Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Zucchini Pancakes and Rice, Broccoli and Feta Cheese Saute

Because I had left over Lemon Rosemary Chicken from Sunday night’s dinner, I decided to focus on side dishes on Monday. Reading back through the responses to my post regarding my farmers market finds on the Cooking Light BB, I selected two recipes that caught my attention. They were Mark Bitterman’s Italian-Style Vegetable Pancakes, posted by funniegrrl and Rice, Broccoli and Feta Cheese Saute, from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, by Jeanne Lemlin, posted by ErinM. I knew that this was going to be a LOT of veggies for Terry to handle, but I was confident that he would go to town on the left over chicken, so I figured I had a little room to work with.

Italian-Style Vegetable Pancakes

Yield 4 servings

Mark Bittman, NY Times

Here, grated raw or cooked vegetables are bound minimally with flour or breadcrumbs and seasoned with Parmesan and onions. Spread the lumpy batter onto a hot, greased griddle or pan and cook until crisp on both sides, but be careful: they're so soft that they can be difficult to cook.

About 2 pounds zucchini, eggplant or turnips, peeled if necessary
1/2 onion, peeled and grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup flour or plain bread crumbs, more as needed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 4 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

1. Grate vegetables by hand or with grating disk of a food processor. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except the butter or oil. The mixture should be fairly loose but not liquid; add a little more flour or bread crumbs if necessary.

2. Put the butter or oil in a large skillet and turn heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot, put large spoonfuls of batter in the pan. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, 10 to 15 minutes total. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Rice, Broccoli and Feta Cheese Saute

From Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, Jeanne Lemlin

1 Cup white or brown rice
2 Cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp veggie/canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil (I used about a tablespoon or 2)
4 garlic cloves minced
2 medium tomatoes cored, seeded and diced
1 bunch broccoli stalks peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup water
1 cup feta cheese crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the rice water salt and oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to simmer and cook until all of the water is absorbed (20 min for white rice, 45 for brown). When done, remove from heat and keep covered.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic 2 minutes stirring frequently. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and saute 2 minutes more. Add broccoli and oregano, toss well. Pour in water and cover the pan. Raise heat to medium high, cook 5 minutes or untl the broccoli is tender but not mushy. (remove cover occasionally and toss)

Stir in the hot rice, feta cheese and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Although they were not for Terry, the Italian-Style Vegetable Pancakes were a HUGE hit for me. I knew instantly when they hit the pan that I would love them, the smell filling the room said it all. I used zucchini as the main vegetable ingredient and these came together quickly and easily due to my food processor (THANKS MOM!!) This will be a dish that will make an appearance while the guys are golfing and Christy and I are having a “girls” afternoon (break out the wine!) The Rice, Broccoli and Feta Cheese Saute was also a simple recipe to prepare. I used brown rice and I decided to add in the tomatoes at the end because I thought cooking them for such an extended time would make them too soft. I really wanted to taste these lovely organic fruits. We liked this dish, but we were not in love with it. It most likely will not be a repeater for us. Terry asked me to stop trying to sneak vegetables into all of his food. The flavor was nice but it just didn’t have all that I expected from it. After evaluating the entire meal, I realized that the chicken was not the focus for me, which is rare. I think that I could eat these dishes as a vegetarian meal!! Obviously that could never happen at our house, but it is nice to know that meat is not a necessity for me at every meal (but it is for Terry, so I’ll keep bringing on the meat!!)



Paige said...

Yum! It all looks good and I like that you have pictures of the process along the way and not just the finished product! Keep the pictures of Figgins coming! ;) The comments are working for me now so my name should be clickable to my blog if you want to see some knitting and spinning!

Paige said...

oh, I'm 615bride on CLBB by the way!

Heather Williams said...

Thanks Paige! I took a quick look at your page and it what you have created is amazing! I want to learn!! I will take a closer look soon and comment!!