Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Poatoes

Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Potatoes: Hye Thyme Cafe

This is a super simple recipe borne out of poor shopping habits. I usually don't shop with a plan in mind - I might need a few things, then decide to wing it on the rest.  In this case, I ended up with a bunch of Chard I forgot about, one lonely potato, and a pint of tomatoes that I had intended to use for one thing but ended up pirating a few of the other ingredients for another purpose, so they were left to themselves. I couldn't even use them in a salad, because the day before, I noticed my lettuce and baby cukes getting wilty, so I chopped them up and used them as a bed to polish off the chicken salad I still had tucked away in the fridge.

Proportionally, this would have been better with one more potato to provide a better ratio of potato to tomato, so I'm sneaking an extra into the list of ingredients.

A great option as a side dish, but you could also throw a sunny-side up egg over the top and serve it up for breakfast.

I started off with a bit of water in the bottom and covering the dish to let the veggies start to steam and break down, then took the cover off for the rest of the time. The end result gave me a layer of crispy greens at the top with nicely wilted greens and tender veggies underneath. If you don't like the idea of the crispy greens (think Kale Chips), you could hold off on sprinkling the crumbs and Parmesan over the top until after taking the cover off. That will afford you an opportunity to give everything a stir so the greens on the top will now be on the bottom, and those that were in the water are at the top. Then you can sprinkle the topping and continue to bake.

If you want to invest the extra time and clean up, you could certainly saute the garlic and onion first, then throw in the potatoes to give them a head start. I like a one-dish/pot item when I can get away with it.

1 bunch Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Potatoes: Hye Thyme Cafe1 pint small tomatoes
2 large potatoes
1 large onion
1 clove garlic or 1t jarred minced garlic
2-3 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c grated Parmesan

  1. Start by washing and drying your chard. You want to remove any grit, and drying it assures that the olive oil won't just roll off.
  2. Chop the large stalks off the ends of the chard, then stack a bunch of leaves and slice down the middle, along the stem, then crosswise into pieces; repeat with the rest.
  3. Because everything is going into one pot in the oven, you want to make sure your potatoes will cook through at the same rate, so slice them into thin rings and then into quarters so you are left with sort of pie-slice wedges.
  4. Dice the onion and mince the garlic (I used jarred minced garlic with red peppers).
  5. Throw the chard, potatoes, onion, garlic, and tomatoes into a large bowl, toss together with just enough olive oil to lightly coat, then season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  6. Pour 1/2 c water into baking dish, then pour in your veggies.
  7. Mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle over the top.
  8. Cover and bake at 375 for about 20", then uncover and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the topping golden - about 45" total baking time.  See note above re: crispy greens.

Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Potatoes: Hye Thyme Cafe

Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Potatoes: Hye Thyme Cafe
Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Potatoes: Hye Thyme Cafe

Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Potatoes: Hye Thyme Cafe

WARNING:  Be sure to let this cool for a minute or two before digging in.  I love when a roasted tomato pops when you bite into it, but straight out of the oven, all that liquid in the middle will be super hot!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beet Salad with Mint Dressing

Beets Salad with Mint Dressing: Hye Thyme Cafe

I was excited to finally come across some golden beets at a local grocery store, so I couldn't wait to try them. I love beets any way I can get them - roasted, pickled, raw, turned into chips, you name it! I really wanted to see how the golden beets stacked up against purple beets raw, so I decided to use both in a salad.

I had initially envisioned crumbling some sort of cheese on top, like maybe a cotija, but I could't find any. I am definitely NOT a bleu cheese person, and the thought of an earthy, pungent feta paired with the earthy flavor of the purple beets would be too much Earth going on for my taste. It turns out the golden beets have a milder, sweeter flavor.

When I first walked into the market, the pineapple display caught my eye. I thought that would be a great addition, since pineapple pairs so well with both beets and cucumber. Unfortunately, none of them were ripe. That made me think of pineapple cottage cheese instead. That would cover both the cheese and the pineapple. If you don't like the idea of wet cheese on your salad, you could easily strain the cottage cheese to have the benefit of those sweet curds without all the whey.

I used dried mint, rice vinegar, and a spring mix of greens, but you could easily substitute fresh mint, a different vinegar (white balsamic, champagne, etc.), and incorporate any greens you like - perhaps even some of your beet greens.

2 T olive oil
2 T seasoned rice vinegar
1 t crushed dried mint
1/8 t each salt and pepper
Spring Mix of Greens
2 purple beets
2 golden beets
1 cucumber

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mint, salt, and pepper.
  2. If using a package of greens, be sure to check the label to see if they were pre-washed. I used a container of pre-washed Spring Mix. Otherwise, wash and dry your greens well and place in a large bowl.
  3. Toss the greens with just enough of the dressing to give them a light coating, then transfer to a serving platter.
  4. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, carefully slice the golden beets into very thin rounds and arrange in a spiral around the outside edge of your greens, leaving some of the greens visible.
  5. Repeat with the purple beets, arranging inside the golden beets.
  6. Thin slice the cucumber into rounds, piling in the center.
  7. Drizzle additional dressing over the beets and cucumber.
  8. If including the pineapple cottage cheese, scoop into the very center and sprinkle with additional mint. Pineapple and mint are another winning flavor combination.

Beets Salad with Mint Dressing: Hye Thyme Cafe

Beets Salad with Mint Dressing: Hye Thyme Cafe

Beets Salad with Mint Dressing: Hye Thyme Cafe

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