As a kid, I hadn’t experienced the “Egg in a Picture Frame” phenomenon. Known by many names, an “Egg in a Picture Frame” is where you cut a round hole in a piece of buttered bread, fry it in a pan and crack an egg in the hole. I only recently tried one of these myself. You end up with crispy, buttered toast complete with runny egg. Plus the round toast hole that you cut out is a tasty bonus. And to think, I’ve gone this long deprived of this breakfast delight! After this revelation, I felt obligated to try different “egg in” recipes to see what else I might have missed out on all these years.
Avocados are one of my favorite things to eat with eggs. I figured, why not crack an egg in an avocado half and bake it all together? I even got crazy with it and even added some salt and pepper (whoa Foodie McBooty, slow it down there thrill-seeker). I’m not sure if my egg was too large or if my avocado was too small, but I did have a bit of the egg white drip down the side of my avocado halves. I baked mine as they were and ate the crispy egg white remnants that had spilled over.
These directions are fairly simple so I’m skipping my usual recipe format today.
Preheat your oven to 425.
Cut an avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out a bit of the flesh to make room for the egg. Place avocado halves on a baking sheet with aluminum foil. This will make for easy clean up. Crack an egg and gently drop it into one of the halves. Your egg will probably runneth over the edge a bit and that’s okay. Repeat with the other half. Top each egg with a bit of salt and pepper (and cayenne pepper if you like heat) and place them in your hot oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the egg yolks are at the firmness you desire.
To get restaurant quality Hollandaise sauce is a little tricky. The emulsion of egg yolks and butter that has dated as early as the 17th century is not something that comes easy to the novice chef. Hopefully with these tips, you’ll crank out the perfect Hollandaise sauce in your own home.
The most important part of this recipe is to keep the eggs moving constantly over a low, gentle heat (not piping hot but not room temperature either) then add the butter slowly to create a stable emulsion. If you do this, your sauce should turn out creamy and rich every time.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fill a medium sauce pan with 1-inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.
Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until they lighten in color, about 1 minute.
Add the lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Place bowl with eggs over saucepan with simmering water and whisk constantly until thickened and doubled in volume, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove bowl from saucepan with water and whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and use immediately or keep warm, covered, over double boiler over very low heat for up to 30 minutes.
Save your arms and make this in a Blender --
Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.
Put the butter in a small microwave safe bowl and melt in a microwave until just melted. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is very thick, blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water loosen it up. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.
I have been on a bit of a frittata kick lately and after some debate about which vegetables I should use (by the way Smashers, “salad” is NOT a vegetable!), I finalized this list of ingredients.
Foodie McBooty factoid: I absolutely LOVE goat cheese. Any excuse to use this delectably bitter and decadent cheese in a recipe is cool with me. I shamelessly licked the packaging clean when I unloaded the goat cheese into this recipe – and it wont be the last time.
4 ounces goat cheese, cut or broken into small chunks
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 russet potato (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the potato and thinly slice it using a mandolin or a cheese slicer. Put the slices of potato in a bowl and cover them with cold water to keep them from turning brown.
Saute the shallots in the olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the grated zucchini mixture and cook for another couple of minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and stir gently for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk. Add salt, pepper, thyme, basil, and vanilla and mix well. Add both cheeses, bread crumbs and the zucchini and scallion mixture.
Heavily spray a dark muffin tin and lay down an overlapping layer of potato slices in the bottom of each muffin cup. I used three or four slices in mine. Gently pour the egg mixture into each muffin cup, leaving a little room for each one to rise. Gently top each frittata with the remaining slices of potato and sprinkle a bit of parmesan on top.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes before removing the foil. Remove the foil and brush with a bit of melted butter. Finish under a high broiler for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown.
Ever wonder what to do with all of those leftover noodles from pasta night? I can never get the sauce to noodle ratio right. I either have a slew of sauce or a mound of noodles leftover. In this case, homemade noodles were the culprit.
This might be one of the oddest things I have ever created but I really wanted to use pasta in a new and exciting way. Originally, I thought I would make mini baked pastas but I couldn’t figure out a way to get the baked pasta to hold its shape. Instead, I made these wacky frittatas.
The noodles practical hide among the eggs and cheese. The flavors have transformed from spaghetti and marinara sauce to cheese, eggs and a hint of spinach – from dinner to brunch!
