Breakfast

Creamy grit bowls with roasted broccoli, poached eggs, & dill

.

I'm not sure why I went into the fog. There was something beautiful about the way it creeped. The way it crawled. A slow moving breath that had a thousand floating legs. As if someone was controlling the fog on a silent crank. It dipped down and up the hills of the farm, a caress between the fog and the ground. It was alluring. I could hear voices coming out of it. At first they were whispers. Sweet whispers. They made me remember a time long ago. It crept closer and I could no longer see the pines in the distance. I knew I should go back home, I had things to do. My legs didn't move as fast as they did years ago. A frost was setting in and the grass crunched beneath my feet. The fog gained on me, I could feel its tickle on my skin. 

"Bill! Where are you? Bill?"

He liked to spend a few moments alone on the bench by the lake the mornings, he was such a quiet man. I love that about him. A quite confidence. I didn't like to be without him for long. Years back we abandoned our individuals.

"Bill!"

The fog was thick around me now. It was a blanket; dense, soft, and familiar. I needed to make the cake. We had the kids coming over later for dinner, it was Bill's birthday. Chocolate birthday cake, it was tradition. Bill and I would eat the leftover cake with coffee over the next several mornings, I was looking forward to this. Our kids always declined to take leftover cake with them because they know our sugary secret. When they were children, it was all we could do to prevent them from finishing the cake in one night.

The fog was so thick now it was dizzying. I was lost in a cloud. I sat down on the grass to stop my head from spinning. I was still thinking of birthday traditions. The children... oh how they loved that cake too. I needed to get them to sign the birthday card for Dad. They would scribble in their names and cover the envelope with hearts and XOs. Each of them would have something small they made out of the craft box at home and, beaming, would give it to their Dad. I really needed to get back, the children had been alone for too long! Why did I wander so far?

"Bill!" I yelled. "Bill, where are you?"

The fog started to clear. The pines in the distance reappeared. I stood up and started in the direction of home.

"Bill!"

The fog was thinning quickly, just as quick as it came. I could see a man walking towards me in the distance, wisps of fog making his figure fade in an out. Oh how silly of me. I remembered that the kids weren't young anymore, they were grown. I had no card for them to sign, there would be no crafted gifts. Sometimes I forget.

"BIll! There you are! I need to make the cake."

The last bits of the fog passed away and I reached the man. It was not Bill.

"Mom, I'm not Bill. Bill isn't here anymore remember? Maybe you shouldn't take walks too far away from home anymore. I could hear you shouting for Bill. Are you OK?"

"Oh yes honey, I'm OK, it was the fog... I got confused."

"It is alright Mom, lets go back. We have some Chocolate cake inside."

foogy 1.JPG
foggy 2.JPG


Recipe (serves 2)

Grits - 1/2 cup (on the generous side)

Cream - 1/4 cup (on the generous side)

Water - 1 and 3/4 cup

Broccoli - 1 head, chopped off the stalk into smaller pieces

Scallions - 1/2 a bunch, slivered

Garlic - 2 Cloves, minced

Dill - 2TB, fresh, minced

Eggs - 2

Lemon juice - juice of 1 lemon

Olive oil - 2TB

Apple cider vinegar - 1TB

Salt/pepper - to taste

Lemon zest, extra dill, extra scallions - to top (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take two eggs out of the fridge and let them rest on the counter. Chop & prep all veggies.  Toss together the broccoli, garlic, scallions, fresh dill, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt/pepper. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minuets, flipping half way through. Meanwhile, place the grits, water, cream, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan, covered, over low heat. Let it slowly simmer until cooked about 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally. After it is cooked, season with fresh black pepper.  

About 10 mins before the grits are done, put about 2 inches of water in a deep skillet with the apple cider vinegar, and heat over medium until it starts simmering. Lower the temperature just a bit to keep the water at a low simmer. Crack one egg into a small bowl or ramekin. Gently slip the egg out of the ramekin into the skillet of simmering water and cook for 5 minuets, so all the whites are set but the yolks runny. Meanwhile distribute the grits between two serving bowls and top with broccoli mixture. Remove cooked egg with a slotted spoon and place over the bowl of grits & broccoli. Repeat with the second egg. Top the bowls with lemon zest, more dill & scallions if desired. 

2.jpg

Goat cheese & rosemary muffins with a honey drizzle

Fall time. 

2.jpg

I always have the urge to bake when those leaves start crisping up and the sweaters come out. There is something about the ambiance of being cozied up on the couch with a good book on the weekends and watching the wind blow free yellow tulip poplar leaves as they travel, glide, and then graciously come to rest among their fellow brothers on the earth. After some moments of watching I place my socked feet on the hardwood and wander to the kitchen to poke around at the little bits of this and that. Opening the fridge a few times and checking the inventory of the dry goods cabinet, I allow my mind to stroll into the land of sugar and pastry and to warm sugary breath against cool air. I might stall, place the kettle on to make tea, but by the time the water is hot I already know that I am sucked in and that I am baking. The first time I had a muffin with one of my favorite combinations (goat cheese & rosemary) was at the bakery I use to work here in Charlottesville. It was a fall special we did occasionally. I only had this muffin there once... and I think about it with frequent adoration. The muffin at mudhouse is quite different than this one... at the bakery it was sour cream batter based and the rosemary was infused... giving it a stronger, earthier taste. This one is a recipe to be made on the spot and one that is good for using up any extra yogurt you have on hand. These muffins are mildly sweet and balanced so nicely with the savoriness of the goat cheese and rosemary. You must try it next time the cold brushes your skin.

1.jpg

Recipe (Makes 12 medium muffins) 

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups

Spelt or whole grain flour - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 1/2 cup

Butter - 4TB at room temperature

Eggs - 2

Yogurt - 1 1/4cup

Milk - A splash (optional)

Rosemary Powder - 1/2tsp

Fresh Rosemary - 1 TB generous, minced 

Goat cheese - 1/3 cup, crumbled

Honey - 1-2TB

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Baking soda - 1/2 tsp

Salt - 1/2 tsp, scant

Crumble topping

Oats - 1/2 cup, generous

Sugar - 1 TB

Flour - 1 TB

Flaxseed - 1-2TB, ground up

Coconut oil - 2Tb, melted

4.jpg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a muffin pan. Add in your butter and sugar together in a mixer and cream together 5 minutes, scraping halfway through, until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix together your flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the two different rosemaries. After the butter/sugar is creamed, add in the eggs one at a time while beating on medium low, scraping in between. Then add in your yogurt and stir until combined. Add in the flour and blend on low until just combined, you do not want to over-mix, as it develops the gluten/toughens your pastry. (If your batter seems just a little too thick, add in your splash of milk here and mix together, if not, then omit.) Then add in the goat cheese and drizzle over the honey, stir by hand until distributed... the streaks of honey are ok! 

Place your oats into a blender or food processor and pulse a few times to get a coarse oat flour. Toss these oats with the sugar, ground flaxseed, and flour. Then pour over the melted coconut oil and combine. You should be able to pinch it together into moist crumbles. Distribute the muffin batter evenly into the 12 spaces and then evenly distribute over the topping. Lightly tap the topping into the muffin batter with your fingertips to secure. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until completely cooked and slightly golden. 

5.jpg

Figgy baked oatmeal with peaches, anise, poppy seeds, & flax.

Peachy.

8.jpg

My Dad called me peachy as a child, it was his favorite nick name. Occasionally he will still call me peachy, especially if I am doing something a little childish. The other night I called my Dad and felt like I was making the phone call under peachy's alias. I was calling about my foot. A minor injury I've had in my foot for a good portion of the summer finally screamed "I've had enough" and burst into flames across my metatarsal and toes. My foot is so sensitive, swollen, and inflamed it makes it very difficult to walk, stand, or bend. I've been trying to hit it hard with some anti-inflammatory herbs and rest but it was so painful that night I called my Dad. I needed to tap into his bit of medical knowledge. I was ranting about my unrealistic concerns and spouting that my foot needed amputation or that I had a flesh-eating bacteria in my pain-induced delusion. I wanted him to say that it was ok to go to the ER but, in reality, I needed someone to talk peachy out of going to the ER... which my Dad did of course. I came back to myself, calmed down, took some medicine, complained to Ty, and went to sleep... the next day I still had my foot. Thanks for Dads and for nicknames like peachy. Thanks for peachy and figgy baked oatmeal. I'm still unable to stand/walk very much so I haven't been able to do much cooking but I made this baked oatmeal this morning and my foot is glad that I did. 

1.jpg

Recipe (Serves 4 large portions or 6 small - also keeps in the fridge well) 

Figs - 2 cups, fresh, cut into a mix of quarters/halves

Peaches - 2 fresh, pitted, pealed, and sliced

Oatmeal - 2 cups rolled oats 

Flax seed - 1/4 cup, ground in a processor or coffee grinder

Almonds - 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Poppy seeds - 2-3TB

Anise extract - 1/2 tsp

Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Cinnamon stick - 1 stick (or 1tsp ground) 

Nutmeg - 1/4tsp

Sugar - 1-2TB

Butter - 4TB (2TB of it melted)

Egg - 1

Milk or milk alternative - 2 cups

Honey - 1/8 cup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and use 1/2 a TB of butter to butter a casserole dish capable of holding at least 6 cups. Melt 1.5TB of butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Once the butter is melted add in figs and peaches, caramelize for 6-8 minutes. Pour in the anise extract, stir, and turn off the heat.  Pour the fruit into the bottom of the buttered casserole dish. If using, break the cinnamon stick in half and tuck into the fruit. (If you are using the ground cinnamon save it to add in with the dried ingredients.) Toss together the oats, almonds, poppy seeds, ground flax, sugar, and nutmeg (and ground cinnamon, is using). Distribute the oat mixture over the fruit evenly. Whisk together the milk, egg, honey, melted butter, and vanilla extract together. Pour the milk mixture over the  oats/fruit evenly, trying to moisten all the oats. Place in the oven an bake for 40-45 minutes or until the oats are set and it is slightly golden. Serve warm and drizzled with a little extra melted butter, honey, or milk if desired. 

5.jpg

Baby artichoke & new potato breakfast hash

The Sun.

3.jpg

Walking home from the dog park yesterday evening the air was so warm and dense on my skin. The day in Denver had been very hot, hot and dry. There were pillows of dandelion fluff rippling along the sidewalk. I've never seen dandelion gather and blanket the ground so thickly before. Little tuffs of the dandelion were floating around, I like to call them fairies. The sun was so low on the horizon that the fairies were illuminated as they bumped along in a sea of orange sun rays. The warmth felt so good, so peaceful on my mind, I closed my eyes to the bright sun rays ahead and kept walking. I allowed my skin to see for me, my eyes remained closed. My whole body soaked up the sun in sweet, warm kisses and the sun's brightness could still be seen through my closed eyelids. It felt like how it would feel to be walking into the sun. I floated along like one of the dandelion fairies. 

A poached egg, with its sunny yolk spilling out and touching everything in this dish; it is that low-horizon sun. 

1.jpg

Recipe (serves two generously) 

New potatoes - (about 1/2 lb)  rinsed/slightly scrubbed and then quartered

Baby Artichokes - I used 7 but feel free to use a few less, trimmed and quartered

Lemon - 2 lemons

Parsley - 3-4TB chopped (fresh)

Garlic - 3 cloves, minced

Olive oil - about 4TB

Salt/pepper - to taste

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

Trim your artichokes (Removing the hard outer petals until you reach the softer, paler inside ones - baby artichokes have less to remove and you don't have to trim out the hairy choke (since there is none on the babies, yay!) . Also trim off the top and bottom of the artichoke. If using larger artichokes there will be more to trim and also trim out the hairy, internal choke) then quarter the hearts. Bring a medium pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil, add in your potatoes. Let it low boil for about 5 minutes and then strain.

Add in 2TB of olive oil to a large skillet and turn on medium heat. Add in your minced garlic, let it cook for 1 minute and then add in your potatoes. Let it sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are almost cook and start to brown a bit. Add in your artichoke hearts. Keep sautéing for several more minutes until the artichokes begin to soften.  Add in a bit more olive oil if needed. Once the artichokes are cooked, squeeze in the juice of one and a half lemons and then add in the parsley. Cook for another minute and then season with salt/pepper. Divide the mixture between two plates and cover them to keep it warm until the poached eggs are ready (saving any oil left over in the pan and then add in your last 2TB of olive oil into the pan and set aside for later).

