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
1 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
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!
Welcome to the Hye 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
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
When faced with a few seemingly very ripe (skins were dark, but they were still pretty firm) bananas, I was thinking about what I might want to make with them and realized that I have never posted a recipe for Banana Bread. I've posted a Chocolate Banana Bread (playing with Chocolate Cream of Wheat) a Chocolate-Pineapple Banana Bread, and even a Coconut-Banana-Oatmeal Bread, but never a plain ol' regular Banana Bread. I had a fabulous recipe years ago but sadly lost it somewhere along the line. That was more of a traditional super-moist quick-bread recipe.
This recipe is a little different. I use about half the oil and sugar most recipes call for, brown sugar instead of white, and include a bit of cinnamon, which accounts for the color. When mixing everything together, you may first think it's going to be dry, but trust me - once the bananas are added and the bread is baked, it turns out with a very light texture and not dry at all.
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 c canola oil (or veg)
1 t vanilla
1/2 c brown sugar
Single-serve carton of plain or vanilla yogurt
(roughly 1/2 c if portioning from large container)
2 ripe bananas
- In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla, brown sugar, and yogurt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, until just combined.
- Mash and stir in the bananas. I like to use a fork to mash them on a sheet of waxed paper so I can easily slide them into the bowl and not have additional clean up to do.
- Spray, grease, or line a loaf pan with parchment - I like to use PAM Baking for spraying my pans, but I happened to be out, so I went with parchment.
- Bake at 350 for about an hour until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean - time will vary depending on your oven, the size of your pan, etc.
- Let rest in pan for about 10" before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
It's funny, I almost always spread a little cream cheese on a slice of zucchini or date-nut bread, but not on banana or cranberry bread. I decided at the last minute to throw on a little schmear - good, but not necessary.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
I opened my freezer one day and realized that I had somehow accumulated multiple packages of wonton wrappers. Next to the wonton wrappers were boxes of phyllo dough and kadayif dough. In thinking about what I might feel like making and debating the uses for each, it occurred to me to try combining a few. That led me to making these Wonton Cheese Bouregs. Cheese Bouregs are wrapped in phyllo, but there is a similar version that uses the kadayif dough. I have only ever used that dough for making trays of Cream-Filled Kadayif.
My regular Cheese Boureg recipe also includes cottage cheese, but I left that out here because of the additional moisture. I did leave in the egg, but if you're worried about it not being cooked properly, you can certainly omit that. It does make the filling easier to mix and gives it a lighter texture, but it's not mandatory. You could also opt to fry them until they're a light golden brown, then transfer them to a tray, cover with foil and bake for an additional 10" or so. That's also a good way to keep them hot if making a huge batch - only I'd keep the oven at a low temp for that.
The one thing that I should have anticipated but didn't was that the moisture from the filling didn't allow for these to stay very crisp. The tails/edges are as crispy as you would expect, but the portion covering the filling softened. Maybe using less filling would help that, although I didn't actually find it to be particularly objectionable - just something to note. Another option might be to cut the cream cheese back to 6 oz.
Another difference between a wonton - as with an egg roll or rangoon - and a boureg is the use of a dipping sauce. Whenever I make any kind of egg rolls, there is a sauce involved, but that's not the case with a Cheese Boureg. Because this was a hybrid, I thought about what kind of sauce might go with the cheese and decided to heat together some hot pepper jelly and apple sauce. You often see cracker and cheese platters that include a hot pepper jelly, and the apple sauce cools it down while giving it more of a traditional Duck Sauce texture.
2 pkgs wonton wrappers
8 oz block of Muenster cheese - shredded
8 oz cream cheese - softened
1/2 c fresh chopped parsley
Oil for frying - I used canola
Hot Pepper Jelly
- Wash and dry your parsley well, then chop either by hand or in a food processor.
- If using a food processor, you can take out some of the parsley so you're left with roughly a half cup, then pop in the shredder attachment and shred your Muenster right into the parsley - no need to clean it out first.
- Transfer the parsley and Muenster into a large bowl and add the cream cheese and egg (if using the egg), mixing until well incorporated.
- Open your first package of wrappers and, if they are particularly large, trim the edges so you are left with a more manageable-sized square. You can wrap and freeze the edges for another time - trim into strips and fry to sprinkle on Asian-inspired salads, etc.
- Place one wrapper on your work surface and add a line of filling diagonally across the middle.
- Dip a finger into a little bowl of water and run around the edge of the wrapper, then fold wrapper over the filling, pressing out as much air as you can and pinching to seal. I started out doing them flat on the counter, then realized it's actually easier if you fold it over tip to tip, then pick it up and hold it in one hand pressing out the air while pinching with the other to seal. You could also fold them into a triangle, then wet the corners and fold those in envelope style if you like.
