Red Chard Salad with Red Onions, Parm & Poached Egg

Red Chard Salad with Poached Egg, Parm & Dressing.

I tossed some red chard with the Mustard Vinaigrette and let it rest, letting the vinaigrette “cook” it for about 15 minutes while I poached an egg. I sliced parmesan on top and laid the poached egg on the top of the salad.

I poach eggs in a a sauce pan with a few inches of simmering water. I add a bit of vinegar to the water. Crack the egg in a small bowl first so you can slip it into the water rather than drop it. You can stir around the outside of the egg to encourage the white to sort of spin together using centrifugal force. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan and let rest for 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the water without bringing water to ruin your salad.

Break the yolk and stir the yolk into the salad, mixing it with the vinaigrette. It makes a creamy sort of vinaigrette.

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Bacon, Egg, Pear, Parm Sandwich with Caramelized Onions & Apricot Cabbage Slaw

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I don’t know what got into me today, but I was about to make a roast pork and slaw sandwich and I thought about all the pears I need to eat and ended up making the most delicious sandwich ever.  It began with the Apricot Cabbage Slaw I was going to make for the sandwich.

I got ambitious and decided to make slow caramelized onions. To do that, I thinly sliced 1/2 an onion on a mandoline. I heated a cast iron skillet to medium high (7 of 10), added 1 TBSP of saved bacon drippings (but you could use olive oil or butter) and melted it. I added the onions and cooked quickly, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until browned, then I lowered the heat to medium-low (3 of 10) and let cook slowly while I prepared the Apricot Cabbage Slaw. Be patient, the longer the onions cook, the more tender sweet they are, almost like a jam.

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Turn the broiler on before the onions are done to heat up.

When the onions were done, I removed them and set them in a small bowl. Any leftover onions can be used in a sauce or another sandwich.

I then cooked two slices of bacon in the same pan, rendering the fat and saving it for another day. I removed the bacon and set it aside.

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While the bacon was cooking I broiled 2 slices of bread on one side for about 2 to 3 minutes. Just to get some strength from drying, it did not get toasted. Between broiling on one side and then on the other, it was time to cook the egg.

I wiped the fry pan clean of any bacon, and put a dab of butter in the middle of medium hot pan and cooked one sunnyside up egg, adding some salt and pepper.

While the egg was cooking, I broiled the other side of the bread.  On one piece, I shaved parmesan cheese. On the other piece, I layered thin slices of pear to caramelize sightly. I put them back under the broiler for a few more minutes until the parm was melted.

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Assembly

On the side with the melted part, I stack the two slices of bacon, cut into 4 pieces. I added the sunny side up egg. On the side with the pears, I stacked caramelized onions, and the Apricot Cabbage Slaw. Then I put the two pieces together with a bit of hard push to break the egg yolk so it spread through the sandwich and sliced it in half.
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Believe me, this is worth spending 40 minutes to make. The pear and caramelized onions are dream. And of course, bacon, eggs, and parmesan are delicious. A good sweet/sour slaw is a perfect balance to the sweetness and the creamy egg marries everything together. This is the most delicious sandwich I have ever concocted. This made one sandwich, but I have some caramelized onions and slaw left over. I had thought to make a vinaigrette with the onions, but now I think I will be making this sandwich for supper.

Broccoli Frittata

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Turn oven on broil

Bring water to a boil in a small pan. As soon as it’s boiling, drop broccoli in for 90 seconds. Drain.

Chop up 4 slices of bacon. Toss in 2 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook in medium cast iron skillet.

Dice one small onion (I used a red onion.) Add to skillet and sauté until transparent. Add parboiled broccoli.

Beat 4 eggs, add 1/2 cup milk and pour into the skillet. Stir slowly, pulling from the outside to the center. When the eggs are early cooked through remove from the heat.

Add a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese across the top. Broil until toasty.

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This is delicious and makes four servings.

Double Mushroom Risotto

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Although I usually prefer fast and easy recipes, some recipes deserve all the time and patience you can give them and reward you with rich, intense flavor that is so delicious you cannot imagine it until you taste it.  This double mushroom risotto is exactly that kind of recipe. I spent hours on the broth – an investment that paid of with rich flavors that infused every bite of the risotto.

