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Fabulous Frittata 2

Posted on January 18, 2011 by crankycheryl

In keeping with my 2011 eating plan that focuses solely on protein, fruit and vegetables, I made this for brunch the other day.

I find myself with an anti-carb instinct that causes me to look sort of mistrustfully at potatoes.  But then I reconsidered.  Why not potatoes? I thought.  They’re organic or close to it, and lived their little tuberous lives just a mile from here, down in Burlington’s Intervale. Plus, knowing myself, I realized that if I started putting things on the yes-it’s-a-vegetable-but-I’m-not-allowed-to-have-it list, I’d probably soon follow up with a yes-it’s-junk-food-but-here’s-how-I’ll-justify-it list.

So here this was.  And it was very simple and pretty great.

Fabulous Frittata
Serves 4

1.  Heat in a pan:

  • 2 T. butter and 1 T. high-heat oil (light olive, rice oil, or something else made to take the heat)

2.  Turn the heat to medium and add to the pan:

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 potatoes, scrubbed, peels on, thinly sliced

Cook without turning until golden on bottom side, then flip and spread into an even layer.

3.  Add to pan:

  • About 3 cups well-washed spinach, leaves coarsely chopped if large

Put the lid on the pan and cook for a minute or two to wilt the spinach.  Then sprinkle over the top:

  • 1/4 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil (incidentally, this was the only non-local ingredient)

4.  Pour over the top:

  • 6 large eggs

Cook until bottom starts to set.

5.  Cover the top with:

  • 4 oz. grated cheddar or other cheese.

Put the lid on and cook over medium until thoroughly set and cheese is melted.  Let stand off the heat for a few minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

200th Blog Post! Deviled Eggs Three Ways 2

Posted on April 05, 2010 by crankycheryl

[4/8/10 — This picture was included in the march of gorgeous spring holiday food over at Photograzing.  If you too are a lover of food-porn take a look!]

I’d like to nominate deviled eggs for the next food craze.  They’re cute, only slightly naughty, portable, adaptable, and individually sized.  What’s not to love?

For our annual Easter brunch-egg hunt extravaganza, I wanted something simple, special and spring-like and this is what we got.  They went fast, and I think I’ve found my brunch potluck standby for the season.

Do remember that the freshest eggs are harder to peel.  If you have time to think ahead, get the eggs you’re likely to want for this a week or so before you make them.

Deviled Eggs Three Ways
yield: 36 halves

Boil eggs your favorite way, or else try this technique that allegedly preserves more of their protein and other nutrients.

Place in cold water to cover by at least an inch:

  • 18 room temperature eggs

Bring water just to a boil, stir vigorously once or twice, then cover and turn off.  Let sit for 20 minutes. (I’ll admit that I often let them sit for an extra 5 to ensure they’re done.)

Prepare a platter by rinsing and arranging:

  • about 4 c. torn lettuce or mesclun salad on a large platter

Cool the eggs by plunging into a bowl of cold water with some ice in it.  Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl.  Add to the yolks:

  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. yellow or other fairly mild mustard

Beat with an electric mixer until very creamy and smooth.

Using a spoon or pastry bag, fill 24 of the egg white halves with the yolk mixture.  To the remaining yolk mixture add:

  • 2 – 3 T. pesto (I used the local Bella Pesto I picked up at a recent winter farmer’s market, which was incredibly fabulous), depending on how strong and green you want the flavor and color.

Fill the remaining 12 egg halves with the pesto mixture.

Slice or rip into 12 small square-ish pieces:

  • 1 1/2 oz. good quality smoked salmon

Curve into a small roll and tuck next to the yolk mixture in 12 egg halves.  Place next to each salmon piece:

  • 1 caper per egg

Serve, and watch ’em go.

Pie Crust, Quiche & Blueberry Bars: Brunch for Friends 3

Posted on June 03, 2009 by crankycheryl

furious-and-brunch-007So I realized that I was building up a karmic debt to several of my neighbors who babysit for me for free.  And since most of them don’t have young kids for whom I could provide some child care, having them over for brunch seemed the next best thing.

Do you agree that brunch is the best meal for entertaining?  I even felt this way before I had children who would be in full  melt-down by dinner time.  I love how brunch can just sort of go on without everyone getting bleary-eyed and start mumbling about all they have to do the next day.  How it comes with mimosas or coffee or dumplings or eggs or fruit or baked goods and fresh flowers.

This particular brunch gave me an opportunity to try a few new things.  I’ve been in the market for a new go-to pie crust recipe.  I love and rely on the Joy of Cooking’s Cream Cheese Crust (this recipe is very close – you’ll have to look into your heart and make the butter vs. shortening decision), but it’s not right for everything.  And especially not suited to the quiche I wanted to make.  I found the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Foolproof Pie Crust on Serious Eats, and gave it a whirl.  The recipe’s hallmarks are

  1. Using vodka for the liquid, which has much less water than, well, water, and so develops the gluten to a lesser degree, which keeps the crust more flaky and delicate.
  2. Adding the flour in stages, which also limits gluten formation.

furious-and-brunch-011I made myself follow the recipe carefully, monitoring crumb size and shape and consistency.  The only substitution I made was using the local Vermont Gleason Grains whole wheat pastry flour instead of white.

As I was moving on to turn crust into quiche, I discovered that I had just a smidgen of cream in the refrigerator.  I was determined to make this a truly delectable one, and so didn’t want to skimp on the fat.  As I was contemplating a mad dash to the store, I spied the ranch dressing in the refrigerator door.  Hmm.  It seemed plausible.

Also on the menu were some pumpkin-banana mini muffins, fresh fruit, and the crazily delicious Blueberry Bars from Farmgirl Fare.  Seriously friends, I’m trying to find another reason to host a brunch so I have a reason to make these again so I can eat them fresh since they don’t store so well.  Yum.

Classic & Comforting Roasted Mushroom & Cheddar Quiche
Adapted from Joy of Cooking, 1997
Serves 8

  • 1 10″ pie crust, pre-baked
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms (your choice), sliced thickly, tossed with olive oil and then roasted at 400 for 20 min., cooled
  • 3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. milk (use what you’ve got – but don’t skimp on the fat content overall)
  • 1/4 c. cream
  • 1/4 c. ranch salad dressing
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • pinch freshly ground black or white pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

furious-and-brunch-014Preheat oven to 375.  Place mushrooms and cheese on bottom of pie crust.  Beat together remaining ingredients and pour into shell.  Bake until filling is browned and set – 20 to 25 minutes.  Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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