Category Archives: Cooking Tips

Apple Strudel

We could honestly eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Well… Kate could… and has. She loves dessert, but as a dietitian  it is tough sometimes to find healthier dessert options. Here is a (lower) calorie dessert that we both loved.

Apples, Peaches, or Pears would all work well for this recipe.

Cooking tip: do not overfill the pastry, and make sure that the strudel is completely sealed on all sides so that the fruit does not leak out and burn. (Read why here).

We are all about finding meals that look and sound complicated but are simple. This recipe is no exception. By using phyllo dough (puff pastry) instead of a traditional dough, this is healthier and you get to eat dessert much sooner. That is a win-win in our book!

Apple Strudel

A Newly Feds original (with techniques and concepts borrowed from several sources)

  • 2 Large Golden Delicious Apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour (plus some for work surface)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Frozen Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine and mix together apples, lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Sprinkle flour on a clean counter top.  Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface.  With the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the bottom half of the pastry sheet (drain excess juice). Roll the pastry like a pinwheel/ jellyroll. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment. Place pastry seam side down and tuck the ends under the pastry to seal in the apple mixture.

Beat the egg and water together and brush the pastry on the top and sides. This works great to seal the pastry together.  Cut a few slits on top of the strudel.

Bake 20-25 minutes (depending on oven — ours runs HOT).

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm.

Tip: We found that caramel lightly drizzled over the top was delicious!

Tip: The strudel would be great served with vanilla ice cream/ frozen yogurt.

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Beer Steamed Mussels

As our quest for a meatless Lent continues, we have felt challenged at times to come up with recipes that are easy, fun, and, most importantly, deeply satisfying. While we have made some amazing soups, pastas, stir fries, and main entrees, there have been times where something was missing. It is not the meat that we miss so much (believe me, we do miss it. bad.), but rather the feeling that the meal is truly complete. This led us to think outside of the box a bit more, and focus on meals that we truly love to eat, either at home or at a restaurant. There are dozens of recipes that fit into this category, but very few that are meatless. We considered several options but kept coming up a bit short. Then we remembered a meal that is not just dinner, but an overall experience. One that is quick, easy, rustic, sophisticated, deeply flavored, respectful of the ingredients, and versatile enough to never get old. We, of course, thought of mussels.

If you have never had mussels, you are missing out on a really fun and easy dish. When cooked properly, they have the great ability to both take on and impart flavor to whatever ingredients they are paired with. They are great on their own, amazing in soups, and can transform a simple pasta dish into a high-end gourmet meal. They are on the menus of some of the best restaurants in the country, and you often pay a premium for them. The thing is though, that they are dead easy to cook and you don’t need to go to a restaurant to enjoy them. All you need is a deep saute pan, some herbs, garlic, and a bit of flavorful liquid to steam them in. Pair with a loaf of warm and crusty French bread for dipping in the rich broth, a light veggie side-dish, and a glass of your favorite beer or white wine, and you have a meal that is simply, complete.

Note: This recipe is incredibly flexible. We chose to take a very simple route, but almost any variation will yield a good result. If you think there is a combination of ingredients that would go well together, they probably will.

Beer Steamed Mussels

A Newly Feds original recipe.

Serves 2, but could easily be doubled (or tripled) to serve more.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds of high-quality fresh mussels
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 18-24 ounces Belgian or German beer (white wine works well here too)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4-5 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley (basil would work here as well), chopped with some reserved for garnish
  • Good French bread, for dipping
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove the mussels from their paper wrapping. Inspect each mussel individually, discarding any that are badly chipped, cracked, or broken. If a mussel’s shell is open, tap lightly on a hard surface. The shell should close. If it does not close, even slightly, discard. Rinse the mussels in cool water to remove any grit on the shells.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent. We chose to go heavy on the garlic, but you can go lighter (or heavier even) as you see fit.
  3. Place the mussels in the pan, being careful to leave enough room to place the lid on the pan. Slowly pour the beer over the mussels, covering approximately 2/3 of the shells. We used 1 and 1/2 beers (12 ounces). Be careful as the beer will foam upon hitting the hot pan.
  4. Immediately place the lid upon the pan, and steam the mussels for about 6-8 minutes, or until the shells have opened. Do not overcook, as the mussels can become tough. Add 3/4 of the chopped parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. This will ensure that the flavorful liquid (often referred to as the liquor) released by the mussels is incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the mussels to serving bowls, discarding any mussels that have not opened in the cooking process. Ladle a generous portion of the broth over the mussels.
  6. Sprinkle the fresh tomato over the mussels and garnish with the remaining parsley.
  7. Serve with several slices of warm bread. Be sure to try dipping the bread in the broth. This often proves to be one of the best parts of the dish.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Cooking Tips, Entrees, Seafood, Vegetarian Recipes

Why the Newly Feds Need a Fire Extinguisher…

Last evening while making Lentil Soup, we learned a lesson.

What goes better with Lentil Soup than homemade biscuits? Not much. As we prepared the biscuits, the order of the ingredients got mixed up. Instead of the butter being cut in to the flour mixture and then adding milk, as the recipe recommends, we added milk to the flour mixture and then mixed in the butter. Well, Kate should have paid attention more closely in Food Science class, because if she had she may have guessed what was about to happen.

After baking for about 10 minutes, Sean went to check on the biscuits. He noticed that instead of smelling like deliciousness, the kitchen smelled of acrid burning fat. He opened the oven and SMOKE billowed out. So much smoke, that it filled our entire apartment. You see, what happened is that the chunks of butter in the improperly mixed dough melted on the pan, dripped onto the floor of the oven, and burned. Luckily for us, there was smoke without fire. Unluckily for us, everything we own smells like torched butter.

We spent the rest of Monday night (and most of Tuesday afternoon) febreezing, cleaning and airing out our apartment, which still smells like smoke.

Lesson learned: Follow directions.

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