Saturday, January 22, 2011

Benaddictive Breakfast


First let me send my apologies for neglecting by cooking and blogging duties. It seems that I now have things going on almost every night and weekend and like you I have found it difficult to come home from work and cook up a big meal.

I finally had a chance to get back in the kitchen and decided to visit the magical world of Crazy Plates for some culinary inspiration. I was out late Friday night with Jesse and we finally got around to a feast of a breakfast around 11 (I of course was up at 8 because sleeping in seems to be impossible).

We (Jesse) had fresh bodum coffee, home fries, eggs benedict and fruit. It wasn't quite up to Cora's standards but it was still delicious.

I had originally written a wonderful long post but for some reason my first one was deleted. I will paraphrase my original composure.

I miss you, miss cooking random things together at your house, can't wait to come visit you!!
Also keep your eyes out for an awesome twist on Jamie Oliver's classic burger. Jesse and I have this perfect idea that will blow your mind.


Benaddicted to Eggs
From Crazy Plates by Janet and Greta Podleski
8 slices Canadian bacon
4 large eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 plain yogurt
1 tbsp honey mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt and cayenne pepper

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, lightly brown bacon. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Fill a medium skillet half full of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmering. Break one egg into a small dish, then slide egg into simmering water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Simmer eggs, uncovered for 4-5 minutes, until yolks are set, but not hard.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, honey mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat just until the mixture is heated through. Do not boil. Remove from heat.

4. For each serving, place 1 toasted muffin-half on a plate. Top with 2 slices of bacon. Remove egg from water using a slotted spoon. Place egg over bacon. Pour 2 tablespoons sauce over egg. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley, if desired.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Mountain Meatballs

Dear Lovely Jess,

I believe I have already told you this, but having moved back home, I have taken over the chore of making dinner on Monday and Wednesday nights. This sounded pretty basic and fun when I agreed to it, (and it's not that I hate doing it,) but I forgot that I would not have an afternoon to plan and shop and really enjoy the process of making the food because I work until 5. This means I get home at 5:20 and who wants to wait until 8:00 to eat dinner when you have worked all day and have to get up the next morning to do it all over again? The first thing I thought of was: I can make it the night before! But then it will seem like we're eating leftovers all the time.

Thus, I have come up with a solution: Me and Jason will try some fun recipes at his house, and I can learn the process and see if it is feasible to do certain prep the night before without it seeming like we're eating leftovers the next day.

Last nights mission: Mountain Meatballs from Jamie's America. This turned out so well and was really fun to make! (In fact, when I opened the book today to write the recipe for you, I got a huge whiff of the deliciousness from the night before. I love it when your cookbook keeps the smell of the recipe for a while.) I decided I will also make this on Wednesday next week, as I can easily prep the meatballs (to bake when I get home) as well as chop everything for the sauce. I think I will then be able to have it all done and fresh in 35 minutes or less!

Mountain Meatballs
From Jamie's America, Page 308
(serves 8)
olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and diced
2 1/2 lbs good-quality ground meat
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 handfuls of bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Cheddar Cheese (we used white cheddar)

For the chile sauce:
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
2 red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 to 2 fresh red chiles, seeded and minced, to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
heaping 1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup molasses or dark brown sugar
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 2/3 cups hot coffee
3 plum tomatoes, quartered
small bunch of fresh parsley

Preheat your oven to full whack. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Add the 2 diced onions and fry for 10 minutes or until softened, then remove from the heat and let cool completely. Put your ground meat into a bowl with the mustard, oregano, cumin, coriander, bread crumbs, eggs, a good pinch of salt and pepper, and the cooled onions. Use clean hands to really scrunch it all together well, then divide the mixture into 8 patties. (We got 12 out of it)

Pick each patty up, one at a time, and roll into a baseball-sized ball. Stick your thumb deep into the ball to make a pocket, then stuff in a good pinch of grated cheese. Cup, pack, and pat the meat around the cheese, using your hands to mold it back into a ball. You'll soon get the hang of it. Place the balls in a large oiled Dutch oven or roasting pan, drizzle over a good lug of olive oil, then bang into the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and sizzling.

Meanwhile, crack on with your chile sauce. Use paper towels to wipe out the pan you cooked your onions in, and put it back on medium heat with a few lugs of olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, fresh chiles, and paprika and fry gently for about 15 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar, molasses or sugar, mustard, coffee, and tomatoes, and bring everything to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. It should be thick and delicious, but if you'd like it a bit thicker, just turn the heat up and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove the cooked meatballs from the oven when they're ready and spoon away as much of the fat from the pan as you can. Pour your chile sauce over the top, and return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes. Finely chop your parsley, sprinkle over, and serve the a spoonful of rice or mashed potatoes and a lemony green salad.

We found you didn't need anything (rice or potatoes) on the side. They are pretty perfect by themselves. One warning for you, if you chose to embark on this recipe: be careful when you add your hot peppers to your sauce! Jason and I started hacking and coughing because we forgot that the vapour from the peppers tickles your throat. We were coughing, laughing and had some tears, but it was all worth it in the end.

I love you,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Love

Dear Jess,

Firstly: I MISS YOU. Terribly. The worst actually! How are you? How was your New Years? How was Christmas? How is your apartment? We need to go on a date!

Christmas this year was different than any other. Bill came home from California. He was super bummed because he hasn't had a real winter in over a year, and he was met with a blizzard. We also toned it down with gifts. There were no stockings, and we all got each other a small gift. It was actually quite lovely.

Food-wise it was spectacular. I ended up trying the 'egg-muffin-breakfast-things'. I saw them in a magazine somewhere a long time ago... so I am sorry to say I cannot give you a reference. I found them a little difficult to get out of the pan, because the bacon and egg would stick on the pan. I believe this could be fixed by using smaller eggs, and possibly a bigger muffin tray. I really like this idea because you can keep it basic (as shown here) or dress it up (adding a basil leaf, cheese, herbs etc.)


Breakfast Muffin Things
So, all you need for the breakfast muffins is: Bread, eggs, bacon. You grease your muffin tray (even on the top of it!) Cut your bread in half and place half in the cup of the tray. Cut your remaining half in half again and place them in the empty spaces of your breaded cup. Place half a strip of bacon in the breaded cup (be careful that it doesn't touch the tray... it sticks really badly) and then crack your egg into the cup. I baked for 30 minutes at 300. As long as the egg is set you're good to go! Then pop them out and serve! My Gramma says that each cup is worth 3 weight-watcher points each. So they're no too bad!

Instead of turkey this year, we decided to try something new (of course.) My mom picked up some (prestuffed) Cornish Hens! If you can get past them looking like baby turkeys, they're extremely delicious! You buy them frozen and cook them for an hour!

Stuffed Cornish Hen, Caesar Salad, Garden Squash, Carrots and Broccoli

From left: Mom, Bill, Jim, Me, Cory, Mel, Uncle Chris, Aunt Marg
For Dessert we did another treat. Mom and I made Baked Apples wrapped in phylo pastry with a Whiskey Sauce! I don't have the recipe because it was one my Mom just pulled off the internet, but there are so many good recipes if you Google 'Baked Apple Recipe'.

Baked Apple

Anyways, I love you and miss you (as always.) I hope work is going well and not too stressful. I am starting work with my Dad on Monday, so keep that in your prayers if you can. You know how I feel about routine!

Kristy is well into wedding planning. There is a bridal show coming up on a weekend in January if you are interested! It's only $10 for the whole weekend! Let me know.

I love you,