8.22.2014

Swiss Chard, Mushroom, and Gruyere Omelette


KT and I spent last weekend in a cabin in the woods of Virginia with six other friends. The cabin had a hot tub, the weather was beautiful, and we had brought tons of food. Besides reading, partying, and playing a never-ending game of 1981 Trivial Pursuit, what we did was cook. Each couple had control of one meal during the weekend and KT and I were in charge of Sunday breakfast.

You can take breakfast in either a sweet or savory route and we chose savory; we served omelets with toast and sausages. When I lived in Louisville, the farmer's market down the street had an awesome omelet station - they served a ton of people fresh, vegetable-packed omelets really quickly - and I used it as inspiration for the omelets we made this weekend.

We made omelets to order for 8 people, which seems like it would be a lot of work, but it was simplified by preparing the ingredients beforehand. For those who don't know, laying out your ingredients this way is called mise en place, one of the basic organization techniques for chefs and something that should really extend into the rest of your life. With all the ingredients set out, all you need to do is grab a handful of each ingredient and throw it in the pan. It makes cooking up a lot of plates easy!

Just in case you aren't interested in an omelet station, I've set out a single serving version of our omelet below. Don't worry too much on exact quantities of the ingredients, omelets don't to need to be perfect.

One quick side note - to speed up the process we sauteed all the mushrooms together first and then added them to the omelets later on in the process. If you don't mind waiting a little longer per omelet for everything to cook down, then add them in when you add in your Swiss chard.


Ingredients


Single Serving 8-Person Serving
  • 4-5 champignon/button mushrooms (button mushrooms), sliced
  • 1/2 cup of Swiss chard, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, diced
  • 1-22 ounces Gruyere grated
  • 1 tbsp. of butter per omelet
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 heirloom tomato, diced
  • 1 container of champignon mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, cut into thin strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 block of Gruyere (About 8+ ounces), grated
  • 1 tbsp. of butter per omelet
  • 16 eggs (2 eggs per omelet)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • two large heirloom tomatoes, diced

Preparation

First, slice the mushrooms (about four slices a mushroom).  Wash and trim the Swiss chard and then chop it into thin strips (it cooks down quickly this way).  Place both the mushrooms and Swiss chard to the side in separate dishes. Dice your garlic and grate the Gruyere. Place the garlic and Gruyere in separate dishes along side the vegetables.

Put an 8 or 10'' omelet pan on the stove at medium heat.  Apply a tablespoon of butter or olive oil and sprinkle in some garlic and a handful of Swiss chard on top.

While this is heating up, beat two or three eggs and season with some salt and pepper.  Once you can smell the garlic and Swiss chard cooking, pour the eggs evenly into the pan.  Let sit for 30 seconds and then add the mushrooms in on top.*  Cover and let cook for about a minute to a minute and a half before sprinkling the grated Gruyere liberally on top.  Cover again and let cook for another minute.

Once the cheese melts and the egg looks set and nice and yellow, carefully (carefully!) flip the omelet in half with a spatula.  Let it cook for another 20 seconds or so then remove it from the pan. Top it the omelet with fresh, diced tomato and serve.

As you can see, I added some sausage and toast on the side, but this omelet goes great with hash browns, bacon, or really any of your other favorite breakfast staples.

8.15.2014

Baked Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese


Summer is the best!! The farmer's market is literally overflowing with amazing vegetables right now - piles of tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers - and I have the perfect recipe to help you figure out what to do with all of them. I picked this recipe up at a cooking class a few years back and during the summertime I make it regularly because it is fast, fresh, and filling without being heavy. Plus, I get in all my vegetables! All you need is a baking dish and you can have a tasty meal in a pinch. 

Serve this dish as a starter or side, or eat it as a main meal with a glass of white wine and some crusty french bread. 

Hope you are all enjoying your August! Sorry I have been so MIA lately, the summer has gotten away from me with work and some vacation thrown in there too. Here's hoping that I start to cook more regularly again!


Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchinis, cubed 
  • 1 medium red onion, cubed
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced rosemary
  • 1/2 c. minced basil
  • 1/2 c. parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of a lemon
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 oz. Gruyere, grated
  • French baguette

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Wash the vegetables and then cube the zucchinis and onions into one-inch cubes and place them in a large baking dish. Quarter the tomatoes and cut the bell peppers into sections roughly an inch or inch-and-a-half in size and add them to the dish. 

