Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Elvis Stuffed French Toast



Elvis Stuffed French Toast
On most Sunday mornings my husband wakes up earlier than me and makes brunch, usually waffles.  But last week I volunteered. I didn’t want to attempt waffles, because Jeff is the expert.

We had some over ripe bananas and an inspiration: Elvis Stuffed French Toast.  Bananas, peanut butter, and bacon in homage to the King of Rock ‘n Roll’s favorite sandwich.



Servings:  6-8
Time:  Prep: 15 minutes, cooking: 10-12 minutes per slice
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a knife and a cutting board, a gallon Ziploc bag, a large shallow dish (I used a pie pan), a whisk, a heavy skillet (I used cast iron), a plate, scissors, spatula, paper towel

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 7 slices of crumbled bacon
  • Loaf challah bread
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ⅛ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar, slices of banana, crumbles of bacon, and syrup for garnish

  1. Place three of the bananas in the plastic bag and smash them. Add the peanut butter and 6 slices of the crumbled bacon to the bag and massage until the bananas and peanut butter are completely mixed. Save the extra banana and slice of bacon for garnish. Set aside.
  2. Cut the bread into 2 inch slices.  Cut a slit into the bottom of each slice to create a pocket.  Be careful to not cut all the way through. Set aside.
  3. In the shallow bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, zest, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Snip a corner from the plastic bag.  Pipe the filling into the bread pocket.  Only use 2 or so tablespoons-be careful to not over-stuff.
  5. Melt enough butter to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat.
  6. Lay a stuffed slice of bread into egg mixture.  Allow it to soak for 30-40 seconds and then flip.  Soak the second side for another 30-40 seconds. Allow any excess to drip back into the batter and place the bread into the pre-heated pan.  Cook for 5- 6 minutes or until golden brown. Cook the other side.
  7. You can keep the French toast warm on the lowest setting in the oven until you have cooked the whole loaf.
  8. Wipe the pan in-between batches and add more butter to the pan as needed.
  9. To serve sprinkle the slice with powdered sugar and a few slices of banana and sprinkles of bacon.  Offer your guests syrup.  These things are so monstrously big that one slice should be enough for each person.

  

 Cut a slit in the bottom of each slice

 Creating a pocket








Pipe in the filling

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cream of Asparagus Soup



Asparagus is in season from February to June. I notice a particularly beautiful bunch in the grocers’ last week-bright green, no signs of shriveling, the flowers tightly closed. So I snatched it up.

Asparagus can be prepared a bazillion ways.  One of my favorites is cream of asparagus soup. Quick, easy, and delicious, this soup is ready in less than 40 minutes


Servings: 6-8
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 20-30 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large soup pot, a blender or food processor, a tea towel, a zester, a wooden spoon, a small bowl, a ladle, serving bowls




Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • 1 medium onion (½ cup onion)
  • 2 + 1 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup cream
  • Salt
  • Fresh pepper

  1. Zest the lemon.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the small bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Dice the onion. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter on medium high and sauté the onions until they are translucent.  Stir occasionally.  Everything should be bubbling, not browning. This should take about five minutes.
  3. Cut the asparagus into quarters.  Save about 15 of the asparagus heads for garnish.
  4. Add the asparagus and broth and bring to a boil.  Boil for 25-30 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
  5. Add the asparagus to the blender and smooth.  Make sure that you tilt the lid and hold it down with a tea towel.  If you don’t the lid will blow off and make a big mess. You may need to do this part in a few batches. Return the soup to the heat and toss in the tips you saved and the lemon juice.  Boil for 2 or three more minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cream and the rest of the butter.  Adjust the salt.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls.  Top with the lemon zest and a few grinds of black pepper.
Cream of Asparagus Soup

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jalapeño Popper Burgers


Jalapeño Poppers are one of my favorite foods. Some people crave chocolate, me I crave poppers. I had been craving them for a while when I came up with this recipe.  
I wanted the burger to have the crunch of the original snack. I thought about using ground chicken so that I could bread it, but the market was out of ground chicken.  Ground pork turned out to be wonderful! These were hard to photograph, so they taste much better than they look.  But they tasted for all the world like a popper.




These were difficult to photograph in a way that captured their popper-y goodness









Servings: 6 burgers
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, two small bowls, a large mixing bowl, un-powdered latex gloves, a plate, a large heavy pan that can be used on top of the range and in the oven (I used cast iron), and a spatula
Time:  Prep:  10 minutes    Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup pickled jalapeños (drained)
  • 8 slices of crumbled bacon
  • 1 ½ pound ground pork
  • 1+ ½ cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • 1egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Oil to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Buns, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing
  1. In one bowl mix the cream cheese, jalapeños, and bacon. Place one cup of the bread crumbs in the other bowl. Set aside.
  2. This is easiest to do with your hands. Put on the latex gloves. Combine the pork, remaining bread crumbs, egg, milk and salt in the mixing bowl and mix with your hands.
  3. Make six patties of equal size and place them on the plate. Heat the oil on medium and preheat the oven to 375˚.
  4. Take a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture and place it in the center of one of the burgers. Fold the pork over the cream cheese and flatten the burger back out.  Make sure that the cream cheese is completely enclosed in the pork so that it doesn’t leak out when you cook it. Place the burger in the bowl with the bread crumbs and press to make sure they adhere.  Do this to the other side. Place the burger into the pan.  Repeat with the rest of the patties.
  5. Cook the burgers until they brown (about 5 minutes.) Flip them and place them in the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes more.
  6. Top the burgers with cheddar cheese and ranch dressing and serve on soft buns.