Fab Food Friday Fotos: Retro Bread Pudding, Onion Frittata, Egyptian Kebabs, KC-Style Pork Spare Ribs, Maple Bacon Cookies, Egg-free Muffins, Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole, & More Thrifty Recipes
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on April 1, 2011
Another week, another dollar.
And, another FRIDAY!
FOOD. GLORIOUS FOOD.
Forget the dismal world news of the past week for a bit and enjoy looking at these fabulous and/or strange food photos — it’s not fattening, and is guaranteed as an effective, temporary reprieve from the myriad woes of the world.
When available, recipes or recipe links will accompany some of the “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one recipe in the batch will be easy and cheap to make — oftentimes, more than one frugal recipe will be included.
Adorable bento… perfect for a child’s or teen’s inexpensive lunch.
Homemade bread pudding has been a favorite cheap dessert for centuries, especially during economic hard times — it’s only now coming back into favor in America. A variety of bread puddings have been eaten in Europe and Asia since the 12th century. It’s still popular in many countries and the southern US.
Bread pudding is a thrifty treat using stale or left-over bread, combined with egg, sugar, milk, a bit of fat or butter, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or vanilla. Dried fruit, like raisins or sultanas, are often added. A delicious dessert that is the hallmark of frugality. Photographer/cook Mr. Ducke provided his super-simple recipe for Retro Bread Pudding, which he found in a 50-year-old local cookbook:
Retro Bread Pudding Recipe
Bread Pudding following a recipe from “Cooking Gems from the Jewelry City”, a 1952 book of local recipes. It was excellent!
* 2 cups milk
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3 slices bread, buttered, cubed
* Cinnamon (to taste)
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/3 cup raisins
* 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Cook in double boiler for 45 minutes.
(Alternatively, bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F)
Original recipe – Gladys Gilbert
Photographer Ulterior Epicure wrote this about the heavenly dish of Smoked Bacon-wrapped Gulf Shrimp:
* Best of 2006 * Dish
Read about this dish and the other 25 Best Dishes of 2006 on my blog.
Three fat and succulent gulf prawns wrapped in smoky bacon is sauced with a sweet, tangy and spicy passionfruit-honey mustard sauce. There are also two slices of fatty avocado.
Taste: The passionfruit-honey mustard sauce tasted very much like a fruity honey mustard. The server said they used two types of mustard – Dijon and another brown mustard sauce. The prawns were burstingly succulent and the bacon was crunchy — almost a tempura like effect — wonderful! The buttery avocado added the perfect touch of velvety luxury!!
Easter’s coming and sugary peeps will soon be everywhere… hooray!
Photographer/cook Nori Heikkinen provided this glorious walnut miso noodle recipe:
Walnut Miso Noodle Recipe
You’ll likely have a bit of dressing leftover. If I’m going to go to the trouble of making a special dressing, I like to have a little extra to use for the following day or two. You can toss broccoli with it. I’ve been doing a simple asparagus, chive, and lettuce salad with it as well.
* 4 oz whole wheat spaghetti or linguini (or soba)
* 1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly (1/4-inch thick)
* 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
* 2 tablespoons mellow white miso paste
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon honey
* 2 big pinches salt (or to taste)
* 1/4 cup+ warm water
Topping ideas: sliced green onions, chopped chard stems and leaves that have been cooked for a minute or two in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and salt (see photo), chopped fresh chives, toasted walnuts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, being careful to not overcook. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the noodles, add the asparagus to the pot. Now drain and toss with about 1/2 the walnut-miso dressing – you can make the dressing as you’re waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil.
To make the dressing, use a food processor, blender, or hand blender to purée the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and honey. Add the warm water a bit at a time until the dressing is the consistency of a heavy cream. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it.
Add as much or as little dressing as you like to the noodles and toss well. Arrange in two bowls or on a platter — I finished off this version topped with sliced green onions, a bit of sauteed slivered rainbow chard leaves & chopped stems, a few toasted walnuts, and some chives.
Serves 1 – 2.