Next, mix together the salt and sugar and sprinkle it over the vegetables. Add in the olive oil and lemon juice and toss the vegetables together. Place the baking dish in the heated oven and bake for around 30 minutes. Note - everyone's ovens work a little differently, you want to cook the vegetables until they are softened and have started to brown and this may mean it takes more or less time depending on your kitchen.

After about 30 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and add in the rosemary, basil, and parsley. Toss everything together and top with chunks of goat cheese, and sprinkle with gruyere. Cook for an additional 15 minutes. 

Once the cheese has melted, remove from the oven and serve the vegetables with crusty pieces of baguette.

7.04.2014

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Happy Fourth of July!!!!)

 
Happy Fourth of July!!! Here is an ice cream recipe to impress everyone with at your next barbecue - all you need is an ice cream maker. 

Before I owned an ice cream maker I was certain that ice cream was difficult to make, that there was some secret to the process I wouldn't be able to figure out. Not true! Turns out, it is really easy to make ice cream. All you need is lots of cream, sugar, fruit, and chocolate. Yum.   

Anyways, if you are looking for a cool, sweet recipe for the summer time, here it is!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 c. sugar, divided
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 bar or dark chocolate
  • an ice cream maker

Note: Before you start making ice cream your ice cream maker bowl needs to be frozen, so place it in the freezer the night before you intend to make the recipe. I also recommend freezing the dark chocolate as well.

Preparation

Wash your strawberries and remove the green tops. Slice the strawberries and then place them in a bowl with three tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/3 c. of sugar. Leave the strawberries to macerate in the bowl for the next two to three hours. 

After three hours you can begin making the ice cream in earnest. Take a clean bowl and add in the milk and remaining 2/3 cup of sugar. Using a hand mixer, mix together the milk and sugar on low until the sugar is dissolved. Then stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. By this time the strawberries will be sitting in a significant amount of strawberry liquid. Drain the strawberry liquid into the bowl with the milk and cream and put the sliced strawberries to the side. Mix everything together by hand.

Next, start up your ice cream maker and pour the milk mixture into the ice cream maker bowl. Let the ice cream maker run for about 30 minutes. While the ice cream is churning, place your strawberries in the fridge to keep them cold. Using a knife chop the dark chocolate bar into small pieces. 

After about 30 minutes the ice cream will be truly coming together.  Add the sliced strawberries to the ice cream bowl and add in the chocolate. Let the ice cream maker run another five minutes and then turn it off and transfer the ice cream into freezer containers (I recommend pint size containers because it will help the ice cream freeze quicker). Place the ice cream in the fridge for another 2 hours to make sure it hardens or leave it overnight to make sure it freezes all the way through.

When you're ready to eat the ice cream remove it from the freezer and let sit 10-20 minutes to thaw. Serve in bowls with fresh strawberries on the side. 

6.13.2014

Garlic Scape and Fennel Frond Pesto


garlic scapes


It's always fun to try new things at the farmers market and this past weekend KT and I walked away from our Sunday trip with an alien-looking green - garlic scapes!  Garlic scapes are the blossoms on hardneck garlic plants, which are harvested before they bloom in order to direct the plant's nutrition into the roots. They have a short season - the end of May through June - so when you see them at the farmer's market you have to jump at the opportunity. 

garlic scape pesto

Last Sunday the Next Step Produce stand in Dupont was selling garlic scapes accompanied by a lovely sign recommending a garlic scape - fennel frond pesto. I'm one for food recommendations, especially from farmers, so I decided to test out the recipe. It was great!  My take on garlic scape  - fennel frond pesto is below. Note: this recipe is, unsurprisingly, pretty garlicky, so if you don't like garlic then stay away!

Garlic Scape and Fennel Frond Pesto

Ingredients
  • 6 ounces garlic scapes (about one bunch)
  • 3/4 c. walnuts
  • 3/4 c. parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 c. - 1 c. olive oil (depending on the consistency of the pesto)
  • fennel fronds from 2 fennel bulbs (the more the better, really!)
  • 1/2 tsp. - 1tsp. salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Preparation
Wash the garlic scapes and remove the bulbs. Chop the scapes into 2-3 inch pieces and place them in a food processor. Add the walnuts, parmigiano cheese, lemon juice, half of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and some black pepper to the food processor and blend the ingredients together. Add more olive oil as needed to make the pesto a smooth consistency, and add salt to taste. Once the pesto starts to come together, wash the fennel fronds and add them into the processor. Blend for a few more seconds until smooth.

Serve over pasta or on toasted bread as crostini.