Baked Cheese Balls

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
  • 7 ounces all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation:

Bring the water to a boil, then add the salt and the butter. When the butter melts, remove from heat and add the flour. Mix well. Add the grated cheese and the eggs. Mix everything very well, until you get a homogeneous composition. Let it cool for about one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Put baking paper on the bottom of an oven tray. With your palms, start forming balls from the mixture. Put the balls on the baking paper, making sure there’s enough room around them, so they don’t get it touch with each other.

Bake the cheese balls for 30 minutes. You can serve them either hot or cold. Suggestion for serving: place several lettuce leaves on a big platter and arrange the cheese balls on top.

This recipe makes about 40-50 cheese balls.

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Quick and Easy Breakfast

Nutritionists tell us breakfast ought to be the most important meal of the day. The stomach tell us the same thing. We probably all have days when we just ignore the stomach and forget about those nutritionists and their health advice. We are just too lazy or too rushed to sit and eat in the morning, not to mention cooking on top of that.

Well, here’s a breakfast that takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to eat.

Cut 5-6 salami slices. Dice them, then toss it in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook it over medium heat. Chop half of a red bell pepper and add it in the pan. Stir frequently.

Red pepper and salami for my easy breakfast recipe

Red pepper and salami for my easy breakfast recipe

Take two eggs and beat them. Add a little bit of paprika powder. That’s only for the nice, red color of the food, so you can skip it if you wish.

Beat two eggs and add red paprika

Beat two eggs and add red paprika

Your salami and red bell pepper should be cooked enough by now, so add the beaten eggs to the pan. Cook over medium heat. Use a wooden spatula to lift the edges of the omelet, in order to allow the egg mixture to cook evenly.

Easy breakfast cooking

Easy breakfast cooking

After about 3 minutes flip the eggs, add some grated cheese on top and let them cook for one minute more. Fold the omelet and transfer it onto a plate. Add a few slices of cheese and a few olives, sprinkle some freshly ground pepper on top and enjoy your fast breakfast.

Your 10 minutes warm breakfast

Your 10 minutes warm breakfast

You probably figured out already that you can tweak this recipe in multiple ways. Add whatever you like, leave out what you hate. The main idea is that one needs only 15 minutes in the morning to start the day with a warm breakfast, even if it’s this simple.

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Mushroom Quiche With Potato Crust

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Basic quiche recipes call for pastry for the crust. However, if you want, you can replace the pastry with potatoes. I did this and here’s my potato crust quiche recipe, which you can use as base for any kind of quiche you like: mine has mushrooms, red bell pepper, parsley, dill and onions, but variations are welcome.

The first step is to make the crust. You need two onions…

Two peeled onions

Two peeled onions

and about 6 medium size potatoes. Don’t ask me why my onions were one yellow and one red. Use whatever you have, the color makes no difference in this situation.

Peeled potatoes

Peeled potatoes

Peel and grate the onions. Here’s the part where you start to cry, so take your time, wash your face, grate some more, cry some more… the whole operation shouldn’t take you more than 5-6 minutes.

Grating onions

Grating onions

Peel and grate the potatoes. I grated them coarsely, but if you want a finer crust, use the fine side of the grater box.

Grating potatoes

Grating potatoes

Pre-heat the oven at 450F.

Squeeze the grated onions and potatoes very well to drain the liquid, then put them in a bowl and mix them.

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Use both your hands, not one like I did. You won’t have to hold the camera, I guess ;)

Add a teaspoon of salt, some ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of all purpose white flour. If you want, you can add spices. I added about a teaspoon dried thyme. Mix everything very well.

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Oil a baking dish (bottom and edges). Shape the onion-potato mix into a pie crust, trying to get even thickness all over.

Raw potato quiche crust

Raw potato quiche crust

Bake the potato crust at 450F for about 15 minutes.

Take the baking dish out of the oven, brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil and put it back in the oven again for 10 more minutes. If you don’t have a special brush, you can use a folded paper towel to oil the crust evenly.

Oiled quiche crust

Oiled quiche crust

While the crust is baking, we are going to prepare the filling for our quiche. You need one onion, 15-20 button mushrooms, half red bell pepper, parsley and dill.

Button mushrooms

Button mushrooms

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onion and fry it for about 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Chopped red onion in pan

Chopped red onion in pan

Thoroughly clean the mushrooms, chop them and add them to the frying pan. I also added about a teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced, but that’s optional.

Chop about half of a red bell pepper. Add it to the food. Stir and cook over medium heat. Chop the parsley and the dill and add them to the pan.

Vegetables in pan

Vegetables in pan

Continue cooking and stirring until the vegetables are soft and there’s a lot of liquid from the mushrooms in the pan. This process should take about 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from heat, transfer them into a colander and drain them very well. You can use a wooden spatula or a spoon to squeeze them dry.

Draining stir fried vegetables

Draining stir fried vegetables

Pour the vegetables over the quiche crust, spreading them evenly onto the surface.

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Grate the cheese. You’ll need about 1 cup of grated cheese. I used feta, but you can use any cheese you want such as Cheddar or Swiss cheese.

Grated Feta cheese

Grated Feta cheese

Spread the grated cheese on top of the baking dish.

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs. Please note that there are only two eggs in the photo, but after I beat those, I decided to add one more.

Beat three eggs and add milk

Beat three eggs and add milk

Add about 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika powder and some freshly ground black pepper.

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Mix well and pour over the grated cheese layer in the quiche dish.

Quiche - ready to bake

Quiche - ready to bake

Bake over medium heat for one hour.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Cut and serve hot.

Mushroom quiche slice

Mushroom quiche slice

Serving suggestion: decorate the quiche slices with pickled beetroot or gherkins.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Ingredients for this quiche recipe:

  • 3 medium size onions
  • 20 button mushrooms
  • 6 medium size potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup parsley and dill, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese

This recipe serves 4-6 people. I ate two big slices while writing the recipe for you, however :)

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Traditional Quiche Lorraine

Quiche is a dish originating from France, specifically from a region called Lorraine. This is why it is mostly known as Quiche Lorraine, although it is popular not only across all France but also in many countries, from Portugal to New Zealand. The traditional quiche Lorraine contains bacon and heavy cream, but if you want a low-fat variant, you can use ham and yogurt instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 6-7 bacon slices
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 400F and bake the pie crust for 30 minutes. Dice the bacon. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the diced bacon and brown it for 5-6 minutes.

Beat the eggs, add the heavy cream, the milk, the salt and the pepper. Mix everything well, then pour the custard over the pie crust. Take care not to completely fill the baking dish. There should be about 1/4 pan height free space for the mixture to expand.

Bake the quiche over 300F for about 30 minutes. Spread nutmeg on top. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Spinach Quiche

Spinach quiche is a permissive recipe. You can add other goodies such as bacon, mushrooms, chicken, turkey or ham, thus getting rid of your food leftovers in a delicious and easy way. This is the basic spinach quiche recipe. I used frozen spinach, because we are now in winter time, when fresh vegetables are hard to find. However, if you cook this quiche in the veggies season, you are welcome to use fresh baby spinach leaves.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust

  • 8 oz all purpose white flour
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 1 pound feta cheese, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients for the pie crust. Make sure the butter is at room temperature when you do that, because you want to obtain a homogeneous composition. Don’t be afraid to use your hands.

After you make the dough, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, then shape it round and flat. The diameter should be large enough to cover the bottom and the edges of the baking dish.

Butter or oil the baking dish, then put the pie crust in place.

While the dough is resting in the fridge, don’t check your emails, don’t watch movies, don’t step out of the kitchen, because you have more work to do: make the filling.

Thaw the spinach, drain it very well and chop it. Peel and chop the onion. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion and cook it for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Gradually add the shredded cheese, the eggs and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything very well, then pour the composition on top of the pie crust. Bake in the oven at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes.

The spinach quiche is best hot, but some people like it cold as well.

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Crustless Broccoli Quiche

Although typical quiche recipes call for pie crust, if you want a low-carb recipe, you can enjoy a healthy, crustless version of this delicious dish. It can make a perfect breakfast, nourishing and full of vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups broccoli, florets only
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli florets. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring often.

In a bowl, mix the eggs with milk, cheese, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add the sauteed broccoli and stir gently.

Oil a baking dish. Pour the broccoli mixture inside. Bake it for about 40 minutes at 350 F. Serve hot.

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Shrimp Broccoli Quiche Recipe

If you want a quiche recipe which is quick and tasty, suitable for breakfast as well as for dinner, then this one is a winner for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie shell, pre-baked
  • 4 fresh, free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shrimps, cooked, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or less, if you prefer)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • herbs & spices according to taste

Directions:
Mix together the broccoli, shrimps, green onions and garlic cloves. Evenly spread them over the pie shell. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then gradually add the cream, salt and pepper, any other herbs and spices you like, stirring well until the custard becomes homogeneous.

Pour it over the quiche filling, making sure to have all filling ingredients evenly covered.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the quiche for about 40 minutes. After 30 – 35 minutes, you can try it with a toothpick: insert it in the center and if it comes out clean, remove quiche from heat. If not, keep it in the oven for 10 minutes more, then try it again. Serve hot, but let is cool for about 10 minutes before cutting it.

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Crustless Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, onions, broccoli, corn, asparagus or anything else you may like)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Let them cool down. Meanwhile, take a large bowl and mix the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Oil a quiche dish. Layer alternately vegetables and Swiss cheese until you finish all vegetables. Pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes.

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Baked Macaroni And Cheese

Baked macaroni cheese right from the oven

Baked macaroni cheese right from the oven

Ingredients:

  • 300 g pasta (spirals, elbow macaroni or any other type of short pasta)
  • 300 g hard feta cheese, grated
  • 100 g Emmental, Gouda or Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Get 300g (about 10 ounces) macaroni. I used spirals for this recipe, but any other type of short pasta will do.

Spiral pasta

Spiral pasta

You’ll also need a block of feta cheese (at least 100g or about 3-4 ounces weight):

Feta cheese

Feta cheese

Boil the macaroni as per instructions on the pack. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Since we are going to bake it later on, there’s no need to strictly respect the cooking time. Just make sure to, at least, cook it “al dente”. Here’s my cooked pasta, draining over the kitchen sink:

Macaroni boiled "al dente"

Macaroni boiled "al dente"

While waiting for the macaroni to cook, grate the feta cheese in a big bowl.

Grated feta cheese

Grated feta cheese

You want a big bowl because you are going to add the boiled pasta later on. Set aside about 1 tablespoon grated feta.

In the big bowl of grated feta add two eggs and mix everything very well.

Cheese - egg mixture

Cheese - egg mixture

In a separate bowl, beat the two remaining eggs together with the sour cream and the milk.

Drain the macaroni very well and let it chill out.

Meanwhile, put the butter in a Pyrex dish and let it melt on low heat, making sure it spreads evenly on the bottom of the dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the pasta to the feta cheese-egg mixture and mix it very well with a fork. Spoon the mixture into the Pyrex dish and shape it flat. Pour the egg-sour cream-milk mixture evenly on top, then sprinkle the dish with the remaining grated feta.

Macaroni cheese ready for baking

Macaroni cheese ready for baking

Bake the macaroni cheese on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle the grated Emmental cheese on top, then bake it on medium to high temperature for 15-20 more minutes or until you see it getting a nice light brown, crispy crust.

This is how the macaroni and cheese looks when it's done

This is how the macaroni and cheese looks when it's done

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Crab and Green Onions Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust, not baked
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 can crab meat, drained and minced
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped small
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream (you can replace it with low fat yogurt for a healthier version of this recipe)
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add flour and cream. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt (or less, if you prefer the quiche less salty). Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Melt the butter in a pan, then add the green onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat.If you want, you can use olive oil instead of butter. However, butter gives a special flavor to green onions, so that’s my favorite combination.

Add the cooked onions, the cheese and the crab meat to the egg mix, stir well and pour into the pie crust. Bake at 350F for about 45-50 minutes.

This quiche recipe is a quick one, because it doesn’t call for blind-baking the pie crust. Nonetheless, if you fear the pastry won’t bake well together with the filling, you can bake it separately for 30 minutes, then add the filling and bake it for 40 minutes more. Again, if you have plenty of time and you want homemade pie crust, that would add one more hour to the total time required for preparing this recipe from scratch to serving it on the dinner table.

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