These Egyptian chicken kebabs would be a hit at a swim party or an afternoon with friends watching football on TV. Here’s dejaththoris’s recipe:
* 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
* 3 tablespoons yogurt
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
* 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon white vinegar
* 1/2 small onion, cut in half and broken up into layers
* 4 small tomatoes, halved
* 8 bamboo skewers
* 1 lemon, cut in wedges
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes, 16 in total.
Combine the yogurt, salt, turmeric, mustard, curry powder, cardamon, lemon juice, and vinegar in a non-reactive bowl. Add chicken cubes and let sit in fridge 30-45 minutes.
Soak skewers in water.
Thread chicken, onions, and tomatoes onto skewers alternating as follows: chicken-onion-chicken-onion-tomato- onion-chicken-onion-chicken-onion.
Grill or broil about 8-10 minutes, turning half way through cooking time.
Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing on top.
Sadly, no recipe was provided for this hearty baked spätzle with ham, caramelized onions, and Gruyère cheese, so I hunted down some recipes that most closely matched it. The two recipes I’ve located don’t include peas. Baked macaroni and cheese, European style!
Recipe Number 1, posted at The Tasty Kitchen:
I run across all sorts of recipes as I cook my way around the world (I’m literally making one meal for every country in the world). Generally, I look for easy, interesting dishes. You can bet I was thrilled to find Austria’s answer to Mac and Cheese. This is pure comfort food goodness… One taste of the rich Gruyère cheese and sweet onion, and you’ll want to move to Austria.
FOR THE PASTA:
* 2 whole Eggs
* ½ cups Milk
* ½ teaspoons Salt
* ½ teaspoons Pepper
* 1-½ cup Flour
FOR THE CASSEROLE:
* 1 Tablespoon Butter
* 1 whole Onion – Sliced Thinly
* 1 cup Shredded Gruyere Cheese, or More, to Taste
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add flour, a 1/2 cup at a time, until it’s all combined. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let rest 10-20 minutes. The dough should be like pancake batter.
Meanwhile, sauté onion in butter until golden. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Drop spätzle through the holes of a sieve into simmering water. Cook until they float.
Remove spätzle from water with a strainer or slotted spoon. Place in a buttered casserole or oven-safe pan.
Sprinkle top of the casserole with grated cheese and caramelized onion. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.
Recipe Number 2, posted at Other People’s Food:
Spätzle Baked with Ham and Gruyere Recipe
c/o Cooking Light magazine, April 2004
* 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
* 4 large eggs, divided
* 2 quarts water
* Cooking spray
* 1 cup finely chopped onion
* 3/4 cup finely diced ham (about 4 ounces)
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together 1-2/3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking powder. Combine 3/4 cup milk and 2 eggs, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stir with whisk until combined. Let stand 10 minutes.
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Hold a colander with large holes (about 1/4-inch in diameter) over boiling water; spoon about 1/2 cup dough into colander. Press the dough through holes with a rubber spatula (droplets will form spätzle); set colander aside. Cook 3 minutes or until done (spätzle will rise to surface). Remove with a slotted spoon; drain in a strainer (spätzle will stick to a paper towel). Repeat procedure with remaining dough.
Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in ham. Combine spätzle and onion mixture in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing gently.
Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1-1/2 cups milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons flour, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Pour milk mixture over spätzle mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 cup)
Decadent goodness…. summary from photographers/cooks George Wesley and Bonita Dannells:
Double tiered, fragrant with rum and vanilla, this walnut espresso cake is very easy to prepare. I added lemon to creme cheese for the frosting, with a hint of powdered sugar. I also used finely chopped pecans in addition to the walnuts. Recipe here.
Coconut and tofu? Sounds weird, but I want to try it — here’s photographer/cook Howard’s recipe:
Coconut Crusted Tofu with Cilantro-Lime Sauce
Ok, this is really, really good.
First, season the slices of tofu with salt and pepper. then press unsweetened, untoasted coconut shavings onto one side of the tofu. Place that side down in hot oil, and as it is searing, press more coconut onto the other side. When the first side is brown, flip over and brown the second side. When that is brown, remove from the oil onto paper towels and season with a bit more salt and pepper.
In the hot oil, add finely chopped red onion, scallions, garlic, and a fresh chili pepper. When it starts to brown, add some salt and pepper and some more coconut, and stir around. When nicely browned, add a ton of fresh cilantro. stir around until wilted. add the juice of 2 limes, and cook down. Turn off the heat, and add some heavy cream. Mix around and turn back on the heat, low. reduce a bit, add a lot more fresh cilantro and turn off the heat again.
To plate: Pour about half of the sauce onto one side of the plate, and lay the tofu down onto it. Place some cooked thin noodles onto the other side of the plate, and pour the rest of the sauce over it. Garnish with sliced scallions, a bit more fresh cilantro, and a few slices of the chili pepper. A slice of lime on the side, to squeeze over the top.
Such a lovely, refreshing salad! Description from photographer/cook Gretchen:
Spinach Salad with Rosemary and Pink Sage Blossoms
In honor of the absolutely stunning spinach we picked up at the farmers market, so vibrantly green, I wanted to give it a celebratory dressing:
Minced shallots, plum cider vinegar, and olive oil that had been infused with smoke-dried tomatoes. Several of the soaked tomatoes, minced up. Salt and pepper, rosemary from my garden, and since the rosemary was in bloom, rosemary blossoms and some pink sage blossoms for color, fragrance and flavor. I also slowly pan-toasted slivered almonds and thinly sliced garlic and sprinkled that on top.
All local ingredients, except for the salt and pepper.
Cheese, broccoli, rice, baked all together… what’s not to love? One of my all-time favorite comfort-food combos — kids should love this casserole. Photographer/cook Aero Racer E provided this recipe from the VegWeb site:
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe
* 1 stalk of broccoli, broken into little flowerettes
* 1 8-oz pkg. or 1 cup of grated vegan cheddar cheese (also can use Soymage)
* 3 cups of cooked brown rice
* 1 can cream of mushroom soup or other creamed soup (check ingredients)
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1/2 cup water
* salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
In medium size pan, pour in 1/2 cup of water and add broccoli and diced onion. Simmer over medium heat until broccoli is just slightly soft. Save water.
In a greased casserole dish, add cooked rice, broccoli, onions, and their water along with cream of mushroom soup. Mix well. May need to add more water if mixture is too thick. . Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Put in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until knife goes through dish and comes out clean. This is unbelievably delicious.
Photographer Tony Hisgett wrote:
I have never tried this strange veg, so I don’t know what it tastes like but its weird to look at.
I wasn’t familiar with karela, either, so I checked Wikipedia. The karela is also called bitter melon or bitter gourd. As the melon matures, it becomes increasingly bitter, eventually becoming too tough and disgusting to eat, although the pith becomes sweeter and bright red. It’s a popular ingredient in southeast Asian salads — reportedly, it has a crunchy, watery texture similar to bell pepper or cucumber.
Photographer/cook Angela Stefanski provided the recipe link for these wildly unusual cookies:
Maple Bacon Cookies Recipe
A batch of maple bacon cookies. Yes, you read that right. Cookies with BACON. And I don’t mean fake bacon bits, I mean real honest-to-goodness strips of thick bacon fried up and crumbled, and used in cookies.
The original link is gone… This one is the closest I could find, though they changed the choc chips, as our recipe has 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 cup semi-sweet chips.
You know what? They’re GOOD. Very tasty, and the bacon is nicely balanced by the rest of the flavors. It’s like a cookie version of chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup, and a side of bacon – a breakfast cookie! I consider the recipe a keeper!
I remember my mom making tomato aspic back when I was young and loving it — must definitely make it some time. Photographer/cook Wendy Dunlap wrote this:
The tomato aspic experiment:
Making “tomato jelly salad” from a 1930 cookbook, to see if it’s actually any good or not. This is for an upcoming post at resurrectedrecipes.com.
It looks very nice. That is homemade mayonnaise on top.
Photographer Sheep “R” Us wrote this intriguing info about the meats:
You can buy huge hams in the supermarkets in Madrid. Some of the more expensive ones come in leather cases with handles.
This looks perfect for the upcoming summer months… photographer/cook the dabble has posted this recipe (and many others, so check them at out) at TheDabble.com. Quick summary of how to use Pistachio Relish Topping:
Pistachio relish topping for pasta, fish, salads, soup, bread, cheese and anything else you desire.
