Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

It’s a fact!  I know it for sure.  Real men do eat quiche.

How did quiche ever get the reputation for not being “manly”?  This quiche is he-man stuff.  Packed with broccoli, sautéed onions, two kinds of cheese, six eggs, and heavy cream all wrapped into a flaky, tender crust.  Yikes!  It just doesn’t get any better than this.IMG_8874

Fact #2:  You can eat this at any meal.   Call it a weekend breakfast or brunch,  call it lunch, or add a leafy green salad and call it dinner.

Like a favorite guest who is always welcome at your table, this is a dish you will want to make often.  If you must, you can sub out the broccoli and insert asparagus,  or change up the cheeses used,  but please don’t use skim milk instead of heavy cream.  It just won’t be the same;  no way, no how.

A properly prepared quiche has two requirements:  a well-cooked crust, and a properly cooked filling–not rubbery and overcooked, and not watery.  This quiche recipe will deliver perfect results every time.

A key factor that contributes to the deliciousness of this quiche is pre-baking the crust before filling it.  This is called “blind baking ” the crust.  With the crust almost totally cooked before filling it, it doesn’t become soggy when you add the egg custard.   Even leftover pieces will have a crispy, flaky crust.

The key to the filling?  Keep an eye on it and remove from the oven as soon as the center is set.

As we swing into the new year, with thoughts of trying to loose a little weight, this quiche will be seeing some heavy rotation in my meal planning because in spite of its richness, it is quite low in carbs, (only the crust).  When following a low-carb diet, weight loss occurs by using stored fat as your energy source instead of carbohydrates as a ready source of energy.   In that scenario, the amount of fats you eat has no significance.  I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but it works.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE

Yield:   Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:IMG_8865

  • all-purpose flour for rolling
  • 1 homemade or store-bought single-crust pie dough
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets, steamed until crisp-tender
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out dough to a 12-inch round.  Place in a 9-inch pie plate, fold overhang under, and crimp the edge.  Place a sheet of parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Fill crust with pie weights or beans to prevent air-bubbles.

Fill crust with pie weights or beans to prevent air-bubbles.

Bake until edge is dry and light golden, about 20 minutes.  Remove parchment and weights.

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2.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, precook the broccoli florets until crisp-tender.

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3.  In another skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

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4.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream.  Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

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5.  Place broccoli florets in bottom of pie dish (crust)…..

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spoon on the onions, then the cheese.

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Pour the egg/cream mixture over all.

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Bake until center of quiche is just set, 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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To store:  refrigerate cooled quiche, tightly covered, up to 3 days.  To reheat, cover with foil and place in a 325 *F. oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes.

SOURCE:   Everyday Food,  Dec. 2011

 

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

A cold stormy day calls for hot soup. We were hit with an unexpected snow storm the other day that threw everyone into a tizzy. What is it that is so often said about the last day of March, “out like a lamb”?  Not this one. The lion roared again and tied up traffic for miles with multiple accidents. What did I do? I stayed home and sent a barrage of e-mails to the Weather Goddess. Enough is enough, Mother Nature. Check your calendar; it’s Spring!!  😀

Mr. D was so thankful for a steaming hot bowl of soup. He said it hit the spot. This soup is healthy and light. It has a creamy texture from the cauliflower and would lead you to think it was loaded with cream, but there’s not a drop of cream in it. I served it with a drizzle of olive oil on top. It would make a light lunch or first course or serve with a sandwich for a full meal as I did.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

A serving of this soup is 1 3/4 cup, with 93 calories, 3 g. fat, 12 g carbohydrate.

CAULIFLOWER SOUP

Very few ingredients.

Very few ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
  • kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan or soup kettle, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook about 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth and cauliflower and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.) Turn off the heat.

Cook the cauliflower in the chicken broth.

Cook the cauliflower in the chicken broth.

3. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, or use a regular blender and puree in small batches. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Puree the cooked cauliflower with a blender.

Puree the cooked cauliflower with a blender.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

 

SOURCE: adapted from Skinny Taste

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

Fresh asparagus are now appearing in the produce aisles of the market, and I look forward to its reappearance each year.  This is one vegetable I really love.  When I first start cooking it again I usually just steam it briefly so it’s just crisp tender and serve it with a little butter or spritz it with lemon juice.  But after having it that way a few times I start looking for ways to dress it up and offer more variety.

