Tag Archives: eggs

Egg-in-a-hole-Avocado Toast

4 toasts 2
Egg-in-a-hole used to be one of my favourite meals as a child. I loved taking the little round piece of toast and poking it into the center of the egg, watching the runny golden yolk ooze out. I had completely forgotten about this egg dish until Tieghan Gerard, over at Half Baked Harvest, had the genius idea to turn it into a new way to eat avocado toast.

She topped hers with mashed avocado, corn, nectarines and feta cheese. We are not quite in nectarine season here, so I decided to roast some little cherry tomatoes with the corn. Mine got a topping of ricotta salata, basil and cilantro. A squirt of hot sauce or some pickled jalapeños would also be quite delicious if that’s more your jam. What you'll need

tomatoes and corn ready for roastingThe tomatoes and corn spend about 20 minutes in a hot oven, getting all golden brown and delicious. This gives you time to mash the avocados and make the egg-in-a-hole toasts.avoeggs in hole2 toasts 1This is comfort food at its finest. It would make a beautiful brunch, but I love it best for dinner. There is something a little bit indulgent about having breakfast for dinner. 1 toast

Click here to print recipe for Egg-in-hole Avocado Toast.

1 toast yolk broken 1 625 sq

E.A.T. Breakfast Sandwiches

breakfast is ready 1This started out as a post about biscuits. Specifically, the amazing biscuits from Biscuit Love, the beloved Nashville brunch hot spot. I had breakfast there last year. Their lofty flaky biscuits, slathered with butter and sorghum syrup were one of the highlights of my visit. Biscuits were added to my must blog about list.

I found their recipe online and read through it very carefully. It’s an unconventional recipe as it uses yeast as a leavening agent. Most traditional Southern biscuits rely on baking soda and/or baking powder. The other unusual ingredient was melted butter. Every other biscuit recipe I have read uses very cold, sometimes frozen butter. The theory behind cold butter is that, when the biscuits hit the oven, the butter begins to melt, causing steam, which contributes to flakiness. This recipe ran contrary to everything I knew about biscuit baking.

I took a leap of faith, mixed up the dough and baked a batch. I split a warm one open, buttered it and took a bite. It was good, but nowhere near as flaky and delicious as I remembered. These were not the biscuits of my dreams. Clearly some more research is needed here before I pass the knowledge onto you.

I decided to turn these passable biscuits into something really special. I created the E.A.T. breakfast sandwich featuring  Egg, Avocado and Tomato. I had some halloumi cheese in the fridge and fried some of that up as well, for a salty, cheesy layer.

I sliced up some pretty heirloom tomatoes, salted them well and drizzled them with olive oil. tomatoes and avocadoesI decided to mash up the avocados to give the sandwich a creamy base. A bit of lime juice, olive oil, salt and some red pepper flakes were added to the mash. Fried halloumi cheese and some fried eggs added the final two layers.ready to assemble

I took an adequate biscuit and turned it into a spectacular breakfast.

I did a bit of research and discovered that Biscuit Love makes 3 kinds of biscuits. The yeast raised ones that I made (also known as Angel biscuits) are what they use for their biscuit sandwiches. They also make a beaten biscuit, which are tiny and firmer, more like soda crackers. And finally, they make a traditional drop biscuit, which is what I must have been  served with butter and sorghum syrup. Those were the lofty flaky biscuits of my dreams. The quest is on to reproduce these biscuits. I’ll be back with something soon, I promise.

In the meantime, feel free to use store bought biscuits, english muffins or even some great bagels for this sandwich.

Click here to print recipe for E.A.T. Breakfast Sandwiches.

 

Mexican Frittata

cooled and ready to cutI struggled with what to call this dish. To give you a better idea of what I created, try to imagine if Shakshuka and Nachos were to hook up. This dish would be their love child.

I first had Shakshuka a few years ago in Israel. It is essentially eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. My husband loved it and kept asking me to recreate it at home. While I loved the classic rendition, I couldn’t resist tampering with it. Ingredients for sauceI began with the usual base for a Shakshuka sauce; canned tomatoes, onions, garlic and sweet peppers. I took a page from Mexican sauces and added a few dried chile peppers. I used an ancho and a guajillo pepper. Dried peppers add a depth of flavour you just can’t get from chile powder. Here is a great primer if you want to learn more about cooking with dried peppers. Many of the more popular dried peppers are not that spicy, so don’t be afraid. I added corn to my sauce because corn makes everything better.cheesesI knew that I wanted to top the dish with cheese, because, Nachos need cheese. I settled on a mix of cheddar, Monterey Jack and Queso Fresco, a mild cow’s milk cheese. If you can’t find it, Ricotta Salata would be a good substitute, or just use extra cheddar and Monterey Jack.

Rather than fooling with poached or fried eggs, I decided to make it easy and use scrambled eggs. Inspired by matzoh brei (fried matzoh), I briefly mixed the tortilla chips with the eggs, before pouring them over the tomato sauce. I added some chopped pickled jalapeños to the eggs for a bright bit of heat. ready for oveneggs and tortillasready to assembleready for ovenI served it with black beans, salsa and sour cream. Diced avocados or some guacamole would also be very welcome at this fiesta. ready to eat

Click here to print recipe for Mexican Frittata.

have a slice 2have a slice 1

Sweet Potato and Turkey Sausage Hash

brunch for 2Although I write a food blog, I seem to struggle when it comes to deciding what to make when I have company for brunch. Smoked Salmon, cream cheese and bagels (unless I bake my own), feels like I phoned it in. Just not enough effort. Sort of like serving jarred salsa and bagged tortilla chips when friends come over. Pancakes and waffles are a challenge because they really are best served as soon as they are made and I don’t love cooking when I have people over. I prefer to have as much done in advance if possible. Plus, so many people are avoiding gluten and/or carbs these days.

