Tag Archives: eggs

Saffron Toasts

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It doesn’t get much easier than a recipe with only four ingredients.  These golden toasts from King Arthur Flour taste like a savory and earthy biscotti.  I love them since they are fast and easy to make. They are good on their own but absolutely delicious when served along side a hearty tomato soup, corn and vegetable chowder or pumpkin soup.  Talk about the ultimate in comfort food.

SAFFRON TOASTS

1 pinch saffron threads soaked in 1 tablespoon of warm water

2 large eggs

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Soak the saffron threads in the water for 10-15 minutes to soften them for baking.  Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan.
  • Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until light in color, thickened, and foamy.
  • Stir in the saffron and water.  Lightly sprinkle the flour over the surface of the  mixture and fold it in gently.  The mix will be thick and sponge-like, full of air and deep yellow in color.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 32 minutes.  The edges will be well browned and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Turn the loaf out onto a cutting board and use a sharp serrated knife to slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay each slice on a baking sheet making sure that the cut sides are facing up (and down).
  • Place the pan under the broiler until the toasts begin to darken at the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, carefully flip each slice over and broil the reverse side as well.
  • Allow the toasts to cool completely before serving.  Store in an airtight container or zip top bag for up to 3 weeks.

Yield:  16-18 slices

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Popovers

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I love big, fluffy, and eggy popovers.  There is something innately elegant about this oh so simple treats.  Served in their simplest form with a dab of butter and a dollop of jam they are the perfect breakfast treat.  Or you can follow an old Maine tradition and eat popovers and chowder on the lawn of the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park.  In college I discovered Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst, Massachusetts where oversized popovers were served as the foundation for hearty sandwiches, as an accompaniment for soup or salad or all on their own.  (When I was back in Amherst this past summer I went to Judie’s with the sole purpose of eating a popover).

I tend to forget how easy popovers are to make. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen only has six ingredients. Instead of using a blender I use a stick mixer which makes cleanup a breeze.  With a little prior planning (the batter needs to rest before baking) they are a snap to make.  If you want to serve them for breakfast you can even make the batter the night before and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.  If you do this there isn’t any excuse for not serving them for breakfast.

POPOVERS

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Blend the eggs and milk in a blender until smooth.  Add the flour, melted butter, and salt and continue to blend on high speed until the batter is bubbly and smooth, about 1 minute. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • While the batter is resting, measure 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil into each cup of a popover pan.  Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, place the pan in the oven, and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • After the batter has rested, pour it into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.  Working quickly, remove the pan from the oven and divide the batter evenly among the 6 cups in the pan.  Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door.
  • Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake until golden brown all over, 15 to 18 minutes more.  Gently tip the popovers out onto a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving, about 2 minutes.

Green Eggs & Ham Deviled Eggs

 

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A few weeks ago I was asked to organize snacks at my school’s literacy night. Wanting to carry the theme of books and reading into the food portion of the event, I decided that each food we served would be derived from a favorite childhood book featuring food. It all started out as a vague idea and ended up being a lot of fun for children and adults alike.

Some books had easy pairings but when I came to the Doctor Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham, I found myself pausing. First, I was looking for bite-sized food that could be made ahead of time which ruled out the majority of the Seuss themed dishes I found on the Internet. Then I also wanted to be able to incorporate both title components into a single dish. And finally, there was the issue of making the dish green.

Deviled eggs have always been one of my favorite appetizers and whenever I make them they disappear in minutes. Plus unlike scrambled eggs and the like they are portable and can be made ahead of time. So I took to my old stand by recipe and tweaked it a bit to include bits of minced ham and green food coloring. The food coloring is definitely optional but this version of my classic dish is a keeper.

 

GREEN EGGS & HAM DEVILED EGGS

12 eggs, hardboiled, cooled, peeled & sliced in half

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2  tablespoon dried Coleman’s mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder

1/4 cup minced cooked ham

Green food coloring (optional)

Parsley sprigs and paprika to garnish

  • Using a small spoon, carefully remove the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the yolks in a small bowl and move the whites to a serving platter.
  • Using a fork, mash the yolks to form a thick paste.
  • Stir in the mayonnaise, dried mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and curry powder, mixing until the mixture is smooth and lump free.
  • Stir in the ham, mixing until the meat is evenly distributed.
  • If you are using the food coloring, add one drop at a time, stirring well between each addition, until you have achieved your desired color.
  • Scoop the filling into the egg whites.
  • Sprinkle with paprika and top with a sprig of parsley.

Yields: 24 servings.

Crepe Suzettes

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With their tangy orange appeal, crepe Suzettes are a classic. And while they may seem to be intimidating to make, they reality is that they are quite simple. As I’ve discussed before, making the actual crepes takes some practice but once you have perfected your technique, the options as to how you dress these paper thin pancakes are unlimited. And crepe Suzettes are one of my favorites.

CREPE SUZETTES

For the crepes:

1 cup cold water

1 cup milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree for 1 minutes.  Alternatively, place all of the ingredients in a large deep bowl and use a stick blender to puree for 1 minute.
  • Cover and allow to sit for at least two hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook the crepes, pre-heat a 6″ crepe pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.  When the pan is hot, lightly spray it with cooking spray.
  • Lift the pan off of the direct heat.  Using a small ladle (a gravy ladle is perfect) place a heaping spoonful of batter in the center of the pan and swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Return the pan to the stove and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges of the crepe begin to curl and small bubbles form on the top of the crepe.
  • Lift the pan off of the heat again and give the pan a firm shake to release the crepe. If it sticks return the pan to the heat again for a few more seconds.
  • Gently flip the crepe with the shake of your wrist.  Return the pan to the heat and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn the pan upside down over a plate to remove the crepe and repeat the process until all of the batter has been used.

Yields 25-30 6 inch crepes (you will have plenty left over)

For the orange sauce:

Juice from 4 oranges

 

Finely grated zest from 1 orange

 

1 small lemon, juice an finely grated zest

 

1 tablespoons sugar

 

3 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

Extra Grand Marnier, for flaming (optional)

  • Stirring occasionally, combine the orange and lemon juices, the zests and the sugar in a small saucepan set over medium high heat.
  • Once the mixture is hot but not simmering, stir in the Grand Marnier and butter and mix until melted and combined.
  • Move the sauce to a wide, shallow bowl. (A pasta plate works well for this).
  • Working with one crepe at a time, dip the crepe into the sauce, coating it on all sides.
  • Allow the excess liquid to drip back into the bowl before moving the crepe to a plate and folding in half then half again.  Move the folded crepe to a platter.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining crepes.
  • If you want to flame your crepes, heat a small amount of Grand Marnier in a metal ladle. When the alcohol is hot light it with a match and pour the flame over the top of the platter of crepes.
  • Serve immediately, topped with additional sauce if desired.

Serves 8

Cinnamon-Apple Dutch Baby

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Breakfast is undoubtedly my favorite meal of the day yet it is one that I am more apt to skip than not simply because I’m not a fan of cooking before I’ve had my morning dose of coffee. On weekends I love lounging around and sipping my coffee while I catch up on the news and plan my day ahead. By the time I am ready to get moving the breakfast hour has passed or what I want to make simply takes too long to get from bowl to table. But when I am really craving breakfast a Dutch baby is my go-to dish.

A Dutch baby is essentially a giant popover and it comes together and cooks up so quickly that it is silly not to make one. The key to a puffy Dutch baby is a very hot oven and eating it the minute it comes out of the oven. To achieve the hot oven I turn mine on before I start any of my other preparations. I cook the apples in the same cast iron skillet that I will bake in then pop the pan in the oven the minute my apples are done. It truly is fast; you can have go from bowl to table in twenty minutes. Why that’s just enough time to enjoy a second cup of coffee.

APPLE-CINNAMON DUTCH BABY

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 semi-tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I like Pink Lady)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Melt the butter in a 9 inch cast iron skillet set over medium high heat.
  • Add the sliced apples and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Stirring occasionally, sautee the apples until they are soft and the sugar begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, sugar and salt.
  • Add the batter to the apples and immediately place the skillet in the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and browned.
  • Serve immediately.

Brown Sugar Banana Crepes

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Our trip to Paris this past spring inspired me to perfect my crepe making skills. These simple thin pancakes are just as likely to be sold in upscale restaurants and neighborhood cafes as they are from street vendors.  They can be sweet or savory, plain or filled with meats, cheeses, jams, chocolate or fruit.  I like to think of a crepe as a blank slate on which to build a masterpiece.

Making a proper crepe takes some practice and patience.  Pour too much batter into the pan and you end up with a thick and gloppy mess.  Too little and the edges are too crisp and they are too fragile to flip without breaking them.  A heaping gravy ladle is usually the right amount of batter to fill a 6 inch crepe pan.  I pour the batter into the center of the pan then using circular motions to distribute the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Work quickly though since the batter begins to set immediately.  Use the pan itself to turn the crepes over using a flipping motion.  A spatula or a pair of tongs are unnecessary and only cause the crepes to tear.  Take some time to practice your technique and soon you will be flipping crepes like a pro.

This recipe makes a lot of crepes so feel free to cut it in half.  The first one or two crepes of each batch are usually “throw away” ones for me as I adjust the heat and perfect my technique to plan accordingly.

