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.

 

 

Spinach Cheese Puffs

Spinach Cheese Puffs Last Friday I had guests coming over and we had a raclette evening and used the cheese friends of mine produce in a nearby valley (the breathtaking Verzasca Valley). Continue reading

A raclette doesn’t require much cooking at all except for the boiling the potatoes, but I wanted to use my kitchen for something more so I made these gougères (cheese puffs) for the aperitif and I was happy to see they disappeared quicker than the dried meat I served. Cheese puffs are for me a really fun food to eat, they’re easy to make and always make a nice impression. So as a base for these cheese puffs I went on the marmiton.org site and then I just added the spinach and pine nuts. In the end this turned out to be an evening in honour of Swiss dairy … and oh, how I love this!

 

 

Spinach Cheese Puffs

Recipe for about 30 pieces

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

150 g fresh spinach

80 g butter

2.5 dl water

150 g sifted flour

4 eggs

150 g grated Swiss cheese (I used aged Gruyere)

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Optional: 2-3 tbsp. pine nuts

 

Recipe:

Turn on oven at 200°C.

In a pan cook the spinach until the leaves are soft. When they’re done let them slightly cool, place them in a tea towel and wring out as much excess moisture as possible. Place the spinach on a cutting board and finely chop them with a large knife.

In a high-sided pan bring the water and the butter to a boil, once it’s simmering add the flour all at once and stir vividly for a minute on a low fire with a wooden spatula, this will make the mass dry up. Remove from the fire a let the dough slightly cool. Add the eggs one by one stirring between each addition until the egg has been combined into the dough. Add the cheese, spinach, a little nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix everything together.

Line a baking tray with oven paper. Using a teaspoon make little balls and place them on the baking tray leaving a little space between each unit as they will grown in size. On top, if using them, place 3-4 pine nuts. Bake in the oven for about 25 min. With these quantities I made three batches and cooked them one at the time. Serve warm or cold.

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.

Mini Monastery Pies – Mini Gâteaux du Monastère

Mini Monastrey PiesThis recipe is from my region: Ticino. Continue reading

It’s a little like the savoury version of the “Torta di Pane” which is basically a bread pudding pie. I have already tried this recipe before and I like it because the ingredients are simple and rustic. I followed the recipe from my Swiss Cooking book but made some very slight changes. I didn’t soak the mushrooms and I added just a little more bread and butter. I also didn’t want to make the whole large version so I took out my muffin tin again and stuck to that.

 

Mini Monastry Pies

 

For 1 muffin tin

Prep time : 15 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

 

100 g bread without crust cut into cubes

0.8 dl milk

500 g fresh spinach

2 tbsp olive oil

1 chopped onion

1-2 chopped garlic cloves

1 tbsp chopped parsley

15 g chopped dried porcini

2 eggs

90 g grated cheese (ideally you use alpine cheese but another Swiss cheese works as well)

40 g soft butter

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C.

Leave the bread to soak in the milk for half an hour the mash them with a fork.

Cook the spinach in pan and then stain them to remove moisture and finely chop them.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic to fry. Add the parsley, porcini and spinach and cook for another 5 min then set aside to cool a little.

To the spinach add the bread, eggs, butter, half of the cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Grease a muffin tin and evenly spoon in the preparation. At the end sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Cook in the oven for 35-40 min. Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes before removing the mini pies with the help of a knife.

 

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Version Française

 

Mini Monastery PiesCette recette vient de ma région: le Tessin.  C’est un peu une version salée de la “Torta di Pane” qui est pratiquement un gâteau de pouding au pain. J’ai déjà essayé cette recette avant et je l’aime bien parce que les ingrédients sont simples et rustiques. J’ai suivi la recette que j’ai trouvé dans mon livre Cuisine Suisse mais j’ai fait de petits changements.  Je n’ai pas fait tremper les champignons et j’ai ajouté un peu plus de pain et de beurre. Je n’ai pas voulu cuisiner tout le gâteau alors encore une fois, j’ai sorti mon plateau à muffins.

