Since starting a full-time job a year ago, I’ve had to get creative with dinners. I have a limited amount of time before I put my son down for bed.
This evening I came home from work with absolutely no plan and a near-empty fridge. My freezer, however, was chock full of random Costco impulse buys: tamales, gyoza, hash brown patties, broccoli.
I contemplated the frozen broccoli. Why, why did I buy this? It’s never as good as fresh broccoli. It’s sort of chewy and crumbly. So I decided to get creative.
I fried up some hash brown patties, chopped up some thawed broccoli and came up with a seriously delicious side dish that’s sure to please the whole family. My husband ate five of them!
Baked broccoli fritters
8 oz. frozen broccoli, thawed and set to drain
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 frozen hash brown patties
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 grated sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the butter in a sauté pan and cook the onions till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
Place onions and garlic in a mixing bowl to cool. Place hash brown patties in the pan and brown on both sides. Crumble up and add to the mixing bowl. Finely chop the broccoli and add to the mixing bowl.
Once all the ingredients have slightly cooled, add the egg, bread crumbs, cheeses, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Lightly grease a baking pan (I used a silpat mat instead). Form mixture into small patties. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream.
Homemade crackers are surprisingly easy. When I saw this recipe from Sheknows.com I just had to try it. I added a pinch of smoked paprika, which made for a deeper flavor. I happened to have a goldfish cookie cutter, so I wanted to see how homemade goldfish crackers would live up to store bought.
What came out of the oven was flakey, crunchy and downright cheesy.
4 oz. cheddar cheese or mixture of cheddar and parmesan, grated on a micro plane or rasper
1/8th tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbs. butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. or so cold water
Add the flour, salt and paprika to a food processor and pulse till combined. Add the cheese and butter and pulse till just combined (it will look like crumbly flour). Turn on the processor and slowly add the water. Let the machine turn the dough into a ball. It should take less than a minute. If it doesn’t turn into a ball add a tiny bit more water. Remove ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface till it’s pretty thin. Either cut into Cheez-it like squares, or use a decorative cookie cutter. Place on two parchment-lined cookie sheets, with a little space between each cracker. Bake about 15 minutes, till slightly puffy and beginning to brown.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
I had a hankerin’ for a fancy type breakfast this morning. I thought a quiche would be nice, but I didn’t want to make a crust or use a ton of butter. I found this tasty recipe and decided to tweak it slightly. I’ve never made a quiche, but whatever I concocted this morning was cheesy, salty, creamy and darn delicious. It’s also South Beach Diet friendly!
Crustless Breakfast Quiche
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, cubed
4 breakfast sausage patties
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
pepper to taste
Grease a small casserole dish liberally with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fry up the breakfast sausage patties. Once browned, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Mix together the milk, eggs and yogurt. Add in the cheeses, sausage and green onions. Add pepper to taste. Pour into casserole and bake for one hour till browned and bubbly on top. Let cool for five minutes before serving.
The best part was the little pockets of cream cheese with every bite.