Monthly Archives: February 2017

Onion, Ham, and Cheese Frittata

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2Another weekend . . . Another frittata! You can literally take anything that you have leftover in the fridge and make something fabulous to serve up. I made this frittata shortly after the holidays and used up the very last of the Christmas ham, along with onion, cheese and fresh herbs. My favorite method is to begin the prep on the stove and finish it in the oven. Make sure you watch the progress carefully so that your frittata maintains its moisture as it firms up. Serve it with some sausage, hot rolls and fresh fruit for a healthy, satisfying brunch.


Onion, Ham, and Cheese Frittata (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, thyme, or dill
  • 1 cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Position a rack about 8 inches from the broiler and preheat.
  2. Mellt the butter in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions get very soft, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and milk in a medium bowl with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper until smooth. Transfer onions to a bowl to cool. Reserve the skillet.
  3. Stir the onions, ham, herbs and cheese into the eggs.
  4. Heat the non-stick skillet. Pour the frittata mixture into the pan and stir to make sure the fillings are evenly arranged. Cook, stirring gently a couple times in the first minutes of cooking. Then let the mixture cook undisturbed until the bottom sets, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the eggs are just set and brown, about 5 minutes. Take care not to overcook or the eggs will be dry. Remove from the oven, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Invert the frittata onto a large plate or platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

~ FoodNetwork.com ~

Potato and Bacon Bake

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For those of you who have sworn off cheese in 2017 — Look Away. This dish is jam packed with everything that is decadent and fattening. This recipe calls for a full pound of bacon, cheddar cheese and potatoes. The potatoes are parboiled to reduce the amount of time required to finish in the oven. While the potatoes are cooking, you can get started on the delicious bacon and onion mixture. I held off in adding the garlic until the bacon was partially cooked. There is nothing that will ruin a dish faster than burned garlic. The sauce is a basic Mornay sauce — beginning with a roux, adding milk and then shredded cheddar. (This sauce would also be perfect for macaroni and cheese.) You end up with layers of potatoes topped with bacon, onion and garlic bathed in a golden cheese sauce. A half cup of cheddar is sprinkled over the top before it is placed in the oven for 45 minutes. Allow the dish to rest for 15 minutes prior to serving so that it has a time to set up. Top each serving with freshly chopped green onion and . . . Voila!! An upgraded version of scalloped potatoes that will be perfect with just about everything.


POTATO AND BACON BAKE (Serves: 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs potatoes, peeled and halved (the short way)
  • 1 lb bacon, diced
  • 2.5 cups medium brown onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped

Directions

  1. Parboil potatoes: Boil the potatoes partially (about 10 minutes) so the time they have to cook in the oven will be reduced. Drain water and let cool.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the diced bacon, onion and garlic until the bacon is browned and the onions soft. Remove bacon and onion into a bowl, but do not get rid of the grease in the pan.
  3. When the potatoes have sufficiently cooled, carefully slice them into disks.
  4. In the same pan used for cooking bacon and onion, melt butter. Mix in flour and salt, stirring constantly to avoid burning the flour. As soon as the flour is mixed in, begin pouring in the milk, still stirring. Continue to cook until slightly thick, then add 2 cups of cheese and pepper, stirring until melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Spoon and spread some sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Make a single layer of potato. Sprinkle 1/2 of the bacon and onion mixture, then pour over half of the sauce. Then make a second layer of potato followed by the remaining bacon and onion mixture followed by more sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Place the dish into an oven preheated to 350° F (175° C) and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Top with chopped green onion. Salt and pepper to taste.

~ CooktopCove.com ~

Cowboy Caviar

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3This is the perfect recipe to serve your family and friends for game or movie night. It is full of veggies and tossed with a delicious spicy-sweet dressing. To add color I picked up a package of Stoplight peppers (green, yellow & red) and some fresh avocados. Begin by prepping all of the chopped fresh vegetables and then, drain and rinse the black beans and black-eyed peas. Combine all of the ingredients, toss with the dressing and then into the refrigerator it goes until you are ready to serve. Bring it out with some sliced avocado and corn chips . . . and a stack of napkins. It is definitely drool worthy.


COWBOY CAVIAR (Serves 8)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes (about 1 pound Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 – 15-ounce can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup seeded and diced bell pepper, any color (about 1 medium pepper)
  • ¾ cup red onion or shallot, small diced
  • 1 – 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro (about ½ bunch fresh cilantro)
  • 1 to 2 avocados, sliced (optional)

Ingredients (Dressing)

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add the diced tomatoes, corn kernels, diced bell pepper, diced red onion, black beans, black-eyed peas, and minced jalapeño. Stir to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, cumin, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until well-combined.
  3. Pour the dressing into the large bowl over the veggies. Add the cilantro, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  4. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight to blend flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with sliced avocado or corn chips, as desired.

~ TipHero.com ~

Egg in a Hole Burger

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I used this recipe for an Egg In A Hole Burger as my inspiration for the delicious sandwich shown above. I reserved some Italian sausage from the pizza that we had prepared the night before and decided to pair it with the beautiful pasture raised eggs that I picked up at The Travelled Farmer. I am a firm believer that the best dishes are made from the best quality ingredients available. One word of advise is to add the egg to the burger before it is too well done, and cover it immediately so that it firms up as the burger finishes cooking. I paired the burger with a slice of a fantastic, meaty heirloom tomato, a slice of cheddar, a bit of bacon and some freshly chopped green onions. I skipped the sriracha mayo and used a carmelized onion whipped mustard instead. The result was outstanding!!


EGG IN A HOLE BURGER (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. mayo
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Make Sriracha mayo: In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and Sriracha.
  2. In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  3. Form beef into three equal-sized patties. Using a small glass, cut out the center of each patty to create a donut-shaped burger (combine excess meat to form fourth patty). Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add burgers and cook 2 minutes, then flip. Crack an egg into the center of each burger and cook, covered, until whites are set.
  5. Toast buns and spread Sriracha mayo on bottom buns. Build burgers by topping with lettuce, burger, bacon, and Cheddar.

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~ Delish.com ~

Sicilian-Style Grilled Chicken with Fresh Herbs

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I wish I could describe how perfectly wonderful this chicken tastes. Words fail me. The only solution is for you to make this Sicilian-style Grilled Chicken and try it out for yourself. The marinade is a combination of flavors that really comes through in the finished product. And, it is only necessary to allow the chicken to marinate for about 30 minutes or so. The chicken is threaded on skewers with bay leaves and lemon wedges and then, cooked on either the grill or stovetop. It send up the most intoxicating aroma as it cooks — it will really set the mood for the meal ahead. Served here with Lemon and Saffron Risotto. (If anyone wants some fresh bay leaves, just say the word. Bay grows almost wild here at the house.)


SICILIAN-STYLE GRILLED CHICKEN WITH FRESH HERBS (Serves 4)

Ingredients (Marinade)

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. red wine vinegar
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 T.  chopped oregano leaves
  • 2 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients (Skewers)

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 15 to 20 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 lemons, sliced into wedges
  • 12 (10-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. To a medium bowl, add all marinade ingredients; whisk to combine. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade. Thread chicken pieces onto skewers, alternating with bay leaf and lemon wedges, leaving 1/4″ between pieces.
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly season skewers with salt and pepper and grill, turning as needed, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer skewers to a medium platter and serve.

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~ Sur la Table ~

Tomato and Olive Salad with Burrata and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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This beautiful salad is actually very, very easy to prepare. The ingredients for the vinaigrette are simply tossed into a mini food processor and pulsed until blended. Once you have prepped the vegetables you are ready to assemble and serve. The centerpiece of the dish is the burrata. Burrata is an Italian cheese that is made with Mozarella and cream. It is a slightly difficult to work with because once the cheese is sliced the soft interior kind of oozes out. For that reason, it should be the last ingredient added when you plate the salad. The burrata has a delicious, buttery taste that pairs especially well with the arugula, tomatoes and olives. Delizioso!!


TOMATO AND OLIVE SALAD WITH BURRATA AND WHITE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE (Serves 4)

Ingredients for vinaigrette:

  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t. granulated sugar
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for salad:

  • 4 medium, ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 c. Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 bunch arugula, stemmed
  • 3 T. pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 (6 ounce) Burrata
  • Sliced rustic bread or focaccia, for serving

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the shallot, garlic and basil until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse just until blended. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange tomatoes and arugula in a single layer on a medium serving platter or plates. Scatter olives and pine nuts over. Cut burrata in half carefully and arrange halves in the center of the salad. Drizzle with vinaigrette and lightly dust tomatoes with salt and pepper; serve with sliced bread on the side.

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~ Sur la Table ~

New Orleans Carnival Red Beans and Rice

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4It’s almost Mardi Gras time and what better way to celebrate than with some red beans and rice. You know the drill — soak the beans overnight, rinse, cover with water and boil for an hour or so. For this recipe we decided to use the bone from our Christmas ham instead of a ham hock to add some flavor and a little more meat content. The mix really comes to life when you add the andouille sausage, vegetables, and seasonings. Once this has been allowed to simmer for another hour the ham hock (or bone) is removed and the meat is finely diced and added back to the pot. Prepare this in advance and allow the flavors to develop overnight. Serve over rice and top with sliced green onions. And . . . don’t forget the hot sauce!


NEW ORLEANS CARNIVAL RED BEANS AND RICE (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 1 cup small red beans
  • 2 qt. cold water
  • 1 meaty country ham hock (3/4-1 lb.)
  • 1/2 lb. andouille or other spicy smoked sausage
  • 2 c. fresh green peppers, chopped
  • 2 c. fresh celery with leaves, chopped
  • 2 c. fresh onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. salt or savory saltless spices
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 t. fresh thyme
  • cooked long grain rice

Directions

  1. Sort through and thoroughly wash beans. Soak beans four hours or over night in water to cover by 2 inches.
  2. Drain and rinse beans well. Place them in a large pot (6 qt. capacity) along with the 2 quarts of water and ham hock, Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour.
  3. Quarter the sausage lengthwise and slice into 1/4″ pieces. Add the sausage, green peppers, celery, onions, garlic, and seasonings to the beans. For best flavor, prepare vegetables and garlic just before adding them to the beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for an additional 1 hour. Add more water, if necessary.
  4. Remove bay leaves and ham hock onto a clean cutting board. Locate and discard all bones and fat. Dice meat fine and return to beans. For best flavor, refrigerate over night, you may serve it the same day.
  5. To serve, place 1/2-1 cup cooked long grain rice or cajun rice in serving bowls and top with our heated New Orleans Red Beans mixture. Garnish with chopped onions and plenty of hot sauce.

~ LeonardMountain.com ~