Breakfast for Dinner

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on all of those projects around the house that need attention, but get neglected during the school year. These projects (cleaning out closets and cabinets, weeding the yard, cleaning the patio and patio furniture, cleaning out the garage etc.) leave me tired, yet oddly energized. On the days where I did more work than normal, it’s easy dinner and one of my favorite easy dinners is breakfast.

The original intent on this was a casserole, but I decided to do more of a hash. Potatoes, roasted vegetables, cheese and eggs – you kind of can’t go wrong. The potatoes could be roasted in the oven for crisper potatoes, but since I wanted to roast the vegetables, I boiled them first, then pan fried them in butter with a little onion and garlic. The vegetables are pretty simple – asparagus, tomato and yellow squash. The best part of this dinner is that is just uses what is on hand and can be changed based on that. I also used pre-shredded cheese for this in part because I had it on hand, and in part because I thought it fit the dish. I didn’t really want fancy cheese for this.

Recipe:

  • 1/2 pint potato
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 handful asparagus
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful shredded mozzarella
  • 1 handful shredded cheddar

Heat oven to 400. Dice tomato, onion, and garlic. Cut asparagus and potatoes into bite size pieces. toss tomato, asparagus and squash in a little olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and bake in oven for about 20 minutes, tossing half way through.

Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes, until just cooked. In a large pan, heat butter and when foamy, add onion and garlic. Season with salt and cook over medium heat until onion softens, about five minutes, then add potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing a few times, to crisp – about ten minutes. Once vegetables are cooked, mix together and toss the potatoes with the vegetables on baking sheet.

Mix eggs well with a fork and then cook in the same pan as the potatoes (after transferring the potatoes) making sure to season with salt and pepper. Eggs cook quickly, so cook unit just beginning to set, the take off the heat – they will finish cooking.

To plate – put a base of potato/vegetable mixture on the pate and top with a handful of mixed cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Add half the egg to the top.

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Domaine Chavy-Chouet, Bourgogne Blanc – 2016

  • Basic info: Domaine Chavy-Chouet “Les Saussots” Chardonnay, Burgundy, France – 2016
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $22 (Somm Select)
  • Look: Pale yellow that is almost clear at the edges. No noticeable legs.
  • Smell: Pineapple and apricot
  • Taste: Round. good acidity but soft in the mouth with flavors of melon, pineapple, white peach, white cherry and granite. Medium finish with apple and more mineral.
  • Conclusions: I was really surprised with this wine. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but the description sounded good and I decided to try it. I am really glad I did. It was a great wine to have with dinner and it went well with food (can’t remember what I paired it with) but it was equally as good sitting on the couch watching tv later in the evening. I just wish I had picked up more than one bottle of this.
  • Other notes: I almost didn’t get this wine. There was an issue with the case of various wines that I ordered (I won’t go into details). I was frustrated and ready to cross Somm Select off my list of places to order wine from. But I was contacted by the company and not only did Connor understand why I was frustrated, he did everything he could to make it right. I can not tell you how much I appreciated the phone call – an actual phone call, not an email or text – to explain what happened and everything he did in the name of customer service. He went well above and beyond what I would have expected so rather than cross Somm Select off my list of places to order wine from, it’s gotten bumped up on the “go to” list. It also helps that the wines are generally fantastic, and this one is no different. This is one of those wines that makes you remember why you drink wine for the pure enjoyment of the experience.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Somm Select, ” Alluring aromas of quince, yellow apple skin, white peach, preserved lemon, citrus blossoms, and pineapple core shine through, followed by notes of crushed chalk, wet stone, hazelnut, slight cream, and delicately-woven baking spices. The medium-bodied palate is soft and elegant – near crisp in style – but with rich layers. Nervy stone mineralogy and fresh waves of acid sit in perfect harmony with a delicate core of just-ripe, and finely textured fruits.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.

Fre Chardonnay – NV

  • Basic info: Sutter Homes Winery, Fre Alcohol Removed Chardonnay, California – No Vintage
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $8 (grocery store)
  • Look: Very pale yellow with a tint of green
  • Smell: Apple juice and white grapes (Bob’s comment was that it was just hard.)
  • Taste: Soured apple juice, sour grape, maybe a little pear if I’m being generous. Very sweet finish.
  • Conclusions: I won’t say this was undrinkable, but it was pretty much not wine. If you told me it was apple juice I’d have thought it was bad. Give it to me as a glass of wine and I’m holding on to it all night and not drinking more than a sip every now and then. If you just want something sweet to drink, there are way better options. I’m not even sure I would cook with this and I certainly didn’t finish the glass.
  • Other notes: Yes, I realize this is not wine and it is almost blasphemous to post it here, but I did. I like wine. I really like wine, but I don’t always like drinking alcohol and I was looking for non-alcoholic options for when I want a glass or two, but don’t want to drink. You know, something to sip on while sitting on the couch watching whatever superhero show Bob has on. I’ve had some sparking non-alcoholic wines before that were actually pretty good – no they won’t pass for Champaign but they were perfectly enjoyable. I was really hoping to find an option in still wine that would be the same, but oh, this just was not.
  • From the bottle: (Their marketing department did a fantastic job with the bottle notes … just saying.) “The sophisticated alternative. With its deep golden hue, and lively tropical fruit flavors that waft from the glass, our alcohol-removed Chardonnay makes any occasion special. Rich, creamy apple flavors mingle with crisp citrus notes on your palate, concluding with an enjoyable tart finish.” 24% juice, <0.5% alcohol.

