"Vegetable Frittata" With "Pancetta & Cheese"

The wonders of buttered eggs. I had never thought or heard of buttered eggs until reading one I discovered, what the French have never forgotten, the joys of hot buttered eggs..

As John Masefield writes- “Time, Tide and buttered eggs wait for no man…

 

So taking this new found knowledge, on how to create the silkiest eggs you’ve ever tasted, I applied it to the creation of the most wonderful custard'y textured frittata I had ever had.

If you’ve never tried a frittata before, they are this incredibly versatile dish that is more than an omelet but less than a quiche. It’ll taste as good cold or room temperature as it does fresh from the oven; and luckily, it is also a dish you can prepare ahead of time. Thus making it a perfect accompaniment to any Holiday brunch..

 

“Vegetable Frittata with Pancetta and Cheese”

Ingredients: 
6 ounces diced Pancetta (you can use boars head brand diced pancetta available at Pat’s market as well as Stop and Shop’s in your neighborhood-optionally you can use 4 slices chopped cooked bacon)
1 small Vidalia onion, sliced
Several baby Bell mushrooms, sliced
7-8 Eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons Cream
2-3 tablespoons Butter, just barely melted
2 teaspoons Olive Oil, plus additional butter for sautéing vegetables
6-8 Fingerling potatoes, sliced (I used a mix of gold and purple potatoes)
Asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 2-3 inch long pieces
Grape tomatoes, a handful sliced in half (I used mini Marzano tomatoes available at Pat’s marketplace)
2-3 tablespoons Bel Gioioso Asiago, thinly shaved (though regular Asiago is also fine to use)
1-2 tablespoons Locatelli Romano (regular Romano cheese is also fine to use)
Fresh chopped Italian parsley
Sea Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Dash of Cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, wrap the outside of a tart pan (if it is one with a removable base) tightly in foil and spray inside with cooking spray..
2. In a separate skillet, cook diced pancetta until it begins to crisp and place on paper towels to drain..
3.
In same skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and cook the onions and mushrooms until they begin to brown, 10-20 minutes. (Add a teaspoon of butter if necessary)
4. Meanwhile slice and chop all other vegetables as needed, then crack eggs into a bowl and continue to let them reach room temperature. (cold eggs take longer to cook and will cause the melted butter to solidify)

5. Remove Onion and Mushroom from skillet and set aside, then add a touch of butter to pan and cook thin sliced potatoes for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and set aside, then finish by cooking the Asparagus in the same skillet for 5 minutes, till crisp tender..
6. Add half or more of the various vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, etc.) and pancetta to the tart pan, then sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons of the cheeses..
7. Now prepare the eggs by just barely melting the room temperature butter and adding it to the eggs along with 2-3 tablespoons of cream, salt, pepper and cayenne. Whisk gently, but be careful not to overbeat the eggs-then pour into your tart pan..
8. Finish by adding more of your cooked ingredients, as well as a few sliced tomatoes and a last sprinkling of cheese-then place into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes (or until just set, but be careful not to overcook). Let the frittata cool for a few minutes before unwrapping foil and removing it from the pan..

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy..

"Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza"

 I'm always seeing all of these wonderful healthy crust pizzas, that people share, all of the time..

Makes me so hungry for something I generally don't eat anymore, but do so definitely love..

So taking a little inspiration from those who have posted before me, I decided to go all in and create a couple of "healthy" pizzas of my very own..

This first one is made up of a deliciously flavorful crust of Roasted Cauliflower, Coconut flour, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses, and some spices..

It was actually much easier to do then expected and using parchment paper to help move it on and off the Pizza stone, during cooking, made all the difference in the world..

So, literally, after 10 minutes of baking it was time to take it out and slide my other crust into the oven and decide what I should top this one with..

I made sure to have more than a few options available for me, and my Baby, and then left it up to her to decide..

 

After looking over everything, she went with the fresh mozzarella and basil..

So slathering the top with pizza sauce, placing some medallions of mozz' and scattering a couple of pinches of fresh cut basil—it was time to go back on the stone in the oven to finish cooking..

A handful of minutes later it was done and all ready to be devoured, added just a smidgen of shaved Parmesan for good measure and began cutting into this one to give it a try..

Yum, it was so good and the crust was so tasty—it even held together just enough to be picked up just like a regular slice of pizza..

So very good and so very healthy with all of those natural ingredients with the gluten free, low carb crust..

