Cheesy Vegetable Stew

This dish created for a cooking game where the ingredients are restricted from a selected list came out very tasty and delighted my family very much. I made a selection of the ingredients, which I had on hand and picked some winter savory (satureja montana) from the garden. For the cooking way I decided to create a new dish inspired by a vegetables stew with cheese, we got in Gran Canaria called “pisto”. Usually this dish is served with eggs, but in this case the cheese took the most important part and a so simple dish turned out in a great stew!

I’ve served this recipe as single portions in clay pots, but you can also place this is only one bigger oven proof mold. Serve with croutons or with a slice of rustic bread.

 

 

Cheesy Vegetable Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

You need (for 4 potions):

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup champignons mushrooms, diced (I used only stems as I used the caps for another recipe)
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cups chicken broth, more if you prefer
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (quantity to taste)
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh herbs to taste (I used winter savoury but also thyme, oregano or marjoram would work as well)
  • Salt and pepper to tater
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese (or another cheddar cheese)
  • 4 savory spring, or thyme or rosemary (optional)

Procedure

  1. Fry in a saucepot the onions and the garlic for a few minutes just until translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry until they begin to change the color and they smell “roasted”.
  3. Add tomatoes, broth and Worcestershire sauce, bring to boil and reduce the heat, simmer for about 15 minutes or until the most of the liquid is adsorbed.
  4. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).
  5. Add herbs, pepper and if needed salt to taste. Add more Worcestershire sauce if you like.
  6. Transfer in the molds for the oven, top with cheese and insert as savory spring.
  7. Bake in the oven at 220°C (430°F) for about 5-10 minutes until the cheese begins to change the color.

 

 

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Nachos de Camarones – Nachos with Shrimps

 

Nachos are a quite trendy food in USA, but here in Europe they don’t appear very often on our tables. It is said that “Europeans don’t know what nachos are”!

That’s may be possible, I only had nachos as I visited Mexico (Baja California Sur)!  What are nachos?

You many look at the history of them here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOj8oTF54Vs

My personal interpretation of nachos: tortilla chips (tostadas) from the oven topped with different ingredients and a melted cheese-sauce. From this point of view we may experiment on this theme and we can add the ingredients we love.

This was my spontaneous recipe, enjoy and try your variation!

Nachos de Camarones – Nachos with Shrimps

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need: 

  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I use olive oil)
  • 250 g shrimps, deveined and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican spice mix
  • Smoked paprika to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (quantity to taste)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream or sour cream
  • 1 small jalapeño chili, sliced (quanity to taste!) or chili flakes
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • 100 g shredded Cheddar cheese (much more if you want or like!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped

Procedure:

  1. Place the cherry tomatoes into an oven safe mold, toss with 1 teaspoon oil and place under the broiler until the skin of the tomatoes begins to take a few darker places. Check from time to time. Remove from the oven and transfer the tomatoes into a small bowl or dish.
  2. Set the oven to 180°C
  3. Toss shrimps with Mexican spice mix and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-sticky skillet and fry the onion with the red pepper and the garlic for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the seasoned shrimps, the cream and fry for about 1-2 minutes to heat them up. Set aside and keep warm.
  6. Season with the jalapeño.
  7. Adjust tortillas chips in an oven and microwave save mold and top with broiled tomatoes, shrimps and pepper mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Place in the oven until cheese is melted and the borders of the tortillas begins to turn dark. If necessary place the dish into the microwave until cheese is completely molted.
  10. Top with fresh cilantro and if needed with more fresh onion and serve immediately

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Valentine’s Day Crackers

 

valentine-s-day-crackersDo you need a special touch for your Valentine’s Day dinner?

These very versatile crackers, can be used as decoration for your tables, can make a great addition to soups, as base for appetizers and are great if served with a red spread or tempting salsa!

The great thing is this recipe is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients, and you can adjust it to taste!

