Tag Archive: breakfast


Savory Breakfast Muffins

Cracked Egg by vicviciniI really need to make more time for blogging. Wait no, I just need more time, in general. More often then not, I’m left wondering “…where did all my time go?” but I already know. Such is life, where I barely have time to do anything anymore and it’s almost depressing (notice I say almost) but suddenly amidst all this – it’s Summer!! Can I get a hip, hip hooray? 😉 I’m not thinking “yay, it’s Summer,” I’m more like: “thank GOD it’s Summer,” and I’ll be thinking that all this week until the wow effect of this wonderful season wears off.

So what’s good about Summer? Everything you forgot about over Winter. Sunshine, popsicles, sidewalk chalk, iced tea, picnics, bubbles, watermelon, need I go on (because I have a tendency to do that…) I’m not exactly sure why I love Summer so much, I just know it’s not Winter, and how blessed that is.

I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of traveling lately and on my travels I also got to stay with family 🙂 It was on this last trip that I discovered The Gourmet Kitchen: Mushrooms, a semi-old South African illustrated cookbook sitting on a back shelf. After flipping through the first few pages, I thought I’d just write down the recipes that I wanted to make and get to it later, but I quickly realized that I wanted to make every single one! Don’t you hate it when that happens? So far I’ve made 7 recipes from this cookbook made for mushroom lovers: (1) mushroom omelet , (2) duck, mushroom & black bean stirfry, (3) savory mushroom & cheese muffins (these ones!), (4) spicy bean, mushroom, and chorizo stew, and (5) marinated mushrooms. Coming up next week: mixed mushroom tempura! Yessss.

So back to my issue with time. Now that I’ve returned from my travels, I find myself more often on the go than chillin’ in the crib. More than that, my day starts first thing in the morning, like everybody else who have kids 🙂 Introducing…the breakfast muffin!?! These aren’t your greasy calorie bombs you’ll find in Starbucks, I’m talking homemade, no guilt goodness of the best kind. I really can’t take sugar, or pastries (unfortunately), or super sweet things in the morning either so this is a godsend for me 😛 And when it comes to these muffins, thBellaere’s room for experimenting. I added the ham and chives to my recipe here, I also used more cheese and an extra egg on my second batch, just for fun 🙂 I don’t really find (or I guess look) for buttermilk anymore, so I ended up making my own instead (with milk & water, or milk & vinegar) to make the recipe.

The star ingredient in these superstar muffins? The mushrooms. It’s too easy of an answer, especially with all that talk about mushroom cookbooks, but the “proof is in the pudding,” as they say, or in this case it’s in the batter because mushrooms add a whole lot more than taste. For one, you don’t add any additional butter, just what you cook the mushrooms in so already, it’s a tad bit healthier 🙂 Secondly, mushrooms contribute moisture and pack a lot of taste for being as small as they shrink too after sizzling in butter for 5 minutes.

My advice? Substitute mushrooms in for the next ingredient you can’t seem to find in the grocery store. I throw thinly sliced mushrooms into soup, pickle them like cucumbers, and use them whole as dippers in broth & cheese fondue. There’s such a thing as mushroom pate, and if you’re fresh out of steak (or the cash required to get those hunks of meat), fry up some portobellos just like you would a filet. Like most things, mushrooms get better when they’re cooked in wine, sherry, or marsala. I do my portobello “steaks” with red wine sauce, as I pretend to be a pro at this whole vegetarian thing 😉

Breakfast Muffins with Mushrooms, Ham, and Fresh Chives

Ingredients

3 Tbs. butterSavoury Muffins

150g or 5oz of mushrooms, chopped

250g or 9 oz flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

75g or 3oz grated parmesan or gran pardona cheese (or more, if you prefer)

100g or 4oz ham, cubed or sliced

1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

250ml or 8fl. oz buttermilk

salt & cracked pepper

1 egg

(1) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 Fahrenheit). In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. (2) When the pan is hot, add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring 0cassionally, until the moisture evaporates, 5-6 minutes total. Remove from heat and mix in the ham and fresh chives. Let cool uncovered. (3) Prepare a muffin pan or put 12 paper muffin liners on a baking tray. (4) In a large bowl, mix together the baking powder and half of the grated cheese. (5) In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk until well combined. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the batter is just combined. It should be a little lumpy. (6) Scoop a generous spoonful of batter into each of the muffins liners, they should be about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese and a dash of salt & cracked pepper. (7) Bake the muffins 24 – 25 minutes, or until the tops are browned and a fork comes out clean from the middle. Transfer to a wooden board to cool. Reheat muffins for breakfast or eat cold on a busy day!