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Peach Cupcakes

I love peaches, especially fresh from the grove peaches. Growing up we waited for the peach harvest to start and picked up peaches by the dozen from the road side stands near the house. Fresh Jersey peaches (yes, Jersey – they really have the best peaches, sorry Georgia) just whispered “it’s summer” from the smell alone.

The first set of peaches I picked up at the farmer’s market this year were good – really good and tasted like sweet, juicy peaches should taste. The second batch I acquired were … less than wonderful and I had a hard time eating them. I thought about making a peach pie, but I hate the texture of cooked fruit (I know, weird, but I just can’t do it). I considered peach pudding and peach shortcake, but I decided to try peach cupcakes with peach buttercream. Oh my. Yeah. That was the way to go.

To make the peach puree, I peeled the peaches, cut them up, added a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of maple syrup since they were not that sweet. Blend well and there you have it – peach puree.

Cupcake Recipe:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup peach pure
  • 1/4 cup cream (or whole milk)
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until well incorporated. Add peach puree and mix, then add 1/2 flour, baking powder and the salt. Mix well then add the cream and then the rest of the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowls and mix one last time.

Divide mixture between 12 lined muffin/cupcake tins – each tin should be about 1/2 full. Bake in 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Buttercream Recipe:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature (could use a little less for stiffer buttercream)
  • 1/3 cup peach puree
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (more for stiffer buttercream)

img_20180620_112329Mix butter and peach puree with a mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and mix well to incorporate.

Cool cupcakes completely before icing. These may need to be refrigerated as the icing is a little thin. Use slightly less butter or slightly more confectioners sugar for stiffer icing, but don’t skimp on the puree – it had a fantastic flavor.

Louis Latour, Pinot Noir – 2015

  • Basic info: Louis Latour Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Cote D’Or, France – 2015
  • Type: Red
  • Price estimate: unknown
  • Look: Garnet colored that is slightly translucent at the edges. Light legs evident in the glass.
  • Smell: Raspberry and cola
  • Taste: Raspberry, black cherry, tart with a little oak. Nice acidity. Mid palate has a little candy cola flavor (think bottle caps) and some chocolate. Long finish with a black forest cake taste (chocolate and cherry).
  • Conclusions:Really good wine. Pleasantly surprised and I would have thought this was a new world pinot since the fruit is so present. It doesn’t have a lot of the earth I usually associate with French reds.
  • Other notes: This wine was a gift from a family I worked with this year. I was surprised not only that they gave me wine, but that it hit all the right notes for me.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from the website, “This Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015 has a bright ruby color. The nose reveals notes of Morello cherry, liquorice and moka. The mouth is round and supple with a delicate woody taste.”

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Sweet Potato Egg Rolls

I’ve never been a huge fan of egg rolls mainly because I’m don’t care for mushrooms. When I thought about making them, I considered trying traditional pork egg rolls, but that didn’t sound appealing either. So … sweet potato (in large part because I had a few sitting in my fridge that I need to use.

This was definitely one of those use-what-you-have fillings although I did pick up cabbage for this dish and a soba noodle dish I wanted to make later in the week. I loosely based my version on a recipe from The Real Food Academy which looked pretty simple. My amounts differ pretty far from the original recipe, and I added a few things. I do think I want to change the sauce for the filling and add a little hoisin to it next time, but for a first attempt, it was a success. Not as pretty as some, but still not bad.

One thing I really liked about this dish was the potential for lunches. Each roll was pretty self contained and that makes packing for lunch easier. If I change the filling and use something with more of a punch inside, I could get away with no dipping sauce and a room temperature (no refrigerating at work and no heating up in the communal microwave) meal. I need to work on this.

Recipe:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into match sticks
  • 1 handful snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • 2-3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup carrots (I used the matchstick carrots I had on hand, but shredded would be fine
  • 3 scallions, chopped with green and white parts separated
  • Egg roll wrappers
  • 1 knob ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • olive oil for pan and brushing
  • sesame seeds for topping (optional)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

Mix ginger, garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup and sesame oil in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Heat about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot. Add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add peas and continue cooking another two minutes. Add carrots and scallion whites and stir, then cover and cook over medium heat for about three minutes. Check the sweet potatoes and if they are mostly cooked, uncover, add cabbage and toss until wilted. If the potatoes are not cooked, continue cooking about 2 more minutes. Add sauce and stir to combine then remove from heat and add in the scallion greens.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place one wrapper on a clean surface and add about 2-3 tablespoons of the filling, making sure to drain the liquid from the filling before placing on the wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water to help seal the roll. Fold the bottom corner up over the filling, then fold each side towards the middle. Roll the wrapped portion of the egg roll towards the top and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have used all the filling (I made ten).

Brush the top of each roll with a little olive oil, then sprinkle sesame seeds on top for a little visual interest. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.

While the rolls are baking, combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce into a bowl and mix well.

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