Tag-Archive for ◊ veggies ◊

09 Jun 2011 Marinated and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

The best Marinated and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms I’ve ever had were served at my 30th high school reunion. (Yes, I am that old. Dang it.)  The mushrooms were served at room temperature, they were “meaty” (as Portobellos are known to be), tangy, smokey, and a bit salty.  Of all the things to remember about a high school reunion, I remember the mushrooms?  There’s something seriously wrong with me…

Most unfortunately,  I don’t have that particular Helix High School 30th Reunion recipe for mushrooms, but I have finally found a recipe and method  that seems to come pretty darn close.  For this I have to thank Cook’s Illustrated, which was a starting point for this recipe.   I adjusted their method just a bit to ensure some nice grill marks on the Portobello slices, and to make it a bit more convenient to prep ahead of time.  The original recipe is from the 2010 “Summer Grilling” publication (page 61).

These Portobellos are marinated, grilled, sliced, grilled a second time, marinated a second time, and served.  Yes, another recipe that is a bit of a bother, but the steps are easy, and can be done ahead of time, and the final step can be done while the guests stand around ohhh-ing and ahh-ing and wishing they knew how to make such marvelous mushrooms.  You’ll feel so accomplished. Trust me on this.

Marinated and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

4 large Portobello mushrooms (between 5 and 6 inches in diameter, about 6 oz., each, in weight)

Pre-grilling Marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Post -grilling Marinade

  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  1. Combine all ingredients for first marinade in a large Ziploc bag.  Add cleaned mushrooms, seal bag, and toss gently. Let mushrooms stand at room temperature for about one hour in this marinade.
  2. Cut four 12-inch pieces of foil.  Remove mushrooms from marinade.  Place one mushroom, gill side up, on each square of foil.  Fold foil edges over mushroom and seal securely.
  3. Grill mushrooms in foil packed, gill side/sealed foil side UP, until mushroom is tender and juicy, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Carefully open foil packets.  Remove mushrooms and slice, on the diagonal, into long thick slices.
  5. Combine all the ingredients for the second marinade in a large bowl and set aside.
  6. 20 minutes before dinner, return sliced mushrooms to grill.  Grill each slice until nicely grill marked.  Depending on the heat of your grill this could take anywhere from 1-3 minutes on each side.
  7. Place grilled mushroom slices in bowl with marinade and toss to coat.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let mushrooms marinate for 15 minutes (and up to 30 minutes).
  8. Remove mushrooms from marinade and place on serving platter. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  If you would like to receive a quick 2-line email when I post my next recipe, please enter your email address in the “subscribe” box in the right-hand column 🙂

Happy Grilling!

P.S. This grilled recipe is being added to the summer grilling link party at Family Fresh Cooking! Let’s get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France Cheese, Rösle, Emile Henry, ManPans and Rouxbe!

20 Jan 2011 Veggie Breakfast Casserole

Do you have a breakfast casserole in your repertoire?  Breakfast casseroles are great (but they don’t photograph well).  The bulk of the work is done the night before.  The casserole rests in the refrigerator while you sleep, and is taken out and baked in the morning. Breakfast casseroles are a wonderful thing if you are entertaining overnight house guests.  They are  convenient to make for groups of friends sharing a snow condo or the beach house.  They are a must for family gatherings such as Christmas morning and special occasion-baby shower, Valentine’s Day-brunches.  Breakfast casseroles are popular at potluck brunches.  You just gotta have one or two in your repertoire!

Here’s a good one to start with.  It’s based on a Spinach Strata recipe from epicurious.com, but I increased the spinach, added mushrooms, decreased the mustard and the eggs, and changed the method! I guess that means this recipe is adaptable.  Don’t like all that spinach? Use half and then add something else that you do like, diced and drained tomatoes, chopped artichoke hearts, sauteed diced zucchini, maybe?  Want to add in a ¼ cup chopped bell pepper or spicy peppers? Go ahead!  Don’t have the specific cheese mentioned? Use what you like and what you have on hand (just don’t use all cheddar or you will have a greasy mess).  Want to saute fresh spinach instead of using frozen spinach?  Go for it! You could also add some browned sausage but I really think a few slices of good bacon on the side would be better. Be sure to add some citrus on the side, too, so that all the iron from the spinach can be absorbed!

