Tag Archive for 'brunch'

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Irish Sweet Potato and Cabbage Hash

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If you know me, you know I am anything but Irish. I am by American standards 100% Italian. By Italian standards I am only half Italian. According to my sources, if your family is from anywhere south of Rome you are not a true Italian. (Yes, this an old Italian north/south rivalry – and well while I’ve never met anyone that believes this, my Italian friends always love to tease me about it.) I am 100% proud of my Italian roots but having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, with strong Irish Italian influences, I can’t help but do my part in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Who doesn’t love a good party? And the Irish sure know how to throw a party. Continue reading ‘Irish Sweet Potato and Cabbage Hash’

The Season of Green Food Is Upon Us — St. Patrick’s Day Menus

Key Lime Ogre Mini Tarts

The season of green is practically upon us with the likes of green beer, minty milkshakes, and dyed green scrambled eggs. St Patrick’s Day occurs on March 17 and is a day to remember one of Ireland’s patron saints, St. Patrick. It largely celebrates Irish-American culture in the United States. So take this opportunity to pull out your mad green cooking skilz and have fun impressing your friends.

There are no hard and fast rules, and under no circumstances are you required to cook a ‘traditional’ meal of dry corned beef with boiled cabbage and potatoes. It can be your own take on a green themed meal. While there are a lot of ways to turn this typical menu into a delicious meal, anyone from Ireland will be quick to tell you that a typical Irish meal is boiled pork and potatoes. It is mind-blowing when you realize that this meal concept we associate with St. Patrick’s Day is really an Irish-American tradition.

Another revelation: There’s never been any actual corn in corned beef.;) Long before the word ‘corn’ referred to a vegetable, it was an Old English word for any grain still containing the seed. In the original preparation of English corned beef, cooks use coarse pieces of salt the size of grains to cure or preserve the meat.

Whether you want to host a St. Patrick’s Day brunch or a dinner with a new flair, which is always my recommendation, I’ve compiled an undeniably GREEN menu to spark your inner cooking leprechaun.

St Pat Day Brunch

Brunch

Green Eggs & Ham

Leek & Potato Fritters

Green Lemonade

st pat day dinner

Dinner

Chestnut Sage Pesto Bruschetta

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad

Lamb Chops

Mint Tea Julep (adult version)

Key Lime Miniature Tarts

St.-Patricks-Day-vintage-card

Chocolate Twist Easter Bread — Mardi Gras King Cake Gets A Chocolatey Makeover

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There is something about Easter that makes me think of bread. My maternal grandmother always used to serve what she called Easter breads. And while this recipe is not anything she would have envisioned I do think if you are searching for that perfect Easter Brunch dessert then this recipe could be one you tuck away for safe keeping. The recipe is Continue reading ‘Chocolate Twist Easter Bread — Mardi Gras King Cake Gets A Chocolatey Makeover’

Tuscan Egg Stew

tuscan egg stew

In honor of Mother’s Day I am sharing one of my newest creations, Tuscan Egg Stew. It is not a recipe inspired by anything my mother ever made for me but rather it is inspired by her love of breakfast for dinner. She loved to find those little unconventional ways that she could make meals extra fun — like having a BBQ in the rain, dessert before dinner, and breakfast for dinner.

There is something so satisfying about egg dishes, whether for brunch or for dinner. Tuscan Egg Stew makes its mark and scales well for small groups. The combination of flavors reminds me of so many of my days in Florence that it’s easy to close my eyes and be transported back in time.

Three Generations Andy Warhol Style: Since my mother typically hates all pictures of herself, I have made this one a bit more artistic. She is pictured at her baby shower along with my paternal grandmother 'Ginny'.

Three Generations Andy Warhol Style: Since my mother typically hates all pictures of herself, I have made this one a bit more artistic. She is pictured at her baby shower along with my paternal grandmother ‘Ginny’.

Tuscan Egg Stew

Ingredients

3 TBS olive oil

1 clove garlic, pressed

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

8 cups swiss chard, coarsely chopped (if using frozen, substitute 1.5 lbs, defrosted and drained)

1 yellow onion, sliced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed

1 14.5oz can Fire Roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic)

1 15oz can white beans

3 cups vegetable broth

6 large eggs

Romano cheese, grated

Directions

Heat 1 TBS of olive oil in cast iron skillet, or heavy bottomed pot, over medium heat. When oil is hot add pressed garlic. Stir quickly until fragrant and lightly brown. Add swiss chard to pot, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook until wilted but still bright in color; approximately 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Wipe out skillet.

In same skillet, over medium heat, add 2 TBS of oil. When oil is warm, turn heat up to medium high, adding onion and sliced garlic; stir 3-4 minutes until onion is softened. Add cumin, paprika and stir another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Lastly, add chickpeas, white beans and tomatoes; cooking until tomatoes start to caramelize and chickpeas begin to brown; approximately 8-10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a simmer scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, occasionally mashing some of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Cook stew 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Fold in swiss chard, adding in more broth slowly, 1/4 cup at a time, if sauce seems too thick. A small amount of liquid is necessary to properly cook the eggs.

Make holes in stew and crack eggs one a time into a small bowl and then transfer into one of the premade holes. Once all of the eggs are in place, cover pan with a lid to allow eggs to steam 5-7 minutes. Baste occasionally to ensure eggs are cooking properly. Eggs should be not be hard cooked but left with a small amount of yoke to make this dish take extra buttery when served.

Spoon Tuscan Stew into bowls and transfer egg on top. Lightly dust with Romano cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

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Disclosure: I received a Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes to cook with; no monetary compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own.

Pecan Tartlets – A Brunch Dessert

There is no reason why we shouldn’t have dessert after brunch. I believe in dessert at ANY TIME of day. What could be better than ending the first meal of the day with some nice treats. These little goodies are a mouthful of excellence >dare I say more addictive than miniature quiches? I dare!<

Miniature Pecan Tartlets

Pecan Tartlet Dough Ingredients

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

4 TBS unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup flour

dash of salt

Pecan Tartlet Filling Ingredients

1 egg

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 TBS pure maple syrup

2 tsps vanilla extract

1 TBS unsalted butter, softened

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the dough, place pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. In a medium bowl, add mascarpone and butter and mix with a spatula (or if using a mixer, use the paddle setting). Ensure that the mixture is well combined if mixing by hand, if using an electric mixer, set on medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour, ground pecans and salt; mixing until dough just comes together.

Roll dough into 16 one-inch balls, and press into bottom and up sides of mini-muffin tins.

To make filling, in a small bowl, whisk the egg, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, butter and salt. Stir in toasted pecans. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsp filling into each muffin cup.

Bake until crust begins to turn golden, approximately 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on wire rack. Store in single layers in air tight container. Makes 16-18. Can make three days ahead of time.