Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cooking "Naked" on The View from the Bay

A View from the Bay is a live, local talk show here in San Francisco. I was thrilled to be invited on to demonstrate a recipe from The Frugal Foodie cookbook

I let the boy play hooky to come to the studio with me - he had a ball and everyone at KGO was so super nice to him.

Here's the full recipe - and a lovely photo of the dish taken by Steve Aja

Green Goodness Naked Quiche

Save time and money by leaving the crust off your quiche, and spend your effort and dollars on yummy fillings. A thin coating of breadcrumbs helps the quiche release easily from the pie plate, and browns to an attractive golden color.

2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, kale, or
collard greens, thawed and drained or 1 pound fresh greens such as spinach, kale, chard, escarole, arugula, chicory, or collard greens
tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely sliced
green onions
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups
shredded Swiss cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate and coat with the dry breadcrumbs. First, prepare the greens. If using frozen, thaw the greens completely. Place in a fine strainer and press with a wooden spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. If using fresh, soak the greens in cool water. Drain, and trim all tough stems and less-than-fresh leaves. Chop coarsely. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the greens for 1 minute. Drain in a fine strainer and press with a wooden spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 3–4 minutes. Stir in greens and continue cooking for 5–7 minutes until any remaining liquid has evaporated. In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add cheese, greens, salt, and pepper, and stir to blend. Transfer to prepared pie plate. Bake until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crabby Patties - and a give away, kittens!

OK, they're not really Crabby Patties, but when you live with a 10 year old you can't help but think "Crabby Patties" when you've got round, fried seafood cakes. Squidward WISHES his were this good!

The fine folks at Safcol sent me samples of their canned salmon and tuna to try. Since Safcol comes in lots of tasty flavors - Lemon Pepper, Tomato Basil, Chipoltle, Spicy Chili, Cajun - I wanted to use it for something more than a run-of-the-mill sammi filler. My mind turned to crab cakes - which I love, but never make because good crab is so spendy. Subbing tuna or salmon is a yummy and frugal alternative. Are you ready, kids? Let's make:

Salmon Cakes with Aioli

1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 minced garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice

1 egg
1/4 cup aioli
1/2 cup green onions*
1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
3 6oz. cans Safcol Lemon Pepper Salmon, drained (about 9 oz)
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (made from sturdy bread)**
1 teaspoon sea salt

Oil for frying

First, make the aioli:

Put all of the ingredients into the bottom of a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Plunge a stick blender to the bottom of the cup. Turn on the blender, leaving it on the bottom while the mayo thickens. As it thickens, move it up a bit to incorporate all of the ingredients. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.

Chick here for a video on this technique

(Don't have a stick blender? Get one! They're not expensive, will last you forever, and are indispensable in the kitchen. I'll never make mayo/aioli any other way. And they're the best for making quick & easy veggie soups)

To make the patties:

In a medium bowl, blend the egg, 1/4 cup of the aioli you just made, green onions, and herbs. Add the salmon and 1 cup of the bread crumbs. Blend until incorporated.

Using a tablespoon, form the mixture into flat patties. Chill for 1/2 and hour or overnight to make ahead.

Place the remaining 1 cup of bread crumbs on a plate and sprinkle in the sea salt. Drop a patty into the crumbs, cover with crumbs and press to coat. Place the covered patty back on the plate. Continue with the remaining patties. Chill for 1/2 an hour.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch covered skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the patties and cover the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn, cover and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate covered with 2-3 layers of newspaper and 1 sheet of paper towel to drain (why? because its cheaper than 2-3 layers of paper towels!)

Serve with the rest of the aioli

Makes 18 nibbly-sized patties

The gears of my brain are turning with other ways I can season and flavor seafood patties. But yours is too. And to get you started, I've got 10 sampler packs of Safcol Tuna and Salmon to give away - just leave a comment here or on Facebook and I'll randomly select winners next weekend.

*Don't forget you can re-grow green onions

**I forgot to buy a baguette and used English Muffins. I muffin = 1 cup of crumbs