Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Portable Gourmet Mini-Quiches

I altered my herb-crusted sun-dried tomato quiche recipe for use as mini-quiches, because sometimes you want to make something fancy, but you want to be able to control the amount. I whipped up a dozen of these cuties for someone who recently had a baby, and I feel good that they can be eaten, hot, lukewarm, or even cold, in a few bites, and can be refrigerated or frozen for later.


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
5 tbsp water
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dehydrated or granulated garlic


6 eggs, beaten (or the same amount egg substitute)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced
4-5 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
6 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (or more) chedder, colby or monterey jack cheese, grated
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt (not kosher salt)

For the crust, combine the ingredients and mix with a fork. Place about a tablespoon in each cupcake tin. (For me, this made 14 cupcake-sized quiche crusts). Flatten enough to have some of the dough crawling up the sides. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 375 degree oven until slightly browned. Remove from oven.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and combine with almond milk and ricotta and mix with a fork until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix until incorporated and spoon into the crusts. Bake for 15-25 minutes until firm on top and slightly browned.

Note: If you use this recipe in a regular piecrust, your cooking time will be longer, approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and you may have extra filling, which is delicious as an omelette.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Panko and Old Bay-Crusted Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi, a kosher fish also known as Dolphin fish (not Dolphin, which is cute, and non-kosher!) is a somewhat bland, firm fish that stands up great to pan-frying. This is a fun and different recipe to serve for a Shabbos lunch first course, or a relaxed weeknight meal. I make it in honor of my sister-in-law Mandy, who hails from the large Jewish community of Baltimore, Maryland.

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 Mahi Mahi filets
2 tbsp canola oil for frying (I use Mazola Corn Plus!)
2 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour

Dredge the filets first in plain flour, then the beaten egg, then the panko that has been seasoned with Old Bay and pepper. Place presentation side down (the side that you will serve face up on the plate), in a hot pan preheated with canola oil. Cook approximately 2 minutes on each side (and make sure to turn on your oven fan or open a window, because these might smoke a little). Once browned on both sides, transfer to an oven ready pan and finish at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The fish can then be chilled in the fridge and reheated for Shabbos.

I served these with stone ground cornmeal onion strips. Moisten sliced onions with unsweetened almond milk, salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl that contains a combination of 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal 1 tbps salt and 2 tsp pepper. Add to a large pot with about 2 inches of hot canola oil (test with one ring, you want enthusiastic bubbling). Remove when brown and crisp, and serve immediately or keep warm in an oven until ready to serve.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Easy Beef Stew

When it's cold and everyone is fighting off a sore throat, the only thing that anyone really wants is a rich, nourishing soup. This stew or goulash recipe is something I have made several times of times over the past couple of weeks, and it's an easy fix-it-and-forget-it recipe. It's also very filling, so you won't go searching through the cupboard for a snack two hour after dinner (you know who you are!) This beef stew can also be made in the crockpot (combine ingredients, set on low heat and go to work, and come home to a house that smells amazing.) My recipe involved only about 15 minutes of work, and then periodic checking, with a total hour to hour and a half cooking time.

2 pounds boneless flanken, brisket, chuck or any other nicely marbled meat, cut in bite-sized pieces
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 parsnips, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
5 ribs celery, diced
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 dash cayenne (optional)
2 tsp dried rosemary (or 4 tsp fresh)
2-3 cups vegetable stock

Sweat mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions) in olive oil in a deep pot, approximately 10 minutes.

In a large ziploc bag, incorporate flour and dried spices except for the rosemary, and add the bite-size beef pieces. Shake it all about! Remove the beef pieces, now lightly floured and spiced, and place in the pot with the vegetables. This adds just the right amount of flour to thicken the stew. Add cubed potatoes, parsnips, rosemary and vegetable stock, and cover. Simmer on medium heat for 10-20 minutes, then correct seasonings and reduce to a very low flame and simmer for an additional hour or more, until ready to serve.

This recipe serves four, easily. Add 1/3 to 1/2 pound uncooked meat for each additional adult. It also freezes beautifully.