Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Feta cheese was on sale the other day so I knew I had to buy some – I love salty and sharp cheeses! And as feta is practically synonymous with Greek cuisine, we enjoyed a Greek-style salad to go with cheeseburgers for dinner on Sunday. Didn’t have any lemon on hand so the dressing is honey mustard.

Salad with FetaCucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

I mixed the following together in a large bowl:
finely chopped red leaf lettuce
chopped cucumber (cut into quarters)
grape tomatoes
crumbled feta
and minced red onion

(Perhaps what was missing is olives!)

For the honey mustard dressing, I whisked together:
extra virgin olive oil
rice vinegar
country Dijon mustard (= Dijon mustard mixed with mustard grains)
honey (the runny kind)

This is the approximate proportion of dressing ingredients I like:
5 olive oil, 2 rice vinegar, 3 country Dijon mustard, and 2 honey.

I hope that makes sense. For example, if you use a teaspoon to measure, then it’s 4 teaspoons olive oil to 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar, etc. Depends on how many portions you are preparing. I would use like a quarter-teaspoon amount as the basis.

Salad dressing is just oil, some kind of vinegar, some kind of salty-tangy, and some kind of sweet all mixed together. If you have balsamic vinegar, or rice vinegar, then you’re pretty much set.

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Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

quichebroccoli2

Second attempt at quiche! Broccoli and Cheese!

Instead of using half-n-half in the egg mixture as I did with my first ever quiche , I used whole milk and sour cream. I also toned down the nutmeg, dashing a bit of paprika, chilli powder, and more salt this time around.  I like my own version with sour cream more – the Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Quiche tasted less eggy and creamier than the last one. Hope you enjoy!

quichebroccoli1

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

Ingredients (for 4 modest servings)
1 thawed deep dish pie crust (I used a store-bought one)
1 medium-sized broccoli crown, cut into small florets
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 jumbo eggs or 4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt, more to taste

Method
0. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Saute onion and broccoli in olive oil in frying pan over low-medium heat. I like sauteeing the onions separately for a couple of minutes before adding the broccoli. Keep an eye on these vegetables as you do steps 2 and 3, making sure that they soften but don’t brown. Add a dash of salt. Take off heat when cooked.
2. Prick the base and sides of thawed pie crust with fork. Bake thawed pie crust in oven, 10 minutes or until it turns golden.
3. Beat eggs lightly until mixed, add milk and sour cream, beat lightly. Add nutmeg, paprika, chilli powder, black pepper and salt to mixture, mix.
4. Check pie crust, when done; let cool. Push down any bits that might have risen in the baking process. Turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. When pie crust is cool, sprinkle a thin layer of cheddar cheese on bottom. Next, tip in broccoli and onion, arrange in pie so that vegetables are spread out. Pour in egg mixture, and then sprinkle top with cheddar cheese.
6. Bake in oven for 35–50 minutes until no longer wobbly or runny. This quiche took me 40 minutes to bake in a conventional oven.

Done in 40 minutes – Sirloin Steak with Cheesy Penne and Broccoli

Sorry for the slight hiatus, everyone. I’ve been a little distracted recently but I’ve really missed blogging. Somehow I’ve fallen into learning bits of programming after work/reading (i’m reading a book written by a former undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the American mafia!)/stoning in front of the computer. I know. No excuses. So here we go: what I whipped up for tonight’s dinner in 40 minutes.

pan fried sirloin steak, cheesy penne, stir-fried broccoli with mushroom

 

Mmmmmm I do love steak! Partly because it’s so easy – coarse sea salt and ground black pepper on each side, stick it on a hot pan, leave it to brown on each side before turning (approx 4 minutes on each side), done. No recipe needed for that, surely. And for the sides – a quick soy sauce, mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), and oyster sauce stir-fry with broccoli and mushrooms, and a cheesy penne.

I improvised on the penne because there was some leftover cheddar in the fridge, and was really pleased with the results. I had it in my mind to go for a ‘mac and cheese’ kind of taste, so I simply melted butter, cheddar cheese, and milk into the pot of hot, freshly cooked penne with some of the remaining hot water used to boil the pasta.

Turned out to be a nice American-ish meal (if hunks of red meat, fatty carbs and Chinese stir-fries can be associated with the US of A), very appropriate for watching the presidential election results coverage! Oh how I miss the US. Living in England is great (anyone else see some good fireworks shows over the weekend/on Monday night for Guy Fawkes?), but have to say that the food here is at times quite dire. Or perhaps I’m just all pub-ed out (I count probably 4 pub meals in the past two weeks – not good for the wallet… …).

Hoping that I can get away without providing a recipe for this, as I haven’t measured anything. What I would say is that for the penne, the ratio of butter : milk : cheese should be half tablespoon butter:3 tablespoons milk: 4-5 tablespoons cheese. Those are my estimates for the amounts I used for 150 grams of uncooked penne (2 portions), so scale up/down depending on how much pasta you are cooking. 🙂

Ok so maybe I’ll come back to this post and write up the recipes another time, if anyone’s interested. Otherwise, I’d like to make this blog more about sharing thoughts and experiences of cooking and food in general – rather than a step by step document of How Sheila Cooks Food. I’m probably the least precise person I know so I find retrospectively writing up recipes a slight chore! (Anyone else with me on this?! Or am I just lazy? 😦 – wait don’t answer that…!)