March 23, 2008

...Those That Understand Teach

My profession is teaching. I teach Special Education to elementary school children. But last week I decided to broaden my spectrum and deliver a lesson to my colleagues about cooking. As part of our "Wellness Committee" initiative I presented a class about Quick and Easy Meals. It was great fun and the participants were great. Everyone worked together to create the meals and, in general, seemed to enjoy the food. I am hoping to get another class in before the end of the school year.

The menu included:

Mango Lassi

Baked Sausages with Fennel, Potatoes and Asiago

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Feta Cheese

Ziti with Honey Roasted Salmon and Creamy Mustard Sauce

Mango Lassi (

3 cups yogurt
1 cup mango purée, fresh or canned (Mr. Goudas is a good brand)
1/3 cup honey or granulated sugar1 tray ice cubes

Put all the ingredients in an electric blender or food processor and blend until the ice is crushed and the liquid is frothy. Serve immediately in tall glasses. (The drink will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Whip again before serving.)

Makes 4 servings.

Baked Sausages with Fennel, Potatoes and Asiago (Food & Wine Magazine)

2 T olive oil

1 lb sausages

1 onion, sliced thin

1 bulb of fennel, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 t fennel seeds

2 large potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

S&P to taste

1/3 dry white wine (vermouth, beer or apple juice can be used)

1 – 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 ½ c grated Asiago

Heat the oven to 450 F. In a large, deep pan, heat 1 T of the oil over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until browned and cooked through (about 10 min.). Remove from pan and slice when cooled.
Add the remaining oil in the pan and heat pan on medium. Add onion, fennel bulb, garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and S&P and cook until vegetables begin to soften (7-8 minutes).
Stir in the wine and simmer until evaporated. Stir in tomatoes. Raise the heat and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates (5 minutes). Stir in the sausages and transfer to a baking dish.
Bake the sausage mixture for 10 minutes. Top with the cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes longer.

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Feta Cheese

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey

6 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons dried dill1

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ c feta cheese, in large chunks

6 whole wheat, hamburger buns

2 c baby spinach

6 slices tomato

6 slices red onion

1 c tzatziki sauce (recipe below)

Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, lemon peel, dill, salt and pepper in large bowl. Mix well. Divide turkey mixture into 6 equal portions. Form 1 portion into two 4-inch diameter patties. Place 1 tablespoon feta atop 1 turkey patty; place second patty atop cheese. Seal patties at edges to enclose cheese. Repeat with remaining 5 portions. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Prepare barbecue or indoor grill (medium-high heat). Grill burgers until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Toast buns. Place turkey burgers on bottom half of buns. Top burgers with tomatoes, spinach, onions and tzatziki.

Tzatziki Sauce (

You can buy drained Greek yogurt at some grocery stores. Substitute fresh dill or parsley for the mint if you like

2 cups whole milk yogurt, drained (500 ml)
1 medium English cucumber, peeled and grated
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
Handful chopped fresh mint, optional
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Add the yogurt to a colander lined with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Drain for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. If you don’t drain the yogurt, the tzatziki sauce will be looser.

Drain the grated cucumber and squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix yogurt with remaining ingredients. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped mint. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

Ziti with Honey Roasted Salmon and Creamy Mustard Sauce

1 lb salmon fillet

1 T honey + 2 t honey

1/2 t fresh-ground black pepper

1 T olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1/3 c dry white wine

1 t grainy Dijon mustard

3/4 c heavy cream

S&P, to taste

2 Ts chopped fresh parsley

3/4 lb ziti

Heat the oven to 400 F. Put the salmon in the pan, skin side down. Spread 1 T of honey over the salmon and then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Roast the salmon until just barely done, about 15 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fillet. Remove from the oven.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes – drain.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until about 1 tablespoon remains, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, cream, remaining honey and S&P. Turn off the heat. Flake the salmon and stir with the parsley into the sauce. Toss pasta with the sauce.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yum! I shall try the mango lassi and tzaziki since I have a tub of yogurt to kill by tomorrow, LOL!