Makes 12 muffins

chivesMy question: What’s your go-to breakfast dish?

I’m talking about the meal that lights your fire. For some, it’s dried fruit & muesli, for others it’s a classic omelet. I’m pretty predictable in that I don’t want to do much of anything in the morning, let alone eat so if there’s going to be breakfast, it better be hot.

I’m a sucker for the American classics and would choose bacon and eggs (and tomatoes, lots of tomatoes) over oatmeal, any day. The thing is I never have the time and if there’s somebody making breakfast, it’s unfortunately not me 😦

Is some of this sounding familiar? Try making these muffins the night before and you won’t have to stress, just nibble them on your way to work or in the middle of class, like I end up doing…

6.8.2015

 

 

Pesto meets Breakfast

KBH – København 😀 I am here (!) and loving all the new sights & sounds. Plenty of new food to feast my eyes on and it’s all about layered, light, experiential flavors in Scandinavian cuisine. I’m still experimenting with the economical/baby-friendly copenhagen_poster2art of cooking these days, which goes pretty well, depending on the day 😉 my main goal though is coming up with meals that can be put together really fast! I’m all about really fast, as fast as possible since I don’t have the time or energy to chop or artfully arrange ingredients. Thank god for blenders and mixers, and that awesome convection option on the oven..

My baby loves garlicky things, whether it be roasted, pickled, or raw :O so I thought the pesto would be a good idea. I obviously don’t give him large amounts of the stuff or he’d probably be excreting some serious herbal scents 😉 but a spoonful or two with porridge, on bread, or dipped with veggies seems to suit him nicely. This recipe comes from this month’s Bon Appetit and was under an article dedicated to spicing up breakfast. I think the next time I’ll take their other recommendation and add fresh salsa to my scrambled eggs. I’m just so glad there are ideas out there on how to spice up a meal that you end up eating half awake anyway 😉

My star ingredient? Spinach. It’s in the Pesto and the eggs. Spinach is another one of those underrated vegetables and can go in seriously anything. I’m not a huge fan of wilted spinach but have found it’s great like that when thrown into rice, pasta, orspinach_fresh (aha!) breakfast dishes. Pesto is all about the herbs so serve equally fresh things with it–crunchy sandwiches, as a dipping sauce for raw veggies when you’re on the go, or a heaping spoonful in soup that’s just missing a little flavor. I thought a batch of pesto would last me and the household a week but ha! Not a chance, it’s too tasty to ignore every time you open up the door of the fridge. Maybe I’ll try to camouflage or disguise it next time 😀

Scrambled Eggs with Pesto, Greens, & Baby Tomatoes

Ingredients

(for the pesto)pesto

2 cups spinach leaves (or other greens)

1 cup fresh Basil

1 cup fresh Parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or other aged cheese)

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

5 garlic cloves, peeled

(for the eggs)

5 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

2 Tbs. buttereggs

1/4 cup grated aged cheese

1/2 cup greens (like spinach or arugula)

1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved

(1) To make the pesto, combine everything in the ingredients list, spinach through garlic, into a blender or food processor and pulse until it’s a paste, adding more olive oil as needed. This can be chilled for up to 2 weeks in the fridge beforehand. (2) In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and cheese. Heat a skillet over medium high-heat. When hot, add butter and spinach. Cook, stirring often, until spinach has wilted, 3-4 minutes. (3) Add baby tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. (4) Next add the egg mixture. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until eggs are fluffy and browned in some places, 5-7 minutes. (5) When ready to serve, stir in 3-4 Tbs. of pesto into the eggs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with toast or breakfast rolls.

