Showing posts with label Feta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feta. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pesto Feta Muffins for #MuffinMonday


These tasty savory muffins are a great use of leftover pesto if you have such a thing. I always seem to have a half jar kicking around the refrigerator. Use any cheese you have to keep the pesto company but I can highly recommend feta.

As you read this, I’ll be back on an Emirates 777, winging my way from chilly New England to already-summer-in-March Dubai with high temperatures reaching 90°F or 32°C. How blessed we are to live in the age of flight, even with the occasional tragic airplane crash. Before I left home on this trip to spend time with my daughters, I expressed this to a friend who completely agreed. In the old days of expatriate assignments, folks had minimum two-year contracts and the most efficient method of travel was a ship that might take weeks to get home again so home leaves were undertaken only when the work contract was up. The new non-stop Emirates Boston-Dubai flight takes about 13 hours. You eat, you sleep, you watch movies, you try desperately to sleep some more (There may possibly be some serious drinking of red wine in order to help the sleeping. Or maybe that's just me.) and you are there. See you all on the other side!

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup or 60ml pesto (homemade or store-bought – I used Whole Foods brand 365)
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/2 cup or 3 oz  or 85g crumbled feta

Method
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and either grease your 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper liners.

In one big mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.


In small mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter, milk and pesto with your eggs.



Fold the liquids to the dry mixture, stopping when they are just mixed.


Fold in the feta.


Divide the batter between your prepared muffins cups.


Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.



Remove from the muffin tin and finish cooling on a rack.



Enjoy!



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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pasta with Creamed Yogurt Peas and Feta

A simple one dish meal, big on flavor and so satisfying, this creamy pasta with peas and yogurt is topped with toasted chili pine nuts which add a pop of color and welcome hit of heat.

I read this post on Orangette some time last year and wasted little time before taking Molly’s advice and making this dish. I had every intention of making it again while in Providence visiting my daughter for spring break because this is just the sort of dish she’d love. Sadly, we never did get around to it but, as I head back to Dubai, I figured it was time to share. So she can make it when I’m gone.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups or 400g whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic
1 pound or 500g fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 teaspoon flakey sea salt (I use Maldon. If you use fine grain sea salt, use a 1/2 teaspoon.)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Scant 1/2 cup or 60g pine nuts
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns or crushed red pepper
1 lb or 500g dried pasta
8 ounces or 240g feta cheese

Method
Process the 2/3 cup or 100g of the peas and the garlic with the yogurt and half of the olive oil in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth and creamy.

 Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, add in the salt and smoked paprika and stir.



In a small saucepan, over a medium fire, sauté the pine nuts and Sichuan peppercorns in the remaining olive oil.

Turn the fire off as the pine nuts start to turn slightly golden and remove the pan from the heat. They will color a little bit more as they cool.



Meanwhile, cook your pasta is lightly salted water according to the package instructions, adding the balance of the peas to the pot when the pasta has just a minute or two left in cooking time.


While your pasta is boiling along merrily, crumble your feta with a fork.


Drain the pasta and peas in a colander. Add the hot pasta/peas a little at a time to the bowl with the yogurt pea sauce and stir well between each addition. Molly says that adding it all at once could cause the sauce to separate so definitely don’t dump it all in.



Add in the crumbled feta and stir.

Serve each bowl topped with a spoon or two of the toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of the chili oil.



Enjoy!


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rough Puff Tomato and Olive Tart


Hands up, who has been to Paris?  Who’d like to go?  And what is one of the number one destination for tourists in Paris.  The Louvre, of course.  Well, guess what?  I saw some treasures from the Louvre today.  In Abu Dhabi.  Yes, that’s right.   Right here in the Sandpit.  Apparently, a new Louvre is being built, and it is scheduled to open in 2015.  The plans look fabulous and there is already a small museum to introduce the bigger one to come, full of painted treasures by the likes of Picasso, Gauguin, Klee, Magritte, Mondrian and Twombly, as well as sculptures, ceramics, metalwork, tapestry and even a fascinating mobile by Alexander Calder.  Appropriate to the educational mission of the Louvre Abu Dhabi - bridging and connecting cultures - two ancient religious texts, the Koran and the Pentateuch, sit side by side in one protective glass case.  Entrance to the current exhibit - Birth of a Museum - is free, along with the narrated audio guide.  Now I can’t wait for the whole Louvre Abu Dhabi to open.  It’s going to be a beautiful place filled with beautiful things.

