Smoked Salmon and Wilted Greens Frittata

I usually cook with recipes. I often make changes, but I like having a plan… a starting point. Recently, I’ve been improvising more. Instead of buying ingredients for specific meals, I’ve been making meals based on the ingredients I have.

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One of the dishes I threw together this week was a frittata with smoked salmon, wilted greens, and shallots. It was easy to make, tasted great, and was easy to reheat the next day at work!

Smoked Salmon and Wilted Greens Frittata

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups mized greens, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 ounces smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: cheese and/or fresh herbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sautee pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add greens and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the leaves begin to wilt. Toss in smoked salmon, and cook 1 minute. Pour in eggs and cook until eggs start to set, 3 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and cook 10-12 minutes, until eggs are fluffy and coked through. Season with salt and pepper, slice, and serve.

**I garnished my plate with slices from 1/4 of an avocado.

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This week is Bay Area Dance Week, so in addition to my usual jobs and classes, I’ve had extra rehearsals and shows. Quick meals have been very much appreciated!

What are your favorite fast meals?

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Happy eating!

-C

Brunch: Tiramisu Pancakes and Kale and Egg Scramble

Weeks ago, I got an email from VegNews containing a recipe for Vegan Tiramisu Pancakes.  I immediately forwarded the email to Lindsey and a few girlfriends, and started planning when I could justify making such a decadent breakfast.  I ended up scheduling two brunches, since, unsurprisingly, a lot of my friends were intrigued.  The first of the two was last weekend.  I can’t wait for round 2, scheduled for Cinco de Mayo!

Brunch.  My favorite meal!

Brunch. My favorite meal!

Obviously, I have a bit of a brunch obsession.  My friend and I went all out.  We poured some mimosas, mixed up a colorful fruit salad with pears, clementines, blueberries, and rasperries, and made eggs with some of the vegetables I had on hand.  The resulting kale, onion, thyme, and egg scramble was delicious!  It was a great, savory dish to balance out the sweet pancakes.

Fruit salad

Fruit salad

Now about those pancakes…

I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly, so I overlooked the chill time in the whipped cream instructions.  Our coconut cream ended up as more of a syrup replacement than whipped cream.  While I recommend following the original instructions, our resulting cream tasted awesome, and added a bit of extra moisture to the pancakes.  We made a few other modifications, just based on the ingredients we had.  Some of them I will be repeating!

Pancakes and Eggs

Pancakes and Eggs

Vegan Tiramisu Pancakes

Recipe by Chloe Coscarelli, slightly modified

For the Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting

For the Pancakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground hazelnut coffee*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Malibu coconut rum**
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free), plus more for garnish
  • Canola oil, for greasing

*Original recipe: instant espresso powder

**Original recipe: dark rum

For the whipped cream, chill the bowl and whisk of a hand mixer in freezer for 10 minutes.  Skim the solidified cream from the can of coconut milk, and transfer solids to the bowl.  Do not include the coconut water.  Add powdered sugar and whip until cream begins to stiffen.  Chill whipped cream in an airtight container for 3 hours to 1 day before serving.

For the pancakes, whisk flour, baking powder, coffee/espresso, and salt in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk water, maple syrup, and rum.  Add the wet mixture into the dry and mix until just combined.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  Do not overmix.

Lightly oil a large, nonstick skillet, and heat over medium-high heat.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet, and cook until bubbles appear in center.  Flip with a spatula, and cook other side for about 1 minute, until golden-brown.  Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil when needed.  If batter becomes too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water.

To serve, top pancakes with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar and chocolate chips.

So much to love

So much to love

We ended up with a lot of leftover coconut cream.  I threw some of it into the blender with fruit the next day for a tasty dessert smoothie.  Yum!

While I’m not a vegan, I enjoy vegan recipes.  I generally avoid dairy products, so vegan baking is usually safer for me.  After making (and devouring) these pancakes, I can’t wait to pick up a copy of Chloe’s book, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts!

What are your favorite brunch recipes?

New favorites

My new favorites

Happy eating!

-C

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

Over the weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with one of my dearest friends. It was so nice to sit with her in person and share the latest about love, friendship, family, and our mutual infatuation with Ashtanga yoga.

Brunch is served

Brunch is served

Driving home on Sunday after a terrific brunch at Green Pig Bistro, my friend’s favorite jaunt for brunch, dinner, or drinks, I felt absolutely full and nourished.

