Posts tagged ‘spinach’

January 1, 2009

Crespelle

Often when we think of crepes, we think of lacy thin pancakes with fruit syrups and whipped cream toppings.  This delicious appetizer puts an end to these thoughts.  This is a classic Italian dish server during Lent, when meat is to be avoided.

As with a lot of Florentine dishes, it includes the standard of spinach, though I prefer to kick it up a notch with Arugula leaves mixed in as well as a few sprigs of Italian parsley.  Arugula is a Roman spinach leaf and isn’t always easily found in your local grocery store.  Often you will have to scour the organic section to locate a nice bag.  If your climate allows, you might give growing it a try, as once you start, it takes hold and is rather reproductive.

This dish also includes ricotta cheese and I suggest not using a low fat one as there tends to be a good deal of liquid run off and can make your crepes soggy.

Typically I segregate the recipes when we are stuffing a separate component, but this crepe recipe is unique to this recipe and not the same you would want to use for your Sunday morning sweet tooth.

Ingredients

3 eggs

1 3/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup flour, unsifted

1/2 teaspoon iodized salt

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

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1 pound fresh spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped

1/2 pound fresh Arugula leaves, washed and finely chopped

1/4 pound fresh Italian parsley, washed and finely chopped

1 cup boiling water

1 egg

1/2 cup fresh Romano cheese, grated

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/ teaspoon ionized salt

1 15 ounce container ricotta

  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend 3 eggs, milk, melted butter, and flour until well blended.  Mixture should be rather thin, like a pancake batter.
  • In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Pour in batter by 1/4 cup ladles at a time, cooking each until lightly tanned.
  • Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine green leaves.  Pour boiling water over leaves and drain into a collander promptly.
  • In a dry large bowl, beat egg, ricotta, Romano, salt and nutmeg until well blended.
  • Stir in leaves.  Blend well.
  • Drop 1 – 2 spoonfuls of filling onto each crepe and roll up.  Secure with a toothpick.
  • In a large baking dish, prepared with non-stick spray or a little olive oil, arrange filled crepes.
  • Bake for fifteen minutes or until crepes are crisped.
  • Remove toothpicks and serve warm.
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January 1, 2009

Pollo Florentine

Ask anyone what Florentine means and they’ll say it means spinach; except Italians.  The association of spinach and Florence, Italy actually originated in England.  When Catherine de Medici introduced spinach to English cuisine, since she was from Florence, spinach and egg or cheese mixtures became known as Florentine.  Actual Florentine dishes usually are seafood rich with olives and squashes and potatoes.

This dish uses prosciutto, which is an uncooked Italian ham, chicken and a spinach and cheese blend.  Even though prosciutto is salt cured, I guess I am a bit of a worry wart in that I always cook it anyhow.  I also use fresh mozzarella for this recipe, it blends much better with the ricotta than the shredded type that has drying agents applied.  The extra spinach mixture I bake for twenty minutes in a separate dish and serve with the chicken.

Ingredientspollo florentine 16

3 cloves garlic

1/4 pound Italian parsley

1 pound fresh spinach

1/4 pound fresh mozzarella

1 egg

1 cup ricotta

4 slices prosciutto

4 boneless chicken breasts

2 Tablespoons bread crumbs

Directions

  • Chop parsley and spinach, combine into medium mixing bowl.
  • Press garlic cloves into spinach blend.
  • Use a cheese slicer to loosen shreds from mozzarella ball.
  • Add egg, ricotta and mozzarella to spinach blend.
  • Beat thoroughly until well blended.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Slice chicken breasts open.
  • Spoon two heaping spoonfuls of spinach blend into chicken breast pocket.
  • Close and wrap prosciutto around chicken.
  • Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve.

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January 1, 2009

Spinach & Zucchini Fettuccine

I found this when I started trying to improve the healthy quality of our meals.  This has the pasta that I so love and despite all of the veggies, you would never think you were eating health food.  I am not a fan of the whole wheat pasta, but with flavour of the pesto and spinach, you don’t taste the blandness of the wheat pasta.  And this dish can easily be switched to a meatless dish, but I am not at all against meat, I love meat, so bring it!

IngredientsCIMG3342

16 ounces spinach and or whole wheat fettuccine

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

8 ounces prosciutto or smoked ham, deli thickness

1 pound fresh spinach leaves

1 bunch fresh Italian parsley

1 – 2 fresh zucchini

1 cup basil pesto

Directions

  • In a heavy stock pot, bring water to boil for fettuccine.
  • Slice meat to 1/4 inch strips and place into skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in olive oil and stir well.
  • Wash and mince parsley and add to meat mixture.
  • Wash and tear spinach leaves, add to skillet.
  • Wash zucchini and use a peeler to scrape lengthwise into strips.  Stop when you reach seedy center.  Add to skillet mixture.
  • Stir skillet items thoroughly and reduce to low to medium heat once spinach leaves begin to wilt.
  • Add pasta to water and cook until tender.  Drain.
  • Add pesto to pasta and stir thoroughly.
  • Add vegetable mixture to pasta and serve.

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