So pretty when plated.

So pretty when plated.

This recipe is a new and different way that I have found to prepare it.  The asparagus is cooked briefly, and while that’s going on you make a sauce out of olive oil, garlic, grape tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.  When you serve it, sprinkle goat cheese over the top.  This makes a great side dish to go with almost any entree I can think of.  Every bite provides some crispness from the asparagus, some tartness from the balsamic tomato sauce, and then some creaminess from the goat cheese.  What a mouth sensation!!   I was so happy to see that there was some leftover, because I’m having it again tomorrow with a poached egg for my lunch.

Can you also believe that you can get so much pleasure and goodness for only 69 calories and 6.5 g carbohydrates/serving?  Yes,  my kind of dish, indeed.

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ASPARAGUS WITH BALSAMIC TOMATOES

Yield:    4 servings

Ingredients:

Just a few ingredients needed.

Just a few ingredients needed.

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1  1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic ( 1 small clove)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • dash black pepper

Directions:

1.  Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.   Drain and keep warm.

2.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes.

Sautéing the tomatoes and garlic.

Sautéing the tomatoes and garlic.

Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes.  Stir in salt.

Add in balsamic vinegar and salt.

Add in balsamic vinegar and salt.

3.  Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light;   April, 2011

Turkey Sausage and Peppers

 Turkey Sausage with Peppers

Turkey Sausage with Peppers

I’ve had a craving the last few days for sausage and peppers in a rich tomato sauce, preferably served over pasta.  When I get an idea like this I can’t forget about it until I make it.  The problem is this is one of the those weeks when I have limited time to spend cooking up a storm in the kitchen.  Luckily I have this recipe for just such occasions.

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Italian turkey sausage takes the place of pork sausage, but still provides all the flavors I love.  The whole meal can be made in about 45 minutes, but tastes like it’s been simmering for hours.  Your family will love it! There are several national brands that make good quality italian turkey sausage, such as Shady Brook Farms,  Jennie-O and Purdue if you don’t have a good butcher nearby.  The variety of peppers I include make this a colorful dish and provide a nice taste contrast to the sausage.  Diced tomatoes with added seasonings are the basis for the sauce.  Served with a salad, this can be a stand-alone entree, or serve it over pastas if you want to round out the meal.

This entree, minus the pasta, comes in at just 388 calories, with only 21 g carbohydrates.  A real bargain if you’re looking to limit calorie intake, but still get big flavor.

TURKEY SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS

Yield:   makes 4 servings

Ingredients:IMG_6546

  • 1  1/4 pounds lean Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 3 assorted bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, optional
  • 1  15-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped, or use dried basil to taste

Directions

1.  Preheat the broiler.  Pierce the sausages all over with a fork or sharp knife, arrange on a baking sheet and broil, turning halfway through, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.  (They will not be fully cooked.)  Transfer to a cutting board and cut each one in half, or in thirds, on the diagonal.

Sausages pre-browned under the broiler.

Sausages pre-browned under the broiler.

2.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bell peppers, fennel and onion and cook, stirring, until they soften slightly, 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds.  Cook, stirring 1 more minute.

Peppers, onion and fennel in the pan.

Peppers, onion and fennel in the pan.

3.  Stir in 1/2 cup water, the tomatoes and basil.  Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and seasonings.

Add tomatoes and seasonings.

Uncover; add the sausages and cook through, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add an additional splash of water if the sauce gets too thick.   Top with more basil to serve.

Sausages added.

Sausages added.

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Serve over pasta for a complete entree.

Serve over pasta for a complete entree.

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

Here on the East Coast we’ve been experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and on some days it was difficult to know what to fix for meals.  Appetites were lagging and I haven’t been motivated to expend much energy in cooking.

However cucumbers are one vegetable that I like to eat when it’s hot and so I’ve turned to this recipe for a chilled light soup  that is both refreshing and nutritious.  I wrote about this cold soup last summer, but it’s certainly worth bringing back for another look, (and some better photography) especially for those readers who may have missed it.

I like to serve a cup of it along with a fresh tomato that has been stuffed with some kind of salad, like tuna salad.  

