Brighten Your Day Turkish Eggs

Are you looking for a new way to brighten up your morning?  This recipe will do just that.  Turkish Eggs are eggs that are poached and served with garlicky yogurt and topped with warm oil or butter infused with paprika.  Use your favorite paprika in this – sweet, smoked or hot for extra special flavor.  Savor the last of it with some warm flatbread or pita if you like.

Turkish Eggs

makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter, or combination of both
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • fresh mint or parsley, torn for garnish
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt with minced garlic. Season with salt then set aside.
  2. Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to bring to a simmer, and add vinegar. Crack egg into a small bowl, stir simmering water in circles until swirling, then gently pour egg into the pan in the same direction as the water is moving. Keep water at a gentle simmer and cook egg for 3-4 minutes for soft yolk and 5-6 for firm yolk. Remove egg with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Pour water out of the saucepan and wipe dry. Return to heat and add oil/butter. When warm, add paprika and stir for about a minute. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Spread garlic yogurt on a plate and top with poached egg. Drizzle paprika oil/butter over egg. Sprinkle with mint or parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

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{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

Today it’s Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking with Julia and this week we baked David Ogonowski’s Chocolate Truffle Tartlets.  They’re made with a dark chocolate tart crust and a filling of butter, bittersweet chocolate, egg yolks, and sugar.  White chocolate, milk chocolate, and biscotti chunks are added to the filling before baking to push these tartlets over the top.

The recipe makes six 4 1/2 inch tartlets, but I only had four pans, so instead of trying to do some complicated math or only making three and risking a fight amongst the children, I halved both the dough and filling recipes and divided them up into four portions.  I had to roll the dough a little thinner but it still puffed up nicely when baked and made a significant crust.  The recipe also instructs you to remove the bottoms from the tartlet pans, but I left mine in (’cause I was scared) and they came out just fine.

The filling didn’t completely fill up the shells either, but once I tasted the end product I was kind of grateful that they weren’t any thicker.  These babies are RICH.  I would describe the texture of the filling as a kind of brownie/fudge hybrid.  They came out of the oven with that papery top you get on the best brownies and the inside was soft and a little fudge-y.  I almost didn’t add the biscotti to them because the idea just sounded wacky, but in the end I did, and I almost think that is the best part.  The whole thing is just so dang chocolatey that the biscotti adds that little bit of relief from chocolate overload.

I must admit that these tartlets had mixed reviews at my house, being deemed “too chocolatey” by the person who picks the chocolate chips out of the chocolate chip cookies (husband), and thoroughly enjoyed by another who was in the throes of some serious chocolate cravings (me).  Ultimately, I think this is the perfect recipe for a true chocolate lover – someone who doesn’t simply enjoy a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar but who also really digs the deep dark 70% and higher chocolate.

Our hostesses for the week are Steph, Spike, Jaime and Jessica, just click on their names to check out the recipe or you can get this fabulous book yourself by clicking here.

{Tuesdays With Dorie} Baking With Julia White Loaves

I’ve had the lovely book Baking with Julia in my cookbook collection for a while and have made some very successful and delicious recipes from it, but it had somehow gotten buried under the ever-growing pile of newer cookbooks over time. When I discovered that the Tuesdays with Dorie group had chosen this book, which Dorie Greenspan put together from Julia Child’s PBS series of the same name, I dug it out and flipped through the pages thinking all the time “Man, I forgot how good this book is!”

I know the brioche and sticky bun recipes are fabulous, and I love the idea of baking my way through the book in order to try all the other recipes.  So, here goes!

The first recipe chosen for the month of February was White Loaves, contributed by Craig Kominiak, which begins a chapter titled “Daily Loaves”.  Regular Shortbread readers will know that I have made quite a few loaves of bread in my time, and it was difficult for me to keep from straying from the recipe and doing my own thing.  But I tried to use the techniques it called for, and the only substitution I made was using instant yeast instead of active dry because it was all I had in the pantry.  (If you find yourself in the same situation, skip the first step of mixing the yeast, sugar, and water together and just stir the yeast and sugar into the first half of the flour before adding the water.)

This dough was definitely on the wet side for me, but the loaves rose quickly and baked up tall and fragrant.  It sliced easily and made tasty sandwiches, toast, and was even better with a layer of Nutella.

This week’s TWD/BWJ hostesses are Laurie of slush and Jules of Someone’s in the Kitchen, and on their websites you’ll find this recipe.  Visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blog for more information!

 

 

Secret Ingredient Broccoli And White Bean Soup

 

Broccoli and White Bean Soup

To me, homemade soup is one the best things ever, especially in the winter and especially at lunch time.  The only negative is that it can be somewhat time consuming to prepare.  But if I can carve out one morning to spend putting together a fresh pot of soup, it can be divided up into freezer bags or containers and taken out as needed to defrost on days when I’m pressed for time.

This Broccoli and White Bean Soup is an example of one that really doesn’t take a lot of time to make, and the reward is three-fold:  warm, comforting, and so good for you.  The beans are what I call a ‘secret ingredient’ because at the same time they thicken the soup and make it incredibly creamy when you blend everything together.  The recipe calls for fresh broccoli, but frozen works too – just skip the steaming step and add it in along with the beans.

