Category Archives: Eggs, Cheese, Dairy

Late night farmer’s market supper

corn scambleAfter a long  hot day making jam and then selling jam at the farmers market; shopping and making dinner for my family seemed a daunting task. One of my favorite things is gathering my little family together to cook and enjoy an evening meal, watch a little TV (way too much Food Network) and wind down from our day. Tonight however, I was just exhausted so when the texts came in that everyone was going their own way and I was on my own for dinner, I was not sad.

So what does an over tired woman who has cooked most of the day already make for dinner? I put on my pajamas embarrassingly early and went hunting and gathering in the fridge. One cooked ear of corn leftover from last night’s dinner, a fresh box of farm eggs, some local mild goat cheese; yes that looked like it could be supper. I scrambled the eggs with a little milk, melted butter in a small pan and sautéed the corn for a minute then dumped in the eggs and some crumbled goat cheese. Too lazy to make a pretty omelet, I just swirled the egg around until it was softly set and poured it out on a plate. I remembered that I had bought a baguette at the farmers market so I sliced up a bit of bread to go with my buttery eggs and sat down to a simple, quiet meal. Contented sigh…

Passover Preview-Egg Platter

Passover Egg PlatterWith Passover coming early, I thought I would try out a few recipes in advance. This one is not so much a recipe as an idea. It was inspired by a several pretty creations I saw on the Internet.

Make any Passover friendly recipe for deviled eggs (I added a bit of horseradish to mine) and then arrange them with green onions, watercress, dill, and radishes to form flowers and buds. What a lovely dish this would make for a Passover (or Easter) brunch!

Pizza Party

PizzaTake one simple, no-fat pizza dough (recipe below)and invite guests to top it with all kinds of tasty foods and you have a great DIY pizza party.  Make up a batch or two of dough and lay out familar toppings such as tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella for the traditionalists.  Now for the really fun part-scout your fridge and pantry for interesting sauces, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, condiments, preserves, dried fruits,  etc.  and lay them out for guests to mix and match.

Assign each person a small rectangle of dough (you can fit about three on a typical cookie sheet) and stand back.  Watch adults giggle at the crazy combinations they are making while normally picky kids become foodies fussing over creative culinary creations. Have the oven very hot (450 degrees) and ready for the pizza masterpieces.  The pizza will need to bake for only about 15 minutes and is done when the crust is brown at the edges and lightly brown underneath.

Some of our pizza party topping favorites have included Thai peanut sauce, barbeque sauce, pesto, cocktail sauce mixed into tomato sauce, duck sauce, olives, capers, cashews, smoked salmon, fig jam,  speck or bacon, hoisin, roasted chicken. Some toppings are great layered on the pizza before it goes in the oven while others such as truffle oil or microgreens are best added after baking.

The pizza pictured above is topped with our Doves and Figs Falling Leaves jam (apple, fig, and cranberry), shaved piave cheese, speck, and thin sliced Meyer lemons.

Dough Recipe
3 cups All-purpose flour+additional for kneeding
½ cup low salt vegetable broth (warm not hot)
½  cup warm water
1 pkgs dry rapid rise yeast
1 tsp sugar
non-stick spray

In a mixer or large bowl mix water, broth, yeast, and sugar
Mix together until yeast disolves
Add 2 cups of flour and stir or mix together to form a soft dough
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and kneed in about one more cup of flour and continue kneeding until dough is no longer sticky but is still soft.
Form the dough into a ball
Coat a large, clean bowl with non-stick spray
Roll the dough in the bowl to coat and cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise.
Allow dough to rise to about double in size
Divide dough into three pieces
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and press the dough into rectangles on the cookie sheet.  Pulling and patting the dough to shape it.
Top as desired and bake for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

To Julia Child-Homage avec Fromage

My love for Julia Child goes back to watching The French Chef as a little girl withgalette au fromage my Dad.  We learned and laughed together.   Dad is not one to strictly follow recipes (or directions-just ask my Mom) but rather I watched him gather ideas from this and other cooking shows and make them his own.  It is the way I cook today.  Mostly I look to cookbooks for ideas or techniques and Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking is a lifetime companion for me in the kitchen.
With the celebration this week of what would have been Ms. Child’s one hundredth birthday, there are so many people posting dishes and meals they are creating from or inspired by her works.  While the elaborate, multi-step recipes are the ones getting the most attention (and I have made my share of those), it is the simple recipes that I like the best.  Galettes Au Fromage from Volume One of the Art of French Cooking is simple enough to prepare with children for a fun snack but can also be served elegant nibble for your next cocktail party.  Julia even notes that this recipe is a good way to use of leftover cheese and since I often freeze little bits of cheese that is a bonus.
I made my Galettes Au Fromage with a mix of cheddar, swiss, and parmesan and shaped then into little hearts instead of the round shapes detailed in the recipe. (Tuck this idea away for Valentines Day!) I served them with some homemade fig, apple, cranberry spread which matched well with the salt and crunch of the biscuits. Bon Appetit!

Clean House, Sloppy Supper

lamb and noodlesI ambled down the isles of Whole Foods this evening in a clueless, hungry dither.  Hours and hours of spring cleaning can wear a woman out no matter how joyful she might be about the carefully stowed away wool sweaters or a magnificently organized linen closet. Random supper ideas flew through my brain; fish, pizza, maybe a salad.  I sampled some cheese and said hello to the charming cheese guy, which reminded me that I had homemade ricotta cheese in my fridge.  I headed to the pasta section and picked up some egg noodles and thought a kugel might be nice. As I passed the meat counter I noticed that they were selling ground lamb from a local farm and suddenly, a lamb burger or lamb sloppy joe sounded good.  Into my shopping basket went the lamb.  Warming to the sloppy joe idea, I grabbed a can of fire roasted tomatoes.  I finally found my way out of the store and once home I unpacked my purchases.
I sliced some onion and cooked it in olive oil with a bit of chopped garlic and added the lamb.  When the lamb was nicely browned, I poured in a bit of dry white wine and then added the canned tomatoes and a sprig of fresh rosemary and a little salt, pepper, and oregano. The mixture smelled delicious but I realized that I had not picked up buns for my sloppy joes.  I had ended up buying the egg noodles despite discarding the kugel idea so I quickly boiled some water and cooked the noodles until tender.  I spooned the lamb mixture over the noodles and then decided I would top the messy dish with the homemade cheese.
The resulting dish was so tasty that I would happily make it again (next time on purpose).  Now that my family is well fed, I am thinking about what room to tackle tomorrow, or perhaps we should get to that yard work…

Cheddar, Fig, & Onion Matzo Brei

cheddar fig onion matzo breiPassover is almost here and one of my favorite dishes is not served at the seder.  Usually the morning after the big family gathering or  on the weekend during Passover we always make Matzo Brei.  It is the French Toast (sha don’t even mention bread during the holiday) of Passover.  A simple dish of matzo and eggs which is usually served with a little sugar or jam on top.  While I love the classic version, I thought it would be fun to mix a family favorite breakfast, cheesy scramble, with matzo brei.  I topped it off with a dollop of fig spread which is wonderful on sweet or savory dishes.  I don’t keep a Kosher kitchen but for those that do these is a fabulous Kosher for Passover sharp cheddar from Cabot that would be great in this recipe (I used the regular sharp cheddar for this version).

4 matzos
5  large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons butter
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded finely)
1 small onion sliced thin
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons fig preserves

Heat a large skillet and add butter.  When the butter is just starting to sizzle add onions.  Cook onions to tender and translucent but not brown. Beat the eggs and milk in a large shallow bowl. Break up the matzo into pieces and place in a colandar.  Wet the matzo briefly with warm water but do not soak and allow water to drain.  Carefully transfer the matzo to the egg mixture and allow to stand for a few minutes until some of the egg is absorbed by the matzo.  Toss in the cheese and add salt & pepper.  Pour the matzo mixture over the onions and cook on medium, stirring the mixture until the eggs set and bits get lightly browned.  Serve immediately topped with fig jam.

 

 

No-Bake Jam Jar Cheesecake

fat-free cheesecake in a jarFor holidays and celebrations, I love spending a day baking, filling and frosting cakes; whipping egg whites into fluffy meringue; crafting fancy cookies but sometimes you need a light and easy treat to share.  This jam layered no-bake fat-free cheesecake is simple to make and travels well.  Perfect for pot-luck suppers or community events.

