Pan-Seared Shrimp with Saffron Tomato Sauce

You’ve probably heard that saffron  is the most expensive spice on the planet.  Don’t be put off by that fact and neglect looking at some very interesting recipes.  Because saffron’s flavor is so strong, in most instances you only need a little.  Saffron is the signature flavor in such seafood dishes as bouillabaisse and paella and also in this dish that features shrimp in a tomato broth served over rice.  It is also the spice of choice when making risotto in the Northern provinces of Italy.

Saffron threads are actually the stigma of a particular variety of crocus.  Each flower bears only 3 of these stigma,which have to be carefully harvested by hand.  Somewhere around 50,000 flowers are needed to produce a single pound of saffron.  After harvest, the threads are delicately roasted over carefully tended wood fires.

When buying saffron look for a bright red-orange color and threads that are slightly pliable.  These characteristics are a sign of freshness, as saffron tends to darken and become  brittle as it ages.  Saffron is usually sold in specialty stores or in ethnic neighborhood markets.  It is packaged in tiny envelopes, and as long as they remain sealed the saffron will stay fresh.  I buy mine at an Italian foods market  in the city closest to where I live.

 

PAN-SEARED SHRIMP WITH SAFFRON TOMATO SAUCE

SERVES    4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails can be left on).
  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • pinch of saffron threads, crushed ( about 1/2 teaspoon )
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • cooked, short-grain rice for serving

PREPARATION

1.  Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté to light golden color, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Stir in the wine and chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer, then add the saffron.  Simmer for 1 minute so it dissolves.  Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat, add fresh parsley and  keep warm

3.  Do not wipe out the pan.  Increase heat to med-high and add the last Tablespoon of oil and butter.  Once hot add the shrimp in a single layer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook till brown on one side.  Turn over and cook till brown on 2nd side, and opaque throughout, 1 1/2 – 2 minutes longer.

4.  To serve:  in a large serving dish, make a bed of rice, top with the shrimp and sauce.

SOURCE:     My Gourmet Connection

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Stuffed With Good Stuff

Looking back over my more recent blog postings I was struck by how many contained the word “stuffed”:  Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Zucchini, Stuffed Mushrooms.  I didn’t realize until now how many vegetables I prepare with a stuffing that seems to make the base veggie  as well as the stuffing itself so much better–one enhances the other.  Well, if you can stand another such recipe this one uses those nice big tomatoes fresh from the garden.   You know, the ones that could be a meal in themselves.

These big boys are juicy and tender, and contain a filling on the order of a salsa, but better because of the cheese and breadcrumbs.  I served them with a fillet of tilapia, lightly crisped with a cornmeal crust, and a mixed greens salad.  This was so good my husband has requested that I make it all again very soon. I only made two but next time I will make the full recipe of four, as I think they would make a great lunch just rewarmed in the microwave.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make only half, or double it and make 8 if you’re feeding a larger group.

TOMATOES STUFFED WITH CORN AND BLACK BEANS

SERVES     4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4  beefsteak tomatoes, or large heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels ( from one ear of corn)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts separated, and thinly sliced.
  • 1/2 to 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, divided.  I used prepared seasoned bread crumbs, 1/2 cup total, divided.
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat an 8″ square pan with non-stick spray.

2.  Cut top 1/2 inch from each tomato, and scoop out flesh and seeds.  Turn upside down on paper towel to drain while you prepare the stuffing.  Don’t waste a bit of these delicious tomatoes–use the flesh you scoop out here to make a simple bread to go along with your meal.  (see below)

3.  In a medium skillet heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat.  Add corn and scallion whites and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the jalapeño, black beans, 1/4 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs) and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the filling ingredients all together.

4.  Turn the tomatoes right side up.  Sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper, and spray or brush the skins with olive oil.  Place in baking dish.  Fill the tomatoes with corn mixture.  Combine remaining 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 cup bread crumbs (1/4 cup seasoned crumbs),   and 2 teaspoons oil.  season with salt and pepper and divide among the tomatoes.

5.  Tent loosely with foil and bake 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake until tomatoes are soft and breadcrumb topping is deep golden, about 5 minutes more.

PAN CON TOMATE

This is a simple Spanish appetizer, and the name means Bread with Tomato.  Here’s how to make it:

Spread reserved tomato flesh on rustic bread–a crusty loaf, split in half lengthwise.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of herbs (any).  Bake in a 450 degree oven until the edges are brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.  Watch carefully  so it doesn’t get too browned.  Serve with more olive oil for dipping.