1 3/4 cups grated Parmigiano Cheese, reserving a few teaspoons on the side
1 1/4 cups lite sour cream
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups half & half
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
1 package frozen chopped spinach, drained or fresh spinach
2-3 cups cooked noodles (angel hair, spaghetti or fettuccine work best)
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Leftover pesto or marinara sauce, optional
Place your oven rack in the lowest part of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Generously spray your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter and sauté the onions and garlic until softened. Add spinach and cook for another minute. Add your noodles, toss and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the Parmigiano, sour cream, ricotta cheese, half & half, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle a bit of Parmigiano in the bottom of each muffin tin. Add about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each cup. Mount the pasta mixture in the cups. When you run out of pasta, pour the remaining cheese mixture into the cups, dividing evenly. Sprinkle a bit more Parmigiano over each.
Bake uncovered until bottoms are brown (tops should not be too dry), about 30 to 35 minutes. Loosen with a knife and remove. Top with a bit of pasta sauce (if you have it) and fresh basil leaves before serving.
The frittata can be served hot, but tastes better at room temperature. Freeze the unbaked frittatas for up to a month to prepare these ahead of time.
Happy belated Turkey Day everybody! I hope this post finds you (full and) well. At our celebration this year, we gorged on THREE different kinds of turkeys — smoked, deep-fried and traditional roasted. The holy trinity of turkey!
On top of that we had enough fixin’s to choke a horse (mind the expression). Even after everybody took their share of goodies home with them for leftovers, there is STILL a fridge full of food.
It’s been one turkey-filled weekend! I have had turkey for just about every meal this weekend… and that includes breakfast. I must add that pie is probably my favorite breakfast food. Don’t tell Aunt Jemima.
I am finding myself on the edge of full turkey saturation. I don’t know how much more I can take. It has been a fun adventure coming up with different ways to dress the leftovers to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating something different. Here’s a great breakfast to toss some of your leftover turkey into and an excuse to make Hollandaise Sauce too.
Thinking outside of the box: Instead of using English Muffins, make potato patties out of your leftover mashed potatoes. Take your cold potatoes and form them into patties. Dredge in flour, then egg, then flour again, and pan fry them in a little oil until crisp.
Bacon or parsley, for decoration (bacon is awesome but this dish is already very rich so I omitted using it in the actual dish)
Butter and toast your bread, cut side down, in a frying pan on medium heat (be sure to check these once in a while because if you're anything like me, they'll burn before you know it). Set these on your serving plates, cut side up, once they're toasted.
In a non-stick skillet, spray with non-stick spray and saute your spinach over medium heat. Add your turkey next to the spinach in the same pan to warm. Remove from heat and set aside after the spinach is wilty and the turkey is hot.
Fill a 10-inch non-stick skillet half full of water. Add vinegar to the cooking water (this will help the egg white cook fast so it does not spread). Bring water to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 minutes until the egg white is set and the yolk remains soft. Removed with slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble, add the spinach first, turkey then egg on top of your bread. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs and garnish. Serve with crispy hash browns or a mixed green salad.
It’s best to use fresh bean sprouts, not canned, if possible. This makes a world of a difference. Use julienned snow peas or zucchini or water chestnuts to mix things up (I even added broccoli and carrots in mine).
What’s in this Chinese 5 spice powder you ask? Prepare to be enlightened!
You make this yourself or buy this at most grocery stores. Asian markets will carry a more authentic spice mixture that’s typically cheaper. You can add some of this to stir-fries, soups, and it even makes a great marinade for Asian chicken recipes. A fair warning, a little goes a long way.
Once you make egg foo yung, you’ll create your own favorite combinations based on whatever vegetables are available at your market or what you have sitting around in your refrigerator. The important thing is to keep your ingredients thinly sliced. This will help keep everything together.
Whatever you add, the egg and sauce combination will send your taste buds into a happy little food coma.
Place the vegetables in a medium bowl and sprinkle on the flour and salt. Mix well to evenly coat the vegetables. Break the eggs into a small bowl and add the sesame oil. Beat the eggs with a fork to combine the eggs and oil, then pour the mixture into the vegetable bowl.
Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a nonstick skillet. Use a large spoon and scoop portions of the egg-vegetable mixture into the pan, flattening them as you place them. Fry on one side until golden brown, then flip and fry on the second side.