1 8 oz package fat-free cream cheese
2 cups fat-free Greek style yogurt
1/2 cup reduced fat Graham cracker crumbs
2 teaspoons honey
2-3 teaspoons apple cider (or apple juice)
several flavors of jams or preserves
4 8 oz canning (mason)  jars and lids

Blend an 8 oz package of fat-free cream cheese with 2 cups of fat-free Greek-style yogurt.  Add 2 teaspoons of raw honey and a pinch of cinnamon to the yogurt mixture.  Mix  Graham cracker crumbs with a few teaspoons of apple cider.
Layer the Graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of each jar.  Add a layer of the cheesecake mixture and then a layer of jam.  Add another layer of cheesecake mixture and jam.  Cover jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cheesy but not cheesy SuperBowl Snack

evil apple nachosWith our beloved Patriots going to battle in the Super Bowl this weekend, the supermarket was filled with every kind of junk food you could dream up (and a few that tested the limits of imagination).  No I will not be buying  pretend cheese food glop to slather over my pizza flavored chips.  I love football and I love snacks but I want to nibble on something delicious while I cheer on the home team.

I tasted some Food Should Taste Good chips at Whole Foods and they were great.  I brought home a bag of their Sweet Potato chips which had much less salt and fat than my usual choice of chip and I had a plan.  When I got home I grated some sharp Cabot cheddar and opened a jar of Evil Apple (my spicy apple & chipotle conserve).  I sprinkled the chips with cheese and melted it in the oven.  I spread the Evil Apple over the cheese and with very little effort had a great game day snack that was healthy, local and full of flavor.  Go Pats!

Biscuit, Egg, Cheese, and Lamb?

I have to admit that I sometimes I crave awful drive-through breakfast food.  If you need to stop reading my blog or unfriend me on Facebook after this revelation, I will understand.  This morning, over tired and stressed; the greasy, salty siren song of the McSomething called to me as I drove to a meeting.  Somehow I was able to resist and tonight I rewarded myself with a slow food biscuit, egg, cheese, and sausage late night supper.

I tossed together some cheddar biscuits (similar recipe to the corn biscuits here, but without corn and with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar) and while they were baking, I found the frozen lamb and apple sausage patties I had saved from my Lamb ProAm supper.  I browned the sausage nicely in a hot pan and put it aside while I soft scrambled a Golden Egg Farm egg.  I took a hot biscuit right from the oven and piled on my lamb sausage and topped it with egg and arranged it on a pretty plate.

The Egg, Cheese, Lamb Biscuit was a delicious treat and I didn’t even miss at all the experience of peeling stuck cheese from the paper wrapper or dropping chunks of egg in my lap as I swerved to avoid a maniac driver on Route 3.

Semolina Bread Pudding with Cheddar and Garlic Scapes

garlic scape bread puddingGarlic scapes are an early spring treat at farm stands and the farmers markets.  The fresh and sweet garlic flavor works well in stir fried dishes, the scapes can be pickled, and are an excellent complement to egg dishes such as quiche or this cheddar and garlic scape bread pudding.  I have made it with sourdough bread but I like it best with a flavorful semolina bread.  If you see the curvy green scapes at the market grab some now as they will be gone in a few weeks.

Semolina Bread Pudding with Cheddar and Garlic Scapes
1 Semolina Loaf cut in 3/4″ cubes and left to dry overnight
3 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
1 pint 1/2 and 1/2
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 TBS butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3-4 garlic scapes (snipped into 1/2″ pieces excluding the bulb part to make 1/4 cup and reserve one scape for garnish)
3-4 sage leaves cut into small pieces
1 spring fresh rosemary-leaves chopped into small bits to make 1 teaspoon

Set the oven to 350 (baking time about 60 minutes)
Butter a 3 quart casserole dish well
Whisk together eggs and 1/2 and 1/2 and milk
Add chopped scapes and herbs
Add bread cubes and let stand for 15 minutes
Stir in crumbled cheddar cheese
Pour into the buttered baking dish
Dot with about 1 tablespoon of butter in small chunks
Bake for about 25-30 minutes and then press the cubes of bread down gently into the casserole
and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes