CtBF -Fresh herb omelet

(BTW, I had to double-check that spelling… yep, what’s in the book – not what I would normally type). This week’s recipe for a French-style omelette is accompanied by more text descriptions of David’s omelette experiences and ideas for accompaniments than there is for the recipe itself! That’s a good thing, because it makes for a simple lunch for a day like today, though of course, it could make for a lovely, quick meal at any time.

Ingredients are pretty much always on hand. And I was still able to use some fresh parsley from the garden.

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I’m usually not a home omelette person – sure, I like them at a restaurant, where they have myriad of filling and sauce options. This is a simple one, and I thought that it would be great to try. The eggs are beaten with a touch of cream, a bit of salt and a good grinding of pepper – the herbs are added as well.

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Instead of the 10″ pan suggested, I used an 8″ pan – happily – I thought it would have been  the thickness of a crêpe if I had. I shouldn’t have bothered with the trying to get runny egg to slip under the initial egg cooked in the pan – I could never get it straightened out.

I too thought that the idea of the cheese in one line down the center didn’t make sense – so mine spilled over. I don’t like uncooked whites, but enjoy softly-cooked scrambled eggs – I got over-worried and cooked mine a bit too long. BUT, still lovely nonetheless. img_1391

This was fun, fast – and I really need to remember to make these!!!! This was a delicious lunch – and perfect for me. I think if I didn’t fuss, this could be done in less than 5 minutes. There’s always a bit of cheese on hand, some herbs… and some leftover veggies would be great too. (I wouldn’t mind those duck-fat fries that David mentions – but that’s not going to happen!). This would allow me a nutritious, fast lunch that will stick with me for the afternoon.

And while this is a perfect quick lunch, I can see this being a nice meal for dinner as well – and obviously breakfast. There are tweaks I will make (a little less butter, don’t fuss with the eggs, cook it a little less – try different cheese/fillings), but this was fun, because it really did help me with something I don’t do – and should – so a perfect start to a new year!!!

 

CCC – the delicious month of February

February in the Cottage Cooking Club brought one of my most-awaited recipes: Beet Soup! with horseradish cream! But it also brought a Cheesy Peasy Puff Turnover, and a Potato Rosti.

The beet soup is simplicity itself. I decided that this time I would actually roast the beets per the recipe, though I often pick them up pre-roasted and peeled. These were to roast with some fresh herbs, and whole garlic cloves that would then flavor the soup – so I thought I’d stick with the original, particularly as I was making this on a weekend.

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Once roasted, cooled a bit, and peeled, the beets, and soft roasted garlic are simmered with some stock, until the flavors are allowed to blend, and everything is soft. Then it gets blended to a lovely, smooth puree. It’s checked for thickness, adding more stock as necessary, as well as seasoning with salt and pepper as required.

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The soup is served with a simple horseradish cream – sour cream mixed with a good amount of either freshly grated horseradish, or prepared. This is such an amazingly gorgeous soup – and it’s delicious as well. Even quite good for you! I thought it would also be good with a dollop of whipped goat cheese, but the horseradish added another layer of flavor that was a great contrast to the sweetness of the beets.

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The Cheesy Peasy Puff Turnovers were a bit of fun (and deliciousness). They really are made from pantry staples – frozen puff pastry, some frozen peas, and then whatever cheese you might have on hand, though the suggestion is for aged cheddar. The original recipe calls to make one large turnover, but of course, individual pastry servings are always fun, so I decided to make 4 pastries. Simply – you cut the squares of pastry, top with peas and cheese. Brush the edges with egg, seal them, and then use the egg wash over the top. The puffs get baked in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

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I paired the cheesy puffs with the soup for a lovely, filling lunch. Delicious together – or separately.

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My final recipe of the month was Potato Rosti. This is something I’ve never made before and I thought they looked like they would be terrific. The recipe offered two options: the smaller ones as shown in the cookbook, or larger rosti that could be topped with a poached egg. That sounded too good to pass up! The trick to these is to lightly par-boil the potatoes and cool them before grating. The rest is pan-frying the shreds in clumps until crisp and brown.

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I’m afraid I should have stuck with the smaller ones – I think that as a beginner, I would have had more luck. Tricky to turn over, tricky to get brown all over without the outside too brown… I served mine with the poached egg – it was quite delicious!! Well worth the effort, and it didn’t matter at all that it wasn’t perfectly shaped!

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This was a very fun month of recipes, and I was thrilled that I was able to compete the three that I signed up for! Hurrah! Of course, the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club are often much more ambitious than I, and you can learn all about their recipe selections and success here.

ffwd – coddled eggs with foie gras

Let me just start by apologizing to the extremely talented Doristas who chose our recipes this month. So far I’m 0 for 3 in on-time posts, and only 1 for 3 altogether – I might end up batting .250 if things hold up (and I’m allowed to count my late post). Not too bad for baseball, but pretty poor for blogging with the group. Vacation season and my new job have collided to make this a tricky month – oh, and throw in a requirement for some squash blossoms! I am not growing any zucchini this year, so nix that.

