The Best Thing About Black Friday- Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry Omelets.

November 25, 2011

What did you do with the image?

I don’t need to tell anyone here the merits of having leftovers, but Thanksgiving is one of those occasions where the leftovers are almost as good (if not better) than the original meal itself.

What you’re looking at here is a turkey omelet with stuffing, cranberry sauce and a little parmigiano reggiano; the first of many meals made from the enormous quantity of leftovers our Thanksgiving celebration created. The beauty of the omelet is that it can be filled with just about anything, so feel free supplement with whatever you’ve got in your refrigerator.

  1. Heat skillet on low.
  2. Combine egg in bowl, mix and add a small handful of parmesan.
  3. Position turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing nearby for quick access.
  4. Pour egg on skillet, spread around for even coating if necessary.
  5. While eggs are soupy on top, add turkey and accompanying ingredients down the center one-third of your eggs.
  6. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  7. When eggs are firm on the bottom (but not cooked completely through), fold the two sides up and over the fix’ins in the middle. Cook for another minute or so.
  8. Flip omelet to ensure cheese is melted. It will help keep the folds ‘glued’ down. Depending on how big your omelet is, I recommend using two spatulas.
  9. Remove from skillet, plate and enjoy.
  10. Calculate the number of hours before making another one of these would be appropriate.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

January 25, 2011

I have a tough time in the morning. I wake up groggy, stiff and starving, and I’m generally greeted by approximately 2 million new e-mails. This inevitably delays the first meal of the day for at least an hour or two. I’ve often thought, “Why is there not a machine that can cook my breakfast while I am attempting to keep from drowning in my own popularity?”

Or something to that effect.

This makes a pretty big batch of oatmeal, about six servings. However, it reheats really well in the microwave, so I usually just refrigerate the leftovers. What’s even better than making breakfast for one day? Making breakfast for the whole week!

Ingredients:


2-3 apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or dates (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. apple pie spice
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned or steel-cut oats
1/2 cup granola
Pinch of salt

Chop the apples into bite-sized pieces, removing the core and seeds. You can peel them if you want, but I prefer to leave it as-is. Toss the apples with the dried fruit (if you’re using it), brown sugar, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Layer the apple mixture in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Layer the oats, granola and salt on top of the apples, then pour 3 cups of water over the whole thing. Do not stir it at this point; the moisture from the apples will keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the crock and burning. Flip the slow cooker onto low and let it go for six to eight hours. Then stir, scoop and serve. I like mine with milk and a sprinkling of almonds.


Huevos Quincheros

September 11, 2010

I’m on a quinoa kick these days, mainly because it’s cheap, filling and nutritious. But also because it’s delicious. Really, really, amazingly delicious.

I’ve been making a dish that I dubbed “Huevos Quincheros” a lot. It’s good either straight off the plate or wrapped up in a big, warm flour tortilla. It also makes a good dinner when paired with a side of avocado and lime coleslaw.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 zucchini, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Tony’s
3/4 cup of rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of frozen corn
2 cans of beans, rinsed and drained (I usually use black beans or pinto beans)
1/2 to 1 cup of chopped cilantro
Grated cheddar cheese
Crushed tortilla chips
Sliced avocado
Salsa
Eggs

Heat 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium heat in a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until soft. Add the chopped zucchini and stir for an additional one to two minutes.

Mix in the cumin and cayenne pepper. Add a few shakes each of salt, pepper and Tony’s. Stir in the rinsed quinoa, then top it all off with the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the skillet, drop the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the frozen corn to the quinoa and cover the skillet again. Let it cook on low for another five minutes. Mix in the beans and the cilantro and set aside.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of the quinoa mixture onto a plate. Top it with grated cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips and sliced avocado. Fry an over-medium egg in a skillet and slide it on top. Garnish the dish with a spoonful of salsa and a pinch of fresh cilantro.


Best. Pancakes. Ever.

March 19, 2010

Historically speaking, pancakes and I don’t really get along. I could never really figure them out. When I made them from scratch, they always turned out a bit too thick and stiff for my taste.

(That’s what she said. You’re welcome.)

That is, until yesterday morning. I was wrestling with a truly rare craving for pancakes. I’ve needed to go to the store for, oh, about three weeks now, so we were a bit low on supplies. I dug up my usual recipe and made a few adjustments for my lack of eggs, oil and all-purpose flour. And, oh my God, you would not even believe the difference it made.

These pancakes turn out somewhat thick , but they’re fluffy and not dense in the slightest. I put fresh blueberries in one batch and left the other plain, and they were both excellent. You can even double to recipe and freeze half of them for future pancake-related emergencies.

Best Pancakes Ever

1 1/2 cups bread flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift the bread flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Use a spoon to create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk, applesauce, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk the batter until it’s just combined; the mixture will be slightly lumpy, and that’s OK. Let the batter rest while you heat your griddle.