Broccoli and White Bean Soup

 

Broccoli and White Bean Soup

adapted from Whole Living Magazine

makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted, for serving
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat water to simmering in a pot with a steamer basket or insert. Add broccoli florets and steam until tender
    and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Set aside 1 cup of the florets to stir in at the end.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Saute onion until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add beans and stock and turn up heat to medium until it simmers.
  3. Remove pot from the heat and stir in broccoli. Let cool slightly, then puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a stand blender until smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in reserved florets.
  5. When ready to serve, garnish each bowl with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan.

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Embrace The Summer Squash Pie

squashpie02

Need a plan for that bounty of squash you may have received from your CSA basket/farmers market/generous neighbor?  I did, when I was given my basket from Big Moon Farm, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm that I’m a member of.  This sunshine-y Squash Pie is the perfect plan, and you can use any type of summer squash you have in abundance like yellow squash, zucchini, patty pan or a mixture.

This pie is something between a crust-less quiche and a frittata, and is baked in the oven.  It’s open to many variations of not just the squash, but also the herbs and cheese depending on what you have on hand.  Make sure to completely drain the squash so the pie doesn’t become runny.

Now, embrace that bag of squash and savor the summer.

squashpie01

Squash Pie

makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (about 2 or 3) yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the squash, green onions, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until squash has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
  3. Drain the cooled squash in a colander, pressing gently to remove extra liquid. Return to the bowl.
  4. Add the basil, parsley, and eggs to the squash, stir to combine. Pour into a round, deep baking dish. Cover with the tomato slices and sprinkle with feta. Bake until set, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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In From The Cold Butternut Squash And Pumpkin Soup

From the look of things, there’s probably snow on the ground where a lot of you are.  It’s hard to believe we had a big enough snow here in the South to make a snowman, but it happens on occasion.  However, unless you’re from somewhere not too far below the Mason-Dixon Line you might need a lesson on how to build one.

I’ll tell you how to make some soup that will warm you to your toes after being out in the frigid air, though.  A Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup that is flecked with tiny bits of bacon and warmed by a splash of sherry will do the trick nicely.  Sprinkle a few toasted pumpkin seeds and bacon pieces on top and you’ll forget all about the snow.

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

from Shortbread

makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel squash and cut off top and bottom. Slice lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Chop into 2 inch pieces. Repeat with the pumpkin.
  3. Pile squash and pumpkin chunks into a baking dish and add 1/2 cup water. Bake about 1 hour until tender when pierced with a knife.
  4. Put the bacon pieces in a large pot and turn on the heat to medium-low. Cook until bacon is deep brown and crisp. Remove to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
  5. Add the yellow and green onions and the garlic to the pot and sauté over medium heat until softened. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add them along with the bay leaf, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir for about one minute.
  6. Add the roasted squash and pumpkin and sauté 5 minutes longer, then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaf from the pot, and puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with a stick blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring back to a simmer. Add the sherry and simmer gently for another 3-5 minutes. Pour in the cream and heat through.
  8. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg and top with  the reserved bacon pieces.

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TENDER AT THE BONE Artpark Brownies {The Kitchen Reader}

For the month of May, The Kitchen Readers read Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, by Ruth Reichl.  She is the well known restaurant critic for The New York Times, and in her book she shares the experiences growing up that she feels led to her great appreciation of food.

With her mother suffering from bouts of manic-depression, Reichl must intervene in her cooking “experiments” to keep her from making guests sick.  When her parents are often absent, she finds herself cooking for others to make friends and keep from being lonely.

When she is then surprised by her mother enrolling her in a French school far from home, Reichl makes friends with a schoolmate who’s father introduces her to the joys of fine food.  She spends much of her young adulthood traveling abroad experiencing the foods of the regions, and then joins a co-op restaurant as part owner where she learns about the restaurant business and acquires her first stalker.

It seems that Ruth Reichl naturally moved through her life on a path paved by food, as if it was destiny that she would eventually find herself surrounded by people like James Beard and Marion Cunningham.  Tender at the Bone is filled with humorous, self-effacing stories that make this book fun and easy to read.  And if all the recipes included are as tasty as these rich, fudgy brownies, that’s an even greater bonus.  I strongly recommend serving them with a scoop of ice cream.

Thanks to the sweet and talented Jill of Jill’s Blog for this month’s book selection.

Artpark Brownies

from Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

makes 12 brownies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 5 ounces unsweetened, best-quality French chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sifted flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.
  3. Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler, over boiling water. When melted, add vanilla and set aside.
  4. Beat eggs and salt in mixer. Add sugar and beat at high speed for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is quite white.
  5. Add chocolate and butter mixture and beat at low speed, just until mixed. Add flour and combine quickly, until there are no white streaks.
  6. Pour batter into baking pan and put in oven. Immediately turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. (The normal toothpick test will not work on these brownies, but if you want to try pricking them with a toothpick, it should come out not quite clean.) Do not overbake; these brownies should be fudgy.