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Crispy Polenta with Goat Cheese, Pepper-Corn Relish and Poached Eggs

4 thin (about 1/4 inch)slices pre-cooked Polenta from a log (either store bought or home-made)

2 T. good quality olive oil

4 generous Tablespoons good quality goat cheese (you can substitute another cheese, but it won’t have the tangy appeal of goat)

1 t. fresh chives, snipped

4 eggs

¼ C. distilled vinegar

½ small onion, diced small (about the size of a large corn kernel)

½ of a red bell pepper, diced small

½ C. fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 T. olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

First, prepare the poaching water: Fill a large non- stick skillet or sauté pan with water and add ¼ c. vinegar to it. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Water should have bubbles all over the bottom, but not rising to the top.

Then, combine the goat cheese in a small bowl with fresh chives.  Set aside and keep refrigerated.

Then, make the relish:  In a sauté pan, heat the 1 T. oil on medium.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent (2 to 3 minutes).  Add the pepper and continue to cook until both are softened, about 3 minutes more.  Add the corn kernels and the parsely, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 more minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Crisp the polenta: In a skillet (I prefer a cast iron for this) or on a griddle, heat the 2 T. of olive oil on medium.  When oil is hot, place slices of polenta in the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side.  The bottom should be starting to get golden before you flip.  When both sides are golden and crisp, remove from pan and briefly drain the polenta on a paper towel.  Then, place on a very lightly oiled cookie sheet and keep warm in the oven.

While the polenta is warming, poach the eggs.  Gently crack each egg into a teacup and slowly pour into one spot in the simmering water. Let cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny.  About 3-4 minutes

To assemble:  On each plate, place one slice of polenta.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of goat cheese and slide the poached egg on top.  Surround with a decent scoop of relish and top with extra fresh cracked black pepper.

Baked eggs with herbs and parmesan

Serves 4

 

4 (6 to 8 oz) Ramekins, generously buttered

8 eggs

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ C. mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped.  Use whatever is fresh here.  I like chives, parsley, rosemary and thyme.  In the summer, the addition of basil would be very nice.

¼ C. finely grated parmesan cheese

4 T. heavy cream

4 t. butter

Salt and pepper for seasoning.

 

 

Preheat the broiler and place the rack about 6 inches below the heat.

Have a kitchen timer available close-by.

 

 

Combine the garlic, herbs, and parmesan in a small bowl and set aside.

 

Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet.  In each ramekin, place 1 T. of cream and 1 t. butter.  Put the cookie sheet under the broiler and set the timer for 3 minutes.

 

In the mean time, crack the eggs into 4 cups (whatever you have handy); 2 eggs in each cup.  You will want to have these ready to go when the ramekins come out of the broiler.

 

When the timer goes off, remove the ramekins from the broiler.  The cream and butter should be bubbly.  Working quickly and gently, pour the 2 eggs from the cups into each ramekin.  Season with salt and pepper and then divide the herb mixture evenly among the eggs.  Place back under the broiler and set the timer for 3 minutes.

 

When the timer goes off, take the eggs out of the broiler and, using a butter knife, move the whites away from the edge of the ramekin, allowing the center whites to move outward.  Kind of like making an omelet, except you don’t want to break the yolks.

 

Place the ramekins back under the broiler and set the timer for 2 more minutes.

Remove from broiler after timer goes off and check for doneness.  The whites should be just about set.  They will continue to cook out of the oven.  Allow the eggs to set for a minute or two before serving.

 

Zucchini Corn Fritters with Over Easy Egg

Yield: About 10 2 1/2 inch fritters

Serves 4

 

1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini

½ C. fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, plus extra to taste

2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 T. coarsely ground cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

 

4 eggs

 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet ready.

 

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor.

 

In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away.

 

Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Stir in corn,scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

 

In a large heavy skillet, or heated griddle, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. I like to make sure that the fritters have at least 10 minutes in the oven to finish setting and getting extra crisp.

 

Serve with poached or over easy eggs and a sprinkling of fresh snipped chives.

 

Avocado and Tomato Eggs Benedict

Serves 4

 

¼ C. Distilled White Vinegar

 

4 slices Whole Grain Bread

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, cut into quarters, and then sliced into fans.

1 large or 2 medium ripe tomato

4 t. parmesan cheese

4 Eggs

Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)

 

Set a large nonstick skillet on the stove, fill with water and bring to a simmer.  Add ¼ C. vinegar to the water.

 

Preheat broiler.

 

Toast all halves of the bread (in your toaster) and set onto a cookie sheet or broiler pan.  Top each half with 2 slices of tomato and 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese. Place muffins under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbling.

