While Will and I were in NJ during our wedding week, we popped up to NYC to visit Will’s brother, Joe, and Joe’s girlfriend, Caitlin. It was great. And I forgot to bring my camera with me. Both days. Roops. Here’s what we did.

1. Ate at Salt & Fat (highly recommended– particularly the pappardelle pasta with slow cooked egg, mushrooms, and peas and also the marshmallow ice cream. Genius)

2. Went to Coney Island (quite a place. Highlight– watching old Mexican men crab off the pier while listening to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” on max volume on a boombox).

3. Ate chili cheese fries from the original Nathan’s in Coney Island

4. Ate Pho in Chinatown

5. Drank beer and played cards outside at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden (We played spoons. I thought I made my way to an early victory in the first round and shouted, “Gimme mah spoon bitch,” and then discovered that “four of a kind” is not the same as “four of a suit.” I also started referring to our delicious pitchers of Spaten as “delicious pitchers of Spock” late in the evening).

6. Made the ultimate hangover breakfast. Elizabeth’s Huevos Rancheros.

Salty, crispy, and fried, with cured breakfast meat. It needs no further introduction. Happy hangover, friends.

ELIZABETH’S HUEVOS RANCHEROS (from various internet sources)

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 link precooked chorizo, chopped

Canola oil

4 corn tortillas

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

4 eggs

Refried beans

Salsa

Hot sauce

Cilantro, chopped

Recipe

Crack eggs into a bowl, or (even more helpfully) a cup with a pouring spout.

Get all your toppings (beans, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro) into bowls and ready. You’ll want to eat these huevos while they’re hot.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo. Let the chorizo get hot sweat out its oil. Remove the chorizo from pan, leave the oil behind. This is what you will fry your tortillas in.

Place tortillas in skillet. Cook them in the oil until they’re brown, then flip them over in the pan.

Once they’re flipped, sprinkle on some cheese and plop an egg on top.

Once the egg white start to turn from clear to, well, white, flip the whole huevo over in the pan and let it cook 1 minute more. The egg and cheese will make a big mess.

Take huevo out of the pan, place it egg/cheese side up on a plate, garnish with chorizo and any other toppings you’d like. Enjoy with a huge cup of iced coffee.

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Egg and Asparagus Pizza

March 23, 2011


I am dying to tell you all about our long weekend in Las Vegas, but I am waiting for my friends Nelie and Sarah to send me some of the ridiculous pictures they took. Look out for my stories/embarrassing photos later in the week. Here’s something to tide you over until then.

Last post, I mentioned I am training for a half marathon with my friend Reed, and craving a lot of carbohydrates after our long runs. Behold, my most favorite of all carbohydrates: EGG AND ASPARAGUS PIZZA.

Crispy crust. Tender asparagus. Gooey mozzerella. Rich egg yolk. NOM.

Cooking an egg on a pizza is tricky. Sometimes, it’s cooked once the pizza is doughy. Othertimes, it’s raw when the pizza is browned. It’s a very difficult balance. When I’m making this pizza for just Will and me, I try to cook the egg directly on the pizza, if only to eventually master this skill. I make sure I have a little nest of asparagus to keep it in place, so it won’t run over the sides. I plop it on right as a few pieces of cheese start to get brown (when the pizza has cooked about 6 minutes). I let it cook until it just forms a very thin skin on top, like so.

If I am making this pizza for company, I simply cook an over easy egg in a pan and plop it on top of the cooked pizza. I have not had enough consistency in my results to say that my 6-minutes into cooking method is correct. Either way, it will be delicious.

Other great ways to enjoy a runny egg here.

EGG AND ASPARAGUS PIZZA (by me)

Serves 4

If you use really thin asparagus, you can skip the step where you saute the asparagus. Just cut it into thirds and place it directly on the pizza.

Ingredients

1 lb pizza dough (store bought or use this recipe doubled)

Olive oil

Cornmeal

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

1 teaspoon butter

Salt & Pepper

16-24 oz fresh mozzarella (depending on how cheesy you like your pizza)

Ice

4 eggs

Recipe

If your dough is refrigerated, take dough out of the fridge 1-2 hours before you want to start cooking and let it get to room temperature (it’s much easier to work with and to thin out this way).

