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)

Herbed Goat Cheese and Butter Spread with Dill, Chives, and Shallots

I wrote yesterday about how a homemade bread can jazz up any other humble dishes to make a meal.  Well, whether or not you made your bread from scratch, I hope you have some handy.  Because you’re going to be wanting some as an excuse to eat this spread.

Heidi Swanson describes it as “Dill Butter” in her Super Natural Every Day cookbook, but I like to increase the ratio of goat cheese to butter to play up the tangy creaminess (and so that I feel like I can spread it a little more thickly).  This recipe makes a good amount, and although you’ll be happy to have it in the fridge all week long, you might want to halve it if you’re not making it for a party.

You can also play around with the herbs, of course.  As made, the dill flavor predominates deliciously, but a wander through the garden might inspire you to take this combination in a different but equally alluring direction.

Continue reading Herbed Goat Cheese and Butter Spread with Dill, Chives, and Shallots (click for recipe)

Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb

Remember when my backyard rhubarb was barely poking its head up through the ground?  I was happy to see the first signs of spring, sure, and new life unfurling is always inspiring, yada yada, but really?  I was excited because I was already thinking about this cake.

It’s sweet and light, with barely-tart shards of rhubarb nestled in every bite.  It’s topped with a crystallized ginger crumb that gives it a bit of a coffee cake appearance, which lets you get away with serving it for breakfast.  (I’ve never understood why topping a sugary cake with MORE sugar makes it into breakfast fare, but I’m not complaining.)  It’s a family favorite.

This recipe comes from Rustic Fruit Desserts, a book by Portland baker Julie Richardson and chef Cory Schreiber.  If you don’t have it already, you might want to run out and get it right now.  I know I’ll be using my copy all summer. Continue reading Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb (click for recipe)

Southwestern Frittata with Peppers, Black Beans, and Cheddar

Speaking of glorified scrambled eggs, a frittata is one of my favorite quick dinners.  (Although of course it would not be out of place at an elegant brunch. You know, should you have the occasion to host or attend an elegant brunch.  Around here on weekends it’s more of a race to see if I can just snag a pancake before the kids eat them all.)  A frittata has a significant advantage over scrambled eggs when it comes to dinner, in fact, because it can be made ahead and served at room temperature, or even cold.

Some of my favorite people went tootling around New Mexico recently, and knowing that they were in the land of chiles left me dreaming of the flavors of the Southwest.  They hadn’t yet come back to deliver my stash of frozen roasted Alcalde chiles, so I was stuck making this frittata with ingredients available to ordinary mortals.

But now those chiles are in my freezer.  What should I do with them?! They’re like gold. Or at least truffles.

Anyway.  Back to the I’m-not-in-Santa-Fe frittata.  I knew that I wanted to make a thick frittata, packed full of vegetables and a big scoop of drained pico de gallo salsa.  I was a little worried about getting my frittata to cook through, so I turned to the experts on nitpicky culinary concerns, Cook’s Illustrated.  And, as usual, they had good advice for me: cook the eggs as if you are scrambling them until they are nearly set, then finish them under the broiler.  Which I did. Continue Reading Southwestern Frittata with Peppers, Black Beans, and Cheddar (click for recipe)