And now you know why I am late in posting this recipe.   Let us tarry no longer.  We have tart to bake!

Ingredients
1 rectangle rough puff pastry dough from this recipe
7 oz or 200g large grape or tiny Roma tomatoes
2 spring onions
2 cloves garlic
4 1/2 oz or 125g (drained) fresh mozzarella
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta
15 whole black olives
2 eggs lightly beaten
Sprinkle cayenne – optional

Method
Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Roll out your chilled rough puff pastry, with a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.


Laying your tart pan on top, cut a circle out of the dough with a sharp knife.


Transfer the circle of dough to the tart pan.


Fold the top under to neaten the edge.


Use a fork to dock the bottom and sides of the dough.


Pop this back in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

(Stack the leftover dough and wrap in cling film and freeze for later use. Don’t make it into a ball or you will lose your layers.)


Thinly slice your garlic, chop your green onions and crumble your feta cheese.

Pit your black olives and halve them and then halve the little tomatoes.   In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs.

Okay, now, in a larger mixing bowl, add in your tomatoes, olives, green onions, garlic and the beaten eggs.  Stir to mix.

Fold in the feta.


Pour the mixture into your tart pan.

 I like to straighten out the tomatoes and olives and make the rounded sides face up, because I think it’s prettier that way, but if you don’t care, skip this step.  The flavor will be just as lovely.  Probably.


Now slice the fresh mozzarella into little pieces and poke them in and around the tomatoes and olives.



Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper if desired.


If your tart pan has a removable bottom, you’ll want to put it on top of another pan before putting it in the oven.  This will make it easier to remove from the oven when hot.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is nicely golden and the cheese on top is too.


Allow to cool for a few minutes and then remove the tart pan.  Slice into pieces.


Enjoy! 
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Lora’s Avocado Tomato Feta Salsa


When I lived in Kuala Lumpur, I got together once a month with a lovely group of ladies, ostensibly to play Pokeno.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, we did play, but the best part of the evening was definitely the potluck meal we shared.  We took turns hosting and if we were playing at your house, you were responsible for the main course.  The rest of us brought appetizers and side dishes and salads and desserts.  I don’t remember who was hosting when Lora made this lovely salsa but, after that, we hardly ever let her sign up to make anything else.  And, of course, she had to share the recipe.  I made it again a few weeks ago for my sweet neighbor’s even sweeter daughter’s third birthday celebration.  All the accompanying parents seemed to love it and even some of the children were digging in, with the tortilla chips.  Its delicious flavors made me miss my Pokeno ladies so I was grateful for new friends.

Ingredients
2 ripe avocadoes
4 red ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped (Lora says:  You can substitute, but make sure they are quality tomatoes. It makes a difference!)
1 small red onion
1 small red chili pepper or 1 green jalapeño
1 bunch cilantro or fresh coriander
4 oz or 85g feta cheese
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt (I used Maldon flakes.)

Method
Mix your salt, cumin, vinegar and olive oil to make a dressing in the bottom of a mixing bowl.


Cut the avocados into halves.  Remove the seeds and, using the tip of your knife, cut just down to the peel, going first one direction and then perpendicular.  



Scoop the avocado out into the bowl and toss lightly with the dressing.



Core and chop the tomatoes.


Share a little with your helper, if he has been a good boy.  

He adores tomatoes! 

Mince your pepper, removing the seeds if you would prefer your salsa to be less spicy.  



Peel and dice the onion.


Trim the tough stalks off of your bunch of cilantro.  Chop the leaves roughly.


Crumble your feta cheese, if purchased whole.  


Add the tomatoes, pepper, onion, cilantro and crumbled feta to the avocado bowl.  Mix everything gently.



Chill, covered, in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.  If you can leave it for half an hour or more, that would be good since it allows the flavors time to merge.  

Serve with warm toasted pita wedges or tortilla chips.



Enjoy!


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