So going to make this again because it was so—"Definitely Delish"

 

 

"Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza"

Ingredients:
1 small to medium sized head of roasted cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried basil (crush it even more between your fingers)
1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried oregano (crush it even more between you fingers)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh Garlic
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup 2% mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons coconut flour
Toppings:
Pizza sauce-homemade or store bought
Cheese fresh or pre shredded mozzarella
Toppings, whatever you enjoy.....

Directions:
1. Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees..
2. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil..
3. Wash and throughly dry a small head of cauliflower..
4. Cut off the florets, you don't need much stem. Place in baking dish and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle a touch of salt..
5. Place in oven and roast for 20-30 minutes. Remove, and when cool enough to touch, place into food processor..
6. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. You should have about 2 cups of cauliflower..
7. Scoop out cauliflower and place into a dish towel or cheesecloth and squeeze. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a nice chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess.. 
8. Dump cauliflower into a bowl. Now add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt), minced fresh garlic and a dash of red pepper if you want..
9. I also added 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour at this time. Now add your egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best, I'll wear those throw away gloves sometimes so as to be able too have clean hands again when needed..

10. Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down throughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don't make it too thick or thin either. (I used the outer ring of a spring-form pan to ensure a nice circular crust..
11. Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 8 - 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven... (Just eye the crust the last few minutes to ensure you don't under or over cook it)
12. Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. I'm not gonna give you measurements for this. You should know how you like your pizza - this is your personal taste that matters..
13. Slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden....
14. Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula serve up your delicious gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza!

Notes:
1. It makes a big difference oiling the parchment paper before forming the crust on it and using a pizza stone in the oven..
2. You'll want to have the oven pre-heated well ahead to allow the stone to be heated completely..
3. An average size head of cauliflower is fine, you don't want to have much more then 2 cups of processed cauliflower after roasting..
4. Can use un-roasted cauliflower as well— just rinse, remove florets, process into snow and microwave for 4 minutes on a plate before squeezing liquid out with cheese cloth..

"Gluten Free Quinoa Coconut Flour Crust Pizza"

Who doesn't love pizza, I know I do—and when I get to craving, especially now that I'm older, I try my hardest to figure out ways to enjoy it without regretting it almost immediately..

This is one of them, and one of my favorite fit and healthy alternatives to the oh so tasty pizza crust—and I think you'll find that you enjoy it to..

Deciding, though, that I missed pizza was only the first hurdle and then after seeing so many of those cauliflower, and other, crusts floating around out there —well I just had to give it a try myself..

So after messing around with a recipe or two, I decided to try a completely different take on the pizza crust myself..

 

So after a quick mixing together of all the various ingredients; I dumped it all out onto oiled parchment paper, and using the ring of the spring form pan, formed it into a circular shape..

Into the oven, for a few minutes, on the paper till just golden brown and then time to slather with sauce and cover with toppings..

I decided to go with one of my favorite pizza styles, the "Hawaiian Pizza"—fresh cut pineapple, sliced prosciutto, shredded and fresh mozzarella with a few torn fresh basil leaves..

Back in for five or so minutes more, until the cheese has melted and then it's almost time to dig in..

Just let it sit for a minute or two; sprinkle it with shaved Parmesan if desired and some extra basil, a little salt & pepper or red pepper flakes—if that's suits your tastes..

Now time to jump in and start eating; cut up a few slices for me and my Baby—then devoured this terrifically tasty treat..

So very good and healthier for you as well..

Will be playing around more with this one in the future, from toppings to sauce—you should too..

"Definitely Delish" and definitely a dish to make again and again..


"Quinoa and Coconut Flour Pizza Crust"

Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup Quinoa Flakes
1/4 cup +2 tablespoons Coconut Flour
3 Eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons of Water
2/3 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dried Oregano and Basil, crushed between fingers
2 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
2 heaping tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded 2% Mozzarella

For Toppings:
Pizza sauce, homemade or store bought
Shredded or fresh Mozzarella, or mix
2-3 fresh torn Basil leaves
Any other toppings you enjoy (I did prosciutto and pineapple with fresh basil)

Directions:
1. Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees..
2. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil..
3. Dump quinoa flakes and coconut flour into a bowl. Now add Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 2/3 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt), minced fresh garlic, baking soda, baking powder and a dash of red pepper if you want..
4. Now add your egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best, I'll wear those throw away gloves sometimes so as to be able too have clean hands again when needed..

5. Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down thoroughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don't make it too thick or thin either. (I used the outer ring of a spring-form pan to ensure a nice circular crust)
6. Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven... (Just eye the crust the last few minutes to ensure you don't under or over cook it)
7. Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. I'm not gonna give you measurements for this. You should know how you like your pizza - this is your personal taste that matters.!
8. Slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden..
9. Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula serve up your delicious gluten-free quinoa coconut flour crust pizza!

Notes:
1. It makes a big difference oiling the parchment paper before forming the crust on it and using a pizza stone in the oven..

2. You'll want to have the oven pre-heated well ahead to allow the stone to be heated completely..

"Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Brussel Sprout Soup"

I love roasting and eating vegetables..

I mean, if I can throw it onto sheet pan and drizzle it with oil—I will..

This recipe takes a simple side dish at dinner and adds in a few ingredients to create a perfect lunchtime or supper meal that's wonderful during these cold northeastern winters..

One of the first things I started with here is deciding on a mix of vegetables—so taking two recipes from my Thanksgiving side dish post, back in October, I got to work on what would become this delish soup recipe..

Going almost half Brussels sprouts and half cauliflower, with some broccoli thrown in for good measure—I tossed it all down onto my sheet pan and drizzled it with quality extra virgin olive oil with a little fine sea salt & pepper to finish. Then into the oven it went..

Truly I love simple recipes like this with just a few dishes needed; one pan, one pot a knife and a spoon—what could be simpler and leave less work for you afterwards then that. Well a skillet meal like my frittatas, and mexi-skillet recipe, but I digress..

While my veggies went about becoming all roasty browned and tasty; I prepped the base for my soup which included some lean prosciutto, shallots, garlic & chicken stock..

 

Quicker than you'd think it was time to pull my roasty toasty vegetables out of the oven and spoon them into the pot with the soup base and bring it up to a nice low simmer for about 10 minutes..

Here is where an immersion blender is key if you want to save on spatters, dribbles, spills and sloshing as you attempt to blend a little of the soup at a time and then dumping into another dish—you're guaranteed to add to your after cooking clean up; and really, who wants that, right!

 

A few minutes of immersion blending later and you have a supremely thick soup that just needs a little seasoning for taste before it's ready to serve..

Garnish each bowl with some reserved roasted veggies, the slightly crispy cooked prosciutto and some shredded Manchego cheese an you'll have a beautiful dish that's sure to please..

I loved it and I'm sure if you try it for yourself that you will to; because it is, oh so "Definitely Delish"

"Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Brussels Sprout Soup" 

Ingredients:
16 oz cauliflower florets
16 oz Brussels sprouts, halved
8 oz. Broccoli florets
4 oz. lean Prosciutto, cut into small pieces (see notes for vegan options)
3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Butter (see notes)
1/4 cup Shallots, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups low sodium Chicken Stock (see notes)
1 cup Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon fine Sea Salt, plus more to taste
White Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian Parsley
Natural Olive Oil Spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit..
2. Spray a large baking sheet with the Olive Oil Spray. Place the cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts cut side down on the baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt—then roast on the bottom third of the oven 25 minutes, tossing half way until slightly browned..
3. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of oil to your soup pot on medium heat and add your pieces of prosciutto—cooking until browned, then remove from the pot and reserve for later..
4. Now lower the temperature of the pot to low heat and melt the butter, then add the shallots & garlic. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes..
5. Add the chicken stock and simmer 5 minutes..

6. Shut the oven, reserve about 1 cup or more of the roasted vegetables and keep warm on the baking sheet..
7. Transfer the rest to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes, covered..
8. Now, using an immersion blender, blend until a thick even consistency is reached. You may also enjoy it chunkier, so can stop when it reaches the style you enjoy..
9. Now simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 1 cup of vegetable broth if thinning of the soup is needed. As well as adding sea salt and white pepper to taste. (Any last minute additions such as fresh herbs, rubbed sage, etc can be added to enhance the flavor if you desire)

 

Notes:
1. Serve in bowls topped with the some of the roasted vegetables, cooked prosciutto, chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil..
2. You can also add a bit of fresh shredded 8 month Manchego cheese, which I did. (Optionally Romano or another cheese could be substituted) Serve immediately..


3. You can remove the prosciutto (or use vegan/vegetarian friendly option if available), substitute the butter for a non dairy version (Olio olive oil spread, or another) and replace the chicken stock with vegetable broth to make this soup Vegetarian or Vegan friendly....