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I used leg shank marrow bones – three two inch shank cuts (about 2 pounds). There is no more flavorful meat for making broth than the shanks with the rich leg bones filled with marrow. I put about 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of my stock pot and heated it up. I placed the shanks flat on the heated oil and browned them on both sides which adds to the color and the flavor of the stock. Then I added 1 cup of chopped onion, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp of dried thyme and let them cook a bit until the onions turned transparent. I then added enough water to completely cover the meat and brought to a boil before reducing heat to a simmer. I let it simmer with a cover on it for a few hours before adding 1 oz of dried porcini mushrooms and then let it cook another half hour. I put it in the fridge overnight to cool before straining it in the morning. I ended up with 11 cups of broth which is exactly the amount I needed for this double batch of risotto.  I heated it up to a low simmer while I cooked the risotto since it needed to be the same temperature as the risotto so it could be added bit by bit at temperature for even absorption and perfect consistency.

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The next step was dry sautéing 4 cups of sliced button or crimini mushrooms. To do this, I put them in my pan and turned the heat up and stirred for about 6 minutes while they cooked without any oil or water. I then added 4 TBSP of butter and 2/3rds cup of chopped yellow onions and 1 tsp of  dried thyme. (I would have used a sprig of fresh thyme if I had it.)  I cooked until the onions became tender.

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Then I added good quality red wine – 1 1/3 cup and set it simmer until it was cooked down by half. When it was done, I added 3 1/2 cups of arborio rice and stirred it in and cooked for a couple minutes before adding 1 cup of the broth and stirring while it was absorbed.

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I then continued to add 1 cup of broth at a time – until all 11 cups were absorbed. The rice was still a bit toothsome and the liquid was still not completely absorbed when I removed from the heat and added 1/2 cup of grated parmesan to melt into the risotto. With the lid on it, the rest of the liquid was completely absorbed without any risk of the risotto getting mushy which would be criminal.

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The result is a perfect creamy risotto with intense mushroom and beef flavor. It’s addictive, so be sure you make it for an event where other people will help eat it all.

Garlic Scapes, Tomatoes & Parmesan

Garlic Scapes, Tomatoes  & Parm

I love roasted garlic scapes, but I did not want to turn the oven on and heat up my apartment. What to do? Well, I often use my iron skillet with its lid to function as an oven. I will bake biscuits in the skillet with dry heat, for example. So I thought about roasting them in the skillet, but then when I had the skillet out and heating, I suddenly decided to go a different way and have to say, it worked really well, giving me a new, delicious way to enjoy scapes.

I heated 1 TBSP of olive oil in the skillet on medium-high (7 out of 10 on my electric dial) and cut one bunch of scapes into 2 inch long pieces while it heated. I tossed a dash of cumin in the oil as it heated. Then I added the scales and let them cook until they started to brown and began to get tender. I diced one tomato and added it after the scapes were cooked. While that cooked, I shredded 2 oz. of parmesan cheese and tossed on top, stirring in so it melted. This made two large servings of veggies.

The cumin and scales and tomato are magic together and the parmesan just makes it all so decadently delicious. I will definitely make this again.

Cleaning Out the Fridge Salad

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Before I went grocery shopping, I made up a salad designed to use up some stuff and free up some room in fridge. Generally you can make a salad using a pretty crazy assortment of  foods if you use a classic oil and vinegar (or balsamic vinegar) dressing For this one, I use the last of the romaine, 1 Jazz apple, 5 pickled pimentos. some black olives from a can I has opened earlier in the month and thin slices of parmesan. I also had a couple chicken breasts in the freezer that were at the point where ice was beginning to form inside the freezer bag – meaning that the moisture was about to be sucked out of them rendering them dry, tasteless and not worth cooking.

I thawed the breasts in the microwave and sauteed them lightly in olive oil. I made a real effort not to overcook them because being frozen, they risk being dried out already. I cored the apple and cut the slices in half. I sliced up the pickled pimentos. I tossed everything together in a pie plate, added some salt and pepper, some balsamic and olive oil and enjoyed a tasty salad. The pickled peppers add such a sweet and tart bite, that any salad featuring them feels special. I ended up with a huge salad, but I was super hungry, so it ended up being a single serving, though most times, it would be two.

 

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

This is a quick, easy salad recipe that takes about 6 minutes form start to finish.

