Monthly Archives: December 2009

Baked Herbed Eggs

Baked Eggs courtesy of Foodchannel.com

I was out with friends and we were walking around a cooking shop.  My friend Al was looking through several sizes and kinds of ramekins.  I asked what those were for and he replied, ‘baked eggs.’  I was intrigued and bugged him enough until he sent me the recipe he was using.   I thought a leisurely New Year’s Day might be a chance to give them a try.

I’ve been playing with the recipe, cooking one egg at a time in the oven-proof pyrex bowls I have.  Each easily holds 1 egg, so it’s a great way to try different flavors.  I’m partial, for the moment, to a cajun mix I have.  Each egg takes about 3-4 minutes.  I take them out while they are still a bit runny and let them sit for a minute and they finish cooking.  The first one I did, I left in until it was fully cooked and by the time I got it out of the bowl it was too cooked and very dry.

Here is the recipe as Al sent it to me, along with his notes on his cooking experience with them.  Once you get the basic recipe down, try adding other flavors as you like, maybe some spinach or mushrooms.  I also saw a recipe where the bowl was lined in bacon.  Yum.  From Alton Gunn:

Herb Baked Eggs

Recipe By: annie’s eats

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat source. Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, chives, parsley, and Parmesan cheese and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 4 small bowls or teacups without breaking the yolks. (These are not the dishes you will bake the eggs in.) It is very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking because you must move quickly.

Place four individual gratin dishes or oven-safe crocks on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and ½ tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly but carefully pour each serving of eggs into the individual gratin dishes and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are just cooked. (You may need to rotate the baking sheet halfway through to ensure even baking.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to rest for at least 60 seconds before serving hot, with toast if desired.

Notes:

About four minutes for each of my small cups (one egg each)

Added a pinch of parmesan on top of each cup when I put it back in and that was nice

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Larissa’s Curried Fruit

This has become one of my favorite Christmas Eve dishes from my friend Larissa.

Larissa’s Curried Fruit

  • 2-15 oz cans Peach halves
  • 2-15 oz cans Pear halves
  • 1 can Apricot halves
  • 1 small jar Maraschino cherries
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup butter melted

9×13 glass baking dish

Place fruit side by side, in one layer, hollowed side up in a 9×13 baking dish. Place a cherry in the center of each piece of fruit. Stir together the brown sugar, curry, cornstarch and melted butter. Pour sugar mixture evenly over the fruit. No need to be too exacting with the topping, it will melt down and even out nicely in the oven. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour.

Welcome Back

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to take up the recipe task yet.  I seem to have been cooking non-stop for the last two weeks.  Last night I made my last Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, and did something a bit different.  I made a full batch of the cake part of the recipe and a half recipe of the cranberry filling and a half recipe of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake filling (which was by request – hard to turn down a, “my favorite cake is…” comment).  Very easy to do and a nice change of pace.  And really made me a hero today.

When I went grocery shopping this weekend, I found myself drawn to a theme: lime, cilantro, corn tortillas, pico de gallo (the spice, not the salsa) and pineapple.  I’m thinking I’ll be making chicken tacos at some point and maybe fajitas later in the week.  Usually when I shop, I’ve already planned out my meals for the week, but couldn’t face it this weekend, so it should be fun to see what I can make from the mish-mash of ingredients I purchased.  Always better to shop with meals in mind, but this could be fun, too.

This week will probably continue to be light in posts as we all recover from the holidays and next week I’ll begin in earnest on our series and tips.  But I’ll post a couple of light recipes this week and a friend’s recipe for baked eggs.  Until then….

Merry Christmas!

I have nothing profound to say.  But I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very happy holiday season.  I’m so very glad you all stop by here from time to time to see what’s going on.  And a special thank you to everyone at  Balloon-Juice (especially John Cole and Anne Laurie) and to everyone who has shared their recipes with me.  You guys make it special.   xoxo – TaMara

Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake

This is one of my favorite holiday recipes.  It’s from Nigella Lawson:

Clementine Cake

  • 4-5 clementines
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

springform pan

Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds. Dump the clementines – skins, pith, fruit and all – and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven 375 degrees. Butter a Springform pan.

You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover with foil  after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake’s cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it’s made, but I don’t complain about eating it at any time.

Gotta run, baking for tomorrow and time to watch the Grinch.  Enjoy….

Dancing Brontosaurus

…okay Apatosaurus.  But he’ll always be a Brontosaurus to me.

This is the Holiday Greeting a friend received from the Denver Natural History Museum.  It made me laugh out loud and I had to share.  It won’t let me embed it, but if you click on the link, I know it will make you smile.  So if  today was stressful, enjoy this video greeting:

Dancing Brontosaurus

Christmas Break

As Christmas barrels toward us, my posts will probably be light.  I’ll be doing a lot of cooking – including Chicken Pot Pies to give away as gifts – kind of change of pace from giving away cookies.  There will be sugar cookies to decorate and I’ll be making two Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes to take to parties.  I just finished up a batch if Peanut Butter Cookies….it seems the cooking never ends during this season.  That is not a complaint, I love doing it.   It’s just not going to leave me a lot of time to post.