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place rack on bottom rung of oven. This is where you will cook the pizza.

Oil a baking sheet and sprinkle cornmeal generously over it. Work your pizza dough into rectangles or rounds that are as a thin as you can get them.

Cut asparagus into thirds. Place a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and then add asparagus. Season with salt and pepper, and saute until they just start to get tender (about 5 minutes). Arrange asparagus on pizza, keeping in mind that you will want to make a little asparagus boarder in the middle of each pizza to fence in the egg. (if you don’t do this, the egg may run all over).

Pat mozzarella slices dry with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt, tear into pieces and arrange over the pizza. Season with pepper and place in the oven.

Toss an ice cube or two into the oven every few minutes. The added humidity will help the crust crisp up.

Crack eggs into a bowl and have them ready.

If you are cooking the egg directly atop the pizza, take pizzas out of oven when the cheese and crust just start to brown (about 5 minutes). Gently put eggs on top. Watch the pizzas very closely now, checking on them every 2 or 3 minutes. The pizza is done when the eggs have a very thin, white skin over their top (in my oven, this takes about 4 or 5 more minutes).

If you are cooking the eggs over-easy and then adding them to the top, finish cooking the pizza. It’s done when its nicely browned and crispy (about 10-12 minutes). Take out a medium skillet and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add your butter. Add the eggs and cover immediately with a lid. Turn heat up to medium high. They should be done within 2-4 minutes. Just keep checking on them periodically. I like them when they are a little bit white on top (about 3 1/2 minutes). Add eggs to top of pizza. Enjoy.

I have got a serious case of spring fever.

The past week has been gorgeous (50-60 degrees and sunny) and the last thing I’ve wanted to do is stay inside and cook. There hasn’t been anything too crazy going on in this kitchen of mine. I’ve been going for long walks or runs with friends, eating lunch outside, and sporting a v-neck shaped sunburn on my chest. A few months of winter and already I forgot the importance of suntan lotion. Sheesh.

Most things I’ve cooked this week have been quick and easy, and this dish is no exception. It caught my eye in last month’s Bon Appetite. It’s no secret that I love to take green vegetables for a dip in egg yolk.

This meal was alright. I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying that it reminded me a bit too much of pub food. It was kinda mushy, and a little on the bland side. If you’ve got any ideas for pepping it up, let me know!

An easier, healthier, and (I think) tastier way to enjoy eggs and greens: Roasted Asparagus with an Over-Easy Egg (or Two)

SUNNY-SIDE-UP-EGGS ON MUSTARD-CREAMED SPINACH WITH CRISPY CRUMBS (adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2011)

If you want to make breadcrumbs quick, preheat your oven to 350 and bake a slice or two of bread in there for 10-20 minutes.

I adapted this recipe in three ways: 1) I cooked the eggs in butter rather than olive oil because I think it tastes better. 2) The original recipe called for crustless breadcrumbs, but I figured I’d throw the crusts in there too. I can’t imagine that had major bearing on the end product. 3) I used heavy cream instead of half and half, because I can’t imagine using half and half for anything else before it expires. Waste not, want not.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from country-style bread

5 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 9-ounce package fresh spinach leaves (most bundled large-leaf spinach weighs 9 oz)

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

2 large eggs

Fresh thyme sprigs (for garnish)

Recipe

Preheat oven to 400. Put breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons mustard, oil, and mustard seeds in a bowl and toss to coat. Place breadcrumb mixture on a baking sheet and bake until they become crisp and golden.

