Monday, November 30, 2009

Poached eggs with roasted portabellas and tomatoes

My new favorite Sunday brunch recipe, swiped from :). If you're looking for a total egg-poaching adventure, google Julia Child's instructions for how to poach the "proper" way. It's fun, I promise!

4 (3-inch-wide) portabella mushroom caps, stems discarded
2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat broiler.

Brush mushrooms and tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange mushrooms, stemmed sides down, and tomato halves, cut sides up, on a broiler pan. Broil 6 inches from heat, turning over mushrooms halfway through cooking, until tender and tomatoes are slightly charred, about 7 minutes total.

While vegetables are broiling, fill a deep 10-inch skillet with 1 1/4 inches cold water. Add white vinegar and bring to a simmer.

Break 1 egg into a cup, then slide egg into simmering water. Repeat with remaining eggs, spacing them in skillet, and poach at a bare simmer until whites are firm but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle stemmed sides of mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, then put 1 tomato half, cut side up, on each mushroom and top with an egg. Grate cheddar cheese on top and sprinkle with chives.

Mediterranean Orzo

This is based off a recipe from Food & Wine . . . my dad served it with grilled swordfish, which was really yummy, but you could totally whip up some chickpeas or tofu to go along with it to make it completely vegetarian :)

3/4 cup whole-wheat orzo
1/2 cup pitted mixed olives (2 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted in a pan or in the oven

Cook orzo according to package directions; drain and combine with next 5 ingredients. Stir in almonds directly before serving.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Spiced-Up Hot Chocolate

This recipe is from Craigie on Main, a fancy-schmancy restaurant in Cambridge . . . the spices are a little Indian, a little Mexican, a lotta yummy.

about 1/2 cup dark (70%) chocolate
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup butter
4 teaspoons white sugar

Grind the following and add to taste:
approximately 3 green cardamom pods - toast the cardamom, crush and discard the green shell, and grind the black seeds inside the pod
1/2 stick cinnamon (Mexican if possible)
1/2 tsp chili flakes (preferably ancho)

Put all ingredients in a pot, stir and simmer constantly until it reaches the consistency you desire. The final yield will depend on how much you reduce the cocoa while cooking but the above recipe should make approx 10 espresso cup portions.

This cocoa is super-rich and smaller servings are usually enough.

Potato Leek Soup

. . . the vegetarian version!

I haven't loved most veggie versions of this soup I've tried, since I think it's often the chicken broth that gives it the most flavor. But this one has lots of onion, shallot, garlic, and spices that make it extra yummy. It's swiped from -- with revisions.

3 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 medium shallot, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 large russet potatoes, diced
4 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
milk or cream
garnish: yogurt, grated cheddar, or chives (chopped)

Heat butter (or a mixture of butter and olive oil, if you're feeling healthy) in a large saucepan. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, and onion, and saute for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until they begin to soften, but not brown, about another 10 minutes. Add broth, bay lead, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until potatoes are soft -- about 30 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to a blender (or use one of those nifty immersion blenders, if you've got one!) and puree in batches until it's smooth. Return to saucepan and heat, adding milk or cream until it's reached the desired consistency. Garnish with yogurt, chives, or grated cheddar cheese. Delicious served with some crusty bread :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grown-Up Mac-and-Cheese-and-Greens Casserole

Welllll, we're not really casserole folks. But we have been on a comfort food kick and a use-up-the-leftovers-before-they-go-bad kick...and I think perhaps we struck genius with this one. So yummy!

1/2 pound noodles, cooked (we used whole wheat spaghetti!)
3 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 large head broccoli, chopped
1/2 head escarole, chopped roughly
3 eggs
2 C low fat cottage cheese
1 C low fat sour cream
4-6 oz grated cheese (we used cheddar and parmesan)
1 1/2 C bread crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13" pan. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, and mushrooms until soft and fragrant. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Toss in broccoli and escarole and saute another couple of minutes until broccoli is bright green and escarole has wilted.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, 1 C of the bread crumbs, about 2/3 of your grated cheese, and some salt and pepper. Add in the sauteed vegetables and the cooked noodles and toss everything together. Slide everything into your buttered pan and distribute noodles and vegetables evenly, pressing everything down into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C bread crumbs and reserved grated cheese across the top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the casserole has set and the top is nice and browned.

Enjoy with a nice simple green salad!