Texas Tarragon Crustless Zucchini Quiche – WHB

Weekend Herb Blogging is hosted by Pam from Sidewalk Shoes this week.

WHB is a great way to learn about herbs and recipes, so if interested please visit the rules at Kalyn’s Kitchen to participate.

Since I have never yet been successful growing tarragon, I adapted this recipe from recipezaar.com (link to original recipe at the end of this post) to use Texas Tarragon to implement some of our zucchini and using skim milk for diet purposes.

Texas Tarragon has a similar taste to Tarragon but is a little stronger in my opinion. You can read about Texas Tarragon here.

Since I turned down the ingredients, using skim milk from cream, it seemed to need more salt and pepper but still turned out well. I grilled the zucchini because I love the look of the grill marks.

Texas Tarragon Crustless Zucchini Quiche4 servings 128 calories each

cooking spray
4 each medium zucchini — sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh texas tarragon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese — grated
1 cup skim milk
2 each eggs — beaten
salt and pepper — to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Spray a 9 inch casserole dish.
Spray a stove top grill with cooking spray and preheat. Cut zucchini in long strips and place on preheated grill. Flip when grill marks are obtained and grill other side.

Place 1/2 zucchini in sprayed casserole and sprinkle with 1/2 the Texas tarragon and 1/2 the parmesan. Repeat layer with remaining zucchini, cheese, and Texas tarragon.
Season with salt and pepper.
Beat the milk with the eggs and pour over the zucchini. Bake until set in center, about 35 minutes.

Serve quiche immediately.
adapted from Zucchini Gratin (link) at recipezaar.com


Roasted Nectarine and Crabapple Ice Cream – WHB

Kalyn is host of Weekend Herb Blogging this week. I wanted to post this then because I am not sure it abides with the rules.

Here is what I wonder.

Entries can be recipes and/or informative posts featuring any herb, plant, vegetable, or flower. When possible, bloggers are encouraged to add details from other sources so others can learn about the featured plant or ingredient.

My entry has to do with nectarines. Nectarines are considered fruit, but the tree that bears them would seem to me to be a “plant”, and the flower that turns to fruit would seem to meet the “flower”. Of course tomatoes are really fruit also, but just seem different in my mind.

Here is a bit of information on nectarines taken from another link. Nectarine facts

Nectarines are essentially the same fruit as Peaches, the primary difference is that nectarines are smooth-skinned and peaches are fuzzy. The smooth-skin characteristic that distinguishes nectarines is a minor genetic variation, like red hair among people; it is even possible that a peach tree may suddenly produce a branch that bears nectarines, and vice versa. Most recommended varieties have red-and-yellow skins with yellow or white flesh.

If this entry doesn’t meet requirements, I understand if it isn’t included. I wanted WHB founder, Kalyn, to determine that and not a host who may not know what to do.

Anyway on with my post.

I had nectarines that needed to be used along with my home canned crab apple jelly I am working so despairingly to use up. I also had some cream that would soon bite the dust so I wanted my favorite summer dessert, ice cream.

Searching the net for an awesome recipe, since my last ice cream endeavor did not fair so well, I found this adapted version from Alton Brown at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy, Chewy. ( lol what a great name huh?)

Using my grandmothers ice cream maker that I ended up with, I then adapted that to include what I had on hand.

Do you know that in spite of all my quirky adaptations, this is the best ice cream I can ever remember eating?

Link to the original adaptation – Link .

Make sure you visit Kalyn’s Kitchen for the WHB roundup around next Monday.

I hope you enjoy this ice cream as much as we have here in Virginia.

Roasted Nectarine and Crab Apple Ice Cream
Adapted from an adaptation from Alton Brown

2 cups skim milk (that is what I had)
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Splenda (that is what I used to try and make it more diet friendly)
1/2 cup crab apple jelly (there goes some more of my canned jelly! rah!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I didn’t have vanilla beans)
Pinch kosher salt
4-6 medium roasted nectarines (again what I had on hand )
.To roast the nectarines, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pit and halve the fruit, and toss them in some white or brown sugar. Then, place them on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast them for about thirty to forty minutes, ( this would have been too long for my nectarines and 20 minutes sufficed) until they are really soft and the skins are brown.
Peel and chop.
Combine all ingredients, except the fruit, in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a candy thermometer to inside of pan. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and strain into a lidded container. If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble on the surface, remove it from the heat.
Cool the mixture, then refrigerate it until cooled. ( I didn’t cool it all night)
Freeze mixture in an ice cream machine according to unit’s instructions. ( I added the fruit to the mixture and just socked it to it and omitted the following. ) Once the volume has increased by 1/2 and reached a soft serve consistency, add the fruit and continue turning to incorporate.
Spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes 1 quart

Low Fat Ham Crepes – WHB

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Joannas Food this week.

Link to Roundup

Make sure and check for the WHB roundup around next Monday.

If you wish to learn more about WHB visit Kalyn’s Kitchen.

