Saturday, November 25, 2006

Soup and sandwich

An easy, comforting fall meal: butternut squash soup with sauteed green onions, with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side.


Apple Chard Quiche

This was heaven. We were both surprised how much we enjoyed the nutmeg and the hint of sweetness from the apples in this unusual quiche. I first saw the recipe at this site, which reproduced it from Vegetarian Times.

I used soy milk and light cheese and left out the butter, since that was what was on hand. It would probably be even better with cream and full-fat cheese.

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced.
  • 1 cup shredded ruby Swiss chard
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
Heat oven to 375 F.
  1. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute onions until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add Swiss chard, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium and cook ,stirring often, until mushrooms and chard are suft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Combine apples, flour and nutmeg in mixing bowl, and toss to coat apples. In separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and cheese and beat until blended. Fold in apple mixture.
  4. Spoon chard mixture into pie crust. Pour egg, cheese & apple mixture over top.
  5. Bake 35 - 45 miutes, or until custard is set and top is slightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.



Marinated tuna steaks form Trader Joe's, red chard sauteed in olive oil with mushrooms and garlic, whipped sweet potatoes and bananas with pecan crumble, and homemade cranberry sauce.
Bill saw the sweet potato and cranberry sauce recipes on the food network during one of our recent flights and was inspired to make them. Both were easy. I've reproduce the recipes here, because I'm not sure how long those links will be good.

Cranberry Sauce

This is a very tart sauce, which we loved, but you might want to add more sugar if the extreme tartness is too much for you.

2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate.

Sweet potatoes

Next time I would halve the amount of pecans, and probably forgo the honey and sugar altogether. It was delicious, but so sweet it was more of a dessert, and the pecan crumble was so bountiful it was almost like pecan pie on top of a bed of sweet potatoes.

5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
4 bananas, unpeeled
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
Kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, put them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Toss the bananas into the pan and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes, until both the bananas and potatoes are very soft. Remove the pan from the oven but don't turn the oven off.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl along with 1 stick of the butter, and the honey. Season with salt and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until everything's well combined and the mixture is fluffy. Spoon into an oven-proof serving bowl and smooth the top.

In a separate mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub together the remaining stick of butter, the brown sugar, flour, and pecans until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the sweet potatoes and return to the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden. Serve hot.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spilt peas: baby and grownup versions.

Isn't that an appetizing picture? It tastes better than it looks, trust me.

We just brought a cup of split peas and four cups of water to a boil, then reduced the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour. For Xander, we pulled some out, ran it through the baby food mill and added a bit of breastmilk to runny it up some. For us, we added a tablespoon of veggie bullion and chopped onion (which we normally do before boiling, but didn't want it in Xan's food). While that continued to simmer, we chopped veggie kielbasa and pan fried with lots of red pepper. Finally, we mixed it all together and finished it with pepper and a little salt.