(Photo and text courtesy of Sue Guida)
This is a recipe I adapted from a magazine LONG ago, probably Woman’s Day or the like. I generally use a 10-inch pie dish in case I get carried away with the vegetable amounts. This recipe is VERY adaptable; you can use spinach or braising greens instead of the kale; and it's fine with "elderly" kale that's begun to wilt and is just past it's prime. You can also add any fresh or dried herbs you like, other veggies, etc. It really doesn’t matter, IMHO, what kind of cheese you use; I use whatever’s on hand. For this recipe I do prefer the earthy flavor of the crimini to white button mushrooms. -Sue Guida-
Sue Guida’s Onion, Crimini & Kale Quiche
One baked, 9-inch pie shell with high fluted rim
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 and 1/2 cups milk (I used fat free)
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Coarsely chop kale leaves and steam until just limp. In a separate skillet saute onions and crimini slices in the butter or margarine till tender; if you wish to add any additional veggies, do so here. Stir in the steamed kale, turn off heat and set pan aside to cool a bit.
Beat the eggs, milk flour, salt & pepper till smooth. Stir in cheese and the onion/vegetable mixture. Turn into pre-baked pie shell. Bake in preheated 325F oven 40 min or till knife inserted in center comes out clean – or till nothing jiggles. Cool at least 10 min. Cut and serve 6
Oil on board, 8"x 8"
Co-op member Judy Holder picked up this portabello mushroom from our produce cooler last week and knew immediately she had to bring it home, not to eat it but to paint it! She'd never seen a 'bello from the co-op come with it's own babies, and neither had we. A graduate of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts whose work is found in international collections, Judy was kind enough to allow me to share her painting here. (The 'shroom came from FH, after all, so it seems only fair.)
Visit her blog Always Artful to see this and more of her original paintings, prints and drawings.
More Variations on a Theme: Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Pork Breakfast Sausage, Spinach and Feta from Linda Phillips
(Photograph by Laura Phillips and used with permission.)
Linda Phillips was inspired by my portabello stack recipe from 12/26 to come up with her own version, this one incorporating Four Mile River Farm's pork breakfast sausage, pre-seasoned with red pepper and sage. with wilted spinach leaves and feta cheese. Use portabellos if you want to make this a main dish, or crimini mushrooms ("baby bellas", the "junior" versions of portabello) to serve this as an appetizer.
If you are a Fiddleheads customer and the FMRF pork breakfast sausage unavailable at the co-op, try their pork sweet italian sausage, which has subtle flavor notes of black pepper and fennel; or use their plain ground pork and add your own seasonings. Of course if you are far beyond the Fiddleheads universe, then use whatever pork sausage is available to you, preferably locally-sourced, hormone and steroid-free, preservative-free, and so forth.
Whatever you use, give it a whiff before you cook it; fresh (or newly-thawed) meat should have little if any odor, or should smell mild and sweet. If it smells "like meat", it is starting to turn rancid. (The same applies to fish; ask to smell it at the fish counter and if it smells "fishy", don't buy it.)
Laura Phillip's Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Pork Breakfast Sausage, Spinach and Feta Cheese
small to medium-size portabello mushroom caps, OR large crimini (baby bellas), cleaned and de-stemmed
pork breakfast sausage, crumbled (Laura used Four Mile River Farm's)
fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange prepared mushroom caps, gills-side up, on lightly oiled nonstick baking tray or dish.
Cook sausage in skillet over medium heat until browned; remove from pan with slotted spoon onto plate or bowl lined with paper towels to drain.
Reduce heat to low and stir spinach into the sausage drippings, stirring occasionally; cook 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Turn off heat, and add feta to pan. Mix spinach and feta with the pork sausage, then spoon evenly into prepared mushroom caps. Bake 12-18 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender but not mushy in the centers.
Back on December 14th I wrote up a plain-and-simple recipe for oven-roasted portabello caps with olive oil, salt and pepper. Last night for Christmas dinner I made something along the same theme, but a bit fancier: this time I mixed up a sauce of olive oil, vinegar, tumeric and spices, poured over the caps; then I topped them with chopped veggies, including shiitake mushroom caps and white button mushrooms (when it comes to the 'shroom, for me less is never more.) I added whatever I had at hand, such as tomato and spinach, then topped the caps with two kinds of cheeses. After the 'shrooms were tender and I had removed the pan from the oven, I reserved some of the pan juices as a salad dressing over deeply-colored red leaf lettuce.
This looks like a "recipe" but is really more of a "suggestion" I think, because I've done the same thing previously but with different sauces and spices, different veggies, etc. (Bell pepper of any color made an especially nice addition on another occasion; and I can imagine adding a little scoop of quinoa atop the caps, or served alongside.) To make this completely vegan, simply use a vegan cheese such as almond cheese, or omit altogether. In a prior version I also chopped some canadian bacon into small dice and added it atop the caps; tasty, but unnecessary. The only essential here is the portabello caps themselves, the meatiest of 'shrooms and the foundation of the "stack". Beyond that, make any substitutions that your fridge and your fancy will allow.
Portabello Mushroom Stacks with Tumeric Sauce
2 T olive oil, plus extra to coat baking dish
1-1/2 - 2 T "red" vinegar - red wine, apple cider; or balsamic
1/4 - 1/2 tea. ground tumeric
black pepper to taste
1/8 tea. or about a pinch of ground cayenne
1 medium-size garlic clove, crushed and finely minced
1-2 small scallions (green onions), or whatever green shoots happen to be sprouting out of your onion basket, chopped fine
2 portabello mushroom caps, stems removed, any surface dirt wiped off
veggies cut into very fine dice: carrot, shiitake mushroom caps (stems removed) and small or medium button mushrooms
1 small tomato, seeds and core removed, diced
baby spinach leaves, about 6 (or substitute 2 mature leaves)
parmesan or other hard cheese, grated
2 slices swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F; coat baking dish (ceramic, glass or metal) with a thin film of olive oil. Combine the first five ingredients in a measuring cup, adjusting to your liking with each addition. Add the white and palest green parts of the scallions, reserving the darker greens for later. Emulsify well.
Pierce the portabello caps with a fork randomly, especially in the thick center part-way or all the way through; lay on baking dish gills-side up. Pour 1/3 - 1/2 of the sauce over the caps, then layer the various chopped veggies, including the reserved darker parts of the scallions, over the caps. (Of course some will spill off the sides. No worries.) Layer the spinach leaves atop the veggies, pour the remaining sauce over all of it.
Grate the parmesan over the stacks as much or as little as you wish; layer 1 slice of swiss cheese over each, grate on a bit more parmesan if you like, and finish of with a few more rounds or pinches of black pepper. Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake until the very center of the mushroom are fork-tender all the way through; 9-12 minutes should do. Remove from oven and let sit a couple of minutes if you like to let the juices settle. Pour some of the juices over the stacks when serving, reserving the rest for salad dressing (below).
Salad dressing (optional): Let the remaining pan juices cool and crunchy bits cool a little, then emulsify with some tangy plain yogurt or keifer, a splash more vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings (salt, pepper, etc) to taste.
(Have you ever wondered why, on your favorite food blog, some recipe posts have a photo of a main ingredient used, but not the dish itself? Two possible reason: 1) The dish, while absolutely delicious to the tongue, is not so appealing to the eye and doesn't photograph well; 2) it's been gobbled up long before anyone thought to grab a camera. In this particular instance, both happen to be true.)
Yesterday on this blog I nattered on about simplicity and sticking to the basics in my kitchen. A couple hours later my friend Miss Bliss, a woman of refined and particular tastes, popped in unexpectedly for dinner. And there I was, nothing prepared, not so much as a tahini-and-cucumber sandwich in sight.
Fortunately, I had a crisper full of organic veggies at hand and was able to throw something together for my friend. Yes, it happened to be vegan and gluten-free, but that wasn't the point of the thing; it was quick to the table and satisfied both of us. So herewith - a simple supper idea. All the ingredients in this instance came from Fiddleheads Co-op (*shameless plug*). If you are not a lover of all things chard, substitute kale or any green of your choice.
Roasted Portobello Caps & Zucchini, with Steamed Chard
2 portobello caps, stems removed
1-2 smallish zucchini (or one large; I prefer the younger, smaller ones)
1/2 bunch chard
Olive oil, organic EV if you've got it
sea salt and black pepper (freshly-cracked or not) to taste
ground cumin to taste
1/2 bunch or so fresh chard
cooked whole grain, such as long grain brown rice or quinoa (see Note) for accompaniment
Fire up the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the zucchini into large diagonal chunks; put them into a glass or metal baking dish (or a solid old pie pan) with the portobello caps. Drizzle enough olive over the veggies to coat evenly and thoroughly, and give a bit of a coating to the pan. Add sea salt and pepper over veggies, then a generous sprinkling or so of the cumin, toss everything to coat, adding a bit more oil or spices if needful. Place in upper half of oven, and bake until the caps are fork-tender all the way to the center, about 10-15 minutes, turning everything at least once. You will probably not need to add any more oil as the natural liquor of the 'shrooms is released.
In the meanwhile, steam your chard over the stovetop; set the heat according to if you're at your leisure or in a crashing hurry. Do watch it however; chard can get away from one quickly. You don't want to let it overcook and get limp and tasteless, You want to steam until tender but still has identifiable color to it. (Unless, like my friend Miss Bliss, you prefer yours on the grey side of the spectrum.) If you're using kale instead, you'll need to give it a bit more time as kale tends to be less delicate.
Divvy up the 'shrooms, squash and chard on two plates; sprinkle a bit of salt on the chard (it won't need anything else if it hasn't been overcooked.) Serve hot with the plain rice or quinoa, with the pan juices and extra spices poured over them. Serves 2
Variations on a theme: Instead of ground cumin, try whole cumin seeds, perhaps dry-roasted skillet beforehand, until they begin to "pop" but do not burn.
Note: If you haven't got any grain already cooked and you are in a crashing hurry, quinoa cooks up nicely in only 10-15 minutes. A harried hosts' best friend.
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Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.