March 20, 2016

Herb-Tomato Eggs

Weekends are for brunches, and I was lucky enough to have two brunches this weekend.  Saturday was at home with the below meal and Sunday was with my brunch ladies - a group of us that gets together to brunch every month.  My good friend introduced me to this group years ago now, and I so look forward to catching up with them on a monthly basis.  What started as recapping weekend escapades and lots of hair of the dog, has turned into sharing advice on everything from careers to motherhood to how to pick a cleaning lady.  I feel very lucky to be a part of this group of women!

Below is a little twist on eggs benny.  Enjoy!

What's in the fridge (for 2)
- Small tomato
- 1 tsp herbs de provence
- Bacon to your hearts content
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 2 English Muffins
- 4 Eggs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350

Slice four slices of tomato and put on greased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and herbs de provence.
Place bacon slices on a separate cookie sheet


Place both cookie sheets in the oven at the same time and cook until bacon is crispy.  20-25 minutes. Let bacon cool on a plate lined with paper towels.


Meanwhile, bring a deep skillet of water to a boil.  Once boiling, add white vinegar.

Drop in eggs by cracking them individually into a small bowl then slowing dipping the bowl in the water, allowing the water to enter the bowl before dropping the egg in.  This helps to ensure that the egg congeals together (as does adding the vinegar).  Cook eggs for approx 4 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs, and remove with a slotted spoon.


Meanwhile (because cooking breakfast is all about multitasking), toast and butter the English muffins.  Then, top with the now dried tomatoes. 


Lastly, top with bacon then poached egg.  I just put one slice of bacon of each, and had the rest as a side.




Bon appetit!


March 2, 2016

Baked Cod

Holy hiatus!!!

I'm back!  For now...

Life has certainly sped up, and while I have still been cooking and fridgespiring, blogging has taken a back burner.  

Alas, here is tonight's dinner.  Baked cod with mushrooms, lemon and basil.

What's in the fridge
- 1 lb cod filets
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 5 mushrooms, sliced
- 7 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 C cooked according to package instructions

Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350F

Drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil on fish, then season with salt and pepper


Place sliced lemon and mushrooms on fish.  Squeeze any lemon slices not used onto the fish.  Drizzle on remaining 1 TBSP of olive oil, making sure to get it on the mushrooms. 




Bake for approx 20 minutes until fish is flaky.  Finish with basil.


Served over brown rice. 




Bon appetit!





March 14, 2015

Swedish Meatballs - Food Network

The Almost-Famous Swedish Meatballs recipe comes from my collection of old Food Network Magazines.  They typically highlight an "Almost Famous" recipe in each edition which copies a well known restaurant dish.  No clue what restaurant this one comes from, but I'm sold.  Love how this dish turned out.

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced white onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound lean ground beef*
1/2 pound lean ground pork*
1 large egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
Vegetable oil, for brushing


For the gravy:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)


*Not able to find ground pork at the store, I used all beef. 
**I served the meatballs and gravy over egg noddles

Make the meatballs: 
Put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, allspice, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.



Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer.
 

Pour the milk mixture over the breadcrumbs and stir to make a thick paste; let cool.
 
Note the texture - not exactly a paste as the directions suggest, but worked into the meat well.

Add the beef, pork, egg and egg white to the bowl and mix until combined.
 



Brush a baking sheet with vegetable oil. Roll the meat into 1-inch balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.



Make the gravy: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until smooth. Whisk in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer.


Jar of bouillon: great to keep on hand instead of having to buy (or make) fresh broth!  I keep one each of chicken and beef in my pantry.



Add the cream and meatballs. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the meatballs until cooked through, about 20 minutes.





Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lingonberry jam, if desired.
 



Bon appetit!











March 12, 2015

Cooking with Halloumi

Friends!  I'm back and newly refreshed and revamped!  

Did you notice that fridgespiration has a new and improved look and layout?  Two features that I am most excited about are that you can now search easily for my original receipes as well as some of my favorites taken from other sources.  I've been a little MIA lately because I've been enjoying delving into old cookbooks and food magazines.  Why not share these great finds with you too?  Stay tuned, I will be posting these types of posts soon.

But for now, a fridgespiration about cheese.  Fried cheese.  Need I say more?

...

