Category Archives: Breakfast

Baked Avocado Eggs

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What’s even better than avocado toast? Baked Avocado Eggs! We used chopped chives, but please feel free to serve this baked egg dish with whatever fresh herbs, like cilantro and any other toppings that you may have available on hand. For those of you that like a hint of spice, a tablespoon of salsa or a little hot sauce would do just nicely!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 ripe Haas avocados
1/2 a lemon
4 eggs
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, or a cheese of your choice
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 °F.

Slice avocados in half and remove the pits. Using a large spoon, scoop out some of the avocado to make the center hole bigger.

Place avocados in a muffin baking tin, facing up.

Squeeze over the juice of the lemon over the tops of the avocado halves. This will stop them turning brown in the oven. Now crack your eggs into each of the avocado halves. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese and bacon.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked to your liking. Once they are done, let them stand for 1 minute before serving them.

Garnish with chives, serve and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes:
One of the many great things about avocados is the fact that they are really good for you. Being a healthy fat, they are high in omega 3 fatty acids which means they are perfect as a breakfast meal– packed full of protein, fiber, vitamin C, A and B-6.

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Salmon Rillettes

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This salmon rillettes is seasoned with chives, shallots, lemon juice, butter, salt and white pepper. Serve with toasted mini French baguette slices and a glass of chilled Chardonnay, it makes for a perfect appetizer to enjoy out on the deck during quiet Summer evenings.

 

 

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Strawberry Vanilla Jam

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Photo Credit:  www.Napidoktor.hu,  2015.

Making your own jam is a great way to use your slow cooker in the summer. It’s also a delicious way to use up overripe fruit.

Makes About Four 8-pints

Ingredients:
2 pounds of strawberries
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar

Directions:
Wash the strawberries and drain in a colander. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut in half. With a small, sharp knife, halve the vanilla bean lengthwise. Add strawberries and vanilla halves to a slow cooker along with the lemon juice and sugar. Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.

Uncover the slow cooker and stir the jam. Continue cooking, uncovered, on low for an additional 2–3 hours or until the jam has thickened, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it is a little runny; it will get thicker as it cools. If you want a smoother consistency, use a potato masher to break up the fruit.

Discard the vanilla bean and ladle the jam into four  1-cup plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Allow to cool, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Jam will last 3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 1 year in the freezer.

Cook’s Notes:
Try swirling a spoonful of jam with plain Greek yogurt for breakfast or dessert.

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Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries

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If you like strawberry shortcakes, then you will love this short stack of buttermilk pancakes topped with caramelized strawberries and crunchy almonds and drizzles of butter and syrup. Add bacon or breakfast sausage links for the perfect combination of sweet and savory and serve them up for a spectacular brunch.

Makes Twelve 4-inch Pancakes

Ingredients:
For the roasted strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved, quartered if large
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

For the pancakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for pan and serving
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Directions:
To Roast the strawberries:Preheat oven to 425°F. Place strawberries, sugar, and salt in a glass baking dish. Scrape in vanilla seeds, add pod, and stir to combine. Roast, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling, 15–18 minutes. Let cool slightly and discard pod.

To Make the pancakes:Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and 3 Tbsp. melted butter in a medium bowl with a fork to incorporate eggs. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Heat a large griddle or 2 cast-iron or nonstick skillets over medium; brush with butter. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and pop, and the underside is golden brown, 2 1/2–3 minutes. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 2 1/2–3 minutes more. Transfer pancakes to plates or a platter and brush tops with butter. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing griddle with butter as needed.
Serve pancakes topped with roasted strawberries and sprinkled with almonds, if desired.

Cook’s Notes:
Roasted strawberries can be made up to 5 days ahead and leftovers can be enjoyed over biscuits, yogurt, or ice cream.

Pancakes can be kept warm on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet in a 250°F oven.

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CREPES DE VOLAILLE VERSAILLAISE

DSC00434 (2).jpgCREPES DE VOLAILLE VERSAILLAISE
(Chicken Crepes with Asparagus and Mushrooms)

This classic French dish with Italian origins is a perfect main course that can be served during Spring Brunch.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1-1/4 cups chicken broth (See Cook’s Notes)
¼ cup chopped shallot
½ cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (See Cook’s Notes)
3 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed

For the Crepes:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1 whole large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Finishing Sauce:
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, for garnish

Special Equipment:
A 3-quart flameproof ceramic or enameled shallow baking dish

Directions:
TO make the filling: Heat 5 tablespoons butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and broth, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer gently, whisking frequently, until veloute sauce is silky and thick, about 25 minutes. Reserve ½ cup sauce for topping.

