Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kale Baked Eggs


Kale is a contentious vegetable in our family. Actually, it used to be but I've forced it on my husband so much that I think he's gotten used to it. He used to hate kale, squash of every kind, beans of every kind (except green) and quinoa. Now he only hates quinoa, and even hate is a strong word.

This breakfast was totally husband approved. He likes kale when I make sure to add lots of garlic, crushed red pepper and lemon. The oozy eggs add a richness to the kale and the greens make it so hearty and wonderful. Like everything else in our house, this gets served with crusty bread.

Today we had a wonderful day. It was the first really nice day we've had in a long time. We woke up late, made breakfast, caught up on some TV shows, sat in our PJs for much too long and eventually went out with some friends to the driving range/mini golf. It was a great double date with my husband and one of my best friends. Who could ask for a better Saturday and a better beginning to spring?

Kale Baked Eggs

Ingredients (for 2 people)
  • 4 eggs
  • half an onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed and coarsely chopped
  • grated gruyere/parmesan cheese
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice
Directions
  1. Sautee the onion and garlic in a little olive oil or bacon fat (in this case, we used the fat from our breakfast sausages). Add the kale, cover and cook on low until kale is wilted.
  2. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and lemon juice to taste.
  3. Make 4 indentations in the kale (if using a big skillet) or divide into 2 individual skillets and make two indentations each. Crack eggs in the holes and place skillet in a preheated 350 degree oven.
  4. Cook eggs for 10 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. A couple minutes before they're done, sprinkle eggs with cheese.
  5. Eat immediately with crusty bread.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Irish Brown Bread

 
It's the third Monday of the month again. That means it's time for Secret Recipe Club. You all know what it's about by now. Every month, a group of awesome bloggers make another member's recipe (in secret, of course) and reveal it on a given day. The third Monday of the month belongs to group C. I love participating with this great group of people, seeing everyone's recipes and occasionally remembering one of my old recipes I may have forgotten.
 
This week, I was assigned Nicole over at PicNic. Nicole is a New Zealand native who is studying for her PhD in Biochemistry. She has a great assortment of recipes in every category. I was really tempted by her Stuffed Mushrooms or her Seafood Gumbo (though this didn't look like any gumbo I'd ever seen...I assumed it was just a difference in culture). I would have gone with her ANZAC biscuits if I didn't already have an amazing recipe given to me by an old boyfriend's mother, but I ended up choosing her recipe for Irish Brown Bread instead. It's a family recipe that is hearty, delicious, and goes perfectly with anything. Plus, tomorrow is St. Patrick's day. I had to post something like this.
 
This bread was incredibly easy, delicious and perfect for a weeknight dinner because it doesn't involve yeast. I made it with a wonderful Honeyed Chicken that was just screaming for a crusty brown bread. It tastes like Irish Soda Bread (a good or bad thing, depending who you ask) but I enjoyed it. I had some problems with the dough being too wet and I had to add quite a bit more flour (but perhaps there's a difference between New Zealand and US cup measurements)
 
Today is also my first day of my new job. I'm writing this two weeks before the posting date, but I'm already looking forward to reading all of your comments when I get home.
 
Thanks so much Nicole! I'll be sure to come back to your blog again for more great recipes.
 
Irish Brown Bread
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup AP flour (I used about 1/4 cup more to kneading)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
Directions
  1. Mix together flours, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk,
  2. Stir ingredients until combined. Turn out dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth (should still be a little shaggy, but should hold it's shape better. I only needed a minute or so)
  3. Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  4. Let cool completely before slicing. Serve with a stew or for breakfast with butter, honey or jam

 


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Honeyed Chicken with Prunes

 
My husband got me the Game of Thrones cookbook as part of my Christmas gift this year. It's called "A Feast of Ice and Fire" and includes an assortment of really fantastic recipes from the blog Inn at the Crossroads. This recipe came from the section "The North/The Wall". This recipe feels so perfect for the winter (it was still cold when I made it, but now it's almost spring and almost a little too warm for this). The sauce is a little sweet, sour and savory. It seems like the kind of thing that would be perfect on a table in Winterfell.
 
"'Hungry again?' he asked. There was still half a honeyed chicken in the center of the table. Jon reached out to tear off a leg, then had a better idea. He knifed the bird whole and let the carcass slide to the floor between his legs. Ghost ripped into it in savage silence."
-George R. R. Martin "A Game of Thrones"

I think my husband and I prefer a nice roast chicken in general with crispy skin, but this was a great change of pace. It would go great with mashed potatoes or roasted turnips, but it was just as good with simply dressed arugula and brown bread. Give it a try (and with the TV show starting up again in a month, perhaps it will be a great centerpiece for your table as well).

Ingredients
  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dried mixed fruit (I used raisins and prunes, but apricots or cranberries would be great as well)
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint, chiffonade
  • 1 Tbsp butter for the sauce
Directions
  1. Rub the chicken with some of the melted butter and sprinkle generously inside and out with salt and pepper
  2. Place chicken on a roasting rack and roast at 400 degrees until cooked through (about an hour to an hour and a half)
  3. Meanwhile, mix honey, vinegar, fruit, mint and remaining butter in a pot and simmer for about half an hour until it is reduced by half and syrupy. It should be sweet and a little tart.
  4. Brush syrup on the chicken while still hot and serve with a little extra on the side.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Buttermilk Biscuits

 
Biscuits are one of my favorite things to make. I've been searching for a great cut-out biscuit recipe for a really long time and I think I've finally found it. These are super buttery, flakey and light. They go perfectly with anything that might merit a biscuit (soup or breakfast sandwiches or fried chicken. The options are endless).
 
I've been trying to find a recipe for sky-high buttermilk biscuits for a while and these were pretty good. They don't turn out nearly as great in a regular oven as they do in a convection oven, but they're still pretty wonderful. Give them a try the next time you make biscuits. I haven't even attempted to find a better recipe.
 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
 
Directions
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cut in butter until the mixture is sandy and the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
  3. Make a well in the center and mix in buttermilk until the mix just comes together.
  4. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead it a couple times so it comes together.
  5. Roll dough to about 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a floured cookie cutter
  6. Place biscuits touching each other a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the tops with a little extra buttermilk and bake at 400 degrees until golden (about 15 minutes)


 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ginger Pumpkin Soup

 
Winter is almost over. It's now March and even though it's still below freezing outside, it will soon be springtime. Gone will be the winter squash and beets (stupid stupid beets). Soon enough, we'll be seeing peaches and tomatoes at the farmers market. At least, I hope that happens soon. I can't spend another day chipping ice and almost slipping multiple times on the way to work.
 
I made this soup with a great pumpkin I got in my CSA box. This soup is absolutely wonderful, creamy, delicious and spicy. It's a great main dish meal with a piece of crusty bread. It would be a wonderful first course soup as well. We enjoyed it immensely for several days.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 3 1/2 lb pumpkin
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 inch piece of ginger root, grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • greek yogurt or heavy cream
  • cilantro, scallions and toasted pumpkin seed for garnish
  • roasted red pepper for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Cut pumpkin in half a scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake the pumpkin in the oven for 30-45 minutes until tender. Scoop pumpkin out the skin when cool enough to handle.
  2. In a large pot, sautee the onions, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil until tender. Add spices, pumpkin and stock. Cook for another half hour until the flavors blend and season to taste.
  3. Pour soup into blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot over low heat.
  4. Taste soup and add cream or greek yogurt as desired to mellow the flavor of the ginger. Simmer until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with desired garnishes.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Apple Crisp

 
 

Apple crisp is one of our favorite weeknight desserts. It's a lot less work than apple pie and (in my opinion) much more delicious. It's perfect with ice cream and is suitable for a party or just the two of us.

I like using a modified version of the Ina Garten recipe. A lot of folks criticize it for being too tart, but that's what I like best about it. I enjoy the hefty amount of lemon and orange zest and it makes it more refreshing than a too sweet apple crisp would be.

Ingredients (for 10 serving in one large dish. Cut in half to do about 4 individual ramekins)
  • 5 lbs semi tart cooking apples (granny smith will work, but I like Honeycrisp)
  • zest from one orange and one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
For topping (I always make double the topping when doing individuals. I don't need all of it, but one recipe seems to be too little when doing individuals)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 lb cold unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core and slice apples into wedges and toss with spices, citrus and sugar. Pour into baking dish or individual dishes.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix all ingredients for the topping until the mixture looks sandy and the chunks of butter are the size of small peas. Spoon over the top of the apples
  3. Bake apple crisp for one hour or until golden and bubbly. Top with ice cream when serving.

 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Sourdough Beignets

 
I never make fried food. It stinks up your kitchen and it's always a waste of a quart or two of oil. If I deep fry something at home, it has to be something good.
 
I haven't been very good about participating in Sourdough Surprises lately. It's a great blog where other bloggers make awesome, unexpected things out of sourdough. I haven't been great about it, but that's another thing I want to do this year.
 
I knew I had to participate this month when I saw they were making beignets. Who doesn't love beignets? There's nothing better than when they're hot out of the fryer, covered in powdered sugar and served with a cup of chicory coffee. I've never been to Café du Monde in New Orleans, but I can just imagine how perfect they would be.
 
These beignets are good, but I think I like regular beignets better. These were chewy and did not have the same light quality that regular beignets have. I'll post a regular beignet recipe soon enough.
 
I used the recipe from Turnips 2 Tangerines for these beignets. Next time I'd make sure to include a little bit more softened butter, as a regular recipe calls for. I think that would improve the texture. I also used refrigerated sourdough starter, not revived, so maybe that was part of my problem (though I normally do the same think for waffles and they turn out fine)
 
Sourdough Beignets
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (reduced by half) or 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour
  • oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for coating
Directions
  1. Bloom yeast in water with a pinch of the sugar for 10 minutes
  2. Mix yeast mixture, starter, salt, sugar, oil, egg, milk and 1 1/2 cups of flour together until smooth
  3. Add remaining flour a little at a time until mass pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. Put dough in an oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight to ferment
  5. The next morning, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into rectangles.
  6. Heat a quart of vegetable oil in a wok or dutch oven until 350 degrees. Fry beignets, a few at a time until puffed and golden on all sides (about 2-3 minutes, total)
  7. Drain on paper towels and cover liberally with powdered sugar. Eat immediately.
 
Making beignets in the morning gives you the perfect excuse to make fried food at night time. I never make fried chicken because I hate to waste the oil, but if you have it anyway, you might as well use it all up.

This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting