Tag Archives: Eggs

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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Tiramisù with Strawberry Sauce

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Photo Credit: NickStellino.com, 2017

Recipe adapted from:

Nick Stellino
Cooking With Friends, 2011

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients
For the Tiramisù:
2½ cups strong coffee, cooled
½ cup Kahlúa coffee liqueur
2 packages ladyfingers cookies
9 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1¾ cups sugar, divided
1½ pounds mascarpone cheese
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup sweet cocoa powder

For the Strawberry Sauce:
(Yields 1 Cup)
One 10-ounce package whole frozen strawberries, partially thawed
2 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur
¼ cup sugar

Directions:
Mix the cold coffee and the liqueur in a large bowl. In batches, dip the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. You want them to be moist on the outside but still crunchy on the inside.

Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to form a long ribbon when you lift the beater out.  Note: If you are concerned about using raw eggs, once you have beaten the egg yolks, cook them in a double boiler, whisking constantly until they become as thick as a custard cream. Be careful not to overcook them, or they will become scrambled eggs. After cooking the yolks, proceed with the recipe.

Add the mascarpone and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites, adding the remaining sugar a bit at a time, until they form stiff peaks and have a glossy sheen, about 4 minutes.

Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture until the mixture is all the same color. Add the vanilla and chopped semisweet chocolate, and gently fold them into the mixture.

In a 9 x 17-inch glass baking dish, assemble the dessert. Layer the bottom of the dish with the soaked cookies. Top with a layer of the mascarpone-chocolate mixture. Repeat the procedure to make 1 more layer.

Using a flour sifter, cover the top of the tiramisù with a thin layer of sweet cocoa powder.

Place the tiramisù in the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 5 hours; it’s even better if refrigerated overnight.

To make the strawberry sauce, place the frozen strawberries in a food processor. Add the cassis and sugar. Pulse until pureed. Taste and adjust for sweetness of needeed. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth-like strainer to remove the seeds and pour into a small serving container until the tiramisù is ready to serve.

Purple Sweet Potato Drunken Noodles

 

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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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Crespelle alla Fiorintina

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catherine_de_medicisThe culinary historical trail leads to Catherine de’ Medici, the Florentine Queen of France, for introducing these savory crepes to French cuisine with the help of her Tuscan chefs.

In 1533, at age fourteen, she was married to Henry of Orléans, the future king of France.
When she moved to France, an entourage of friends, servants, and waiters accompanied her. The Florentine cooks who went with her brought with them the secrets of Italian cooking to France, introducing peas, beans, artichokes, canard a l’orange, (duck a la orange) and carabaccia (onion soup). The pastry makers also demonstrated their innovative genius with sorbets and ice creams, marmalades, fruits in syrup, pastry making, and pasta. A certain Sir Frangipani gave his name to the custard and the tart known in France as Frangipane. Is is not ironic that all these dishes that are considered so quintessentially French, are actually Italian in origin.

Catherine also brought with her to the French table a new protocol, such as the separation of salty and sweet dishes, at a time when sweets were still consumed together with meat and fish in the medieval style all over Europe. Everyone in France was amazed by the Florentine elegance she  introduced, including gracious table settings and dining, fine linen with elegant embroidery, as well as luxurious silverware and crystal stemware.

At the time, French cooking was already a rich, evolving discipline, and the presence of the new style profoundly influenced French cuisine over the next few centuries. Catherine and her army of Florentine chefs reformed the antique French cooking of a medieval tradition and transformed the food we know as today as the modern French cooking. As time went on, French cooks improved and magnified the Florentine contributions. While many dishes and techniques were being forgotten in Italy, the French made them into international cuisine.

And based on the  various  evidence in the culinary literature, it suggests that crepes were also Florentine in origin and the French adapted them into what we now enjoy  today, in both sweet and savory forms. Crespelle  appears to be like Cannelloni, which are pasta tubes filled with spinach and ricotta, but the crespelle is actually a very thin pancake crepe made of flour and eggs instead of a thick sheet of pasta.

