It has been six months since I last posted. My blog's face lift took longer than planned. It is still not finished so please bear with me. All your wonderful comments are archived in my old blog but I hope that one day I will be able to retrieve them and put them back on this new version of my blog.
As cooking is my passion, it also sparks my interest in food magazines. I miss Gourmet, but there are still some other good ones around, one of them being Food & Wine. I always find something that interests me in this magazine. This years January issue had one recipe that caught my attention and I knew I had to try it. The recipe was kale and artichoke stuffed pasta shells. The author, Anne Taylor Pittman, wrote a wonderful introduction describing her love for spinach-artichoke dip when she was a high school student. With that in mind, she created this dish.
I changed the recipe a bit and used Swiss chard instead of kale, because I still had some in my garden. Feel free to use spinach or kale. I think all of these greens will work just fine. Another reason why I like this recipe is because it hides vegetables in the stuffing and that’s a good way to feed them to my husband. I made some changes the second time by increasing the number of pasta shells from 16 to 20. Figure about 3 shells per serving, 4-5 if you don’t serve a protein with it. The first time I used 1 tsp of Sriracha instead Calabrian Chile sauce. If you don’t like heat, you can omit the hot sauce. Do not omit the crushed fennel seed, as it adds extra flavor to the sauce and it is good for your digestion. I served these stuffed pasta shells with either a duck breast, sage & prosciutto chicken saltimbocca, or a steak. It’s a perfectly fine as a vegetarian dish by itself. I microwaved the leftover shells the next day, and they were delicious.
recipe for Jumbo shells stuffed with Swiss chard and Artichokes
This recipe makes about 8 servings
Use a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or two smaller ones
16-20 uncooked jumbo shells (about 7 ounces)
2 cups or more of marinara sauce
1 tsp Calabrian Chile sauce or Sriracha sauce
1 tsp fennel seeds
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
About 5-6 cups Swiss chard, kale, or spinach
1 (12-oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1 can (15.5 -oz) cannelloni beans
1 (5.2-oz.) Boursin cheese
4 oz. shredded provolone or Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large kettle of water to boil, season with 3 TBS of salt. Pasta water has to taste like ocean water. Add the shells to the boiling water and cook for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. You don’t want the shells fully cooked because you will bake them once they are stuffed. Drain the shells and rinse them with cold water. Spread the shells on a paper towel to prevent them from sticking together. Then cool them.
Spray the baking dish with oil. Coarsely grind the fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. Mix the marinara sauce with the fennel and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the sauce in the baking dish. I added more sauce than the original recipe called for.
Filling and finishing the dish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chop the garlic very fine. Wash the chard, removing the stems, and chop it coarsely. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Add the garlic and sauté it for 30 seconds. Add the chard and stir, adding ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the chard is tender. Add the coarsely chopped artichoke hearts and heat uncovered for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and cool the mixture.
Rinse and drain the beans, mix them with the Boursin cheese and 2 TBS of olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Stir the bean and vegetable mixture together until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully spoon the bean and cheese mixture into the shells and arrange them in the baking dish with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the shells and bake uncovered in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes. The cheese needs to melt and sauce should be bubbling. Increase the heat to a high broil, and broil until cheese begins to brown.
Here is a link to the original recipe
Recipe by Ann Taylor Pittman in Food & Wine
Posted by ©Sunnycovechef.com
click on the photo to link to the post
Here we are in August, and summer is in full swing. Our kitchen remodeling project is almost over, with maybe another week to go. Who knows? We have been escaping to the mountains while my floors are being redone. I feel so fortunate that we are able to do that. The mountain keeps me sane during these troubled times.
One of my first COVID projects was to revitalize my little vegetable garden that had been suffering from severe neglect. Two new planter boxes with fresh soil (and high enough for me to sit on) have turned it into a flourishing garden. For the first time, my zucchini plants are producing a fair amount of fruit. Yes, botanically speaking, zucchinis are fruits, bearing a type of botanical berry called a “pepo.” The zucchini itself is the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. Thanks, Wikipedia! Courgettes as they are called in other countries are the most versatile of squashes. You can fry them, roast them, bake them into bread, and substitute them for pasta. The possibilities are endless.
I would love to get some of your favorite recipes. I remember bringing the zucchini seeds to my mom decades ago. She loved them and turned her zucchinis into soup. For every zucchini lover there is a zucchini loather. I am a lover, my husband is a hater, so he won’t touch anything made with zucchini. But he will grill them for me, brushed with a little bit of olive oil and garlic salt. Maybe some day I will find a recipe he will like. In the meantime, I will enjoy my bounty and share my zucchinis with my friends and neighbors.
In this post, I will share a recipe for zucchini patties (or fritters as some people call them) with you. I decided on a recipe from the New York Times that uses feta cheese in them. It also reminded me of the Turkish-inspired Moosewood recipe. There is always some extra feta in my fridge, because I buy it at Costco. They give a lot, but it is oh so delicious. I wanted some protein in the cakes because I love to eat them as a snack throughout the day. Once they become leftovers, they are no longer crispy but still very good and filling. I like them cold or at room temperature. For a topping, I mixed yogurt with some grated garlic and salt. I ate them with lox, a low-carb lunch or dinner. I had some extra romesco sauce which was delicious with the zucchini cakes. They were perfect with some grilled chicken thighs.
