Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Cream Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 20 fresh parsley leaves
  • 20 halves black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste (optional)

Preparation:

Cut a small lid from the top of each cherry tomato. Scoop the tomatoes carefully. You can use a tea spoon for that.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, dill, green onion, salt and pepper. Put the mixture into a decorating bag. If you don’t have a decorating bag, just use any clean plastic bag and cut one of the corners to allow the mixture to come out. Fill the cherry tomatoes one by one. Decorate them with a parsley leaf and with half black olive each. You can use other foods for decorating: red bell pepper, capers, pickled beetroot or even chopped ham or bacon.

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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

Chicken and Taco Sauce Quesadilla Recipe

The beauty of almost any quesadilla recipe is that it can help you “clean the fridge”, meaning that you can turn food leftovers into delicious meals. Chicken quesadillas are great to be cooked just after you’ve prepared chicken roast, as there’s usually a lot of meat that nobody want to eat two days after. This recipe is based on chicken breast, as that’s the part of the roast chicken I like less. Quesadilla makes it much better, as you’ll see in a moment.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked, shredded
  • 1 cup Jack Monterey cheese, grated
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 chili pepper
  • 1 green pepper, seeded, diced
  • 4 tablespoons Taco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Directions:
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Cook the onion, garlic, chili pepper and green pepper for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the taco sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute, then add the shredded chicken. Mix it well to make sure it’s covered in sauce, then add the cheese. Cover the pan and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Take another skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in it, then put a tortilla in the pan. Warm it for 2-3 minutes on each side, then place it on a plate and fill half of it with the chicken mixture. Fold it. Top it with sour cream and finely chopped fresh parsley.

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Shrimp Quesadilla

This is a quesadilla recipe perfect for a light lunch. You can use fresh shrimps, if you can find them. If not, frozen shrimps are still fine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tortillas
  • 1cup frozen cooked shrimps, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red hot chili flakes (if you like very spicy food, you can use as much chili as you wish)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a stick-free pan. Add the green onion, garlic, chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring a few times. Add the shrimps, lime juice and parsley. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Heat the tortillas in a pan for about 30 seconds on each side. After you finish heating the second tortilla, leave it in the pan and add shredded cheese on top of it. Then add the shrimp mix on top of the cheese and cover with the other tortilla. When the cheese starts melting, flip the quesadilla over. You can do that with the help of a plate or of a second pan, or you can just use two spatulas, if you’re handy enough.

Cut the quesadilla in 6-8 wedges and serve it hot.

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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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Bacon Potato Soup

Warm and comforting, this potato soup recipe is the perfect special treat for winter time.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 thick bacon slices
  • 1 celery root, peeled, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, shredded
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Fill a large stock pot with water, bring it to boil, then add the onion, garlic, celery root, beans, potatoes, carrots, vegetable bouillon and sauerkraut. Cover and boil over low to medium heat until vegetables are soft. If you diced them small, 15-20 minutes should be enough. Anyway, try them with a fork after the first 15 minutes and see if it goes in easily. Depending of how salty your sauerkraut was, you may or may not need to add some salt to the soup.

While the soup is boiling, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the bacon slices for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain the excess oil by setting the bacon slices on paper towels. Dice the bacon and set aside.

When vegetables are soft, add the chopped parsley, bacon and sour cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot, with freshly ground black pepper and fresh chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

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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?

Posted in Baked pork chop recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beef and Veggies Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 pound lean beef, ground
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, mozarella, goat cheese, Swiss cheese or whatever else you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup baked beans
  • 1/2 cup celery root, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrot, sliced
  • 1 red hot chili pepper, finely chopped (if it’s really hot, you can discard the seeds, then chop it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the onion over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef. Cook it stirring often, until it changes color from pink to light brown. This should take about 5-6 minutes. If the pan becomes too watery, drain it a little. Add the celery root, carrot, baked beans, parsley and red chili pepper. Salt and pepper according to your taste, then cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring well in order to mix the vegetables with the meat.

When you’re almost ready, oil a baking tray and put the tortillas on it. Spread the meat and vegetables mixture over half of each tortilla. Add a layer of shredded cheese, then fold the tortillas. Bake them at 400F for 5 minutes, then flip them over and bake them for 5 more minutes. Slice them into wedges and serve them with salsa or sour cream on top.

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Bacon Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients for 4-5 servings:

  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 celery root, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 4 bacon slices, crispy, freshly cooked, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups water

Directions:
In a covered pot, boil the onion, potatoes, celery and parsnip in salty water for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the carrot and the bacon and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat. Serve hot, topped with sour cream and fresh parsley.

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Macaroni Cheese With Parsley

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb macaroni (penne, shells, fusilli, elbow macaroni or any other type of pasta you like)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • salt, pepper

Directions:
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt, respecting the cooking time indicated on the pasta pack.

In a pan, heat one tablespoon of butter, add the shallots and saute them until they turn light brown. In another pan, melt the remaining butter and add the flour. Cook it on low to medium heat, stirring continuously. Start adding the milk gradually, stirring well, until the composition becomes smooth.

When the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and keep on cooking for about two more minutes. Remove it from the heat, add the cheese and stir until it melts.

Drain the pasta, put it in a pot, then pour the melted cheese over it and stir until it gets evenly coated. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and with parsley and serve hot.

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