BROWN SUGAR BANANA CREPES

For the crepes:

1 cup cold water

1 cup milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree for 1 minutes.  Alternatively, place all of the ingredients in a large deep bowl and use a stick blender to puree for 1 minute.
  • Cover and allow to sit for at least two hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook the crepes, pre-heat a 6″ crepe pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.  When the pan is hot, lightly spray it with cooking spray.
  • Lift the pan off of the direct heat.  Using a small ladle (a gravy ladle is perfect) place a heaping spoonful of batter in the center of the pan and swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Return the pan to the stove and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges of the crepe begin to curl and small bubbles form on the top of the crepe.
  • Lift the pan off of the heat again and give the pan a firm shake to release the crepe. If it sticks return the pan to the heat again for a few more seconds.
  • Gently flip the crepe with the shake of your wrist.  Return the pan to the heat and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn the pan upside down over a plate to remove the crepe and repeat the process until all of the batter has been used.

Yields 25-30 6 inch crepes (you will have plenty left over)

For the banana filling

2 ripe but firm bananas (the skin should have some brown spots but be mostly yellow)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Cut the bananas in thirds then slice lengthwise.  You should get 9 banana slices out of each banana.  Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the bananas and saute for 2 minutes per side.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over the top of the banana-butter mixture and gently stir to combine. Saute for an additional 1 minute.
  • To assemble the crepes, place a crepe on a plate.  Spoon 2-3 banana pieces onto the center of the crepe and fold in the top and bottom.  Gently turn the crepe over so the seam is facing the plate.  Repeat the process with each crepe.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Spanish Potato Tortilla

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One of my favorite memories of my trip to Spain was eating tapas. Regardless of the hour there was always a tapas restaurant open on just about every street corner in Madrid. Tapas are a social meal; you can order a variety of the small plates and share them amongst your table mates. They are also a great way to try new dishes and flavors since by ordering one you aren’t committing to a full entrée. And I would always try new dishes each time we sat down at the table. However, in addition to the plentiful little bowls of olives that graced every menu, tortillas made regular appearances. If a restaurant made a good tortilla I knew everything else they made would be good as well. I had forgotten much I liked tortillas nut after Spanish friends brought one to our house I knew I had to make my own.

Tortillas are actually quite simple; tender potatoes and onions are combined with eggs and fried. It sounds so basic but the flavors are anything but. This recipe is courtesy of Fine CookingIf you want to save time you can find pre-cut potatoes in your grocery store’s fresh food case. (I’ve recently discovered these and now swear by their convenience). You can serve the tortilla as part of a tapas dinner, as an appetizer or a snack. I love to eat the leftovers at room temperature the next day washed down with a glass of crisp rose wine. Now that is summer living.

SPANISH POTATO TORTILLA

1 3/4 cups olive oil (not extra virgin)

1 3/4 pounds low starch potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices

2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

6 eggs

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Pour the olive oil into a 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet and set over medium-high heat.
  • While the oil is heating, place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt, tossing to distribute it well.
  • When the oil is very hot (test it by slipping a single potato slice into the oil. It should sizzle vigorously without the edges browning), slip the potatoes into the oil with a slotted spoon. Fry the potatoes, turning occasionally, taking care not to break them up. Adjust the heat if necessary to the potatoes cook without crisping or browning.
  • Line a plate with paper towels. When the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes, transfer them to the plate.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the oil. Fry, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat as necessary, until the onions are very soft and translucent but not browned, 7-9 minutes. Remove from the pan and add to the plate with the potatoes.
  • Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan. Heat over high heat until both the oil and the pan are very hot.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper with a fork until blended. Add the drained potatoes, onions and garlic and mix gently to combine, taking care not to break up the potatoes.
  • Pour the potato and egg mixture into the hot skillet, spreading it evenly. Cook for 1 minute then lower the heat to medium-low, cooking until the eggs are completely set at the edges and cooked halfway into the center and the tortilla easily slips around the pan when you give it a shake, about 8 to 10 minutes. You may need to use a thin spatula to loosen the edges.
  • Set a flat, rimless plate that is at least as wide as the skillet upside down over the pan. Lift the skillet off of the burner and with one hand on the bottom of the plate and the other holding the skillet’s handle, invert the skillet so the tortilla lands on the plate.
  • Set the pan back on the heat and slide the tortilla onto it, using the slotted spoon to push any stray potatoes back under the eggs.
  • Cook until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and hot with no uncooked egg on it, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Transfer the tortilla to a serving platter and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve it warm, at room temperature or slightly cool.
  • Cut into wedges or small squares.

Yields:10-12 appetizer sized servings

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