I might be in a herbal rut. I am blogging about parsley again this week. I threw the herb in some ham crepes recently and was pleased with the outcome. They make a good light lunch or brunch.

First make your crepes. My recipe is low fat.

Basic Low Fat Crepes

1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt

Put all in a blender and blend to smooth. Allow to sit about 20 minutes before using. Heat a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray until hot. In batches of 1/8 cup fill the pan and swirl the batter so that it is even in the pan. Cook until edges look dry then flip with a spatula. Cook underside until dry then slide the crepe onto a plate and repeat procedure until all batter is used. These freeze well if wrapped with wax paper between them.

Next make your filling

Ham Filling

2 each spring onions chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 tablespoon cornstarch ( 1 to 2 )
grated low fat swiss cheese to taste

Wipe out your pan and spray lightly. Cook onion and garlic until soft then pour in broth. Add the ham and parsley and simmer about 5 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with about 3 tablespoon cold water and pour into the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until thick. Divide mixture between warm crepes and top with cheese to taste. Roll and place on plate seam side down to serve.

Enjoy, low fat and pretty good too.

Parsley – WHB

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Paulchen’s Food Blog this week.
Link to roundup.

WHB is a great way to learn about vegetables, herbs, new recipes and ideas. To learn the WHB rules and participate,visit founder Kalyns Kitchen.

Parsley is coming along in Virginia, so I wanted to blog about it.

I have had problems growing parsley, so last year instead of growing it from seed I got plants. It was a good thing that I grew from plants last year because they bolted and seeded the ground. Parsley came back full force on it’s own this year.

Nature did on her own what I seemed unable and parsley is thick in my garden at this time.

Parsley is one herb that when microwave drying keeps its color so well .

You can read about microwave drying here , but I never use the paper towels in the microwave. I almost caught it on fire like that one time.

What I do is lay the herbs on a plate and microwave for one to 30 second intervals, remove and blot dry with a paper towel and replace and micro another one to 30 seconds, repeating the process until dried and brittle.

I must have dried parsley on hand at all times because my favorite vinaigrette mix uses dried and not fresh parsley in it.

I usually wing it, but here are approximate proportions for the vinaigrette.

My favorite italian vinaigrette mix – 2 Tablespoon dried onion, 2 Tablespoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt , pinch of sugar. Grind well in a spice grinder then add entire mix to 1/4 C vinegar, 3 Tablespoons water and enough oil to bring it to a cup. Mix well.

After I microwave dry my parsley I store it in baggies or my favorite spice rack. I am continually refilling my spice rack jars and won’t toss them away because the rack and jars were a gift and are sentimental in value to me.

It is also handy to just refill the jars, although someone looking at my rack might think the stuff outdated.

The main feature in my WHB post is a salad I love. I use special ingredients. Those ingredients are fresh parsley and honey.

I started making salads with parsley and honey last summer on a whim. If you have never tried fresh parsley and honey in a salad, I urge you to give it a try. It is also great with some fresh berries tossed in, although I didn’t have any berries on hand for my WHB post.

Just throw together a salad of mesclun and black seeded simpson or whatever other lettuce you may prefer (thats what I have growing right now). Top that with some feta cheese. Use your favorite vinaigrette on top of that and then sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. The final touch is a drizzle of your favorite honey.

It is easy and a family pleaser around here.

Dill and Colby Mashed Cauliflower – WHB

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Maninas: Food Matters. Check them out to see the WHB roundup this week.

Link To WHB Roundup

Since dill is dominating my herb garden right now I figured I needed to
blog about it.

What better way to feature dill than, Weekend Herb Blogging,
the great event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen? For more great WHB roundups check out Kalyn’s archives.

Dill and Colby Mashed Cauliflower is my featured recipe with dill as the featured herb.

Just break a head of cauliflower into florets

and cook in a pressure cooker in salted water about five minutes.

You can save much energy by using a pressure cooker because the cauliflower would normally cook in about 10-15 minutes. But pressure that stuff and cook it in 4-5 minutes.

I own three pressure cookers. One that you see here.

One larger one for my canning and a small microwave cooker.
Here is a pic of the micro cooker.

The one thing you need to watch when pressure cooking is that you keep the steam holes unblocked. See the steam holes on the micropressure cooker.

If they block then BAM..You have problems. If they don’t block then you save energy and time!

After cooking the florets drain them well. Add one tablespoon butter, salt and pepper to taste then add the 2 -3 tablespoons fresh dill. Mash the florets a bit then add one teaspoon lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream with the colby.

Dill and Colby Mashed Cauliflower – 4 servings 156 calories each

1 head cauliflower, head — broken up
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper — to taste
3 tablespoons fresh dill weed — chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 ounces colby cheese — shredded

Break a head of cauliflower into florets and cook in a pressure cooker in salted water about five minutes.
After cooking the florets drain them well.

Add one tablespoon butter, salt and pepper to taste then add the 2 -3 tablespoons fresh dill.
Mash the florets a bit then mix in one teaspoon lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the shredded colby.

Serve warm.