"Herb and Cheese Frittata with Vegetables"

"Herb & Cheese Frittata with Veggies"

It's been a little bit of a skillet meal kick that I've been on recently, but who doesn't love the ease and variety of simple one pan dishes such as these—now let's get down to business..

Last night I decided to make me and my Baby some "Brinner"

You know, a little "Breakfast for Dinner"

What I ended up throwing together was a wonderfully yummy "Frittata"

Had to do a bit of scrounging, the cupboards were a little more bare then usual..

"Asparagus Cheese & Herb Frittata"

 

First I wanted to have some cheese to add, but lacking any beyond some Parmesan, I ended up having to make my own from scratch..

A little heavy cream, milk and lemon juice later and I had my homemade "Ricotta" draining thru some cloth..

Next I prepped some garlic, shallots, grated Parmesan, fresh herbs and grape tomatoes; along with some leftover steamed broccoli I had..

"Zucchini, Squash & Ricotta Cheese Frittata"

A little sautéing later; followed by pouring in the eggs and egg whites, then it was time to add a few dollops of fresh cheese and the seeded an halved tomatoes..

Under the broiler it went; and a few minutes later we had this wonderfully tasty and beautifully golden "Herb and Cheese Frittata" with vegetables...

I sprinkled on a pinch of pink salt and black pepper and then it was all ready to serve..

So very good with just the right amount of each ingredient and with nothing overpowering anything else..

"Definitely Delish" and definitely a dish to be had for dinner, for breakfast, or for both...


"Herb and Cheese Frittata with Vegetables"

"Herb & Cheese Frittata with Tomato"

Ingredients:
8 Eggs (Or a mix of Eggs and Egg Whites-more egg or whites may be needed depending on pan size)
Fresh Herbs—Rosemary, Thyme, etc...
Tablespoon Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Homemade or Store bought Ricotta Cheese (Goat Cheese, Feta, Fontina, etc)
Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Grape Tomatoes, halved and seeded (Other Vegetables can be used)
Broccoli or Asparagus or other Vegetable

"Zucchini, Squash & Ricotta Cheese Frittata"

 

Directions:
1. Mix eggs (plus egg whites if cutting down on whole eggs) with whisk in bowl with pinch of pink salt...
2. Turn broiler on to 500 degrees..
3. Heat Oven Proof Pan on stove on just below medium heat. (I like using an oven proof oval pan)
4. Add Coconut Oil and Sauté Vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper till tender. (You can add some herbs at this point if desired)

"Herb & Cheese Frittata with Tomato"

 

5. Pour Eggs over top the veggies and cook on medium low, till eggs begin to set—will vary depending on size of pan, depth and whether eggs are at room temperature, check with spatula if needed. (You want them to be at least halfway cooked through or more but be careful not to burn the bottom, adjust temp if needed)
6. Add Tomatoes, a few dollops of Cheese and some of the fresh Herbs...
7. Transfer pan under broiler on middle wrack of oven; cook till nice and golden with eggs being completely set. (Careful not to burn by checking often)

 

Notes:
There are so many options and changes available that it is not even worth listing them. Suffice it to say, pick a mix of cheeses, herbs, seasonings, vegetables and go with it—experimentation and imagination is all you need for a delicious meal the entire family will love, whether its for Brinner or Dinner...

"Sweet & Creamy Polenta" with "Roasted Vegetable Sauce"

"Polenta with Roasted Vegetable Sauce"

I can't believe it, but it's been only just a little over a year now since I started playing around with the idea of blogging online...

 

It certainly has felt like so much longer to me...

 

 

 

 

Now between all of the cooking, photographing and sharing of my recipes I've been blessed to have met some of the kindest, sweetest and most supportive "Foodies" from just about every corner on Earth...

 

"Venice" by R.Fisher

 

They really have been beyond wonderful and I've cherished the friendships I've made with each of them...

One of the very first good friends within the "Foodie" community that I made was Lizzy, from A Tasty Mess...

 

 

"Farm Fresh and Organic"

"Farm Fresh and Organic"

 

An at home Chef, much like myself, from Houston Texas—who beyond just the incredible encouragement she always gave me, and my early endeavors, was also kind enough to invite me to write, and create, a guest post on her blog—a post that amazingly enough even made it onto the The Daily Meal...

"Sweet Polenta with Sauce"

 

For someone like myself who hadn't ever even shared a recipe, let alone write & photograph for a website, this was an opportunity that I've always been grateful for...

