Kale Caesar Salad Remixed

  IMG_3687Kale salad has become pretty ubiquitous recently (I blame it on Bon Appétit calling it the best restaurant dish of the year a few years ago) but I still love it. My current favorite iteration is a take on the traditional Caesar, with plenty of crunchy greens, a lemony dressing with lots of umami flavor from the anchovies, and (the best part) a runny poached egg instead of mixing the eggs in the dressing.

IMG_3690Since kale can be a little tough to swallow (literally), I love cutting it in ribbons like a slaw to make it easier to grab with a fork and bite. You could also easily add a different protein like chicken or salmon for a heartier meal, but as-is, this makes a pretty lovely lunch.

IMG_3684Also, some news! Ari and I are leaving for Bologna, Italy (where we both studied abroad in college) and Nice, France this afternoon! It's the first time I'm going back to Italy since studying there, and I can't wait. We'll be back on the 26th, and I'll report back on restaurants, gelato, and all of the pizza–and I'm planning on writing a bit more about moving across the country and adjusting to a new city. IMG_3692

Kale Caesar Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 3 or 4 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 eggs
1/2 baguette or other crusty bread, torn into bit-size pieces
14 ounces  kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)

Combine lemon juice, anchovy fillets, garlic and dijon mustard in a blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add 3/4 cup oil, drop by drop, to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. (Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

Heat remaining olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add bread and toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until bread is golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

Bring a small pan of water to boil, then add vinegar. Carefully crack 1 egg directly into pan, then quickly move egg so it stays together with a slotted spoon. Let cook (water may boil over) until egg is just set, 2-3 minutes, then remove egg with spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, croutons and poached eggs.

Deviled Eggs with Prosciutto

IMG_9629Happy New Year and apologies for the radio silence! There's really no excuse, but what with the flurry of the holidays and getting back into the swing of things with work and everything, it's felt like the last thing I want to do at night is sit in front of a computer. Otherwise, the new year is off to a good start–we're trying to eat healthier (at least for the month of January), so I can't say there have been a ton of exciting recipes here (lots of salads and variations on quinoa with vegetables and some protein). Have you made any resolutions? (Have you kept them?)IMG_9633I made these deviled eggs for a New Year's party, and I think they're my favorite variation on the recipe (basically, any combination of pork + eggs is genius in my book) but you could easily leave out the prosciutto for a vegetarian take. I could seriously eat a whole plate of these for dinner–but they make a great appetizer for any occasion. IMG_9634

Deviled Eggs with Prosciutto (adapted from Food & Wine)

12 large eggs

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

4 cornichons, minced

3 tablespoons goat cheese, at room temperature

2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot or red onion

2 teaspoons snipped chives or scallions

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 ouncea thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1-inch pieces

In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 8 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice water bath until chilled, about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cornichons, goat cheese, mustard, shallot and 1 teaspoon of the chives. Peel the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Add the yolks to the bowl, mix until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

Set the egg whites on a serving platter. Scrape the egg yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe the filling into the whites; alternatively, spoon in the filling with a teaspoon. Top each egg with a piece of prosciutto, sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of chives and serve.

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.

Vegetable Fried Rice

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Do you ever have one of those nights where you feel like you have nothing to eat even though the fridge has plenty of food? Sometimes I get home from work at 7:30 and don't feel like making a complicated meal, and lately, fried rice has been the one thing that has saved me from ordering takeout (also great, but it adds up quickly). Fried rice may not be quite as healthy as having a salad, but it is a great way to use up any miscellaneous vegetables and the variations are almost endless. I love adding chicken or tofu for more protein, and while my favorite vegetables are broccoli and peas, it would be great with carrots, zucchini, or pretty much anything else you might have lying around in your refrigerator.

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Vegetable Fried Rice (serves 3-4)

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 large eggs

Salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 scallions, white and green parts separated

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cups broccoli florets and stems, roughly chopped

3/4 cups fresh or frozen peas

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups spinach, chopped

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan or wok. When hot, crack eggs directly into pan, and quickly scramble with a spatula until barely set. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat remaining oil in the same pan. When hot, add white parts of scallions, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and sauté until you can smell the aromatics, 1-2 minutes. Quickly add rice vinegar and sugar and stir. Add broccoli and peas, and cook until broccoli is bright green and still crisp, about 5 minutes.

Add rice, spinach, oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce and mix well. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add cooked eggs. Serve immediately, garnishing with remaining scallions and peanuts, if desired.

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.

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!

$10 Mondays: Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Prosciutto

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, spring feels like it's in the air. A string of 50 degree days and all of the sudden everyone looks happier. Of course, we could have a blizzard next week, but for now I am content to celebrate the lovely day with a simple lunch of asparagus, eggs, and prosciutto. This post also marks a new series which I will (try very hard to) post every Monday, called $10 Mondays. The prosciutto in this recipe does bring the cost up a little, but if you make 2 servings (as shown), you should come out under $10. Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Prosciutto

1/2 teaspoon butter

1/2 lb asparagus, ends trimmed

4 large eggs*

1 teaspoon vinegar

4 slices prosciutto

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a small pot of water to boil with vinegar (this helps the eggs stay together while poaching). Carefully, break one egg into pot and immediately use a spoon to keep white and yolk together (some of it will come apart). Boil until white is set but yolk is still runny, about a minute. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add asparagus and sear until bright green and crisp tender, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place asparagus on a plate with prosciutto. Place eggs over asparagus, and top with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

Prosciutto: $4.99 for 3 oz

Eggs: $3.99/dozen, 33 cents each = $1.33

Asparagus: $3.99/bunch

Total: $10.31

Alright, so not quite under $10. However, you won't use all of the asparagus and prosciutto for this recipe and you can use the leftovers in a lovely risotto. Or an omlette. Or on crostini with some ricotta cheese. The possibilities are endless, really.

Pad Thai

I love Thai food. However, sometimes I find that takeout options can be sickly sweet, or too oily, or not spicy enough. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and after finding out how easy this recipe is, I might never order pad thai for delivery again. It is also gluten-free, an added bonus to its simplicity and great taste. This can also easily be non-vegetarian by substituting the tofu for shrimp. Pad Thai (modified from Bon Appétit)

Serves 2-3

8 ounces pad thai rice noodles 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 large eggs 1 block tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 cups bean sprouts 6 tablespoons tamarind water, or 3 tablespoons tamarind paste mixed with 3 tablespoons water (I couldn't find tamarind paste, so I used pomegranate paste to the same effect) 3 tablespoons (or more) Thai fish sauce (nam pla) 3 tablespoons simple syrup 5 scallions, thinly sliced. 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes 6 tablespoons crushed roasted, unsalted peanuts, divided 2 lime wedges
Soak rice noodles in a large bowl in hot water until firm but not soggy, 5-8 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat oil until shimmering in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Sear tofu until browned on each side, 10- 15 minutes. Add eggs and scramble for 30 seconds. Add noodles, stir for 30 seconds. Stir in bean sprouts, then add tamarind water, fish sauce, simple syrup, scallions, and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with extra peanuts, fish sauce, scallions, and lime wedges.