While your crumbs bake, add a few tablespoons water to a large skillet. Add spinach. Place over high heat and toss until spinach wilts (a couple of minutes). Put wilted spinach and liquid in a sieve placed on top of a bowl and press out liquid. Set aside.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add wilted spinach, 3 teaspoons mustard, cream, and chopped thyme. Stir over medium heat until ingredients combine and sauce thickens a bit (a few minutes). Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Take out a medium skillet and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add your butter. Add the eggs and cover immediately with a lid. Turn heat up to medium high. They should be done within 2-4 minutes. Just keep checking on them periodically. I like them when they are a little bit white on top (about 3 1/2 minutes)

Divide spinach between two bowls. Place one egg on top of each pile of spinach, and place thyme sprigs and a little extra pepper on top. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

I don’t like to ever think of anything I make as “dietetic” because that word really takes the oomph out of a meal. I’d prefer to to call some meals “choices more appropriate than others after the holidays.” One such lunch I really enjoy is to roast a bunch of asparagus and dip them into some rich and runny egg yolks.

But, you say, making over easy eggs is hard! I thought it was too until Alton Brown taught me the simple but extremely underpublicized over-easy egg secret. Get your pan hot, put a little butter in and let it foam, crack your eggs in, and immediately place a lid over the pan. The eggs will steam their way into being over easy without any flipping involved! Check them every minute or so. They’re done after 2-4 minutes. Slide them onto a plate and sprinkle on some salt and pepper and you’re good to go.

I have a remarkable tolerance for eating huge amounts of produce, so if the prospect of eating an entire bunch of asparagus makes you gasp, please feel free to use a half a bunch, or whatever you’d like.

Other uses for eggs: Eggs Baked In Tomato Sauce

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH AN OVER-EASY EGG (OR TWO) (adapted from Nigella Lawson)

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus

EVOO

Salt & pepper

Small pat of butter (I use about a teaspoon) or cooking spray

1-2 eggs

Recipe

Preheat oven to 425. Trim bottoms off asparagus and arrange asparagus onto a cookie sheet lines with aluminum foil. Pour some EVOO onto your hands, then rub your hands over the asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes if they are thin, 18-20 minutes if they are thick. You just want to cook them until they are a little bit brown in a few places.

When your asparagus are done, heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add your butter or cooking spray. Add the eggs and cover immediately with a lid. Turn heat up to medium high. They should be done within 2-4 minutes. Just keep checking on them periodically. I like them when they are a little bit white on top (about 3 1/2 minutes).

Will was pretty skeptical when I told him I was making Zucchini Breakfast Casserole. Understandably so, as it sounds awfully cafeteria for our tastes. Usually, Will is right. But this time, he was wrong. Very, very wrong.

The bread cubes get drunk with egg and cheese and resemble a savory  french-toast. It is laden with basil and parmesan. And though this tastes rich, it won’t weigh you down, and gives you the sense of being healthy with its plum tomatoes and loads of zucchini. I am going to beg my friend Cheryl to permenantly offload her parent’s zucchini on me so I can keep making this.

No more zucchini, for now, anyway. This week’s CSA has gave us a bounty of yellow cherry tomatoes (!), swiss chard, carrots, kolrabi, beets, and squash. I may have had a giant bowl of sauteed beet greens for breakfast (jealous?), but I promise to have more exciting plans for the rest of the produce. Stay tuned!

ZUCCHINI BREAKFAST CASSEROLE (from SimplyRecipes)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (from 2-3 fresh zucchinis)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (from 4-5 fresh tomatoes),
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil (from about 20 leaves)*
  • 4 cups cubed day-old bread (from about 4 slices)
  • Olive oil

*Chiffonade basil by stacking a few leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, slice thin, starting at one end of the cigar and working your way down.

Recipe

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Add the ricotta and beat until smooth. Mix in the grated Parmesan cheese, Tabasco, salt and pepper.

2 Prepare the vegetables and bread. Once you chop the tomatoes, squeeze excess moisture out of them by pressing them in a sieve, or wrapping in paper towels and squeezing. Add the tomatoes, basil, and zucchini to the egg mixture. Moisten the bread cubes with a little water then squeeze out any excess moisture using paper towels. Mix the bread cubes into the egg mixture.