While the mixture is sautéing make your poached eggs. (Tip a cracked egg into about 3-4 inches of slightly simmering water (mixed with 1TB apple cider vinegar) and then use a wooden spoon to gently swirl the water towards the egg in order to keep the whites as close together as possible. Let it simmer for about 4 minutes and remove with a large slotted spoon, let the water drain. Top each hash portion with a poached egg. Place your egg yolk into a small mixing bowl and add in your last half of lemon juice, whisk together. Pour out and discard slightly less than half of your egg yolk/lemon mixture. Slowly, very slowly, drizzle in the oil from your pan (its ok if there are little garlic or herb bits in it) while whisking until the aioli slightly thickens up. Add a pinch of salt if needed, but it should been seasoned from the leftovers in the pan. Drizzle the aioli over the two dishes. Top with more parsley and cracked pepper if desired. Eat in the sun. 

 

 

 

2.jpg

Sautéed ramps & lemon greens over parmesan hominy

Goodbye Charlottesville, hello Denver.

1.jpg

This past week has been a beginning and an end, of sorts, for us. We were all set to leave Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday and head to Charlotte, NC to visit family before our move out to Denver, CO. I made my rounds of goodbyes in between packing, planning, cleaning, and daydreaming. There are people here in Charlottesville, as there have been people my whole life, who have been either friends, mentors, companions, acquaintances, neighbors, coworkers, and some people have been all of these things and more without knowing it. I need to say thank you to so many of you for opening doors to me, welcoming me with knowledge and friendship; especially at Sacred Plant Traditions, The Center for Historic Plants, and at Mudhouse.

There are several small moments which summarize the magic and love of Charlottesville. You know those little moments where a view, or a voice, or a place, a sound will make your head go tinglely and your whole body will flush with a golden warmness? Charlottesville gave me a number of those. There was a certain bend in the road while driving out to the farm we lived on that was sunken into the earth a bit. This road twisted through a thicket of beech and maple trees, their branches arching over the road to hold hands with their fellow trees on the other side. At nighttime you slowed down a great deal just to see the same clever fox bounding behind the trees and turning back to peer at you with his glowing eyes. There was a moment of unmentioned excitement as I would turn left onto the gravel road that bumped through the property I called home. My dogs would jump up and press their noses to the glass and watch, holding their pants, for any bunnies who have been out nibbling in the fields. The bunnies would twitch their ears in our direction and dart off into the thicker grasses at the sound of the slow, groaning, note of gravel on tires.

Another was the open view of the gently rolling mountains all cloaked in green after circling past the tiny, Charlottesville airport on the way to Chris Green Lake park. Or the way the mountains amused me in the winter after they shed their leaves and looked like the rumps of fuzzy sleeping animals on the horizon. Or the sweet, earthy, mixed smell of hay, blooming flowers, and rotting leaves at the Center for Historic Plants where I interned. Pure little moments that flood into gold before your eyes, like some lost form of alchemy. Many of these moments for me, are in my kitchen. Especially in the morning time when the air is still crisp and the world still. This little meal is an elegant thing and one of the last things I made before we left Charlottesville. There definitely is a moment of gold when you bite into it, you'll be scrapping your fork against the plate to get up any golden nuggets left behind.

3.jpg
ingredients 1.JPG

Recipe (Serves 2)

Ramps - a small handful

Arugula - a small handfull

Hominy - 1/2 cup (ground hominy) 

Parmesan - generous 1/4cup grated

 

Garlic - 3 cloves, minced.

Lemon - Juice of 1 lemon and a few curls of zest to top

Olive oil - 2TB

Goat Cheese - a few crumbled of soft goat cheese to top

Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse and drain the ramps. Bring 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt in a small pot up to simmer. Once simmering add in your hominy and turn on low. Let it simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes until cooked. After it is cooked add in your parmesan and stir to let it melt. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop out the hominy onto a serving dish.

Meanwhile, trim the root ends off the ramps and clean/trim them up if necessary. Mince up the garlic. In a medium skillet add in the olive oil on medium, medium-low heat. Add in your garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Toss in your ramps and gently sauté for about 2 minutes and then toss in the handful of arugula. Let it cook for another minute and squeeze in the lemon juice. Turn off the heat and season with salt and generously with fresh pepper. Arrange the ramp and greens mixture on to of the hominy and top with a few crumbles of goat cheese and some lemon zest. Serve warm. 

 

 

 

 

 

2.jpg

Carrot, mango smoothie

.

3.jpg

I am so happy that it is warm. I'ma celebrate with a smoothie.