Suggestions: add other spices/herbs/garlic powder or other additions to the dough, top with seeds, brush with oil.

Valentine’s Day Crackers

  • Difficulty: easy
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You need (for about a dozen of 3 cm wide pieces):valentine-s-day-crackers

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • Water (about 2 tablespoons)

Procedure

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowls and stir to combine with a fork or even simply with a spoon.
  2. Add water spoon by spoon until the dough comes together but it is not to wet. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Knead shortly with your hands and transfer it to a floured surface.
  4. Roll out the dough to 2 mm thick and cut out the hearts and place them on a baking sheet (I use foil). Assemble the rest of the dough and repeat until dough is finished.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.
  6. Pinch the crackers with a fork and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Bake at 220°C / 425°F for about 15-20 minutes until the borders begin to turn golden brown.
  8. Transfer immediately on a wire rack to dry and cool down.
  9. If they are not dry enough place them shortly in the still lukewarm oven.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Asparagus Gratin

asparagus-gratin2

This is a wonderful way to prepare asparagus which you can use as main or as side dish.

Originally I prepared the sauce/topping for potatoes gratin (modified from mini potato gratins by ImPat), but I found that this would be perfect for asparagus as well. I let to you open the possibility to use potatoes and asparagus at the same time, this would save you a lot of time in the kitchen. The sauce is a variation of a béchamel sauce, but it much richer in taste and cheesy.

In any case this is much lighter than other mayo-asparagus recipes or asparagus with Béarnaise sauce and I really love this much more in this was.

Suggestion 1: you can make this lighter replacing part of the butter by olive oil, using light milk and light cheese.

Suggestion 2: instead simply milk you can use 150 ml milk + 50 ml white wine or you can add some brandy.

Asparagus Gratin

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/ asparagus-gratin2

You need:

  • 500 g green asparagus, peeled and trimmed stem
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 200 ml milk, if possible warmed (for example with microwave)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, best if coarse grain
  • 3 tablespoons fresh savory, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves) or other herbs to taste
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup grated cheese, quantity and quality to taste

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F.
  2. Place asparagus in a big skillet, add one cup of water and boil until they begin to turn tender. Depending on the quality they take 3-10 minutes. Drain, place in a greased baking dish and set aside; keep warm.
  3. In the meantime fry the onion in the butter until translucent, add garlic and fry for one more minute.
  4. Add flour and stir well until combined.
  5. Remove from heat, add milk and whisk until well combined and flour is dissolved. Return to the heat and cook until it thickens. Remove from heat.
  6. Add mustard, savory and spring onion, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour sauce over the asparagus, top with cheese and place immediately in the oven
  8. Bake until golden; this takes about 10-15 minutes

asparagus-gratin1

Cheese Fondue Soup

 

Cheese-Fondue-Soup-2

The winter is approaching and I needed something easy, tasty and comforting.

The inspiration came from Marion’s recipe http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/soup/other-soup/soup-de-chalet.html and I prepared it with the vegetables suggested in her recipes.

The main change was using a fondue mix I had in the fridge that needed to be used. Well, this mixture is not simply grated cheese for fondue, since a combination of cheese, liquids (I’m not sure it was wine) and cornstarch. If you don’t have this mixture I suggest to combine 100 g cheese (as Gruyere), 50 g cream-cheese and 50 ml white wine.

Serve with bread.

Cheese Fondue Soup

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com

Cheese-Fondue-Soup-1

You need

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced (about 100 g)
  • 1/2 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 big or 2 small carrots, finely sliced (about 100 g)
  • 1 small potato finely sliced (about 150 g)
  • 50 g spinach, chopped (about one cup)
  • 300 ml broth
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 200 g ready cheese fondue mixture (read the introduction for substitution)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • grated cheese to serve (I used gratin cheese), optional

Procedure

  1. Heat butter in a pot and sauté leek, onion, carrots and potatoes until the border of the vegetables begins to brown.
  2. Add spinach and sauté stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth and wine. Let simmer for about minutes until potatoes are soft.
  4. Add the cheese mixture and stir until cheese is dissolved.
  5. Season with nutmeg and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately and add grated cheese if desired.

