Breakfast

Pop On Over

If you didn’t smell the bacon sizzling, you certainly couldn’t have missed the sound of the smoke alarm announcing that our apartment kitchen oven doesn’t have a built-in exhaust fan. Not to mention that bacon fat has a low smoke point.

I whisked together some batter, but we weren’t thinking about pancakes. Yorkshire puddings, my dear. Saturdays are the day I usually go overboard baking, and this weekend was no exception.

The GBBO is available on DVD at the local library, so we’ve been re-watching some of the episodes. The finalists were instructed to prepare a picnic for their showstopper, and the asparagus and salmon quiche caught my interest. Fresh asparagus is on sale at our grocery stores this weekend, so the timing seemed right to experiment.

Storm Riley suprised us not only with snow and winds strong enough to knock any loose twigs, branches, limbs, and even whole trees, but also strong enough to knock out the power in surrounding neighborhoods. This morning the closest grocery store didn’t have electricity, so I didn’t push my way in to demand a bunch of asparagus.

But the storm only made our apartment’s power blink on and off for a few seconds, so I was still able to make pie dough for quiche, properly chilling it before rolling it out. Bacon and (Oh no! I just realized that I should have used Swiss!) Parmesan with green onion would have to do instead of salmon and asparagus tips.

While blind baking the crusts, the thought came to mind that I might as well take advantage of a preheated oven. So I looked up a recipe for Yorkshire puddings in my British Bouquet and halved the quantities, since I only had a little bit of bacon fat and juices to work with.  The ingredients are basically the same as for pancakes. You just pour the batter into partially-filled (with meat drippings) muffin tins that have been warming in a hot oven. Twenty minutes later, you have puffy and delicious Yorkshire puddings.

On another episode of the GBBO, the contestants prepared these, but they also had to make fillings. The puddings do make a nice container for the pretty fillings, but they taste delicious on their own.

Maybe next time I’ll pop over to your place to bake instead of alarming the neighbors.

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Categories: bacon, Bread, Breakfast, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shakshuka

Tomato Poached Eggs Feta Cilantro

We finished off the last 3/4 cup of oatmeal that was in the kitchen cupboard for breakfast this morning, so it was okay to have eggs for lunch.

One of our grocery stores has a magazine with coupons and recipe ideas. The January 2018 issue had several realistic recipes that I tore out to try later. Last week I made simple pork chops with a orange marmalade (which is still burnt onto my non-stick baking sheet). Today, I decided to try my hand at poaching eggs in a crushed tomato sauce.

Giant is trying to get us to purchase extra ingredients, or at least to buy them from their store. However, I stopped at three other stores to get the more unusual ingredients.  Aldi for feta: Since I had planned to purchase feta for a salad, it wasn’t an extra expense. Plus, Aldi’s has good cheeses at affordable prices.  Wegman’s for cilantro: Last weekend Giant was out of cilantro by the time I went shopping. Rather than taking the risk again, I ran to Wegman’s produce department while we were in the neighborhood. Although the bunch cost $1.99, it is as big as a bush and will fit into various menu items this week. ACME for roasted red peppers: They were having their buck-a-bag sale on salad spinach, green onions, iceberg lettuce, potatoes, etc. So it was worth going there to purchase the rest of the items on my grocery list.

Savory magazine noted that their recipe was inspired by a dish called shakshuka. If you look it up, the internet will tell you that it is popular in the Middle East and North Africa.

It could easily become popular in our apartment, too. Except that if you are used to bacon or sausage and hashbrowns with your eggs, the shakshuka and ciabatta might not be quite as filling.

Tomato-Poached Eggs with Feta

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ loaf ciabatta bread
  • fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta

Directions

  1. Peel, finely slice, then chop the shallot. Mince the garlic. Drain the roasted red peppers and chop them into small pieces. Puree the diced tomatoes in a food processor until just crushed. You want the texture to be somewhat chunky rather than a uniformly liquid sauce or paste.
  2.  In a large frying pan, sautee the shallot and garlic in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt. Continue cooking the mixture, adjusting the heat to allow the vegetables to simmer.
  4. Using a spoon, make 4 wells in the sauce. Crack one egg into each well. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook 6 min., until egg whites have set.  “Watch them like a hawk or they’ll turn into hard rubberies”. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Meanwhile, slice the bread and chop the cilantro. Garnish eggs with cilantro and feta. Serve with bread.

 

Categories: Breakfast, Cheese, Food and drink, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pandebono

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Cold weather welcomes hot ovens. Not only can one create tasty foods but also a cozy place to shelter from the winter storms and single-digit temperatures.

This month, we’ve changed from our bacon or sausage, eggs, and hash brown potatoes over to fresh bread & butter with cheese and fruit.   Although I have been baking using a no-knead, wet dough made from scratch, this morning I made things even easier and baked some cheese buns that I had purchased from the frozen section of one of our grocery stores.

When we lived in Bogota pandebono was standard fare at the Colombian bakeries you could find on any corner . Since the rolls are made from tapioca starch instead of wheat flour, you can please your friends that are trying to avoid gluten. The buttery cheese flavor should please your friends that love gluten as well!

The novelty of freshly baked bread may soon wear off, but that’s okay since the weather man is predicting warmer days.

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Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Colombian, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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