Mini Monastery Pies

 

Mini Gâteaux du Monastère

 

Pour 1 plateau à muffin

Temps de préparation : 15 min

Temps de cuisson : 45-50 min

 

Ingrédients

 

100 g pain sans croûte

0.8 dl lait

500 g épinards frais

2 cs huile d’olive

1 oignon

1-2 gousses d’ail

1 cs persil haché

2 œufs

90 g fromage râpé (idéalement on utilise du fromage des alpes mais un autre fromage suisse fera aussi l’affaire)

40 g beurre à température ambiante

Noix de muscade

15 g bolets séchés

Sel et poivre

 

Recette

Allumer le four à 180°C.

Tremper le pain dans le lait pendant un demi heure et l’écraser à l’aide d’une fourchette.

Cuire les épinards dans une poêle et enlever l’excès d’eau a l’aide d’une passoire et les hacher finement.

Chauffer l’huile d’olive dans une poêle et y faire revenir l’oignon et l’ail. Ajouter le persil, les bolets et les épinards, cuire encore pendant 5 min et laisser un peu refroidir.

Aux épinards, ajouter le pain, les œufs, le beurre, la moitié du fromage, noix de muscade, sel et poivre.

Graisser le plateau à muffin et y distribuer la préparation uniformément. À la fin saupoudrer avec le reste du fromage. Cuire dans le four pendant 35-40 min. Sortir du four, attendre quelques minutes avant de sortir les mini gâteaux à l’aide d’un couteau.

Mini Cheese and Spinach Gateaux From Canton Vaud – Mini Gâteaux Fromage Épinards à la Vaudoise

Mini Cheese and Spinach Gateaux From Canton Vaud

I dedicate to my mother this recipe since soon it’s mother’s day and also she grew up in the canton this recipe comes from (more precisely in Lausanne). It’s always nice to taste something which brings you back in time; this recipe did just that for me.

Continue reading

I went back to my childhood, to when I my father would be away (for work or on a golfing weekend) and with my mother, we would almost as a tradition enjoy such a gateau with a salad. With her we would go for the larger/normal gateau size but for this recipe I thought that this version would look cute. To make this recipe I partly followed a recipe from one of my Swiss cookbooks. In my version I added the spinach and the mustard which gives it added flavor. With a glass of white wine these gateaux went down like a letter in the mailbox (can you actually use this expression in English? 😉 ).

 

Mini Cheese and Spinach Gateaux From Canton Vaud

 

Mini Cheese and Spinach Gateaux From Canton Vaud

 

For 12 pieces

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: 17-20 min

 

Ingredients

12 7x7cm squares thinly rolled out short crust pastry dough

2 tbsp mustard

90 g cooked spinach – cooled

120 g grated Gruyère cheese

1 dl milk

1 dl cream

1 egg

Pepper

A pinch of salt

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 220°C.

Grease a muffin tin. Take a dough square, place it on top of one of the cups, with your hands push down so that it adheres to all the sides. Repeat with the rest of the cups of the muffin tin. Now take the mustard and evenly spread a small quantity on the dough, at the bottom of each cup.

Remove any excess moisture from the spinach and chop; add it to the grated cheese and mix them together. Evenly place the mix into each cup.

In a bowl combine the milk, cream, egg, pepper, salt and mix. Fill each muffin cup with the mixture. Place at the bottom of the oven for 17-20 min. Check if  the dough is cooked by lifting one of the mini cakes. Remove from oven, leave to rest for a couple of minutes and then, with the help of a knife, detach each mini muffin from the edges. Serve warm or also at room temperature. These gateaux can easily be frozen.

 

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Version Française

 Mini Cheese and Spinach Gateaux From Canton Vaud

Je dédie cette recette à ma maman vu que bientôt c’est la fête des mères et en plus cette recette vient du canton de Vaud ou elle à grandi (plus précisément dans la ville de Lausanne). J’aime sentir le gout de quelque chose qui me ramène en arrière dans le temps ; c’est l’effet que m’a fait cette recette. Je suis retournée dans mon enfance à quand mon père était loin (pour travail ou pour un weekend de golf) et avec ma mère, presque comme une tradition, nous nous réjouissions avec ce gâteau et une bonne salade.  Avec elle le gâteau était en grand format mais pour cette recette j’ai pensé que ce format était mignon. Pour cette recette j’ai suivi en partie une recette d’un de mes livres de cuisine suisse. Dans ma version j’ai ajouté des épinards et de la moutarde qui donne du goût supplémentaire. Avec un verre de vin ces gâteaux sont passés comme une lettre à la poste.