1.jpg

Recipe (Makes one finnnnne smoothie)

arrots - 3 big, whole, chunky ones. 

Mango - 1, peeled and then sliced off the pit

Yogurt - 1/4 cup, Greek or whole milke

Honey - 1tsp, generous

Almond milk (or other) - about 2/3 cups

Ice cubes - a few or a small handfull

2.jpg

un the carrots through a juicer. Add the carrot juice, mango, yogurt, honey, almond milk, and ice cubes to a blender. Blend until smooth. Admire that beautiful color. Drink. Mmm so smooth, so good. 

5.jpg

Lemon-butter haricot verts over hominy with a poached egg.

.

hominy & verts 1.jpg

This dish comes together so beautifully that it looks like a dish that would be served at a cozy, upscale cafe. You know the ones you pass by while walking on the sidewalk of a popular city street. You peer through the big, open windows at the beautifully arranged tables and see plates of delicate meals being served to wide-eyed faces thinking you wouldn't ever be able to make that at home. Little surprise is that you can. It is lovely to go out and be served with inspiring creations and share laughs with friends but sometimes its just as sweet to surprise yourself at home. 

I love those delicate little french beans known as haricot verts. They have a sweeter flavor for green beans and seem less "stringy" to me. Usually they are cooked and served as a nice side to a meal but in this recipe they shine as the star. The "meat" of the dish, if you will. Hominy is corn grits, you can certainly use other types of grits or polenta but hominy, if you can find it, does great here. Hominy cooks up much creamier and smoother, without adding anything else to it. This is because the hominy (type of corn kernel) is soaked to remove the hard casting (that thing that gets stuck in your teeth while eating popcorn), it is then dried and ground. Its a nice contrast to the lemon juice and white wine vinegar flavors in the haricot verts. Then, of course, butter. Well I'm sure I don't have to convince you of how tasty butter makes this. 

hominy and verts 11.jpg

Recipe (Serves two brunch portions)

Eggs - 2

Haricot verts - About 1/2lb fresh, rinsed (you can either snap then ends or not - I don't)

Ground hominy - 1/4 cup

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Lemon - Juice of 1 lemon

Butter - 3.5Tb

White wine vinegar - 2tsp about

Apple cider vinegar - a splash or a generous capful

Salt/pepper - to taste, I used a generous amount of fresh black pepper

Heat a medium pot of water 2/3 full up to boil. Get a large bowl ready filled half way with cold water/ice and then place a colander in your sink. Add 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Once the water in the small saucepan is simmering add in your hominy and turn on low, stirring occasionally until cooked (about 15 minutes). Once the hominy is cooked add in about 1.5TB of butter and season with salt/pepper to taste. While things are heating mince up your garlic. Once the medium pot of water is boiling add in your haricot verts. Let them low boil for 3 minutes. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and place in your bowl of ice water (keep the pot of water from your beans for your poached eggs).  Let the beans sit in the ice water for a minute until cool and then drain in the colander. Keep the water at a low boil and add in a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Melt the remaining 2TB of butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add in the white wine vinegar and lemon juice, stir. Then add in the beans and sauté for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Get out two plates and divide the hominy between the two and then the beans, pressing the beans into the hominy slightly.

hominy and verts 10.jpg

Get out a wooden spoon and have it ready, its time to poach your eggs. Crack an egg into a little ramekin or small bowl and slightly tilt it into the gently boiling water. Take the spoon and gently move the water around the egg towards the center of the egg with little "paddling" motions to keep the egg together. Let the water get back up to a low boil, not any hotter. Keep and eye on the time and remove the egg with a slotted spoon after about 3-4 minutes if you want mostly runny yolk. Keep the egg in longer if not. Place the egg on top of hominy/beans and drizzle with any sauce leftover from the bean skillet and sprinkle with more pepper. Repeat with the second egg and enjoy! 

hominy & verts 2.jpg

Banana, cherry, almond, walnut, & chia seed granola

Granola. 

