Saturday, December 29, 2012

Curried Mussel Chowder

There's a couple inches of snow outside.  It's cold.  And I hate it.

I've never been a fan of this type of weather.  Even growing up in upstate New York.  I hated it.  Andy even says I have a permanent scowl on my face when the temperature drops below 32 F.  I guess I just like my sunshine and warm weather.  Can you blame me?

One thing I do like during this time, though, is curling up to a nice warm bowl of chowder.  There's just something so comforting about it.  I decided to switch up the normal clam for some mussels and a healthy dash of curry powder.  The result?  Andy thinks it's the best bowl of soup I've made to date.  Right on!


3 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 shallot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 lb. new potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup white wine
3 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
pinch of dried fennel
3 garlic cloves, smashed
pinch of saffron
5 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup frozen corn
1 lb. shucked mussels (I bought them this way because it was easier, but you could certainly steam them and take them out of the shell on your own)
salt, to taste
chopped parsley, for garnish
baked naan, for serving

I love this because it's also a one pot meal.  Most soups are, right?  Right.  The less dishes I/Andy have to wash, the better.

Heat a large stockpot under medium high heat.  Add bacon strips and render until all of the fat is released and bacon is crispy.  With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Reserve for garnish.

Add carrot, shallot, celery, and potatoes to the bacon fat.  Coat well and sweat for about 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook for another minute.  Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.  When mixture is thick, add in parsley stems, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, butter, curry powder, fennel, garlic, saffron, milk, and heavy cream.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

About 2-3 minutes before serving, add your mussels (if they're already shucked, they should already be cooked, so you're only warming them) and your frozen corn.  Cook until warmed through.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with reserved bacon and chopped parsley.  Serve with naan bread.

This seriously hit the spot!  We've got leftovers and I don't foresee them lasting much longer than 48 hours!  Hope you guys are staying warm =)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Boiled Lobster Tails w/ Herbed Wine Cream Sauce, Corn, & Roasted New Potatoes

Lobster is one of those deals that come about on a whim in our house.  It's something we have on occasion when we're feeling like treating ourselves. 

And why not treat ourselves in an end of the year celebration?  I mean, the world didn't end, so why not celebrate with lobster, right?!


Boiling Liquid:

2 cups white wine
1 cup seafood stock
2 cups water
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
4-5 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 lobster tails
salt and pepper, to taste
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Herbed Cream Sauce:

1 cup reduced lobster stock (reserved boiling liquid)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

2 cups frozen or fresh corn, cooked

1 lb. new or red potatoes, quartered
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine the the potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are a nice golden brown.

In a medium stockpot, combine the wine, seafood stock, water, onion, carrot, celery, parsley stems, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and tarragon.  Bring mixture to a boil and add lobster tails.  Cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until shells are a bright red color and flesh is just cooked through.  Remove the tails and transfer to a cutting board.  Carefully cut each lobster tail in half and transfer to a bowl with 2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter.  Toss in the butter until well coated, then set aside.

Strain the cooking liquid and reserve about 2 cups.  Reduce liquid to about 1 cup. 

In a small bowl, combine the flour and the 1 tablespoon of butter to form a paste.  Whisk into the reduced stock and bring to a boil.  Let mixture slightly thicken, then add heavy whipping cream.  Reduce mixture until it is at desired sauce consistency.  Stir in parsley and chives and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To plate, mound the potatoes and corn in the center of the plate.  Top with a couple of lobster tail halves.  Then top lobster with sauce.

This was definitely delicious!  The lobster was naturally buttery and the sauce complimented it very well!  Andy has been in the mood for corn lately, so I included that with the simply roasted potatoes and it was both a filling and satisfying weeknight meal! 

How do you like to have your lobster?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chilean Sea Bass w/ Peas & Shiitake Veloute

I hope everyone that celebrated had a very Merry Christmas yesterday!

I know the Garbes definitely did!

Santa was very good to us!  Andy outdid himself this year and upgraded my little beginner Nikon D40 to a Nikon D3200!  It's absolutely awesome!  And better yet, it came with a wireless adapter to stream my photos from my camera directly to my iPhone!  How neat is that?!  So of course I had to start shooting with it right away.  And one of the first things I did was test out it's ability on food - DUH!  And doesn't it just capture this sea bass beautifully?!  Either that, or I'm getting better at my photography skills.  Maybe it's both =)

Anyway, the day was spent with both of our families, driving, and eating!  It was definitely all worth it!

