Tag Archives: eggs

Asian Pork and Sweet Corn Hash

Why is it that every stage of parenthood just seems to get harder?  Once they sleep through the night, they begin to move and roll and fall off things.  Once they don’t need to eat every two hours, they start protesting solid foods and stop eating altogether.  Once they can dress themselves, they start talking back.  Once you get used to one baby, you go and have another one and wonder how you ever thought one child was hard.  There is a constant game of “one-upmanship” going on — and somewhere in their cute little faces they are saying, “You fool, I’m going to make you realize how easy you had it back then.”

And so it goes with older children and activities.  You thought your time demands were rough with babies?  Just wait until they have school, and homework, and soccer, and t-ball, and dance, and piano lessons.  I can hear you now, “I am not going to be that parent.  I am going to let each child have one activity at a time and we will not cater to their every extra-curricular desire.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Ha. Ha. Ha.       Ha.

And you thought it was under your control.  Here’s the deal:  even if each child does one thing, you have to do them all.  Get it?  And in our house, we definitely don’t over commit, but once you get multiple schools and multiple activities, it adds up to some sort of clusterfuck matrix of driving and practices and games and crying over homework and going to plays/parties/cultural celebrations and making quiches (don’t ask about that one) and writing checks and buying snacks (because you can’t have an activity without a damn snack).

It is the reason my right eye keeps twitching.  Plain and simple, we are on overload.

Hence the reason you need quick and easy dinners in your arsenal.  And I call it an “arsenal” very purposefully.  (An aside and a funny thing:  In the food blog world, there is constant conversation about the danger of people like Sandra Lee or those who are proponents of things called “30 minute meals.”  The danger, in the words of some, is that people aren’t really learning to cook and appreciate real food.  The opposing viewpoint is that any cooking is better than none.  Now, you know I am the biggest proponent of cooking real food — but these conversations fail to recognize the point that most of us in this stage of life don’t have a choice related to how much time we spend on food preparation.  On many nights, I’d love to linger over a glass of wine while making Boeuf Bourguignon.  But shit, it’s soccer night.  Get it?)

So, I guess what I’m hoping is that on the nights you can cook, you do.  And on the nights you cannot, you try to do something like this rather than ordering a pizza.  Be smart when you cook and make sure there are leftovers.  Because you can do an infinite amount of things with a little leftover meat, some veggies, and some eggs.  This recipe (when prepared with leftovers) can be done in 15 or 20 minutes and is much more healthy and delicious than some frozen chicken nuggets.

And next up?  Teenage Angst.  Fantastic.

Asian Pork and Sweet Corn Hash

Serves 4-6

1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large leek (white part only), cleaned and chopped
2-3 leftover baked potatoes (2-3 cups), cut into small cubes
1/2 of a cooked pork tenderloin (about 1/2 lb. of protein: can be chicken, beef, or beans too), chopped
1 cup of frozen corn (or fresh if you have it)
4-6 eggs
2 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 T soy sauce
1 T water
Chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley

1.  Heat 1-2 T of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saute pan.  Saute garlic and onions for 2-3 minutes.  Add leeks and saute for 1-2 minutes more.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

2.  Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and add potato cubes and cook for about 5 minutes (stirring frequently so they don’t stick), or until they begin to brown slightly.

3.  Add 1 T of water and 2 T of soy sauce and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add pork or protein and corn.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.

4.  Meanwhile, fry eggs to desired doneness (we like ours over-light and nice and runny).  To serve, place hash on plate.  Top with fried eggs and sprinkle with chopped fresh chives.

Curried Chick Pea and Red Potato Hash

Does anyone remember that show “Ready, Set, Cook?”  Basically it was a game show where you got a box of random ingredients and had to make dinner out of it.  Some of the cooking reality shows use a similar premise now, but I liked this show because the professionals had to work with regular people to get the meal prepared.  Plus it was a great way to spend thirty minutes running on the treadmill.  I still generally watch cooking shows while on the treadmill — not sure if that is incentive or punishment.

