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Entries in Main Dishes (12)

Sunday
Jun262011

Recipe: Spinach and Feta Quiche

Spinach and Feta Quiche

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 lbs fresh spinach, washed, dried and coarsely chopped

1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 jumbo eggs

1 cup heavy cream (may substitute 1 cup skimmed evaporated milk for low fat option)

8 ounces feta cheese, crumble

salt and pepper, to taste

9 inch pie shell

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Saute shallot until soft. Add spinach to sauté pan, and cook until wilted. (This will take less than 2 minutes.) When cool enough to handle, squeeze excess liquid from spinach, using a fine mesh colander.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream until well blended.  Season custard with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange half of the feta cheese on the bottom of the pie shell, followed by the spinach.

Pour the custard over the spinach and then top with the remaining cheese.

Bake the quiche until the custard is golden, puffed and set -- approximately 40 minutes. (The custard is set when an inserted knife comes out clean.)

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday
Apr272011

Recipe: Mustard and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Mustard and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 c unseasoned bread crumbs

3 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley*

1 T finely chopped mint*

3 T minced fresh rosemary*

salt and pepper to taste

3 1/2 T olive oil (more for searing meat)

3 frenched racks of lamb (8 ribs each), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat, then brought to room temp

2 T Dijon mustard

Special equipment: an instant read thermometer

Instructions

Stir together bread crumbs, parsley, mint rosemary salt and pepper in a bowl, then drizzle 3 1/2 T olive oil and toss to combine.

Preheat oven to 400 F

Season lamb with salt and pepper.  Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot (but not smoking).  Brown lamb, one rack at a time, 2 minutes on each side.

Spread fatty sides of each rack with about 2 t of mustard.  Divide bread crumbs into 3 portions and press bread crumb mixture into the mustard coating.**

Place racks in a roasting pan.  Roast lamb until thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center (do not touch bone) registers 130F for medium rare (approximately 20-25 minutes).  Transfer racks to a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes, them cut into chops.

Notes:

*These measurements are approximate.  Feel free to use more or less.  

** I typically spread the bread crumb mixture onto a piece of wax paper and then invert the rack directly onto the crumbs -- pressing down well before lifting the racks off the paper.

Sunday
Mar272011

Recipe: Quinoa with Kale and Goat Cheese

Quinoa with Kale and Goat Cheese

Adapted from a recipe by "deensiebat", on the food52 website

Yield: 2 as a Main Dish or 4 as a Side Salad

Ingredients

2 cups salted water

1 cup quinoa

1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and coarsely chopped

1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced

2 scallions, finely chopped

1/4 c olive oil

3 Tbsp pine nuts (toasted, if you like)

4 oz goat cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

In a heavy gauge sauce pan, bring the salted water to a boil.  Add the quinoa, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer the quinoa for 10 minutes, then top with chopped kale. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat.  Allow the kale to steam for an additional 5 minutes.

Fluff the cooked quinoa and kale.

In a separate bowl, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you are using the quinoa as a main course:  Add the goat cheese and pine nuts to the lemon vinaigrette. Then add the warm quinoa and kale to the mixture. Stir until well combined. Serve immediately.

If you are using the quinoa as a side salad:  Add the warm quinoa and kale mixture to the lemon vinaigrette. Stir until well combined.  Let the mixture cool.  Before serving, stir in the pine nuts and crumbled cheese.

As a variation, you can substitute baby spinach for the kale.  Because it is so delicate, there is no need to precook.

Monday
Feb212011

Recipe: Broccoli Quiche

Broccoli Quiche

Yield: 6 servings, 

Ingredients

small bunch of broccoli, blanched and roughly chopped

1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced

4 jumbo eggs

1 cup heavy cream (may substitute 1 cup skimmed evaporated milk for low fat option)

6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese

freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

9 inch tart shell, well chilled

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream until well blended.  Season custard with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange half of the grated cheese on the bottom of the tart shell, followed by the broccoli and shallots.

Pour the custard over the vegetable.  Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

Bake the quiche until the custard is golden, puffed and set approximately 40 minutes. (The custard is set when an inserted knife comes out clean.)

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday
Feb052011

Recipe: Pasta with Rustic Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Rustic Tomato Sauce

Yield: Serves 4

 Ingredients 

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

1  large onion, peeled and chopped 

4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced 

1 teaspoon of dried oregano, or to taste

crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

6 hot Italian sausage, casing removed 

6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 large bunch of basil, stems removed

salt and pepper to taste 

1 pound linguine, cooked al dente

Approximately 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water

Preparation

Heat oil until hot, but not smoking. Sauté chopped onions and garlic until soft. Sprinkle the red hot pepper flakes and oregano over the onion mixture.  Cook until the spices sizzle and smell aromatic, about 30 seconds. 

Add the sausage to the pan, breaking up the meat into bite size pieces. Brown the meat until completely cooked through.  Drain excess fat from the pan.

Add the chopped tomatoes and basil to the meat mixture.  Simmer on medium high heat, uncovered, until the tomatoes soften, 5-10 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. (The excess liquid will be absorbed by the pasta during the final step.)

Add the cooked pasta to the pan; cook for several minutes until the excess liquid is absorbed.

Serve the pasta with a drizzle of high quality olive oil and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.