This was our Christmas Eve dinner (the time when Andy and I usually open our presents to eachother) and we both cleaned our plates dry!  It was SO good!


2 6 oz. Chilean Sea Bass fillets
salt and pepper, to taste
flour, for dredging

Shiitake Veloute:

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup seafood/fish stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk

1 & 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Heat a large saute pan under medium high heat.  Add olive oil and saute mushrooms until they start to soften, about 6-7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat a medium saucepan under medium heat and melt butter.  Whisk in flour to create a roux.  We're basically just making a fish/seafood gravy.  Cook roux for about 1-2 minutes, or until slightly a pale yellow color.  Slowly incorporate the stock, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.  Then whisk in wine, followed by the milk.  Bring mixture to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, to sauce consistently.  You can thin it out with extra stock, if you need to.  Stir in the shiitake mushrooms and season to taste.  Keep warm until ready to use.

Season the sea bass with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.  Heat some vegetable oil and/or butter in an oven-proof saute pan under medium high heat.  Place the sea bass, skin-side down, in the pan and cook until skin is crisp, about 3-4 minutes.  Flip over and carefully transfer pan to the oven to finish cooking the fish, about 5-6 minutes. 

While the bass is in the oven, you can quickly cook your peas.  Bring the water to a slow boil in a small saucepan.  Add peas and cook until warmed - they're frozen peas, so they're already cooked.  Drain and set aside.

When everything is ready, you can assemble your plate.  Place about 1/4 cup of the shiitake veloute in the center of each plate.  Top with a mound of peas.  Top the peas with the sea bass.  Garnish with whatever you like - I used some chives.

And voila - another simple and easy fish dish!  And it's gorgeous, to boot!

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week - and enjoy the snow (I know a lot of us experienced our first batches over the past couple of days!).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sausage & Mushroom Canape

I know a lot of you are going to be put in the host or hostess position over the next couple of weeks, so I thought I'd include a little canape or hors d'oeuvre that should go over well with a crowd!

The sweet and savory combination of maple syrup and mustard is a combination I love.  Add in some umami flavor of some mushrooms, and you've got yourself a powerhouse of flavor in a small little bite!


20-25 cocktail wieners/sausages 
3 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
1/2 cup maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cayenne pepper
10 button/cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Emmentaler Swiss because that's what I had)

1 french baguette, cut into 1/4 inch slices
melted butter, for brushing
salt, to taste

You can prepare your little crostinis first.  If you're going to do a bunch at a time, I'd suggest doing them in the oven.  If you've got plenty of time, then you can absolutely do them in a skillet over the stove.  For time's sake, we're going to bake these babies in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place a trivet or wire rack on a baking sheet and evenly arrange bread slices on rack.  Brush each bread slice with melted butter and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.

Bake crostinis until they are golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Raise oven temperature to 375 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, maple syrup, and paprika.  Toss the sausages in the mixture until evenly coated.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange the sausages on the parchment paper and bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the sausages are golden brown and the glaze is caramelized.

Heat a medium saute pan under medium high heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add mushroom slices and cook until softened and caramelized.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To put together, place about 1/2 teaspoon of the mushrooms on each crostini.  Top with cocktail sausage and garnish with shredded cheese.

If you make this ahead, you can put the product together and then reheat in a 375 F oven to melt the cheese and make product warm throughout.

This is definitely a different way to present familiar ingredients.  I recently made my family dinner for my mother's birthday and these were gone in a flash!  So tasty!

What do you serve as an appetizer for holiday gatherings?

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week and Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Halibut w/ Spinach & Scallop-Citrus Beurre Blanc

I'm telling you - I'm Beurre Blanc obsessed.

When in doubt for a pairing sauce for a dish - beurre blancs are your answer.  I mean, does butter not go with nearly everything?!  Seriously.

The only thing I didn't like about this dish is that the scallop flavor didn't come through as much as I wanted it do.  It may have been the citrus.  It could have overpowered the delicate flavor of the scallops.  But besides that, I was pretty satisfied with this dish - and Andy cleared his plate so I can't complain.



2 6 oz. halibut fillets
flour, for dusting
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups raw spinach, stemmed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

3 sea scallops, cut in half
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Scallop-Citrus Beurre Blanc:

1 sea scallop, thinly sliced (think sashimi)
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup citrus champagne vinegar (alternatively, you can just do 1/4 cup citrus juices or a mixture of champagne vinegar and juices)
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

You can prepare your sauce first.  In a medium saucepan, combine the shallot and citrus vinegar.  Reduce to about 1-2 tablespoons.