So in honor of the recipe that started it all, I've decided to take most of the same wonderful ingredients to create this dish—a mix of farm fresh and organic, brought together to give you a scrumptious "Sweet & Creamy Polenta" with a "Roasted Vegetable Sauce"

Try it out for yourself. I'll think you'll find it, oh so "Definitely Delish"

 

"Freshest Ingredients"

"Freshest Ingredients"

"Sweet & Creamy Polenta" with "Roasted Vegetable Sauce
(serves about 4)

Roasted Vegetable Sauce:
Ingredients:
1/3 cup Kalamata Olive oil
1-2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces
1 medium Zucchini, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine (Sauvignon blanc or Pinot Grigio)
1 cup chopped fire roasted tomatoes (fresh or canned)
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic sugar
1/2 tablespoon Shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped 

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large deep sided sauté pan on medium heat—add the various sliced vegetables (zucchini, eggplant & squash) and pan roast for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned...
2. Now add the shallots and cook for one minute more before draining off any excess oil if necessary...
3. Follow by adding the tomato paste to the pan and stir, cooking for 2 minutes, before then adding the wine and cooking for 1 more minute...
4. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, sea salt, organic sugar and fresh oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce. Set aside or save; warm it up when ready to serve...

"The Grand Canal" by R.Fisher

Polenta:
Ingredients:
6 ears of Farm Fresh Corn
2 cups Water
3 tablespoons unsalted Irish Butter, diced
7 ounces Bulgarian Feta, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
Fresh ground White Pepper

 

 

"Polenta with Roasted Vegetables"

"Polenta with Roasted Vegetables"

Directions:
1. Remove the leaves and "silk" from each ear of corn, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Using a sharp knife to shave off the kernels by either standing each ear upright on its base and shaving downward, or lay each ear on its side on a cutting board to slice off the kernels...
2. You want to have about 1 pound of corn kernels...
3. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and barely cover them with the water. Add one tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15 minutes on low heat simmering...
4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the kernels from the water and place them into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid...
5. Process them for several minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process...
6. Now return the processed corn to the pan with the reserved cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to an almost mashed potato consistency. (If you have a lot of liquid left in the pan, it can take longer to cook down the polenta, and it will sputter)
7. Fold in the remaining butter, the feta, sea salt and some pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and add more sea salt & white pepper if needed...

"Porto'Fino At Night" by R.Fisher

"Kobe-Wagyu Burger Benedict with Avocado"

"Kobe-Wagyu Sirloin Burger Eggs Benedict" with "Avocado" and "Peppered Asiago" on top of a buttered & toasted "English Crumpet"

It's been a rough couple of weeks for cooking; between my birthday, the holiday, doctors and other things—just hasn't seemed like I had it in me to do much in the kitchen...
Now, though, after a week or so of abject laziness on my part, or so it might have appeared, I've decided to jump back in with a simple "Sunday Brunch" style dish with a tiny twist all my own...
So feast your eyes on the yummy pictures because this week we're pretty much heading straight to the recipes; give it a try yourself, all or in parts, I think you'll find it to be oh so "Definitely Delish"

 

"English Crumpet"

"English Crumpet"

"Warm Crumpets"

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups plain flour (all purpose)
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level tablespoon dried yeast
1 level teaspoon caster sugar (regular sugar will also work)
1/2 pint milk (just over 1 cup. You may need a little more.)
6 Tablespoons cold water

Note:
You need some egg rings or metal rings to shape the crumpets when they are cooking. If you don’t have, use a clean shallow can with both ends removed...

"Eggs Benedict"

