Sunday, August 31, 2014

8/31/14 ChefElla's Back To School Quiche Sandwiches

The first day of school can be so busy.  School supplies, new clothes, backpacks, lunch, waking up on time, and your little sister complaining can leave you forgetting the most important thing, breakfast.  It is so easy to skip breakfast when you are busy.  Everything else seems more important, and you just don't miss breakfast until you are sitting at your desk and your stomach starts talking to you and by then it is too late.  Eating breakfast doesn't only make you smarter it keeps you going all day long.  My breakfast quiche recipe helps you keep on track and on time while getting ready for school and it might even free up enough time for your parents to eat breakfast with you too.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a knife
or the oven by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a whisk, a knife, a cutting board, a
    large mixing bowl, a small bowl, and a 12 cup muffin tin.

ChefElla's Back To School Quiche Sandwiches (This recipe will make 10-12 servings)
12 ea.           Whole Wheat or Multi-Grain Mini-Bagels
                     -You can use a small roll or biscuit if you prefer.
5 ea.             Eggs
1 1/4 Cup     Milk, or Milk Alternative (Use a non-flavored milk alternative)
6 oz              Ham, Small Diced
                     -For your mini-quiche you can use whatever kind of meat you like (sausage, bacon,
                     steak, lox, chorizo, or soy crumbles).  If you do not want meat in your quiche you
                     can substitute vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, or a
                     combination of vegetables).
6 oz              Cheddar Cheese, Shredded                
                     -For your mini-quiche you can use whatever kind of cheese you like (jack, feta,
                     pepperjack, colby, soy cheese, etc).
                     -If you are making a cheese only quiche just double the amount of cheese in the recipe.
1/2 tsp         Kosher Salt
1 tsp             Hot Sauce
                     -The hot sauce is not for heat, it adds a nice flavor.  You can use any brand of hot
                     sauce, but I would recommend Tabasco Sauce or Franks Hot Sauce.
As Needed   Pan Spray (Pam, etc.)

3. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
4. In your medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, salt, and hot sauce.
5. In your small bowl mix ham and cheese.
6. Spray each muffin tin cup liberally with pan spray (liberally is a big word meaning use a lot).
7. In each cup add 1/4 cup (not packed) of your ham and cheese mix.
8. Pour about 1/4 cup of egg mix into each cup.  Do not fill pan with egg more than 3/4 full.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  You can check to see if it is done by piercing the middle of the quiche
    with a skewer or knife.  If the skewer or knife comes out without liquid on it, the quiche is done.
10.  Let mini-quiche cool down for 20-30 minutes.  Remove min-quiche cover and place in
       the refrigerator.
       If you would like to freeze quiche for later put them into a freezer safe container or bag and put
       in the freezer.  Let frozen quiche thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
11.  Before school, toast a bagel in the toaster.  Take your quiche from the refrigerator put on a plate
       and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  If it is not warm heat for 20-30 more seconds.
12.  Put your quiche on your bagel top with the other half of the bagel and enjoy.  If you heat more
       then one quiche at a time just at 10-15 seconds to your reheat time.

The fun thing about this recipe is that you can make as many different flavors of quiche as you want at a time.  My little sister does not like anything I like so I made her some broccoli and cheese quiche when I made my ham and cheese quiche.

Try your favorite ingredients and create your own special quiche recipe.


- ChefElla

Saturday, August 23, 2014

8/23/14 ChefElla's Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Food trucks seem to be everywhere these days.  The trucks are on the news, on television shows, and even at birthday parties.  I read about a food truck that makes the coolest thing; specialty ice cream sandwiches.  The thing that made this truck so special was that they used fresh baked cookies to make the sandwiches.  There were many different flavors of cookies to choose from, and when you ordered, you picked the cookie you wanted and the flavor of ice cream.  I thought this was such a great idea, but for my sandwiches, I wanted to mix my own ice cream to put on the cookie.  I have given you a few recipes for ice cream sandwiches, but the best part is that you can pick your favorite cookie, ice cream, and toppings to make your ice cream sandwiches.  Use your imagination and enjoy.