BBQ lovers, this looks divine — how-to info from photographer/cook pirateyjoe:
Pork spare ribs with Kansas City-style rub recipe.
KC-style spare ribs. Serves three-four.
Five or six pounds of pork spare ribs.
Two or three days before serving, rinse ribs and put raw pork ribs into gallon-sized Ziploc bags. Pour in a mixture of half V-8 juice and grape juice (or pineapple juice). Use enough to cover ribs completely.
After two days of marinating in refrigerator, remove from bags and place on a plate. With a sharp knife, remove membrane from the bone side of the ribs.
Preheat oven to 320 deg F.
Kinda-Kansas-City-style Rub recipe:
* Half cup brown sugar
* One tablespoon paprika
* One tablespoons garlic powder
* One tablespoon onion powder
* Teaspoon (or more to taste) chili powder
* Half teaspoon salt
* Half teaspoon pepper
* Pinches of ground cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander
Combine seasonings in a Ziploc bag and shake until thoroughly mixed.
Coat surface of ribs with rub. Place ribs in baking pan.
With oven set at 320 deg F, place pan on top shelf to cook with sheet of tin foil on top.
Cook for between 90 and 120 minutes. Keep a close eye on ribs after 75 minutes, moving ribs to different positions every 20 minutes. To check progress, cut into thickest piece of pork.
Ribs are done just as soon as all pink is gone. Do not let ribs overcook.
Serve by itself or with a fairly sweet barbecue sauce.
Photographer/cook Smaku provided a link and wrote this description:
Oddly enough, this was my first time making a strawberry shortcake with sponge cake. I’ve made the biscuit type shortcake in the past and so I decided to try my hands on the more traditional strawberry shortcake. I didn’t have enough ingredients for a double layered sponge cake, so I opted for a single layer, which still wasn’t all that bad.
This version is much lighter and brings out more of the strawberry flavour of the cake. I also added some melted white chocolate to the whipped cream to make things a little more interesting. The biscuit type cake is a heartier dessert that really hits the spot though.
For those on egg-free diets, photographer/cook bookchen has provided this amazing recipe for egg-free blueberry banana muffins:
Egg-Free Banana Blueberry Muffins
Baked for Cara, a Couchsurfer who doesn’t eat eggs.
Recipe from: Week of Menus
Blueberry Banana Muffins Recipe
* 1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 6 tablespoons oil (you can substitute 3/4 of a stick or 6 tablespoons of butter)
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 3 large ripe bananas
* 1 cup fresh blueberries, or frozen, unthawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake/muffin pan with liners. In a medium bowl, measure out and mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mash and squish bananas and sugar together. Add vanilla, oil and water. Mix well.
Add blueberries to the dry mixture. Toss until blueberries are well coated with flour mixture. Add dry blueberry mixture to the wet mixture. Use a VERY light hand to mix at this point. The more mixing you do, the tougher the muffin so try not to over mix. You want everything well mixed together, but not over mixed.
Divide batter equally in liners. Bake until golden brown, about 22-30 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then enjoy.
Fabulous onion frittata dish — framboise provides the recipe:
It’s that time of the week again where our vegetable stocks have run out, and all the meat from the Farmers’ Market two weeks ago has been eaten.
Nigel Slater to the rescue with an onion frittata. Dead easy to make, and only uses three key ingredients: onion, egg and Parmesan cheese.
Slice 3 or 4 onions and fry in 1-2 tbsp olive oil over a medium to high heat until the onion is caramelised.
Meanwhile, turn the grill on. Crack 4-5 eggs into a large bowl, and mix in some salt and pepper. Grate a handful of Parmesan cheese into the egg.
Take the onion off the heat and stir into the egg mix.
Melt a small knob of butter in a non-stick pan and pour in the egg mix. Cook over the lowest possible flame until the base of the frittata is firm, but the top is still runny.
To finish off the frittata, place the pan under the grill for ~1 min to cook the top and brown it. Serve warm or if you can resist scoffing the lot, it’s fine for the next day too.
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts: