Deconstructed BLT and Eggs

For my birthday, my sister Jean sent me two books from my Amazon wish list. One was on photography, the other was this cookbook: Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a lot about this book but it was raved about in the blogosphere as one of the best cookbooks of 2010. Well, all that raving was well worth it — this book is awesome! I think Kelley spent a whole Thursday night while I was at volleyball one week reading it. Like a novel. Then, I picked it up one day, and the recipes had me practically drooling. Then we started making some of the recipes and discovered that they are (a) delicious, (b) relatively easy and (c) use ingredients that are accessible. (In other words, no, buy a 5 lb pork belly, cure it for a month, marinate it for two days in a mixture of Jamaican skhjfdybum, etc) These are recipes you can make on a weeknight.

Then I found this site french fridays with Dorie, where each week there is a recipe chosen from the book. The idea is that everyone makes that recipe during that week and everyone shares their links on Friday.

I’m happy to report that we’ve made 4 of the 5 September recipes now:

  • Corn soup: delicious, and a great use of an over-abundance of CSA corn
  • Creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach: also really tasty, and timed with a big bag of CSA spinach
  • Cinnamon-crunch chicken: really flavorful, although I don’t think I really got the ‘crunch’ part right
  • Honey-spiced madeleines: we have the pan, but we haven’t made these yet
  • Deconstructed BLT and eggs: this was Wednesday’s dinner

Despite a number of ingredients, making the deconstructed BLT and eggs was a relatively quick process.

First, I hard boiled some eggs

While those were boiling, I threw some bacon in a skillet

and sliced some cherry tomatoes (from our CSA)

When the bacon was done cooking, I made some croutons in the leftover bacon fat

I don’t have a picture of this (imagine some oil and vinegar mixed together and you get the idea), but I also threw some white balsamic vinegar and olive oil together to make a quick vinaigrette. Both of those ingredients were purchases from our Paris honeymoon last year (and this is a French cookbook – crazy!)

Then it was time to toss the arugula (CSA) with some chopped sun-dried tomatoes (Trader Joes) and the dressing

Toss in the tomatoes and bacon

then top with the hard boiled eggs

Finally… a little dollop of mayonnaise on each egg half and some salt and pepper

      

This was really tasty — definitely got that BLT flavor hit with each bite. I think the pepper (and the use of peppery arugula) really made this meal.

Plus, I just made a “deconstructed” dish. How Top Chef!!!

Bistro Dinner Salad

After dining on several delicious meals from the McDonald family chefs last weekend during our Galveston getaway, it was time for a light homemade dinner. This recipe for Bistro Dinner Salad was featured in a MyRecipes.com article and was both tasty and easy.

File this one under: “will make again”

Snowy Dinner – Cauliflower, Bacon & Parmesan Frittata

It’s been snowing all day in Milwaukee, so it seemed silly to make a trip to the grocery store for the final ingredients for the Cauliflower Soup we’ve been meaning to try. But, it also meant coming up with a dinner from random stuff in our refrigerator. The cauliflower was still there, and we had some eggs. Time for a frittata.

Based on our on-hand ingredients, I adjusted the recipe I found on MyRecipes.com. The key substitutions: turkey bacon for the bacon (beware, you won’t get much fat to cook the rest of the frittata in this way) and fat-free milk for the light cream.

It was a surprisingly tasty dinner. The cauliflower was nice and soft, more chewy than crunchy, and a slice of homemade bread made a fine side item.

Cauliflour, Bacon and Parmesan Frittata

Adapted from Food & Wine (via myRecipes.com)

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2.5 oz turkey bacon
5 large eggs
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
pinch freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 small head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, until cooked. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to cool. Pour off any grease in the pan (with turkey bacon, there may not be any grease to pour off, normal bacon would definitely be fattier)
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the eggs, milk, Parmesan, parsley and pepper with a whisk. Add the cooled bacon.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium high heat.
  4. Add the cauliflower and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, until cauliflower is golden and softened.
  5. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.
  6. Spread the cauliflower evenly across the pan and pour the egg mixture over the top. Tilt the pan to spread the egg mixture to all sides.
  7. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, until bottom of frittata is golden brown and top is almost set.
  8. Heat broiler. Broil the frittata 6 inches from the heat, if possible, until eggs are set and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
  9. Lift up the edge of the frittata with a spatula and slide onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.