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Salade Lyonnaise

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The other night I had some girlfriends over for dinner to celebrate Space Cadet’s birthday. Initially, Space Cadet just wanted to pick up some Taco Bell (has anyone tried the new quesalupa??), but my friend – who shall be known as Georgia from this point forth – and I were able to convince her to elevate the menu a little. I realized that I had all the necessary ingredients for a Salade Lyonnaise, which is basically a fancy breakfast salad. It’s pretty hard to screw up, as long as you nail the poached egg. Luckily for me, I assigned the egg poaching to Space Cadet and since she is a perfectionist they turned out wonderfully.

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Salade Lyonnaise (serves 4)

  • 1 lb of small fingerling potatoes (try the “Teeny Tiny Potatoes” from Trader Joe’s), halved
  • 3 TB olive oil, divided
  • 2 TB dry sherry
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 TB whole grain mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Crunciferous Crunch Collection
  • 1 lb bacon, roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp white vinegar, divided
  • 1 TB chopped preserved lemon peel (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes in 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them flat side down on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping them half way through.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a medium jar or bowl, combine 2 TB olive oil, sherry, shallot and mustard. Season with salt and pepper then whisk to combine. Set aside to let flavors meld.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over a medium flame. Add bacon and cook, tossing often, for about 10-15 minutes or until your desired doneness. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the fat.

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Divide the dressing equally into four shallow bowls. Add a cup of the Crunciferous Crunch Collection to each bowl, then top with equal portions of potatoes and bacon.

With about 10 minutes left to the potatoes, bring two medium pots of three inches of water to a low boil. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar (rice vinegar also works) to each pot. Crack each egg into a small dish or ramekin (do not break the yolk). Poaching two eggs at a time (one in each pot), use a rubber spatula to make a whirlpool in the pot, then carefully slide the egg into the center of the swirl. Use the spatula to keep the whites close to the yolk, and cook each egg for about 4 minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and add to the top of the salad. Repeat with the other two eggs.

Top each egg with a touch of cracked pepper and a bit of preserved lemon. Serve and tell you’re guests to slice the egg and mix all the ingredients together, including the dressing on the bottom.

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We all went nuts over this salad. It had enough protein for a dinner, but still leaves you feeling light and healthy. If you want to lighten it up more, use fresh frisee instead of the Trader Joe’s blend (though, I swear by Crunciferous Crunch Collection). I have to give big thanks to Space Cadet for mastering the poached eggs, as the whole salad would have been ruined if the eggs were runny or overcooked – no pressure.

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I also have to give some credit to Canuck for telling me to preserve my own lemons three months ago, because I finally found an opportunity to use one! Just a bit of preserved lemon peel in this dish adds some salty bitterness that compliments the dressing well. In fact, you could probably just add it directly into the dressing. Note: if you’re going to preserve your own lemons, I recommend using Meyer lemons and incorporating 3 parts salt and 1 part sugar, plus cinnamon stick, peppercorn, whole clove and fennel seed. Once ready to use, rinse, remove the flesh, and rinse again. 

We enjoyed this salad with a Twomey Sauvignon Blanc and a Ram’s Gate Syrah – both incredibly different wines but each of them paired deliciously with the salad. In fact, I think this salad would pretty much go with anything, especially your closest silly girlfriends.

 

FLC16: Highlights from Week 1

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It’s Day 7 of my Wine and Cheese Detox and I’m going strong! I feel light and refreshed, I’m sleeping better, and I have hardly thought about cheating. I even attended a work-related wine tasting on Tuesday afternoon and spit all of the wines. But I have to admit, the feel of Napa Bordeaux blends on my lips was luscious. In continuation with my Food Lover’s Cleanse, I’ve made several delicious and healthy meals the past week:

The Chia Pudding with Pineapple and Apricot and Banana Almond Smoothie made for great breakfasts – very filling, slightly sweet, and easy to get together during a morning of multitasking. I was a little put off by the thought of it at first, but I really enjoyed the texture of the chia pudding.  I will definitely incorporate both of these into my breakfast routine.

Tofu Stir Fry

Brussel Sprout and Tofu Stir Fry

The Brussel Sprouts and Tofu Stir Fry was spicy and and hearty. I love a good stir fry, and this was recipe was pretty dynamic for so few elements. I enjoyed the crunch of the water chestnuts and the tangy spice of the gochujang – a Korean chile paste that I have been dying to use in cooking since I read about it about a year ago. I didn’t prepare the suggested rice side as directed, but I did use some black rice that I cooked with bits of ginger and topped with shredded coconut. I forgot to add furikake to the stir fry, but I remembered to include it on my leftovers the next day and it added a nice umami flavor. I would recommend this dish for a hearty vegetarian stir fry, but double up on the gochujang or add some Sriracha because it’s lacking in heat.
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Last night I made Salmon with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Carrot Salad with Garlicky Bok Choy. My favorite component was the carrot salad, which I didn’t make nearly enough of. I didn’t bother toasting cumin seeds and used ground cumin and turmeric instead, so it only took about 10 minutes to prepare; an easy salad to get together before heading out the door in the morning. I enjoyed the yogurt-cucumber sauce on top of the salmon, and added a bit of mint to brighten it up. Overall, this meal was flavorful, light but filling, and the flavors integrated well with each other. I used the leftover salmon filet in a lunch salad with arugula, mixed greens, cilantro, mint, cucumber, carrot, almonds and miso-tumeric dressing – yum!

