Baked Trout with Vegetables

Baked trout with vegetables and rucola

Baked trout with vegetables and rucola

Baking fish wrapped in foil is an excellent idea, because flavors are much more intense and the meat is more tender. The downside, as you can see from the above photo, is the presentation, which suffers a bit. Well, to be honest, I don’t have special fish plates, that’s why I served it straight from the foil.

Anyway, here’s my baked trout recipe:

Get two medium-sized fish. If you can arrange with the shop assistant to clean them for you, that’s awesome. If not, expect a bit of mess in the kitchen. I’ve got mine already cleaned and ready to cook:

Cleaned fish

Cleaned fish

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Chop one big onion and add it to the pan.

Cooking onion in hot olive oil

Cooking onion in hot olive oil

Cook it for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add 10-12 chopped mushrooms:

Chopped mushrooms

Chopped mushrooms

Stir well, then add salt and some red hot chili flakes:

Fish stuffing: onions, mushrooms and red chili flakes

Fish stuffing: onions, mushrooms and red chili flakes

Chop 3-4 cherry tomatoes and one green bell pepper and add them to the pan:

Vegetable stuffing mix for fish

Vegetable stuffing mix for fish

Chop 6-7 garlic cloves and mix them with two tablespoons olive oil and the juice from half lemon:

Chopped garlic with olive oil and lemon juice

Chopped garlic with olive oil and lemon juice

Put the fish on aluminum foils, spoon the vegetable stuffing inside them, then pour this mixture on top of the fish.

Fish - stuffed, glazed, ready to go in the oven for baking

Fish - stuffed, glazed, ready to go in the oven for baking

Close the foils, so the fish look now like Egyptian mummies :)

Fish in aluminum foil

Fish in aluminum foil

Bake the fish in the oven, over medium heat. It should be done in about 45 minutes. Anyway, after 40 minutes, take it out of the oven and open the wrappings, then return it to the oven and bake it for 5-10 minutes more, so it gets a kind of crust.

Oven-baked, stuffed fish

Oven-baked, stuffed fish

Now, if you want to go festive, transfer the fish on special fish platters. The easier option is to just unwrap and serve it like this:

Nice and juicy baked trout

Nice and juicy baked trout

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size fish (trout or any other fish of your choice)
  • 10-12 mushrooms
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes (or one big tomato)
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • lemon juice from a half lemon
  • lemon slices (for serving)
  • red chili flakes
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Quesadilla with Mushrooms and Onions

Tasty quesadillas

Tasty quesadillas

This is an idea for a filling, healthy breakfast. Melting cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, fresh parsley and a little garlic, gathered together between two crisp tortillas will make your morning awesome and will give you energy for a few good hours.

Take one onion, chop it and saute it with a bit of olive oil and salt.

Chopped onion

Chopped onion

Saute the onions over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until they start to caramelize.

Caramelized onions for mushroom quesadilla

Caramelized onions for mushroom quesadilla

Get 5-6 white mushrooms, clean them, chop them, then add them into the pan and saute them together with the onions. Add a little bit of salt and ground black pepper.

Mushrooms and onions for quesadilla

Mushrooms and onions for quesadillas

In about 15-20 minutes,mushrooms will be cooked, onions will be soft, so it’s time to add 3-4 garlic cloves, minced. Cook them for 1-2 minutes, then add about two tablespoons of beef broth to deglaze the pan. Keep on cooking until the broth evaporates. Remove from heat and add minced parsley (I added two tablespoons of fresh parsley).

Mushrooms, onions, garlic and parsley = quesadilla filling

Mushrooms, onions, garlic and parsley = quesadilla filling

While the mushrooms are cooking, grate some cheese. You’ll need about 1 cup of grated cheese for one quesadilla.

Grated cheese

Grated cheese

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan. Add one of the tortillas, rub it a little to coat it in oil and let it heat for 1 minute.

Tortilla number 1 heating

Tortilla number 1 heating

Flip it on the other side and heat it for 1 minute.

Flipping the tortilla in the pan

Flipping the tortilla in the pan

Set the first tortilla aside. Repeat the procedure with the second tortilla, then add half of the grated cheese on top of it.

Mounting quesadillas - first cheese layer

Mounting quesadillas - first cheese layer

Add the onion-mushrooms mixture, spreading it evenly onto the surface.

Mounting quesadillas - mushrooms and onions layer

Mounting quesadillas - mushrooms and onions layer

Spread the rest of the cheese on top, then cover with the other tortilla.

Mounting quesadillas - second cheese layer

Mounting quesadillas - second cheese layer

Cook it over low heat for about 2 minutes, then flip it and cook it for 2 more minutes or until the cheese melts.

Flipped quesadilla - cooking on the second side

Flipped quesadilla - cooking on the second side

Take care when you flip it, because the filling will want to come out and spread all over your kitchen floor. The easiest way to do it is to cover the pan with a plate, then with both hands, reverse the pan, so the quesadilla lands on the plate. Then let it slide from the plate into the pan.

When ready, cut the quesadilla in quarters and serve it with salsa topping.

Quesadilla recipe with mushrooms and onions. Bon Appetit!

Quesadilla recipe with mushrooms and onions. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients for this quesadilla recipe:

  • 2 small tortillas
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 5-6 white mushrooms (small-medium size)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons beef broth (can be replaced with dry white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Posted in Breakfast Quesadillas, Vegetarian Quesadillas | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffed bone-in pork chops

Stuffed bone-in pork chops


Although at first sight stuffed pork chop recipes might seem complicated, they are just as easy as any other pork recipe. All you need to take into account is that the total cooking time will be longer, because you have to prepare the stuffing, then to cut pockets in the chops, then to fill them with the stuffing.

Anyway, to start with, let’s take two beautiful bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick:

Thick, bone-in pork chops

Thick, bone-in pork chops

Most recipes call for boneless pork chops, but I think bone-in ones are nicer: cooking meat on the bone gives it a special flavor, a sweetness which I really like.

Wash the meat in cold water, then dry it on some kitchen towels. Take the sharpest knife you have and cut a pocket in each pork chop, like this:

Pocket cut in the pork chop

Pocket cut in the pork chop

Sorry I couldn’t take a photo of me slicing that chop, but these two are the only hands I’ve got and they were both involved in the cutting process. Anyway, here’s the result:

Pork chops prepared for stuffing

Pork chops prepared for stuffing

Salt the meat, season it with your favorite herbs (I used a mix of garlic powder, thyme and basil) and put it back in the fridge while you work on the stuffing.

Take one medium sized onion, cut it in half and peel it.

Halved onion

Halved onion

Chop the onion. Coarsely chopping is just fine, you don’t need to try too hard on that, because it’s going to be cooked for quite a long time anyway.

Chopped onions

Chopped onions

Take about 10 white mushrooms. I chose medium to small ones, like you can see in the following photo, and they were more than enough for stuffing the two pork chops you’ve seen. Wash them very well.

White mushrooms

White mushrooms

Chop the mushrooms and the stems. Don’t worry about making them really small.

Chopped mushrooms

Chopped mushrooms

In a non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions. Cook them over medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add the mushrooms, stir and season with salt, pepper, red chili flakes and any herbs you like.

Mushroom-onion meat stuffing

Mushroom-onion meat stuffing

Cook the mushrooms and the onions over medium heat, for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, take the parsley and the dill, wash them very well and chop them.

Chopped parsley and dill

Chopped parsley and dill

Add the parsley and the dill to the skillet and keep on cooking and stirring:

Meat stuffing getting cooked on stove top

Meat stuffing getting cooked on stove top

The stuffing still needs something to hold everything together. I used a slice of feta cheese. Other options are: any type of cheese that melts nicely or eggs. Here’s my cheese, crumbled, just before adding it to the skillet. There’s nothing special about this photo, I just want you to see how much cheese I’ve used.

crumbled feta cheese

crumbled feta cheese

Add the cheese to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, over low heat. Stir frequently, otherwise the cheese will stick to the skillet.

Pork chop stuffing

Pork chop stuffing

When most of the cheese melted and mixed with the other juices in the pan, turning into a sauce, remove the skillet from heat. Spoon the stuffing into the pork chops.

Stuffed pork chops - work in progress

Stuffed pork chops - work in progress

You’ll notice you’ve got more stuffing than needed. Don’t try to fit it inside the chops, because we are going to use it later on. Just use only as much stuffing as to allow you to secure the meat pockets with toothpicks. As you got here with the work, you may want to pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Stuffed pork chops - more work in progress

Stuffed pork chops - more work in progress

In a skillet, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and brown the stuffed pork chops for about two minutes on each side:

Stuffed pork chops browned

Stuffed pork chops browned

Transfer the chops from the skillet to the baking dish. Take the remaining stuffing mix, put it in the skillet, add about half cup of water and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Your purpose is to mix the flavored brown stuff on the bottom of the skillet with the mushroom-onion mixture. Eventually, you are going to pour it over the pork chops, before baking them.

Stuffed pork chops ready to bake

Stuffed pork chops ready to bake

Cover the baking dish and bake the pork chops for about one hour. You may now relax for 40-45 minutes. Just before the chops are done, you’d better get back to the kitchen and prepare some side dish. I boiled some potatoes, then drained the water and mixed them with butter and salt.

Stuffed pork chops served with potatoes

Stuffed pork chops served with potatoes

Serve the stuffed pork chops hot, with freshly ground pepper sprinkled on top. If you can, arrange with somebody else to do the dishes, as you’ll use plenty of them :)

Here’s the list of ingredients for two big chops (enough for two not-very-hungry persons):

  • 2 bone-in pork chops, 1 inch thick
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
  • 10 white mushrooms, medium sized, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 slice feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • herbs of your choice (dried thyme, basil, red hot chili flakes, garlic powder)
  • 2 toothpicks

Last but not least, I thought you might want to see how those stuffed pork chops look on the inside.

Stuffed pork chops - interior

Stuffed pork chops - interior

Yummy, isn’t 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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Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust (frozen or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups Emmentaler cheese, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten (always buy free range eggs, they taste so much better)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • nutmeg (just a pinch)
  • salt, freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Cook the onions until they are translucent (3-4 minutes should be enough, but make sure you stir quite often). Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. The mushrooms should turn golden brown and the liquid they released during cooking should evaporate almost completely.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, add the cream, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and the shredded Emmentaler cheese. Stir well. Pour the mushrooms into the egg mixture. Make sure let the mushrooms cool for about 10 minutes before doing this, otherwise the eggs will scramble.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake it for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and bake for about 30-40 minutes. In order to check if the quiche is done, insert a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. Let the mushroom quiche stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Mixed Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 2 green chili peppers, chopped small
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 average size potatoes, chopped
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1 average size carrot, sliced
  • salt

Directions:
In a wok, heat the olive oil, then stir fry the garlic for 4-5 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin seeds, green chili peppers and coriander powder and mix well. Add the onion and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. When the onion turns light brown lower the heat and add the rest of the vegetables and some salt. Cook the food for about 15-20 minutes more. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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