Cook shallot in remaining tablespoon butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir into veloute sauce along with chicken and Sherry.

Cut tops from asparagus and set aside. Cut enough stalks into ¼-inch pieces to measure 1 cup, reserving remainder for another use. Cook tips in a saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water with a slotted spoon. Scoop out tips and drain on paper towels, then reserve for topping. Cook and drain chopped asparagus in same manner and stir into veloute sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

TO make the crepes: Sift together flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste into a bowl. Whisk together milk, whole egg, and yolk in a small bowl, then gradually whisk into flour mixture. Force batter through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Heat a dry 7-to 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot, and then brush very lightly with some melted butter. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into skillet, tilting to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crepe.) Cook until underside is lightly browned, 6 to 10 seconds then loosen crepe with a spatula and flip. Cook until just cooked through, about 20 seconds, and transfer to a plate. Make 15 more crepes in same manner, brushing skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on a plate.

ASSEMBLE and bake the crepes: Preheat oven to 350 °F. Spread ¼ cup filling across center of 1 crepe and roll into a cylinder. Transfer, seam side down, to buttered baking dish, then assemble more crepes in same manner, fitting them snugly. Bake in middle of over 15 minutes.

MAKE the finishing sauce while the crepes a baking: Stir together yolk, 2 tablespoons cream, and reserved ½ cup sauce until smooth. Beat remaining 3 tablespoons cream with a whisk until it holds soft peaks, and then fold into yolk mixture.

Spoon the finishing sauce over crepes and broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Heat butter in skillet, then add reserved asparagus tips and toss until warm.

Place 2 crepes on each of 8 plates and top with asparagus tips. Garnish with Gruyere cheese and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Fish stock or water can be used as a substitute if shellfish is being used in place of the the chicken.

About 9 ounces of chopped cooked shrimp, lobster or crab-meat can be substituted for the cooked chicken.

The filling and crepes can be made 2 days ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled in the refrigerator.

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Thank you so much!

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Croque Madame

Bonjour !

Je vous présente la tartine du petit déjeuner ultime… la Croque Madame!

The croque madame, the classic French ham and cheese sandwich covered in cheesy bechamel, with a fried egg placed on top of it.  Ham and cheese never tasted so good!

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Hello Friends!

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Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Almond-Crusted French Toast with Raspberries

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Challah is the bread of choice here because it really absorbs the custard, creating an eggy, sweet version of French toast similar to the pain perdu of New Orleans. Crunchy almonds, fresh raspberries and fragrant orange zest bring this classic breakfast dish to a whole new level.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
2 Tablespoons sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
3/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 thick slices challah or other egg bread, preferably day-old
Canola oil or clarified butter for cooking
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup  fresh raspberries
Pure maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, orange zest, almond extract and vanilla. Add the bread to the egg mixture and turn gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 1 minute.

Preheat a griddle over medium heat until hot; a few drops of water flicked onto the surface should skitter across it. Lightly oil the griddle. Spread the almonds on a plate. Remove the bread, 1 piece at a time, from the egg mixture, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl. Dip one side of the bread into the almonds, pressing gently to help the nuts adhere, and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Place the bread slices, almond side down, on the griddle and cook until the nuts begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the slices and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the slices, almond side down, to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the center of the bread is heated through but is still moist, about 10 minutes.

Serve the French toast hot, almond side up, topped with a handful of raspberries and drizzled with maple syrup.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Revuelto Gramajo

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At its most basic, this dish is a plate of scrambled eggs with ham, onions, and fried potatoes mixed together. Commonly served in cafes and bodegas all over Argentina, the  presentation varies widely. But that is merely a reference point.

There are many different stories about the  culinary origins of this dish. It truly is a ‘scrambled story‘, pun intended……

One version claims that its creator was Arturo Gramajo (1838–1914), a colonel who served in the Argentine military  and was later  appointed minister of war in 1877.Cao101.jpg

Legend has it that Colonel Gramajo  who was aide to General Julio A. Roca   and accompanied him for years during the late 1870s  in the  campaign to conquer the “desert”, or the Pampas. The colonel, a roly poly sort, was a bit of a gourmand, a bit of a dandy, and, apparently, a fairly accomplished cook.