In the mean time:  crack 1 egg at a time into a small dish and slide into the simmering water.  Do this as slowly and carefully as possible, so as not to make the egg “spread”.

When toasts are ready, move to a plate and top each one with an avocado “fan”. Carefully remove eggs from the water with a slotted spoon or spatula when the whites are completely set and place one on top of each toast.  Top with 1 or 2 tablespoons of Hollandaise sauce.

 

For the Sauce:

2 egg yolks

2 T heavy cream

2 t. white vinegar

Pinch Cayenne pepper

½ C. melted butter

 

In a double boiler on low heat (simmer), combine eggs, cream, vinegar and cayenne.  Whisk continuously until eggs have thickened to about mustard consistency.  Remove top pan from the double boiler and set on a wet cloth.  Slowly pour butter into eggs (VERY SLOWLY), while whisking vigorously, until all the butter is combined with the eggs.  The sauce should be smooth and light.  Set aside in a room temperature area and cover.

 

Egg Nog French Toast with Cranberry Apple Compote

Serves 4

8 slices of French bread (baguette style), cut to ½ inch

4 eggs
2 C. Eggnog
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract
½ t. nutmeg

1 large apple, on the tart side, cut into 1 inch cubes
½ C. cranberries
¼ C. sugar
¼ C. apple juice
2 T. butter

Maple syrup
Powdered Sugar

Heat griddle to 350 or medium. In a mixing bowl combine eggs, eggnog, and spices. Dip the bread into mixture and place on a cookie sheet or sheet pan. When all the bread slices have been dipped, pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread and let soak.

In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over low to moderate heat. Add the apple cubes and cook, stirring regularly, until apples are tender. Add the cranberries, apple juice, and sugar. Cook until cranberries have “popped” and the mixture is slightly thick. Taste for sweetness, and turn off the heat.

Place the bread on the griddle. Flip when it is golden brown on the bottom. Repeat on the other side. (About 3 minutes on each side)

Serve 2 slices to each person. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and spoon about ¼ C of the compote on top. Serve with maple syrup.

Italian Style Eggs Benedict

Serves 4

4 slices of ciabatta or pugliese bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 T. Ricotta Cheese
4 slices (or more, to taste) of Proscuitto
freshly grated parmesan cheese

4 large eggs
1/4 C. distilled vinegar

2 T. olive oil
4 ripe roma tomatoes, cut in half and seeds removed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 of a small onion, diced small
1 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
3-4 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large saute pan with several inches of water and add 1/4 C. vinegar. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low. You want the water to be very hot and on the verge of simmering, but not quite there. There should be tiny bubbles all over the bottom of your pan.

In the mean time, roughly chop the tomatoes. In another saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium. Add the onion and stir constantly for about 3 minutes, being careful not to burn them. Add in the garlic and sundried tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and turn the heat to low. Let the tomatoes soften and become somewhat saucy. Turn the heat off and add the basil. Set aside in a warm place.

Turn on your broiler.

In a toaster, toast the 4 slices of bread to just golden. Place on a cookie sheet. On top of each piece of bread, spread a tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan and place under the broiler for just a minute, until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the broiler and place one slice of proscuitto on each piece of cheese toast. Set aside in a warm area.

Crack 1 egg into a tea cup and then gently pour the egg into the pre-simmering water. Repeat with the 3 other eggs. If your whites spread, you can gently nudge the them back once they turn white. Let poach for about 4 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.

Set each egg on top of the proscuitto. Set the whole thing a a plate and then ladle with sauce. Sprinkle with extra parmesan and chopped basil if you like.

Southwest Style Eggs Benedict

Southwest Style Eggs Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise

Recipe will feed 12-14 people

For each serving:

½ of a Cornmeal biscuit (recipe follows), buttered and toasted

3 half slices of Bacon, cooked to crisp

1 Egg, poached

1 T. Chipotle Hollandaise (recipe follows)

2 T. Vegetable Relish (recipe follows)

On a plate, lay the ½ cornmeal biscuit and top with the 3 half slices of bacon.  Poach the egg to your liking and place on top of the bacon.  Ladle hollandaise on top and sprinkle the vegetable relish on the plate around the benedict.

For the Biscuit:

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour

¾ C. Cornmeal

1 ½ T. baking powder

1 t. salt

¼ C. Sugar

2 Cups (roughly) heavy cream

Butter for brushing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Mix agave syrup in to the heavy cream.  Pour about 1 ½ C. of the Cream mixture in to the flour and begin mixing with a fork.  Add more cream as necessary, until the mixture holds together well, but is not wet.

Flatten the dough with your hands into a circle that is about ¾ inch deep.  Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut circles and place on a cookie sheet.  Re-work the leftover dough until  you have about 6-7 circles.  Brush with melted butter and bake for 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.

For Hollandaise:

4 egg yolks

¼ C. heavy cream

1 T. distilled vinegar

2 T. Adobo sauce from a can of Chipotle Chiles

1 C. melted butter

In a double boiler on low heat (simmer), combine eggs, cream, vinegar and adobo sauce.  Whisk continuously until eggs have thickened to about mustard consistency.  Remove top pan from the double boiler and set on a wet cloth.  Slowly pour butter into eggs (VERY SLOWLY), while whisking vigorously, until all the butter is combined with the eggs.  The sauce should be smooth and light.  Set aside in a room temperature area and cover.

For the Relish:

1 Red bell pepper

1 Yellow bell pepper

1 Orange bell pepper

1 onion

1 Anaheim chile

½ C. fresh or frozen corn

¼ C. prepared salsa

Cut all the whole vegetable into small dices.  In a large sauté pan, cook all until tender.  Add corn and salsa.  Stir and turn off the heat.

Salmon Cakes with Poached Egg

Salmon Cakes with Poached Egg and Dill Shallot Sauce

1 ½ lbs. Salmon, cooked, de-boned and skinned
¾ C. Mayonnaise
¾ C. Bread Crumbs
½ C. finely chopped celery
½ C. finely chopped onion
¼ C. finely chopped scallions
1 egg, beaten
1 T. Old Bay seasoning
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. chopped parsley
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 T. oil (for griddle)

8 eggs
2 T. white vinegar

1 C. sour cream
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 T. minced fresh dill
1 T. white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a large sauté pan on the stove and add vinegar. Heat water to boiling, and then reduce heat to simmer.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, shallot, dill and white wine. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Flake salmon in a large bowl. Add in mayonnaise, bread crumbs, celery, onion, scallions, 1 egg, seasoning, lemon juice, parsley, salt and peppers. Mix together until combined. Taste for seasoning. Form mixture into 3 oz. patties. Place on well oiled griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

In the meantime, poach the eggs in the sauce pan.

When salmon and eggs are done, place salmon on a warmed plate. Place egg on top of salmon patties and dollop with a generous amount of sauce. Serve immediately.

Enjoy your salmon cakes!

Breakfast Sandwich with Ham, Egg, Jarlsberg, Tomato and Arugula

Serves 2

4 slices of Italian or Sourdough loaf

4 slices of Jarlsberg Cheese

2-4 slices of ham or canadian bacon

6 slices of Tomato

2 farm fresh eggs

1/2 C. picked over Arugula leaves

1 t.  lemon juice

salt and pepper

butter for the pan

Toss the Arugula with the lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Heat a large skillet to medium (or use a griddle).  Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.  Place all 4 slices of bread, butter side down, in the skillet.  Place 1 slice of cheese on each.  Then, on 2 of the bread slices, top the cheese with ham and tomato.  Leave the other 2 with just cheese.  In the mean time, while you let the cheese melt and the bread toast, heat another skillet to medium.  Add in a small amount of butter and crack your eggs in.  Cook until whites are done on one side and then flip over for just a minute, to make an “over easy” egg.  Slide the eggs on to the toast with the tomato and ham.  Remove from pan with a spatula and place on your plate.  Top with the remaining “cheese only” slice of bread.  Top with 1/4 C. of arugula , each.  Enjoy!

Poached Eggs on Brioche Toast

Serves 4

4 slices of Brioche, cut to 1″ thickness

8 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked to almost crisp.

12 slices of fresh tomato

1/2 C. grated cheddar cheese

1/2 C. grated gruyere cheese

4-8 eggs, depending on how many you want on each toast

1/4 C. distilled white vinegar

To assemble:

Turn oven on to Broil. 

Bring water to a boil in a large saute pan.  Add 1/4 C. vinegar and turn heat down to simmer.

In a toaster, VERY lightly toast each slice of brioche.  Lay slices of bread on a cookie sheet.  Cut each slice of bacon in half and lay 4 on each slice of bread, so that each toast has a total of 2 whole bacon pieces on it.  On top of the bacon, lay 3 slices on tomato, sort of overlapping one another, depending on how large your bread is.  Top with 1 T. of each cheese.  Put cookie sheet in the oven, and broil until cheese is melted.  Be careful, because the bread will burn easily.

Carefully break your eggs into the simmering water and cook for 3-5 minutes (to desired consistency).  Carefully remove eggs with a slotted spoon and top each toast with 1 or 2 eggs. 

Serve immediately