Serves 4

Scrambled eggs go with everything–bread, beans, pasta (like in Asian food), cooked veggies, etc. Lately I’ve been using my egg poacher (a wonderful Christmas present) to make eggs that are over easy, perfectly shaped, and cooked in 5 minutes. breakfast_posterAhh, it’s the simple things in life 🙂

Breakfast was always a meal I’d avoided simply because it was so early; now I relish it and look for any way to spice things up when you’re barely awake and need to eat!

 

My question:

What is your ideal (close to “perfect”) breakfast on the go?

It could be something classy, healthy, or oddly-matched but hey, we all got to eat ]:)

2.9.13

The Best of the Season

Now that we’re in the full swing of Summer, there’s plenty of tasty things in season – apples, apricots, avocados, basil, bell peppers, berries, melon, carrots, cherries, chilies, cilantro, eggplant, fennel, figs, grapes, garlic, green beans, green onions, lettuce, limes – veggies that are relatively inexpensive and arriving at the local markets in abundance. The last two weeks I’ve had my best friend here from the U.S. I cooked up a storm, really couldn’t help myself and we probably ate 90% of what’s on that in-season list. Granted we drank a lot of Sangria too, so I think it’s all a balance 🙂

In this post I’ve sketched out a complete day’s menu. I tried to make it a colorful, tasty spread with a good mix of both rich and fresh, spicy and sweet flavors. The menu is divided into the day’s meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. If I had to categorize it, I’d call the breakfast Danish, the lunch Hawaiian, and the dinner just plain European…I’d be lying if I said the dessert wasn’t Italian 😀

Probably one of this menu’s more bombastic contributions, the breakfast pâté I found in last month’s Bon Appétit. I just happened to have frozen pâté in my freezer, made in the last month of my pregnancy. A container of frozen pâté is one of the best things I’ve ‘lost’ and found again in my freezer. The steak, carrot, and chicken salad recipes I read in Cooking Light a couple years ago (and pineapple dressing for salad – genius!) The dessert is from Cucina La Italiana, still one of my favorite cooking magazines 😀 (nope..no endorsement yet, but a girl can dream).

On a random side note, I have switched from using olive oil to sunflower oil in all of my recipes that involve cooking at high temperatures. I recently read in an email sent from a very helpful friend of mine that when you cook certain oils (most oils, actually) to a certain high temperature, they burn and consequently go rancid. Rancid oils are carcinogenic, which are bad no matter what form they come in. So – as delicious as olive oil is – I guess it’s best to be served with dishes that aren’t cooked. Perhaps I should have known this but hey, I thought olive oil was delicious in any form I used it.

The star ingredient in this menu is citrus, I used mostly oranges but lemons and limes too. I’ve made the case for this fruit time and time again and I never seem to tire of it. I have a tupperware full of citrus slices sitting in the fridge for my water, juice, wine, etc. and I throw orange peels into stir-fries, zest copious amounts of lemons for batches of strawberry lemonade, and am making lime simple syrup for what I think might be the perfect mohito. This family of fruits can sit in the fruit bowl on the counter long after all other fruits there have molded and bruised, all the while giving off verbena aromas in the kitchen. I put unripe fruit in a bag with oranges or other citrus for a day to make them soft and ready to eat. Since I get a lot of my citrus from Spain, I’ve now gotten into the habit of scrubbing the outer rinds with soap and warm water before I zest or peel for cooking. At first what I thought was a pregnancy craving, turns out to be a lifelong addiction to Vitamin C, perhaps? Or maybe I’m just wanting some extra energy 😉 Either way, there’s something wonderfully refreshing about these sweet and sour fruits. If I had to pick a favorite – and it would be hard – I would have to say lemons. When life gives you lemons, you can make just about a million things to eat..

