Monthly Archives: March 2012

Baked Eggs: repost from Paris, 2010

A post from Paris, 2010

It’s been almost two years since my summer in Paris with my daughter Isabella. I’ve been going through my blog from our trip and thought it would be nice to feature some of the posts. Hope you enjoy it.

This picture does not do the dish I had enough justice.

Baked eggs, have become an interest of mine in the recent past, but I have not had the opportunity to make them. I was pleased to see this traditional version offered on the menu across the plaza from Notre Dame, right next door to Shakespeare & Co bookshop. After all those steps, I really wanted to eat (not really that hard to climb, but any excuse for a big meal, I always say).

Isabella was going to order this, but decided on scrambled eggs with bacon as a safer bet. Probably good, this dish had cream, 6 eggs (no kidding) and maybe a half pound of bacon. I thought it was going to come in a small ramekin, but take a look at that pot!

Oh, I forgot to mention, it also had 3 to 4 good sized yellow potatoes sliced amongst the goodness. I ate almost the whole thing. It was so good.

When I get home, I will recreate this dish every now and then. Not too often, though, or I will have the cholesterol police knockin’ on my door.

I’ve found this Baked Eggs recipe on epicurious.com for you to try yourselves at home.

Posted in baked eggs, eggs | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Avocados: Egg Smash-up, Smoothie and Guacamole

 

Years ago, when my parents were visiting from New York, I decided to serve them some avocados. Joe, my dad, was less than enthusiastic having only had unripe, unflavorful avocados up until this point.  He remarked upon how he stayed away from avocados at all cost because they were tasteless and held no appeal for him. His opinion was forever changed after I served him a California Haas avocado.

Once it was served up simply diced drizzled with some olive oil, pepper and salt, I thought his head was going to explode. I think he thought I was a magician of some sort because I had picked a perfect avocado.  The teacher in him asked me a million questions about why our avocados were so much tastier than any he had eaten before. And, how did I get that pit out so perfectly?

    

I figured it was because they are grown here and we are lucky enough to have a year-round variety, the Haas avocado, available at all times. The avocados we’ve had in New York are a harder, taller variety than the Haas. According to this website, I’m thinking Joe is getting something like a Zutano avocado. The taste is much lighter and not quite as creamy as the Haas.

I eat a lot of avocados. I’m also lucky enough to have a group of friends and co-workers who love food as much as I do. We don’t work in the food industry, but we all love it. Whenever I’m trying to come up with a recipe for a particular ingredient, I tend to take input from everyone at work. I spend an equal amount of time working with them as I do working on this site, so it makes perfect sense that if I can make something they’ll love to eat, we all win.

The egg smash-up is an Israeli dish, I think, that my friend Anastasia started making for us. It’s really a simple mix of equal parts hard-boiled egg and avocado, with some salt and pepper. It’s great on everything from toasted baguette to rice cakes. It’ll keep you going for hours, too, so no need to worry about getting hungry anytime soon!

        

My friend Robby suggested the smoothie recipe. I was not always a fan of smoothies, but something about the combination of banana and avocado sounded good to me. You can use either regular milk or almond milk here. The almond milk gives it a nice nutty flavor. I don’t recommend using rice milk, though, because it’s almost too sweet next to the banana and honey. And, the combination of the almond milk, avocado and banana makes the smoothie smell like the beach.

        

Lastly, my other friend Ari makes a wonderful guacamole. I don’t think mine even comes close. But, it does have a great fresh flavor and nice piquant onions to offset the smooth and tangy avocado.

    

I know when I’m in New York this summer, if I can find some avocados I’m going to break out these recipes and blow Joe’s mind.

Avocado Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado, sliced in half and removed from the skin
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Ice cubes

PREPARATION

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the ice cubes have been completely crushed.

Serves 2. Prep time, 5 minutes; cook time, 0 minutes.

Cook’s note:  You can use almond milk or rice milk instead of regular milk.

 

Avocado Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado, sliced into cubes and removed from the skin
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

PREPARATION

  • In a large bowl, mash the avocado until creamy.
  • Stir in the onions, tomato pieces, spices and oil.
  • Give the mixture one more run through with the masher.

Serves 4. Prep time, 5 minutes; cook time, 0 minutes.

 

Avocado and Egg Spread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado, sliced in half and removed from the skin
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mash well with a fork.
  • Serve on toasted bread.

Serves 2. Prep time, 5 minutes; cook time, 0 minutes.

 

Posted in avocado, boiled eggs, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can I Get Some Lemon Curd with those Scones?

Isabella and I love to go to high tea. We were extremely excited to go in England at Fortnum & Mason, two summers ago. Our favorite treat are the scones covered in clotted cream and lemon curd.

Imagine our surprise when a lovely tea service showed up at our fancy table with no lemon curd. Our waiter (though I wish I had a fancier word for him, because he was fantastically attentive) seemed to think my need for lemon curd was strange. I figured since high tea in San Francisco always has lemon curd on offer, that this was a traditional English-type thing, too. I guess I was wrong. But, after a bit of explanation, our gentleman did bring us our preferred topping. And, it was worth the fuss. There was a much more real lemon flavor to the one he supplied than the ones we had been getting here at home.

My friend has a Meyer lemon tree that seems to be producing an inordinate amount of fruit at the moment. I seized the opportunity and decided to make homemade lemon curd. Though it was time consuming, it was well worth the effort. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much for measuring and paying close attention to precise instructions. I tried very hard last night to be as attentive as possible, and I have to say, the lemon curd turned out excellently.

With just 4 lemons, I managed to produce eight four ounce jars. The flavor is nice and tart, and there is no cream in the recipe I found, just sugar, eggs, butter and lemon. Wow, I will be making this for years to come.

And, next time we go to England, I may just bring a bottle with us, just in case they look at us funny again for requesting lemon curd for our high tea scones.

Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s a link to the pictures from our tea at Fortnum & Mason. Beware: lots of shots of teapots and even some of the beautiful bathrooms!

Lemon Curd

recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook as seen on foodnetwork.com

makes 32 ounces

Ingredients

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  • Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
  • Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add thelemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
  • Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.

Special Note:

You’ll need to boil the jars before putting the final lemon curd into them, to make sure they are germ-free. Here’s a how-to from a previous post, if you need help.

Boil your jars and lids while the fruit is bubbling away in the other pan .
Take a large wide pan, fill with water, enough to submerge the jars and lids, and place on the heat to boil.
Once the water has boiled, lower to a simmer and keep the jars in the water for five minutes.
When the lemon curd is ready, remove each jar and lid one by one onto aclean cloth, right side up, to keep them as sterile as possible.

Fill your jars and  seal them:
Ladle chutney into each jar, filling up to the bottom of the neck of the jar, leaving headspace for the sealing to go well.
Wipe down the top of the jar to make sure nothing is sticky on the outside, so that you can seal the jars, and they can be opened again.
Put the lid on and close it as tightly as you can.
Turn the jars upside down and leave to cool. This will seal the jars.
some people re-boil the filled jars, but I opt not to. if you want to, this is the time to do it!
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Posted in homemade jam, jelly, lemon curd | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Featured: 3 Recipes! DailyBuzz Healthy Living This Week

I’m proud to say that three of my recipes have been featured this week on DailyBuzz Healthy Living’s website:

Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks for the feature!

 

 

Posted in eggs, potatoes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment