For the recipe you’ll need one pound of fresh spinach or Swiss chard, butter, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, milk, chopped onion, salt, nutmeg, 3 eggs and cream of tartar. The recipe begins by making a white sauce with the melted butter, flour salt and pepper. Next, the milk is stirred in, heated to boiling and stirred for one minute. The onion, salt and nutmeg are added. At this point, I added approximately 1/2-cup of finely shredded cheddar cheese. As this recipe only called for one tablespoon of onion, I substituted shallot.
I brought the eggs to room temperature before separating. The whites and cream of tarter are beaten until stiff peaks appear. The yolks are beaten until lemon colored and thickened. The yolk is stirred into the white sauce followed by the spinach.
Lighten the white sauce by folding in 1/4 of the whites; then the balance. The mixture is poured into a buttered 4-cup soufflé dish or 1-quart casserole. The dish is placed in a pan of water, 1-inch deep and baked until puffed and a knife inserted halfway through comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.
What a wonderful side dish. You had the subtle taste of the cheddar mixed with the spinach; it was light and not too rich. A bit of work is needed, but a nice change of pace from the ordinary.
My husband was surfing the web and found several recipes from “House and Garden Magazine” UK. The first is Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe with Mushrooms and Sage, Autumn Pasta with Blue Cheese and Nuts; the last, Pastina Soup. All recipes are by Donal Skehan and appeared in the October issue. The first one I tried was the gnocchi.
For the recipe you’ll need black peppercorns, salted butter, mixed mushrooms, fresh sage leaves, salt, fresh gnocchi (I used shelf-stable from Wegmans), Parmesan cheese and Pecorino Romano.
Traditional Cacio e Pepe recipes are made with Pecorino, so I shifted the quantity of 3-1/2 ounces of Parmesan, to Pecorino and 2 ounces of Pecorino to Parmesan. I found mixed mushrooms (white, shiitake and baby Bella) at my local Wegmans.
The recipe begins by toasting the whole peppercorns to bring out their flavor. I used my coffee grinder to roughly grind the peppercorns. You could also put the peppercorns in a plastic bag and crush with a meat mallet or cast-iron frying pan. Butter is melted in a medium skillet and the mushrooms and sage are fried until the mushrooms are golden. They are removed and placed on a plate.
While the mushrooms are frying, start a large pot of water to boil to which you’ll add a generous amount of salt. In the same pan that you used for the mushrooms, you’ll add more butter and the ground peppercorns. After the gnocchi has cooked for several minutes in the boiling water, remove 1/2-cup and add to the pan with peppercorns and reduce by half.
When the gnocchi was done, I used a spider to add to skillet, coated in peppercorn sauce and simmered for a minute or two. Next I added the mushrooms and mixed, removed from heat and stirred in cheese. I served with additional Pecorino cheese.
Yum, the sauce had a nice complexity from toasting the peppercorns and a nice kick of heat (I used 3 teaspoons). It was a 30-minute meal and quite flavorsome.
Earlier this month, I clipped a recipe from The New York Times,” A Good Appetite” column, a recipe by Melissa Clark for Rosemary White Beans with Frizzled Onions and Tomatoes. You can use canned cannellini beans or cooked dried beans. For the recipe you’ll also need extra-virgin olive oil, one large white onion, fine sea salt, 6 cloves of garlic, 2-teaspoons of fresh rosemary or 1/2-teaspoon dried, 1/4-teaspoon red pepper flakes, two cans of beans, one cup chopped tomatoes,1-1/2-teaspoons lemon zest and fresh parsley for garnish.
First, the onion is halved and thinly sliced into half-moons. In a few tablespoons of olive oil, they’re cooked until well browned. Half is removed to a dish and seasoned with a little bit of salt.
More oil is added to the pan along with garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes and salt. The garlic is cooked until golden. Next the beans, tomatoes and salt are added and mix until well coated. The beans are simmered over medium-low heat to meld the flavors.
Before serving, the lemon zest is added, parsley and seasoning adjusted. Serve in bowls topped with reserved onions, parsley, olive oil or red flakes. What a scrumptious meal, the only thing missing my husband said was garlic bread.
A 3-1/2 ounce serving provides 54% of your daily value of fiber, 97% daily value of folate and 36% daily value of thiamin to name a few healthy benefits. Did I mention they’re high in protein? A wonderful vegetarian and gluten free meal. This was a terrific 30-minute supper.
Spinach Puff with Cheddar Cheese
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook ©1983
Servings: 4 to 6
Active Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 50 to 60 Minutes
1-pound fresh spinach or Swiss Chard*
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
½ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
If using fresh spinach, submerge in cold water several times to remove sandy soil. Roughly chop leaves. With water just clinging to leaves, place in large skillet, cover and cook until wilted. Place leaves in dish towel and wring excess moisture out.
Heat oven to 350°. Butter 4-cup soufflé dish or 1-quart casserole. Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir n milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in onion, 1 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and cheddar cheese.
Beat egg whites and cream of tarter in a large mixer bowl until stiff. Beat egg yolks in a small mixer bowl until very thick and lemon colored; stir into white sauce mixture. Stir in spinach.
Stir about ¼ of the egg whites into sauce mixture; fold into remaining egg whites.
Carefully pour into soufflé dish. Set soufflé dish in a pan of water (1-inch deep). Bake until puffed and gold and until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve immediately.
*Can you one 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach or chopped broccoli. Cook and drain before adding to white sauce base.
Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe with Mushrooms and Sage
Recipe by Donal Skehan
House and Garden UK, October 18, 2023
Extracted from “Home Kitchen,” by Donal Skehan
1–3 tsp black peppercorns (to taste)
120g (4oz) salted butter
300g (10oz) mixed mushrooms, sliced or torn
10 sage leaves
250g (9oz) fresh gnocchi
100g (3½oz) Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated, plus extra to serve
50g (2oz) Pecorino cheese (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
Rosemary White Beans with Frizzled Onions and Tomatoes
By Melissa Clark
The New York Times, “A Good Appetite” column
November 4, 2023
Servings: 3 to 4
Time: 30 minutes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
Fine sea salt
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, more for serving
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or butter beans (preferably canned with salt), drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1c up chopped fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, more for garnish
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.