Tuesday, January 22, 2013

red chard, bacon and egg stratas

There are days that are simply destined to be breakfast-for-supper-kind-of-days.  Yesterday was just that sort of day.  And this red chard, bacon and egg strata was just that sort of perfect supper.  It was always my intention to use the gorgeous red chard bundle that came in Saturday's bushel, but plans alter. This was supposed to be a red-chard-brown-rice-bowl kinda night. Moods change. Eggs sounded simpler.  And so it goes.

It really was a perfectly easy and humbly delicious weeknight meal.  We continued with the breakfast-for-supper theme by enjoying broiled grapefruit for dessert!  Hope you have a breakfast-for-supper-kind-of-night in your near future too.

red chard, bacon and egg stratas
(serves 2)
1 small bunch red chard, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 slice thick cut bacon, snipped into lardons
dash of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
touch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 clove garlic, grated
day-old french baguette (I used roughly a 7" section for this), cubed
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 Tbsp grated cheddar cheese

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add bacon to pan and allow it to cook until fat is rendered and it begins to brown.  Add in chard and onions and saute a couple of minutes until it begins to wilt.  Grate in the garlic and nutmeg and add the paprika.  Continue to saute until the chard is wilted.  Remove from heat.  While your chard wilts, cube the baguette.  Spray two 4" ramekins lightly with cooking spray.  Place 1/4 of the bread in each dish. Top with 1/4 of the chard mixture.  Repeat with a second layer of bread and chard.  Whisk together egg and milk and season with salt and pepper.  Divide evenly and pour over each ramekin. Sprinkle top with grated cheese.  Cover with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes, or overnight.  You could easily prepare these to this point in the morning for an evening meal or vice versa.  I just let them rest for about 20 minutes for this meal.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place ramekins on a sheet pan and bake, covered, for about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until the eggs puff and the top is golden in color.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

sunday huevos rancheros

Now this is comfort food. I'm calling them Sunday huevos rancheros, well, because we ate them for brunch today.  Sunday.  But they were actually intended so be last night's supper, so I suppose, technically, they're Saturday/Sunday huevos rancheros.  Either way, they're goooood.

I made the ranchero sauce yesterday afternoon, jarred it up, and then ran out of steam when it came time to prepare supper.  A glass of wine, and recorded survival tv put a lazy spin on the rest of rainy yesterday.  Who wants to go to the kitchen to cook eggs when a hippo could charge at any moment and a leopard is surely just behind that bush?  Yep.  Me neither.  Besides, they were perfect for Sunday brunch, and that also means there's some Sunday afternoon nap time coming up...

sunday huevos rancheros
(serves 2)

for the sauce
(This will make about a pint of sauce, so you'll have extra for later - bonus)
1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, with some seeds or without, depending on heat, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

for the rest
2 eggs
2 corn tortillas
1 can refried beans (you'll have more beans than you need)
2-3 T grated white cheddar
1 avocado, sliced

To prepare the sauce, heat oil in a small pan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for about 3 minutes, just until the onion begins to soften.  Add in the garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and cumin, and saute for 1 minute more.  Add in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and bring up in temperature.  Once the sauce is hot, turn to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree the sauce.  At this point, you can either jar it to use later, or, if you are ready to make your eggs right away, place back on heat to keep warm.

Prepare your tortillas.  Spay each tortilla lightly with canola oil spray and heat in a skillet over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the tortillas begin to turn golden brown and become crispy.  Arrange one tortillas on each of two plates. While your tortillas crisp, heat your beans, adding a little water if needed to thin. Spread some bean mixture on each tortilla. Fry two eggs (seasoned with salt and pepper), sunny side up just until the whites set if you like your yolk runny (we do).  If you want the yolk a bit firmer, cover pan with a lid, or prepare your egg over easy. Place the egg on top of the bean tortillas, spoon on some of your ranchero sauce, sprinkle on some cheese.  Served with sliced avocado, squeeze of lime, and garnish with cilantro.  Eat.  Nap.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cauliflower, 101 ways, including mushroom, roasted cauliflower & goat cheese pizza

What do you do when you receive the biggest head of cauliflower ever in your farmhouse bushel?  You eat lots and lots of cauliflower, lots and lots of ways.

