Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on February 27, 2015
“The secret of good cooking is, first, having a love of it… If you’re convinced that cooking is drudgery, you’re never going to be good at it, and you might as well warm up something frozen.”
~ James Beard, called the “Dean of American Cooking,” cookbook author, teacher, syndicated columnist, TV personality
FOOD. GLORIOUS FOOD.
Sad news today that legendary actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock on TV’s “Star Trek,” had passed away. Nimoy was 83. He led a full, rich life and will be missed by his family, friends, and millions of fans around the world. His last tweet was sent earlier in the week, where he wrote, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.” A beautiful sentiment.
When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one frugal-minded recipe will always be included.
Quinoa & Tofu Shu Mai Dumplings | Photo credit: Andrea Nguyen, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photographer/cook Andrea Nguyen has an intriguing spin on shu mai, which are typically filled with pork. Her dumplings dish uses quinoa and tofu — the recipe is posted at Viet World Kitchen. Here’s her summary:
Earlier this year, I posted a photo of a vegetarian shu mai dumpling that I whipped up using filling leftover from a consulting gig. Someone on Instagram asked if I’d used quinoa, the ancient seed that’s super popular now. No I had not but what a great idea. Quinoa has protein and a good chewy texture to mimic meat. I’ve eaten quinoa since the mid-1990s and enjoyed it in side dishes and stuffing for roast squash. What would it be like as a dumpling filling?
I made a double batch of quinoa one night and saved the leftover for experimenting. When I cook quinoa, I toast it in first in a pan over moderate heat until it’s toasty/roasty smelling. This gives the quinoa a little extra character.
Then I briefly cool the grains, then rinse them in a fine mesh strainer and add water. Usually it’s a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every 2 cups of water. The actual cooking resembles cooking a pot of rice, but I just bring it to a boil, stir things around for 1 minute, lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes on low. Rest then fluff, then rest again before eating.
I had a blend of quinoa that night, purchased from the bulk bin at the health food store. The reddish brown seeds imparted more personality to the filling. (Quinoa is technically a seed, though many people think of it as a grain.)
Dumplings don’t have to look perfect to taste great. Seriously. Give this a try if you’re a vegetarian. If you’re vegan or allergic to eggs, omit the egg white and increase the cornstarch by 50 percent and see what happens. The egg white is there for a firmish texture and delicate texture.
How’d the quinoa and tofu shu mai taste? Pretty darn good. They are lighter and more delicate than the classic pork or pork and shrimp shu mai. Perfectly good in their own right.
Bread pudding is one of the most frugal of desserts, and has been made for centuries in many countries. You’ll find the recipe for this easy treat posted at Adventures of Country Divas. A bit about bread pudding, from Daily Gazette:
Food historians trace the history of bread pudding to the early 11th and 12th centuries, as frugal cooks looked for ways to use stale, leftover bread instead of letting it go to waste. In 13th century England, bread pudding was known as “poor man’s pudding,” as it was a popular dish with the lower classes.
While bread pudding is still a way to use up leftover bread, it has gained a reputation as a comfort food and is a featured dessert item in trendy establishments, having shed its humble roots.
Basically, the dish is made by layering bits of bread and any add‐ins in a dish and pouring a custard sauce over before baking. The possibilities for the dish are endless, because cooks can vary the type of bread and any ingredients they choose to add.
Gluten-Free Cupcake Bites | Photo credit Elana Amsterdam @ Elana’s Pantry, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Yummy and gluten-free cupcakes! Photographer and cookbook author Elana Amsterdam’s recipe is posted at Elana’s Pantry. Summary:
Here are some delicious, mostly healthy, gluten free Cupcake Bites for you!
My husband and children thoroughly enjoyed these decadent little gluten free treats. Though my husband said that instead of calling them gluten free Cupcakes Bites I could call them “Cake in a Cup.” He could not believe that the “wrapper” of the cupcake was made of chocolate and edible, telling me he thought it was a paper wrapper until he bit into it.
Cool Old Sign: Donahoo’s Golden Chicken, Los Angeles, California | Photo credit: Christine Long, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Love this retro funky chicken sign for Donahoo’s Chicken! Photographer Christine Long wrote, “Only the best chicken in Los Angeles. Open the screen door to find people just frying chicken and scooping the best cole slaw this side of the Sierra Nevadas. Great old sign. Good people. JUST CHICKEN!!”
Easy to make and stunning to look at, check out this dessert recipe for Thin Mint Grasshopper Pie using crushed Girl Scout cookies (be still, my heart), posted at A Thrifty Mom.
Spaghetti Yum | Photo credit: Dan McKay, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rigths reserved
Sausage & Kale Quiche | Photo credit: Alyss, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photographer/cook Alyss has shared her quiche recipe, posted below, on her Flickr photostream:
I’ve Never Made a Quiche Before – But now that I have I will certainly make more! Very easy, and very tasty.
This is based on this recipe but changed around a little bit. I used a store-bought crust made with non-hydrogenated oil and organic flour, which I felt was a fine compromise.
Sausage and Kale Quiche
* 1 prebaked and cooled 9-inch pie crust
* 1 cup chopped chicken sausage – I had andouille – or cooked spicy sausage
* 1-1/2 cups chopped curly kale
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 green onions (or a small amount of sliced white onions)
* Salt, pepper
* Bacon fat
* 3 eggs
* 3/4 cups kefir
*3/4 cups half and half (or 1 1/2 cups dairy product of your choice)
* 1 cup shredded cheese (I used fontina and cheddar)
Brown the onion and sausage in the bacon fat in a sautee pan. Add the garlic and salt and pepper and sautee another minute. Add the kale and toss and stir to get the fat all over the greens. Cover the pan and turn heat to low, stirring occasionally until kale is wilted and cooked. I deglazed the pan with a little vegetable broth, but water could be used. Cook until the liquid is almost all gone from the pan.
Combine the eggs and dairy, either with a whisk or in the blender. Salt and pepper appropriately.
Sprinkle the crust with half the cheese and then lay the cooked kale/sausage mixture in the crust. Pour the egg mixture over the kale and then cover everything with more cheese. I sprinkled a little paprika on top for color.
Bake 25-30 minutes (mine took more like 35). The recipe says to serve immediately, but I preferred the texture and flavor when it was cooled overnight.
I’m imagining the quichy possibilities – spinach and ham, broccoli and bacon, tomato and Parmesan… mmmm. Quiche!
Learn to make perfect seitan from Rhea Parsons at One Green Planet. She wrote this:
Seitan (pronounced say-tan), also known as “wheat meat” or gluten is one of people’s favorite vegan meats. It’s extremely versatile – it can be made with a multitude of flavors and textures. Seitan can be made to taste similar to beef, pork or chicken; the texture can be soft like pot roast or as firm as a cutlet or steak. Seitan is a great source of protein and is low in calories. If you have ever eaten a vegan “chicken” or “beef” dish in a Chinese restaurant or one of the many vegan meat products available, you have probably had seitan.
This easy baked fish pie uses haddock, and the recipe is posted at MumsNet.
Silverbeet Refresher | Photo credit: Zoe, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Super-easy recipe using silverbeet, aka chard. from photographer/cook Zoe, it’s posted at Rice and Zen. Description and nutritional information, via Organic Food:
Silverbeet is commonly also known as Chard. Chard or Silverbeet is related to spinach and has a slightly bitter, salty flavor popular among some consumers. It has highly nutritious and flavourful leaves at the expense of the root, which is not edible, the leaves and stalks are edible.
In appearance, chard is a cluster of slightly ruffled fan-like leaves with rich color saturation and bright stems. Many gardeners prize chard for its ornamental as well as edible qualities.
Like many leafy green vegetables, silverbeet are rich in a dazzling array of minerals. Chard has high levels of magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, iron, potassium, vitamin A – vitamin A rich foods are great for a smoker of passive smoker. This is because a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke induces Vitamin A deficiency, Eating a diet rich in Vitamin A may reduce the chances of developing lung inflammations.
Chard is also rich in folate (folic acid), zinc, copper, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. Chard is a valuable dietary supplement for vegans and vegetarians, who should always eat plenty green leafy vegetables.
Emeril Lagasse’s Excellent Chicken Marsala | Photo credit: Colleen Greene, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photographer/cook Colleen Greene used chef Emeril Lagasse’s Chicken Marsala recipe (posted at Taste of Home with instructional photos) for this glorious Italian main dish. She wrote this:
I am a big Emeril Lagasse fan and am usually game for trying his recipes. Chicken Marsala is a dish I often order in Italian restaurants. I adore the combination of mushrooms and wine. But I never found a recipe I liked much when attempting to make this dish at home…until I found Emeril’s version of this tasty earthy dish.
I have made this recipe three or four times over the past year, and Jeff and I both love it. We like to put our own spin on recipes, often increasing the spicy hot factor. But true to his reputation (BAM!), Emeril’s creole seasoning packs a good punch. Unlike his Shrimp and Pasta Fra Diavolo, Chicken Marsala isn’t supposed to make your want to gulp down glass after glass of something cold, it has a more hearty earthy flavor.
Summary about this healthy buckwheat seed bread, from I Quit Sugar:
A bread that’s gluten-free, yeast-free AND nutrient-dense? No worries! Our friend and Sydney-based nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill from the blog Brown Paper Bag has just the recipe – this Buckwheat Seed Loaf.
Serve for breakfast with fresh tomato and basil, or have for lunch with some free-range ham, spinach, and feta. Delish!
Huevos Rancheros, Brunch @ Mohawk Bend, Los Angeles, California | Photo credit: esimpraim, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Overview of this fabulous dish and others from photographer/cook esimpraim’s brunch at a California restaurant, posted at Dishing Up Delights:
Huevos rancheros is one of my favorite brunch dishes. Mohawk’s version, the Huevos Divorciados ($11) did not disappoint. The chilaquiles stay crisp for a surprisingly long time and the salsas and queso fresco bring everything together.