Mini Cheese and Spinach Gateaux From Canton Vaud

Mini Gâteaux aux Épinards et Fromage à la Vaudoise

 

Pour 12 pièces

Temps de préparation : 25-30 min

Temps de cuisson : 17-20 min

 

Ingrédients

12 carrés 7×7 cm de pâte brisée finement abaissée

2 cc moutarde

90g épinards cuits

120 g gruyère râpé

1 dl lait

1 dl crème

1 œuf

Poivre

1 pincée de sel

 

Recette

 

Allumez le four à 220°C.

Graisser la plaque à muffins. Prendre un carre de pâte brisée, la placer sur un des conteneurs à muffins et la pousser en bas en sorte qu’elle adhère aux bords. Répéter avec le reste des carrés de pâte. Prendre la moutarde et en tartiner un peu sur le fond de chaque pièce.

Drainer l’excès d’eau et hacher les épinards, les ajouter au fromage râpé et mélanger. Placer uniformément ce mélange dans chaque conteneur.

Dans un bol combiner le lait, la crème, l’œuf, le poivre, le sel et mélanger. Remplir chaque ‘gobelet’ du plateau à muffin avec ce mélange. Cuire au bas du four pendant 17-20 min. Controller la cuisson de la pâte en soulevant un des mini gâteaux. Sortir du four, laisser reposer une paire de minutes. À l’aide d’un couteau décoller du bord les mini gâteaux. Servir chaud ou à température ambiante. Ces gâteaux peuvent facilement être congelés.

 

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper / Poivrons Farcis au Riz Complet et Epinards

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper After the traditional celebrations where meat is always the protagonist, I like to get in touch with my veggies. Continue reading

On Sunday, for Easter lunch, we had a nice meal at my boyfriend’s parents’ home. After an antipasto of different cured meats, his father served the traditional “Capretto” (baby goat) with potatoes and a drop of creamy spinach. A “Panettone” was served for dessert. In the evening I ended up not eating much anymore because I felt as stuffed as an egg. The day after I was home and since I was on my own, I made myself these stuffed bell peppers and believe me: it felt good.  This is another easy recipe which is healthy and wholesome is made with ingredients are easily available most of the time.

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell PepperBrown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

 

Recipe for 4 as a main – 8 as a starter

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

4 Bell Peppers

320 g brown rice

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

360 g chopped cooked spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

Paprika

12 sun dried tomatoes pieces

2-3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp chopped almonds

Salt and pepper

50 g grated Gruyère

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200° C.

Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and the white parts. Grease an oven proof dish and place the bell peppers cut side up in the oven for 20 min. Once done set aside.

Cook the rice according to package instructions.

Chop the onion and the garlic and place them in a pan with the olive oil. Fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Chop the sun dried tomatoes and add them with the spinach to the onion and garlic, season with salt pepper and paprika to taste. Cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the rice, parsley and half of the cheese and stir.

Fill the pepper halves with the rice mix and on top sprinkle the rest of the cheese with the chopped almonds. Replace the peppers in the oven and cook for another 20 min. To get the top well coloured, I place the dish under the top burner towards the last 5-10 min.  Serve.

 

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Version Française

 Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

Après les célébrations traditionnelles ou la viande est toujours protagoniste, j’aime me retourner vers mes petits légumes.  Dimanche, pour le repas de pâques, on a mangé chez le parents de mon copain. Après un antipasto de charcuterie, son père nous as servi un bon “Capretto” (chevreau) traditionnel avec des pommes de terre et une goutte d’épinards à la crème. En dessert il y avait du “Panettone”. Le soir venu j’ai fini par manger très peu vu j’étais encore pleine comme un œuf. Le jour suivant j’étais seule à la maison, alors j’en ai profité pour me faire ces poivrons farcis : ça m’a fait du bien. Cette recette est simple à faire, en plus elle est bonne pour la santé et les ingrédients son facile à trouver la plupart du temps.