P1017149.JPG

Granola. Pretty much all of us love it. Maybe that crunchy satisfying sound of munching on granola is in the same satisfaction family as intentionally stepping out of your way on the sidewalk to crunch fall leaves under your feet. I know you know what I am talking about. Whether you are a granola breakfast person, a granola snacker, a granola bar person, granola for hikes and after workouts, or a granola-omg-all-the-time-person. I use to make granola much more frequently at home than I do now, but I got a lot of granola-making obsession toasted out of my system when I had to make gianormous batches of granola at a time for a job. Also, in the colder months, I am a big lover of warm breakfasts but come nice warm weather I want granola, yogurt, museli, berries, and smoothies for the every-day breakfast. Homemade granola is one of the most flexible things to make that you really have to try making it, at least just once. No shame in store-bought granola, I do it all the time, its just satisfying to have a homemade granola occasionally, you'll see. You could substitute in all sorts of grains, nuts, dried fruit, sweeteners, oils, etc. Just play around with it add, subtract, substitute.... in the end it all comes down to that same happy crunch.

 

P1017106.JPG

Recipe (Makes a large batch, store in a air-tight container)

Oats - 4 cups

Bananas - 3

Walnut oil - 3TB (Or any oil) 

Dried cherries - 1/4 cups

Walnuts - 1/2 cup (crushed) 

Almonds slivered - 1/2 cup

Chia seeds - 1/4 cup

Cinnamon - 1tsp

Honey - 1/3 cup

Preheat the oven up to 400 degrees. Break the bananas into the blender with the oil and whip with the paddle attachment until the bananas are smooth and creamy. While the mixer is running, drizzle in the honey and add the 1tsp of cinnamon. Toss together the oats, cherries, walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds. Turn off the mixer and add in the oat/nut mixture, scraping with the spatula when needed.

P1017111.JPG

Spread the mixture out into an even layer on one baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes on one side. Flip over the granola and bake for about 10 minutes until it is slightly golden in coloring (you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly, I recommend check it a few times before it is done... ovens can be different and the ripeness of the bananas can change this a lot). Granola hardens up a lot once cooled. Break it up into pieces and enjoy!

P1017152.JPG

Celeriac & potato cakes, garlic spinach, & an over-easy egg

P1016284.JPG

We woke up to no power, 6" of snow with more falling, and really excited puppies! I was equally excited and we bundled up to go out and play. It was Rue's first time in inches of snow and it was deep enough to cover her legs and brush up against the underside of her belly. She was hopping around like a rabbit and sticking her face deep in the snow until her nose touched the frozen ground. She was adorable. Banjo was made for the snow. As soon as she gets out and sniffs the air, it fills her up with some sort of wild, primitive, wolf spirit and she starts running in circles, flailing her paws attacking the snow. We all licked up our fill of snow, made snowballs, played with the dogs and banjo uncovered a large, four pointed antler a deer had recently shed. Best dog treats ever, no joke. I was too distracted to take photos but I'd better include this puppy photo of banjo during her first snow in 2010 for good measure.

P1013076.JPG

After playing we were hungry for a hearty breakfast and fortunately we had use of our stove still, since it is gas. I made this delicious brunch dish from the leftover celeriac after the russian beet salad wrap. We enjoyed the rest of the snow day, Ty got out of classes and a mid-term, and we kept close to the wood stove reading books by candlelight. Now, some of the no-power charm has worn out, it is 3 days later and we are still without power, water, have spoiled groceries and sadly, no internet to keep you updated! So I find myself sipping on some tea at our local tea house, bumming the internet, light, and power outlets. This is one of the last meals we had made at the house since loosing power - it is just too difficult to keep washing dishes without water.  

P1016262.JPG

Recipe (We made 3 large cakes but could make 4 slightly smaller ones) 

Celeriac - 1/2 a mid-sized root, peeled and chopped into medium pieces

Red potatoes - 2 smallish ones, chopped into quarters

Red onion - 1/4 chopped small

Spinach - I used about 3 big handfuls, fresh

Butter - 2TB

Parmesan - 1/4cup finely grated

Gruyére - 1/4cup finely grated

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Tarragon - 1-2TB minced (fresh) (parsley, dill, or most fresh herbs would work)

Heavy cream or milk - 1-2TB

Salt/pepper - to taste

Polenta, grits, or corn meal to dust. 

Fill a medium pot with water 2/3 full and add a pinch of salt. Add in potatoes and celeriac and boil until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Add cooked potatoes/celeriac, red onion, parmesan, gruyére, tarragon, pinches of salt/pepper, tablespoon or two of heavy cream and mash until well mixed. Dust a clean surface with polenta and divide mixture into 3 or 4 balls. Shape into a patty about 1/4"-1/2" thick and coat with the polenta. 

