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All posts for the month August, 2009

Eggs on Tortillas

Eggs on Tortillas

This #meatlessmonday, I wanted to do something simple like

Scrambled Egg Tostadas

Why go with something so homey?  Being meatless doesn’t necessarily mean being complicated.  In fact, when my wife and I went vegetarian, our strategy was to take dishes we ate all the time and swap out the meat for something similiar.  Given how much we loved Mexican, this dish was only natural.

I love making egg tostadas because they are so easy.  They’re filling and can be made in about 10 minutes.  So they’re perfect for the vegetarian and the #meatlessmonday fan who needs to get dinner on the table and wants to do it without meat.

If you want to make these tostadas for yourself, all you need are a few simple ingredients and literally about 10 minutes.

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Greenwich Spinach Crepini

Greenwich Spinach Crepini

What do you get when you mix a French crepe and a Russian blini?

A Crepini from Crepini Cafe!

I will admit, I had never heard of Crepinis until I met @CrepiniCafe on Twitter or their website CrepiniCafe.com.  She started telling me about crepini, these delicious crepe-like foods she makes.  Some are savory, some are sweet.  All, she assured me, are delicious.

Then she let me try some.

She sent me two boxes: Greenwich Spinach Gourmet Crepes and Vishnya A La Russe Sour Cherry (a Silver Finalist in the 2009 NASFT sofi™ Award!), letting me try both the sweet dessert and savory crepini.

So What is a Crepini?

I think calling a crepini a cross between a filled crepe and a blini (Crepini Cafe’s own description) is a petty good description, but it’s doesn’t give you the full pictue.

For instance, that definition leaves out the masterwork that are the crepes themselves (which you can order without filling.)  My crepini were shipped to Kansas, then frozen, then microwave thawed, and then cooked in a skillet.  That’s pretty rough treatment, but still the crepes were very light and almost airy.  Bonus points there.

The Greenwich Spinach crepes were filled with a mixture of spinach (organic spinach!) and feta cheese.  They tasted like Greek spinach pastry, but in a much less heavy dough.  I do wish the taste were a little more bold, but that’s hard to do without overflowing the pastry.  So, all in all, they were good and something I would be proud to serve at a cocktail party.

On the other hand, the sour cherry crepini filling was just that: sour cherries.  However, the cherries they use superior.  They are a palate pleasing mixture of sweet and sour from the cherries with these little bursts of citrus that give the filling a deep, layered flavor.  It’s no wonder they were a Silver Finalist! 

If I had any word of caution, it’s the word I keep coming back to: light.  Crepini are definitely light, as in don’t expect to feed a family of four on a single box, light.  So, if  you are going to serve them at a party, consider buying several boxes.  Then again, with eight different types of crepes and crepini, buying several boxes shouldn’t be a problem.

Crepini in a Skillet

Crepini in a Skillet

How to Make Them?

The recipes for making crepini are included on every box, but I had some thoughts.  First, you have to thaw them, either by letting them stand at room temperature or do what I did and put them in the microwave. 

 After that, the directions say cook them in a skillet until the outsides are browned and the filling is warmed through.  This works pretty well, though it should be pointed out that the crepes will get brown, not crispy.  I was expecting crispy and nearly overcooked my crepini!

When I make them again, I won’t make that mistake.  (Not sure what I was thinking in the first place.) 

What I am going to do is thaw them at room temperature first.  Then I might even microwave them for 60 seconds to cook the insides.  Then I’ll melt a little butter and cook the crepini just long enough to brown the outsides.   Then I’ll dig in.  I’ll decide at that point if I am going to share.  I’m thinking not.

In Summary

In summary?  In summary?  What are you still doing reading the summary?  🙂

Go to CrepiniCafe.com and order a box or 10.  They are ridiculoulsy affordable (we’re taking less than $7 for most varieties) and they are made from quality ingredients.

So try some for yourself and enjoy!

The Crepini picture was taken from the CrepiniCafe.com website.

Shawna's Late July Bounty

Shawna's Late July Bounty

You may or may not know that today is Shawna Coronado’s birthday.  (If you want, click on that link and go wish her a happy b-day.  I’ll still be here!)

Anyway, rather that doing something sensible like giving her a gift, I figured I would take all of her delicious nude vegetables (that means no pesticides and bad chemicals) and, in the spirit of the 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative, make her a birthday feast, all for under $11.50.  (Well, $11.50 plus the cost of cake!)

So for Shawna’s birthday, I am going to make

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta, Tomato Balsamic Salad and Garlic Bread

Okay, so it’s not steak and lobster, but it is healthy, delicious, and showcases all of Shawna’s delicious vegetables.  And what better way to celebrate one’s birthday than surrounded by the fruits of your labor?  Right?

Okay, so maybe I should send over some of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies and maybe a pie, too, even if it does break the budget!

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Cholula Hot Sauce by ~Twon~

Cholula Hot Sauce by ~Twon~

So my Twitter frieds @geokaren and @cheryltan88 told me about this thing called #letslunch, which is where a bunch of food bloggers get together and talk about delicious lunch ideas.  This week’s topic: burgers or in my case,

Spicy Pepper Cheeseburgers

So, yeah, I’ve been watching a lot of Man vs. Food on the Travel channel.  After seeing all of the spicy stuff he was scarfing down, I was compelled to do my own fiery combination.  I went with grilled jalapenos and hot sauce.  Oh, and bacon?  Lots of bacon.  (Not for the hot but because, well, everyone seems to love it.)

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Caramelized Onion Gratin

Caramelized Onion Gratin

I have no idea how this recipe slipped through the cracks.  It’s the thing my wife requests I make the most.  It’s

Caramelized Onion Gratin 

Hurray!

What?  Gratin I say?  Yes, gratin.

Wait!  Like au gratin?  Well, sort of.

See, I used to think that all gratins were au gratins, like potatoes au gratin, which is potatoes sliced and then baked with cream, butter, and cheese.  However, I attended a cooking class at the Kansas City Culinary Institute where we made these awesome little appetizers which Chef Cody Hogan called gratins (that’s gruh-TAN rather GRAW-tun like I was used to).  Anyway, it got me scrambling over to Wikipedia to get the 411 on exactly what a gratin is.

According to that venerable font of knowledge, a gratin is a baked dish with a browned crust on it, traditionally from bread crumbs or cheese.  In the case of this gratin, we use Parmesan cheese sprinkled on some slowed cooked, caramelized onions for a little browning.

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Pasta With Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Pasta With Oven Roasted Tomatoes

So last week, I blended #meatlessmonday and the 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative together.  My goal: to provide eco-friendly, cheap (cheap as in less than $11.50 for a family of 4 cheap!) AND totally meatfree meals.  It seemed to work, so we’re back with another edition!  Tonight, I’ll be making:

Garlic Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes

Shawna Coronado's Tomatoes

Shawna Coronado's Tomatoes

I’ll be using the amazing Shawna Coronado‘s nude vegetables (that means no chemicals and pesticides!) to make a garlicky pasta dish with some nice oven roasted tomatoes. 

The decision to make this pasta was was completely inspired by the ingredients.  I love cherry tomatoes, especially after they have been roasted in the oven.  They’re sweet like candy and have a great mild flavor.  The minute I saw Shawna’s tomatoes, I knew I had to do something that would let them be the star.  So I teamed them up with pasta to make a hearty meal, but in a way so that you wouldn’t miss the ‘maters. 

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