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Photo Credit: Josephine Guerriero, Pezzole delle nonna, Posta La Ricetta

In the Tuscan countryside, this dish was formerly  called “pezzole delle nonna.” Pezzole is the Tuscan way of saying “fazzoletto” which means “handkerchief”  and so pezzole delle Nonna  can be translated as  “Grandma’s Handkerchiefs“. Pezzoles can be described as omelets or crepes stuffed with ricotta cheese and vegetables covered with a Béchamel sauce. They are neatly folded into quarters and served family style in a dish, looking very much like handkerchiefs in a stacked in a drawer.  Given its past, and its modern incarnations, this  dish is definitely a home-style comfort food and is  found in extremely traditional Tuscan trattorias.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Crespelle batter:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

For the filling:
1 pound fresh spinach, washed, stems removed
1/2 pound ricotta
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

For the Béchamel:
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

To Finish:
About 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup tomato passata or  prepared tomato sauce (See Cook’s Notes)

Directions:
For the crepes: In a bowl whisk together all the ingredients to form a smooth, thin batter. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. Heat a small skillet or crepe pan and when hot, brush lightly with butter. Ladle about 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the pan, tilting the skillet to evenly coat the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom and the top begins to look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the crepe and cook the second side until the bottom colors slightly, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter to yield 8 crepes

For the filling:  Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and blanch spinach for a few minutes. Drain and dry  the spinach with a kitchen towel by squeezing the spinach to extract any remaining moisture, then coarsely chop to yield about 1 cup. In a bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

 Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.

Lightly butter a 1  1/2 quart casserole dish.

Divide the spinach filling evenly among the crepes, using about 1/3 cup filling for each. Roll the crepes, like enchiladas, up around the filling and place in the buttered dish. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

For the Béchamel sauce: In a saucepan,  melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth and continue to cook for 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Slowly whisk in the cold milk, and cook, stirring, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking until the floury taste is gone, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

To finish: Pour the béchamel over the crepes, drizzle with butter, and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Serve hot, with a little tomato passata spooned over the top of each serving.

Cook’s Notes:
You are probably asking yourself, “What is passata?”  Well, passata is basically just an uncooked sauce made with crushed and sieved tomatoes. What makes it so special? Usually, high quality ripe tomatoes are used for passata, resulting in a well flavored tomato base that is generally superior to standard canned tomatoes. Passata is an excellent base for sauces and perfect as a pizza sauce.

Passata is available in Italian delis and specialty gourmet markets. In Europe, passata is widely available in supermarkets. You will find it near the pasta sauces and canned tomatoes. Usually it is sold in a tall jar or a carton. But for some reason, although it is found all over Italy and Europe in general, passata does not seem to be sold widely in the United States. That’s a pity because it’s a great store-cupboard ingredient to have on hand. If you are having trouble getting your hands on passata, you can purchase it online. Amazon stocks good quality Cento Tomato Passata made from Italian San Marzano tomatoes.

How To Make Passata: If you do not have the real thing, you can make a reasonable substitute at home. Use the best quality tomatoes you can find, drain them and sieve or purée in a food processor. But do not use tomato paste, because it is thick, concentrated and highly processed. You can also add salt and other seasonings to taste, like basil or oregano.

Sources:
Orieux, Jean. Catherine de Médicis, ou, La reine noire. Paris: Flammarion, 1986.

Volpe, Anna Maria. “Caterina de Medici: A Tuscan Queen In France.” Caterina de medici, http://www.annamariavolpi.com/caterina_de_medici.html. Date Accessed: 16 December 2016.

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Arancini di riso al telefono

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Loaded Mashed Potato Croquettes

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Makes 18 to 20 Croquettes

Ingredients:
2 large egg yolks
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley , chopped
6 strips cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 cups Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:
Mix egg yolks, mashed potatoes, Parmesan, chives, parsley , bacon and flour in a medium bowl. Roll into 2-inch logs. Cover  with plastic  wrap and chill in the refrigerator  until cold, at least 2 hours.

Beat eggs in a bowl; place breadcrumbs in another bowl. Pour vegetable oil into a medium skillet to measure ½  an inch(about 2 cups) and heat over medium-high until a pinch of breadcrumbs bubbles immediately when added.

Dip potato logs in egg, then roll in breadcrumbs. Working in batches, fry, turning often, until golden brown and crisp, 3–4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately with your favorite condiments.

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Clafoutix Aux Cerisis

 

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Clafoutis is a French dessert from the Limousin region of France.The dish’s name derives from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill”. Traditionally, black cherries are arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. After baking , the clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and is best served cold, sometimes with cream.

There are numerous variations of clafoutis that use other summer fruits, including red cherries, plums, prunes, peaches, apples, pears, cranberries or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.

Ingredients:
21 ounces cherries
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons Kirsch
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1  cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk or cream
1/8 cup melted butter
grated zest of one lemon

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 350°F.

Pitting the cherries. If a cherry pitter is not available, it’s easier and quicker to do this by hand, but you can also use this trick: Remove the stems, and then place the cherry on the opening of a bottle. The opening must be smaller than the cherry so that the cherry does not fall through.A wine bottle works perfectly  for  this purpose . Using a chopstick, press through the cherry, allowing the pit fall into the bottle.

In a large bowl, mix the cherries with the kirsch and confectioner’s sugar and set aside for 1 to 2 hours, at room temperature. Note: if canned cherries are being used, drain them before adding the kirsch and confectioner’s sugar or a soggy cake will be the result.

Use the butter to grease a round or oval baking dish. Sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar into the greased pan, and carefully rotate the baking dish so that the sugar is distributed evenly, even on the edges. Add the pitted cherries to the baking dish.

Sift flour into a bowl. Add sugar and slowly whisk in the milk until well-blended. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest and whisk until well blended and smooth.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the cherries and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

 

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Jalousie aux Amandes et a l’Abricot et Pêche

 

Jalousie means “shutter” in French, and these traditional slatted puff pastry fruit pies looks just like the shutters outside the houses all over the French shutterscountryside.  Using ready made puff pastry from your local supermarket’s frozen food section  along  with almonds, apricot and peach preserves, this is a very easy and elegant dessert, will surely  impress your family and friends.

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons apricot preserves
3 Tablespoons peach preserves
1⁄2  pound puff pastry
Water
1 beaten egg
2 Tablespoons superfine sugar
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425º F.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the apricot and peach preserves; set aside.

Roll out the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch square. Cut in half to make two rectangles.

Place one half on a baking sheet that you have sprayed with water.  Brush all around the edges with beaten egg. Spread over the apricot and peach preserves.

Fold the remaining piece of dough in half lengthwise and cut eight evenly spaced diagonal slits from the center fold to about 1/2-inch of the outer edge all the way along.

Unfold the pastry and place  it on top of the preserve covered pastry on the baking sheet , matching each edge carefully to the base. Cut into fourths  and press edges together well to seal. Scallop the edges at close intervals with the back of a small knife.

Brush the slashed pastries top with water and sprinkle with  sugar and sliced almonds. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Remove the jalouise from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Pour the heavy whipping cream into a large bowl, and whisk in sugar for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until the cream reaches the soft peak stage.

Serve the jalouise with the  whipped cream and café au lait,  if desired.

 

 

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Duck Bacon Carbonara

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Rich, creamy, and ready in less than 20 minutes? Yes! This easy carbonara is your go-to meal when you want comfort food and you want it now. Smoky duck bacon makes this satisfying dish extra-special.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
½ pound spaghetti
3 ounces duck bacon, sliced into ¼ inch strips*
1 clove garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 large egg and 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Put a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cook pasta until al dente or until tender yet firm.

While pasta is cooking, put a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté duck bacon until the fat begins to render, then add garlic  and crushed red pepper and continue to sauté until bacon starts to brown and garlic has softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and cheese. Season generously with black pepper, stirring well to prevent lumps.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat.Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.)

Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency.

Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Cooks’ Note:
*Duck bacon is available at dartagnan.com .

 

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