Coconut Flour Pancakes

_MG_6381Since Ari has been making an effort to eat less gluten, I decided I would try to do so as well (but don't worry bread, I could never leave you forever.) It's actually kind of fun to be challenged sometimes – not being able to use traditional flours or starches forces you to be more creative and try new things. He picked up some coconut flour last week, which I had never used, and I made these coconut pancakes for brunch over the weekend._MG_6376  

_MG_6370I love coconut, but if you aren't a fan of it then this might not be the recipe for you. These were also a little drier than regular pancakes and you could really taste the eggs (although, I found that the pancakes that I was keeping in the oven tasted less like eggs than the ones that came directly off the griddle). I liked the eggy taste, but you could try it both ways. And I would highly recommend serving these with the amazing strawberries that are in season right now!_MG_6373

Coconut Flour Pancakes (makes 8 3-inch pancakes, adapted from Bob's Red Mill)

4 eggs 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil 1/4 cup milk (we used almond milk) 1/4 cup coconut flour1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil and milk until well combined

In a separate bowl, sift coconut flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add dry to wet and thoroughly mix until there are no lumps.

Coat a cast-iron skillet or  griddle with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Ladle 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto skillet. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the top and pancake begins to set, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the second side, about 2 minutes. Brush griddle with additional oil, then repeat until batter is gone. Serve with maple syrup and fruit.

Spring Frittata

_MG_6234Happy spring! I know it was technically spring almost two months ago, but here on the east coast it's felt like a very slow slog through miserable winter. But after a lovely weekend (and my first sunburn of the season), it's finally feeling like warm weather is here to stay. _MG_6248

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Spring, for me, means lots of fresh vegetables (finally!) and one of my favorite ways to use these is to throw them together in a frittata. Like fried rice, this recipe has almost endless variations and is a great way to use up whatever you might have languishing in the refrigerator.

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_MG_6243 To make this particularly springy, I went with asparagus, ramps, kale and turkey bacon – but I think that peas, arugula, and even chicken sausage would also be lovely.

_MG_6229And just for fun, some lovely ranunculus that I picked up at Trader Joe's.

Spring Frittata (serves 4-5)

1 tablespoon butter

4 slices turkey bacon, roughly chopped

1/4 onion, finely chopped

4-5 ramps or green onions, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 bunch asparagus, woody ends broken off and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large handful kale or other greens, stemmed and chopped

8 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 ounces goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large cast-iron or oven proof pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. When hot, add turkey bacon and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste, and whisk until combined. Add asparagus, ramps, garlic and kale to pan and cook until vegetables are bright green and slightly wilted, 5-6 minutes. Make sure they are evenly distributed around the pan, then pour egg mixture over and remove from heat. Crumble goat cheese over eggs, then cook frittata in the oven until eggs are set and the top is just slightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Blender Hollandaise

_MG_6147There's a part in the movie Julie and Julia where Stanley Tucci (as Paul Child) walks in on Meryl Streep (as Julia Child) frantically whisking bowls and bowls of mayonnaise in their Paris kitchen, perfecting the recipe for her forthcoming cookbook – the trick being that warming the bowl beforehand made combining the egg yolks and oil much easier._MG_6135 Julia Child's great gift was bringing complicated French techniques and dishes to the American masses, and nothing represents this philosophy better than hollandaise made in a blender. It combines French emulsifying techniques with modern convenience, and of course, plenty of butter. Three ingredients, about 5 minutes total, and not even a thought of whisking – what could be easier? As shown in the movie, warming the blender beforehand ensures that the egg yolk and butter will blend into a creamy sauce and not a separated mess._MG_6149

_MG_6153 Quick Blender Hollandaise (makes about 3/4 cup, adapted from Bon Appétit) 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes Salt and pepper

Fill your blender with hot water and set aside. Melt butter until foaming in a small saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat.

Empty blender, then dry thoroughly. Add egg yolk and lemon juice to blender, and pulse on low to blend. Working quickly and with blender running, pour melted butter in a slow stream (almost dripping) through the hole in cover, leaving the milk solids in the bottom of the pan. Blend until sauce is creamy, and season well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. (Here, we topped quickly sautéed asparagus and poached eggs).