Breakfast

Liver Pâté Crostini with Savory Berry Salad

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups chilled liver pâté (can be chicken, duck, or beef)

1 baguette, sliced

(for the salad)

1 container of fresh blackberries

1 container of fresh blueberries

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh chives, minced

2 Tbs. fresh Parsley, minced

1 lemon, juiced

salt & cracked pepper

(1) To make the salad, combine all ingredients – blackberries through lemon juice – in a sealable container. Season with salt & pepper and chill until ready to serve. Turn the oven on to a low broil. (2) In a large metal or glass oven pan, lay out the baguette slices and season both sides lightly with olive oil and pepper. (3) Put pan into the oven about 10 cm from the top and broil, turning once, until both sides are browned, 3-4 minutes total. (4) Serve each of the toasted bread slices with a layer of chilled pâté and a spoonful of the berry salad on individual plates, or set it all in the center of the table and let everyone make their own.

Serves 4

Lunch

Blackened Chicken Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Ingredients

(for the chicken)

1 lb. (or 1/2 kg) chicken breasts

1 Tbs. ground coriander

1 tsp. chili flakes

1 Tbs. garam masala

1/2 Tbs. curry powder

1 /2 Tbs. ground black pepper

1 Tbs. cajun seasoning

1 Tbs. paprika

sunflower oil

(for the salad)

1 bag of baby spinach, washed & stemmed

1 package of baby bean sprouts, washed

1 red bell pepper, seeded & thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded & thinly sliced

2 red onions, peeled & thinly sliced

3 carrots, peeled & cut into matchsticks

1/2 of a ripe pineapple, peeled & cubed

(for the vinaigrette)

1/4 cup beer

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup cubed pineapple

2 Thai chilies, coarsely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed & chopped

1/2 bunch of fresh chives, chopped

2 oranges, juiced

3 Tbs. honey

3 Tbs. yogurt

1 Tbs. rice vinegar

3 garlic cloves, chopped

(1) First, make the vinaigrette: combine all ingredients (beer through garlic) in a blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste with honey and cracked pepper, cover, and chill in the fridge. (2) Second, for the salad, make sure all veggies are washed and the greens are dry. In a large bowl, toss all veggies for the salad together, spinach through pineapple pieces. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate until ready to eat. (3) Third, make the chicken: combine all spices for the chicken- coriander through paprika – in a small bowl. Wash and trim chicken breasts, dry, and then rub with 1 Tbs. sunflower oil. Rub the spice mix on both sides of chicken. (4) Heat 2 Tbs. of sunflower oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. When hot, add the chicken and cook, turning once until both sides are browned and the meat is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cover with foil; let rest 5 minutes. (5) When ready to serve, lightly toss salad with the chilled vinaigrette. Slice blackened chicken lengthwise and top each salad bowl with 4-5 pieces. To make the salad as a weekly snack, keep vinaigrette on the side and separate salad into sealable containers, covering with damp paper towels; close and seal the containers and refrigerate until needed, adding the vinaigrette just before eating. Salad goes well with garlic bread or toasted pita triangles 🙂

Serves 4

Dinner

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Pomegranate-Pinot Noir Sauce

Ingredients

4 beef tenderloin steaks

1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir (or Cabernet-Merlot blend)

4 shallots, peeled & minced

2 oranges, juiced

2 pomegranates, seeded

1 cup of beef broth

2 Tbs. butter

sunflower oil

sea salt & cracked pepper

(1) Season both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Let meat stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. (2) Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the steaks and cook 3 minutes per side, until  seared on the outside and medium-rare when cut into. Remove steaks from the skillet and cover with foil. (3) Pour 1 Tbs. of oil into the skillet, add shallots and cook about 3 minutes until slightly golden. Add all of the red wine, beef broth, and orange juice next, bringing the sauce to a boil. (4) Stirring occasionally, cook until the liquid has been reduced by half. Lower heat and stir in the butter; season to taste with salt & pepper. (5) Serve the steaks with a generous spoonful of red wine sauce and 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds per plate, cracking black pepper across the top.

