Tag Archives: dairy

Creamy Rice Pudding

26 May

It’s almost Shavuot, that little-observed Jewish holiday where we celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai by eating dairy foods. I could go into the reasons why, but that’s not the purpose of this blog. Suffice it to say, you may be looking for a  dairy dish to serve next week.

This rice pudding recipe won’t feed a crowd, but it’s nice for a light summer dessert, for Shavuot or any other time. It’s also a great way to use up leftover white rice.

Ingredients:

2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sugar
2 cups milk, scalded (heat until bubbles form at the edges of the pot – do not boil!)
1 cup cooked white rice
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
⅓ cup raisins, optional
¼ tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg, or  a few drops of rosewater, optional

Directions:

In the top of a double boiler, combine the eggs and sugar. Stir in the milk, rice and salt.

Cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat a metal spoon (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in raisins and vanilla.

If you like, add a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg and/or a few drops of rosewater. Pour into 4 dessert dishes. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 4

 

 

 

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The Best Cheese Quiche

18 Sep

Cheese QuicheFor years I struggled to make a decent quiche. It would always come out of the oven looking beautiful, but then as soon as I cut it, the filling would start to “weep.” The bottom crust would get soggy, and I would inevitably be very disappointed.

This problem was solved by my friend Elaine Webber, who taught me this foolproof method. By putting the cheese right on the piecrust and then putting hot vegetables on top of it, you melt the cheese slightly and form a bit of a barrier between the crust and the egg-and-milk mixture that keeps the crust from getting soggy. The result is delectible.

You can easily vary the vegetables — leave out the onion and use chopped spinach, for example, with or without mushrooms. The only essential steps are to cook the vegetables and assemble the quiche while the vegetables are hot.

Of course you can make your own piecrust, but it’s much easier to use frozen. Be sure to get  the deep-dish variety, and even then you may have too much custard. If that’s the case you can save the leftovers and make crustleess mini-quiches by  combining cooked vegetables, grated cheese and the custard in cupcake tins and baking until they are puffed and set.

Ingredients:

1 frozen deep-dish pie crust (or make your own if you’re energetic)
1½ cup chopped or sliced onion
¼ lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 large eggs
1½ cups milk
2 Tbs. flour
½ tsp. dry mustard
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch black pepper
1½ cups (packed) grated sharp cheddar cheese
Paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Saute the onions and mushrooms until soft and the mushroom liquid is evaporated. Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and seasonings. Spread the cheese on the unbaked piecrust, then spread the vegetables on top. Wait a few minutes, then pour the egg mixture over. Sprinkle paprika on top. Bake 45 to 60 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serves 6

A Corny Tuesday Twofer

16 Jul

Along with today’s recipe, you get a promo for one of my favorite gadgets.

Now that fresh corn is in season, I always buy a few more ears than we can eat at dinner (it’s usually just the two of us). That way I have leftover corn to use for a great salad, soup or casserole.

My corn zipper

My corn zipper

A few years ago I got tired of trying to get the corn off the ears with a knife. The knife would slip, corn kernels would go flying everywhere, and I managed to cut myself more than once. So I hied myself over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought this nifty “corn zipper.” It makes short work of getting the corn off the cob, though I admit the kernels still go flying everywhere — just not as much as when I used a knife.

The last thing I made with leftover corner was this yummy soup. The original recipe calls for frozen corn, but use fresh if you can get it. After making it I thought it would be even better with the addition of a small, chopped potato, so I included that as an optional ingredient; cook the potato about 15 minutes before adding the corn. I also added a few squirts of Tabasco and a pinch of ground nutmeg. This soup is good — and low-fat — if it’s made with fat-free milk, but if you make it with whole-fat milk or half & half,  it will taste very rich.

You can make your own vegetable stock using the corn cobs after you’ve taken the kernels off as a base. Add a carrot, onion, celery, potato peels and other vegetables, peels or scraps you have on hand, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for a few hours, then strain out the vegetables. But I confess I used vegetable stock out of a box.

You can probably use cooked salmon instead of smoked salmon and increase the amount of salt slightly. Once the smoked salmon is in the soup, it tastes like regular salmon!