Directions:
1. In a jug measure out the milk and place in the microwave for 80 seconds. It needs to be warm to touch and NOT hot. Then add the 6 tablespoons of cold water, stir and then stir in the sugar and dried yeast and leave it in a warm place for 10-15 minutes till there is a good frothy head on it...
2. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the center then, when the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it all in. Next use a wooden spoon or hand whisk, to work the flour into the liquid gradually and beat well at the end to make a perfectly smooth batter. The batter should be like pouring consistency, a bit like drinking yogurt. Not thick. If it is too thick, add more milk until it is loose enough...
3. Cover the basin with a tea-towel and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes - by which time, the batter will have become light and frothy...
4. Then we cook the crumpets: grease the insides of the egg rings well, and grease the frying pan as well before placing it over a LOW heat. I put some vegetable oil in a bowl and keep it handy to brush the pan & rings...
5. Arrange the rings in the frying pan and, when the pan is hot, spoon 2 tablespoons of the crumpet batter into each ring. Depending on the size of your rings, the batter should be 1 inch high...
6. Let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes: First tiny bubbles will appear on the surface and then, suddenly, they will burst, leaving the traditional holes...
7. When your crumpets look like they're beginning to set, this is when you need to take a knife and go around the inside to release the crumpet (it might have stuck to the ring) and carefully push the crumpet through onto the pan and then they are ready to carefully turn over. It is only when you see the holes and the surface begin to set, you need to release the crumpet from the ring and turn them...
8. Please be careful when touching the rings..they will be hot! So use a cloth...
9. Now take a large spoon and fork, lift off the rings and turn the crumpets over. Cook the crumpets on the second side for about 1 minute only. Re-grease and reheat the rings and pan before cooking the next batch of crumpets...
10. Serve the crumpets while still warm, generously buttered. If you are making crumpets in advance, then reheat them by toasting lightly on both sides before serving...

"Creamy  Hollandaise  Sauce"

"Creamy Hollandaise Sauce"


"Hollandaise Sauce"

Ingredients:
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cream
1 cup (1/2 pound) melted butter, cooled to room temperature
2/3 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
 
Directions:
1. Use a small, thick ceramic bowl set in a heavy-bottomed pan, or a heavyweight double boiler. Off the heat, put the egg yolks and cream in the bowl or upper section of the double boiler and stir with a wire whisk until well-blended — the mixture should never be beaten but stirred, evenly, vigorously and continually...
2. Place the container over hot water (if you are setting the bowl in water, there should be about 1 1/2 inches of water in the pan; in a double boiler, the water should not touch the top section)...
3. Stirring eggs continuously, bring the water slowly to a simmer. Do not let it boil. Stir, incorporating the entire mixture so there is no film at the bottom...
4. When the eggs have thickened to consistency of very heavy cream, begin to add the cooled melted butter with one hand, stirring vigorously with the other...
5. Pour extremely slowly so that each addition is blended into the egg mixture before more is added...
6. When all the butter has been added, add the lemon juice or vinegar a drop at a time and immediately remove from heat. Add salt and a mere dash of cayenne...

Note:
If you proceed with care your Hollandaise should not curdle. If it does, however, don't despair. Finish adding the butter as best you can. Remove sauce to a small bowl, clean the pot and put a fresh egg yolk in it. Start over again, using the curdled sauce as if it were the butter...

"Plastic Wrap for the Win"

"Plastic Wrap for the Win"


"Poached Eggs Easy"

Ingredients:
Eggs
Plastic wrap
Nonstick Spray

"Poached Perfection"

"Poached Perfection"

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to just under a simmer. It should be steaming, but not boiling or simmering at all...
2. Working with one egg at a time, line a bowl with a piece of plastic wrap about 8 inches long...
3. Spray the plastic wrap very lightly with nonstick spray...
4. Crack an egg into the center of the bowl. Pull the edges of the plastic wrap up to form a little packet with the egg in the center...
5. Twist the plastic so it seals at the top and make sure to keep it secure. Do as many eggs as you want this way!
6. When you're ready to cook the eggs, just dangle them in the water and make sure they aren't touching the bottom of the pan. Move them around slowly so the water circulates around the eggs. Cook them for about 3-4 minutes depending on the size of your egg. At any point you can lift the eggs out of the water and feel them, they should be firm and white around the outside but give a bit in the center...
7. When they are done, move all the eggs to an ice bath to stop the cooking...
8. When you're ready to serve the eggs, just dunk them back in the hot water or about 15 seconds to reheat them. Then cut off the top of the plastic and the plastic will fall away and you'll be left with a perfect soft cooked egg...


"Kobe-Wagyu Sirloin Burger"

Ingredients:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of Wagyu Beef Sirloin (I ground it myself, but you could find pre-ground)
1 teaspoon Sea Salt

"Benedict with a Twist"

 

Directions:
1. Mix together and form into patties and then cook in a fry pan or on a grill at medium to medium high heat until cooked to liking, aprox. 3 to 5 minutes....