Glamour Pear Pies with Cheese and Walnuts

Glamour-Pear-Pies-with-Cheese-and-Walnuts

 

Fascinating pears, dressed with a multilayered friable coat from the oven and filled with an outstanding savory filling. This uncommon, pretty and outstanding outfit makes them appear the most charming pies I’ve ever arranged for my family.

WOW! This was the best combination of the famous trio I’ve ever tried: pear, cheese and walnuts.

In the picture you will find the Italian version including mozzarella and parmesan cheese, but the Swiss version with Gruyere cheese will work well for sure.

Glamour Pear Pies with Cheese and Walnuts

  • Servings: 3-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/Glamour-Pear-Pies-with-Cheese-and-Walnuts

 

Your need:

  • 3-4 pears, freshly peeled and cut in halves
  • 200 g sheet of puff pastry, firm but ripe
  • 5 tablespoon mozzarella, grated and very well drained
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan cheese, very finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons roasted walnuts, chopped
  • Fresh grinded pepper, quantity to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 additional walnuts, chopped for topping

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Remove the core of the pears scraping the interior out best with a vegetable scoping tool. Set aside the carved material in mall bowls.
  3. Place the pears cut side down on a baking sheet.
  4. Cut the sheet puff pastry so that for each pear halve you get a triangle and cover the pears halves with the triangle. With a spatula cut out the excessing dough (trimmings) and set them aside.
  5. Be sure to cover well the pears with the puff pastry like a coat. With the trimmings for the stem and the leaves. Stich them with little water. Pierce the dough with a fork.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C/400°F or until golden-brown.
  7. In the meantime prepare the filling. You will need half of the reserved pulp (seeds removed, eat the other half! J ) mash them with a fork. Then add the cheeses, walnuts, pepper and brandy, combine well with a fork. Check seasoning, add more pepper if needed.
  8. Remove pears form the oven, adjust them on single dishes cut side up and fill them equally with the filling mixture. Top with the reserved walnuts and serve immediately.

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Mini Cheese Quiches

Mini-Cheese-Quiches

I associated cheese quiches with the autumn fair, with the change of the season and the winter at the door. Actually it’s warm and sunny here and so I made this lighter than usual, no heavy cream and only light cheese. But up to you if you prefer less light quiches you can use the cheese you like most. Once more I suggest to add vermouth to the recipe as this makes them really super tasty!

Depending on the size of the sheet you will be able to make 12-16 small (6 cm) quiches, I prefer to suggest simply to have a look of the sheet and see how you can cut in squares. Remember for big squares you will need more filling than for small ones. Don’t overfill the squares as the filling will puff during baking.

Mini Cheese Quiches

  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Mini-Cheese-Quiches

You need:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, refrigerated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated light cheddar cheese, or your selection of cheese, in winter I suggest gruyere
  • 1 pinch dried rosemary, powdered (with the mortar it is quickly done)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1⁄2 cups light cheddar cheese, shredded

Procedure:

  1. Cut the puff pastry into 12-16 squares that fits with your muffin baking mold. Remember that you will need the border to prevent filling running out. For this I stretched the squares (one by one) from the middle of the side of them in order to get a rounder shape. Place the squares in the greased baking mold trying to cover the borders.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  3. In a small cup combine flour, milk, eggs, nutmeg, rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of the cheese, stir.
  4. Spoon the mixture in the baking mold prepared with the puff pastry.
  5. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 until golden. With my oven I found that it in convenient to increase the temperature to 200°C/400°F (or little more) during the last 10 minutes but heating only form the bottom.
  7. Remove from the oven when golden brown, wait 5 minutes before removing from the mold.