Brown Rice and Spinach Stuffed Bell Pepper

Poivrons Farcis au Riz Complet et Epinards

 

Recette pou 4 comme plat principar – pour 8 comme entrée

Temps de préparation : 15 min

Temps de cuisson : 45-50 min

 

Ingrédients:

4 poivrons

320 g riz complet

1 oignon

2 gousses d’ail

1 cs huile d’olive

360 g épinards cuits

12 pièces tomate séchées

Sel et poivre

Paprika

2-3 cs persil

50 g Gruyère râpé

1 cs amandes hachées grossièrement

 

Recette

 

Allumez le four à 200° C.

Couper chaque poivron en deux dans le sens de la longueur et enlever les graines et les parties blanches. Graisser une assiette allant au four et y placer les poivrons face coupée en haut. Placer dans le four pendant 20 min. Une fois cuits mettre de côté.

Cuire le riz selon les instructions sur l’emballage.

Hacher l’oignon et l’ail et les placer dans une poêle avec l’huile d’olive. Cuire pendant 5 min en remuant de temps en temps. Hachez les tomates séchées et les épinards et le ajouter aux oignons et ail. Assaisonner avec le sel, poivre et paprika selon le gout. Cuire encore pendant 2 min. Ajouter le riz, le persil et la moitié du fromage.

Remplir les poivrons avec le mélange de riz et parsemer avec le reste du fromage et les amandes. Remettre les poivrons dans le four pendant 20 min. Pour bien colorer le haut je place le plat à four proche du haut du four pendant les dernières 5-10 min de cuisson. Servir.

 

Cheese Nests

Cheese Nest Bites 1_renamed_16031I love cosy moments when it’s cold and raining outside. Continue reading

Tonight after a while it should rain, maybe with a bit of luck the snow will finally cover the top of the Alps. I really want to ski next week but at the moment there is really not much snow. I know my friends would say:

‘But Fanny, you never ski anyway’.

Not (totally) true. It’s just because I’m a perfectionist when it comes to skiing conditions: sun, good snow and possibly not too many people. Anyway tonight, with my boyfriend, I want to make it a cosy evening and except for the salad, nothing will require the use of covers. I went for a selection of local products with crudités and these cheese baskets are something I wanted to try. I recently found the idea for this recipe on cheesesfromswitzerland once I was looking for some other kind of information on Swiss cheese. Unfortunately this recipe appears not to be on-line any more but they have other interesting ideas besides general information on Swiss cheese. Their version was made with ham, celery, croutons and a dressing containing apple juice and mustard. With the rain as a background sound, we will enjoy our meal and watch a few episodes of the third season of Game of Thrones.

Cheese Nest Bites 4_renamed_26258
Cheese Nest Bites 5_renamed_3103 

Cheese Nests

 

Makes 6 bites

Prep time : 10 minutes

Cook time:  7 minutes

 

Ingredients:

60g grated cheese (for example a coarse Gruyère)

½ tsp flour

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

1 tsp cider or apple vinegar

Salt and pepper

1 handful baby spinach

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Take enough oven paper to line the surface of a baking tray. Cut the paper into 6 equal parts and place them on the tray.

Mix the flour, the cheese and a bit of pepper together. On each piece of oven paper place about 2 tsp of the preparation to form a round of about 8 cm. I helped myself with a round mould. Place in the oven for about 7 minutes (keep an eye on the process). Once you like the colour remove the tray from the oven (my advice is to cook the cheese rounds a bit more than what I did in the pictures). Take one piece of the paper with the cheese on it and flip it over the an upside down  espresso cup or similar sized container. Remove the paper and leave to cool.

In a small bowl mix the mustard, the honey, the vinegar and a bit of salt together.

Thinly slice the spinach leaves and mix them with the dressing (you might not need to use all of the dressing).

Roughly chop the walnuts and the cranberries.

Once the cheese nests have cooled, delicately remove them from the cups and fill them with a bit of spinach and sprinkle a bit of walnuts and cranberries.

 

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.