A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
I was inspired by Danny from Danny’s Kitchen (http://dannyskitchen.me/) for tonights menu. Check him out, a truly great blog, a level I aspire to get to. Meg and I love to make appetizers for dinner. One reason is that we can try a variety of dishes and not feel like we ate too much, a lot like going out for tapas. Another reason is it allows me to experiment with new recipes on a small scale, with a backup plan, so if something goes wrong we don’t have to resort to ordering pizza! Well, I am happy to report that tonight was a success. Danny was the inspiration for the Greek Nachos, which I found on his blog the other day. I added my own rendition by using dry garbanzo beans and making my own Greek salad and pita chips. I served the nachos along side a Ricotta soufflé, which I found in Whole Living magazine (slight modification in that I used scallions in place of chives, and a larger round baking dish, 1 1/2 quart instead of 1). I hope these recipes inspire you to try something new, be sure to let us know.
First, cook the garbanzo beans. Put 1 1/2 cups of dried beans in a pot and cover with 4 cups of water. Season with salt, Mediterranean seasoning and oregano. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover for 1 hour. Check the beans for seasoning and softness. If they are not soft enough, bring the water back to a boil, boil for 5 more minutes and allow to sit covered until they are soft enough.
In a bowl, combine the cucumber, pepper, feta cheese, mint, salt, pepper, oregano, oil, lemon zest and juice. Mix until combined and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or several hours. Drain the garbanzo beans and add 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans. Mix, season with salt and allow to marinate.
Season the pita bread with salt and extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy, at 375F.
Place the pita breads on a large plate. Cover with the marinated Greek salad. Top with Tzatziki sauce, and enjoy.
In a bowl, combine the Ricotta cheese, egg yolks, salt, pepper. Whisk to mix.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks (I did this by hand, but a mixer would be much less work).
Fold in half of the egg whites into the Ricotta mixture. Then fold in the scallions and basil. Fold in the rest of the egg whites. Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375F. Do not peak (hopefully your oven has a light so you can watch). The top should get very lightly browned and the soufflé will not jiggle when you move the dish. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
I admit that my soufflé could have had some additional lift if I had done a better job of beating the egg whites. Well, practice makes perfect, so I guess I need to work on this one a bit more.