Fine Cooking Magazine recently ran a "Create Your Own Recipe" feature for how to make quiche. As they've done with braises and stir-fries, they focus on the basic elements of a dish, then suggest all sorts of ways to inject your own creativity to come up with an original taste. We took their basic crust and custard recipes and added veggies and cheese to our liking. The result….quite delicious.
Breakfast + Brunch
No….neither can I.
Back in the heady days of Charcutepalooza, I missed the bacon making challenge as I was a few weeks late to the game. Ever since, I've been dying to try my hand at it and see how much better bacon could be when crafted at home, from scratch. As luck would have it I had two critical pieces of the bacon making puzzle fall into my lap over the past months. First, my parents bought me a cool, fire-engine red Brinkmann Electric Smoker for Christmas (thanks, M&D!), then my friend Alicia turned me on to a great new artisanal butcher shop in Somerville called M.F. Dulock. Everything looked so good at Dulock that it took all my will not to buy out the entire shop! I was a good boy and bought only the pork belly and a handful of delicious lamb rib chops for dinner that night. But in the words of our country's most famous philandering Governor, I've no doubt that…."I'll be back".
We cook and post about so many frittatas around here we should rename the site "Oui, Frittata".
What can I say….we're such huge fans of these Italian sorta quichey-omelette things that we're always thinking up new versions to share. Never had one before and wondering what they're like? Picture a crustless quiche or an unfolded omelette, and you pretty much have a frittata.
These little monsters are my slight adaptation of a recipe by Kim Laidlaw from her new Williams of Sonoma cookbook, Home Baked Comfort . To her original recipe I've added a sharper cheese and a bit more bacon, because in my mind it makes absolutely no sense not to. Kim refers to these as scones, but for me they rose and flaked beautifully, much more like little biscuits than scones, so that's what I'm calling them.
Whatever we call them doesn't much matter though, because after one bite you'll find these so addictive that you'll be scrambling to come up with your own name for them, something like…..
"Oh Sweet Jesus, Cheese and Bacon Crack-Bites"
You've been warned.
I know this cake is a touch out of season but fact is we've been drowning in blueberries lately, so much so that I felt compelled to create this little beauty as a means to help work through our overstock.
You see, Muppet's been on a bit of a blueberry bender as of late, begging for them at every turn. Shocked by the fact that one of our kids was (no-kidding) ASKING for fresh fruit, and not wanting to blow a food-hero opportunity while actually buying something healthy for them, my wife and I each purchased mondo boxes of the lovelies last week. As fate would have it, the day after we presented our young berry fiend with her fruit-booty she had upper braces slapped on her teeth and promptly lost her taste for just about everything….well, except maybe for chocolate. Poor child.
Hey Dad, what's in the container on the counter?
Oh, those are some breakfast cookies I made today.
Say what? Did you just say breakfast cookies?
Yeah, I thought they'd be great for a breakfast on the fly, they're sort of like a portable bowl of oatmeal.
No really, they're loaded with grains and nuts and dried fruit, just like a bowl of oatmeal.
So you're telling me that tomorrow morning I can eat cookies for breakfast?
Uh…yeah, I guess that's what I'm saying.
Hey relax, will you.
How come I never hear you get this excited when I offer you a bowl of oatmeal?
Oh….and stop saying shut up or I'm giving your cookies to Muppet!
I'm a huge Paul McCartney fan, in fact I'm a Beatles freak. While I'm a touch too young to have seen the Beatles perform live, I've been fortunate enough to see Paul a few times over the years and I am so grateful to have had the chance. As I sat the other day thinking of performers I REALLY want my kids to see before they retire (don't ask me why I was thinking this, but I was), Paul McCartney topped the list. I mean, can you think of anyone (still alive) that has influenced the music we all listen to today in such a profound way? Yeah….me neither. I could go on for days about what it is about his songwriting and singing that moves me, but much of it you've probably heard before, or even feel yourself.
A few weeks back I had the good fortune to attend the Boston book launching party for the The Food52 Cookbook . My friend Emily (fiveandspice for all you Food52ers) and her husband hosted a pot-luck gathering where each guest made a dish from the book to bring, it was great fun and a delicious afternoon. As you might imagine from a gathering of such food fanatics, we brought way more food than we needed for the gang assembled. In fact, as the afternoon wore on I started to get a little concerned that we had not properly paced ourselves and would be unable to have a go at the beautiful desserts decorating the sideboard in their dining room.
A lesser group would have called it a day I’m sure, what with the sheer volume of savory tarts, salads, dips, breads, and charcuterie that we all consumed. Many would have slipped into a food coma and curled up in the corner for a little snooze, but not this stalwart group. No, the siren’s song of cakes and cookies took care of that, and as we emptied the last bottle of wine, our hostess took her leave and retired to the kitchen to gather things for dessert.
If any of you are like me you won't need to eat for at least a week following the massive Thanksgiving food-fest you just enjoyed. But, when your hunger returns, you've worked your way though all your left-overs and you finally need to start cooking again, this is a bowl you'll really enjoy.
This dish is my adaptation of a recipe I recently found on The Kitchn, and is exactly the type of thing I like to make on a Sunday night to provide us a quick and nutritious hot breakfast over the course of the week. It is also the kind of dish I encourage my students at Cooking Matters to consider making for their families as well because it can be made ahead of time in bulk, is really tasty, and SO good for you. Many with younger kids might want to pass on the pumpkin puree and spices here as they may appeal to a more sophisticated palate, but the idea of having a batch of pre-made oatmeal in the fridge that requires little more than 40 seconds in the microwave, some dried fruits and nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup to start your day on the right foot, is a great one.
HA….we're on a roll now. This tasty treat turned out to be the perfect foil for a 1/2 used jar of Trader Joe's Apple Butter hogging space in our fridge, and as easy as that the inventory of our refrigerator condiment museum took another hit. Perhaps we should craft a song for the occasion…."50 bottles of condiments in the fridge, 50 bottle of condiments….you take 1 out, and put it to use, 49 bottles of condiments in the fridge" Ugh, with 47 bottles left, this could take a while…..