Put a handful of almonds in a dry skillet on medium high to toast. I used a little less than 1/4 cup.

You can finely chop or slice 6 brussels sprouts. This time I used a mandoline, but you get good results cutting with a knife, too. I have used both methods and the results are similar.

Grate about 1/2 ounce of parmesan cheese. Mix into the brussels sprouts.

Mix up a quick vinaigrette with 1 tsp mustard, 1 TBSP cider vinegar and 2 TBSP olive oil. Blend and dress the salad. Add some salt and pepper.

The almonds should be nicely toasted. Chop them up and toss into the salad and there you have it. The cheese gives it a nice earthiness blending with the fresh bite of the brussels sprouts, the tang of the vinaigrette and the smoky nuttiness of the almonds. It’s delicious.

Rustic Kale Salad with Poached Egg

Rustic Kale Salad With Poached Egg

I was making a soup and chopped up one bunch of kale. Seeing that I had chopped more than I would need for the soup, I decided to make a quick salad for lunch and have the soup for dinner. This salad is amazing and I know I will make it again and again.

Strip the stem and finely chop fresh curly kale. You will need about 1 cups of fresh kale. In a bowl, add 1/2 tbsp of walnut oil and the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Crush and mince two cloves of garlic. Toss everything in the bowl and with your hands, massage the oil and lemon into the kale. This will break down the leaves and make them tender. When it was done, I grated about 1 oz of parmesan cheese and stirred it in.

Put into your serving bowl and set aside while you poach an egg.

To poach an egg, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a skillet. It should be right on the edge of boiling, but not quite. You need to acidulate the water so the egg white coalesces and normally you would add a dash of vinegar, but since I had fresh squeezed lemon juice, I simply put some water into the bowl I used to squeeze the juice and then put the water into the skillet – that transferred plenty of the lemon juice to the water. I cracked a fresh egg into a small bowl and then used that to transfer the egg into the simmering water gently. Using my slotted spoon, I pushed the white toward the yolk so it would form a tight poached egg. After 30 seconds or so on the heat, I put a lid on the skillet and removed it from the heat. In 4 minutes the egg was perfectly cooked. I used the slotted spoon to get it out of the water and drain it before putting it on top of the salad.

Yum!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Turkey Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms & Cucumber Salad

Portobello mushrooms were on sale at New Seasons this week – priced the same as Criminis. Why they aren’t always the same price is a mystery since they are the same mushroom just a few days older. Nonetheless, I took advantage of the sale price and bought two Portobellos.

But let’s take care of the salad first since I made it in the morning so it could soak up the vinegar and dill flavor all day. Using the mandoline, I sliced 1/2 of a red onion, 1 Roma tomato and 1/2 of a large cucumber into thin slices and layered in a plastic storage container. I tossed in 1 tsp of dried dill weed, some salt and pepper and 1 TBSP of olive oil and 1.5 TBSP of vinegar. I put the lid on and shook it all up and set in the fridge to marinate all day. This makes 4 servings of the salad.

I heated the oven to 400° F.

To prep, I minced two cloves of garlic and sliced 1/2 of a sweet onion in thin slices on the mandoline.

With the mushrooms, first I washed them and scrubbed with a mushroom brush. I then cut off the stems. I diced the stems up and put them in a container to use for an omelet tomorrow morning. Using a spoon I scraped out the gills (they are edible but use the space I need for the stuffing). I rubbed a couple drops of olive oil on the top of the caps and put them top down in a baking pan.

In a bowl I put 6 oz of ground turkey, 1 tsp of ground sage, 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1 TBSP dried parsleyand1/4 tsp of dry mustard and mixed them together thoroughly. I then spread half on the bottom of each mushroom cap.

I put them in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

I then put 1 TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan and sauteed the onions and garlic until the onions turned golden brown. I added 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and the juice of 1 lemon and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.

I removed the mushrooms from the oven and layered the onions on top. I then shredded about 1 oz of Parmesan on each mushroom and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Right at the end, I switched the oven to broil just until the cheese browned nicely.

The stuffed mushrooms had that hearty umame flavor that is so satisfying and the bit of tang from the Worcestershire and lemon was a perfect balance to the earthiness of the mushrooms. The light salad was a good complement to a hearty entree. If served with rice or pasta, I would serve one per person, but with just salad, two makes a meal.