We try to live by the waste not want not code in our house. Things have been overwhelming lately and my mother-in-law has been very generous with making us food on the weekends. I used the last of some baked ham she made in these individually sized frittatas. I use these small casserole dishes all the time. They are the perfect size, and they were only $1.00 each at the Williams-Sonoma outlet. I love them so.
Frittatas are super easy to make, and this amount will serve two people. We had this some homemade (no knead) bread. Lately, we have been keeping our heat turned down so low that making bread has been a bit tricky. It turns out a few degree make quite a bit of difference.
1 onion, cut in half and sliced
1 potato (cut into ½ thick wedges)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp of diced baked ham
½ tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp half and half
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
Set the oven to broil. On the stove top, over medium heat sauté onions until translucent. Add the potatoes, allowing them time to brown on each side. Add the ham and salt and pepper and fresh thyme. Divide the onions, ham and potatoes into two small dishes in an even layer. Whisk two eggs, half and half and salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture ¾ of the way up the dishes. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
These will cook very quickly (within a few minutes), remove from the oven when they the egg has set in the middle of the middle of the dish.
This month’s Daring Bakers challenge was traditional pizza which is kind of funny because I have been making flatbread pizza by modifying last month’s recipe for lavash crackers. This dough was very easy to work with and shape even though I used about half whole wheat flour. I failed on getting a picture of me tossing the dough but I honestly didn’t get much height. I topped one pizza with tomato sauce, a bit of goat cheese and fresh mozzarella. I’m a little obsessed with goat cheese on pizza. It really adds something to the flavor of fresh mozzarella. I topped the other with sautéed onions, fresh thyme and goat cheese. When it came out of the oven, I added sliced pears and a slightly sweet balsamic vinegar reduction (I added a little brown sugar and reduced the vinegar over low heat). This was sooo good. It was one of those combinations that just tastes like it was meant to be when you bite into it.
~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled – FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast – FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar – FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting
The flatbread pizza I made last weekend was so good that I had to make it again this weekend. This time I made a regular Margherita pizza topped with sliced of green tomatoes. These little green tomatoes are of note because they are the only tomatoes my plants yielded this year (thanks to my pillaging groundhogs). Green or not I was going to use them in something. After the jalapeno poppers, I was all fried out.
The other pizza I topped with spinach, mushrooms, cheese, and onions. This was J’s favorite, and I was really pleased with how it turned out too.
For the pizza dough, I used this recipe for lavash crackers and just rolled it out about 1/2 inch thick perimeter. I just bake it for 10 minutes at 350 and then remove it and add the topping and bake at 425 until it is done.
Here is how I topped the Spinach and Mushroom Pizza:
1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms (I used cremini)
2 cloves of chopped garlic
2 tbsps sherry or white wine or chicken stock
1 package of defrosted and drained frozen spinach
Salt and pepper
Sauté the onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil until they are translucent and add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for another few minutes and add the liquid to deglaze the pan. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Add ½ tsp of salt and ¼ of pepper.
To top the pizza, spread the mushroom and spinach mixture evenly and dot the dough with ricotta. Tear pieces of fresh mozzarella to cover the desired amount of the pizza. If desired drizzle the top with a little extra virgin olive oil. Grate fresh parmesan over the top and bake at 425 until the cheese has melted.
I really love all things spicy, and when J’s uncle offered me about a dozen fresh jalapenos from his garden, I couldn’t pass them up. There was no question that they were destined to be filled with cheese and fried. I actually stuffed and froze these several weeks ago. They have just been waiting in my freezer to be breaded. I defrosted them slightly before dipping them in the flour and batter. I used corn starch and egg white to get the coating really crispy. The goat cheese in the filling was really subtle but it added a nice dimension to the filling. I may have to grow some jalapenos myself next year to make more of these.
12 fresh jalapeno peppers
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup goat cheese
1/3 grated cheddar
½ tsp garlic salt
1 egg white
¼ cup corn starch
1 tbsp flour plus additional for coating
1 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper
Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the ribs and the desired amount of the hot seeds. Combine the cheese mixture and using a plastic bag with the tip cut off, pipe the cheese into the peppers. You should have some of the cheese mixture left over.
For the coating combine the egg white, corn starch and flour. Carefully add enough to make a thick batter. Dredge the peppers in plain flour and coat with the batter. Heat about a ½ inch of oil in a high sided pan over medium high heat. Fry the peppers, turning once to brown on both sides.
I served this with some of the filling for dipping but you could also use sour cream.