3 Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish generously with olive oil. Pour the egg vegetable mixture into the baking pan and even it out in the pan. Place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. The casserole should puff up and brown lightly. If it hasn’t after 30 minutes at 350, increase the heat to 425° and cook for 5-10 minutes further. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

Spinach Quiche

June 9, 2010

Oh, dear. I don’t know what you people are going to do with me. I promise, this is the last in my run of things baked in tarts. The strawberries, the spinach, and now MORE spinach. And all in a row too. Well, I promise, this is the last of my run (for now, anyway). It’s just that the marvelous thought of dinner in a pie crust never really occurred to me until Sunday and now I just can’t let it go. Especially since I forgot how phenomenal quiches are, hot, cold, room temperature. A true marvel of nature I’d say.

Well, like Will said, “Mmm. Pie for dinner. This is a good trend.” It kind of reminds me of a little healthy trick my Grandma Rose played on me when I was a kid. I would ask for more ice cream, but instead of ice cream, she would offer me a mashed up banana in an ice cream cone. And naively, I enjoyed this mashed up banana with the same gusto I’d use to enjoy actual ice cream. You can consume massive amounts of healthy things, (remember the 12 cups of spinach from last time?) when placed in a pie crust.

Hey, you know what else is awesome about pie for dinner? Using the leftover dough scraps for dessert! Mini hand pies. Oh, I know, the crust isn’t technically a dessert pie crust given the lack of sugar and butter. But with a quick roll out, a stuffing of jam and/or chocolate chips and/or shredded coconut, and a dusting of raw sugar, it makes for a GREAT end of a meal. Yep, pie for dinner and dessert. Twice in 2 hours. That’s right. Because around here, that’s just how we roll.


SPINACH QUICHE (by Deb from smittenkitchen.com, previously adapted from Bon Appetit). The only thing I changed was using my Olive Oil Dough recipe instead of Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 recipe Olive Oil Dough

1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half (or milk)
3 eggs
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated cheddar (gruyere works well, too)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup finely diced red or white onion or shallots work as well)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Recipe

Preheat oven to 425°. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in half and half and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Eggs Baked In Tomato Sauce

February 19, 2010

Now that I’ve shown you My Grandma Rose’s Pasta Sauce, let me show you something you can do with it that’s a little unexpected.I love this dish because it’s easy to make, healthy, and (most importantly) delicious. The more you make this easy pasta sauce, the quicker it comes together. I can make this whole dish in about 10 minutes prep time and 5 minutes in the oven!

Alice Waters always says that you should “let the ingredients speak for themselves.” This means, buy really good ingredients and you don’t have to do that much to them for your meal to taste great. A dish like this is ideal for ingredients like that.

If you use the kind from the store, use a really good kind. Cento or San Marzano are my favorites. Also, if you buy canned tomatoes from the store, you should always buy canned whole tomatoes, even if what you’re really going for is crushed. Companies always use their best quality tomatoes for canned whole tomatoes. The ones that don’t look as nice are what go into crushed or pureed. It takes a little extra effort to chop them, but to me, its worth it for a better quality ingredient of the same price. Here’s a picture of some tomatoes I canned using my friend Katherine’s instructions a while back.

Well friends,  I think I’ll head out now. It’s cold outside and I’ve got something nice and hot to dig in to. YUM.

Quick link to the sauce: My Grandma Rose’s Pasta Sauce

EGGS BAKED IN TOMATO SAUCE (serves 1)

Adapted from Baked Eggs in Tomato Parmesan Sauce in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

Thanks to Will’s brother, Joe for pointing out the benefits of reducing the cooking time on these.

Ingredients

1.5-2 cups of My Grandma Rose’s Pasta Sauce

2 eggs

1/4 cup parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Salt

Pepper

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 14-180z baking dish on a baking sheet.  Make the pasta sauce or, if already made, just heat it up in a saucepan. When hot, take the baking sheet + dish out of the oven and put about 3/4 the sauce in the baking dish. Make two little circles or “nests” in the sauce with a spoon and put one egg in each nest. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake covered 4-5 mins or uncovered 7-10 mins until whites are opaque but yolks are still runny. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with nice crusty bread.