SOURCE:   Everyday Food

White Peach Sherbet

White Peach Sherbet

Keeping with the subject of peaches, I decided to give this recipe a try for two reasons:  first, I have a new ice-cream maker and couldn’t wait to give it a whirl, and two, I have an abundance of peaches that are ripening too fast.  So here we go—-Peach Sherbet,  you can’t wish for a better summer dessert, as far as I am concerned.

Even though the recipe calls for white peaches, regular yellow peaches will do fine.  In fact, the peach flavor may even be a little more pronounced.  The amount of sugar required is given as a range, so taste your peaches to determine sweetness and use the amount of sugar that suits you best.  In my sherbet I used 3/4 cup sugar. The idea of putting fresh herbs in the mixture was intriguing to me.  I used basil.  However I did not note any taste of basil in the finished sherbet.  I would suggest that you muddle the herbs with a small amount of the sugar to release some of their oils before adding to the mixture.

You will notice that the recipe lists vodka as an ingredient.  You can omit this if you prefer.  In my version I used my peach liqueur.  The purpose of the alcohol is to keep the sherbet from freezing too solidly.  Lastly, note that  the liquid portion of the recipe is 1 cup of heavy cream, but you can use light cream, half and half, or milk, thereby reducing the fat content and calories.  This recipe leaves room to experiment so play around with it, have fun, and see what you come up with.  I’d love to hear about your ideas!

WHITE PEACH SHERBET:

These pretty peaches are about to lose their skins.

SERVES:   Makes about one quart

INGREDIENTS

  •  2 & 1/2 pounds ripe white peaches, peeled
  • juice of 1 lemon  (2-3 Tbs.)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sugar  Adjust according to sweetness of peaches.
  • 2 sprigs herbs such as basil, lavender or mint
  • 1 Tablespoon Vodka or peach liqueur
  • 1 cup heavy cream ( or half and half, light cream or milk)

DIRECTIONS

1.  Coarsely chop peaches,  then mash with a potato masher.

2.  Stir in lemon juice, sugar and herbs.  Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour.

3.  Stir in vodka, then cream.  Discard herbs.

4.  Freeze in an ice cream maker, as manufacturer directs.  Transfer to a chilled container and freeze for about 2 hours or up to 2 weeks.

This was cool, creamy and delicious.

SOURCE:   Better Homes and Gardens, e-mail newsletter

Peach Cobbler Scones

Peach Cobbler Scones

August is National Peach Month, did you know?   I have known it all along, but for some reason I haven’t gotten around to a post centered around peaches, except for the one on Peach Liqueur.  Peaches are my all-time favorite fruit.  I think they are so beautiful to look at, they smell heavenly, and the taste of a ripe, juicy peach is beyond description.

Three Blushing Beauties!

Georgia is known as the Peach State, and I’m sure what they grow there is wonderful,  but I must also put in a plug for the peaches grown here in Ct.  The variety known as the Hale peach was developed and grown right here in the town where I live.  I know I’m  probably biased but I think the peaches grown here are the best, and I try to enjoy them as often as I can during the season.  Peach Pie is a favorite dessert that I always make. However I learned of this recipe for scones with sliced peaches baked right in them and it looked intriguing so I had to make them.  The first time I made them they disappeared so quickly there wasn’t a crumb left to photograph.  So I had to make them again so I can share them with you.  Believe me this was not a hardship.  In fact I made a double recipe so I could freeze some for us to enjoy later when the weather turns cool.  (see note below about freezing them)

PEACH COBBLER SCONES

SERVES:   8 medium or 10 small scones

INGREDIENTS

  • 3  cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 1-2 ripe peaches, sliced thin

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1.  In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients,  flour through salt.

2.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until small pea-sized crumbs form.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry.

3.   Mix together the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk, and stir into the crumb mixture to form a dough.  Chill for about 15 minutes if the dough is too soft.

4.   On a lightly floured board, roll out into a rectangle 10″ x 12″.  Brush 1/2 the dough with some buttermilk.

5.  Lay the peach slices in even rows over the side you have brushed.  Sprinkle evenly with half the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Carefully fold the other side of the dough over the peaches–like closing a book.  Press down lightly.

6.  Slice the dough into 8 – 10 pieces.  Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Brush the top of each scone with some buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar.   Bake about 15 – 18 minutes at 400 degrees.

Flaky and warm from the oven……so good!

Note:  Shaped, unbaked scones may be frozen on a baking sheet, and when firm placed in a covered freezer container to be baked at a later time.  Bake as directed straight from the freezer, just add a few minutes extra baking time, and check for doneness.

