Tag Archives: brunch

Shakshuka: Poached Eggs with Tomatoes and Peppers

A new dish has come into my life recently.  I mean, it’s an old dish, maybe very old, and maybe you’ve been eating it for breakfast or dinner all your life, but I’ve only gotten to know it in recent years.  And I’m a little obsessed.  It’s called shakshuka.

It’s a Tunisian dish, or an Israeli or a Libyan dish, depending on who you ask.  All I know is that I’ve been loving a version from my local bagel shop (which also inspired that caramelized onion hummus recipe).  Shakshuka is a mildly spicy stew of tomatoes and peppers, adorned with a poached egg.  In this recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the eggs are poached right in the tomatoes and peppers, making for a one-pot meal of the most delicious sort. Continue reading

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Baked Eggs with Greens, Yogurt, and Spiced Butter

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

It’s a fact of life: sometimes things go wrong in the kitchen.  Sometimes very wrong.  No big deal, it happens.  Those are the recipes (and there are many) I never tell you about here–except, of course, for when I do.  (Ask me some other time about the all the dull things I’ve done with spinach, the watery attempts at Indian food, or those disgusting microwave potato chips.)  But today, this is a story of redemption.

Last time I combined softly-cooked eggs with greens and yogurt, the dish was a bust.  And you weren’t surprised.  But this time!  Things are different this time, friends.  Or, rather, things are much the same, but a few secret ingredients take the dish in a whole new, and altogether delicious, direction.  (Thank you, Yotam Ottolenghi, for your good ideas.)

The basics are the same: a bed of sauteed greens, perfectly-for-you-cooked eggs, and creamy, garlicky, salty yogurt.  The detail that ties it all together, though, is pure decadence: a generous drizzle of spiced butter in which you’ve crisped a few leaves of sage.  So much for my original plan to make a healthier-than-hollandaise sauce for poached eggs–but it’s so worth it. Continue reading Baked Eggs with Greens, Yogurt, and Spiced Butter (click for recipe)

One Jar of Cherry Jam

Am I right in suspecting that people who aren’t canners don’t make their own jam?  More’s the pity if that’s true.  Everyone should make jam occasionally, I think.  It’s a grandmother’s trick, preserving fruit with sugar and a few minutes of boiling on the stove, but it’s a trick worth keeping around.

I know canning sounds intimidating, all magic and mumbo jumbo, but that’s only until you see it in action just one time.  And then it’s no big deal.  This week a friend told me that she was inspired to can her first batch of jam after a recent visit where J and I were canning raspberry jam in the background when she arrived.  That was a proud moment for me.  But I’m not really here to talk about canning today.  (If you’re interested, Marisa‘s your girl.)

You can freeze jam too, you know.  Or better yet, mix it with yogurt and freeze it into Frozen Yogurt Jam Pops.

And here’s another thing you can do with jam: make just one jar, and eat it all up.  Or two, and give one away.  It’s an elegant little indulgence, and a smart way to give new life to days-old fruit.

Since you’re not canning this jam, you can take any liberties you like with the recipe.  (Canned foods require a certain minimum level of acidity for safe storage, so always use a modern canning recipe if you’re going that route.)  I started with three kinds of cherries, sugar, and half a lemon, then added a splash of almond extract at the end.  Cinnamon or vanilla would also be excellent additions to this jam. Continue reading One Jar of Cherry Jam (click for recipe)

Maple Granola with Almonds and Coconut

Happy weekend! It’s felt like the weekend here for a few days, honestly, with family in town and a bonus baby in the house (my nephew!) and the kind of lazy schedule that made me feel accomplished the day we all got out on our bikes/scooters/strollers and rode two whole blocks.  (Not impressed?  You try getting out of the house with four kids when the oldest is five.)

And now we get to cap that off with the real weekend.  I, for one, am celebrating with one more foray in my effort to become the web’s preeminent source of granola recipes.  (Ok, not really, but there are a lot of granola recipes on this website: that deliciously sugary olive oil granola, Heidi Swanson’s delicate and buttery granola with orange zest, currants, and walnuts, an oil-free crunchy hippie orange and almond granola, and my old standby with dried cherries).  And now, maybe, my new standby–this weekend, anyway–a nearly equal proportion of oats to seeds and nuts, maple syrup and olive oil for sweet and crunch, and a serious spoonful of salt that makes it all just right.