My one problem with this recipe is that it makes soooo much! Breakfast casseroles are filling, a 9 x 13 inch pan full serves a crowd of 12 or so (variable of course, depending on how many hale and hearty men and teenage boys you have in the crowd), which is good for many occasions, but not so good for a  quiet brunch at home.  If you are making this just for you and your immediate family, half the recipe and bake it in a 9 inch square pan for a bit less than the stated cooking time.  Leftovers reheat well in the microwave and I have enjoyed this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I think you’ll enjoy having this recipe in your repertoire.  If you get hooked on breakfast casseroles, I have a smoked salmon one to share, too 🙂

Veggie Breakfast Casserole

  • 2 (10-oz) packages frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, diced
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon  nutmeg
  • 8 cups stale cubed (1 inch) French. Italian or Sourdough bread (1/2 lb)
  • 2 cups (about 6 oz) coarsely grated good melting cheese such as Gruyère, Jack, Smoked Gouda, Mozzarella, cheddar (the combo used will affect the taste of your casserole, of course.  For the best taste, mix your cheeses.  Definitely don’t use a full 2 cups of SMOKED Gouda (overpowering smoked taste) or cheddar (too greasy).
  • 1 cup (about 2 oz.) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2  ¾ cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  1. Defrost spinach in the microwave and let cool.  Then squeeze–and I do mean s-q-u-e-e-e-e-z-e handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible.  At least half your “spinach” will be green water.
  2. Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook, stirring, for a minute or so and then remove from pan.  Add diced mushrooms and another tablespoonful of butter and olive oil to the pan.  Saute mushrooms until cooked, about 5 minutes.  Raise heat, and boil off excess moisture.  Add mushrooms to onion spinach mixture.
  3. Pour bread cubes into a very large bowl.  Stir in cooled spinach mixture and cheeses.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Pour this mixture over the bread-veggie-cheese mixture in the large bowl.
  5. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Spread mixture evenly into corners and smooth the top. Chill the casserole, covered with plastic wrap, overnight (8 hours or so).
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F while casserole stands at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  7. Bake breakfast casserole, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Enjoy your breakfast casserole with some great coffee, sliced fruit and a slice or two of really good, salty bacon and thanks for stopping by my kitchen this fine, fine morning!

16 Jan 2011 Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts ruined every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for the first thirty years of my life.  It was a rule, in my house, that everyone had to eat one Brussels sprout at Thanksgiving dinner and another at Christmas dinner. I dreaded Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner.  Brussels Sprouts were bitter, soggy and all around YUCKY.  I would choke. I would gag.  My stomach would lurch.  I’d grimace.  My family would laugh, but show no mercy. It had to be swallowed. It usually took two bites. Although Brussels Sprouts were number one on my most hated foods list, there were other foods on the list, too: lima beans, pancakes, corn and maple syrup. But! Lima beans, pancakes, corn and maple syrup didn’t constitute a power struggle with my parents.  Brussels sprouts did.

I was thirty years old before I had the wherewithal to refuse to eat one more Brussels sprout.  When I put down my fork that Christmas, I didn’t pick it up again, for ANY Brussels sprout, for another twenty years.  Whatever possessed me to try Brussels sprouts again, I don’t know, but when I was fifty years old I found out Brussels sprouts could be rendered edible if they were fresh and roasted.  My parents used to serve frozen Brussels sprouts that had been boiled.  Please! Don’t do this!

Buy fresh Brussels sprouts, preferably on the stalk, and preferably after the first frost (Brussels sprouts that have been nipped by frost are sweeter).  Old green beans don’t taste good, neither do old carrots or old mushrooms.  Cook the Brussels sprouts soon after harvest, and roast them using the recipe below (which is based on a recipe I found at Epicurious.com in 2004).  They’re GOOD!

Of all my hated foods, the only one left on the list is lima beans. And I’m afraid that I raised my kids to hate them, too.  I told them they never, ever, ever have to eat a lima bean. Then wouldn’t you know, a very nice, very personable college boy takes a liking to one of my daughters.  After awhile, he invites her over to his parents farm to have lunch with his parents.  His parents are lima bean farmers, ROFL!!  She had lima beans for lunch!! Fortunately, the relationship hasn’t progressed to the point where I have been invited to meet the parents and have lima beans for lunch!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 oz. pancetta, minced (2 oz. thick, good quality bacon can be substituted)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine (or chicken broth)

salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, toss together sprouts, pancetta, garlic, oil, wine and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a shallow baking pan.  Make sure the Brussels sprouts are laying flat in a single layer.
  3. Roast Brussels sprouts for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Turn over, and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Serve hot.  Makes four servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Go ahead!  Make this recipe! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

05 Nov 2010 Corn Pudding

My daughters made me do it. My daughters made me do it!!  Why else would I mix a box of Jiffy cornbread mix with a few cans of corn, a hefty handful of cheese, some butter, some sour cream and then pour it into my prettiest casserole dish and call it Thanksgiving?  Do you think I want to expand out of my jeans?  Nooo, of course I don’t.  I did it for my girlies. They seriously loved this corn pudding.  Just like they love those corn cake things at Chevy’s.  They think I am pretty darn smart.  Yay for the Internet! I found this recipe at The Runaway Spoon, but I must also thank my friend Terry, who brought a dish very similar to this to a Dining For Women meeting last winter… I have been thinking about it ever since!

Corn pudding is on our Thanksgiving menu now (along with a mandatory before dinner walk around the lake).  We usually try out one new dish each year (at least). The bright yellow will be a colorful addition to our plates, we have almost all the colors of the rainbow on the plate now (well, except for the colors at the blue-purple end of the rainbow).  And here’s another plus for this recipe, the leftovers will reheat very well in the microwave, 19 year old boys could probably do it all by themselves.  I don’t know about you, but after I get Thanksgiving dinner on the table I don’t want to cook again for at least another week!

Corn Pudding

2 eggs
1 (16-ounce) can creamed corn
1 (16-ounce can) whole kernel corn, drained
½ cup (1stick) butter, melted
1 cup (8-ounces) sour cream
1 (8½ ounce) package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese (other kinds of cheese can be used, pepper jack anyone?!)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives (or finely chopped green onion if you forget to buy the chives, or chilies, or green pepper…)
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then add both corns, butter and sour cream and mix thoroughly.  Fold in the corn muffin mix, cheese and chopped chives.  Add salt and a few grinds of black pepper and mix completely.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until puffed and golden and firm in the center.

Serve immediately.

Makes a lot of servings, at least 10-12.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

03 Nov 2010 Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

This is one of those recipes where the end product is greater than the sum of its parts.  It’s really tasty!  Who would have thought a little onion, carrot, celery, apple and some dried cranberries baked in a butternut squash would taste so good?   I did!!! (Have I mislead you before?)  This would be great for a fall dinner, all you’d need on the side would be a bit of  roast chicken (see John’s recipe for roast chicken) or maybe a few medallions of (maple glazed…, mmmm) pork tenderloin. When the kids aren’t home, I don’t make anything on the side.  I just enjoy this for dinner (makes enough for two days in a row), in front of the TV, with full and absolute control of the TV remote, and know I am in heaven!

I made this squash today when a friend came over and a light lunch was in order because we had some Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes to taste test after lunch!  I skipped the part about brushing the squash with butter and drizzling butter over the top, and I didn’t miss it.  Feel free to save yourself a a few calories, if you are so inclined (or if  you have Maple-Bacon-Pecan ice cream sundaes to taste test after lunch).  BTW, since I have now mentioned the Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes twice, now THREE times, let me just say bacon just does not belong on ice cream.  Nope.  Not at all.  I found the recipe for the Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes in the November issue of Bon Appetite. I was expecting an amazing taste sensation. Didn’t happen.  I only want to know “Why?” Why print this recipe?  There is absolutely no reason to put bacon on ice cream.  Don’t get me wrong.  I understand, and enjoy, that sweet-salty thing going on right now.  But bacon on ice cream? No.  Just say no.  You probably feel your arteries clogging just reading this post…, time to whip up some Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing.  Veggies.  Tasty.  Good for you.

I found this recipe at My Kitchen Addiction about a year ago, and have been enjoying it ever since.   I hope you have a good time with it, too!

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon oil
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup carrot, chopped
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 cup tart apple, unpeeled, diced (Granny Smith is my choice)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup dried cranberries
2 cups stale bread cut into cubes (I use sourdough from Le Boulangrie)
1 tablespoon melted butter
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out and discard the seeds.  Place the squash cut side down in a glass baking dish.  Add about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the dish and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until soft. While the squash is in the microwave, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the celery, onion, and carrot and saute until soft, about 5 min.  Add the cider/juice, apple, and brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the veggies, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the cranberries and bread cubes, toss to combine and to evenly moisten the bread cubes. Remove the squash from the glass dish, pour out the water, wipe any excess moisture from the baking dish and the squash, and then return the squash to the dish, cut side up. Brush squash halves with some of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon half of the stuffing mixture into each squash half.  Pour any remaining butter over the top. Bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling sets up slightly and is golden on top.  Serve immediately.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today,  I always appreciate your visits!

22 Oct 2010 Breakfast Biscuits

These homemade breakfast biscuits are bigger, better, prettier and tastier than anything you’ll find at a fast food place or diner, and probably have a lot less fat. How can you resist these?  Don’t be scared.  They go together pretty quickly, and the payoff is enormous. Make customized versions, and you’ll fast become a legend in your own kitchen!

Start with this  recipe as a guide, then customize, customize, customize. Use whatever meat you have on hand, with bacon, sausage and ham being perennial breakfast favorites (and seem to make most people swoon).  The Breakfast Biscuit pictured above has no meat, only onions, peppers, and tomatoes. I’ve made the Breakfast Biscuits exactly like the ones below,as well as sausage and olive breakfast biscuits,  Honey Baked Ham breakfast biscuits, and the veggie biscuits above.  I want to incorporate asparagus and mushrooms in the next ones. Note, most veggies will need to be precooked (leftover from dinner?), but the tomatoes can be fresh picked.  Now, I am not endorsing this, but one of my friends told me she made these with refrigerated biscuit dough and they worked out very well…

This recipe makes 6 breakfast biscuits, and they are big. If you have a chance to get medium eggs, do so, I found the large eggs were just a tad too large, some of the whites spilled out of the biscuits, but no biggie.

Breakfast Biscuits

For the topping:

3 bell peppers, cut into thin strips (or substitute any cooked veggie, or none at all)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 – 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely diced cooked ham (or sausage, or bacon…salmon?)

For the biscuit dough:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into bits (I grate frozen, or very cold, butter into the flour)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups grated Münster, Monterey Jack, or Cheddar/Jack mix or Mozzarella mix (or whatever you have on hand, use it all up!)
6 eggs (medium or small work best)

In a large skillet cook the bell peppers (or other veggie) and the onion in the butter over medium heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, stir in the ham, and remove the skillet from the heat. (This can be made 1 day in ahead, if needed.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Make the biscuit dough:

In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and the salt, add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the milk and stir the mixture until it just forms a dough. Gather the dough into a ball, on a lightly floured surface knead it gently 6 times, and cut it into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into an approx. 7-inch round, form a 1/2-inch-high rim on each round by turning in the edge of the dough and pinching it until the shell measures approx. 5 inches. This does not have to be perfect, but a high outer crust will help contain the egg. The rustic look is great! Transfer the rimmed rounds to 2 buttered large baking sheets.

Divide the cheese among the shells. Top with veggie/ham mixture. Now, make a well in the center by pushing the filling to the rim (this step is important!).

Original directions: Crack and drop an egg carefully into the well of each shell. Bake the bicuits in the middle of a preheated 425°F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the egg yolks are just set.

My directions: Following the original directions produced  hard-boiled eggs, which made the biscuits easy to eat (and pleasing to the kids because they were, most definitely, finger food–they turn out like small pizzas!) BUT, I like soft eggs, so I cook the biscuits without the eggs for ten minutes.  Then I carefully crack an egg into the center of the biscuit and continue cooking until the egg yolk is set, but still soft (usually 3-4 minutes more), and the white is completely cooked.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen this morning. I’d love to hear what you have to say!