I mean, this is seriously one big plant!! See that tiny head in the far upper right-hand corner?  That's our 80 pound Labrador Retriever, Pecos.  His head is eclipsed by the enormity of this thing.  Impressive!  As in this could have won some sort of giant cauliflower contest... the blue ribbon award of said giant cauliflower contest, no doubt!

With the equivalent of 4 or so heads of cauliflower rolled into one, better get started preparing cauliflower.

This mushroom, roasted cauliflower & goat cheese pizza hit the spot on a really rainy day here in Houston.

Meatless Monday made aloo gobi. . Spicy, just how we like it.  We used 2 serranos and served over rice.

Cold days are made for soup lunches.  We had plenty of cauliflower to roast and make a simple soup.  Placed it in jars, and it's ready to pour out for lunches.

Told you it was a lot of cauliflower.  Now, on to the kale...

mushroom, roasted cauliflower & goat cheese pizza
(makes 1 large pizza)

1 large pizza dough
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 large shallots, finely diced
16 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup or so white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 to 2 cups small cauliflower florets, roasted
1/2 cup mozzarella
4 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Roast cauliflower.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until they begin to turn lightly golden brown.  Set aside.

While the cauliflower roasts, prepare mushroom mixture.  Heat oil in pan over medium heat.  Add in shallots and saute for about 5 minutes, until they are soft and begin to get color.  Add in garlic and thyme and saute for one minute more.  Add in the sliced mushroom, and saute for about 10 minutes longer, until they are tender and turning brown. Add in the wine and saute until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley (saving a bit to garnish the pizza).

Prepare your crust on a pizza stone, pan or cookie sheet.  Brush crust with olive oil.  Sprinkle on 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over top.  Arrange roasted cauliflower evenly on the pizza.  Top with the goat cheese, and sprinkle on the parmesan. Place pizza in preheated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Sprinkle chopped flat leaf parsley on top to garnish.  Slice and dig in!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

roasted beet, orange, avocado and feta salad + sunflower sprouts & seeds

I LOVE roasted beets.  There.  I said it.

I used to faithfully roast beets in the oven, but a friend gave me a mini-crock pot that I have found is ideal for roasting beets (as well as baking sweet potatoes, and regular white potatoes. I hardly do those in my oven anymore, unless I'm needing more than one or two, which is not often.  Love my mini crock pot.  There.  I said it.

roasted beet, orange, avocado and feta salad + sunflower sprouts & seeds
(serves 2)
for salad
1 medium or 2 small beets, scrubbed clean
1 navel orange, peeled and segmented
1/2 avocado, diced
couple handfuls of lettuce of your choosing
small chunk of feta, diced
palmful of sunflower sprouts
toasted sunflower seeds
for vinaigrette:
1 T orange juice (save the juice from the orange you segment)
1T white wine vinegar
1 t dijon mustard
1 t minced shallot
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T olive oil

Roast your beets.  I place them loosely wrapped in some foil, drizzle with olive oil and put them in my mini crock pot for about 2 hours, or until they are firm tender. Once you begin to really smell the beets, they are usually ready.  If you prefer to use the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place beets, loosely wrapped, in foil and drizzled with olive oil.  Place foil packet on cookie sheet and roast in oven for 35-60 minutes, depending on size of your beets.  Allow the beets to cool.  Peel and dice.

While your beets roast, prepare the vinaigrette.  Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to emulsify.

Arrange lettuce on 2 plates.  Top with diced roasted beets, segmented orange, diced avocado, diced feta.  Sprinkle on some sunflower seeds and top with sunflower sprouts.  Drizzle dressing over salad and devour.