I was able to manage this recipe this week, albeit late. The trick was more in procuring the pâté foie gras, more than the method. Surprisingly only one choice was available at my fancy market, but it worked out. Otherwise, cream, eggs, parsley and a bit of tarragon, and a steamer.

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Bits of the foie gras are placed in the bottom of a buttered ramekin. Then the egg over the top, cream, salt and pepper, and your herbs. I did use a bit of Mexican tarragon, though I really must have an aversion to tarragon, as I could definitely taste it. Alas, I forgot to bring my truffle salt with me – I’m sure it would have been better that way! (I couldn’t decide which vessel I liked better, so I used different ones)

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These get placed in a steamer – I used my Chinese bamboo one, which was the perfect size.

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One thing that I didn’t really take into account was that the different dishes allowed the eggs to cook in different times. The recipe calls for 5 minutes, one was ready then, one took another minute or so. I served these with some homemade peach-blueberry muffins, though I have to admit, toast fingers as suggested would have been quite nice.

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This was good-ish, though will probably be a one-time thing. After all of the extravagant description, it didn’t really match up – though in all fairness, I didn’t have the truffles. We did, however enjoy the leftover pâté alongside another recipe of the salmon rillettes with some crisp white wine for dinner, so all was not lost!

If you’d like to see how others created this dish, you can look for them here.

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CCC – It’s June! tomatoes, potatoes, eggs and herbs

I thought that with my busy June schedule, I’d pick recipes that were related somehow. With a common thread connecting them. I do that all the time with dinner parties and celebratory feasts – if there’s something that provides a degree or two of separation to other items on the menu, then you can be sure everything will come together harmoniously.

Um, that seemed like a great idea, and also a way to take advantage of some of the ingredients included in the recipes. What I didn’t really take into account is that I don’t always eat the same things/ingredients. Thankfully, all of the recipes were terrific, but I may not need to eat a potato for a while…

First up, I made the pizza with potatoes, rosemary and blue cheese. I already had the dough for the pizza in the freezer, and was anxious to see how it turned out after freezing, as well as how it would work if I actually did take the advice of rolling it very thinly. I had rosemary from the garden, so this was easy. The main time-consuming thing was making the caramelized onions. I should probably do a big batch and freeze them, I just forget.

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Luckily I had a reasonably not-so-hot day, so that I could heat my oven up to cook the pizza. There might not be too many more of these for a bit, but everything came together with the pizza sliding from the peel to the stone satisfyingly, and the whole thing getting tasty and bubbly in no time.

100_3403On the same day, I decided I should make the honey-roasted cherry tomatoes. I thought that they would be nice to accompany the pizza. I’ve made similar recipes before, but the honey-garlic sweet-savory topping sounded great. After assembly, they get a quick roast.

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I served both together, and it was a great combination. The tomatoes contrasted with and complimented the flavors of the pizza.

100_3410Another recipe for this month was the frittata with summer veg and goat cheese. The recipe suggests a few vegetables, and certainly the method. This is another that relies on potatoes, eggs and herbs. Fortunately, I brought back a bunch from my place in Sedona, so was able to enjoy those fresh flavors. What I did not have were a lot of green vegetables, I decided to just rely on some peas, and a few more of my leftover roasted tomatoes. I subbed out some red onions for scallions, and added some fresh yellow peppers to add a bit more color. I used fresh thyme and oregano, along with a few chives.

100_3431The vegetables get sautéed in a bit of olive oil, based on the amount of cooking required, then arranged in the pan with the herbs. The beaten eggs go on top, and cook until about 2/3 set, topped with the cheese, and popped into the oven for a few minutes to set.

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Once out of the oven, the frittata sits for a few minutes, and indeed can be cooled to room temperature for serving. In this case, I was hungry… so the first piece was served hot!

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My final recipe for June was the new potato, tomato and boiled egg salad. This is an arrangement of those ingredients, generally room temperature, mixed with a mustardy vinaigrette. The trick here is to not-quite hard boil the eggs (7-minute eggs!), and smash them a bit with the dressing.

100_3441100_3443100_3444100_3448This is something that I would definitely make again, though I might tweak the dressing a bit. I don’t even know what “English mustard” is, but used traditional American yellow. ?? But I thought it might be improved with a pickle-ish element, either my home-made ones, or some capers. But really, and excellent concept. It was delicious, fast and filling, so it was a perfect lunch. I could see this for dinner too.

Altogether, these were delicious recipes this month. I really liked every one of them, though I could see a tweak here or there – but even as presented, they suited me. I learned a few new things along the way, and was reminded of a few more. A delicious experiment!

I can hardly wait to see what recipes July brings! If you’d like to see what other participants in the Cottage Cooking Club made, you can check them out online.