Tuesday, January 25

Simple Spinach and Swiss Quiche

I don't actually have a lot to say about quiche. It's yummy, versatile, and is great for a mide week dinner or fancy party.

Will make 1 9" quiche
Full time: 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours
You will need:

1 9" unbaked pie crust shell (hand made or store bought)
5 eggs beaten
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup light cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground garlic
2 cups fresh spinach

To begin:

Preheat oven to 350

Place unbaked pie crust shell in middle of cookie sheet (this will help if there are any spill overs)

Spread Swiss cheese in an even layer across the bottom of shell.

Top with an even layer of spinach.

Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Pour evenly, gently, over the top of spinach and Swiss.

Lower oven heat to 325 bake for 35-45 minutes. Until eggs are set and top has a mild golden colour.

Let stand for 10-15 before serving, eat and enjoy!

Random Dinning Experiences

Some of the best diners or dinning experiences I have had, have been the unexpected ones. Occasionally, someone will surprise you with a extra special meal just for the fun of it. I love to do unexpected dinners. Everyone needs to eat and for the most part, if we are lucky we get to share those meals with someone special. So why not occasionally and out of the blue go a little fancier?

Try this, the next time the weather has you down, set up an indoor picnic. Serve, fresh fruits, vegetables, olives, cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and bread. Add some dipping sauce and let the fun begin. If your lucky enough to be the person who walks into this meal, you will watch the weather blues melt away.

When I do this, I like to serve it with a Simple Spinach Quiche, very yummy. Try it!

Sunday, January 23

Cooking with Friends

People often ask me how I become such a good cook. My answer often varies based on a few variables in life. But the one thing that always is the key: cooking and teaching go hand in hand. If you really love to cook and really want to become better, teach someone. Seriously, teaching someone your favorite recipe, how to use a kitchen gadget, or a new technique helps improve your own skills.

I have spent many a nights, helping friends learn a  new thing or two in the kitchen. Afterwards, I always feel that it has helped me greatly.

I offer you this advice though: Start with a simple but multi step recipe. Maybe one with a separate sauce, or a paired side dish. This way you can work in a team on multiple things and neither of you will stand there watching.

Spicy Eggplant

Spicy eggplant is a great side dish to any home style Chinese meal! It has a warm subtle heat which is sure to please the taste buds!

Serves 4
Full time: 30 minutes

You will need:

1 Lg eggplant cut into 1/2" chunks
1 Sm onion diced
1 green chili minced fine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp crushed red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Small amount cooking oil

For Sauce:

1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Lets begin:

Heat a large saute pan or wok over med/high heat adding in about 2 tbsp cooking oil

Add in eggplant and cook for 10-15 min stirring constantly or eggplant will begin to burn

Add in garlic, ginger, onion, chili, and an additional tbsp of cooking oil. Cook 2-3 minutes

Add in stock, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt/pepper.

Lower heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

You will notice that the majority of the liquid will have been absorbed.

Transfer contents of saute pan to serving bowl and toss in sauce ingredients.

Give it a good stir and mix evenly.


Wednesday, January 19

Perfect Pork Pot Roast

This is a great way to have a hearty meal with a very little work! Break out that slow cooker and here we go!
Pop this on before work in the morning when your entertaining or want a great meal for when you get home!

Will serve 4 - 6
Full time: 7-10 hours based on crock pot temp, see below

You will need:

4-5lb Pork Shoulder Roast
2-3 large Potatoes cubed
4 Stalks celery diced
1 Med onion diced
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup Water
2 tbsp Rosemary
1 tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper

Let the fun begin:

Place Pork Roast in center of slow cooker pot

Place potatoes around roast, closest to the bottom

Top with vegetables (remember the dices do not need to be small, think of them as a separate side dish, so you will want some texture)

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary

Pour water in

Pop crock pot on for High 7-8hrs, for Low 10-12hrs. (subject to crock pot)

Serve with Pop overs and its the best meal!

Dinning with Friends

One of my favorite things to do is dine with friends. There is something so warm and enjoyable about sitting around a table while enjoying a good meal with friends. Occasionally I invite them over, make a huge meal, crack open a bottle (or two) of wine, and we just enjoy the evening. Monday was one of these times.

On the menu: appetizers featuring Grilled Figs wrapped in Blue Cheese and Prosciutto Main course featuring my Perfect Pork Pot Roast. And of course Molten Lava Cakes for dessert.

The evening was filled with laughter, good food, and great wine.

For my Perfect Pork Pot Roast see the recipe below!

Saturday, January 15

Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

This hearty soup is a great spin on a classic Potato Soup. Serve on a cold day with corn bread and it is sure to tempt the taste buds.

(If your a vegetarian or know someone who is: Leave out the bacon. Substitute soy milk for the cream. Just as yummy and sure to please)
Yields 4-6 servings
Full time: 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours

You will need:

4 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 pounds diced sweet potatoes
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup lite cream
1/2 pound bacon
1 cup chopped walnuts (used for garnish)

Let us begin:

Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees

In an oven safe saute pan place the minced garlic and olive oil. Roast garlic in oven for 10-15 minutes until a nice golden brown colour develops.

While this is roasting: Place potatoes, stock, all seasoning in a stock pot and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce heat to med/low.

Carefully remove pan from oven and transfer to cook top. Add into pan onion and celery. Cook over med heat until they begin to get soft and translucent.

Transfer the contents of saute pan to the stock pot. Cook covered over med/low heat until potatoes become tender. This should be approx. 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes

While this is resting: Chop bacon into 1/4" to 1/2" wide pieces and cook. Once cooked place bacon on a towel lined dish to remove any oil and cool down

While the bacon cools: Place contents of stock pot in blender and blend until smooth. If you have a food processor place the solids in first and just a little liquid to process together.

Return the now blended soup to the stock pot, stir in the lite cream, and add in the bacon.

Bring soup to a gentle boil over med/high heat.

Serve soup with 1 tbsp of walnuts as garnish.

The Walnuts help develop the full flavor of the soup and give it a little extra texture. For an extra special treat try serving this soup in a potato bread bowl.

Welcome To Eating Eclectic

Welcome to Eating Eclectic! A food blog dedicated to the Eclectic Eaters of the world and the taste buds of a modern society.

As a modern society, we have opened our taste buds up to new flavors, textures, and ingredients we didn't grow up on. We eat out multiple times and usually go from one style of cuisine to another as easy as turning a page. These days we don't eat the same thing we when go out, so why should we cook the same things over and over at home?

As we learn to cook, we tend to stick close to the recipes of our families, cultures, and become comfortable in a small food niche we create for ourselves. but why not break down those walls? Why not incorporate other cultures, cooking styles, and methods into our day to day life? Anyone can easily learn to bring the fun of eating out into their own kitchens. It is as simple as blending basic cooking methods with easy to find ingredients, stir in a little know-how and you get a magical combination, an eclectic kitchen.

This blog is dedicated to those of us who want to expand our horizons, learn new things, and try new dishes. Learn to combine comfort classic from throughout the world together and pack up a suitcase full of recipes...get ready to follow me in my travels through the culinary world.