Serves 4

Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

Ingredients

1 lb. (or 1/2 kg) carrots, peeled & quartered

4 cloves of garlic

5 Tbs. fresh grated ginger

3 Tbs. butter

5 limes, zested & juiced

sunflower oil

Sea salt & cracked pepper

(1) Mince all of the garlic and mix with the fresh ginger and lime zest; set aside. Fill the bottom of a large pot with 3 cm of salted water; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. (2) Put the carrots in a colander and then into the pot; cover and steam veggies until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 10-15 minutes. (3) In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. sunflower oil and add the garlic-ginger mixture, cooking 1 minute or until fragrant. (4) Lower the heat to medium and add carrots and lime juice, mixing well. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring often, until carrots have absorbed liquid, about 4-5 minutes. (5) Stir in the butter until melted and serve immediately with cracked pepper.
Serves 4

and Dessert..

Honey-Citrus Gelatin with Cream & Cracked Pepper

Ingredients

1 packet unflavored gelatin

3 oranges

1 lemon

4 Tbs. honey

2 Tbs. brown sugar

1/2 cup cream

cracked pepper

(1) Zest and juice all 3 oranges. In a medium saucepan, add orange juice, zest, honey, and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer until thickened and reduced by half. (2) Juice the lemon and add to saucepan, add the gelatin powder and cook for 1 minute more. (3) Remove from heat and cover, letting stand a minimum of 30 minutes. Once cool, put in the fridge (keeps 3 weeks chilled). (4) When ready to serve, put spoonfuls of the warm (or chilled) gelatin into small bowls and pour cream over the top, garnishing with 1/2 tsp. cracked pepper.

Serves 4

So, my Summer menu has turned out to be both long and filling. Det er både lang og godt fyldende 🙂

My question: What is the best sauce to serve with a steak?

Red wine sauce is still one of my reigning favorites…

8.1.12

Fluffy, Facile, Fanciful Quiche

As the breeze gets cooler and the weather a bit  more temperamental, I felt encouraged to make a dish that could be served both hot and cold and would supply enough leftovers to last us a couple of days. Quiche is one of my favorite things to make because it’s so easy; and, well…anything with eggs, veggies, and melted cheese is a winner in my book }:-)

Since the most important ingredient in Quiche is the cheese (what a surprise right?), I used generous cups of the grated goodness from a massive block of Leyden cheese which is speckled with cumin seeds and sweetly fragrant. I went for the fanciful choice of veggie ingredients including roasted shallots (and garlic, lots of that), cremini mushrooms, and sweet red peppers. I got the idea to make a ‘crusted’ Quiche when I realized I had half a bag of leftover breadcrumbs (actually, just bruschetta toast that I’d crushed effectively into breadcrumbs); I topped the Quiche with these crumbs and to make a crust across the top which browned as it finished baking in the oven :]

Not only easy in preparation, Quiche is also a very versatile dish. You can make it with whatever cheese and veggies you have  available (just keep the eggs a constant), eat it hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge. You can serve this meal for breakfast, brunch, or lunch (and dinner wouldn’t be pushing it ;-). It’s perfect with a spot (or two) of hot sauce. While the most important ingredient is undoubtedly cheese, I believe the star ingredient in this Quiche was the shallots. A little goes a long way and once they’re roasted, shallots gain a strong, sweet flavor that adds taste and substance to the dish.

Considering how fast the leftovers vanished, I’m considering making different versions of this Quiche that involve some of my more favorite veggie ingredients–cauliflower, tomatoes, jalapenos…leeks–something with flavor and pizzazz! Just a tip for those making Quiche for the first time, remember to cook it only as long as necessary and no longer. When cooked right, the Quiche will be soft and fluffy, but overcooked Quiche will taste thick and rubbery. If I can pull this off properly while converting to Celsius in a tiny European kitchen than I have faith that anyone can 🙂

Crusted Quiche with Roasted Shallots, Sweet Red Peppers, and Mushrooms

Ingredients

8 eggs, beaten

4 large sweet red peppers, chopped

1/2 lb. fresh cremini mushrooms, chopped

6 shallots, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbs. dried marjoram (or dried Parsley)

1 1/2 cups milk

3 cups grated Leyden cheese (substitute Cream Havarti or Farmer’s Gouda)

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (*you can make breadcrumbs yourself by letting bread harden, like French or Sourdough, and crushing it in a bowl with a can, cup, or rolling-pin until it is made into coarse, little breadcrumbs…🙂

butter

sea salt & cracked pepper

(1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 180 degrees Celsius:-). Melt 1 Tbs. of butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat; add the mushrooms and peppers and let cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 8 minutes. (2) Add another Tbs. of butter to one side of the pan and then all of the shallots and garlic; let them brown on that one side of the frying pan until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let cool. (3) In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and 2 cups of the grated cheese, stirring well and seasoning with pepper (not salt, adding salt to the eggs before they’re cooked will make them rubbery as well). (4) Lightly grease a large oven-proof glass dish (of any size, you can use circles, squares, or in my case, a rectangular dish) and spread the roasted vegetables in an even layer along the bottom; top the veggies with the remaining cup of grated cheese. (5) Pour the egg mixture into the glass dish over the vegetables and let settle a minute; top the Quiche with the breadcrumbs, spreading evenly across the top. (6) Put the Quiche on the bottom rack of the oven and bake 30-35 minutes depending, until the top is slightly browned. You can tell when the Quiche is done cooking by piercing with a fork; if the fork comes out clean (with no moisture on the prongs) then it is done. (7) Let the Quiche cool 5 minutes before cutting into small square pieces. Best served with a spoonful of hot sauce and/or a spot of tea 😉

Serves 6

Just as the weekend arrives and the start of school inches closer, I am relocating to another house with another kitchen, and entirely new ingredients. I am bringing plenty of spices with me, I’ll just have to see what tasty dishes I can concoct in my new surroundings 🙂 Wish me luck!

My question: What are some of the best grated cheeses to use in a Quiche?

There are so many that improve upon afer being melted…like Fontina, Muenster, (and my personal fav) Gruyère….mmmmm…

8.19.11

And Finally…Breakfast ]:)

The sun rises so early over here (like 3:30 AM  and no, I’m not joking) that it’s hard to ignore the morning! I wanted to make an early breakfast for my bf since he gets up at the crack of dawn anyway to go to work. To accomplish this, I started cooking around 4:00 AM, which ended up being an all-nighter but at least I got to clean the kitchen before going to bed vs. after 😉

This recipe is from Fine Cooking and what fine cooking it truly is 🙂 I believe poached eggs (if done right) are the tastiest way to eat eggs (or embryos, anyway;). Granted, I overcooked mine just a little but I’ve already corrected my methods to reflect this. First I dealt with altitude in Colorado, now I’m at sea level–phew, there are definitely differences between the two! (practice, practice…) I found some tasty-looking Danish mushrooms while grocery shopping that were cheaper than any others in the store and proved equally delicious. The warm, wet climate here and miles and miles of forest contribute to the growth of a lot of wild mushrooms you can go out and pick yourself, assuming you know what to look for. Just make sure you don’t confuse them with snails because those suckers get pretty big in the forests, too }:)

As for the star ingredient in this recipe, it’s the garlic, which I ended up tripling since the original recipe only called for 1 Tbs. minced garlic (but really, why call it ‘garlicky mushrooms’ if there’s like 2 cloves in there?) I ended up adding onion, fennel seeds, and substituting frozen spinach for fresh but overall, I think the breakfast dish turned out to be tasty, filling, and nutritious (yeah, well luckily for me garlic is good for you…)

Poached Eggs over Toast with Garlicky Mushrooms & Onions

Ingredients

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced into chunks

2 white onions, finely chopped

2 cups frozen spinach

6 eggs

1 loaf of bread, thickly sliced (like focaccia or country bread)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs. fennel seeds

