TODAY'S MENU: Ispanaki Patates and Bacon/Spinach Omelet


It's a Popeye themed day today. Spinach and potato casserole for dinner...Turkish style...plus bacon/spinach omelets for breakfast. Recipes at the links below.

You'll be good to the finish if you eat your spinach...


BREAKFAST: Bacon/spinach omelet using our basic omelet recipe and stuffing with bacon, spinach, and cheese.


DINNER: Ispanaki Patates Casserole

Darryl

DINNER: Ispanakli Patates Casserole


Ispanakli Patates is Turkish and it basically translates to spinach potato. Recently in Berlin, we were treated to the most fantastic food in the Turkish neighborhood where we were staying. The Turks are one of the biggest non-German ethnic groups in the city, over 300,000 live there.

Our favorite restaurant...though, it's hard to pick one out of all the good restaurants there...is Cafe Neffes.  I had this wonderful spinach and potato casserole there one night and vowed to try to make it for myself when we returned.

A couple of weeks later, after browsing dozens of Turkish recipe websites, I've came up with my own variation.


INGREDIENTS

1 cup cooked spinach (1 cup after cooking)
1 cup Greek or Mediterranean yogurt
2 oz. feta cheese crumbles
1 small pasilla chile, chopped

2 large tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cube chicken bouillon
3 Mexican green onions or 1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
dash of nutmeg
1/2 pound golden fingerling potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 link soujuk sausage, thinly sliced (easiest to do when frozen)
2 eggs

In a pot of boiling water, boil the potatoes for 30 minutes over medium heat.

If your  spinach isn't already cooked, put a tablespoon of olive oil in a 12" pan. When hot, fill as completely as you can with spinach and cover. It should render down to about a cup of cooked spinach in around 5 minutes. When cool enough, chop it up.


In a medium sauce pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and cook...stirring...until translucent. About 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and pasilla chiles. Add the chicken bouillon. Add the garlic, oregano, marjoram, and nutmeg. 

Stir in and bring to a boil. Add spinach and stir in. Turn the heat to medium and boil for 5 minutes then turn heat off.


When the potatoes are done boiling, strain and set aside.

Coat a casserole dish (about 3 quarts) with another tablespoon of olive oil. Put a layer of the tomato/spinach sauce on the bottom in a fine layer. Put some sausage over that and sprinkle with feta cheese. Spread a layer of yogurt over that. Ladle some potatoes over that.


Repeat this layering until you run out of sauce.


Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, put two raw whole eggs on top, put back in over for 10 minutes to cook eggs. 

Let cool for 10 minutes after that before serving.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved



DINNER: Grilled Chicken in a Shitake Cream Sauce


You've got your basic four barnyard meats...beef, pork, and chicken. Oh sure, you might mix it up with a duck or some lamb.  Maybe some sausages or even fish but for the most part, you're going with the big three.

It's imperative to mix it up as much as you can, try something different, to build your recipe database and to not get bored.

This is what I did with this week's meal..we'd had steak last week and only had a pack of chicken thighs along with the beef in the freezer so I needed a new way to prepare the chicken.

Of course, the easiest way to change it up is with a new sauce...

INGREDIENTS


3 or 4 chicken thighs (we leave the skin on)
1 small, white onion
8 whole shitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
1 tablespoon strained bacon grease or lard
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste


The chicken is grilled on the barbecue according to our barbecued chicken recipe. When done, we just pour the sauce on top.


Finely dice the onion and two of the mushrooms. I use a small food processor for this.


Heat up the bacon grease (or lard) in a small sauce pan.  When hot, add the diced onion and mushroom mixture.  Cook on high until the onions are translucent.







Slice the remaining mushrooms. Add them and the chicken broth to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.


Add garlic and tarragon. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15- 20 minutes to reduce.





Turn heat off. Two minutes after turning off heat, add half and half, stir in, and ladle over chicken to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Darryl Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved


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