 

 

 

 

"Delish Brunch"

"Kobe-Wagyu Sirloin Burger Eggs Benedict" with "Avocado" and "Peppered Asiago"

Ingredients:
Pre-made Crumpets (from above recipes)
Pre-made Burgers (from above recipes)
Pre-made Hollandaise (from above recipes)
Poached Eggs (from above recipes)
1 ripe Avocado, seeded and sliced
1 chunk peppered Asiago cheese, shaved/grated
Fresh chopped Chives for garnish
Fresh chopped Italian Parsley for garnish
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste
Butter for Crumpets

"Like my Burger on the rare side but you can cook to liking"

Directions:
1. Make above recipes in amounts needed for the amount of people you plan to serve, saving extras in the fridge if not needed...
2. Toast and butter a crumpet, place a cooked kobe-wagyu burger on top and follow that with one poached egg...
3. Place 3 slices of avocado on top followed by several spoonfuls of Hollandaise sauce, then a teaspoon or two of grated cheese...
4. Garnish with chives, parsley, salt and pepper to taste...

Serve and Enjoy........

"Sunday Brunch Benedict"

"The Cubano-A Southeastern Sandwich Classic"

"Cuban Sandwich"

As you can see, the love of sandwiches has continued this week—from the deliciousness of "Pulled Pork" to the incredible merging of sweet and savory with the "Monte Cristo"

Now though I bring you that most delectable of Miami favorites, the "Cubano" or "Cuban Sandwich"

 

"Cubano"

As with Cuban bread, the origin of the Cuban sandwich (sometimes called a "Cuban mix," a "mixto," a "Cuban pressed sandwich," or a "Cubano") is murky and somewhat intriguing...

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, travel between Cuba and Florida was easy, especially from Key West and Tampa, and Cubans frequently sailed back and forth for employment, pleasure, and family visits...

"Cuban Pressed Sandwich"

Because of this constant and largely undocumented movement of people, culture and ideas, it is impossible to say exactly when or where the Cuban sandwich originated.—it's rumored, though, to have originated in Cuba or Key West before spreading in popularity from Tampa to Miami...

Wherever it came from, and whatever it's origins, you almost have to stop to try one in "Versailles" or another eatery in "Little Havana" just to indulge in some of the local flavor...

"Crashing Waves along the Keys"

If traveling to the sandy shores of Florida is out of the question though, why not sit back comfortably in your own home and try my very own tasty take on this Southeastern classic...

I think you'll find it to be oh so "Definitely Delish"

 

 

"Cuban Sammie"

"Classic Cuban Sandwich"

Ingredients:
8 oz. Brown Sugar Baked Pit Ham, sliced (see recipe section)
12 oz. Roasted Marinated Pork Shoulder, sliced (see recipe section)
8 oz. Emmentaler Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
6 Half-Sour Dill Pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup Sweet Cream Butter, softened
3 tablespoons Yellow Mustard, for brushing
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise, for brushing
6 (six to 9 inches long) soft Baguettes or Club rolls, split
lengthwise (If Cuban bread is unavailable)

"Cubano Sandwich"

Directions:
1. Heat a large cast-iron griddle or panini press. Add the ham slices to the griddle and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer ham to a plate...
2. Generously butter the cut sides of each baguette(roll) and toast on the griddle over moderate heat until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes...
3. Transfer the baguettes to a work surface and generously brush the top cut sides with 2 teaspoons of mustard, and the bottom cut sides with 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise...
4. Layer the ham, emmentaler Swiss cheese, pickles  and pork on to each baguette and close the sandwiches...
5. Generously brush the outside of the sandwiches with more butter and set them on the griddle or press; if using a griddle, top the sandwiches with a large baking sheet and weigh it down with heavy cans or a cast-iron skillet...
6. Now cook the sandwiches over moderate heat until they’re browned and crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, 3 minutes per side on a griddle or 3 minutes total in a press. Cut the "Cubanos" in half and serve while hot with some Yucca fries with banana ketchup or chips...

Notes:
Additional Recipes:

"Yucca Fries with Banana Ketchup"

"Yucca Fries with Banana Ketchup"

Ingredients:
Ketchup:
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
4 whole pickled jalapeños, stems discarded, plus 2 tablespoon pickling liquid from the jar
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 cup ketchup
1 cup lightly packed Basil
Sea Salt and Pepper

Fries:
3 pounds yucca (about 4 yucca)
Peanut oil, for frying
Sea Salt
Lime wedges, for serving

"Yucca Fries"

Directions:
Ketchup:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the bananas with the vegetable stock, onion, water, pickled jalapeño, garlic and ginger and bring to a boil...
2. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until the bananas and onion are very tender, 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and let cool slightly. Add the ketchup, basil and the jalapeño pickling liquid and puree until smooth...
3. Scrape the banana ketchup into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes...
Fries:
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Peel the yucca and cut into 3-inch lengths. Cut the lengths into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Cook the yucca in the boiling water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes...
2. Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool and dry; discard any stringy pieces of yucca...
3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 360 degrees. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Working in batches, fry the yucca, stirring gently to separate the wedges, until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes...
4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the wedges to the rack and season generously with salt. Serve right away with the banana ketchup and lime wedges...