Baked Eggs with Mushrooms, Spinach & Bread

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_MG_5631I firmly believe that you can never have enough egg recipes. My personal favorite way to eat eggs is over-easy, atop a piece of avocado-slathered toast with a little hot sauce, but every now and then I like to switch it up a little. This recipe looks impressive, uses one pan, and can be expanded exponentially to accommodate a crowd – really, what's not to love? You could also add bacon for a smoky flavor, or switch the vegetables for other items you prefer. The only thing I really insist on is the croutons and runny eggs. A perfect winter breakfast, if I do say so myself._MG_5637

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Baked Eggs with Mushrooms, Spinach & Bread (serves 2)

2 T. olive oil

1/2 baguette or other rustic bread, torn into bite-size pieces

2 T. butter

1 leek, rinsed well and thinly sliced

10 oz mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

4 oz spinach, chopped

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil over medium in a sauté pan. When hot, add bread and toast until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a cast-iron or oven-proof pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek, and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt an pepper, sautéing until browned, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add croutons and toss. Carefully make four small wells in vegetable mixture, then crack eggs directly into each well. Place pan in oven and cook until eggs are just set, 6-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

_MG_4864As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I went home to Minnesota for a week at the end of June. I love going home, not only for the opportunity to escape from New York for a little while, but also because my parent's house is such a lovely contrast from my little apartment in Brooklyn. One of my favorite things to do there in the summer is eat breakfast (or pretty much any meal) on the porch, and my mom surprised us all on the first morning of my trip with these delicious blueberry pancakes. The fresh peonies everywhere were pretty great too. _MG_4871 _MG_4869

The rest of the week was spent with family, eating, playing croquet, and reading -- all in all, a perfect vacation. _MG_4876

Happy 4th of July to all of you! Hope you are somewhere enjoying a few days off and celebrating the independence of our great country._MG_4881

 

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Heat griddle over medium heat. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps. Heat oven to 175 degrees. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto griddle. Wipe off excess. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. Sprinkle 8-9 blueberries on each pancake. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, (about 3 minutes) flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Black Bean, Corn & Egg Tostadas

_MG_4671If you are anything like me, there are nights that you simply don't want to go to the grocery store (although mine is a block and a half away, so I don't have much of an excuse). This recipe uses ingredients that I pretty much always have on hand, and can be adapted really easily to suit your tastes -- you could add in some chicken sausage, sprinkle lettuce or cotija cheese on top, make scrambled eggs instead of poached. But in any case, this is an easy, cheap option for weeknight dinners or weekend brunches -- and even if it's still a little cold here in New York (although, compared to what my family is experiencing in Minnesota, it's practically summer here), I can almost imagine sitting on a beach, maragarita in hand, devouring these tostadas._MG_4630 _MG_4674

Disclaimer: Ari told me that I had to tell you that this is very messy to eat. We tried our luck with forks but ended up just picking up the whole tostada at once. It still tastes good, in any case._MG_4670

Black Bean, Corn & Egg Tostadas (serves 2)

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1/2 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon pickled jalapeños, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 can black beans, drained

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

4 corn tortillas

1 tablespoon white vinegar

4 eggs

1 avocado, thinly sliced

Cilantro, chopped

Salsa

Hot sauce

Heat oil over medium-high in a saucepan. When hot, add onion, garlic, jalapeños and cumin and sauté until the mixture begins to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add black beans and lower heat to simmer. Heat through, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn and season with salt and pepper. remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the meantime, fill a sauté pan with about 2 inches of water, add vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Carefully crack first egg directly into pan. Immediately use a spoon to fold white over yolk so that it is covered, using the spoon to hold the egg together. Cook about 1 minute, then carefully flip over and cook until white is set but yolk is still runny, 1-2 minutes. Remove egg to a small bowl with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Place tortillas on oven rack. Toast until crispy, 5-6 minutes. Place two on each plate, then top with bean & corn mixture, avocado slices, and egg. Serve immediately with cilantro, additional chopped onion, salsa, and hot sauce.

