Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Swiss Chard Pies

Swiss Chard Pies
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic.

I love these pies because they are like quiche but not as "quiche-y." No heavy cream, not nearly as many eggs and they taste more like the green than the egg. I like to freeze one for later, but a lot of times we'll eat all of one and part of the second. The pies in this photo are such different colors from each other because I used cheddar in the one in front and swiss in the back one. Any kind of cheese and pretty much any kind of green works well.

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 bunch swiss chard, or other greens
6 eggs
1 cup shredded cheese
1 teaspoon salt
couple of grates of fresh nutmeg
2 pie crusts

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown onion and garlic in oil. Trim and chop chard, add to pan and cook down until wilted. Beat eggs in a bowl; mix in cheese, salt and chard mixture. Pour into pie shells and bake 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

From "From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce," by the Madison Area CSA Coalition.

Peach Soup

I will admit to you right here that, even though this is fantastic stuff, I was the only member of my family to eat it. To be honest, I have a sneaking suspicion that if I'd poured it into glasses and called it smoothies, they all would have been on board. I may just try that.

Peach Soup
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic.

2 to 3 large peaches, peeled and chopped
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
optional: mint leaves, peach sorbet or peach slices

Combine the peaches, cider, honey, lemon juice, and nutmeg in the bowl of an electric blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Fold in the yogurt, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
Before serving, stir in the blueberries and ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with mint leaves, a couple fresh slices of peaches or a small scoop of peach sorbet.

Recipe from “The Healthy Plate”, June 2005

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Roasted Root Vegetables

This photo is from Thanksgiving of last year. The only vegetables I roasted that day were carrots and brussel sprouts. But I do roast all manner of veggies ... particularly roots. In the winter I do them in the oven, but all summer I roast on the grill in foil packets. Very easy cleanup!

Brussel Sprouts
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Clean and cut the vegetables so that they are fairly uniform in size. Place them in a colander. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss until coated.
Spread the vegetables on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Roast, turning every 10 minutes, until vegetables start to turn dark and caramelize, approximately 30 minutes.

Note: Vegetables can be roasted at any temperature, adjusting the roasting time. If you are not sure how long they will take, start them early. When they appear to be about done, pull them out of the oven and let them rest. Pop them back in for 5 minutes or so just before serving.

For The Lancaster News

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lean Pulled Pork from a Pressure Cooker

My friend Mary Ann told me she likes to make pulled pork barbeque in her pressure cooker. Using a pork tenderloin instead of a Boston Butt. The real key to success for this is that the moist cooking in the pressure cooker really counteracts the lack of fat in the tenderloin. I loved this because I knew it was lean and yet it had just as much moisture as the regular pulled pork with all that fat from the butt.

Pulled Pork
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic.

2 lb. pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup water

In a 6-quart pressure cooker, brown the pork tenderloin in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until softened. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Bring to a boil, cover the pressure cooker and bring to pressure. Cook for 45 minutes at 15 psi. Release the pressure and, using two forks, pull the pork into shreds. Toss the shredded pork in the pan drippings, if desired. Serve hot on rolls.

Adapted from “Speedy Pulled Pork” by Ronda L. Carnicelli at http://www.seasoned.com

For The Lancaster News

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Every year around the time of my birthday (August), my mom makes moussaka. I've never made it myself. Too much work. But it's probably one of my all-time favorite foods. It's not really that difficult. It's just time-consuming. We have it in August because the eggplant is plentiful and the tomatoes are at their peak (In Minnesota, anyway. In South Carolina they are pretty much done by my birthday). There are no tomatoes in moussaka, but when you eat it, you pretty much need to alternates bites of moussaka with bites of freshly-sliced tomatoes.

This is a putzy dish. And hot. There's lots of cooking in a hot kitchen during the hottest time of the year. But I guess when you are making it for your daughter because it's her birthday and it's her favorite food, you do it. Because you are a mom.

Thanks Mom!

Originally uploaded by
Food Fanatic.

Meat Sauce
1 1/2 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon ketchup, diluted with 1 cup water
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 egg whites (save yolks for béchamel sauce)
Brown the hamburger in a large skillet. Drain and rinse the hamburger with warm water. Return to skillet and add butter and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add wine and diluted ketchup, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the breadcrumbs and the parmesan. Allow the mixture to cool completely and then stir in the egg whites.

2-3 eggplants

Preheat broiler.
Peel and slice eggplants the long way. Keep the slices fairly uniform in thickness, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Soak the eggplant slices in salted water for 10-15 minutes (this step can be skipped if you are using eggplants that are not as bitter –see cook’s notes at bottom of this recipe).
Drain the eggplant slices and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush them with olive oil, or spray them with cooking spray. Lay the slices in a single layer on cookie sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray, or on silicone cooking mats.
Place the eggplant slices under the broiler. Do Not Walk Away! Watch them as they turn golden brown under the broiler. Pull them out and turn them over. Brown the other side. Remove and hold at room temperature.

Béchamel Sauce
3 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk, scalded
dash nutmeg
2 egg yolks (from the hamburger sauce recipe)
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until smooth. Gradually add the milk. Cook until fairly thick. Add the dash of nutmeg (take care that the nutmeg does not overpower the sauce). Cool to room temperature. Add egg yolks, one at a time.

Assembling the Moussaka
Hamburger sauce
Béchamel sauce
Eggplant slices
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Moussaka is essentially put together like lasagna. The eggplant slices take the place of the lasagna noodles, and the béchamel sauce is used instead of a tomato sauce.
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Coat the bottom with 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs.
Begin building the moussaka by placing 1/2 of the eggplant slices, overlapping if necessary, to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the parmesan. Cover with 1/2 of the hamburger mixture. Spread 1/2 of the béchamel sauce on top. Layer the remaining eggplant on top, cover with the remaining hamburger mixture and spread on the remaining béchamel sauce. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until heated through (165 degrees) and golden brown on top. Serve with tomato slices
Serves 8-10

For The Lancaster News