Turn heat to low and slowly whisk in unsalted butter, one cube at a time.  Be careful not to add to much butter at once or you run the risk of your sauce breaking.  When all of butter is emulsified into the sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in thinly sliced scallops (the residual heat will cook them through) and chopped parsley.  Reserve sauce in a warm area until needed.  You can also choose to strain the mixture of the solids at this point, but I chose not to.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Season both sides of halibut fillets with salt and pepper.  Dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Heat an oven-proof skillet under medium high heat and add butter and oil.  (On a side note: We use a combination of peanut oil and butter in the restaurant I work at for two reasons.  The butter is there for browning and flavor, and the oil is there for a higher smoke point - to help achieve a desired "crust" - you can choose to not use both, but be forewarned if you just use butter, you run the risk of it burning, and if you just use oil, you may not get that desired golden crust)

Add your halibut to the pan and cook the first side until it is a nice golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip each fillet over and carefully transfer pan to the oven to finish cooking, about 3-5 minutes.

While your halibut is finishing you can wilt your spinach and saute your scallops.

Heat two pans under medium high heat.  Add butter to both pans, adding your spinach to one, and your scallops in the other. Of course you can do these separately, instead of all at once, but hey, multitasking is a skill we can all get better at, right?

Cook the spinach until wilted and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sear your scallops until you get a nice golden brown sear, and then flip over to continue cooking for about 30 seconds to a minute.  Since they're cut in half, you won't need to cook them as long as if they were kept whole.

To plate, arrange a mound of spinach in the center and top with halibut fillet.  Arrange 3 half scallops on each plate and top halibut with beurre blanc.  Voila!

I love using wilted spinach as a side dish.  It comes together so easily and give you an added color boost to any plate.

Hope you guys have a great start to your week!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Red Snapper Quenelles w/ Fennel-Crawfish Cream Sauce

Alright.  No egg recipe. 

But I've got an oddball for ya. 

I didn't quite think this would all match together, let alone get my husband to see my vision.  The quenelle is first slow poached, then finished off in a fryer to get the beautiful golden brown color.  It's like a fish dumpling, if you will.  I wanted to present snapper in a different way and it happened to work out nicely! 

The cream sauce is definitely out-of-this-world.  I could have drank this alone.  It's THAT good.  Definitely something that you could throw on pasta, chicken, fish, whatever!  Versatility is key here.

Anyway, this was one of those dishes I wasn't too excited about until we sat down to eat it.  I should definitely have more confidence in myself, because Andy even said that this could be one of those dishes that he asks for over and over again.  Score!


Red Snapper Quenelle:

1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2-3 eggs
12 oz. red snapper (or other lean white fish), roughly chopped
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Swiss cheese, grated (optional)

Fennel-Crawfish Cream Sauce:

10-15 cooked crawfish, tails only
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 celery stalk, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

The quenelle starts with a pate a choux base.  If anybody has ever made cream puffs, this is basically the dough that starts them. 

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, salt, and butter.  Bring to a boil and stir in flour.  Make sure all of the flour is incorporated.  Cook mixture until a slight skin forms on the bottom of the pan.  This is called a "panada".  Transfer mixture to a KitchenAid mixer and beat until no steam comes out.  You're trying to cool the mixture down before you add your eggs.  When mixture is cool to the touch (you basically want it to be less than 135 F - the temp that eggs coagulate/cook), you can start adding your eggs, one at a time.  This is the hardest part of this.  You don't want to add your eggs all at once, because the panada may not accept all of them and your panada will break.  Add the eggs one at a time and make sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next.  You may not need the 3rd egg, or all of it, anyway.  So with the 3rd egg, just scramble it in a bowl and add it little by little.  When will you know the panada is complete?  You can do the "beard test".  Take you paddle attachment and dip it into your panada, if it comes out and looks like a beard/goatee hanging from your paddle, your panada is done! This link here explains pate a choux perfectly.  It should be thick and dough-like, but pliable and sticky.  If that makes any sense.

Anyway, in a food processor, combine your red snapper, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Slowly add in your cream until mixture is smooth.  Combine the snapper mixture with the pate a choux dough until well mixed.  Transfer mixture to refrigerator and let sit until well-chilled, about 30 minutes.

To make the cream sauce, melt the butter under medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add onions, celery, and fennel.  Cook until fennel starts to soften.   Stir in crawfish and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with white wine and cook until almost evaporated.  Add in chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Stir in heavy cream and cook mixture until thickened to desired consistency, about 5-10 minutes.  Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Hold warm until ready to use.

When you're ready to make the quenelles, pull out your fish mixture and set a pot of water to a slow simmer.  Also, get your deep fryer at about 375 F, or heat some vegetable/peanut oil to the same temp in a heavy bottomed pan.

Form your quenelles with 2 spoons (HERE is a great video on how to quenelle) and let simmer in the water for about 15 minutes.  Carefully place on a paper towel-lined tray and pat dry.

Drop quenelles in the fryer/oil until they are a golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and season with salt.

Serve quenelles over rice (I didn't really think this was quite necessary, but I was really hungry) and top with fennel-crawfish cream sauce.


I know this was an oddball, but sometimes you have to push the limits.  It's why I'm in culinary school, right?  To try weird and new things!

Happy Friday, guys!  Enjoy your weekend!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spinach Souffle

I've obviously been on an egg kick, lately.  I don't know why, but I'm all about the little protein powerhouse.  Maybe because it's such a cheap commodity.  So easy to manipulate and do different things with?  Who knows. 

And I've never tried making a souffle before.  With a little extra time on my hands now that school is over for the quarter, I have time to conquer the unconquered.  I don't think I've mastered it, by any means.  But for a first attempt, I think they turned out rather nicely!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup raw spinach, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/2 cup Emmentaler (Swiss) cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat a medium skillet under medium high heat.  Add olive oil and heat until shimmering.  Add shallot and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.  Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside to cool.

A lot of souffle bases don't require a bechamel, but I think it makes the souffle creamier and more delicate in the long run, so I highly recommend it.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for just a few minutes, or until the flour is a light blond color.  Stir in milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.  Stir until all milk is incorporated and mixture is smooth.  Whisk in the cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and let simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes, or until mixture is slightly thickened.  Take mixture off of heat and whisk in egg yolks, one at a time.  Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are at stiff white peaks (think meringue).  Fold in about 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture, along with 1/2 of the cheese and the spinach mixture.  Fold in the rest of the egg whites.

Grease one large souffle dish or 4 mini ramekins (I had 4 inch diameter ones that made perfect side dishes).  Sprinkle inside of souffle dish or ramekins with a little bit of cheese.  Turn out mixture into prepared dishes and sprinkle with remaining bits of cheese. 

Place dish(es) in oven and turn heat down to 375 F.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until souffles are risen and golden brown on top.

Carefully take out of oven and admire your accomplishment!

I had a little bit of a deflation in one of my souffles, but that's expected with any first try, right?  Right.  But the result was an airy, creamy spinach souffle that won over Andy (who, I could tell, was a bit skeptical of having souffle as part of our dinner). 

Have you ever made a souffle?  How did your first go at it go?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Caramelized Onion Quiche w/ Balsamic Glaze

There's something about making a pie crust that's just so soothing.  It's so simple.  No more than 4 ingredients.  A little bit of kneading.  A little bit of resting.  A little bit of baking.  And the result?  Something so flaky and buttery that it would put a smile on anybody's face.

I was limited on ingredients yesterday, but I needed to make something quick and easy before we headed out to see the Silversun Pickups at the Brown last night.  And let me tell you, they really rocked!  I seriously haven't seen a band with so much energy and life in a long time!  Definitely a great rock and roll show!

Anyway, I had eggs.  I had flour.  I had onions.  A quiche was just meant to be.


Pie dough:

1 & 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water


3 onions, julienned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
4-5 slices of deli-ham, chopped (optional) 


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

First, you want to make your pie dough.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Add in cold water until the mixture comes together.  You want it to be able to stay together when you gather it in your hand to make a fist.  Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

To caramelize the onions, add butter, vegetable oil, and onions to a large skillet.  Heat under low-medium low heat until onions become golden brown in color.  You want to stir the onions occasionally so that they don't burn or caramelize too quickly.  You want an even, "soft" browning.  This will take around 45 minutes to an hour to accomplish.  Don't rush it.  Be patient.  You'll be rewarded with sweet, caramelized onions.  I promise.

When the onions are nearly caramelized, sprinkle flour over top and mix well.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, then let onions cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Take your dough out of the refrigerator and place on floured surface.  Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness and large enough to fill your pie pan.  I used a shallow 9" pie pan.  Gently place dough into pie pan and flute edges, if desired. Place pie pan in the refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes.  Chilling the dough again makes it less likely for your pie dough to shrink during baking.  If you were to throw it right in there after you rolled it out, it would most likely shrink - and we don't want that, do we?

