Cocktail Quiche

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When you have guests over for drinks and a small bite, nothing can be more stressing than the thought of what nibbles to make. This recipe for mini mushroom and spinach Quiche is ideal for a party or even dinner at home with family. The portabella mushrooms add a lovely meaty flavor to these Quiche.

Ingredients

Portabella mushrooms 8-10 large nos finely chopped

Button  mushrooms 15-20 small nos finely chopped

Green garlic finely chopped (fresh garlic with the leaves included), 1/3rd of a teacup

Green Onion finely chopped (spring onion, bulb and leaves), 3/4th of a teacup

1 bunch fresh spinach 2 teacups chopped roughly

1 medium spice green chili finely chopped

Pepper powder 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Cornstarch or some thickening agent like wondra flour 1 & 1/2 tablespoons

20 tartlets cases or ready quiche pastry cases pre-baked

2 large eggs beaten well

125 gms grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil 2 tablespoons

1 knob of butter

Method

Add oil to a skillet. Let it heat but not burn. Add a knob of butter to it. Now add the garlic and let it saute till golden. Add the green onions and chilli. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Now add your mushrooms and saute for another minute or so. Add the spinach and pepper. Saute well. The mixture will now leave water.

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Let most of the liquid dry. When only 1/4 of the liquid is left take some of the liquid aside and mix wondra or cornstarch well with it, making sure there are no lumps. Add this to the mixture and stir till it all comes together and thickens. Turn off the gas and let the mixture cool. Season with salt to taste.

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Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees. Take a baking tray and line it with tin foil. Now place the empty tart shells on the tray and spoon in some mushroom and spinach mixture till the tartlet is 2/3rds full.

In a bowl add the parmesan cheese to the beaten egg. Mix well. Fill the top of the tarlets to the top with this mixture. Now bake in the oven till the egg and cheese mix cooks and forms a crust. This should take 10-15 minutes. The tarlets will brown too a little.

Remove from oven and serve hot.

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You may add 2 tablespoons of chopped smoked bacon to the mushroom mix, but be sure to add less salt , as bacon tends to be a little salty.

Cheers!

 

 

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Parmesan Chicken Fingers – Toddler Finger Food

Toddlers have the most discerning palate and dealing with a fussy eater can be quite an ordeal. If your little one has just started experimenting with her taste-buds, here is a quick and nutritious snack for that developing gourmand.

  Ingredients

1 lean chicken breast

100 gm bread crumbs

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

100 ml milk

4 tablespoons all purpose flour

Oil for frying

Method

Beat the chicken breast lightly with a meat tenderizer. Cut into 1 & 1/2 inch thickness long strips. You should get about 6 strips.

Season the  flour with salt and pepper. Roll the strips in the flour. Dust off the excess. Mix the parmesan with the bread crumbs. Dip the strips in milk and roll in the bread crumb mixture.

Preheat some oil in a wok and lower the coated chicken strips into the oil. Fry till golden on both sides. Serve hot with some ketchup or tartar sauce.

You could bake these too. Brush the strips lightly with cooking oil and put into a greased baking sheet. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade, till golden.  Turn over once for even browning.

Macaroni In Tomato Sauce, Cheese & Basil

This is a meal in one dish. It is quick, easy and delicious. The sauce is a bit chunkier than what you get in a bottle but tastes much better and fresher.

Ingredients

1 Cup elbow macaroni boiled in salted water and drained

4 large tomatoes, skinned. 2 chopped up, 2 pulped

2 Bay leaf

1 large onion sliced fine

6 cloves garlic minced

Few sprigs of fresh Italian basil

Few sprigs parsley

1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 Teaspoon cumin powder

2 Teaspoon Coriander powder

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons cheese grated, parmesan or cheddar

1 Cup water

Salt to taste

Method

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the bay leaves.

Add the minced garlic and let it brown lightly, then add the sliced onions. Saute till soft. Add the pulped tomatoes, and chopped tomatoes. Add salt to taste and let the mixture sweat till it leaves oil from the sides. Add parsley and basil chopped to this mix with the cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander. Saute for 5 more mins.

Add 1 cup water to this sauce followed by grated parmesan and the boiled elbow pasta.

Let is simmer for 5 more mins. Remove from heat. Top with grated cheese preferably cheddar and garnish with fresh basil. Remove the bay leaves before serving.