Spinach and Mushroom Risotto Pie

Spinach and Mushroom Risotto Pie

Being Swiss, I naturally love the food of my country, but I generally find that its generally nutritious composition is better served during the coldest months of the year. Continue reading

Last week I found this rice pie recipe you can find here (in French) and thought it would be a good starting point. The base for this recipe is sweet and it contains raisins (which I don’t really like); instead, I made it into a savoury dish. I used an 18 cm spring form to make this pie, but further down, you’ll find the ration for a larger cake pan, which is a more common size and it can accommodate a larger crowd. What I liked about this spinach and mushroom pie is that without using too much cheese, its taste really comes through and complements the other flavours in the recipe.

Spinach and Mushroom Risotto PieSpinach and Mushroom Risotto Pie

Spinach and Mushroom Risotto Pie

 

Recipe for an 18 cm spring form baking tin – for about 4 people

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50-60 min

 

Ingredients:

240g risotto rice

100g spinach leaves

20g dried porcini mushrooms

0.8-0.9 l hot vegetable or chicken stock

70g grated Gruyere

1.5 dl white wine

1 onion

2 large eggs

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. butter

Extra butter and a little flour to grease and dust the spring form tin

 

For a 22-24 cm spring form baking tin, use these ratios:

360g risotto rice

50g spinach

30 g dried porcini

105g grated Gruyere

2.2 dl white wine

3 large eggs

Salt and pepper

1.5 tbsp. butter

Extra butter and a little flour to grease and dust the spring form tin

NOTE: for this second ratio, cook the pie a further 5-10 min

 

Recipe:

Soak the porcini mushrooms for about 30 min in a bowl of warm water. Once they’re soft, drain them and rinse them and roughly chop them.

Chop the onion.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, cook 4-5 min. Add the porcini and the rice and cook the second until it becomes translucent, don’t forget to stir regularly throughout the risotto making process. Add the white wine and let it evaporate entirely. Pour some of the vegetable stock until the rice is covered. As the stock reduces, add more liquid, do not let the rice dry out. Cook the rice for 18 minutes; ideally the rice should still be a little al dente and nice and moist. Towards the end of the cooking process, add the spinach a handful at a time, stirring between each addition. Finally, blend in ¾ of the grated cheese and season with pepper and blend everything together. Leave the risotto to cool. This part of the recipe can easily be made in advance.

Heat oven at 180°C.

Add the two eggs to the cold risotto and mix everything together.

Generously grease the spring form baking tin with butter and dust it with some flour.

Transfer the risotto and egg mix to the baking tin, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake in the lower part of the oven for 30-40 min.

Once the top has a nice brown colour, remove the tin from the oven and let it rest for few minutes. Using a knife, cut around the edge of the pie to detach it from the tin and serve.

 

 

Roasted Butternut Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers

Roasted Butternut Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers Not being beach types we have finally found the destination for our honeymoon and it will be Paris and the Loire Valley: castles, history, food and wine all to be shared with my new husband! Since we’re not leaving for another couple of weeks I’ll keep enjoying my time here in Switzerland. Continue reading

I love living in a place where there are four distinct seasons, each is as enjoyable as the next for one reason or another. Autumn, not only has beautiful colours, it also has amazing produces and I’m always in for anything with squash or chestnuts. Last Saturday I stayed home getting ahead with my work but to keep my motivation up I felt like spoiling myself with a nice vegetarian burger… something I can hardly make when my husband is home because he loves his meat. After searching for a few ideas on what to cook, the quinoa burger idea grew on me and so I gave it a try. And in the end the roasted vegetables gave a great taste to this meal.

 

Roasted Butternut Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers

Recipe for 4

Cooking time: 30-35 min

Prep time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

280 g butternut squash (peeled)

160 g button mushrooms

6 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

120 g quinoa

1 red onion (not too large)

Olive oil

¼- ½ tsp. smoked paprika

¾ tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°.

Place the quinoa in 1½ its volume in water and bring it to a boil until done, about 12-15 min. Once done set aside and let it cool a little.

Cut the butternut squash into cubes of 1.5-2 cm. Peel and slice the onion by its length and then cut it in half.

Place the butternut squash, the mushrooms and the onion pieces in a baking tin, drizzle with 1-1.5 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and bake in the oven for about 20 min. flipping the ingredients once or twice.

Once the vegetables are brown remove them from the oven and let them cool a little before finely chopping them.