So what’s coming up in 2010? I’ll be finishing up the Men Who Cook series, which, with the recipes I have, should take us to spring.  I’ll continue the Food In Fiction series with some more adult fare.  I want to start a Vegetarian/Vegan series,  posting meatless recipes a couple times a month.  And come spring, I will be focusing on vegetable gardening.  I keep meaning to post more quick cooking tips and get side-tracked by everything else that is going on, so I’ll try harder to keep up with that.

And of course I’ll post dinner recipes every week, along with a full menu on Thursdays.  2010 looks like fun.

Saturday Menu: Roast, Ginger Glazed Carrots, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

I rarely cook a roast, unless it’s a pot roast and I can put it into the slow-cooker and leave it.  Usually if I’m looking to cook nice beef, it’s grilled steak. But while I was shopping the other day, I found an excellent deal on a sirloin tip roast and decided to give it a try this weekend.  I was unsure how to cook it because I wasn’t sure what type of roast it was.  Was it the type that needed to be braised or roasted?  Could it be served rare-to-medium rare or did it need to be medium-to-well in order to be fork-tender?  I did a little research and found what I needed.  And with a little help from Kirk, I had enough confidence to roast this roast.  NOTE: This cooking method is for rare to medium-rare only.  If you like your meat more medium to well, you’ll need to use a slow cooking method.  Here’s what I did:

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees

My 4-lb roast came in a little mesh coat, which I removed, then rubbed salt, pepper and crushed garlic over the entire roast, followed with a bit of olive oil.  I then redressed it into its mesh coat and placed it into my roasting pan uncovered.  When the oven was heated, I placed the roast in and set the timer for 20 minutes.  The instructions were very specific about not opening the oven door until the 20 minutes were up.  When it was, I turned the oven down to 350 degrees and put in the meat thermometer.  When it reached 125 degrees (about 40 minutes later), I removed the roast, placed the lid over it and let it rest while I finished cooking the remainder of the meal.  It reached 140 degrees by the time it was served.

This is where I love having a pressure cooker – mashed potatoes took 15 minutes from start to serve and finished up right in time with the ginger glazed carrots, gravy and the resting roast.  Potatoes were mashed with milk, roasted garlic, butter, salt and pepper.  Everything really came out perfect and the roast was tender and juicy, with a nice crust on it.  I would do this again without hesitation.

So how did Kirk help?  My question was about the slower stage of cooking, should I cook it uncovered or covered?  My fear (and the reason I rarely cook roasts) was that it would dry out.  Here’s what Kirk had to say on this subject:

Crusty, crisp-ish exteriors get soft when exposed to moist environments. Soft, velvety surfaces will dry up if not kept in moist environments.  Since you’re going 500 then 350 I’m guessing you want a crust (of sorts) on the exterior – a roasting-created maillard reaction. Because of that I’d indeed go with uncovered.

Oh – the risk and problem happens if/when you head through medium. It’s not really the interior that is then the problem, it’s the exterior – that  “crust” will start moving inward and become “dry and tough” because of its thickness. When you pull it out and let it rest, the remaining moisture in the middle will try to equalize, leaving you with a dry chunk of beef. So if you’re going above medium-rare in a medium to hot oven, plan on covering the pot.  – Kirk

 This was invaluable information, thanks Kirk!

Citrus Drop Cookies

Harry and David sell these amazing citrus cookies that I love.  I’ve always wanted to make something like them, but never got around to finding a recipe.  Yesterday I stumbled on a recipe that looked like it would make some really good citrus cookies. Decided to try it tonight and tweaked it just a bit. It’s fairly easy, though it takes three separate bowls.  I’m waiting for the second batch to come out of the oven right now.

Citrus Drop Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • zest of 1 orange, 1 lime and 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp each of fresh orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice
  • powdered sugar

3 mixing bowls

Add butter, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla to mixing bowl and mix on medium until creamy.  Add baking soda and flour, mixing (by hand) well.  Divide batter between three bowls.  In one bowl, mix in lime zest and limejuice, in second bowl, orange and third bowl, lemon.  Mix well and drop by small spoonful onto a cookie sheet (you want them to be about the size of a quarter).  Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar when cool.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is one of my favorite squash recipes.  It is hearty enough to be an entrée with a nice salad.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 Acorn Squash, halved and cleaned
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4-6 mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 lb spicy sausage (you can omit or substitute ground turkey or tofu)
  • 3 cups stuffing bread cubes
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (more as needed to moisten)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of sage
  • pinch of marjoram
  • salt & pepper to taste

baking dish and saucepan

Place squash, cut side down, in an oiled baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until tender.  While they are cooking, sauté onions and mushrooms in olive oil, remove and set aside.  Brown sausage and drain, then add all ingredients to sausage mixing well.  Add more chicken broth as needed to completely moisten stuffing.  Fill each acorn half with stuffing mix (covering the top of the squash completely), cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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