INGREDIENTS

SERVINGS:    4

  • 2-3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes  (about 2 cups)

    The colors of the ingredients make it look cool even before making it,

    The colors of the ingredients make it look cool even before making it,

  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small minced jalapeño pepper ( seeds and ribs removed for less heat)
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 medium sized shrimp, (about 6 ounces), peeled and deveined

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a blender, combine half the cucumber and 1 avocado with the yogurt, lime juice, jalapeño, scallions, 1 Tablespoon cilantro, 1 cup ice water,  1  teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Puree until completely smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.

2.   Cut remaining avocado into 1/4 cubes.  Stir avocado and remaining cucumber into soup.  Thin with 1/2 to 1 cup ice water, as desired.  Taste and season again with salt and pepper.  Chill about 1 hour.

3.  In a large skillet,  heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook shrimp, turning once, until opaque throughout, 2-3 minutes.  Ladle soup into bowl; garnish with shrimp and remaining cilantro.

The pureed avocado and yogurt give this soup its creamy texture.  I kept the heat level down by using only half the jalapeño pepper, and I could have used it all because the yogurt and cool smoothness subdues the pepper’s heat.  This soup was definitely a hit with both me and Mr. D. It would make a nice first course to a larger meal or a lunch combined with a salad or sandwich. It is cool and very yummy.  You have got to try this!

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Stuffed Tomato

SOURCE:  Whole Living  Newsletter by Martha Stewart

Grilled Flank Steak with Salad

Grilled Flank Steak and Salad

Grilled Flank Steak and Salad

Big flavor, great color, and easy preparation are the hallmarks of a weeknight entree, and this dish has them all.

Flank steak is the main attraction, but don’t belittle the lowly vegetables that make up the salad.  They are the supporting cast that round out this meal, and they all work beautifully together, just like a perfectly performing dance ensemble.   oooh, excuse the reference, but my competition is coming close, and I’ve got dancing on the brain.   😀

I really like this meal for another reason; it’s a dieter’s dream.   Here, a chile-spiked salad adds zest to simply grilled beef.   Low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, this flank steak supper is filled with beneficial fats, iron, and protein.  There are only 232 calories,  12.4 g fat,  and 6.4 g. carbs.  WOW!   You’re gonna love it!

It cuts like butter!!!

It cuts like butter!!!

GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH SALAD

Marinate the flank steak in a zip-top bag.

Marinate the flank steak in a zip-top bag.

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

For the steak:

  • 1 flank steak, about 1 pound – 1 1/4 lb.
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix everything except the steak together in a large zip-top bag.   Pierce the steak all over on both sides with a long-tined fork.  Add the steak to the bag, rotating to make sure all surfaces of the steak are covered by the marinade.  Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour and up to 4 hours.

For the salad:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

    Fresh and crunchy salad

    Fresh and crunchy salad

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 cups torn Bibb or butter lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion (or sweet onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded serrano chile ( can be omitted).
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1.  Prepare the grill by wiping the grates with a paper towel sprayed with a little olive oil.  Close the cover and get it hot.

2.  Remove steak from the bag, and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle the steak with a little salt and pepper.   Grill about 6 minutes on each side until desired degree of doneness.

Doesn't that look fabulous?

Doesn’t that look fabulous?

Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

3.  To prepare salad:  combine cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and onion in a large bowl.   Combine cilantro and the remaining ingredients.   Drizzle cilantro mixture over the salad vegetables.   Toss gently;  serve with the steak.

4.  Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.   Drizzle any steak juices over slices on the serving platter.

It is fabulous--cooked medium rare.

It is fabulous–cooked medium rare.

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SOURCE:   Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Cauliflower-Broccoli-Cheese Soup

A quick post today featuring a soup that I made this past weekend when I had an abundance of broccoli and cauliflower on hand that needed using up.

Cauliflower-broccoli-cheese soup.

Cauliflower-broccoli-cheese soup.

After spending the morning outside spreading mulch and pruning some shrubs, Mr. D. and I were starving and ready for a break.  In just about 30 minutes I was able to have this thick, vegetable soup on the table ready for us to devour.  If you use frozen vegetables it takes even less time to make.  I didn’t realize a “made from scratch” vegetable soup could be ready in such a short time, and be so delicious.  It has only 150 calories per serving, and is low in fat and carbohydrates, yet satisfies and is filling.  To make it vegetarian, switch out the chicken broth and use vegetable broth instead, and omit the cheese.