When I was making the Daring Bakers lavash crackers, the dough made me think of making a thin flat bread pizza. I used the same exact Peter Reinhardt recipe with half whole wheat flour. I just didn’t roll out the dough as thinly and left a ridge for the crust. I topped this with homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh goat cheese, a bit of Parmesan, and thinly sliced eggplant. J wanted the topping to have a lot of onions. I made a really flavorful sauce that was really heavy on the onions and garlic. It went really well with the goat cheese. I have to say this came out as good as I had hoped and it was pretty quick to make. As an added bonus, this reheated really well in the microwave. I am not sure why but the crust stayed nice and crispy.
Here is a recipe for the very oniony sauce. This makes just enough to top one pizza.
1 sliced onion
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp anchovy paste
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup of pureed tomatoes
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add the anchovies, and chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Add the vinegar and stir to coat the onions. Remove from the heat and add the oregano and tomatoes. Return to low heat and heat through for 5 minutes.
I made these awhile ago when J’s brother was over for a visit. I have lots of fresh thyme growing right now, and this proved to be a good way to use quite a bit of it. Although I am not a huge fan of chicken, I have no complaints when it is cut into nuggets and crispy.
To make these I cut 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts into nugget size pieces. For the breading I used about 3/4 of panko mixed with 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme (I would probably use even more next time), 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 ground pepper.
Dredge chicken in flour, then egg wash, then press it into panko mixture.
Shallow fry in olive oil until it is golden brown on both sides.
We ate this with some lemon honey mustard. I just mixed dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, pepper and thyme until it tasted right.
I am always looking for different things to make for breakfast on the weekend. I had seen a recipe for a goat cheese tart somewhere recently. I think it may have been in Bon Appetit… Anyway, I thought that a goat cheese tart with a side of scrambled eggs would be a nice change of pace from pancakes or french toast.
I made this little free form tart with pie dough that I had in the freezer. I took it out to defrost over night in the refrigerator, and it was perfect by morning. I love buzzing around the kitchen while J is sleeping.
1 round of pie dough (I used Martha Stewart’s pate brisee recipe as per usual)
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 sliced Roma tomatoes
goat cheese (about 3 or four tablespoons)
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cornmeal
For the filling, I sauteed one onion in olive oil with salt and pepper until it was slightly carmelized and added a chopped clove of garlic at the very end. I put this aside to cool in the freezer. It is important to be sure that it is not warm when you add it to the tart because it will melt the butter in the crust. I put a 1/2 tsp of cornmeal on the parchment lined baking sheet to prevent any sticking and add a little extra crunch.
I sliced 1 and a half tomatoes and arranged them in a circle around the dough leaving about a 1/2 border of dough. Next, I added the onions and garlic. I put a few tablespoons of goat cheese on top and added salt and pepper.
After folding up the sides, I brushed them with the egg wash that later became scrambled eggs.
This is my Mom’s recipe onion soup recipe with a few small changes. I love this soup, and it is really simple to make. I really need to buy oven proof bowls to make it properly. I use organic beef broth because the conventional often has weird things added to it. You could also make your own beef stock; although, I have never done it.
6 medium yellow onions
1/2 to 3/4 cup of good quality sherry
2 cartons of organic beef broth
2 Bay leaves
1/2 cup of water
salt and pepper
For the top:
Bread slices, Swiss or Gruyere cheese, freshly grated Parmesan
Heat 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot. Cut onions in half and then slice them lengthwise. Sautee them over medium heat until they are translucent and have begun to carmelize. Add 1 cup of sherry, turn heat to high and allow some of the alcohol to burn off, then add 2 quarts of beef broth. Add one or two bay leaves, fresh ground pepper and 2 tsp of salt. Bring to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer on low for a few hours. Taste the soup for salt and pepper before serving.
Toast slices of bread, one per bowl. Grate the cheeses. If you have oven proof bowls, you can put the soup in the bowls, add the bread, top with cheese and broils until the cheese melts. If you don’t, you can top the toast with cheese and melt it in the toaster. I then just sink the cheesy bread down into the bowl of hot soup. It is not quite the same as the restaurant effect but it it still pretty wonderful.
I felt like I just had to cook something for dinner for Valentines Day. I had seen Ina Garten on the Barefoot Contessa make a salad with warn goat cheese, and I had been meaning to try it. I didn’t use her salad recipe because I love to pair fresh goat cheese with strawberries and balsamic vinegar. It was really delicious, and I made just made it again for dinner.
1 log of goat cheese
1 egg white with a splash of water
½ cup Japanese Panko Bread crumbs (they are crunchier and flakier)
Slice the goat cheese into ½ rounds, dip in the egg and water, press into the panko. Chill the rounds for a few minutes.Heat olive oil and 1 tbs of butter over medium high heat. Cook the goat cheese until each side is lightly brown.For the salad I used a field green mix and tossed it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add the strawberries, goat cheese and finish with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.