Now let's make the filling.  In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Whisk until combined and then stir in mozzarella cheese and cooled onions.

Place pie weights or dried beans (it helps to have a large coffee filter to put them on if using this method, so it's easy to scoop the beans right out) in your pie shell and par bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until pie starts to turn a light golden brown.

Pull out pie shell and remove weights/beans.  If using ham, place an even layer on bottom of pie shell.  Pour filling over top.  Bake quiche for about 25-30 minutes, or until eggs and custard are set.

Let cool, slightly, before cutting.

To make the balsamic glaze, simply place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and reduce until at a syrupy consistency.  Pour glaze over top over quiche, if desired.

And bam - quiche!

Not necessarily a quick dinner fix (but the pie dough and caramelized onions can totally be made ahead of time!).  But definitely one that utilizes common ingredients that we're all bound to have in our fridge and pantry!  And plus, you can always adapt a quiche to what you have on hand - leftovers are perfect quiche ingredients!

What quiche combo is your fave?!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spinach Omelette

With the close of another quarter of school, I'm one step closer to finishing!  I get to do my internship during my last lab (which happens to be next quarter) and I couldn't be more excited!  But I'm also excited about the much needed break until the new year.

It's been hard to have differing schedules with Andy.  He's a nine-to-fiver and I'm a 3-midnight kind of gal.  But we make it work.  We have lunch dates.  He takes days off (apparently he's got tons of vacation days that he needs to take).  We make time for each other and I'm thankful for that.

So when time is limited, meals end up being quick and easy.  So I've been on an egg kick.  Omelets used to be my go-to meal when I lived with my parents.  My favorite combination?  Hot dogs and cheddar.  I know - weird.  My omelet preferences have since become more "adult" in nature over the years, but I still revert to the classic every now and then.  Don't hate.

What's your favorite omelet combination?


2 eggs
1 cup raw spinach, stems removed
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
hot sauce (optional)

Heat a medium skillet under medium high heat.  Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan and add the spinach along with a big pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir the spinach constantly until it wilts (the stirring creates steam which causes it to spinach to wilt faster than if you were to just leave it alone).  Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl to cool.

Once the spinach is at room temperature, add eggs, milk, dijon mustard, and cheese to the bowl.  Whisk until well mixed.

In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the butter under medium heat.  Pour in egg mixture and cook until the bottom and edges are set, with the top and middle still liquid.  Now this is where people differ in their omelet-making.  Some people fold both sides inward.  Some people roll.  Some people just fold one side over.  You can do whatever you fancy!  I tend to gravitate toward just folding one side over.  It's easier than the other two, and if you mess us, it's easy to make it look like an omelet after some quick damage control.  But feel free to take on whatever omelet construction you deem fit.

So fold accordingly and cook just until egg on the inside is just cooked through.  It should still be light and delicate on the inside.


Serve with hot sauce and you're in business!

Hope you guys enjoy the last day of the weekend and have a great start to your week!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gratin-style Shirred Eggs

"One egg or two?"

"Is that all you're making?  That's not a meal."

I beg to differ, dear.  That's the exact conversation my husband and I had when I decided to make these.  Eggs are a nutrition powerhouse and I do, in fact, think that eggs alone constitute as a meal! 

Shirred eggs are simply ones cooked in a small buttered dish (such as a shallow ramekin) and finished off under the broiler.  The result is a softly set white and liquid yolk.  Everybody knows the perfect egg has a runny yolk! 

Some people find the process tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you'll have soft, delicate eggs every time! 

We doll these shirred eggs up with the addition of cream and some cheese. 


1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese (any cheese will do, this is just what I had on hand)

Heat broiler to high.

Divide the butter between two small, shallow, fire-proof ramekins (about 4 inches in diameter).

Place dishes over moderate heat (it helps to have a gas range - if not, then I'd just throw them under the broiler to begin with).  Once butter is melted, add 2 eggs to each dish.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until a thin layer of the white is set on bottom.

Add 1 tablespoon of whipping cream to each dish and top with mozzarella cheese.

Transfer dish under broiler and cook until white is softly set, and yolk is still runny, about 5-6 minutes. 

You'll end up with two perfectly runny eggs and some nicely browned cheese.  Plenty enough for a protein-packed breakfast!

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week - I might be absent for the rest of it - it's a big, busy week at school and work!