Monthly Archives: March 2016

Spinach Cheddar Souffle

Today is supposed to be a nice sunny day here in NH it’s about time just saying!

Last week we had an epic fail in the kitchen I say we because my husband sort of kind of helped. This is not the first fail but this one was pretty pathetic and whilst in the middle of it my husband said and I quote “you should blog about this” my first thought was why what could I possibly share or talk about. He thought it would be good to show a failure, I am still laughing out loud.

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So the evening started out with hey do you want to go out or stay in? After a short conversation he was craving spaghetti & bread for dinner and he was going to make it. Fine with me, I was catching up on one of my taped shows. He went to take a shower and I thought I would help by browning the sausage and boiling the water. Then that turned into me starting the jar sauce and doctoring it up. That was our; yes I am still making him share in the blame; I really wanted to go out. I added some herbs as well as fresh basil from my windowsill. I also added some garlic powder and that was the downfall. So technically he had nothing to do with this I totally owned this fail but if we went out like I wanted it could have been avoided.

 

First bite he looks up and says is it salty? I take a bite and wow what the heck happened, it was actually inedible. It was so salty we couldn’t continue. OK now what; we had a little bit of spaghetti leftover but the sauce had to go. Now you’re going to laugh or at least my girlfriend did when I told her, I took the sauce and put it in a strainer yup a strainer. I did not use water like she thought, I just shook the sauce off the sausage and started over. Oh and did I mention that we burnt the garlic toast too – it happens! We both agreed the bolognese with handmade and cut pasta I made last night more than made up for the spaghetti fail earlier in the week.

I have always wanted to make a souffle but was always hesitant; they make it sound so difficult to have it come out right. I figured this would have to be a Sunday thing to try. When I usually have a little more time and I could pay a little more attention. Or so I thought! A quiet day for me ended with my in-laws stopping by and staying and a friend of my daughter coming over. Did I mention my daughter’s friend is a chef. I swear running with scissors is just how I operate in the kitchen. Thankfully it worked out and it really wasn’t too hard, however it is a process. I am looking forward to trying a sweet souffle in the near future.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and Happy Easter!

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Note- before you want to make this be sure to take out 5 large eggs and the frozen chopped spinach so it has time to thaw

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Spinach and Cheddar Souffle

3 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing the dish
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup warmed milk
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 extra large egg yolks at room temperature
½ cup grated aged cheddar cheese, lightly packed
1 pack frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
5 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven 400’ F. butter the inside of a 6-8 cup souffle dish and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.

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Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the hot milk, nutmeg cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly for 1 minute until smooth and thick

 

Off the heat, though still hot, whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the Cheddar, ¼ cup of the parmesan and the spinach. Transfer to a large mixing bowl

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In the bowl to your electric mixer put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on low for a minute. Then on medium for another minute and finally on high speed until they are firm glossy peaks.

 

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Whisk in a quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten them up, then gently fold in the rest of the mixture. Pour into the prepared souffle dish. Draw a large circle on top with a spatula to help the souffle rise evenly. Place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375’F and bake for 30-35 minutes being careful not to peak until puffed and browned.  Serve immediately

 

Recipe by Ina Garten

Arancini

First day of Spring my ass – it is currently 18’F in my neck of the woods this morning and there is a possibility of snow showers tonight into tomorrow morning. Albeit it is sunny out but who wants to go and do anything out there wearing your winter coat, hat and mittens. Don’t get me wrong I see SO many things I want to get out there and do. My yard needs it’s normal debris pick up and I am already thinking about what and where I will be planting my garden. I do see a few of my garlic fronds peaking up from the straw but even they look frightened to come out from under their covers. Yesterday morning I did order a couple of over the railing planters where I intend to plant my herbs so they are closer to my kitchen; so that has excited me a bit.

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My morning rant is over, my cup of tea has been replenished the fam is home and my husband made biscuits for breakfast life is good!

We are leftover people; there I said it. I know there a many people out there that hate; I know that is a strong word so maybe despise might work better here. But I think sometimes you might not know what you are missing. There are so many possibilities here, you can eat them as is or reinvent them into something else.

This past week I had plenty of opportunities. Sometimes I think I make too many different meals during the week just saying. I had some leftover roasted chicken, my son must have made burritos at some point because there was leftover refried beans. So Monday night I turned into a quesadilla for me and my husband along side some sour cream, salsa and we even had some leftover guacamole 10 minute dinner voila’.

 

Last night I turned some leftover cheese sauce into Mac and Cheese and reheated some leftover chili and served them alongside some baby back ribs. My most favorite leftover reinvent was that I was finally able to make Arancini; which is an Italian rice ball. I have been wanting to try making them for well over a year now. Every time I think there is enough for leftovers by the time I go to make them, someone has eaten all my leftover risotto.

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I also made my first souffle it was spinach cheddar and also delicious

 

They were well worth the wait!!!

 

Arancini

When you make risotto and if you haven’t yet what are you waiting for? Double the batch and once everyone has enough for dinner; take the rest of it and place it on a greased sheet pan to cool; place it in the fridge to dry out overnight.

Leftover dried risotto
Sweet Italian sausage
Mozzarella
Breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup Parmigiani-Reggiano cheese grated
Pinch Kosher salt
Marinara sauce

I took my favorite sweet Italian sausage with the casing removed crumbled, browned and placed on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease. Once cooled I added it in a large bowl to the risotto along with the eggs and Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and mixed well.

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Using wet hands, it makes the rice easier to work with. Making the balls about the size of a golf ball roughly 2 tablespoons; with your thumb create an indent and place a small piece of mozzarella in the middle and rework the rice around it.

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Place the balls on the sheet pan and place in the fridge for about an hour, or if you are impatient like me I just rolled them in the breadcrumbs and fried them in 350’ oil till browned roughly 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately with your favorite marinara sauce.
They were a huge hit and I cannot wait to make them again!