For this recipe you may need to use a knife and a stand or hand mixer.  If you are not allowed to use a knife or mixer by yourself, you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups, a knife, a cutting board, a stand or hand mixer
    and a large spoon.

ChefElla's Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches (This recipe will make 6-8 Sandwiches)
2 Cups       Vanilla Ice Cream (12 oz)
                    -Any brand will work.
1/2 Cup      Maraschino Cherries (4 oz), Drained and Chopped
1/4 Cup      Chocolate Chip Pieces
                   -For this recipe you can use your favorite kind.  Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, etc.
1 doz.         Chocolate Cookies (I purchased mine from the store, but you can make your own.)

2 Cups       Vanilla Ice Cream (12 oz)
                    -Any brand will work.
1 Cup         Pirouette Cookies (Chocolate Fudge) (6 oz)
1/2 Cup      Pecans, Chopped
1 doz.         Chocolate Chip or Praline Cookies (I purchased mine from the store, but you can
                   make your own.)

3. To make the Cherry Chocolate Sandwiches, start by measuring out all of your ingredients except
    ice cream.
4. Spread 6 pieces of plastic wrap on your counter.  You will wrap up your sandwiches in the plastic
5. Put two cookies on each piece of plastic.
6. Measure out your ice cream and put into your mixing bowl.
7. Add the Chocolate Chip Pieces and Cherries to the bowl.
8. Mix on speed one with the paddle attachment.  As soon as the ingredients start to incorporate
    turn up the mixer speed.  Mix for an additional 20-30 seconds.  All of the ingredients
    should be mixed together.
9. Top a cookie with a large scoop of the ice cream.  Top with the other cookie.  Wrap the sandwich
    in your plastic wrap and place into the freezer.
10. Finish, wrap and freeze the remaining sandwiches.
11. Rinse your beater and bowl with warm water.
12. Repeat the process to make as many recipes or sandwiches as you want.

Freeze the sandwiches for at least 2 hours before serving.

Make your own cookies for your sandwiches, or try your favorite ingredients to make your own ice cream flavors.

- ChefElla

Sunday, August 10, 2014

8/9/14 ChefElla's Summer Salad Lettuce Wrap

I ate something interesting last week.  It was a bread salad called panzanella.  It was so good.  Panzanella originates in Tuscany, Italy.  It is a salad of stale bread soaked with tomatoes and dressed with oil and vinegar.  For my recipe I wanted to share the great flavors of the panzanella, but add other ingredients to make it into a meal.  While I used ham and chicken, you could use turkey, bacon, mushrooms, asparagus or even fresh corn.  You can follow my recipe for summer salad or you can use your imagination for yours.  Starting with traditional recipes and making them your own is a great way to experiment with unique foods and flavors.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife.  If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a whisk, l large and 2 medium bowls, a knife, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Summer Salad Lettuce Wrap (This recipe will make 6-8 portions)
2 heads      Romaine Lettuce, Pull off 8 large lettuce leaves
                    -Wash leaves and pat dry with a towel.
4 oz            Ham, Thick Sliced, Medium Diced
4 oz            Chicken Breast, Roasted or Grilled, Medium Diced
4 oz            Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 ea             Large Avocado, Medium Diced
                   -Slice avocado in half.  Remove the pit.  Make slits 1/2 inch apart.  Turn the avocado
                    90 degrees and make slits 1/2 inch apart creating squares.  Scoop avocado pieces out
                    of the skin with a spoon.
1 can           Garbanzo Beans, Drained, (14 oz can)

Bread Salad
4 oz             Crusty Bread, Medium Dice
                    -For this recipe use a baguette or hard sourdough bun.  If you are gluten free, use
                     a gluten free bread.  Toast the gluten free bread first before cutting up.
1/4 Cup      Olive Oil
1/4 tsp        Oregano, Dried
1/8 tsp        Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp        Onion Powder    
1/4 tsp        Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp        Parsley, Dried

Chive Dressing
1 Cup         Mayonnaise
                   -I use canola mayonnaise because it tastes like real mayonnaise but has less calories.
1/4 Cup      Milk
                   -You can use almond or soy milk.  Just remember to use an unflavored milk alternative.
1/2 oz         Fresh Chives, minced (1/2 of a package)
1/4 tsp        Tabasco
1/4 tsp        Vinegar, Apple, Red Wine, or Salad Vinegar
1/8 tsp        Onion Powder    
1/4 tsp        Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp        Yellow Mustard

3. Mix together all the ingredients for the bread salad dressing in a medium bowl.  Add the bread
    and mix well.  Let the bread salad sit for at least 30 minutes.
4. Mix together all of the ingredients for the Chive Mayo in a medium bowl.
5. Cut and mix all of the ingredients for the summer salad in your large bowl.  Mix the bread salad
    in with the summer salad
6. Lay out the romaine lettuce leaves.  Fill each leaf with the summer salad.  Top each salad
    with a spoonful of the chive dressing

Serve cold.  Eat your lettuce wrap just like a taco.

You can also wrap the summer salad in a tortilla or chop up the lettuce, mix with the summer salad, and serve as a dinner salad.


- ChefElla

Saturday, August 2, 2014

8/2/14 ChefElla's Fennel Pork Kabobs

What is fennel you ask?  I will tell you.  It is that great flavor you love in your sausage.  For this recipe I took it out of the sausage put it in on my pork kabobs.  The fun thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever kind vegetables and meat you want to make your kabobs.  Kabobs are a fun hand held food great for picnics our outdoor events because you do not need a plate or utensils to eat them.  But be careful not to stick yourself with the skewer.  If you want to take your food off your kabob the best way is to slide it off with a fork.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife, and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, or grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, the blender, a cutting board,
    tongs, a loaf pan, and the grill.
ChefElla's Fennel Pork Kabobs(This recipe will make 6 kabobs)
1 lb.            Pork Roast or Thick Cut Pork Chops, cut into 1 inch cubes
                   *If you do not like pork you can substitute chicken or turkey.
1 ea             White Onion, Large
                    -Cut onion in half.  Place onion flat side down.  Cut each half in half again lengthwise.
                     Cut each half into three parts leaving you with large onion squares.
                    -If you do not want your quesadillas spicy substitute Monterey Jack Cheese
1 ea.             Gala or Fuji Apple, Large
                    -Cut apple in half.  Remove core and place apple flat side down.  Cut each half into again
                    lengthwise.  Cut each half into three parts leaving you with 12 large apple pieces.
                    *If you do not like fruit with your entree you can substitute button mushrooms.
                      Cut the stem flush with the bottom of the mushroom cap.
6 ea             Skewers, soak skewers in water

Fennel Marinade
2 ea              Shallots, Large (If you cannot find large shallots just use 3 smaller ones)
2 ea              Garlic Cloves, (If you only have minced garlic use two teaspoons)
1/2 Cup       Italian Parsley, also called Flat Leaf Parsley
1 Cup           Olive Oil
1/2 tsp         Kosher Salt      
1/2 tsp         Black Pepper
1 Tbl            Fennel Seeds, Whole

3.  In your blender add all of the marinade ingredients and mix until they are smooth and the fennel
     seeds are ground up.
4.  Drain your skewers and begin to assemble your kabobs in this order.  For the onions use 3 or 4
     layers of the onion cubes for each layer.
     One piece of meat.  one piece of apple, one layer of onion, one piece of meat, one layer of onion,
     one piece of meat, one apple, one onion, one piece of meat.
5.  After assembling the kabobs rub each kabob with marinade.  If you can let the kabobs marinate
     overnight in a loaf pan.  If not let them sit in the marinade for at least 1 hour.
6.  Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.
7.  Place kabobs on the grill but not over a direct flame.  If you do the oil on the kabobs will hit the
     flame and flare up on your kabobs, burning or causing a bad taste to occur.
8.  Cook on one side for 2 minutes.  Turn kabob 1/4 turn. and cook for 2 minutes.  Turn two more
     times until you have cooked kabob on all sides.

Serve kabobs over rice or with a nice salad.

*If you do not want to make kabobs just marinate the meat or vegetables of your choice and grill or
  roast whole.