But I don’t mean full and nourished by the food.

Brunch was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I was filled and nourished by so much more…

Our friendship has reached a point of such ease and comfort, it amazes me. What’s mine is hers, and vice versa. So much has changed since we first met, on move-in day –our first day of college – 7.5 years ago. We have seen each other through the highs and lows of college life and the ups and downs of life in our 20s. Even though our visits are always too short, they leave me full of joy, and immensely thankful.

Weekend brunch is truly one of life’s greatest little pleasures. Whether it’s spent catching up with friends or doing crossword puzzles with my husband, I love lingering over a delicious meal with a cup of tea in hand. This recent brunch creation was a winner that will be repeated again soon.

Runny yolk, crispy kale, tomato sauce with a slight "kick"

Runny yolk, crispy kale, tomato sauce with a slight “kick”

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ~3 kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • marinara sauce
  • parmesan cheese

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Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake kale until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Bring vegetable broth and water to boil in a saucepan. Add garlic, salt and pepper; whisk in polenta until smooth. Add almond meal and whisk until mixture thickens; add butter and whisk until melted and combined.

Poach eggs, 1 or 2 at a time. Divide polenta among 4 bowls. Top with crispy kale, poaches egg, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

egg porn

Gorgeous egg yolk, creamy polenta

The almond meal adds variety of texture and flavor, while the crispy kale perfectly contrasts the smooth and creamy polenta. I chose marinara sauce for flavor, but I imagine that other sauces (hollandaise, tahini, honey mustard, to name a few) would work well, too.

I hope this brunch nourishes you and your closest friends and family, as my brunches have nourished me.

-L

Mushroom-Shallot Quiche

According to Wikipedia, quiche is a savory, open-faced pastry crust dish with a filling of savory custard with cheese, meat, fish or vegetables.”  According to me, quiche is heaven on a plate.  Pastry, eggs, cheese… What’s not to like?!

Yummy quiche

Yummy quiche

When we were young, my sisters and I loved going to lunch with Mom at La Madeleine.  I would order a Caesar Salad or Tomato Basil Soup and a Quiche Lorraine.  The quiche was filled with ham, bacon, and Swiss cheese.  It was rich and delicious!  Mom would make healthier versions for us at home.  Broccoli and spinach were frequent fillings, but she would often just throw in whatever vegetables she had in the house.  It always turned out well.

I came across this recipe for Mushroom-Shallot Quiche on Epicurious.  Mushrooms and shallots of course sounded tasty, but the thyme in the recipe is what really intrigued me.  It sounded so good!  I made a few minor adjustments, based on the ingredients and tools I had available.  It took a few hours to make, but it was a fun process.

Mushrooms and Shallots

Mushrooms and Shallots

  Mushroom-Shallot Quiche

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices (I used Baby Bellas)
  • 5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream (use half and half to decrease fat content)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Gruyere cheese
Thyme

Thyme

For crust:

Mix flour, salt, and sugar in food processor. Add butter and process until coarse meal forms, using on/off turns. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg and 1 teaspoon cold water; add to flour mixture. Using on/off turns, process just until moist clumps form. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead gently until dough comes together, about 4 turns. Form into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.

Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to pan, pressing onto bottom and up sides of pan; trim any excess dough and crimp edges. Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a large square of foil and press, butter side down, onto crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Using fork, pierce bottom of crust all over (about 10 times). Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Brush lightly with egg white. Cool to room temperature.

For filling:

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until liquid is absorbed and mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 1/2 teaspoons thyme and cook 1 more minute. Transfer mixture to plate and allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cooled crust in pan on baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons thyme. Scatter mushrooms over thyme, draining the mushrooms first, if necessary. In a medium bowl, whisk cream, eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms. Sprinkle with green onions and cheese.

Bake quiche until center is set, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sauteed mushroom mixture

Sauteed mushroom mixture

I like to pretend quiche is healthy.  I mean, eggs have a lot of protein, and vegetables are healthy, so it’s all good, right?  With this particular quiche, that is wrong.  There is butter… lots of butter.  And cream.  It’s delicious, but it is decadent.

If/when I make this again, I will decrease the amount of salt in the crust, use milk instead of cream, and probably add spinach.  The crust is delicious though!  It’s a wonderful, flaky texture.  I love the Gruyere flavor as well.

Quiche

Quiche

Do you share my quiche fascination?  If so, what’s your favorite kind?

Happy eating!

-C