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But I do love the challenge of taking very disparate items and somehow bringing them together into a coherent dish.  Certainly some of the dishes turn out a lot better than others, but it is always a fun experiment.  Before we went away on vacation, I was cooking like crazy to use everything in the refrigerator up.  In this case, I had new potatoes, garlic scapes (the green flower shoot from the garlic), green onions, parsley, and lots of eggs.  I settled on a “hash” sort of thing and I was not disappointed.  I love putting a slight twist on a very traditional approach and it was a delicious vegetarian entree.  I served it with sauteed snow peas and a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

You should definitely add a hash like this to your weeknight cooking repertoire — it is super flexible, quick, healthy, and uses up lots of odds and ends.  And the kids really loved it too… Feel free to spice it up if your crew is spice tolerant.

Curried Chick Pea and Red Potato Hash

Serves 4-6

1 qt. of red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 garlic scapes (could substitute with 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves), chopped
4 green onions, green and white parts chopped
2 t fresh ginger, chopped
3 T olive oil
1 t curry powder
1/2 t garam masala (a spice mixture generally made of cumin, cardamom, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, pepper)
1/4 t turmeric
1 t salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of water
2 T parsley or cilantro, chopped
4-6 eggs

1.  Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Saute the white part of the chopped green onions, garlic scapes, ginger, 1/2 t of curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, 1/2 t of salt, and freshly ground pepper for about five minutes.

2.  Add in chopped potatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes until potatoes are beginning to brown and soften.  Add more oil if the potatoes stick too much.

3.  Add in chick peas and 1/2 cup of water and scrape up any browned bits sticking to bottom of pan.   Cover with lid and let cook about 10 more minutes until potatoes are fully cooked.

4. Meanwhile, in a separate pan fry or poach eggs.  (Best cooked over easy with a nice runny yolk…)

5.  When ready to serve, add to hash pan the additional 1/2 t of salt (or to taste), freshly ground pepper to taste, 1/2 t of curry powder, the green parts of the green onions, and 2 T of parsley or cilantro.  Mix well to incorporate.

6.  To serve, place a fried or poached egg on top of a portion of the curried chick pea and potato hash and garnish with additional herbs or green onions.

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Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles

Are your children as obsessed with maple syrup as mine?  Oh my.  I swear they don’t even consider it a weekend breakfast if syrup isn’t involved.  And they always shoot for the moon with their requests — first they go for waffles, second choice is pancakes, and if they know Mommy looks especially “tired” after a late Friday night, they will relent and accept French Toast.  (Seriously, I shouldn’t stay up so late.  Nor should I drink that much red wine.)

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I have to say, however, that I do love Belgian Waffles.  This version is made entirely with whole wheat pastry flour, which does a beautiful job here.  It keeps them very light, and not at all “whole wheaty.”  And I should add that these are not Belgian Waffles in the strict sense because they are leavened with baking soda and whipped egg whites (rather than yeast).  They are still very light and crispy and a quicker alternative to a yeast-raised waffle.  Even so, you probably won’t want to tackle these on a weekday morning (unless you are way more together than I am), but they are perfectly simple for the weekend.

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Unless, of course, you decided that a shot of tequila sounded like a good idea after those glasses of red wine.  Then you better pray to the hangover Gods that you have a box of Eggos in the freezer.

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles

(Inspired by Mark Bittman’s Rich Buttermilk Waffles in How to Cook Everything)

Makes 4 or 5 large Belgian style Waffles

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (very important to use the pastry flour)
1/2 t. sea salt
3 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole milk plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 T. melted butter
2 t. vanilla extract

1.  Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl.

2.  Whisk together the yogurt, milk, two egg yolks, melted butter, and vanilla in a separate small bowl. Stir into the dry ingredients.

3.  Brush a waffle iron with a bit of canola oil and preheat.

4.  Beat the egg whites until they hold moderately soft peaks. I like to do this by hand, as I think it justifies the fact that I will be eating a waffle quite soon. Fold the beaten egg whites gently into the waffle batter in the large bowl.

5.  Put several spoonfuls of the waffle batter into your waffle iron (based on the size of your iron) and cook until brown and crispy, according to your waffle iron’s instructions. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes.  Serve with plenty of softened butter and real maple syrup (please don’t tell me you are using fake maple syrup…).

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Banana Honey Caramel Ice Cream with Salted Tuile Cookies

So, this was the week when everyone in my family decided they didn’t like bananas — and I was left with four sitting in the fruit bowl (Bananas, that is.  Not family members.).  Of course, the natural inclination is to make banana bread.  Or more likely, the natural inclination is to pitch them.

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And even though I never do it, I’ve also been told that ripe bananas freeze very well.  Collect them in the freezer and use them when you feel like it.  However, there is something about slowly rotting bananas that make me feel like I need to use them immediately.  I never feel this way with shriveled up apples or moldy cheese.

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Add to this that I had the most beautiful eggs from the farmer’s market the other day  — from three or four different breeds of laying hens — that seemed like they needed a showcase.  So I settled on the idea of a custard-based banana ice cream and I was not disappointed as I cracked those eggs.  They were probably the brightest orange yolks I have ever seen.

I wanted to sweeten it with honey and I remembered a honey caramel sauce recipe I had seen.  So the idea came together — a honey caramel custard base pureed with ripe bananas.  With a touch of vanilla, dark rum, and a slightly salty cookie to garnish.  The ice cream really is fabulous — super creamy and smooth without being too “fatty” tasting from a lot of heavy cream.  It is still plenty rich though.  I’d suggest serving it in little custard or egg cups. That leaves a lot leftover for you to eat it directly out of the freezer.

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And the cookies are great on their own.  I made them with whole wheat pastry flour and some dry roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (we can’t do nuts because of my daughter’s allergies, but any chopped nuts would work perfectly alongside the banana ice cream).  They are super easy to make and look great if you roll them or form them while still hot — around a chopstick or skewer to make a “cigarette cookie” or in a shot glass to make a little flower.  Bonus points if you drink the dark rum from the shot glass after you form your cookies.

So, maybe this got a little more involved than a loaf of banana bread, but I’m pretty sure it’s way, way better.

Banana Honey Caramel Ice Cream with Salted Tuile Cookies

Makes about two quarts of ice cream and 1 to 1 1/2 dozen cookies

Ice Cream:
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 C. of whole milk
1 C. of heavy cream
3/4 C. of honey
4 egg yolks
Pinch of sea salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. dark rum

1.  In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together honey and heavy cream and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat a bit and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened and a caramel color.  Watch that it doesn’t boil over — it does so easily.

2.  Remove caramel from heat and whisk in 1 cup of the whole milk (other cup will be added later).   Return to heat and make sure all the caramel gets incorporated (use a silicone spatula to get it out of the corners of the pan). Whisk well and turn heat to medium low.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with pinch of salt.  Take about 1/4 cup of the hot caramel/milk mixture and very slowly whisk it into the egg yolks. (You are tempering the egg yolks so they don’t scramble.) Add another 1/4 cup and whisk well.

4.  Pour tempered egg yolk mixture into caramel/milk mixture and whisk well to incorporate, cooking over low heat and stirring almost constantly.  Cook this mixture for about five minutes, until it has thickened.  You can test it with an instant read thermometer if you like — it should be about 160-170 F.

5.  In a blender, puree the remaining one cup of milk with the mashed bananas.  Add the hot caramel custard from the pan.  Puree well, being careful because hot liquids can expand … allow steam to escape through hole or keep lid slightly off, covering with a kitchen towel.   You can also do this in a bowl with an immersion blender.

6.  Stir in vanilla and dark rum and chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting the ice cream mixture in a bowl set inside another larger bowl filled with ice water — just be careful to not get water in the ice cream mixture.)  It should be very cold when you put it in the ice cream freezer.

7.  Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  My batch took a little over 20 minutes.  Transfer to the freezer to harden more, or serve as is (it will be more like soft serve at that point.)

Salted Pumpkin Seed Tuile Cookies:
(Inspired by Martha Stewart’s Honey Lace Cookies)
2 T. butter
1 1/2 T. honey
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. whole wheat pastry flour
Pinch of sea salt, plus a bit more for tops of cookies
3 T. roasted pumpkin seeds (or other toasted, chopped nuts)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.

2.  In a small pan, melt butter with honey and brown sugar.  Remove from heat and stir in flour, salt, and pumpkin seeds.

3.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, use about one teaspoon of dough per cookie — allow plenty of room to spread while baking.

4.  Cook about 8 minutes (less for smaller cookies) until cookies are golden brown and bubbly.

5.  Remove from oven, sprinkle each with a few grains of sea salt, and let cool for 2-3 minutes on parchment.  When the cookies are just starting to firm up (meaning they are pliable, but not falling apart), you can roll them around a chopstick or skewer for a cigarette cookie or carefully push them into a shotglass or other small cup to make a flower shape.  Let cool completely in forms.  Drizzle with a bit of melted chocolate if you like.

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