This recipe roughly follows the Seattle-based Marge Granola formula as it appeared on The Kitchn’s website, so if you lack the time or inclination to make your own granola you can just click that link above to order some seriously tasty granola from Megan (who also, by the way, writes the lovely blog A Sweet Spoonful–see you over there!).  But I imagine that if you are reading this blog you are, or aspire to be, a granola-making type, so let’s do it.  Continue reading Maple Granola with Almonds and Coconut (click for recipe)

Easy Cheddar and Onion Egg Bake for a Crowd

Now that I have confessed that I have a minivan, I might as well tell you about another way in which I’ve become an old fogey without even noticing: these days, I like having parties in the morning.  The kids are in good moods, the house hasn’t been wrecked yet by the the daily tornado of  family life, and you can drink mimosas.  But most of all, brunch is such an easy meal to prepare for a crowd.  All you need are big bowl of fruit, a cake (or two, in the case of J’s recent birthday) these eggs, and lots and lots of coffee.

This dish, or something like it, is one of the easiest ways I know to cook up a dozen or more eggs at once.  You can vary the filling by adding any vegetables, cheese, or meat you’d like.  I kept this one simple because I love the flavor combination of sharp cheddar and cooked-until-sweet onions…and also, I will admit, because monochromatic foods are usually a hit with the kids and we were expecting many, many kids. Continue reading Cheddar and Onion Egg Bake for a Crowd (click for recipe)

Single-Serving Frittata with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Feta

I am not a morning person.

On weekdays I often scramble downstairs just as J is walking out the door.  He and the girls have been up and dressed for an hour, breakfast is over, art projects are often underway.  I burst onto the scene and immediately start searching for three tiny pairs of shoes and three even tinier pairs of socks so I can herd the kids straight out the door to get my oldest to kindergarten.  Which starts at almost 9.  This should not be a hardship.  (In my defense, my baby has been waking up all night long lately, and so have I.  But, honestly, I’d be sleeping until the last possible second no matter what.)

I am pleased to see to my family’s sweet faces in the morning, of course, but you know what else I’m always happy to see?  COFFEE.  J, inexplicably, does not drink coffee.  Which is either virtuous or insane.  But he does make it for me, a perfect French press pot of dark roast beans, ready to plunge the moment I get downstairs.  It is an act of love.

So maybe now you’re thinking that this should be a coffee recipe, but I only have one and it only involves glossy, dark-roasted coffee beans and hot water, plus maybe a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom in the grounds–try that!  Instead, my point here is that sometime it is rather late in the day before I get around to breakfast. 

A single-serving frittata is a great way to get your vegetables in at breakfast.  You can also make a big batch in muffin tins to grab on your way out the door all week, have you tried that?  I am usually not that organized, so today I made mine in my 8″ cast iron skillet.  You can use any small ovenproof skillet, or even one that’s not ovenproof, since a frittata this small is easy to flip and finish on the stovetop.

The key here, as far as I’m concerned, is to load up on the vegetables, using the egg to just hold it all together.  And since I actually used egg whites this time instead of whole eggs (the yolks went into the crust for mini Strawberry-Rhubarb cornmeal tarts), I made sure that all my ingredients were extra-flavorful and well-seasoned.  Egg whites are a great source of protein, but flavor?  Not so much.  Enter savory mushrooms, peppery arugula, and salty feta–now we’re talking. 

Continue reading Frittata with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Feta (click for recipe)

Hazelnut Baked Pears

A ripe pear is a beautiful thing.  You can’t really improve on the experience of just eating the luscious thing with a napkin handy.  We all know that.

But sometimes, maybe once a year, you might want to try something different.  I’m not saying better, although I truly love this recipe–but different.  I try to reserve a few perfect pears each year to bake, always stuffed with this sweet hazelnut butter.

The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s Seasonal Fruit Desserts, not to be confused with Rustic Fruit Desserts, which I was lauding last week when I made my favorite Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger.  (And I also have the fruit-heavy Chez Panisse Desserts book.  This may be an unreasonable collection given that, in the end, my heart belongs to chocolate.  But I digress.)  I never have the hazelnut oil that the recipe calls for so I used walnut oil this time, and I didn’t have Frangelico so I used water.  And even so, they were perfect: sweet and nutty, soft and crunchy, maybe even as good as a ripe pear alone.

One word of warning: wait for your pears to ripen before you bake them.  They will be so much better.  And this recipe is not the place to jettison your overripe pears, either; when your pears are past their prime, make this instead Continue reading Hazelnut Baked Pears (click for recipe)