- When you're about half way through wrapping, you can start heating your oil - about an inch deep or so over medium heat to get it started.
- When all of your wontons are wrapped, check on the heat of your oil by throwing in a drop of water and seeing if it immediately crackles and pops. If not, turn up the heat a bit - may need to adjust as you go along.
- Fry in small batches (on both sides) to make sure you don't over-crowd the pan. Presumably because of the fat content, I had a hard time getting the first few to flip, then realized if I dropped them in the oil and flipped them as soon as they popped to the surface, I would then be able to flip them again as needed.
- Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
- For the sauce, I just heated together a few tablespoons of hot pepper jelly with one of those little single-serve packets of apple sauce. I ended up really enjoying that and can't wait to try it with something else. :)
Monday, March 2, 2015
This is really more of a serving suggestion than it is a recipe. I don't recall what made me think to do this, but I'm glad I did. Every once in a while, our family would get together for a movie night at home, and on some of those occasions, my sister and I would serve up platters of antipasto for everyone including olives, meats, cheeses, vegetables, pita bread, etc. Sometimes we would serve it with hummus, other times with tzatziki, tabouli, or a combination. I decided to try combining all (almost) of those great flavors into one bite.
Petite dice all of your ingredients into roughly the same size, then toss with whatever kind of binder or dressing you want. I went with a simple drizzle of white balsamic vinegar and some Italian seasoning at the end. If you plan to make this ahead of time for something (would have been great for Superbowl Sunday), you might want to keep the cheese separate until just before serving so it doesn't get mushy.
Olives - A variety is nice; I used kalamatas and garlic stuffed green olives.
Peppers - Peppadew, pepperoncini, roasted red bell, and banana peppers all work well but not necessarily in one bite. I went with Peppadews for their sweet heat and a roasted red bell pepper for its more earthy sweetness.
Carrots - If you don't want the raw texture, blanch them by dropping briefly into boiling water, then plunging into cold water to stop the cooking.
Tomatoes - A colorful medley would be nice, but I just used a few plum tomatoes this time.
Cucumber - I always prefer the baby pickling cukes - more flavor, less seedy.
Meat - Pepperoni, salami, or prosciutto are good options; I went with the pepperoni.
Cheese - Feta, kasseri, provolone, or a combination; I contemplated a combination but went with the kessari.
Artichokes - I had intended to dice up some artichokes but completely forgot about that until I was already stuffing my face. Next time!
Sauce - Italian dressing, tzatziki, hummus, balsamic vinegar, olive oil ...
I make bagel and/or pita chips fairly often. When I make pita chips, I generally cut the loaves into wedges. In thinking about a salsa and how I like to use "scoops" rather than flat chips, I decided to try making pita scoops. Although this was super easy and worked just like you would have hoped, you do end up with some scraps, so you might want to weigh that into your decision. Not a huge loss, but some. When making chips (flat) out of the pitas, if using small round loaves, you can usually get away with cutting the stack in half, stacking them again, and cutting into wedges. If you're using large rounds, the wedges end up too long and narrow, so I'll cut the stack in half, stack them again and cut a strip from the cut edge. Then I can cut the strip into three or four square chips and cut the rest into wedges.
To make the chips, line a baking sheet with your wedges, or stuff rounds into mini muffin cups, spritz with olive oil or cooking spray, and bake to desired doneness. You can add some Italian seasoning or other herb/spice mix, but with so many flavors in this particular filling, that's not really necessary for this. I gave mine a very light sprinkle of Italian seasoning in case I ended up eating a few plain or with just a piece of cheese.
If you want to make your own roasted red pepper, just split the pepper in half and place on a baking sheet, cut-side-down. Bake at 450 for about 20" or so until the skin bubbles up and starts to pull away from the flesh (that always sounds gross lol). Turn the broiler on for another minute or so until it starts to blister and crack, then toss the pepper into a brown paper lunch bag or glass covered bowl for about five minutes. That will give it a chance to steam and then cool to the touch, so when you take it out of the bag or bowl, the skin should slide right off for you.
If you decide to use pepperoni, consider how much you will need and if you might be making pizza sometime in the not-so-distant future. I was originally going to pick up a little pouch of thick-sliced pepperoni, but when I saw how much cheaper a stick was, I got that instead. I diced about a 2" length, sealed up the rest and put it in the fridge. If I don't make pizza in the next week or so, I'll go ahead and freeze it.
What do you put into your Antipasto? Am I missing anything exciting??