If you are one of the zucchini loathers, then try my potato, salmon or crab cakes. Click on the photo for the link.
You can grate the zucchini in the food processor, but I choose to do it with a grater. The zucchini has to be drained in a colander and then squeezed out on a dish towel to get out all the excess water (do not skip this step). I had quite a bit of excess water when I drained the zucchini (more than a cup). Smitten Kitchen recommends that you always use a cast iron frying pan to make “crispy fritters” as she calls them. Mine were not especially crispy, except for the outer ends. I assume that Smitten Kitchen used more oil than I did and her recipe uses only one egg. I also used more than a pound of zucchini (two fat ones). The original recipe only uses one pound. The original recipe also calls for dill, but I used chives instead. If you choose to use dill, put in some scallions to get the onion flavor. I could also see some mint in this recipe. If you make these cakes for a crowd, keep them warm in a preheated oven (250 degrees). But I like to eat them when they come right out of the pan. The leftovers make a great snack.
If you want a meal that is ready in 20 minutes, this frittata is it. It’s a simple dish, yet full of flavor and somewhat elegant. Serve this with your favorite salad and you have a light, healthy meal for brunch, lunch or dinner. It makes a great leftover to take to work, as you don’t even have to heat it up. Frittata is arguably better at room temperature or cold. I just had the last piece for breakfast.
Think of a frittata as an Italian version of an an open-face omelette, a crustless quiche or scrambled eggs. Wikipedia tells me that frittata roughly translates to “fried”.
We have beautiful, fresh asparagus at our farmer’s market and I have been eating it roasted, steamed, and in salads. I also made a soup, but the recipe needs more work before I'll post it.
I love to talk about food wherever I am and am blown away by how many people tell me that they don’t cook. Maybe that’s why so many younger people have food allergies and digestive problems. I am not a scientist, so I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a correlation between the two. Today's world is so hectic, and who knows, maybe I wouldn’t cook either if I had children, a full-time job, and a long commute every day. So for all you hard-working people out there, this is a recipe you can make.
Follow the steps to cook this frittata and it will come out perfect. You can add ham, pancetta or other veggies. You can also substitute Gruyere, Fontina or other cheeses. You will need a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan. I used a nonstick skillet.
Click here for a link to an older post for savory crustless muffins .
Lasagne with Butternut Squash and Hazelnuts
This vegetarian lasagna is a dish with an incredible combination of flavors.
When I first came to this country many years ago, I left a family, a home, a scholarship, and many friends behind in Germany. There were times when I just wanted to go home and I knew it I could because of my grandfather. My grandfather was a wonderful man who I loved dearly. Two world wars had taken his only son, his wife and several of his brothers. His gentle soul poured all the love he had into me when I was born. We all lived together in one large farmhouse. As a baby, he carried me when he thought I was not comfortable. As I grew up, he took me everywhere, holding my hand. I have a picture of the two of us all dressed up going to a garden show. There is this giant of a man in riding boots and little me holding his hand and smiling. He never learned to drive a car, but he took his horse and carriage to the neighboring town to deliver eggs to his customers. I came along whenever I could. These were old-fashioned grocery stores and some private customers.
I remember getting the best dill pickles or candy from his customers. He was an extremely proud man: when he said something, it meant something. Many evenings I went to a woman who sold beer and beverages in our village and got him one bottle of beer. Yes, kids in Germany were allowed to carry alcohol. That same woman also had a machine to seal cans of cooked meat and vegetables. The only time he got mad at me was when he saw me in a very short mini-dress. He didn’t like that at all. I can just imagine how sad he was when I immigrated to the United States. He went to a travel agent and asked her how much a return ticket from the States to Germany would cost. He gave me enough money to return to Germany if I had to. He gave me some other money too, but this amount he said I should always keep in case I wanted to come home. And my grandfather did not have a lot of money. So, I kept that money for a long time, and when I was really homesick, I knew I could go home whenever I wanted to.
Recently, I had a wonderful visit from my niece and her boyfriend and both of them got to choose their favorite food. My niece chose butternut squash lasagna and her boyfriend picked meatloaf. We had such a good time together, and I hated to see them go. We remembered stories from my mother, how she encouraged my niece, who was her granddaughter. I made this lasagna several times for parties (and my vegetarian friends) and it always gets rave reviews. The recipe is from an old issue of Gourmet Magazine.
This is a delicious lasagna with a white sauce, where all the flavors come together nicely and create a memorable meal. It takes some time and work but you can make it ahead of time and it is well worth the effort. I serve my lasagna with a nice salad and a seasonal vegetable like roasted asparagus or brussels sprouts.
You know summer is here when the first tomatoes appear at the farmer's market. There are beautiful large heirloom tomatoes, and my favorites, the small dry farmed ones. I eat them every day, for lunch, dinner, and snack. Sometimes I just eat them plain. I have made my stuffed tomato recipe for years. They are fabulous with rack of lamb.
A recipe that I've made for years are my stuffed tomatoes. They are fabulous with rack of lamb. You can use large tomatoes but I have also used smaller ones. I often vary the recipe by adding different herbs or vary the amount of zucchini or mushrooms, increase the amount of parmesan. If you you don't add the cheese you have a lovely vegan dish vegan dish. Bake any leftover stuffing in a greased gratin dish sprinkled with parmesan.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.