My go-to brunch standard is a fritatta. My favourite is studded with sautéed leeks, cauliflower, corn and Gruyere cheese. It can be made ahead of time and is delicious served warm or at room temperature. But I get easily bored with food and always want to try something new.

Clinton Kelly made a variation of this hash on The Chew a few weeks ago. It seemed like a perfect brunch dish. He used ready made chicken sausage, but I keep Kosher, and couldn’t find any at my butcher. I decided to make my own. Since I wasn’t putting  the sausage in casing, it really is quite simple to do. It’s just a matter of picking the right seasonings.making sausageI decided to use ground turkey and seasoned it with paprika, fennel seed, allspice, salt and red pepper flakes. Ground turkey tends to be dry, so to add moisture, without adding extra fat, I added some finely grated apple and onion. I learned that trick from Rachel Ray.

Once the ground turkey is browned up, it’s time to make hash. I used a combo of sweet potatoes and Yukon golds. I added some corn, sweet red peppers, and jalapeños for a bit of zing. ready to make hashOnce all the veggies are cooked, the ground turkey is mixed in and it’s time to add the eggs. before baking12 minutes in a hot oven and brunch is ready. A big (12 inch) cast iron skillet is perfect for this dish, but any large skillet will work. It can be brought right to the table and served from the pan.hash for 4brunch for 1 625 sqIf you want to get really cute, make the hash in a big pan, and then transfer it to 4 mini cast iron pans. Top each with an egg and bake. Serve each person their own little pan. I found the mini pans at World Market for $7.99 each. I couldn’t resist. hash in mini pan 625 sq

 

Click here to print recipe for Sweet Potato and Turkey Sausage Hash.

Confessions of Home Alone Diners…and Comfort Eggs

plated 1 625 sqWhen you are used to cooking dinner for a family of five every night, finding yourself alone for supper comes as a bit of a shock, a pleasant one, mind you, but still, quite a jarring change to the system. Having solitary meals quite frequently this past summer got me curious about what other people fix for dinner when they are flying solo.

Out to dinner this week with a bunch of friends, I posed the question to the table. Almost every man at the table said they ate a bowl of cereal or picked up some take-out, while practically every woman said they made a salad with some fish, chicken or eggs mixed in for protein.
Really???

Are my sister Faith and I the only ones to conduct a frantic search for our spouse’s hidden chocolate stash, dump the Party Size pack of peanut M&M’s into a bowl (because our mom raised us right, and eating out of the bag is for animals), guzzle a diet coke from the can (because it tastes better that way, right?), and call it dinner?

The late Laurie Colwin, wrote about this very subject in her book, “Home Cooking.”
“Dinner alone is one of life’s pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest. People lie when you ask them what they eat when they are alone. A salad, they tell you. But when you persist, they confess to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches deep fried and eaten with hot sauce, or spaghetti with butter and grape jam.”

I suspected that because I posed the question in public, where answers would not be anonymous, that not everyone was being 100% honest with me (just a hunch!). So I sent out an email to about 40 of my closest friends and relatives and posed the question, with the promise of zero judgement and total anonymity.

The replies came flooding back almost immediately. I was so relieved. Yes, these were my peeps. I knew they wouldn’t let me down. Here is a sampling of some of my favourite confessions.

  • Entire bag of baby carrots (but he/she only did this once because their skin turned orange)
  • Stacy’s Pita Chips with guacamole (Impossible not to finish entire bag as they are laced with some secret substance that causes addiction)
  • Frozen Purdy’s Mint Meltie Bars (had never heard of these and I think I am going to be very sorry I learned about them!)
  • Pint of Ben and Jerry’s half baked
  • Large bowl of Miss Vicki’s Sea Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips followed by either 2 “Healthy Choice Fudge Bars” or 2 PC Honey Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bars (This person imagines that the “healthy choice bars” or “yogurt bars” cancel out the chips!)
  • Entire bag of Ace Bakery Rosemary Artisan Crisps (see Stacy’s chips above!)
  • Large cinnamon bun with an ice water chaser!
  • Bowl of oatmeal and blueberries with a white wine chaser!
  • Chef Michael Smith’s olive oil popcorn with a Diet Coke Chaser!
  • Large glass of red wine. (not chasing anything)
  • Baked Beans (eaten straight from the can).
  • $1.39 Double Cheeseburger from the McDonald’s extra value menu (I think this person was putting me on…I don’t believe it for a second!)
  • Turkey hoagie and a bag of chips (That’s a sub sandwich for those of you not from Philly!)

Now, lest you think that I subsist on a steady diet of Peanut M&M’s and Diet Coke, rest assure, I mix it up. Sometimes it’s a bowl of Kettle Brand Baked Sea Salt Chips (the only baked potato chips that do not taste like baked cardboard) with a chaser of Villa Sandi Prosecco.

I think that we are looking for comfort when we are dining alone at home. Cooking for yourself should feel slightly indulgent and not at all a chore. After all, you only have yourself to please, no spouse or picky kids! Sometimes, comfort means something warm. When that craving hits, this is what I make myself:a bite goneI always have eggs, cheese and tomatoes in the house.Ingredients 2 

eggs into panready for oven

I’d love to hear what you eat for dinner when you are home alone!  Leave me a confession comment.

Click here to print recipe for Comfort Eggs.