CAULIFLOWER-BROCCOLI-CHEESE SOUP

Yield:   4 servings

Total time to make;  about 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp. canola oilIMG_4086
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli and cauliflower or 5 cups fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 2 oz. reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup seasoned croutons
  • ground nutmeg for garnish

1.  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until just beginning to brown.  Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are lightly browned.

2.  Add chicken broth, broccoli and cauliflower;  cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3.  Puree mixture with and immersion blender or a regular blender.  Return mixture to saucepan, add milk and heat through.

4.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese.  Season with pepper.  Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg and garnish with a few seasoned croutons.

Quick to make;  filling and nutritious.

Quick to make; filling and nutritious.

Seasoned croutons add a little crunch to an otherwise smooth soup.

Seasoned croutons add a little crunch to an otherwise smooth soup.

Nutritional Profile:  150 calories, 6g. fat. 2g saturated fat, 15 g. carbohydrates, 4g sugars, 8g protein.

SOURCE:   found in a circular from my local grocery store

Spice-Rubbed Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms

Spice-rubbed steak with sauteed mushrooms.

Spice-rubbed steak with sauteed mushrooms.

What a good spice rub will do for an ordinary cut of meat is amazing.  In this case I use a flank steak, mainly because there is no fat or waste to it, and a 1-pound steak can feed four people, or two with a good amount left over for a salad or lunch.  The spice rub uses readily available seasonings, ones you probably have in your pantry.  That plus the mushrooms elevates this dish to fabulous.

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When I make the spice rub, I like to mix up a double or triple (or quadruple) batch to keep on hand because it is good with chicken and firm fish, too. It calls for ancho chile powder, made from poblano peppers, that have a mild, sweet spicy flavor.  This chile powder can be found in the spice section of most large supermarkets.  Other mildly spicy chile powder can be used in its place if you prefer.   Store the mix in a jar or zip-lock baggie in your spice cabinet for an instant dinner solution.

Any type of mushrooms can be used in this recipe, but a combination with some wild mushrooms in the mix really improves the flavor. Also, if cooking with wine is not an option for you, then substitute beef broth for the Madeira in the recipe.

SPICE-RUBBED STEAK WITH SAUTEED MUSHROOMS

SERVINGS:   about 4

INGREDIENTS

For the rub:

Sliced mushrooms. shallots, and beef broth.

Sliced mushrooms. shallots, garlic and beef broth.

  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix together all the above in a small bowl.

Remaining ingredients

  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • 5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/3 cup Madeira or dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1.  Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.   Rub the spice mixture evenly over both sides of steak and place on the prepared pan;  let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Apply spice rub to both sides of steak.

Apply spice rub to both sides of steak.

2.  Meanwhile, position oven rack 3 – 4 inches below broiler, preheat broiler to high.     Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 1 minute.  Stir in mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown,  8 – 10 minutes.  Pour in Madeira ( or sherry) and cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.  Add broth and cook until almost absorbed 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in parsley and 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper;  cover and keep warm.

3.  Broil the steak 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium.***  Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the steak against the grain and serve with the mushrooms.

Slice steak and serve with mushrooms.

Slice steak and serve with mushrooms.

***An alternate cooking method is on an outdoor grill.  Cook to your desired level of doneness.  If you have a side burner, you can cook the mushrooms on the grill also.   YUM!   We love it this way.

A green vegetable rounds out this meal nicely.

A green vegetable rounds out this meal nicely.

SOURCE:   Eating Well Magazine,  February, 2013

When Skies Turn Gray—–

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Coleslaw and Pickles.

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Coleslaw and Pickles.

We’ve had a couple of days with temperatures in the 70’s….nice warm spring days.  From my kitchen window I can see our gas grille, with its cover still over it, on the back deck,  just waiting to be fired up.   My mouth was watering for a juicy burger, so I decided today was the day for our first cookout of the season.

