Cheesy Vegetable Bake Recipe

Cheesy Vegetable Bake Recipe
I just love cheese – in all of its delicious forms & yummy varieties. In traditional Indian cooking, paneer is the cheese of choice especially in North Indian or Punjabi dishes. But times are ever changing and in this day & age, cheese has become very popular in modern India with many international cheese varieties now available throughout India and globally as well.

Although cheese may not be very commonly used in traditional Indian cooking, this particular dish represents one of my East/West fusion creations. It’s delicious, simple to prepare & always a big hit. It’s perfect for entertaining & can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even a light meal.

I think what I love most about this recipe is the versatility that it offers – there are really no hard & fast rules here, you can make this dish using any of your favorite vegetables and cheeses. Most anything will work and although I have not added any meat to this recipe – feel free to add any meat, poultry or seafood of your liking.

SPICY CHEESY VEGETABLE BAKE

Ingredients:

6 eggs, beaten with a tbsp of water
2 large shallots (or you can use 1 small onion)
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, finely minced (to taste)
pinch of smoked Spanish paprika
pinch of ground cumin powder
1½ cups of your favorite vegetables*
1½ cups grated spicy jack cheese
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
nonstick cooking spray
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola) or you can use butter
¼ cup of freshly chopped cilantro (or any herb or combination of herbs)
chopped fresh green onion, for garnish

A 9x13” (8x12” will work too) oven safe baking or casserole dish

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Using cooking spray, liberally spray the baking dish. Set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the shallot and stir fry until lightly browned. Then add the ginger, garlic & green chilies. Stir-fry the aromatics for a few minutes before adding the vegetables, cook until just softened. Season to taste & set aside to cool until needed.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the paprika, cumin, salt & pepper. Mix well and then add the vegetables. Stir and add the cheeses & cilantro. Mix well to combine and gently pour into the baking dish. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the center is firm (toothpick test). Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving, garnish with chopped green onions, serve with a simple salad & some crusty bread if you wish.

VARIATIONS:

*You can add vegetables such as grated carrots, chopped spinach, diced bell peppers, diced zucchini, diced potatoes, sliced mushrooms, chopped leeks or green onions… even tofu will work. You can add your favorite herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, basil varieties or chive varieties.
If you are planning to add raw meat (poultry or seafood) to this dish, do remember to cook it and allow it to cool before adding to the egg mixture.
There are hundreds of varieties of cheeses, so feel free to add your favorite type of cheese such as Swiss, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, feta, goat cheese, haloumi, paneer, asiago, cotija, manchego, idiazabal, mahon, taleggio, muenster, cabrales…. you can get as creative or as exotic as you wish.

 photo Cheesy Veg Bake.jpg

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Mac & Cheese - Indian Style Recipe

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