Cake Pudding
Sift—1/4c flour, 1 c sugar and 1/4 t salt Stir in—1 1/2 t grated lemon rind, 1/4c lemon juice, 2 egg yolks that have been beaten, and 1 c milk (whole) Then—fold in 2 egg whites that have been stiffly beaten. Now...pour this into 6 custard cups. Set these cups into a pan of water (a 9x13 baking dish is great). Make sure the water comes up 1” on the side of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Kale Chips

We grow several varieties of kale at our farm and so often people don't know quite what to do with kale.  Kale can be eaten raw (a salad like this Tuscan kale salad) or it can be fried and even better (this one kids love) you can make kale chips.

Lucinda Scala Quinn, in Mad Hungry, has this great recipe:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bunches of kale, average size, ends trimmed, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Toss the kale in the olive oil plus salt and pepper. Spread out over 2 baking sheets. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes until tender and crisp.  Enjoy!

Tuscan Kale Salad

Kale is an amazing food. And a year or so ago, I had a delightful lunch at True Food here in Phoenix. The Tuscan Kale salad caught my attention. I'm so glad it did - I'm now 'in love' with Kale.

Here's my re-creation of their wonderful, yummy salad.

4 minced cloves of garlic, fresh squeezed lemon juice, finely chopped kale, EVOO and then salt and pepper to taste. Easy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Le Menu for Brunch *Ideas*

A few years ago Michael and I hosted twenty-four lovely people for an Easter Brunch.

Le Menu included:
Spinach Feta Tart - recipe below
Stuffed French Toast - recipe below
Red Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Black Bean and Yellow Rice Salad
Grilled Asparagus
BBQ chicken and shish kabob from Baiz Market here in the Phoenix Valley. 

If you are looking for a fabulous something different to serve at a luncheon - try this:

Spinach Feta Tart
pastry for 1 single-crust pie -
2 eggs,
1 cup chopped fresh spinach,
1 cup ricotta cheese,
1/2 crumbled feta cheese,
1/4 cup milk,
2 tsp snipped fresh oregano or 3/4 tsp dried oregano crushed
2 TB. grated Parmesan red pepper, yellow pepper - (either one)

In the already done pie shell - place foil around the edges and bake it at 450 for 8 minutes. then, remove the foil and bake for about 5 minutes more or till golden. Remove from oven then reduce oven temperature to 325.

Mix in a mixing bowl - beat the eggs, stir in spinach, ricotta, the 1/2 cup feta, milk and oregano. sprinkle the pastry with Parmesan: top with egg mixture. bake in a 325 oven about 20 minutes (that can be done here) or until the knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

This is to die for:

Baked Stuffed French Toast by The Beach Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast
20 to 24 slices raisin bread
6 eggs2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
2 teasp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

16 ounces of cream cheese
1 teasp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar

Arrange bread slices in a 13x9 baking pan that has been buttered. Sprinkle bread with cinnamon. Spread cream cheese mixture over bread. Layer with the remaining bread and cinnamon. Slowly pour egg mixture over the top until all the bread is soaked .

 Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 F covered for approximately 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 20 minutes longer. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve with saute'ed apples or peaches and pure maple syrup.