I frequently use ground turkey to make burgers and I had some on hand so that was I used to make the recipe that follows.  In fact the recipe suggests adding creamy coleslaw and pickles to really dress up the burgers.  I set to work shredding the cabbage for my Creamy Garlic Coleslaw which you can find the recipe for here, then I mixed up the burger mixture.  Instead of a bulky hamburg bun I planned to use Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins, since we are cutting back on carbohydrates (again, sigh), and I added some chopped apple to my burger mixture to help keep them juicy.

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As I finished forming the burgers, I looked out the window and noticed that the sun had disappeared, and in its place we now had black clouds rolling in.  You have probably guessed what happened next:  a thunderstorm with pouring down rain.  So much for my cookout!

But you know what I say?  “When the skies turn gray, grill anyway”.  So out came my grill pan and I was still able to make burgers that were grilled, juicy and yummy.  My husband said “you should write about these they are really good.  And so I am.  We topped ours with sliced tomato,  pickle slices, and coleslaw with a thin spread of mayonnaise on the roll.   Perfect in spite of the rain.

GRILLED TURKEY BURGERS

SERVINGS    4

  • 1  1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup fresh soft breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 small onion minced, or chopped green onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley, or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple, optional
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Assorted toppings:   mustard or mayonnaise, tomato slices, sliced sandwich pickles, creamy coleslaw, thinly sliced apple.

1.  Combine all the above ingredients, except buns, and form into 4  (1-inch-thick) patties.  Do not over mix, and handle lightly or burgers will be mushy. With your finger make a depression in the center of each one.

Make a depression in the center of the burgers to keep them from puffing up.

Make a depression in the center of the burgers to keep them from puffing up.

This keeps them from puffing up, so they retain their shape better. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, and grill on a lightly oiled rack over medium-high heat 6 – 7 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from grill, cover loosely and let rest about 5 minutes.

2.  Spread toasted buns with mustard or mayonnaise.  Top with tomato slices, burger, pickle slices and a spoonful of creamy coleslaw.

These were nicely seasoned and very moist.

These were nicely seasoned and very moist.

SOURCE:   Country Living Magazine

Zucchini Crab Cakes

Zucchini Crab Cakes

I was introduced to crab cakes on my first trip to the Chesapeake Bay area, and I have loved them ever since.  The trouble is I don’t find fresh crab meat very often in my local market and even though crab cakes can be made with canned crab meat I prefer fresh—the pieces of crab are bigger.

I asked my husband to stop at a shoreline fish market to purchase some lobster one day after work, and he did;  but he also brought home two large crab legs with the request that I make crab cakes.    I promised him I would if he would crack them and extract the meat.  HA! (The cook has to protect her hands.)

OK, now the search begins.  What recipe should I use?  Things I considered in the search:  we don’t like red or green pepper in our crab cakes, so eliminate any recipes with those in it. The mixture is flaky and hard to hold together, so I wanted something with moisture to help bind it together.  Yeah, eggs do that, but wait, here’s one that uses zucchini as part of the mixture. Wow, moisture, binding power, and a vegetable to take the place of peppers.  This is it!  Usually I can read a recipe and know if it will work and taste good.  My instincts didn’t fail me on this one.

ZUCCHINI CRAB CAKES

SERVINGS:   makes 8 crab cakes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 -1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
  • 8 ounces fresh cooked crabmeat (about 1 1/2 cups)  Purchase about 1 1/4 pounds crab legs to get 8 ounces of meat. Canned crab meat works, too.
  • cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons cooking oil.  Cook and stir the zucchini and green onions about 3 minutes or until tender and the liquid is evaporated.  Cool slightly.

2.  In a large mixing bowl combine the beaten egg, bread crumbs, mustard, thyme, and, if desired, the red pepper.  Add the zucchini mixture and crabmeat; mix well.

3.  Using a 1/4 cup measure for each crab cake, scoop out and shape into 8 patties about 1/2 inch thick.  Spray each patty with cooking spray.

4.  Using the large skillet previously used lightly spray it with cooking spray, and reheat it.  Place the crab cakes sprayed side down in the pan, and cook for about 3 minutes.  Spray the uncooked sides and turn over.  Cook another 2-3 minutes till nicely browned and crisp.

These were really good.  I served them with another vegetable (broccoli ) and a salad consisting of roast golden beets, yellow cherry tomatoes, and baby greens with feta cheese.

SOURCE:   Savory Shellfish Recipes of the Shore