Open-Faced Egg, Prosciutto & Avocado Sandwiches

_MG_4428I am really ready for spring. I'm definitely sick of all of my winter clothes, and I would be pretty happy if I didn't have to wear my winter coat for at least six months. We've had a few glimpses of spring in New York, but then it inevitably starts snowing again. So until I can find asparagus, ramps, and any fruit besides apples, I'll have to tide myself over with this (non-vegetable filled) open-faced sandwich. (Note: it makes an excellent pre- or post-St. Patrick's Day breakfast if you aren't feeling the best). This sandwich was inspired by a really wonderful café in my old neighborhood called Milk Bar, and I would recommend serving it with a latte, like I would have there. Or a mimosa. You know, whatever appeals to you._MG_4432 _MG_4437

Open-Faced Egg, Prosciutto Avocado Sandwich (serves 1)

2 slices bread of your choice

4 slices prosciutto or other ham

1 oz brie, cut into thin slices

1/2 avocado, sliced

Butter

2 large eggs

 

Preheat broiler. Place prosciutto, then brie, on top of bread. Broil until cheese just melts, about 2 minutes. Place avocado on top. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Crack eggs directly into pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until just set, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip eggs over with a spatula, and cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 1 minute more. Top sandwiches with eggs and serve immediately.

Zucchini Muffins + One Year Anniversary

Guys, I'm totally late on my own anniversary. It happened two days ago, on October 11. One year (and two days) ago I started this little blog as a way to give myself a creative outlet and to try to improve my photography skills. Since then, I've met lots of you through your comments, discovered new blogs, and (hopefully) learned many  things about this crazy business of blogging and food photography. I still have much to learn, but I think that I have improved a little bit (DON'T look at my banana bread photos. Terrible.) This recipe comes from my mother, and I'm not sure where she got it. It's still my favorite recipe for zucchini bread (although I made these into muffins), and it only gets better after a few days. I added a little more zucchini and used olive oil instead of vegetable oil to try and make it slightly on the healthier side. However, these make excellent breakfast as well as dessert, and if you wanted to make it even a little healthier you could cut the sugar by 1/3 of a cup or so.

Thank you all for visiting this little corner of the internet, and for your wonderful comments and support over the last year -- and here's to many more years at 124 Park.

Zucchini Muffins (makes 24 muffins or 2 loaves)

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 12-cup muffin tins by buttering and flouring them or by placing paper muffin cups inside them OR butter and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until foamy, 1-2 minutes. Mix in zucchini, olive oil, and vanilla and beat well, 1-2 minutes. Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.

Pour into prepared tins or loaf pans. If making muffins, place about 1/3 cup batter into each tin. Bake muffins for about 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed gently. If making loaves, bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester placed in the center comes out clean.

Healthier Banana Bread

I love banana bread. I could eat it pretty much every day, all year round. But since many recipes are more like banana cake than banana bread, with lots of sugar and refined flour, it's not the healthiest option for breakfast. I had been searching for a more virtuous option for a few weeks, so imagine my delight when one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, featured one on her site only a few days ago! It was fate. I didn't have any millet seeds on hand, but from Deb's description it sounds like they make a great addition. I also decided to make this gluten-free, but whole wheat flour would work just as well. So far, the best gluten-free flour mix that I have found is Cup4Cup, which Thomas Keller helped develop (this post was not sponsored by them in any way, that's just been my experience).

As you can see by the photos, I couldn't keep my roommates away long enough to get a full shot of the banana bread, but hopefully that speaks to the taste. Also, I still don't have loaf pans so I used my 9-inch cake pans, which work fine. (And actually, I almost like it better because you get more of the top part -- which is my favorite).

Healthier Banana Bread (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

4 over-ripe bananas

1 egg

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch cloves

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (or whole wheat flour)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan (or a 9-inch cake pan). In a large bowl, mash bananas until soft and smooth. Whisk in egg, then oil, then sugar and syrup. Add vanilla, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and flour and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool pan on rack.

Savory Corn Waffles

As you can probably tell, I'm a little corn obsessed during the summer. Unfortunately for me, the Midwest is still by far the best place for fresh corn, but the East Coast has put up a pretty good effort over the last couple of months. I'm not even going to bother putting up a recipe for these waffles , since they are extremely similar to these -- with the addition of two cups of fresh corn, and the fact that by now I have a little more experience with my camera than previously. I served these for a leisurely breakfast with slices of avocado and fried eggs (mimosas optional), but I think they would also be good with a little ricotta spread over the top.

I love how the fresh corn pops in your mouth and adds such great texture to the waffles. Enjoy!