In a bowl combine the chopped vegetables, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and a dash olive oil. Mix everything together and let it rest for about 30 min.

Once the time is up form four patties about 1.5-2 cm thick.

On a medium to high fire heat a couple tbsp. olive oil in a pan and add the burgers to brown on both sides, cook for about 3-5 min per side. Serve them either on their own or with a bun complete with your desired topping.

Zurich Style Chicken Strips

Zurich Style Chicken StripsOur honeymoon is approaching but we haven’t chosen the destination yet. Will it be France and the castles of the Loire Valley or Scotland? Well, if someone wants to weigh in, opinions are more than welcome! Continue reading

While doing the groceries since I found some Swiss, fresh, organic button mushrooms so I thought I would give the “Zurich Geschnetzeltes” a try, but instead of using veal meat I used chicken. This meat with its creamy mushroom sauce is usually served with “Roesti” but a potato mash or some tagliatelle will be fine too. I took the recipe from the Swiss Cooking book I have from Alfred Haefeli.

Zurich Style Chicken Strips

 

Zurich Style Chicken Strips

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15-20 mi

 

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp. roasting butter

500 g chicken breasts

A large pinch flour

1 small onion, diced

200 g mushrooms (I used the chestnut kind)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 dl white wine

1 dl vegetable stock

2 dl cream

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 bunch parsley

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the onion and the parsley, slice the mushrooms into ½ cm thick pieces and set all aside.

Cut the chicken breasts into 1.5-2 cm thick strips and season it with salt and pepper.

Over a high heat melt the butter in a pan and sear the chicken. Dust it with the flour, toss and set aside in a warm place.

Using the same pan, lower the fire, add more butter if needed and roast the onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes tossing a couple of times. Add the lemon juice and the white wine and let it reduce to half of its volume.

In a bowl place the cornstarch, add a little cream and mix. Add the rest of the cream and the vegetable stock and then pour into the pan with the mushrooms and onions. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and add the chicken. Cook for another 2-3, add salt and pepper to taste and before serving sprinkle with the parsley.

Traditionally this dish is served with Roesti.

Tomato and Mushroom Galette


Tomato Mushroom GaletteI think I’ve gotten into the habit that if I’m feeling a little low, I get in the kitchen and cook something and this always helps. Continue reading

There was nothing wrong but with the wedding approaching it’s sometimes emotionally overwhelming when something unexpected comes up. So to lift my spirits  this post I made this galette. Between cooking and tasting the results, I was back to my usual mood. To make this recipe I took inspiration and example from a galette recipe from smittenkitchen but changed a few things according to what I had at hand. Today in a month is my birthday and I’m already considering the idea of inviting a few friends at home for a party and this recipe (maybe with a different filling) will definitely be on the menu.

Tomato Mushroom GaletteTomato and Mushroom Galette

 

Recipe for 4-6 as main or 8 as an appetizer

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: about 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

160 grams all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

110 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled again

60 grams plain yogurt or sour cream

70 ml ice water

 

For the filling:

450 g cherry tomatoes (even better if you can vary the colours)

120 g chestnut mushrooms

1 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 spring onions

60 g grated cheese

Salt and pepper

To glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water

 

Recipe:

Pastry: In a large bowl combine the salt and the flour. Distribute bits of butter in the bowl and using your fingertips work the ingredients until the preparation looks like breadcrumbs (the largest pieces should be the size of a lentil). In another bowl mix the yoghurt (or sour cream) and the water and add them to the flour mixture. Mix in the liquid with your fingertips until large lumps form then assemble them into a ball and wrap with plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour (and up to 2 days).

Filling: Quarter the mushrooms and roughly chop the spring onions.

In a pan heat the olive oil on a medium fire and add the mushrooms to brown on all sides stirring occasionally. Once they’re nice and brown add the tomatoes and brown these too for a few minutes regularly shaking the pan to tilt them. Once they start to burst season with salt and pepper, cook for another minute or so and turn off the fire. Add the spring onions and set aside.

Making the galette: Heat oven at 200°C. On a floured surface roll out the dough into an approximate 30 cm round shape (don’t worry about precision for this recipe). Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking tray. To do this easily, gently fold the dough into quarters (without cracking it) then transfer it to the baking tray before unfold it. Place the vegetable filling in the centre and spread it out leaving a 6 cm margin around. Spare a small tsp. of the grated cheese (for the crust) while sprinkling the rest of it on top of the filling. Fold the pastry on the outer borders of the galette and brush the pastry with the egg wash; finally sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 min. Let the galette rest for 5 min before serving.

