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Author Archives: nina in the kitchen

Roasted Tomatoes, Onion and Garlic

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These little cherry size tomatoes are spooned over toasty bread spread with labneh, a soft yogurt cheese. You can find that recipe here too!

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I found these little gems at our local farmers market. It’s the end of October in mid Michigan and we’re seeing the last of the vine ripened tomatoes, so it’s time to roast two batches for the week. These picture are of a double recipe!

Ingredients

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, whole or halved, your choice

1 large onion, cut in wedges and then cut in half crosswise

6-8 cloves garlic, mashed and unpeeled

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Toss together on a large baking sheet onions, garlic and tomatoes
  • Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Gently toss
  • Place in hot oven
  • Roast 30 minutes or so, until tomatoes have burst, onions are tender and some browning has started. Stir gently every 10 minutes
  • Toast your sourdough or other crusty bread. Spread with soft goat cheese or labneh.
  • Spoon the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with a thick aged balsamic vinegar.
  • Sprinkle with flaked sea salt
  • Serve as whole pieces of toast for lunch or with dinner, like a bruschetta
  • Or cut them in bite size pieces and serve as an appetizer
  • Voila!

These vegetables are ready for roasting in a 400 degree oven

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Wilted sweet vegetables ready to eat! Scrape all the liquids and leftovers into a storage container. Use a rubber spatula to get every drop!

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Voila!

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Fried Eggs with Yogurt & Lemon

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I love this very popular recipe from Food52. Julia Turshen developed it! I am not adapting her recipe. I’m copying it to share.

Serves 1 but easily multiplies

1/4 cup plain yogurt (Greek or not, your choice)

1/2 lemon with a lot of juice in it!

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 eggs

1 tablespoon roughly chopped leafy green herbs such as basil, dill, chervil, chives, thyme and or parsley

1. In a small bowl combine the yogurt and a big squeeze of juice from the lemon half and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust the lemon to taste too. Scrape the mixture to a plate and spread and swoop it so the yogurt covers most of the plate.

2. In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat warm the olive oil. Crack the eggs into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a few drops of water (less than a teaspoon) into the skillet, being sure to let the water hit the bottom of the pan and not the eggs, and immediately cover with a lid.

3. Let the eggs cook until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still a bit wobbly, just a minute or two. Transfer the eggs to the prepared plate setting them on top of the yogurt, then pour the remaining olive oil from the pan over the top. Squeeze whatever juice remains in the lemon half and scatter the herbs over all.

Serve immediately!

Eggs, yogurt, lemon, olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper are all you need

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In a small bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper

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Scrape the yogurt mixture onto a plate and spread around as a base for the fried eggs

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Fry the eggs in olive oil with a bit of water added and cover with a lid!

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Place the eggs on the yogurt and then pour over the olive oil from the pan and the remaining lemon juice and lastly the fresh herbs! Voila!

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Homemade Labneh/Yogurt Cheese

Spread this yogurt cheese on toasted or crispy bread and top it with roasted cherry tomatoes, onion and garlic like I have here. Drizzle with thick aged balsamic and sprinkle with flaked sea salt


Raw grape tomatoes are a tasty topping too! Especially these sweet yellow ones from the farmers market

IMG_1900IMG_1901Labneh spread on crispy bread and topped with raw tomatoes, thick balsamic and flaked sea salt

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Thick spreadable labneh


Labneh is a form of yogurt. You can strain regular yogurt to make Greek yogurt which ends up a bit thicker. If you strain it further to a spreadable consistency you get labneh! So simple!

So why bother? It’s a cows milk alternative to spreadable goat cheese. It’s cheaper than goat cheese and other spreadable cheeses. It’s super easy and you get your calcium and protein big time!

I like this for lunch but also cut into bite size pieces as an appetizer

My source for this recipe is an Egyptian girl at Mattersofthebelly.com  Check her post for more details! It’s authentic!

I like labneh spread on crisp bread and topped with:

1. Raw tomatoes, thick balsamic and flaked sea salt or

2. Roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and onion drizzled with balsamic and sea salt or

3. A delish jam of your choice or

4. Drizzled honey and flaked sea salt

If you want to order the absolute best homemade jam go to Plumtreejam.com for a variety of fruit jams made in Portland Oregon. #plumtreejam

Ingredients:

16 oz whole milk yogurt

1 pinch salt

cheesecloth or sterile gauze

  • Place a colander over a large bowl.
  • Line the colander with 3-4 layers of cheese cloth or gauze
  • In another medium bowl combine yogurt and a 3 finger pinch of salt
  • Pour yogurt into cheesecloth and enclose it into a ball and tie up with a string or twist tie
  • Cover the colander and bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Continue straining to your desired consistency. Overnight is good for me
  • Scrape the labneh into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Yogurt is straining through cheesecloth and a colander into a bowl

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Cover the yogurt with plastic and refrigerate overnight

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This is the consistency I like to spread on crispy bread

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Voila! I hope you enjoy this taste of the Middle East!

 

 

 

Raspberry Clafoutis


A French dessert is always enchanting to me. And an easy quick dessert is a gift! Jackpot!

I found this recipe at Food52. It’s a David Lebovitz recipe. Food52 is a tremendous source for cooking enthusiasts!

Have you made a Dutch baby? Or Aggkaka? Clafoutis is the same basic concept. All three of these are made of thin batters baked in a well buttered shallow baking pan. As it cooks in a hot oven it puffs up with air and then deflates soon after removal from the oven. These brunch foods or desserts end up with slightly crusty and custardy textures.

