Saturday, January 14, 2012

French Toast Waffles

Ok, this one is all over the web, but I thought it was pretty rad.

You take your favorite pan-fried french toast recipe, but instead of cooking it on the stovetop, you cook it on your waffle maker!!  

That is all.

I topped mine with macerated berries and maple syrup.  
It was good.

Home Fry-ttata

It's like the inside of a breakfast burrito that you slice up and eat like pie.

Why not?  
Makes one small fritatta.  Serves 2-4.


5-8 fingerling potatoes, 1/2 cubes (8 if your potatoes are small or you want a Really potato-y frittata)
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 of a small onion, chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved 
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp butter
Salt and Pepper

Rinse the cubed potatoes in cold water, pat dry.  Heat skillet to med-high, when hot add 1 tbsp butter.  Add potatoes once butter has melted, stir to coat.  Add salt and pepper.  Cover for 15 minutes, stir occasionally.  Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and stir in.  Continue to stir occasionally for 5 minutes.   Test a potato cube by piercing with a fork to see if it is tender enough for your liking.  At this point toss with the pesto, coating each cube.
Meanwhile, mix eggs and milk together in a bowl.  Add another dash of salt and pepper here too.  Place  the other 1 tbsp butter into pan with the potatoes and let coat the bottom of the pan as best as possible. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, over the 'taters.  

Wait 1 minute, and then add veggies and goat cheese, sprinkling lightly over the mixture.  Preheat oven to broil (light broil if it's an option).  Let the frittata cook on the stovetop until the edges are cooked. Place pan in oven for about 5 minutes to finish cooking the top of the frittata.  Watch closely!  Seriously, don't stray far.  Keep the oven light on and park a chair in front if you have to.  

When eggs are firm and lightly browned on top, it's done.  Try tilting the pan to make sure no runny liquid remains.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then slice into quadrants and slide out with a spatula onto your plate.  

Voila!  A vegetarian breakfast with everything you could want in one bite.  Feel free to use your own fillings, add bacon/sausage, whatever your frittata-fancy may be.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Calamari Pizza @ Coppa

This is the Sicilian Fisherman's Wood-Fired Pizza from Coppa.
It will be the best fried-cephalopod pizza you've ever had. 

We went to go check out Coppa this week.  I'm glad we did.  It's a beautiful, simple, elegant hole in the wall with great music and a yummy, creative menu.  We sat at the bar, had a couple of beers and ordered the broccoli raabe antipasti with Meyer lemon and garlic.  It was one of the best dressed greens plate I've ever  had.  Next we got the above photographed pie.  This was special not only because it was frikkin' fried calamari on a pizza, but because I've been pondering grilled squid on pizza for a while.  I thought it might be too chewy, so this was a way to experience a similar version and test my theory out.

The Squid came piled high- tubes, tentacles and all, along with cherry peppers, parmesan and tomato. Each slice was decked out, and the first bite was slightly awkward as calamari toppled over onto the plate, but overall it was an unbelievably delicious combination of flavors and textures.  And you know what?  The squid that falls to the plate, you just pick up with your hands and eat.  No biggie.  I didn't find the squid to be too chewy for the application, either.  The key here may be the quantity of the squid on the pizza - enough so that you get at least one whole tube with every bite.  The tentacles required a little more sophisticated maneuvering, but totally worth it.

Big fan of Coppa.  Can't wait to try out Toro, with another menu by Chef Jamie Bissonnette.

One pie served two of us with leftovers to spare.  Made an excellent late night snack AND breakfast.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mexican Risotto!!!

Oh yes.  Perhaps the best fusion of cuisines I've ever had.  I often wonder why I don't see this dish EVERYWHERE.  It is the perfect creamy risotto texture with the flavors of your favorite mexican dish.  We chose to stick with our favorite chili ingredients for this first trial run, but you could do a simple cheese and shrimp or do a take on huevos rancheros with eggs and tomatillos.  You could deconstruct any of your favorite Mexican dishes and add it into the risotto and I guarantee it will taste amazing.  We served this with a tequila lime marinated tilapia, but the risotto overshot the fish so far that the fish would have been better off mixed into the risotto.

2 cups creamy tomato soup
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsps taco seasoning (we use the Trader Joe's brand)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup tequila, ale or white wine
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 3-4 oz can of green chiles
1 cup corn kernels
6-8 oz aged, sharped cheddar, shredded or crumbled
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
chopped scallions for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper and/or Hot Sauce to taste

Put the stock and tomato soup in a saucepan.  Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat to keep it warm.  Heat the butter and oil in a pot and saute the onions for 1-2 minutes.  Add garlic and mix well.  Add the rice and stir with wooden spoon to coat all of the rice with fat.