SOURCE:   Joy the Baker

Soft Oatmeal Cookies with Biscoff Glaze

These cookies are so seriously good that I have to give them away. Yes, I do, because I could eat the whole batch all by myself.

Am I the only person who did not know about Biscoff Spread until now? I really hope its a new product on the market, otherwise I’ve been missing out on something so good I don’t have words to describe it. Its thick and spreadable like peanut butter, but made from Biscoff cookies, so there are no nuts in it—great for folks with nut allergies. It’s all natural and vegan, and it can be used just like peanut butter. Where to find it? Check your grocery store in the section where peanut butter and Nutella are located, or I’ve heard it can be found at Walmart, or at Amazon.com.

I learned about Biscoff Spread from another blogger that I follow and from whom I got this recipe. Ordinarily I’m not overly fond of oatmeal cookies, but these are the best I’ve ever had. Soft and moist, they melt in your mouth, and the glaze on top—oh my, its sooooo good. If you’re a little tired of run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies, give these a try. In the words of my favorite taste tester, “these cookies offer a new experience for your taste buds”.

OATMEAL COOKIES WITH BISCOFF GLAZE

The recipe says it will make 18 cookies, but I got 28. I guess my cookie scoop is smaller than what is specified in the directions but that’s OK, ‘cuz then I can have two.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups quick oats You can use regular oats, but the flakes in the cookies will be larger.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter ( 4 oz.)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup

DIRECTIONS FOR COOKIES

1. Whisk together all the dry ingredients, oats through flour. Set aside.

2. In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, oil, and sugar. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Beat in yogurt and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed.

3. Add in the flour mixture in 3 additions, and mix just to incorporate. Refrigerate the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 2 tablespoon size cookie scoop to place dough onto prepared sheets.

5. Bake at 350 for 12–14 minutes, till light brown. Cool on wire rack.

6. While cookies bake, make the glaze. Whisk or beat all the ingredients together till smooth. Add more milk or sugar if needed to achieve a pourable consistency.

7. Place a cooling rack on a parchment lined baking sheet and put all the cookies on the rack very close together.

Pour glaze over cookies. It will spread and smooth out, and after about 30 minutes will become set. Store in an air-tight container.

SOURCE: BAKE AT 350

Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salsa

I’ve been making this salsa every summer since 2003 when the recipe for it was published in our local newspaper. It uses the kernels of sweet corn cut from the cob plus black beans and anything else you might want to add.  That’s what I like about it;  its so versatile.  If I have a tomato that needs to be used, I cut it in, or perhaps an avocado that’s ripe.    If I don’t have a red onion I use scallions,  likewise if I don’t have cilantro I use parsley.  If you like some heat in your salsa, cut in a small jalapeño.   Put everything in a bowl, mix up the super simple dressing, and Bingo! its done.  We use this salsa as a snack, with  healthy multigrain chips,  or sometimes I use it as a salad.  Just put 1/2 cup on a leaf of romaine, arrange some tomato wedges and cucumber sticks around it, and there it is, a quick salad.

I find that the flavor improves if you make it a day ahead of when you will serve it but that’s hard for me to do.  I always want to sample it right away.  Oh, another thing:  if you like cilantro as much as I do, use twice the amount!

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl mix together all of the following:

  • 2 ears fresh corn, cooked, cut kernels from cob
  • 1 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Toss all the above with dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons oil ( corn, safflower, or olive)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Serve with tortilla chips or cheese quesadillas.

When in Rome—

When in Rome, or anywhere in Italy, or a good Italian restaurant, do as they do, and eat Italian food. A well-known Italian restaurant in our area features this dish on their lunch-time menu throughout the summer months. I have had it there and loved it. It features a combination of eggplant, tomatoes and onions with fresh herbs served over penne pasta. A while back our local newspaper published this recipe for the dish, and I was so delighted that now I could prepare it at home. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do.

Use the freshest eggplant and plum tomatoes you can find. Also lots of fresh basil or marjoram is key to the delicious blend of flavors. Serve with grated Romano cheese and crusty Italian Bread for a true restaurant-quality meal.

Roast Eggplant and Tomatoes with Penne Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

SERVES 4-6

  • 1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, plus more to sprinkle on the eggplant
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, cut vertically in wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh marjoram, oregano or basil chopped
  • 1 pound dry penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly grated Romano cheese

1. Place cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Toss. Allow eggplant to drain at least 30 minutes. Rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray. Put the eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs in the roasting pan. Pour the 1/4 cup oil over all and stir well to coat vegetables with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread out into an even layer.

3. On the top rack in the oven, roast, stirring occasionally , until eggplant and onions are lightly browned, 25-35 minutes.