Clafoutis can be a brunch food or a dessert. It’s slightly sweet and has a crust of crystalized sugar on top. The Aggkaka and Dutch Baby are less sweet and more of a breakfast or brunch food. Check my website for the Aggkaka recipe. Aggkaka

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh raspberries or 1 1/4 pounds sour or sweet cherries, pitted
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup flour
Softened butter for buttering the baking pan.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Liberally butter an 11 1/2 inch caste iron fry pan or a 2 quart shallow baking pan.
  • Cover the bottom of the pan with the fruit.
  • In a medium bowl beat the eggs with an immersion blender.
  • Add the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, and flour and beat just until blended.
  • Pour batter over the fruit
  • Sprinkle the 3 tablespoons sugar over the batter.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until just set. An inserted knife will come out relatively clean.
  • Serve warm, room temperature or cold.
  • May be prepared a day in advance. Refrigerate overnight
  • Serves 8

Cover the buttered pan with fruit

Blend batter ingredients with an immersion blender

Pour the batter over the fruit layer

Clafoutis ready for sprinkling with sugar and then the oven

Clafoutis in the oven

Voila! Ready to serve with a large spatula or spoon!

Microwave Brownies


I found this recipe at MyRecipes.com. It’s really Delish! I added a sprinkling of flaked sea salt just before baking the brownies. Love that sweet chocolate and salty flavor.

If you’re looking for a recipe to make with young children, this works well!

These chocolate brownies have a true chocolate flavor and are a quick easy sweet fix! I made 1 1/2 recipes because I only had a 7×11 inch glass baking pan which is slightly larger than the 8×8 inch dish used in this recipe.  If you want to make a 9×13 pan I would double the recipe.

It’s a forgiving recipe. Just don’t over bake them. Brownies firm up and harden as they cool. They will be very moist when they’re done.

When making larger recipes add on 2 minutes of cooking time and then check them every 15 seconds. Add on more time as needed

1/4 pound/1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup flour

Flaked sea salt

  • Spray an 8×8 inch glass baking pan with oil
  • In a medium microwaveable bowl combine butter and cocoa powder. 
  • Microwave on high until butter is melted. About 30-90 seconds
  • Remove bowl from microwave
  • Whisk in sugar. Cool slightly
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla
  • Mix in flour just until combined
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly
  • Sprinkle top with flaked sea salt
  • Microwave on high 4-7 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave
  • Check after 4 minutes for doneness and every 15 seconds after that
  • Don’t over bake
  • Cool and cut into 8 squares
  • Voila!

Colorful Slaw with Apple Cider Vinaigrette 


Purple, green, red, orange, and white make a colorful alternative to the typical white cole slaw! The Whole30 Cookbook is my source!  I used an organic apple cider from Aldi’s that has the “Mother” in it. It’s a milder flavor.

I added more red pepper, carrot, apple and almonds here than the Whole30 recipe described. 

Here is the colorful display. All the kale needed is not pictured here


Lacinato kale is a traditional Italian variety


For the slaw:

1/2 head red cabbage, sliced thin and cut in 2 inch lengths 

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves sliced in thin ribbons

1 bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded or matchstick sliced carrot 

1 large apple, julienned

1-4 oz package or 1/2 cup slivered almonds

For the Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 large clove garlic, minced with 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • In a large bowl combine ingredients for the slaw
  • In a small bowl or jar whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss well
  • Add more salt, pepper or vinegar to your taste!
  • Serve right away. The slaw keeps in the frig a couple days
  • Voila!

Eggs in Purgatory with Capers

Just in time for a grand and easy to make Fathers Day Breakfast!

Bring out your grandmothers cast iron!


Eggs in Purgatory is a spicy briney tomato sauce and a perfect complement to some mellow eggs. I discovered this recipe online from Karen Palmer at Food52.com

This dish is an Italian style Shakshuka which is a Middle Eastern food made with a salsa type tomato sauce. Eggs in Purgatory has chili flakes added to your taste for heat and capers to give a briney almost fishy flavor. It’s like adding anchovies to tomato sauce which wouldn’t be a bad addition to this sauce either! 

Italian Puttanesca is a tomato sauce with added capers and anchovies for a briney flavor. Italian Arrabbiata is a spicy tomato sauce with added chili flakes. Eggs in Purgatory is a blend of both of these flavorful tomato sauces.

Add some toast with rhubarb jam to complete breakfast or brunch that combines the salty with the sweet. I like to sprinkle flaked sea salt over my rhubarb jam toast to add to the salty component. 

2 tablespoons olive oil

A pinch or more hot pepper chili flakes

1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot

Kosher salt

Black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced with 1/2 teaspoon salt

1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon capers and 1 tablespoon of the caper brine

1-2 anchovies, rinsed and patted dry and then minced, OPTIONAL

4 eggs

Shaved or grated Parmesan or Romano cheese 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  • Heat an 8-10 inch cast iron pan over medium heat
  • Add the olive oil
  • Sauté the chili flakes and stir quickly with a spoon or spatula until fragrant, less than a minute.
  • Add the onion and sauté until translucent, turning down the heat as needed to prevent browning.
  • Add the garlic and sauté only a 1/2 minute while stirring. Do not brown or burn!
  • Add the tomato sauce, capers and brine. If you want to add the anchovies, do it now.
  • Simmer uncovered until thickened, simmering slowly. About 20-30 minutes. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • With a large spoon place 4 indentations in the sauce. Place an egg in each cradle
  • Bake 9-10 minutes or less until the whites just turn white and still jiggle when shaken. 
  • Serve with grated or shaved Romano or Parmesan  cheese
  • You can sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro if you like 
  • Toast up some crusty bread of your liking
  • Voila!