P1016266.JPG

Heat up a large skillet with 1TB of butter on medium heat, add the minced garlic. Let infuse and get fragrant for a minute. Gettin' fragrant with garlic, mmm. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted. Dump out into a bowl and melt the other TB of butter in the skillet. Add the celeriac cakes and cook for several minutes on each side, until a thin, brown, crispy coat forms. Remove cakes and set onto a plate, top with spinach. Replace skillet to medium/high heat (add a small splash of olive oil) and crack in eggs, cooking one at a time if need be. Cook for a minute on one side and then flip. Cook for another minute or so until the white is set, but yolk runny if desired. Place an egg on top of the spinach/cakes. Top with fresh black pepper and serve. 

 

P1016295.JPG
P1016287.JPG

Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout hash with a poached egg & Thyme Hollandaise

Brunch.  

Brunch is special. I enjoy a weekend morning where I can take my time in the morning and make something that you don't traditionally think of as breakfast. Brunch breaks the rules and I love it! This meal was so surprisingly good that it will definitely be revisiting my belly for brunch. The only thing I would change is my hollandaise, I added maybe a bit too much lemon that I adjusted the amount in the following recipe. 

*If paleo omit the hollandaise

P1015255.JPG

Recipe (Enough to serve four) 

Brussels sprouts - 1/2 a bundle, each sprout sliced into four disk

Sweet potato - 2 peeled and chopped into small cubes of roughly equal size

Red onion - 1/2 roughly chopped

Garlic - 2 cloves minced

White pepper - 1 tsp

Salt - about 1/2tsp or to taste

Black pepper - pinch or two to taste

Coconut oil -2TB (feel free to use any oil, I just like coconut oil at higher temps) 

Eggs - one egg for each serving

Thyme hollandaise

Egg yolks - 2

Lemon - juice of 1/2 a lemon

Butter - 4 TB melted

Fresh Thyme - 2tsp chopped

Water - 1TB

Salt and pepper - a few pinches or to taste

Melt you 4 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan. Add the 2 tsp of thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit to infuse while you prepare the rest of your meal.  Also set out the eggs for poaching on the counter, you want to bring the eggs to room temperature before cooking, it helps with poaching.

Chop up sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, red onion, and garlic. Heat a medium sauce pot filled with two inches of water until simmering. This will be used later for your hollandaise, so leave this pot aside (simmering) for several minutes until you have started your hash.

In a separate skillet heat oil on medium low heat and add garlic. Cook for a minute until fragrant. Add onion to this skillet and increase heat to medium. Cook for a few minutes until onion starts to soften. Add sweet potatoes and increase heat to medium high/ high heat. Cook about 8-10 minutes stirring/flipping occasionally until potatoes are almost cooked and start to brown. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for several more minutes until starting to color (4-5 minutes). Season with white pepper, black pepper, and salt. 

BRUSSELS AND TATES.jpg

Now, while sweet potatoes are cooking, you can work on the hollandaise sauce. Combine egg yolks, 1 TB of water and juice of 1/2 a lemon in a small-ish stainless steel bowl and place over the prepared pot of simmering water (hold with a oven mit or rag - the bowl will get warm). You want the bowl to be hovering over the simmering water, not touching the water if possible. Whisk eggs/water/lemon juice together for several minutes. It will start to get foamy and thicken. You want to thicken your eggs but not cook them. After 2-3 minutes remove from head and slowly drizzle in butter/thyme mixture while whisking vigorously. Keep whisking until your hollandaise has thickened up some. Set aside.

compund.jpg

After you finish the hollandaise, use your simmering pot of water and fill with more water (make sure it is a few inches full) and add in a splash of apple cider vinegar. Heat the pot up to a high simmer/low boil. At this time spoon your hash mixture onto plates to be ready for your poached eggs and get out a wooden spoon. Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Once water is ready, dip the edge of the ramekin into the water and gently pour the egg into the water (one at a time). Use the wooden spoon to gently swish the water surrounding the egg towards the egg to help hold the shape. Cook on a high simmer for 3-4 minutes ( I like my yolk runny) or longer for a cooked yolk. Remove egg with a slotted spoon, let drain and place on top of hash. Spoon over hollandaise. Repeat process for any other servings. Devour and lick plate clean. Happy brunching!

 

P1015335.JPG