Friday, March 7, 2014


Here's my next article from the Petaluma Post, enjoy...

We all rush off to work each day with a granola bar or bagel in hand.  Hardly the best way to start the day, but most of us do it.  Saturday or Sunday morning you might go out for brunch, but usually we just don’t have time for breakfast, but why can we only have it in the morning?  Breakfast food is great, so why not dinner.  In our house we call it “brinner”. 

You get home late from work, nothing is thawed and you’re hungry. Very likely there is a carton of eggs in the fridge; there are so many possibilities!  From a quick scramble to a frittata to French toast.  You can make a real and healthy (or not) meal, often easier than dinner, and it feels like a treat.

Frittatas are a great place to start.  This Italian egg dish can use up many of your leftovers in the fridge.  From chopped meats to veggies and grated cheese.

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 eggs, beaten
 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 oz grated cheese, you can use any you like, parmesan is great
1 cup of chopped filling

Broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, ham, sausage, mushrooms, and peppers all make great frittata filling.  The ingredients are endless.

Heat a 10 inch oven proof skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Meanwhile beat the eggs with salt and pepper, then fold in cheese and filling.  Your pan should now be very hot (not smoking), so pour the egg mixture into pan, and stir with heat proof rubber spatula for 2 to 3 minutes.  Then transfer the pan to a 350 degree oven, and bake until the center is set.  If the frittata sticks, put it back on the stove top for just a minute of two and gently release with a rubber spatula.

Some of my favorite combinations are: Potato and Ham with Cheddar, Mushroom and Asparagus with Chèvre, and Cherry Tomatoes and Basil with Parmesan.

I love a tartine; this is an open faced warm sandwich. And to make it a bit more, I love to add a fried egg on top.

1 slice hearty country bread
“Refrigerator Relish” (again anything in the fridge that you can chop up)
1 oz grated cheese, I recommend Cheddar or Jack
1 egg fried

Brush the bread with olive oil and toast lightly in the oven, then top with chopped veg and/or meats, then finish with grated cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).  During this time cook your egg over easy.  Remove the tartine from oven top with egg.  I like it best served with a lightly tossed salad; to me salad is perfect to cut the richness of the eggs.  It’s best with a light vinaigrette.  By the way, Topsy, a new restaurant on Kentucky Street has this on the menu; it’s very good.

I love salad with my eggs.  I find that it cuts down on the richness.  So whether is this is breakfast for dinner, or dinner for breakfast, I like a very classic French salad called Salad Lyonnaise.  This is great at any time of day.

Salad Lyonnaise
2 strips bacon
1 T olive oil
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard

2 eggs, poached or over easy (my favorite)
1 head frisee lettuce
1 slice toasted country bread

Cut the bacon into ½” pieces, then with olive oil sauté until crisp.  Set the bacon aside, and transfer the bacon drippings and oil to a mixing bowl, and allow to cool.  When cool add vinegar, sugar and dijon, whisk well.  Drizzle ½ of the this as the dressing over the frisee and toss well.  Place the frisee on the plate, and top with 1 fried egg
Top with cooked bacon and drizzle with remaining dressing, serve with toast.

When I was growing up I loved corn bread and one item my mom used to do was cornmeal pancakes.  A basic corn bread recipe (a bit thinner) cooked on the stove top.  Think of this with some bacon or sausages for dinner.

Cornmeal Pancakes
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk (add 2 Tbsp more if too thick)
1/3 cup veg oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients.
Add the wet to the dry and stir well.  Allow to sit 10 minutes, then check the thickness for pancake batter consistency; add extra milk if necessary.  Heat your pan or grill to a medium heat and scoop the batter to preferred size.  Once bubbles have formed turn over and cook 2 to 3 more minutes.  Serve warm.

And if you have a bit more time, a quiche (also a good way to clean out the fridge) with a salad it always nice, served warm or room temperature.  So, next time you get home late, put on your PJs and make some brinner.

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