1 Tbs. oregano

olive oil

sea salt & cracked pepper

(1) Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add the onion and garlic, letting cook 2 minutes or until fragrant. (2) Next add mushrooms, fennel seeds, and vinegar to the frying pan and stir well, letting the mixture cook until the mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate (3) When the salted water is at a rolling boil, crack one of the eggs into a small bowl. Using a spoon, stir the boiling water in the center until a vortex forms (you know, like a whirlpool). Carefully drop the egg into the center. Repeat this process with the remaining eggs and let them boil for 2 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon. (4) Toast the bread until browned, setting aside. Dry the outside of the eggs on paper towels and trim away an excess egg white; cover to keep warm. Next, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until hot, about 3-4 minutes. (5) Season the mushroom mixture with dried oregano (and more pepper if needed), stirring until well blended. Arrange spinach on the bottom of bowls, then the toast, and top with a generous spoonful of the mushrooms and onions. Set the poached eggs on top and sprinkle withe cracked pepper & salt. Serve immediately (it won’t be hot forever…)

Serves 6

There’s something I really love about mushrooms, and who’d have thought they’d work so exceptionally well for breakfast! At the end of it all, this meal is best served up in the bedroom, which is where we ate our eggs and toast to keep comfortably. Then he went to work and I cleaned the kitchen and went to bed, now that’s a morning well spent };)

My question: What is the ideal breakfast in bed for you? I have a feeling it involves eggs, but then again, maybe not…

7.15.11

Breakfast for Dinner!

Breakfast is one of the more “important” meals of the day and–for those sorry few of us who aren’t morning people–it can be difficult to rouse oneself in the morning to cook up all the tasty, flavorful breakfast recipes that exist out there. Since yesterday was another day that I missed my opportunity to make breakfast, I decided to make it for dinner.

My favorite breakfast dish ever is Eggs Benedict. I mean, what can I say? There’s just something about Hollandaise sauce that makes everything in the world seem wonderful. My recipe includes veggie sausage (because we all need to eat soy some time…) and fresh avocado slices.

As for the secret to tasty Hollandaise, I discovered that it is better to add 1/2 the butter they tell you to on the sauce packet and a little more milk, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, 1-2 Tbs. dried (or fresh) Tarragon, and a splash of whatever white wine you can find. And the more cracked pepper, the better!

Eggs Benedict with Tarragon Peppercorn Hollandaise, Veggie Sausage, & Avocado


Ingredients

2 English muffins

1 Avocado, halved

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Hollandaise sauce packet

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. butter

1-1/2 cups milk

4 veggie sausage patties (like Morningstar)

1 Tomato, cut into thick slices

4 eggs

splash of White wine (optional)

olive oil, cracked pepper, sea salt

(1) Put the 4 veggie sausage patties in a skillet and cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes until the sausage is cooked all the way through and browned on the outside; put cooked sausage in a bowl, cover, and set aside. (2) Make the Hollandaise sauce according to packet instructions (using all of the butter). While the sauce is thickening, add the lemon juice, white wine, Dijon mustard, and Tarragon; stir until well blended. When sauce is thickened (after about 1 minute), cover the saucepan and turn off the heat. Leave the sauce covered until ready to serve. (3) Halve the english muffins and toast both sides until lightly browned. Place each of the muffin halves, cut side up, onto two plates. (4) Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Crack the eggs over the skillet and cook over until the bottom of the eggs are browned, 6-8 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and make sure the cooked eggs are separated into 4 pieces. (5) Top each toasted english muffin piece with a slice of tomato, veggie sausage, and a cooked egg. Cover the entire stack with a heaping ladleful of Hollandaise sauce and served with thin avocado slices scattered on all sides of the plate. Garnish with cracked pepper.

Serves 4

Well, that was a marvelous idea, and well worth the 30 minutes I spent assembling everything. I thought the presentation, of all things, was the most compelling part of the entire ensemble–the stack of tomato, fried egg, and veggie sausage dripping with steaming Hollandaise, scattered with Avocado slices, and covered in cracked pepper. Ahhh yes, everything good from breakfast. I suggest having just a little extra of some of these ingredients just in case; we ended up having seconds (and for my boyfriend, thirds) until everything was gone…even the Hollandaise.  Perhaps one day I shall make it in time enough for the morning, but, until then:

Here’s to breakfast–for Dinner!

12.21.10