 

Mushroom Broccoli Phyllo Pockets

Mushroom Broccoli Parcels With a full week and weekend I was happy to stay at home on Sunday and dedicate myself to a little cooking. Sunday to me is the no sports day, which means I have more time on my hands. Continue reading

With time on my hands and a pack of phyllo pastry waiting in the fridge I got down to preparing these veggie filled pockets. The broccoli and mushroom filling is easy to make and to actually put the pockets together, after the first one or two pieces, you’ll easily get the hang of it. I found it trickier to actually describe the procedure than to make it. These savoury treats are easy to hold in your hands and they will work well for an aperitif or a friendly buffet… one of my favourite ways to spend a meal.

 

 

Mushroom Broccoli Phyllo Pockets

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 35-40 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

180 g chestnut mushrooms

1 red onion

260 g broccoli florets roughly chopped

180 g sour cream

6 sheets rectangular phyllo pastry

2 tbsp. olive oil

40 g melted butter

45 g grated cheese (I used parmesan)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Slice the mushrooms into ½ cm pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms to brown. Make sure the pieces are all on one layer, otherwise do it in more batches. Once done set the mushrooms aside.

Wipe the pan and add the second tbsp. olive oil along with the chopped onion. Cook until soft for 4-5 on a low-medium fire then add the broccoli florets. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium fire until the broccoli turn bright green, stirring regularly. Once the greens are done add the mushrooms and the sour cream and cook for another couple of minutes. Correct seasoning if needed and set aside.

Take one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with the melted butter. Take a second piece and place it on top. Brush the second piece of phyllo pastry and add a third one on top. Place the three sheets with the width in front of you. With a pair of kitchen scissors cut the layered pastry in half, then cut each piece into half again. While you are working with phyllo pastry make sure the sheets you’re not using are sealed in some aluminium paper so they don’t dry.

Take one of the four strips and place a tbsp. of the prepared vegetables at one of the two extremities, on top sprinkle a tsp. of the grated cheese. Fold the pastry where the filling is by placing an angle towards the other side of the strip (see picture). Now that you have the main shape continue to fold the pastry until the end of the strip. Seal the pastry parcel by brushing a little butter on the last fold. Place fold down on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat with the rest of the strips and repeat the whole operation with the last three sheets of phyllo pastry.

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin


Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin The great thing with spaetzle is that it’s a made from scratch type of pasta is quick to prepare and doesn’t need great skills to put together. Continue reading

Personally I love the consistency and taste of spaetzle. For this gratin recipe I’ve added mushrooms and spinach because they are a delicious flavour combination that is easy to find all year round. I served this dish with a simple salad but if you want to serve some meat, a nice piece of chicken would marry well with the rest of the ingredients.

Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients

 

Spaetzle:

400 g flour

4 eggs

1.5 dl milk

1.5 dl water

2 tsp. salt

 

Gratin:

2 knobs butter (plus more to grease the baking dish)

150 g chestnut mushrooms

150 g cooked spinach (frozen one are fine too)

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

A splash of cream

80 grams grated Swiss cheese (I used Sbrinz)

2-3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the flour and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs together and mix them in the bowl with the flour.

Combine the water and the milk and gradually add them to the other ingredients while whisking. The batter should be dense but still a little runny.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a large holed colander (or even better on a spaetzle grater) on top. Take about ¼ of the batter, put it in the colander and press down so the better falls in the water. Once the spaetzle come to the surface it means the are ready. Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Finely chop the spinach and slice the mushrooms into 0.5 cm thick slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms. Once they have browned on both sides remove them from the pan and set them aside. Using the same pan melt the second knob of butter and add the spaetzle to brown for about 7 minutes, tossing from time to time. Add the spinach and mushrooms, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the fire and add the sour cream, cream and 50g of the grated cheese. After mixing all together transfer to a greased baking dish and sprinkle on top the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 25-30 min at 190°C. Once the top has browned remove the dish from oven and wait a few minutes before serving.

Cheese Spinach Mushroom Soufflé Omelette

Cheese Spinach and Mushroom Soufflé OmeletteIf you were to walk around Canton Ticino recently you would see a large amount of people wearing around with rain boots. Continue reading

The Lake Maggiore has been out of its usual borders since last week and last Saturday was also my first time moving around the town walking on those temporary boardwalks. I admit I found it exciting to see it for the first time because although this is something that happens every few years, I never had a chance to see it since I was either too small and was in school or later, I was away for my studies. It’s humbling to see what little man can do in such circumstances. Fortunately the situation has already been worse than this. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share regarding the past and present floods the region went through. Fortunately from today on, THE SUN IS BACK!

