Just in time for another meatless Monday…Spanakopita Grilled Cheese. With a handful of ingredients and minimal prep, this recipe could slide right up to the top of the rotation for a quick weekend lunch or weeknight supper. I doubled the Alexandra V. Jones recipe found on Food 52 so I would have enough for four servings. And, to simplify things even further, I sauteed the shallot and garlic while I was steaming the spinach in their bag in the microwave. Altogether you could be serving these up in about 20 minutes.

Start by sauteing a large thinly sliced shallot and 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic in 3 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat until transparent. Add 2 10 oz. bags of baby spinach that has been steamed in the bag for 3 minutes, add salt and pepper and continue to cook until most of the spinach liquid has cooked off. Off heat stir into the spinach mixture 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese and 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill. To assemble the sandwiches split a Ciabatta roll and top with a slice of Provolone, 1/4 of the spinach filling, another slice of Provolone and the top of the roll. Grill in a panini press or in a cast iron skillet weighted on top with another skillet. Cook until tops are toasty and cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes per side.

One day I used the last of the filling inside a grilled tortilla….Boom….Greekxican! I toasted the flour tortilla in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet until it was browned on the outside and the cheese had melted. Off heat I filled the Greekxadilla with the warm spinach filling and folded it in half. While satisfying on their own, these sandwiches could become a more substantial meal when paired with a Greek salad or bowl of Greek Egg Lemon Soup.

The original recipe can be found here:  https://food52.com/recipes/25992-spanakopita-grilled-cheese

photos: gp

And, The Living Is Easy

June 30, 2019

Summer…time for backyard gatherings with family and friends, simple suppers of a quick grill and a side and lighter lunches. This simple pasta salad will have you covered all around with only four ingredients and the little time it takes to cook and cool a pound of pasta. This 4th might just be the perfect time to take this recipe for a spin.

Cook 1 lb. of bite sized pasta per package directions. When there are 2 minutes left to the cook time, add 1 1/2 cups frozen peas. When done, drain pasta and peas and cool, then mix in 1 cup Mayo and 2/3 cup grated Parmesan. Finish with a few good grinds of black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Really, that’s it. Done.

The original recipe found here https://food52.com/recipes/58684-parmesan-pea-pasta-salad, called for any bite-sized pasta. I love Orchietti and the way it cups the peas and cheese so that’s what I use. This salad is also a great starting point should you want to add in additional items to make it a complete meal on its own, like roasted red peppers, kalamata olives and tuna.

photos: gp

 

 

 

Better Than Takeout

March 6, 2019

Nothing hits the spot on a cold Winter day better than a hot bowl of soup. And, if you can whip up a steaming bowl of comfort in a just a few minutes with only 5 pantry ingredients….well, I’m on it. I’ve had a craving lately for Egg Drop Soup. So, when l ran across this simple recipe on Food52 I knew I had to give it a try. Add an egg roll and you’ve got lunch or a light supper.

Recipe for Yih-Jen Ku’s grandma’s recipe can be found here: https://food52.com/blog/23758-easy-egg-drop-soup-recipe-10-minutes-best-winter-soup

photo: gp

Simple Finish

December 23, 2018

A quick twist to Nigella Lawson’s Meringue Gelato Cake will have you serving up the perfect sweet ending to your holiday dinner with barely any effort at all. Much like my Pistachio Semifreddo, it’s as easy as whip, fold and freeze. Start by lining a loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving enough to fold over the contents of the filled pan. Next, roughly crush 2 cups of store-bought meringues…Trader Joe’s Vanilla or peppermint are perfect. Measure 1 oz. of candy canes and crush in a zip-lock with a rolling pin and shave 1 oz. of dark chocolate into fine shards. Lastly, whip 1 1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream to soft peaks. Now, gently fold the chocolate, crushed candy canes, meringues and 2 tablespoons of white Creme de Menthe into the whipped cream. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, level and fold plastic wrap over to cover. Freeze at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. To serve, unmold onto a serving platter and cut into thick slices. A simple sauce of equal parts dark chocolate melted into heavy cream with a splash of white Creme de Menthe and a light touch of candy cane dust finishes each serving beautifully. Serves 6-8.

 

 

 

photos: gp

If you’d like Nigella’s recipe, it can be found here: https://food52.com/recipes/77525-nigella-lawson-s-meringue-gelato-cake-with-chocolate-sauce

Feeling more pistachio than peppermint? My recipe for Pistachio Semifreddo can be found here: https://simplequietmodern.com/2015/05/24/whip-it-fold-it-freeze-it/

 

 

 

Easter Bake

April 2, 2017

Even with a short list of ingredients baking bread can be a tricky undertaking. This recipe for Milanese Raisin Bread might be the exception. The addition of the raisin soaking liquid to the 50/50 ratio of flour to fruit gives this rich rustic loaf it’s distinct sweet flavor and deep brown crust. My test loaf actually cut and tasted better after a couple of days, so you’ll be fine baking it off ahead of time if you decide to add it to an Easter menu. The thought of pairing this with a sliver a baked ham and a touch of grainy mustard has me thinking…you might want to make two.

 

Photos:gp

Final photo, https://food52.com/recipes/66796-pantramvai-milanese-raisin-bread

 

 

 

 

Secatuers

June 13, 2016

You don’t realize how much you need them until you do. Then, you wish you had these. Smart Scissors designed in 2009 by Japanese architect Hagino Mitsunobu. Chic anvil shears of stainess steel coated in matte flourocarbon polymer.

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Top photo: https://food52.com/shop/products/1796-contemporary-japanese-shears

peony photo: gp

 

 

If April showers bring May flowers, a wet Spring weekend also provides just enough time indoors to knock out a batch of these…Brown Butter Bourbon Blondies.

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I adjusted Phyllis Grant’s adaptation of Mark Bittman’s Butterscotch Brownies by adding a cup of coarsley chopped toasted walnuts and replacing 3 of the 4 teaspoons of vanilla with Bourbon. Now we’re talking…I should have made a double batch. You can find the original adaptaton here: http://food52.com/recipes/32350-brown-butter-blondies