4. Meanwhile in large kettle, bring water to boil and cook penne to al dente (7 – 10 minutes). Drain. Immediately add to the roasting pan with the vegetables. Add chopped parsley and EVOO . Toss well. Transfer to a large serving dish. Serve with grated Romano cheese.

When I made this dish just recently, I omitted the pasta and in its place I added some meatballs I had in my freezer.  I browned them in a skillet on the stove top, then placed them on top of the vegetables to finish cooking in the oven. I served the whole thing with a green salad consisting of baby greens, cucumbers and green grapes; and also a small ear of fresh corn. (Still keeping a low profile with those carbs!)

SOURCE: Courtesy of Max A Mia restaurant.

Its Not Over Till We Party!

A ballroom competition always ends on a high note.  That is, we PARTY!  A festive banquet takes place on the final evening of a competition.  It begins with a cocktail get-together in the lounge outside the ballroom with the ladies in cocktail dresses or long gowns, and the gentlemen in suits.  When the doors to the ballroom reopen that evening a complete change has taken place since the dancing ended.   Around the perimeter of the room round tables have been formally set for a sit-down dinner.  Center pieces reflect the theme of the competition which this time was “The Olympics, since they had just ended; and each dance studio represented a country.  Our studio represented some tropical undefined location—it could have been Fiji, Bora Bora, Hawaii——?

The colorful centerpiece on our table.

You would think everyone would have had enough of dancing by then, but not the case.  Music starts and couples take to the floor for social dancing. Students, teachers, professionals, amateurs, all dancing with each other, and having fun now that the pressure is off.

All of the water glasses had twinkling lights in them. So Pretty!

The restaurant that catered this dinner was called the Octagon, and is located within the Mystic Marriott Hotel, Groton, Ct.  When we made our reservations we chose our dinner selection from three options:  Salmon, Filet Mignon, or a Vegetarian entree.  My choice was the Filet Mignon.  No one at my table had the Vegetarian meal, so I don’t know what it was, or how it was.  But I will tell you about the other two entrees.

Mixed greens salad.

The first course that was served was a green salad.  It consisted of a mixture of curly lettuces and kale, and also included snipped dried apricots and cranberries.  The dressing was creamy like a Caesar dressing except it was slightly sweet.  It was a good counterpoint to some of the more bitter greens. I really enjoyed this salad.  It was served with rolls and butter.

There was a rather lengthy wait before the salad plates were cleared and the main entrees were served.  Of course we filled the time with more dancing.  My feeling was that there were not enough wait staff for such a large gathering, and it seemed as though the beef entrees came out before the salmon, so everyone at the table did not get served at the same time.  When we did get our food it was very good.

The Filet Mignon entree.

As I mentioned previously, my entree was the Filet Mignon.  It was served with a brown gravy-like sauce, asparagus spears, and “smashed” red skin potatoes.  The meat was so tender, and cooked just the way I like it,  slightly rare.  The asparagus was crisp tender but the potatoes did not have anything special about them.  In fact I only tasted them.

The salmon entree looked very enticing on the plate; served with a scoop of rice and a mixture of vegetables that looked like several kinds of cabbages, i.e. green, red, savoy and carrots.  The fish was also cooked just right, flaking easily, and moist.  The people who had this dish all agreed it was well prepared and delicious.

The Salmon entree.

There was quite an extended wait before the dessert was served.  During this time there were announcements, and various awards presented.   When the dessert arrived we were delighted to be served a generous wedge of cheesecake.  The top had a light sprinkle of what looked like nutmeg, and I think I detected the flavor of nutmeg in the cake itself, although it was very mild.  Sadly, the coffee and tea were not served along with the dessert, but came quite a long while later.  As luck would have it my camera chose to quit at this point so I did not get a picture of the dessert,  but I guess you know what a piece of cheesecake looks like!

Before the evening was over we were treated to entertainment by those professional couples who had attained first place in the various professional divisions, and also by a world famous dance couple from Bulgaria who gave a breathtaking performance.  More general dancing followed the entertainment until midnight when the wonderful weekend came to a close.

Ballroom Dancing and Brownies

A few dancers on the floor.