Here are a few pictures I found (the last two are mine, the rest I found on the Internet) of the town of Locarno flooded by water in past and more recent times.

Photo accreditations:

baobab.elet.polimi.it

http://www.ist-en.supsi.ch

liberatv.ch

 

 

Cheese Spinach Mushrooms Soufflé Omelette (Recipe adapted from suissegarantie.ch)

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

3 tbsp cream

70 g cooked spinach (excess moisture removed)

1 small onion

4-5 chestnut mushrooms

40-50 g Swiss cheese thinly sliced (I used Gruyere)

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1 ½ tbsp. butter

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the spinach and the onion and slice the mushrooms.

In a pan melt ½ a tbsp. butter and add the onion to soften for 4-5 min, then add the sliced mushrooms to brown on both sides for another 7-8 min. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.

Separate the eggs and place the yolks and the whites in two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites to a peak. Beat the egg yolks until they become frothy, then add the chopped spinach, a little nutmeg and salt and pepper. Take the whisked egg whites and gently fold the into the seasoned yolks.

On a low-medium fire, melt 1 tbsp. butter in the pan you used for the mushrooms and add the egg mix. Cook for 6-7 min then add the mushrooms on top along with the cheese. Cover and cook for another 4-5 min. Serve.

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole It’s almost the weekend and with my boyfriend we were supposed to go to… to… we haven’t decided yet. Continue reading

Well, we were supposed to go on weekend but unfortunately he forgot he already had an engagement so we have postponed it to October and I think it’ll be Basel: the city he cherishes because he studied there and personally I like the place. One thing I’m really looking forward to is a bit (or a lot) of shopping. After two months I’m really motivated about shopping, unlike my boyfriend. The only thing he looks for when we go shopping is the couch or any kind of seating surface available. At least he forgets about the waiting time he has endured when we go out for a tapas dinner. About food, I made this recipe yesterday; it fit well with the weather that was cloudy and cool. I took as a reference for this recipe Broccoli Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole from smittenkitchen.

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole 4 Spinach and Mushroom Rice CasseroleSpinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole

 

 

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole

 

Recipe for 4 as a side or 2 as a main meal

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50 min

 

Ingredients

For the rice:

130 g rice

300 g spinach

1 onion

100 g button mushrooms

2 tbsp. diced sundried tomatoes

2 tbsp. butter

3-4 dl vegetable or chicken stock (preferably low in salt)

Salt and pepper

 

For the topping:

2 tbsp. butter

Nutmeg

2 tbsp. flour

1.5 dl milk

3 dl vegetable or chicken stock (preferably low in salt)

60 g grated Swiss cheese

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs

 

Recipe

 

Heat oven at 200°C.

Grease a baking dish.

Chop the onion and slice the mushrooms.

Cook the spinach in a pan. Once done place them in a sieve and remove excess liquid and then chop.

In a pan heat 2 tbsp. butter and add the onion. Cook until translucent (about 4-5 min) then add the mushrooms. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms have browned. Add the sundried tomatoes and the rice: cook for about a minute. Add one dl of stock and wait for it to be absorbed by the rice while stirring often. Once the rice has become somewhat dry, add the second dl of and repeat until the third dl of stock will have been absorbed (this should take about 15-18 min). Add the chopped spinach, mix and pour into a greased baking dish.

In a pan melt the butter, add a little nutmeg and cook for a minute or so on low heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for a 3-4 minutes and start adding in the milk little by little while still whisking. Add the broth too and cook for about 5 min or until thickened. Remove from heat, add in half of the grated cheese and stir until melted.

Evenly pour the white sauce over the rice and vegetables. On top sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese and the breadcrumbs. Eventually you can add a few small pieces of butter to make the top even more golden brown coloured.

Place in the oven for about 15 min.