Cooking with Halloumi is fun and delicious.  It's a middle eastern style cheese that is now becoming available in main stream grocery stores.  You'll likely see it more in the summer since it's often marketed as a grilling cheese, but it's just too good to be seasonal.

To pan-fry Halloumi, just slice and cook on med-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side.  It will get a golden brown of crunchy cheese delishisness. 

The other night I paired it with some pan fried chicken sausage - a staple in my house for last minute emergeny meals!  For a little more substance, the cheese was served on sliced tomato.










Bon App├ętit!



December 15, 2014

Baked Brie

Once I learned how ridiculously easy baked Brie is to make, I was hooked.  For awhile now it's been my go to for holiday parties, family gatherings, and any other excuse to get a group of people together to eat.

Well, my secret's up... Here's the easy crowd pleaser for this holiday season.

What's in the fridge:
1 wheel Brie
1 sheet of puffed pastry
A "drizzle" of maple syrup

Directions
Preheat oven to 350

Ready for this...?  Take the dough out of the freezer.  Tricky, I know.  Honestly though, getting the dough to the right temp is the hardest part of this appetizer.    I put the dough in the fridge the night before and then get it to room temperature by leaving it in open air for about 15 minutes
Ingredients
Roll out the dough so that the creases are no longer too visible and so that it is big enough to wrap around the brie.  If the dough is too sticky, put it in the fridge for a little bit.


Place brie in the center of the dough and drizzle top with maple syrup.  For an alternative, you can also use any kind of jam, or just leave it as is.


Side note: would love to cook at home all day and take advantage of the natural light for pictures, such a difference!

Next, gently wrap the brie with the dough, being careful not to leave any exposed spots.  Also, try to make it sealed so that the syrup doesn't leak out. 


You can even get fancy with any extra dough.  Here's a star / person / Maggie Simpson


When the dough is the right temperature you can try to smooth out some of the lines. I didn't do very much of that here.


Bake in the oven on a greased cookie sheet until golden brown, 45-50 minutes.


Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.  



It's great served with a sturdy cracker or French bread.

Happy holidays and happy cooking!
Booooooooon Appetit!







December 11, 2014

Spinach and beef stuffed peppers

My goal for this recipe was to have some leftovers to keep in the freezer for easy dinners in the future.  It was yummy fresh and hopefully will be just as good on the next go-around!

What's in the fridge:
6 green peppers
1 C uncooked brown rice
1 lb ground beef (85%)
1/2 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 bag fresh spinach
1/2 can tomato sauce
1 C shredded Monterey Jack

Directions
- Start rice cooking according to package directions 
- Cut off tops of peppers and clean out the seeds.  Place them on their sides under the broiler on high until they start to blister.  Rotate every couple of minutes.  
- Remove from the oven when they are roasted to your liking and preheat the oven to 350.

Broil peppers
Out of the oven
- Heat a pan to medium with a little olive oil and cook ground beef with cumin.  This should take approx 7-10 minutes.  

Ground beef and cumin

- Heat a little olive oil in a deeper pan and cook the minced garlic on med-low for about 2 minutes.  Add in spinach and cook until it is wilted and starting to create its own juice.


A full stove is a happy stove.
- Combine together the spinach, beef, cooked rice and tomato sauce. 



- Fill the peppers with the beef mixture and top with cheese.
- Cook for 10 minutes in the oven.





Bon appetit!










November 25, 2014

Traditional Pumpkin Soup

Last week I made and shared curry pumpkin soup, and this week we have something a little bit more traditional... what you would typically think of for pumpkin soup.

What's in the fridge:
- 1/2 large roasted pumpkin, cut in cubes
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
- 1 1/2 TBSP nutmeg
- 1 TBSP allspice
- 1/2 C maple syrup (it's soup... save the real deal for the pancakes)
- 1/4 C light cream

Directions:

Add chicken broth to pumpkin in a large pot.  Heat on med-high.



Add in the spices


Then the maple syrup.


Cover until it starts to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.


Add in portions to a food processor and turn on until you get the consistency you want.  Make sure to get a good mix of pumpkin and liquid in each portion.


Return back to pot then add in cream.


Mix together.


Spoon it up with some pumpkin seed garnish.



Bon appetit!

Happy Thanksgiving!