Corn and Smoked Salmon Chowder

corn & smoked salmon chowderIngredients:

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ to ⅔ cup each finely chopped onion, celery and sweet red pepper
2 Tbs. flour
3 cups vegetable stock, heated
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces, optional
2 cups low-fat milk
½ tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
2 cups fresh corn (cooked and sliced from the cob) or frozen corn (thawed)
4 oz. smoked salmon, chopped
Parsley, dill or chervil for garnish

Directions:

Saute the onion, celery and red pepper in butter over medium heat until the onion is just beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, another minute or two. Add the warm stock, stirring till smooth, and cook another 2 or 3 minutes until it thickens slightly (here’s where I would add the potato and cook a little longer).

Add the milk and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, black pepper and corn. (Remember that the smoked salmon will add some salt, so don’t use too much; you can add more later if necessary.) Bring back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the salmon.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with a chopped herb such as parsley, dill or chervil.

Serves 6

Cheese Souffle

14 May

Cheese SouffleTonight starts the Jewish festival of Shavuot (Weeks). It’s customary to eat dairy foods. You may ask why. You won’t get an answer here. There’s no definitive answer. There’s a lot of speculation, too detailed and esoteric for me to get into now. My answer must echo Tevye: “Tradition!”

Here’s a nice recipe for a delicious dairy supper. It isn’t a true souffle, which would involve starting with a white sauce, adding cheese and egg yolks and then folding in beaten egg whites. This is a lot easier because you start with stale bread cubes. It’s actually more of a savory bread pudding, but what comes out of the oven looks and tastes a lot like a souffle, so go ahead, call it a souffle!

I always turn bread that’s past its prime into bread cubes. I keep them in a large bowl on the counter to dry out, tossing them occasionally. If there’s a big holiday coming up that calls for a turkey, I’ll use it for stuffing. Otherwise, when I get enough I make a bread pudding of some sort. The dry bread cubes will keep for weeks as long as they don’t get wet!

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. butter (optional)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
4 scallions, chopped (optional)
2 Tbs. white wine (optional)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 to 6 slices stale white bread, crust trimmed and cut into cubes
4 eggs
2 cups milk
¼ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dry mustard
dash of Worcestershire sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

If you plan to use the mushrooms, scallions and wine, melt the butter in a skillet, add the mushrooms, scallions and wine and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid is evaporated.

Trim the crusts from the stale bread and cut it into cubes. Grease a casserole or soufflé dish and place the bread cubes in it. Add the mushroom-scallion mixture and the cheese. Beat the eggs well. Add the milk, thyme and mustard, and the Worcestershire sauce or cayenne pepper if you use it. Pour over the bread cubes and mix lightly to be sure all the cubes are coated with the egg-milk mixture. Wait at least 10 minutes, preferably a little longer, for the egg-milk mixture to be absorbed into the bread. (You can leave it to soak as long as overnight, but cover it and put it in the fridge if you are going to wait more than an hour or two, and then bring the dish back to room temperature before baking.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the soufflé for 35 to 45 minutes until it is puffed and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It will sink a little as it cools.

Serves 4

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4 Feb

Hungarian Mushroom SoupI had a minor catastrophe in the kitchen the other day. I was reaching into the back of the fridge and I knocked over a plastic container with a loose lid, spilling soup all over the fridge.  As distressed as I was to have a real mess to clean up — the stuff seemed to get into every crevice of the refrigerator — I was almost equally upset to lose at least one serving of this wonderful soup!

I got the recipe from my friend Greta Zalman, who served it at our monthly Shabbat study group lunch to rave reviews. She adapted it from a recipe she found online at allrecipes.com. You can use regular button mushrooms, but I really recommend Baby Bellas, which you can buy in bulk at Costco (you need a lot of mushrooms). The photo doesn’t do this soup justice — trust me, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 ½ pounds fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
4½ tsp. fresh dill or 1½ tsp. dried dill
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup milk
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ ripe tomato, not chopped
½ Hungarian wax pepper (This is a long, light green mildly hot pepper. You can probably find it at fancy produce stores. If not, use another mildly hot pepper, like a cubanelle.)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste (I didn’t need any extra salt, thanks to the soy sauce)
½ cup sour cream

Directions:

Melt the butter/oil in large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in the butter until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir the dill, paprika, soy sauce and vegetable broth into the mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

Whisk the milk and flour together in a small bowl.  Stir the mixture into the soup. Add the tomato and the Hungarian wax pepper. Return cover to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the sour cream into the soup and continue cooking and stirring until the soup has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove the Hungarian wax pepper and tomato and discard before serving the soup.

Serves 6