There are three versions of his part of the legend. The first, and seemingly most common, is that prior to heading out into the battlefield, Colonel Gramajo had been accustomed to starting his days with a couple of fried eggs, a slab of ham, and some potatoes fried with onions – or at least that’s more or less what it amounted to. Sounds like a typical North American diner breakfast. Preparing all of the items in a tent, in inclement weather, became a bit of a chore, but being unwilling to give up his beloved morning platter, he simply fried up the onions and potatoes in a skillet, threw in some chopped up ham, and scrambled in a couple of eggs. Not as pretty, but the lack of technique certainly got the job done.

Version two of the story is quite similar, but asserts that the person who was accustomed to said breakfast was General Roca, who  was a food lover, became bored with standard military fare and so it was for his breakfast that this field ration was created by the Colonel.

And,  in version three, also involving Artemio, has it that this all happened post-war in 1880, when he was  billeted or ensconced at his “club”, El Club del Progreso where  the Rio Bamba a public restaurant was housed in the club. One day, a bit hungover, he wondered into a completely empty kitchen at the Rio Bamba, only to find that the cook had left some potatoes, ham, onion and eggs in the pantry. Perhaps he was feeling that  the detailed work of cooking the components ingredients separately was just too much to take on with a hang over. With these simple ingredients he decided to combine  them all  in his own special way; Mixing ham, shredded potatoes browned in a pan with very little oil and a pinch of butter and adding eggs to the preparation. Delighted with himself, Gramajo took his creation straight to the top by serving it to his boss, the twice-president-of-the-nation General Roca. The result, a egg tousled dish, which was christened scrambled Gramajo, by the owners of Rio Bamba.

 And, voila! the King of Argentinian minutas was born.

Now we move on to version four, which not only takes us to a different country, France but bringing in a different Gramajo, Arturo, a socialite, and some what of a playboy. This  Pasaje de la PiedadGramajo was born Arturo Gramajo Cardenas (1860-1934) and  was an Argentine lawyer  who served as a diplomat  in France and Great Britain and took over as mayor of the City of Buenos Aires during the last stage of the presidency of Victorino de la Plaza, from February 1915 to November 1916.Mayors of Buenos Aires have been hand-picked by the President, pending Senate approval, much like U.S.Supreme Court justices for most of Argentine history. Only in 1996 did porteños obtain the right to elect their top position.

Gramajo is credited with the idea of Pasaje de la Piedad, the passage of the Mercy , an architectural housing that created small u-shaped streets for carriages, just to satisfy the whims of his wife.The land on which the buildings and the passage rose were inheritance of his wife, Maria Adela Atucha Saraza (1833?-1885?), and she insisted on the project, which was under construction for a two decades between 1888 and 1900. And their spectacular mansion was also built in the area. Gramajo also had the role of President of the Commission that gathered funds for the erection of the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, facing  his property. The street, Pasaje de la Piedad is right off of the present day street Bartolome Mitre between Parana and Montevideo, and is addressed at 1525-1573 on that street. But I digress.

The story has it  that as a wealthy playboy who loved good living, Gramajo was stayingGramajo-Arturo-Doctor.jpg at the Hotel Ritz in Paris when he got a little peckish. However, it was late and the kitchen was closed and he  insisted on preparing his own breakfast, he looked over what was lying around, basically throwing together a scramble of whatever looked good sitting on the counter and created the revuelto Gramajo: scrambled eggs mixed with ham and fried matchstick potatoes. While it’s not impossible that a 20-something Arturo would have been cavorting about in Paris in the early 1880s he wasn’t yet a particularly well known figure in Argentine society, at the time. The dish became popular after his return to Buenos Aires. Given that the revuelto was all the rage in the late 1880s and early 1890s, and has continued to be a staple of local cuisine since, it just seems unlikely that something a young dandy threw together one morning in a Paris hotel after a night of carousing would become a dining hit back home within moments. Of course, even that story is up for debate. Some claim that Coronel Artemio Gramajo who served with General Roca decided to break the monotony of army fare and created the dish that bears his name. In the best of all possible worlds, it could have happened, but to me it makes more sense that the influence of military leaders like Roca and Artemio  Gramajo would have had that impact  on  Argentine cuisine upon their return from the military campaign.