Meanwhile, heat the stock and soy sauce to boiling in a saucepan. Mix the cornstarch and five spice powder in a small bowl. Add the cold water and stir until the cornstarch is incorporated. Add this to the boiling stock and stir well. Let it boil for a few moments to thicken. If it's thicker than you'd prefer, add more stock or water. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce if desired. Serve with sauce on side or sauce spooned on top of the egg foo yung.
These can be made in advance and kept warm in a low heated oven, or rewarmed gently in the sauce.
Quiche is one of those dishes that is perfect for any occasion at any time of the day. It makes a hearty breakfast accompanied by fresh fruit or a light lunch with a salad, plus there are so many varieties that you’re bound to please any picky palette. They are also super easy to freeze and reheat (just defrost your quiche the night before you plan to bake it) if you want to make a few of them at a time.
I found a basic recipe from Paula Dean from the Food Network and made it my own (sorry Paula!). My recipe changes depending on what I have in the fridge, garden, what I’m craving or who I’m catering to. Although I think bacon should be in everything, I can understand if someone wants to omit it from their recipe. 🙂
The following are two dishes that make me feel more French than I’ll ever be (both recipes are from the brilliant Julie Child):
First and foremost, Ratatouille.
Other than a delightful Pixar movie (“Rat and patootie…RATPATOOTIE!!”), ratatouille is a traditional french vegetable dish. Typically roasted, ratatouille has strong flavors and a butt load of variations. This dish makes a great accompaniment to roasts or chicken or any dish really.
In the words of Julia Child, “A ratatouille may be cooked completely the day before it is to be served, and it seems to gain in flavor when reheated.” Cool with me.
Peel and cut the eggplant into 3 inch long slices. Cut the zucchini into slices and peel. Place those vegetables in a bowl, cover with water and let rest for 30 minutes. Drain.
Saute the eggplant and zucchini with olive oil and a little salt in a skillet. One minute on each side until browned. Set aside.
Cook the onions with the olive oil in the same skillet for 10 minutes over moderate heat. Stir in the garlic and add salt and pepper.
Peel the tomatoes and boil for 30 seconds. Cut into slices. Lay them over the onions in the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover. Pour the juice from the skillet over the tomatoes. Raise heat and boil for several minutes until the juice has almost entirely evaporated.
Put a third of the tomatoes mixture in the bottom of a casserole. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley. Then put half of the eggplant and zucchini on top. Then the second third of the tomatoes and so on until you have three layers of vegetables and parsley.
Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for 15 minutes more, basting several times, until the juices have evaporated. Be careful to not let your vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.
Set aside uncovered and add a tablespoon of olive oil for flavor. Serve hot, reheat slowly at serving time, or serve cold.
Crepes are essentially very thin pancakes. You can eat them how with a little syrup or fruit. This is the way I usually eat them. There are versions that wrap a crepe around sweet fruit filling or savory fillings like meats, cheese and vegetables too.
It takes some time to perfect the art of the French crepe. Don’t get discouraged. Practice makes perfect, right? Keep on trying. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. I’ve killed many crepes to get to the point I am at today.
Put the liquids, eggs and salt into a blender. Add the flour, then the butter. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of the jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend for 2 to 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If after making your first crepe, it seems too heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time.
Brush the skillet lightly with oil. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke. Immediately remove from heat and pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. Pour any batter that does not adhere to the pan back into your bowl. You want your crepes to be about 1/16 inch thick.
Return the pan to the heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe. Lift its edges with a spatula. If the underside is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning.
Turn the crepe by using 2 spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan (some day, I will master this skill!!)
Brown lightly for 30 seconds on the other side. As they are done, slide the crepes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate. Crepes may be kept warm by covering them with a dish and setting them over simmering water or in an over set to low heat.
Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and repeat with the rest of the batter.
SERVE with practically anything - Butter, cinnamon and powdered sugar, or berries and fresh whipped cream, or make it a savory feast with spinach and cheese, or nutella and bananas and chocolate drizzle.
Simply prick a hole in the shell at the wide end of the egg (through the small air pocket). You can do this with a sewing needle or pushpin (and if you’re really careful, a single prong of a fork). Pricking the shell allows the pressure the equalize and gases to escape during the cooking process. No more greenish eggs!
Place your egg in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the egg and how you like it cooked. If you have a large egg and you like your hard-boiled eggs with hard yolks, then simmer your egg a little longer (6 or 7 minutes). Pour the water out and violently shake the egg in the pot, allowing it to bang against the sides to help crack the shell. Submerge the egg in cold water. Once cool, peel the egg under running water.