Potato and Mushroom Gratin with Rosemary

Potato and Mushroom gratin with Rosemary 1To me the staple comfort food is a potato gratin. Continue reading

It’s creamy and it’s delicious during the colder months, especially when in the past thirty days the sun has barely appeared for ten percent of the time. Because when I don’t see the sun for a while I need to keep my spirits up, lately I have been going out quite often to dinners and evenings.  So when I get to spend an evening at home, I like to spoil myself with something I like and potato gratin is just a great candidate.  Potato gratin is an dish which is easy to make and I love to decline it into the flavour which inspires me on the moment. A few months ago I bought the eBook “The Flavour Thesaurus” and since then, I don’t know how many hours I have spent navigating through the pages (see at the end of the post). I find this book is an incredible source of inspiration and it had almost become a game to me to find the possible combinations. Often I have a look at it before going to sleep and it is when my arms start hurting by holding up my iPad that I realize I have been reading for too long.

Potato and Mushroom gratin with Rosemary 4

 

Potato and Mushroom Gratin with Rosemary

 

Recipe for 1-2 as a main dish 3-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 55 min

 

Ingredients:

120 g mushrooms ( I could not find anything else at the nearby supermarket, if you have something better go ahead)

1 onion

1 tbsp olive oil

40 g Gruyère

300-350 g potatoes (the firmer kind)

1 dl milk

1 dl cream

½ tbsp fresh rosemary leaves chopped

Salt and Pepper

Nutmeg (optional)

 

Heat the oven at 200°C.

Cut the mushrooms in half and make slices of about 0.5 cm pieces. Also cut the onion in half and slice it too, not as thick as the mushrooms though.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion. After a couple of minutes add the mushrooms and brown without turning them too often. If you wish you can add some pepper. Once done set aside.

Pass the potatoes through a slicer.

In a bowl mix the milk, cream and cheese.

In a greased baking dish add the potatoes, mushrooms and onions and toss them until evenly distributed. Now add the dairy mix, pour over and give another quick toss. Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes and serve hot.

This dish can be served with a simple salad or it can work as a side dish for meat.

 

Mushroom and spinach quiche – no crust

No crust spinach and mushroom quicheYesterday my mother came by to my place and as it was snowing I felt like having a something cosy, something from the oven, something with cheese, so I decided to give a second try to a spinach and mushroom quiche recipe. This recipe is not the traditional quiche Lorraine which is a recipe made with bacon eggs and cream and/or cheese. The traditional dish is a four hundred years old. But what was the world like four hundred years ago? How different was the world back then? What were the events and achievements of that era? Well, the Church still had a strong hold on society and in February 1600 the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned by the Church for being an heretic. Less than five years later, in the literary domain, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha were published. It was also the years where first permanent colony was established in America: in Jamestown Virginia. Scientifically, a character I personally find fascinating, Galileo was seeing Jupiter’s moons through his telescope; a tool which will contribute to his bad eyesight in his older days. Historically, I have always had the tendency to think about events this way: what happened when this event was going on? Continue reading

Back to food; I love it when I can cook for my mother because, like me, she doesn’t eat meat very often and she also loves food. I guess she is the source of my passion for food and cooking, still now, each time I get in her car there is a new magazine about cooking with recipes she anyway never follows nor tries. I don’t know about you, but it’s amazing how as time goes by I notice more and more where some of my habits come from. Like her, I used to read recipes and that was it but since last year; I have decided to get my hands dirty among the orange flowered tiles of my kitchen.
The day before yesterday I tried the recipe but I unfortunately only had skimmed milk at home and the I added less vegetables to the quiche. I was not too happy with the result as the quiche itself felt more gummy so I decided to start again. This time I would have a guest sharing the dish with me other than my boyfriend who is my usual guinea pig (and with whom I do not often make an exclusively vegetarian menu).


No crust mushroom and spinach quiche

Prep. Time: 15 min.

Cooking: 30 min.

For 2-3 people

Ingredients:

1 onion

120g button mushrooms

120g spinach

50 g self raising flour

2.5 dl milk

2 eggs

60 g gruyere

salt, pepper


The recipe:

Heat the at 200ºC.

Chop the onion, the garlic and the mushrooms.

Heat a pan with olive oil and add the onion. Cook until almost transparent and add the garlic. After about a minute add the mushrooms, pepper and salt. Once the mushrooms are browned on both sides add the spinach and keep on turning the vegetables for one minute (until the leaves are soft).

In a bowl, mix the eggs, the flour and the milk and salt and pepper to your liking.

Grease the tart mold and add the vegetables and the gruyere. Pour the egg, flour, milk mix on top. Place in the oven for 30 min.

I serve this dish with a simple tomato salad with spring onions and toasted pine nuts.