Add taco seasoning and stir in. Saute the rice in the butter and seasoning for a few minutes and then add the tequila, ale or wine.  Stir until it is completely absorbed.  Add 1 ladle of liquid and stir until absorbed.  Continue to add the liquid in this manor until the liquied has been absorbed and the rice is al dente (~18-20 minutes).  Reserve the last ladle of stock.  Add the beans, chile, corn, cilantro, most of the cheese (save some for garnish) and the last ladle of stock.  Stir until all incorporated and cheese has melted.  Salt, Pepper and add hot sauce an/or cayenne to taste.  Remove from heat, serve with scallion garnish.

Scrambled Eggs with Fried Sage and Cornbread


2 Eggs
1 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp Butter
3-5 sage leaves
Salt and Pepper
A mild white cheese, like mozzarella, is optional
A slice of Buttermilk Cornbread*


Melt butter in a frying pan.  Put sage leaves in and flip them after ~5 seconds.  Cook for an additional 5 seconds and then remove and place on a towel to drain.  Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper (two or three shakes of each ought to do it).  Use the same butter to cook your scrambled eggs.  If you're going to add cheese, add it towards the end or on the plate.  Garnish the eggs with sage.  You may want to crumble or break the larger leaves so that they are more incorporated into the eggs.  Serve on top of a slice of cornbread.

*Simple Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients; add beaten egg and buttermilk, mixing well. Pour into greased, heated 8-inch or 9-inch iron skillet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Buttermilk cornbread serves 8.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread French Toast with Founders Breakfast Stout

Welcome to my first post from our new home in Somerville, Mass!  We have finally settled into the new digs and our going about business as usual.  My man has left the pizza business and is working with craft beers in a retail setting, so expect to see some more beer pairings as our refrigerator overfloweth.

Every fall I make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.  So, our first settled weekend in town we wanted to celebrate with a warm, homey fall breakfast.  We tend to make French Toast a lot when we want to brunch at home, so this idea came together as something that was originally two separate recipes we wanted to make.  The pumpkin bread is a pretty simple quick-bread to assemble.  We made the french toast while it was still warm from the oven, and had to slice it a little thicker because it tends to be a bit crumbly when hot.  Also, we didn't have chocolate chips on hand so I chopped up a delicious Chocolove XOXO 70% Dark Chocolate bar instead - a definite improvement!

for bread
2/3 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (1 lb can)
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon and  1 tsp cloves mixed (or 3 tsps ground mulling spices)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar of your choice

for French Toast
1-2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cinnamon and clove mix or mulling spice mix

To make the bread: Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cream the butter and gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs one by one and beat mixture.  Stir in pumpkin and water.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.  Fold in the chocolate.
Spoon mixture into a greased 9 inch loaf pan and bake for about an hour or until a knife inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean (except for maybe some melty chocolate).

To make the French Toast:
Slice the cooled bread into 1/2-1 inch slices.  In a bowl, mix together eggs, milk and vanilla extract.   Heat frying pan or griddle to Med-Low heat.  When pan is hot, melt the butter in it- enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  Dip each slice of bread, making sure to coat each side and the ends and place in pan.  Cook each side for about 5 minutes.  

You may need to reapply butter if you're working in smaller batches.  If you're making a lot at once, keep a ceramic plate in the oven @  200-250 F and store the cooked slice in there until you're ready to serve.  Mix together cocoa and spice mix, sift over plated bread.  Eat with maple syrup and a delicious breakfast beer like the Founders Breakfast Stout or your favorite fall seasonal beer.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kefir and Muesli, Cruesli or Granola

The best cold breakfast ever!!!

This is one of my favorite combos.  If you've never tried it, do yourself a favor.

Kefir, if you're unfamiliar, is a smooth yogurt-like liquid with a slight tangy effervescence.  It comes from fermenting milk (or coconut milk) with kefir grains - a symbiotic blend of yeast and bacteria.   It is great for intestinal health and tasty to boot.

Muesli is a breakfast cereal made of rolled oats, fruit, nuts and sometimes chocolate....
Cruesli is a name brand granola/muesli type cereal from Quaker sold in Europe. I picked up a few boxes the last time I was visiting.  Yes, I bring back food from my travels.

The combo above is a classic vanilla (kefir) and chocolate (Cruesli) pairing, but the combinations are endless.  This past week we picked up some banana granola and mixed it with strawberry kefir, which was equally delicious.

As they say in The Netherlands, schmecklekker!