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By far, the Spicy Orange Hazelnut Bark was the best thing I made all week. Since I haven’t been drinking alcohol, I find myself craving something sweet in its place. I’m not a dessert person by any means, but I can’t resist a piece of dark chocolate. Rather than munching on some hipster chocolate bars I got over the holidays, I decided to get out the double boiler and make my own bark. I’m not a huge fan of hazelnuts so I used some bittersweet chocolate with almonds from Trader Joe’s and added some pistachio pieces to the mix, which was delicious. But it was the orange zest and cayenne pepper that really pulled the bark together. I will definitely be making this on the regular, whether or not it’s a replacement for wine! Here’s to another 7 days…

Fall into Brunch

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I’ve been seeing huge stalks of Brussel sprouts at Trader Joe’s the last few weeks, and I can’t resist them. I find it hysterical that I would’t touch Brussels sprouts until the age of 25, when I was finally wooed over by the delectable crispy Brussels sprouts at my favorite SF restaurant, B*Star Bar. If you haven’t had them, you should stop what you’re doing right now and get to 2nd and Clement and order some.

In any case, I’ve found numerous ways to enjoy the sprouts from my stalk throughout the course of the week. But my favorite instance was this morning when I concocted a delicious and healthy breakfast bowl that was the perfect start to the first of November.

Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Pancetta with Poached EggsIMG_3816

  • 1/2 cauliflower, stalks removed
  • 1/2 TB butter
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 8-10 Brussel sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup chopped pancetta
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it’s broken down into a rice-like consistency. Transfer to layers of paper towel and squeeze until slightly damp. Transfer to a baking dish and cook for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a pan over a medium flame. Add shallots and sauté until soft, only a few minutes. Then add Brussel sprouts and continue to sauté until they begin to brown a bit. Add pancetta and thyme and sauté until pancetta starts to crisp, about 4 minutes. Lower heat and let sit.

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Bring 1/2 cup of water to boil in a small pot. Lower the heat to summer and add two eggs. Cover and cook for 6 minutes.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add to the pan of Brussel sprouts. Toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

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Remove the eggs from the pot and run under cold water to cool the shells. Carefully remove half the shells, then gently slide or spoon the egg onto the bowl of Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. The whites will be cooked and the yolk will be runny – just how I like it.

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You could easily increase the quantities in this recipe and serve a larger group, perfect for a autumnal brunch. Don’t forget the Champagne!

Springing for Steelhead

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The Napa Farmer’s Market is back on! It actually opened two weeks ago, but I couldn’t make it until yesterday. And I was so excited that I forgot to get cash and only had $8 with me. The first thing that caught my eye was a small bag of shelled English peas. It was $3, but I had never cooked with them before so I splurged. I wandered around the rest of the market, scouting each stand to see what looked the best. I stopped at the seafood stand in the back and noticed some Steelhead trout filets – something else I had never cooked before. I purchased (with my credit card) a filet that was over half a pound and went back to another stand to pick up assorted zucchini, squash and a spring onion for a little over $5, but the farmer let it slide. You won’t get that at Whole Foods!

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Spring Pea and Zucchini Salad with Pan-Seared Trout (serves 2)

  • 1 medium zucchiniIMG_1956
  • 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 TB olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 oz wild trout
  • 1 TB fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 radicchio leaves, torn
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced very thinly with a mandoline
  • 1/2 cup shelled English Peas
  • 8 mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 10 parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Slice the zucchini lengthwise with a mandoline. Sprinkle zucchini evenly with salt and place in a small colander in the sink for about 5 minutes. Rinse the zucchini under cold water and lay out on a clean dishtowel. Carefully fold the towel over the zucchini and roll to squeeze out the excess water and let sit.

In a small food processor, pulse a shallot. Add lemon juice, Dijon, anchovy paste, Sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Process to combine, and add 2 TB oil in a slow, steady stream. Transfer to a small container and set aside.

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In a large non-stick pan, heat 2 TB olive oil over a medium flame. Add garlic cloves and toss off heat to flavor the olive oil. Bring the pan back to the heat and add trout, skin side down. Chop two fonds off the fennel bulb and add to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes to sear the skin, then lower the heat and cover; continue to cook for about 8 minutes, or until the flesh is light pink. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes.

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Meanwhile, assemble the salad: radicchio, fennel, peas, mint and parsley. Top with the zucchini slices and dressing to taste (add by the tablespoon), then toss to combine. Top with half of the trout filet and serve! I enjoyed this meal with 2013 Madam Preston White Rhone Blend – a family favorite! It’s bright and crisp, but the Rhone varietals add slight creamy undertones that make the wine stand up well to a heartier seafood.

Put an egg on it!

Put an egg on it!

The best part of making this meal was the leftovers! I incorporated the trout, english peas and fennel fonds into a quinoa breakfast bowl and it was spectacular. Sauté chopped fennel fonds with chopped white onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the peas, trout (broken up), 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa, and a handful of coarsely chopped spinach and sauté to combine. Once hot, top with an egg, cover the pan, and lower the heat. Cook for 5 minutes then devour. I actually enjoyed this more than the salad, but that may have been due to my slight hangover.

Pre-Winetasting Hash

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Not THAT kind of hash; although I’m certainly not opposed to that, it’s not really the kind of thing you want to get into before wine tasting. But THIS kind of hash is the perfect pre-wine tasting meal, with enough carbs and protein to coat protect you from getting too buzzed before lunch, without leaving you too full.

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Red Potato Hash with Chicken Sausage (serves 2)

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tsp lemon herb salt
  • 1 pre-cooked chicken sausage (Aidell’s or TJ’s brand are my favorites), diced
  • 2 eggs
  • Sriracha, to taste
  • 1 TB chopped chives

In a non-stick pan fit with a cover, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Once hot, and onion and garlic and sauté until soft – about 4 minutes. Add potatoes, lemon herb salt and 3 TB water; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and add sausage; sauté for 4 minutes or until beginning to brown.

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Push the hash to one side of the pan, creating enough space on the other side of the pan to fry two eggs. Lower the heat to medium-low and crack two eggs into the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until a thin white layer begins to cover the yolk. Remove from heat and transfer the hash to two bowls, then top each with a fried egg and some drops of Sriracha and chives.

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Now you’re ready to taste some delicious wine! By the way, this also doubles as a good hangover breakfast.

Wake-n-Bake

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I have been obsessed with baked eggs lately. Specifically, a parmesan covered egg baked over sautéed vegetables in a ramekin. I got this idea from another blog I follow, and what I love about it is that you can bake the egg over anything you want; including tomatoes, zucchini, sausage, greens, onions, mushrooms, peppers – whatever you have on hand! I am particularly fond of the Tuscan Baked Egg:

Tuscan Baked Egg (serves 1)

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • small handful of spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 leaves of basil, julienned

sauteed veggies

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a skillet over a medium flame. Add garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté for about a minute. Add the zucchini and continue to sauté for 3 minutes, or until zucchini become soft. Add tomatoes and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add spinach and cook until it wilts, about 1 minute.

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Spoon the vegetables into a ramekin and crack and egg over the top of the vegetables. Top with parmesan, salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes, or until whites are set and yolk is still runny. Top with basil and let cool for a couple minutes before eating – or you will burn your tongue!

Tuscan baked egg

Eggvacado: Part Deux

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You may recall a post from several months ago where I baked an egg inside an avocado, and it was mesmerizing. I really love the flavor combination of avocado and egg, so I have since had the eggvacado a couple of times. However, it takes about 25 minutes to cook, and I’ve been in a bit more of a hurry in the morning since I’ve recently taken a liking to sleeping past my alarm. So I’ve found a faster (and possibly more delicious) way to satisfy my egg and avocado craving, and I’ve had it for breakfast four times this week.

6-Minute Egg on Avocado Toast

  • 1 egg
  • slice of bread, any kind you like (I prefer a high fiber whole wheat bread)
  • 1/4 of ripe avocado
  • garlic salt
  • squeeze of a lemon

First, let me tell you about my recent dislike to scrambled eggs. Over the past few months I have found the mixture of scrambled whites and yolks to be inedible. This is a strange revelation, because I used to eat scrambled eggs on the regular. I still love eggs, but I have been mostly eating them hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, fried, baked… any combination where I don’t have to previously whisk them together. It should also be noted that I don’t mind eating scrambled egg whites, but I really love the yolks so I don’t like to leave them out. Odd, I know.

My new favorite way to eat an egg is the soft-boiled 6-minute egg. Fill a small pot with only 1/2 an inch of water and set to high heat. Once boiling, delicately place the egg in the pan, lower the heat to medium, cover and set a timer for 6 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove from heat and run the egg under cold water for about a minute. Peel and eat. Or put on an english muffin, or my favorite: avocado toast.

egg toast

Simply toast a piece of bread while the egg is cooking. Spread the avocado over the bread, and top with a dash of garlic salt and a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Place the cooked egg on top, cut in quarters or eighths and devour. DE-licious. And it will most definitely fill you up until lunch. With the fiber from the bread, healthy fats from the avocado, and protein from the egg, it’s a very well-rounded breakfast.

egg toast

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