Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Recipes: Scrambled Eggs in Roast Potatoes & Zucchini Tian

Scrambled Eggs with Green Garlic in a Roast Potato Base

Here's a delicious and elegant egg dish for Easter Brunch! I added green garlic to the scrambled eggs, which gives it a delicate garlic flavor.

Green garlic is immature garlic that has not yet formed a strong, pungent mature bulb and flavor. It is wonderfully delicate and looks like a small leek or a big spring onion:

My inspiration for the roast potato base is a recipe by Gary Rhodes (British Chef) called Cheesy Fondant Potatoes on a Bed of Soft Leeks from the March 2002 Good Food magazine (put out by the BBC).

Here's the recipe:

Potato base:
1 large russet potato per person
2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1 bay leaf
2 + garlic cloves
olive oil
butter (optional)

Put the water, milk, bay leaf, garlic cloves, and pepper into a wide saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep.

Peel your potatoes and keep them in a bowl of cold water to avoid them discoloring. Using your peeler, shape the ends of the potatoes so they are nicely rounded. Cut a shaving of potato off one long side so the potato has a stable base. On the top side of the potato, use a sharp paring knife to cut an oval shape down into the potato, leaving about 1/2 '' around the edges (err on the side of edges being too thick). To remove the cut oval of potato from the top, cut the oval into quarters and use your knife to "pop" out one quarter and then cut out the others. I then used a zester to remove and shape the inside (this worked great). Then I tidied up with a grapefruit spoon (which has serrated edges). You'll then have something that looks like this:

Put the potato back in the water and repeat with each potato.

Heat your oven to 400. Put olive oil into an ovenproof dish large enough to hold your potato bases and put it in the oven to warm up as your oven heats.

Turn the milk mixture heat on to lowest simmer and carefully place the potato bases into the milk mixture. Simmer very gently for about 10 minutes until the potato is just becoming tender. Carefully remove the potato bases with a slotted spoon and put on a plate to cool for a moment. Carefully remove any liquid that is trapped inside the crevice.

Put the bases bottom down into the hot oil in the ovenproof dish,dot the centers with butter or a little oil, and cook for about 25 minutes. When the bottoms are starting to brown and crisp, turn the bases upside down to crisp the top and pour the hot oil over the sides. Check in 10 minutes and try to turn the potatoes on their sides and cook for 5-10 minutes each side.

Take the ovenproof dish out and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the bases onto a plate with a paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Place on a foil-covered baking sheet and keep warm in the oven at lowest heat (but not for too long).

Zucchini Tian
Here's the perfect vegetable dish to welcome in the spring. This tian is light and tasty, yet substantial enough to be the center attraction of a meal. It can be eaten hot or cold. It's fast, easy, and economical -- a great way to use up leftover rice and eat your greens. Serve with a salad and crusty bread.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1lb zucchini, chopped
6 oz spinach
3/4 cup cooked rice
2-3 oz Swiss or Gruyere, grated
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
3 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper

fresh breadcrumbs
grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350.
Butter an earthenware dish (mine was 8" x 11").
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion until soft. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Put the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water from a kettle over it. Let it cool and drain, then transfer to a chopping board and chop. Add the spinach, cooked rice, cheeses, and eggs and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper then transfer mixture to your prepared earthenware dish. Top with fresh breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until topping is light brown.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Matzo Ball Soup & Matzo Lasagna for Passover

Here's two of my favorite recipes for Passover meals:

Farmers' Market Matzo Ball Soup:

I box of matzo ball mix (mine required 2 eggs, and some vegetable oil)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large stalks of green garlic, sliced
1 medium leek, sliced
3 baby potatoes, diced
1-1/2 cups of sliced carrots (I used red, yellow, and orange)
32 fl oz organic vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe's)
I cup water
1 tsp green olive paste
1/3 cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Prepare the matzo balls according to the directions. I had to refridgerate mine for 15 minutes. Be sure to make the balls small; they'll swell with cooking.

In a soup pot, heat the vegetable oil and add the green garlic, leek and diced potatoes. Cover and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and vegetable broth, water, and bring the to a boil. Add the matzo balls and turn to a simmer. Add the green olive paste and half of the chopped parsely. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Season, and add the rest of the parsley. Serve!


Looking for a tasty recipe for Passover? Check out this recipe for Matzo Lasagna. It's a crowd pleaser!

Like any great lasagna, this recipe includes ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce, garlic and fresh oregano:

But it uses Matzo in place of the pasta sheets:

The trick is to soak the matzo in warm water (or wine), so it's not too dry and crumbly. Otherwise, you could follow any vegetarian lasagna dish and simply substitute soaked matzo for the pasta.


9 pieces matzo, softened in warm water or wine
Your favorite marinara sauce
1 pound ricotta cheese, part skim if possible
5 cups of spinach - chopped fine
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup Parmasean cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Put the ricotta in a bowl and mix with the spinach, spices, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and 1/4 c. of the mozzarella.

Cover the bottom of a baking pan with some of the matzo. Cover with some of the sauce. Cover sauce with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.

Put some more matzo on top of the cheese and continue the process until all is used up making sure that top of lasagna is matzo and some sauce.

On the top, spread the remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.