Photos on Fine Fettle Kettle are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are the creation of Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Risotto Pie

Risotto pie is a vegetarian dish which is as pretty as it is satisfying. The roast peppers, fennel, and feta cheese give it all kinds of flavor. The risotto is tangy and rich, even though the dish is extremely low in fat. If you aren't a vegetarian, this makes a nice accompaniment to chicken or steak. If you are a vegetarian, it makes a great main dish.

Take 2 red bell peppers and split them lengthwise, then remove the seeds and membranes. Roast the peppers with a kitchen torch on a hardy cookie sheet, or roast them in the oven under the broiler until they are blackened and bubbly.

Scrape off the blackened skin and chop the peppers into flat pieces.

Slice 1 leek

Add 1 cup of white wine and 4 cups of vegetable broth to a large saucepan.

Bring Wine and Broth to a simmer. Keep it on the heat. In a separate saute pan, add Sliced Leek and 1 Clove Garlic (chopped), and 1 bulb of fennel (minced) to 2 T Olive Oil.

Add 2 cups of raw short-grained rice to the Leeks and Garlic in oil. Stir and cook until the rice looks clear. Add one cup of the hot broth at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid while stirring before adding another cup.

Using about 12 sheets of phyllo dough, create a "crust" by misting each sheet with olive oil then draping it over a springform pan in a circle.

Layer with half the risotto rice, 1/2 lb of raw spinach leaves, 1/2 of the pepper pieces, 4oz feta cheese

Repeat the layers with the rest of the rice, 1/2 lb of spinach, the rest of the roast peppers, and 4oz of feta cheese. Fold the draped phyllo dough over the top of the filling.

Bake at 350ºF for 80 minutes or until center is hot and feta is melted.

Remove the outside of the pan and slice carefully

My son took this photo of me while I was cooking the risotto. Yes, I'm a happy person in the kitchen.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Pie

As easy as pie. As healthy as pie? Pie is easy to make, sure... but can it be healthy?

Fresh strawberries are packed with nutrition. They are high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin A, Calcium, Magnesium, fiber, and contain many other nutrients such as Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. This recipe is low in sugar and the sauce is made from puréed strawberries while many of the strawberries are uncooked and fresh. Everything is natural and healthy.

The downside to pie is the fat content of the crust and whipped cream. There are many lower-fat crusts you can use with this pie, because the filling is not baked. My photos use the naughty traditional butter & lard crust, but if you are trying to watch your weight and cholesterol, some alternative crust ideas are listed here:
Low-Fat High Fiber Crust
Healthier Graham Cracker Crust

Honestly, I haven't tried these or any others on the internet. I tend to make the traditional pie, then leave most of the crust on my plate instead. (I'd rather give up portions than flavor). I also use real cream for the whipped cream, but use a small amount on my slice. I use sugar instead of sugar substitute, because I can't digest sugar alcohols and I figure reducing the amount of sugar is better for me than substituting something fake.

My husband brought this recipe into our marriage. He won over my family by making them fresh strawberry and peach pies when he first met them.

Dave's Fresh Strawberry Pie
4 cups of halved fresh strawberries
1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar
1 T fresh lemon juice
4T corn starch
3/4 cup water

Hand purée 2 cups of strawberries (leave them pretty chunky). Mix with sugar, water and cornstarch and cook in a saucepan over medium-high head until thickened. Add lemon juice.

Place remaining 2 cups of fresh strawberries into a pie shell of your choice.

Top with cooked puréed strawberries. Chill for several hours until cold. Top with whipped cream.

These next photos might turn you off from ever reading this blog again... but I've decided to add them anyway. When I came into the kitchen after uploading my pie photos, I found my two teenage boys had polished off the pie... straight from the pie plate... and my Italian Greyhound, "Zero" and Cat, "Po-Po-Ki" eating pie directly from my expensive porcelain dishes! I guess everybody loves pie.