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Recipes made with Spring ingredients in Central Texas

Spinach Mushroom Ricotta Pie

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I guess now is as good as time as any for a few disclaimers – I will eat mushrooms and spinach on just about anything. Seriously, you could put them on a piece of cardboard and I’d probably eat it. I tell you this because there will be a plethora of recipes with spinach and mushrooms. Consider yourself warned.

I also don’t like to waste food. So, when I ended up with a bunch of leftover ricotta cheese from making ravioli at Christmas, I had to figure out what to do with it. I found a ricotta spinach pie recipe and decided it would be ever so much better with mushrooms (of course).

One more disclaimer – I hate to bake. So instead of being a “Martha” and making the pie crust for this recipe, I hauled myself to Central Market and bought to frozen ones. If you have a better Martha gene than me, feel free to make the pie crust.

Spinach Mushroom Ricotta Pie
about a pound of spinach, washed and chopped
about 3/4 pounds mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 container (16 oz) of ricotta
8 oz grated mozzarella
1 cup parmesan
3 eggs, lightly beaten
salt & pepper to taste
A little bit of nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp or 4-5 rubs of a nut on a microplane)
pie crust (my recipe made a lot and my pie crusts were fairly small so I used two pie crusts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Saute garlic and onion until tender. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add spinach and cook until moisture is cooked out of the spinach.

In a mixing bowl, mix the cheeses and eggs. Add spinach mixture, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the bowl and combine ingredients.

Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Cook 40-45 minutes until brown on top and set in the middle. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10-15 minutes.

I froze one of the pies whole and kept really well. It’s easy to pull it out of the freezer and reheat for company.

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Shiner Bock Braised Cabbage & Sausage

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Winter is starting to kick in so I needed a little comfort food. This is an easy recipe and it tastes really good. Yea Shiner Bock!

The sausage is from Peach Creek Farms. They have a booth at the farmer’s market and sell all kinds of great pork products. They even have doggie treats.

Onion, chopped
Red Cabbage, chopped – you can use green cabbage instead.
Peach Creek Farm German Sausage, sliced – you could use any smoked sausage, bratwurst,
Red Potatoes, quartered
Shiner Bock
Spicy Mustard for garnish

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a stock or bean pot. Saute the onion until transparent. Add the sausage, potatoes and cabbage and saute a few minutes to let all the flavors meld. Pour in the Shiner Bock, you’ll need at least a bottle, maybe 2 – just eyeball it. Bring it up to a boil and then turn the heat down and let is simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.

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Easy Saturday Lunch/ Portobella Caprese Sandwich

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Some Saturdays, I cannot wait to get home from the market so I can make something fresh for lunch. The first Saturday in December was one of those days. It was unusually warm and I wanted a taste of summer. I decided to do a twist on a normal caprese sandwich and add a grilled portabella cap.

A few things to note – I don’t really measure things when I cook for myself. Sorry. I’m trying to get better at this for your sake, but no promises on this front. If you need clarification, just ask and I’ll do my best.

Place a portabella cap in a shallow dish or on a plate and drizzle olive oil on both sides. Place the cap gill side up and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and a little thyme if you have it. I usually let it sit for a bit to let the vinegar, spices and oil soak in some.

Grill or broil the mushroom cap. Start gill side up so the oil and vinegar have a chance to cook in. Flip the cap once while cooking until you reach desired tenderness.

Prepare the sandwich with really good bread (I used an honfleur baguette from Texas French bread – Yum!), a slice of good mozzarella, very fresh tomato and a couple of basil leaves. Slice up your mushroom cap and add it to the sandwich.


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