Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spinach Frittata

This recipe is a new one that I have just started cooking on our "meatless mondays". What I like best about it is that I can make it ahead and pack a piece for lunch at work. Gently rewarmed in the microwave it is just as good as fresh out of the oven and very healthy.

Spinach Frittata
1 16-ounce carton of egg substitute (or 8 beaten eggs)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 10-ounce box of frozen spinach
1 ounce shredded low-fat mozzarella
1/2 ounce shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 ounce shredded romano cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper (about 10 grinds)

Preheat broiler and move rack to top of oven. Defrost spinach in the microwave until just warmed. Drain and squeeze out liquid and put spinach into a mixing bowl. Add egg substitute, cheese, salt, pepper and pepper flakes and mix well. In a medium sized oven safe non-stick skillet (10.5 inches) saute onion in olive oil until just translucent. Shake skillet to move all onion to the bottom of the pan and reduce heat to medium. Pour in egg mixture and cook over medium heat until bottom is crusty golden, and the edges of the frittata are beginning to set. Sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on the top and place pan under the broiler until the top is golden. If the frittata is solid, it is done and ready to slice. If it is still moving when gently shaken, turn off oven and move shelf to middle. Allow pan to sit in the warm oven for a few minutes until set. Slide out of pan and slice with a pizza cutter.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slow Roasted Beef with Pineapple Orange Sauce

This delicious recipe has been floating around my family for many years. It makes an appearance when large groups gather - graduation parties, christenings, or birthdays. It is delicious hot or cold, on it's own or in a bun. The secret is to slowly roast the beef to medium-rare, and then drizzle with the sauce.

Slow Roasted Beef with Pineapple Orange Sauce
1 beef eye of the round roast, approx 4 lbs.
4 teaspoons kosher salt (for the beef) plus 1/2 teaspoon (for the sauce
1 medium thinly sliced onion
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon canola oil
2/3 cup frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Rub the beef with 4 teaspoons of kosher salt and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Let meat sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The next day, remove beef, allow to come to room temperature and wipe off all salt and dry with paper towel. Preheat oven to 225 F. Sear beef in a cast iron skillet with a few drops of oil until it is nicely browned all around the roast.  Insert a meat thermometer in the end through the center of the beef and slowly roast. While beef is cooking, saute onions in canola oil until translucent. Add salt, cornstarch and brown sugar and mix well. Add water, ketchup and juice concentrate and heat until thick and bubbly. When the meat approaches 90 F, drizzle with a ladle of sauce. When the beef reaches 115 F, turn off the oven (be sure to keep the oven door closed!) and allow it to reach an internal temperature of 130 F (medium-rare). Remove beef from the oven, let sit for 15 minutes and slice. Serve with the remaining sauce.

This large roast will serve a large group as part of a buffet. Eye of the round is lean, so there is not much shrinkage. The sweet fruity sauce and low cooking temperature makes this great for summer parties.  If you really must have your meat more well done, you can cook it initially to a temperature of 125 F, then turn the oven off and let the roast reach 140 F. This will give you a roast cooked medium. Anything more well done and you should probably choose a different cut of beef. Eye of the round will become very tough if cooked past medium, and is truly at it's best when medium-rare.

Orange-Pineapple Appetizer Meatballs on Foodista

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Farinata with Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella

For the past nine months I have been working on a complete overhaul of my eating habits. The result of these changes has been dramatic. While I miss many of the things I used to eat, I have learned some new recipes to replace them. Pizza was one thing I had pretty much given up on. I had been able to create a simulated pizza on a whole wheat pita, but it just didn't taste the same. I accidentally bumped into a recipe for chickpea flour pizza by Madhur Jaffrey. Her recipe inspired me to create my own pizza below.

Farinata with Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella
1 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and sliced
low fat mozzarella, shredded
fresh grated parmesan
fresh basil, chopped
red onions, sliced thinly
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

Combine flour and water and mix well. Put in a covered container and let sit in refrigerator at least one hour and up to 24 hours. I had best results when I made the batter a day in advance. When ready to prepare pizzas, add salt and stir batter again as it may have settled while sitting. Preheat broiler and place on oven rack to the top and one in the middle. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the lower shelf. A baking sheet will work too. Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in an oven safe non-stick skillet (a 10.5 inch non-stick skillet will make three 8 inch pizzas). When pan is hot, pour 1/3 of the batter in the bottom of the skillet to about pancake thickness and cook until edges turn golden brown. Use a toothpick to pierce any bubbles that form. When the edges begin to brown, place your choice of toppings on the pizza making sure that you keep them light. You don't want to overload toppings on the farinata as it will get soggy. Give the pizza a few quick lashings of olive oil and a grind of pepper and place skillet under the broiler until the top is golden. Gently remove pizza to pizza stone on lower shelf to crisp up for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy!

In Farinata on Foodista