I need to start getting myself geared up and thinking like a competitor. November is not so far away, when I will be out there on the dance floor dancing my heart out for the judges. That’s pretty much why I’m following my current diet plan. Besides that, I need to get totally immersed in ballroom dancing, and step up to the training that’s involved when I compete. When I’m not thinking about foods and cooking (and writing about it), I’m involved with my dance lessons. I take two private lessons and attend group classes –as many as I can manage–in a week. But that’s my usual routine. I will be increasing my lessons to 3/week and trying to get in as much dancing as I can to increase my tolerance and stamina. It’s a matter of really ramping up my activity level, working hard and keeping focused. Ballroom dancing is like any sport, needing strong muscles, balance, rhythm, and being aware of every part of your body as well as being in top physical condition. If you watched any of the Olympic athletes, I’m sure you have an appreciation for that.

The ladies’ gowns are so beautiful.

Well this past weekend I took some time out to attend a local, regional competition just to watch the dancers and to attend the banquet at the end of it all. There’s nothing like a competition to get you in the mood for competing. It’s a friendly environment with all the dancers supporting each other and people like me cheering them on. One thing I know about dancing is that it makes you hungry, and snacks as a source of energy, for those who are dancing, are always welcome. So I baked some brownies to bring along.

I’m not sure if my idea for these brownies is original or if I perhaps read about using pretzels with brownies in one of the many blogs I read, or some other source, but I did not have a recipe. What I did have was a package of peanut butter filled pretzels, so I decided to incorporate them into a nice fudgey brownie, ice the brownies with chocolate peanut butter ganache and put more pretzels on top. More is always better with me, as in: “you can never have too much of a good thing”. And when it comes to anything chocolate usually peanut butter is a good companion. I must confess that in this instance I took a shortcut and used a boxed brownie mix. Ghirardelli Brownie Mix is absolutely the best!

Another view of the dance floor.

PEANUT BUTTER PRETZEL BROWNIES

SERVINGS: 30

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan.

Prepare the brownie mix as the package directs for fudge brownies.

Crush about 1 cup of peanut butter filled pretzel bites, keeping some of the pieces large. ( mine were Clancy’s brand ) The easiest way to do this is put the pretzels in a zip-lock bag and pound lightly with a meat tenderizer, or rolling pin.

Pour half the brownie batter in the pan, sprinkle on the cup of pretzels, cover with the remaining brownie batter. Bake as directed on the package.

Let brownies cool completely in the pan. Ice with chocolate peanut butter ganache. Cut the brownies into squares ( 5 across by 6 down), and place one whole pretzel on top of each one.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER GANACHE

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 & 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

pinch salt

1. Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.

2. Combine cream, peanut butter and salt over low heat. Stir until smooth. Increase heat to medium-low and, stirring constantly, heat until bubbles form along the edges of the pan.

3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. The chips will become all melty like. Gently whisk the chocolate chips until the mixture is shiny and combined. Stop mixing when the mixture is combined or it will become kind of grainy. Let the ganache sit to thicken up a bit to spreading consistency. You can put it in the refrigerator, or place over a bowl of ice to speed this up if you are in a hurry.

4. Spread the ganache with an off-set spatula. Hide any left over ganache in the back of the refrigerator, because you will want to eat it with a spoon!

Ham and Broccoli Quiche

We have come to the end of our second week on a low carbohydrate diet, and I can tell you that Mr. D. has lost 4 lb. and I have lost 3 lb.  So we are continuing with this meal plan, but now we can begin to add a few more carbohydrates into each day’s meal plan.  On the weekend I made this quiche for a late breakfast/brunch.  It is very filling because of the quantity of ingredients, and we were satisfied enough by it  to not eat again until dinnertime.  I did make a few adjustments to lower the carbohydrate level as explained below.

Most quiche recipes call for a pie crust shell (as this one does), into which you layer your filling and egg mixtures.  I used 4  ( 8″ ) corn tortillas, to line my pie dish, overlapping them slightly on the bottom and extending them up the sides of the dish.  Corn tortillas are lower in total carbs than pie crust plus they provide a little fiber.   Also, instead of the 1 cup milk called for in the recipe I used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water to make the 1 cup liquid needed.

This recipe makes 6 servings.

CRUST:

1 refrigerated Pie Crust from a 15 oz. package, softened at room temperature as directed on the package.  OR, substitute  4 ( 8″ ) corn tortillas.

FILLING:

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked, cubed ham
  • 6 oz. ( 1 1/2 cup ) shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, either precooked leftovers, or frozen ones, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk,  or 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Make pie crust as directed on package for one-crust filled pie using a 9-inch glass pie pan. Or line pie pan with the corn tortillas.

2.   Layer ham, broccoli, and 1 cup of cheese in the crust-lined pan.  In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and all the remaining ingredients. Combine well.  Pour over  what’s in the pan.

3.  Bake 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Return to oven till cheese is melted.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving as it will cut better.

   

SOURCE:     Healthy Meals in Minutes