Saturday, July 7, 2012

Green Olive bread

For this recipe I used the Trader Joe's green olives that come in the pop top can.  They don't have the "bite" of  the green martini-type green olives- but I'm sure either olives would be excellent.

I used both Krusteaz Italian herb bread, and Hodgson's Mill European cheese and herb bread- both types of mixes worked great.

For this very simple recipe you chop up 15 green olives, and reserve them.  Prepare the bread mix in your bread maker according to directions, but add 1/8 cup of poppy seeds (or more, if you like).  Sunflower seeds can also be added if you like them.  Mix the bread mix one mix cycle, and then add the chopped olives.  Use a silicon spatula to get the olives to mix in, if they get pushed to the side.

Do NOT bake the bread in the breadmaker.  Instead, take the mixed dough and put it on a cookie sheet topped with very lightly floured parchment paper.  Shape it in to a boule.  Let it rise.  I let mine rise between 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hour.  Flour the top of the bread (or not, sometimes I forget this step- and it still comes out fine), and put it in a 400 degree oven.  Bake until it is evenly a medium brown.  Let it cool before cutting.  This bread is excellent broiled and topped with mozzarella and bruschetta topping- in fact, save that parchment paper covered cookie sheet and get an extra use out of it by making the bruschetta bread right away!

The addition of the green olives makes the bread moist, without interfering with the crumb profile- the bread still has a delightfully small, delicate crumb, and the green olives also (imo) give nuance to the taste.  I just love this easy, tasty addition.  And I hope you will too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sof'ella Vanilla Bean Cookies

At our Big Lots they had Sof'ella vanilla bean cookie mix for 3 bucks- so I bought some.  And it was great- so I went and got more.  All you need to add is 1 egg, 1 tsp of water, and 6 tbs butter.  I also like to add dried fruit, or nuts, and this last time I added Super Seedz- pumpkin seeds mixed with cinnamon and sugar.  They're delicious in these cookies:

Those super seeds are great right from the bag too!

The cookies are almost gone, but I'll see if I can't rescue a couple and take their picture.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Need to use up some shrimp cocktail?

So I made a bucket of shrimp cocktail (long story) using the giant plastic tub of wild shrimp you can get at Costco in the refrigerated fish section.  I had mixed it up with a bottle of Trader Joe's cocktail sauce.  I had a good cup, maybe a cup and a half left over.  So I thought- why not shrimp cocktail quiche?  It turned out really well.

You will need:
some shrimp cocktail- I used between a cup and a cup and a half- sorry, I didn't measure- and I picked it up with a slotted spoon, so most of the liquid was left behind

1 unbaked pie crust- I used Trader Joe's frozen (I know I could make my own, but I'm lazy)
3 eggs
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup half and half
1 heaping TBS cornstarch (I use organic)
pepper to taste- I used 1/2 tsp
Add fresh dill, or dried, if you like the taste
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Trader Joe's Mexican Blend)

Mix everything but the shrimp with a whip until creamy, then add the shrimp and blend.  Pour in to crust.

I have a shrimp cookie cutter- and if I make this for company, I'm going to bake a shrimp pastry crust "cookie"- and put it on the top of the quiche with some sprigs of fresh dill.

Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes- I probably do mine a little longer, because I love the top to be a full golden brown

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Salmon Frittata

I cooked a whole sockeye salmon last night - bought at Costco, sliced in to steaks(poached in cream, with spices). So today I'm using up some of the leftover meat in a salmon frittata.

I used two of those amazing pretzel buns from Costco- sliced them up, and diced them, and put them in two buttered pans.  So basically the bottom of the pan was covered with a single layer of bread crumbs. I use fish shaped pans- which are approx 13 by 8- but some of that is head and tail, so the effective area is probably that of an 8 by 8 pan. I sauteed 1 cup of diced Maui onion, then added pepper and garlic gold granules (so add garlic to taste- or garlic gold). In a bowl I used a whip to combine 7 eggs, 2 cups of flaked boneless salmon, the onion mixture, 3/4 cup half and half, 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I use the Trader Joes Mexican blend), and then, because it was leftover, I added a little more than a cup of asparagus risotto (the kind from Costco, by Framini- we had that last night with Salmon steaks and salad).  I poured the salmon mix over the bread crumbs in two pans, topped them with about 1/8 cup of shredded cheese each- and put the pans in the oven (400 to start).

I'll try to put the picture up. Because the whole thing turned out GREAT,and it was so easy! I'm totally making this for company. My kids say it tastes like a crab cake crossed with a quiche.

400 degree oven, reduced to 300 after 15 minutes- cook frittata until nicely browned.  Then get a piece before your family eats it all.  

I'm sure you could use canned salmon, tuna or crab for this, just as easily as freshly cooked salmon. I just had a rather large chunk of salmon in my fridge.  Salmon salad sandwiches tomorrow!

Rancho Gordo Christmas Limas

I picked up some Rancho Gordo Christmas limas, and wanted to cook them, so I came up with this recipe:

  (a little something I call, let's throw a bit of the fridge and the pantry in our stockpot)-
I soaked them for 7 hours- be sure to keep them covered with water, but not more than just covered. Then I sauteed onions in a large saucepan (2 chopped maui onions) in a mix of bacon fat, olive oil and coconut oil, then I added Trader Joe's flower pepper (a blend of pepper and flour petals- like lavender and rose), some Garlic Gold granules, some balsamic vinegar salt, and then I added 2 large ribs of celery, sliced- but the skillet was already off, then I added that mixture to a large stockpot that I could put in the oven and dumped in the beans with their soaking water, some chicken broth, some good cabernet (about a cup), several small chopped pork breakfast sausages, 1/4 cup of diced bacon, and a small container of cream of celery soup (Pacific Natural Foods Organic cream of Celery).  Then bake it at 350- for a few hours, until it all blends perfectly.

It smells really really good. I think you could do these with any type of dried beans.