Thursday, February 23, 2012

Il Popeye Benedicto

I love spinach. I also love poached eggs. And I love them in a combo.

So tonight, I had some fresh spinach, some eggs, some salami, a few pieces of whole wheat bread and some salami in the fridge.

The result? Il Popeye Benedicto!

I fried the salami a little bit in a hot cast iron skillet with just a little bit of olive oil. Removed them. Mike used the same skillet to make some excellent home fries. When they were removed, I wilted the spinach in the same hot skillet, in a little olive oil, with the burner off. There was enough heat to wilt it. Meanwhile, I boiled a little bit of water in a pot, plunked in a little bit of vinegar when it was at a boil, put in two eggs and let them float for about 4 minutes. Toasted some of the whole wheat, topped each slice with half of the spinach. Then placed two salami slices on that, and then one egg. Topped the whole thing off with a few small slices of Monterrey jack cheese, and voila...Il Popeye Benedicto served along side of home fried potatoes.

It was so yummy, I forgot to take a picture!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Greek Giardiniera Dip

Here it is, Super Bowl Sunday, and I have no idea what to take to any Super Bowl parties. I want to be team-neutral, so my choices can't include anything specific to New England or New York/New Jersey (Trust me, if the Ravens were playing today, we'd be having Crab Wings!). Plus, as much as possible, I want to use what I have on hand. What to do, what to do...?

I took a quick inventory of my pantry and found 2 boxes of unopened Triscuits, so I think some sort of dip is in order. I see cans of tuna and clams in there, but I don't really want to take either of those. Tuna is just too odd, I think, and clams are too New-England-y.

Then I check the fridge. There's some Greek yoghurt in there, so that'll do. OH! There's my favorite new thing, right there, staring at me, ready to be put in this dip!

It's no secret that I watch the Food Network. Last season's winner of The Next Food Network Star was Jeff Mauro, the Sandwich King. On one of his shows, he made a "Hot Giardiniera" that I made that is just to DIE for. I don't think I'd ever even had Giardiniera, but I made his version, and I gotta tell ya, I am totally addicted to it. It's a yummy blend of cauliflower, carrots, red bell peppers, a little serano, and onion, marinaded in vegetable oil. Plus, he's from Chicago, so that's about as team-neutral as I can get today.'s my creation:
Super Greek Giardiniera Dip!

Combine almost equal parts of Greek Yoghurt and Giardiniera, with a little less yoghurt than giardiniera. I used abour a cup of giardiniera and about 3/4 cup of yoghurt. (Start with about half a cup of yoghurt and add til you get the blend you want.) You can make your own giardiniera, or use store-bought. Chop up a green onion and toss it in. Calamata olives would probably be good in there too, so I chopped up about 10 - 12 and added them. Hmm...maybe even some sundried tomatoes...yeah, about 1 - 2 T of chopped sundried tomatoes. Now for some feta cheese, just diced up and tossed in. And then finish it off with some green onion and fresh flat leaf parsley, marjoram, oregano and rosemary.. Combine. Let it sit and blend for a few hours. Serve with whole grain crackers.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ham and Cheese Puffs

It's not totally accurate to say that I made Ham and Cheese Puffs yesterday. Actually, Kati made them and I "directed". And they came out good!

I used Elise's Simply Recipe method for Cheese Puffs. But I thawed out a little less than a pound of Christmas Ham from the freezer, diced it while it was still a little bit frozen and added it in with the cheddar cheese and fresh chopped rosemary.

It seems a little labor intensive when reading the recipe, but it's really not.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place 1 cup of water, 1 stick of  butter and 1 tsp. of salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When it's at a boil, turn it down to medium and add 1 cup of flour, all at once, and stir like mad with a wooden spoon. It will get really thick and pull away from the side of the pot. That's fine, just keep stirring and cook for a few minutes.

Next you need to let it cool for a few minutes, stirring to make sure it cools evenly. I put it in my mixing bowl and let the mixer go on "stir" (low speed) for a few minutes. While it's still slightly warm, but not so warm that the eggs get cooked upon entry, mix in 4 eggs, 1 egg at a time. When they're in and it's looking creamy, add in 1 cup of cheddar, 1 cup of diced ham and about 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary. Stir to combine.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a pastry bag or a scoop (I prefer the scoop method), dish out onto cookie sheets about an inch apart. Bake in the 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes, until nicely brown.

Cool slightly and devour!

Good job, Kati!