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Welcome to my collection of recipes and cooking related ramblings. Please don't expect culinary perfection during your time here... for I am a frustrated foodie with very little patience and more than a tendency for often unnecessary creativity in the kitchen. I have a hard time following instructions (Never fear, I can read, I just don't like being told what to do), so cooking is a good exercise in discipline for me. Luckily I have a willing husband to taste test these creations, good and bad, so I don't have to suffer alone in my experimentations.  

If you dare - learn along with me as I try out recipes, tweak them to my liking, learn what NOT to do and share all the mundane details with you! Let's do this... 

Entries in Mushrooms (3)

Sunday
May202012

Ham, Gruyere & Mushroom Quiche - ooh la la with little more la la on top

It's been a looooooong week around here and this Sunday morning, all I want to do was take it easy. After lingering over a pot of coffee - and I lingered, people, I lingered - I decided brunch would kill two culinary birds with one stone. Then I thought, "Wait! I could kill three birds with that stone - I'll clean out the fridge too!) Ultimately the fridge offered a magic concoction consisting of deli ham, gruyere cheese and mushrooms. I resisted adding any other bits and pieces, as I'm prone to overdoing, and just complemented the flavors with a little onion and garlic. 

I thought this was the perfect time to pass along a little quiche tip I've picked up that helps you decide how much egg/milk mixture you need for the perfect pie. The basic recipe calls for 3 eggs (I had to use 4). Once you beat the eggs together you add enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups total. For each egg you should add enough milk to make it 1/2 cup combined. If you use 4 eggs, add enough milk to make a total of 2 cups. Capiche? Good. Now stow away that little tidbit and get crackin!

Ham, Gruyere & Mushroom Quiche 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 oz. deli ham, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 oz. Swiss cheese (I use about 4 "thin" slices)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • milk (enough to make 2 cups when added to beaten eggs)
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add minced garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes and add salted mushrooms. Heat thoroughly until mushrooms cook down, approximately 5 minutes. Set mushrooms aside. In heated pan, add chopped onions and saute until transluscent. Once onions are clear, add chopped ham and heat for about two more minutes just slightly browning the ham. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prebake the pie crust for about 5-7 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. In a small bowl, beat together eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Begin layering the quiche in the prebaked crust by first spreading the ham and onions one the bottom and topping with the (thoroughly drained) mushrooms. Tear the swiss cheese into largish pieces and layer on top of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the top with gruyere cheese. Finally, pour egg and milk mixture into the shell until it covers other fillings completely and fills pie. Note: You may have a little bit of milk mixture left over if you are using a smaller pie plate.

Bake pie for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when pricking the center. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Try not to cut the pie into fourths - as this recipe should serve at least 6, if not 8. Yeah, right. 

Bonus note: The cat approved... couldn't keep her away from it while it was cooling. Shoo kitty shoo!

Saturday
Apr072012

Meat Pie, yeah, I said it.

Okay, it's really meat and cheese pie but I like the way meat pie sounds better. This vaguely Italian savory pie should be trotted out on Saturday for football with the boys, or brunch with the girls, served with some fresh fruit and some sort of a green salad. I know, I know, that menu doesn't sound very manly - but trust me, the boys will gobble up this rich and meaty dish. Meat pie sounds so much manlier than quiche. Rest assured, boys, this isn't a quiche, but a distant cousin, the ricotta pie.

It's one of those recipes that you can change up to use what you have on hand. The basic ricotta, egg and mozzarella cheese trio serves as a base for combinations only limited by the contents of your fridge. Ham, bacon, prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, broccoli, pesto, sun dried tomatoes... I could go on and on. Really, just about anything works. No need for precise measurements... just shoot for around 4-6 servings of meat, 4-6 servings of veggies and whatever flavorings you like.

Because I try to cram several servings of vegetables into every dish I make - I decided to make this version with spinach, mushrooms, and onions. I figure that along with the meat, cheese and crust - its a perfect food! Perfect foods contain everything on the food pyramid all rolled into one. Meat, check. Dairy, check. Grains, check. Veggies, check! Have some fruit on the side... and you're FDA approved with this menu choice. (This recipe has not actually been FDA approved, duh.)

Sausage Spinach and Mushroom Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (I use the boxed Pillsbury kind)
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese (lowfat)
  • 10-12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. feta cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb. tube reduced fat Italian sausage
  • 1 bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. basil pesto

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a skillet, brown Italian sausage. Remove sausage from pan and use any drippings to saute the onions and mushrooms until soft, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the fresh spinach with the onions and mushrooms and cook for about one minute. Remove from heat, return sausage to the veggie mixture, mix and set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, feta and parmesan cheeses. Stir in beaten eggs and pesto. Mix the meat and veggies into the cheeses and pour into a prepared pie shell. Bake pie for approximately 45 - 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The pie will get nice and goden brown on top and will bubble around the edges when done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve. Serves 6-8.

 

Saturday
Apr072012

Time for a little Bacon Mushroom Breakfast Muffin love

 

So... I was spring cleaning today and decided I'd start with the easiest place in the house (and the one where I will get the most distracted and thus abandon all other spring cleaning) the refrigerator. What's a girl to do with half a package of bacon, a tub of mushrooms and a block of cheese, you ask? Make these savory muffins, I say! My husband said it was like eating a whole sandwich in a muffin!

Well, the plan worked. I haven't cleaned a thing except the dishes used to make this recipe as I conveniently got caught up in sharing this edible delight with you instead. If we had anything else worth eating in the fridge... I'd pair this with some fresh fruit and honeyed yogurt.  Instead, I ate two over the sink and snuck one upstairs as a reward for writing this post. 

Lucky for you, this easy recipe is flexible, takes little skill, looks artisanish and tastes like Christmas. It's perfect for a brunch or lazy family weekend breakfast.You can tailor it to your tastes or what's left over in your fridge by substituting a variety of meats and cheese for the bacon and cheddar. Prosciutto and gruyere would be a delicious combination as would a smoked Cheddar and Canadian Bacon. So, go on, do your thing.

Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Breakfast Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus 2Tbsp.
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated 
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 Tbsp. butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a regular muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. 

Fry bacon pieces until crispy and drain on paper towels, reserving 1-2 Tbsp. grease. Using the bacon grease, saute the chopped mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes until softened, set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour (reserving the extra 2Tbsps.), baking powder, salt, pepper and grated cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the bacon. Toss the mushrooms with the 2 Tbsp of flour and mix until just combined. The flour will keep the mushrooms from sinking to the bottom.

Scoop the muffin mixture into prepared tin- filling each tin even with the top.  Bake for approximately 15-16 minutes until tops begin to brown. As soon as you can handle them, remove muffins to a cooling rack to prevent them from getting rubbery.