"Waves Breaking Along the Florida Gulf"

"The Monte Cristo-A Sandwich Classic"

"Monte Cristo"

Recently I've found myself greatly desiring sandwiches for dinner; I don't know what it is, perhaps I've just had an overwhelming hankering for bread—which I don't nearly eat as often as I used too...

Regardless of the reasoning behind my latest creation; you, my dear friends, get to enjoy the fruits of both my desires and labors—which this time have brought forth that delectable mix of sweet and savory ingredients, the "Monte Cristo"

"Porto'fino by Night"

Thought to have it's origins in a Paris cafés offering of a "Croque Monsieur"—which was gruyere cheese and lean ham between slices of crust-less bread, fried in clarified butter.

This sandwich is still a popular snack or casual meal throughout France and Switzerland in most bars and cafés. It is usually made in a special sandwich grilling iron consisting of two hinged metal plates, each with two shell-shaped indentations...

"Classic Monte Cristo"

At some point though in America, in the 30's and 40's, the sandwich began to pop up in cookbooks across the country as a "French Toasted Cheese" sandwich or "Toasted Ham" sandwich—shortly followed by it's appearances all across southern California and finally Disneyland in the 60's...

During this deliciously desirable sandwiches travels from the quaint riverside cafés of Paris to the restaurants of Disney and beyond it finally achieved the form we are all familiar with today...

"NOLA on my Mind"

So, for this "Monte Cristo" I took my tried and true traditional French Toast recipe, aged gruyere cheese, fresh roasted turkey, honey baked ham and a variety of accompaniments to create this wonderfully scrumptious and incredibly satisfying merging of the very best of both sweet and savory ingredients—I think if you try it you'll find that it is, most assuredly, oh so "Definitely Delish"

"Sweet & Savory Monte Cristo"


"Classic Monte Cristo Sandwich"

Ingredients:
8 slices firm bread, sliced 1 inch thick (I use Challah bread)
6 large Eggs
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted Sweet Cream Butter
2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 tablespoons Dijon or Deli Mustard
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
12 ounces Baked Ham, sliced
8 ounces roasted Turkey, sliced
8 ounces Aged Gruyère cheese, shaved
Powdered Sugar for dusting

"Delish Monte Cristo Sandwich"

Directions:
1. Slice your bread into 8 pieces and then put them on the top rack of your oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes to dry them out—you want to avoid toasting the bread beyond a light golden color...
2. Whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves and sea salt in a medium bowl. Pour the mix into a 9x13-inch baking pan for easy dipping...
3. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature then preheat a large skillet or grill plate at medium temperature...
4. Take 2 slices at a time and place them into the egg mixture for 20 seconds, then flip them over for another 20 seconds—add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and your dipped bread then cook until golden brown (approx. 2 minutes to each side)
5. Repeat this process with the remaining bread slices, then set the skillet aside till ready to use again...
6. Now to assemble the sandwiches. Begin by spreading softened butter on the inside of each slice of French Toast; follow that with a thin layer (2 teaspoons) of mustard on 4 slices of toast, and a layer (2 teaspoons) of mayonnaise on the remaining 4 slices...
7. Top the 4 slices with mayonnaise with an equal amount of shaved Gruyere cheese, followed by roast turkey and then the baked ham—top with the final 4 slices of French toast, pressing them together gently...
8. Set your skillet back over medium-low heat and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter...
9. Brush the tops of your Monte Cristo sandwiches with a small amount of the remaining butter and place butter side down, two at a time, for two minutes
10. While cooking brush the top of the sandwiches with butter and when ready flip them over gently, and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more...
11. Repeat with the final two sandwiches, slicing them in half and dusting with a small amount of powdered sugar...

"The Perfect Monte Cristo"

Notes:
1. Serve with real maple syrup or your favorite replacement...
2. Also can be served with Homemade Strawberry preserves (or small batch, farm stand quality) on the side, for a deliciously sweet addition. (Raspberry & Red Currant are also good choices)