Heat a griddle to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and melt a couple teaspoons of butter on the surface. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle, using a rubber spatula to smooth them into a circle (this batter will not spread on its own). Brown on both sides until the center springs back when you push on it gently with your finger (about 10 minutes).

Serve with butter, real maple syrup, jam, fresh fruit or just about any topping you can think of.


Breakfast Braid

January 21, 2010

About a year ago, my mom got me a subscription to Cooking Light magazine. I get the basis for some of my best ideas from this magazine; I highly recommend it. However, every time I cook something from it, I tend to corrupt the recipe, making it far less healthy (and more delicious) than originally intended. Which, I suppose, defeats the purpose

I’m OK with that. Are you?

Good. Let’s begin.

Ingredients:
13 to 16 ounces pizza dough, ready to bake (I use the canned dough found by the biscuits at the grocery store. Don’t judge me.)
Cooking spray
Pesto
4 to 6 ounces cooked breakfast meat, diced or crumbled
1/4 to 1/2 cup sautéed vegetables
Tony Chachere’s seasoning
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cheese (I used half feta, half mozzarella)

Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough in the center of the sheet and pat it out into a large rectangle with your fingers. Brush the surface of the dough with a layer of pesto, leaving a two-inch border on each side. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the pesto.

Squeeze any extra water from the sautéed veggies (this will keep the dough from getting soggy). Combine the meat and vegetables in a pan and heat through. Pour the eggs on top of the meat and veggies and cook for about 60 seconds, until the eggs are just set. Season the egg mixture with Tony’s while cooking.

Spread the egg mixture evenly over the pesto and cheese on the dough. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Make two-inch-long diagonal cuts about every two inches along the long sides of the dough. Fold the flaps of dough over the filling, alternating the sides until all the strips are folded up. The pattern will look like a braid, hence the name. You can either leave the ends open or fold them up over the top of the braid; it’s up to you.

Bake the breakfast braid at 425 F for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and firm. Allow it to cool for five minutes, then cut into slices.


Baked French Toast

October 25, 2009

frenchtoast

This morning I had a craving for french toast, but I wanted to dress it up a bit an add a serving of fruit. Enter Baked French Toast. My grandma makes a similar dish for company, and it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I used two kinds of bread: banana walnut and blueberry, both from the bakery, sliced and frozen. I defrosted them for five minutes in the microwave before using them. I also cut the recipe in half because I was cooking for two, and I used an 8×8 baking dish.

The french toast made the house smell of cinnamon and baking bread, and the cream cheese and egg mixture moistened it (I know y’all love the word “moist”). Top it with real maple syrup.

4 apples (Granny Smith recommended, but any kind is fine)
1 stick (1/2 cup butter)
1/2 cup (or more) brown sugar
12 ounces cream cheese
12 slices firm bread (up to you; some type of French bread is awesome)
8 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
Cinnamon

Put the baking rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350. Butter a 13×9 baking dish. Slice the apples thinly; no need to remove the skins.

In a skillet, melt butter with brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon water. Add the apples and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a splash more water if the sugar mixture begins to stick. Transfer coated apples to the baking dish and let cool.

Cut cream cheese into cubes, or spoon dollops, arranging it evenly over the apples. Cut the slices of bread in half diagonally and layer over the apples to cover the whole dish.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Use a flat spatula to press the bread down so it’s completely covered with egg mixture as it bakes. Otherwise, the tops will toast and come out dry. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and puffed. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8 and reheats well.

frenchtoast2


Granola…Mmmmm, Granola

September 17, 2009

I love granola, but I pretty much stopped eating it when we moved to Chicago. It’s expensive to buy in stores, and somehow it never occurred to me to try to make my own.

Until now.

I did a little research and pulled together a recipe that I think is awesome. One of the things I like so much about this recipe is that it’s so versatile. You could easily sub maple syrup for most or all of the honey, or cut the coconut in favor of more wheat germ or sunflower seeds. Any fruits or nuts should pair well with this recipe; I used sliced almonds and dried cranberries in mine.

The result?

granola

Delicious.

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened, if possible)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups dried fruit and nuts

Directions:

Combine the rolled oats, coconut and wheat germ in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the oil, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon into a small saucepan. Combine the wet ingredients using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, then bring them to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the saucepan from the burner and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the hot liquid into the oat mixture, and toss until completely coated. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray, then arrange the coated oats in a shallow layer on the sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the granola every 5 minutes or so to keep it from burning. It cooks really fast, so keep an eye on it; when it starts looking golden brown and smelling toasty, take it out.

Transfer the hot granola to a bowl and toss it with the nuts and dried fruit when it’s completely cool. Store in an airtight container.