Slide1.JPGAnd then there  is Francis Mallmann, author of Seven Fires,  who tells an origin tale that is close to his heart. He claims that the dish was was created by Arturito Gramajo,  another Gramajo and husband of the famous tango singer Elisita Gramajo. Mallmann’s grandmother, or Tata, told him that she was once courted by Gramajo all the way back in 1919.

But the time lines do not add up  here……………..hmmmm.

Romantic stories aside, which ever story  you believe will in, will   most likely be the one each foodie can relate to for him or herself. And in casting myself in the  “Doubting Thomas” role here,  one would have to question where  would General Roca and Colonel Gramajo get the eggs, potatoes and ham in the desert in the middle of war in the 1870s which would have been be so expensive to transport to the battlefield in that era. So there is a possibility that the the creator  of the Scramble was Arturito Gramajo,  another wealthy dandy of the 1930s and possibly the son of Arturo Gramajo, whose life came to abrupt end.   Arturito died from eating a poisonous mushroom that he had gathered in his field and had cooked for his friends. And since then, suspicions about his wife … sole heir to an immense fortune were never obviated or ruled out.

And  with most oral histories and in particular, culinary histories,  there is a kernel of truth,  but like a game of telephone, the myths are created and in all likelihood, we will probably never know, “the real story”.

As for the preparation, in the  early 20th Century a Scrambled  Gramajo was typically made ​​with thinly sliced ​​potatoes, ham (according to taste, raw or cooked),and onion. Many restaurants  chefs and home cooks alike, have made ​​more elaborate versions of this simple dish choosing to  add other ingredients to the base preparation, such as chicken,  turkey, green peas, bell peppers, garlic, olives, bacon, mushrooms, hearts of palm, avocado, seafood, or parsley. Sometimes, a little heavy cream is add to the eggs to ensure a velvety texture and creaminess to the dish.

But  the only true recipe contains scrambled eggs, ham, julienne potatoes  sprinkling of salt and pepper and nothing else. According to purists, if you add peas or anything else, you are already talking of the transformation of scrambled eggs that are not the real authentic  Gramajo.

Whether it was a colonel, a  mayor or playboy who created the Revuelto Gramajo, it’s one of the heartiest plates on traditional Argentine menus.

 

 

Serves 4

 Ingredients:

4 red potatoes, about 6 ounces each, scrubbed
1 medium onion, finely c hopped
Vegetable oil, for frying
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 thin slices  air-dried ham , coarsely chopped, (jamón ibéricos, serrano or proscuitto)
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
Ground black pepper to taste
Sliced scallions, for garnish

 

Directions:

Peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the potatoes into a fine julienne. Put the potatoes soak in cold water to eliminate starch, for 1 hour. Remove the potatoes from the water and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven to 360°F. Add the potatoes, in batches if necessary, and cook for about 2 minutes, until golden. Remove with a slotted skimmer and drain on paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in the same cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the ham and crisp for about 15 seconds. Remove to paper towels to drain.

In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoons of butter and add the onions. Saute until translucent and remove for the skillet side aside on a clean plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in  the same skillet over medium heat. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the cream and pour them in. Add the potatoes, onions and ham and scramble—if necessary, lower the heat so that eggs do not brown. Use a wide spatula to to gently fold the ingredients into the eggs. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and garnish with scallions and  serve immediately.

Beet and Potato Egg Baskets

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Makes 12 Single Servings
Ingredients:

For Hash Brown Nests:
3 cups  refrigerated shredded Simply Potatoes hash brown potatoes
1 cup freshly shredded red beets
4 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
A pinch ground black pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups fresh baby spinach, shredded, for garnish
24 hard boiled quail eggs, peeled, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Be sure to spray generously to keep the cheese from sticking.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined.Scoop about 1/3 cup of the hash brown mix into each muffin tin.Press the hash browns down into the tin and up the sides. Let it come up over the top a little bit, as they will shrink down once baked.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Set aside until you are ready to garnish.

To serve, place the baskets on a serving platter. Fill each basket with a scant teaspoon of the shredded baby spinach. Place two quail eggs on top of the bed of spinach; split on of the eggs and sprinkle with salt, if desired.