Tuscan Baked Eggs | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Filckr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The recipe and photos with step-by-step instructions for this delicious and inexpensive comfort dish are available on the Foodie Baker blog — Jasline wrote this about her egg dish:
While browsing for Tuscan recipes to try out, I chanced upon these Tuscan Baked Eggs which got me hooked. I once tried a dish of poached eggs in tomatoes and I really loved the combination – the tangy tomatoes, sweet and oozy poached egg, together with the salty Parmesan cheese creates such a real comfort dish. And not to mention that dipping the bread in the oozy and sweet egg yolk is such an ecstatic moment!
I decided to add in some smoked sausages so that the dish will appeal more to X (can’t live without meat haha), and it was really good as the sausages added another depth of flavour and texture into the dish. It is quite different from what we usually have for breakfast here in Singapore, but it’s definitely a new and delicious menu item for us in the future!
Corn cob jelly is a new one on me. Overview from Simply Canning:
I decided to try something fun. Corn Cob Jelly, sounds weird but hey if you add enough sugar even corn cobs can turn out tasty. :0)
We freeze corn every year…. we have LOTS of cobs we throw away every year!
Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce, Pomegranate & Za’atar, Served with a Charred Middle-Eastern Spiced Flank Steak | Photo credit: Maria Pontikis, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photographer/cook Maria Pontikis’ recipes from Chef Yotam Ottolenghi for Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce and Pomegranate and Za’atar are posted at Bon Appétit, and her recipe for this gorgeous charred Middle-Eastern spiced flank steak is at Fine Cooking. The recipe for the steak’s eggplant compote is also posted at Fine Cooking.
Rhubarb Buckle | Photo credit: noramunro, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Recipe is here for rhubarb buckle — photographer/cook noramunro also wrote these cooking tips:
My notes: I think rubbing cold butter into the sugar and flour makes a better topping than pouring the melted butter into them, per the recipe’s directions.
I also think that you could cut the sugar in the batter back by a bit — to 3/4 of a cup or even 1/2 — as the sugar sort of overwhelmed the rhubarb. Wasn’t tooth-achingly sweet but definitely was sweeter than it needed to be.
For a breakdown on the differences between cobbler, buckle, slump, and other easy and cheap desserts from your grandmother’s day, check out this glossary at My Recipes.
The recipe for these amazing chocolate-dipped clementines is posted at Suburbia Unwrapped. A clementine is a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange — dipping them in chocolate sounds heavenly! Intro from webmistress Diane Hoffmaster:
I have a horrible sweet tooth and most days I find myself hunting in my pantry for something sweet to eat. I am currently being tempted by the 8 boxes of Girl Scout cookies I bought from my Girl Scout daughter. Not exactly the healthiest choice, right? I have been scouring the interwebs looking for healthy snack recipes that will satisfy my sweet tooth. If I don’t find a healthy snack recipe, my family may just come home to find me in a Girl Scout cookie sugar coma! I stumbled across these chocolate dipped clementines and decided that they looked like the perfect balance between sweet and healthy.
Vintage 1960’s Food Ad, Pet Evaporated Milk with Gravy-Baked Pork Chops Recipe, Ebony magazine, February 1964 | Photo credit: Vicki McClure Davidson, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past two months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:
Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes, Sticky Asian Pork Chops, Veggie & Basil-Garlic Hummus Wraps, Beef Tongue Tacos, Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers, Baked Salmon Fillet, GF Chardonnay Crackers, More Frugal Recipes
Chili Con Carne & Baked Tortilla Chips, Fish Tacos, Mascarpone Banana, Hot Artichoke & Dill Dip, Jiu Jian Steak Strip & Red Wine Sauce, Crispy Pan-Fried Gnocchi, Root Beer Cake, Chinese New Year Lucky Chicken Wings, & More Easy Recipes
Valentine’s Day Treats & Desserts, Creamy Spinach & Mushrooms Pasta, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Chicken Parmesan, Pan-Seared Tofu Rice Bowl, Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce & Spinach, Garlic Chicken Pasta, More Thrifty Recipes
Winning Super Bowl XLIX Appetizers, Main Dishes, Desserts, & Other Football Party Food & Recipes
Honey Lemon Chicken Wings, All-Butter Angel Biscuits, Chili-Stuffed Peppers, Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce, Bee & Flower Bento, Oatmeal Cookies, Mashed Potato Casserole, Sesame Seed Rice Balls, Paleo Salmon Kabayaki, & More Thrifty Recipes
"Fire & Forget" Roast Chicken, Great Meals from Leftovers, GF Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins, Quick Fish Salad, Spaghetti with Seafood Veloute, Corn Chowder, Penne & Butternut Squash, White Bean Chicken Chili with Kale, More Recipes
Low-Carb Italian Meatballs, Korean Bone Broth Soup, Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon-Thyme Buttermilk Biscuits, Red Chicken Curry, Vegan Hoppin’ John, Crock Pot Dishes, Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake, GF Shrimp Cakes, More Frugal Recipes
Some Like It Hot… Awesome Collection of Comforting, Thrifty Recipes for Soups & Stews to Conquer the Winter Chill