Tag Archives: Recipes
Post by Alison Hein.
Soft, fresh ricotta cheese is a wonderful, light additive to many dishes – traditional Italian fare such as pastas and pizzas, delicious desserts like cheesecakes and cannoli, or simply smeared across a slice of toasted semolina. It also works surprisingly well with simple scrambled eggs.
The origins of ricotta are, like most food history, a tad sketchy, but are believed to lie in the Sicilian region ofItaly. There is a lovely illustration (claimed to be the first) of ricotta-making in the medieval health guide Tacuinum Sanitatis. Ricotta was considered to be very healthful and to aid the digestive system.
Surprisingly, ricotta is not actually a cheese. The word derives from the Latin “recocta” (recooked), because it is produced from the whey (byproduct) of cheese-making. Originally made from sheeps’ milk only, today ricotta is also made using cows’ milk. If you cannot find fresh ricotta in your local Italian specialty shop, I urge you to try making your own as we’ve done on this blog in the past (http://www.charlesprogers.com/blogs/archives/6283). The mild flavor and texture of freshly made ricotta will enhance and enrich the flavors of your home-cooked meals.
To put an Italian spin on this recipe, I started with a ripe, red Roma tomato, sautéed in a touch of olive oil. Then, I added some dried oregano and parsley to the eggs before cooking, added the fresh ricotta near the end, and topped it all off with a handsome sprig of fresh, green basil.
Enjoy these fluffy eggs on their own, or serve them with spicy Italian sausage and a big hunk of toasted semolina for the full experience of an amazing breakfast in bed, Italian style.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small Roma tomato
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ cup fresh ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
Heat olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Chop tomato into small pieces and add to pan. Cook until tomato is warm and softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Break eggs into small bowl and whisk well with oregano and parsley. Add egg mixture to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir and lift frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Toward the end of cooking, add ricotta cheese and fold into the eggs, just to melt slightly and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Post by Alison Hein.
When I travel, I like to shop for souvenirs for friends and family back home. I search the culinary shops, seeking regional specialties, unusual items that cannot be found locally. InBermuda, that means spicy gale force pepper jam (amazing spread atop some whipped cream cheese and served with wheat crackers), tangy sherry pepper sauce (the not-to-do-without condiment for traditional fish chowder), and, of course, the inimitable rich, dark rum cake.
Serving ware and kitchen gifts are also at the top of my list. When I locate a linen towel or cutting board that includes a printed recipe, my joy is doubled. On a recent visit toBermuda, I picked up a tiny little cutting board for my daughter-in-law, Lesley. Upon receipt, she politely declined saying, “Oh, I love that little board…but you got me the same one last time!” Oops!
So, I kept it for myself. Morning Glories are prolific in Bermuda, and this sweet little board is adorned with frilly watercolor flowers created byBermudaartist Carole Holding. The muffin recipe is rich with carrots, fruits, and nuts. Be careful not to overfill the muffin pans – the dense batter will run over and cause the muffins to join together.
Enjoy the delightfully tantalizing aroma of warm tropical fruit as your muffins bake. When finished, plop one or two on your tiny serving platter, and be transported to the lush isle ofBermudafor an artistic breakfast in bed.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peeled, grated carrot (about 4 to 5 medium carrots)
1 apple, peeled and grated
4 ounces fresh pineapple, finely chopped
½ cup coconut
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with paper or foil liners and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger and salt into large bowl. Stir in brown sugar. In separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix egg mixture with dry ingredients until smooth. Add grated carrot, apple, pineapple, coconut, raisins and walnuts.
Spoon batter into lined muffin tin and bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in muffins comes out clean and tops are lightly golden. Let cool on a rack at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 to 14 muffins.
Note: You can purchase spicy pepper jam from the Bermuda Jam Factory at bermudajamfactory.com; chopping boards and other original artwork from caroleholding.com.
Post by Alison Hein.
Here’s a lovely recipe for those hot July days – no cooking required! Simply layer creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy cereal with fresh red strawberries, then top with tart, juicy blueberries. You’re in for an easy fix, and a red, white and blue breakfast that will delight kids and old folks alike this Independence Day.
Making your dish in lovely goblets is key to obtaining that “wow factor.” Stemmed wine glasses are just right, but you may have some equally elegant tall, thin clear glasses that would look amazing.
If you prefer to create an impressive dessert, simply swap out the Greek yogurt for vanilla ice cream (or salted caramel, yum!), replace the crunchy cereal with toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (or macadamias!), and finish with a dollop of whipped cream and a ruby red cherry.
And when it’s not July 4th, flavor (and color) variations are endless – black raspberry yogurt with blackberries and raspberries, lemon yogurt with pineapple and mango –well, you get the idea.
But for now, let’s stick with the red, white and blue, and help America celebrate her birthday with a patriotic breakfast in bed that’s almost as good as fireworks.
1½ cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and trimmed
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup granola (or other crunchy cereal)
½ cup blueberries
2 8-ounce clear glass goblets
Chop the cleaned strawberries. Place a layer of strawberries in each goblet. Top with a layer of yogurt, and then a thin layer of granola. Repeat a few times ending with a layer of yogurt on top. Artfully arrange blueberries on top of yogurt. Sprinkle on a bit of granola for garnish, if you like. Serve chilled.
Makes 2 parfaits.
Post by Alison Hein.
My niece refers to Oatmeal Pancakes as “two breakfasts in one” – a breakfast imbued with both the rich, buttery pleasures of pancakes and the creamy texture of old-fashioned oats. The tricks here are to cook the oats in advance, whip the egg whites to aerate and keep the batter light. A wisp of cinnamon feels just right.
“Oatcakes” have a long-standing tradition inScotlandandIreland, where documentation of their existence dates back to the time of the Roman conquest in the year 43 CE. Oats grew well in the tough, rocky soil, and the nutritious grain could be mixed with water and cooked over a fire to make “bannocks” or “farls”.
Be forewarned – Oatmeal Pancakes will fill you up. Try them before a hike, or a day when a late lunch is planned. For an even heartier pancake, add some chopped nuts, sliced bananas or tangy raisins.
If you like, simply cook a little extra oatmeal the day before. You’ll be that much more prepared to whip up your “two breakfasts in bed.”
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked oatmeal, cooled
¼ cup honey
2 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces (one half stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 to 2 tablespoons butter, for cooking pancakes
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl, stir together cooked oatmeal, honey, milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually add oatmeal mixture to dry ingredients. Slowly add melted butter to batter. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into batter.
Place pan or griddle on burner over medium to medium high heat. Melt a small amount of butter in the pan for the first pancake. Ladle batter into pan and cook until small bubbles appear throughout pancake. Flip once with spatula and continue cooking until golden brown, one to two minutes, adding more butter and adjusting heat as necessary. Keep warm while making the remainder of pancakes. Serve hot with butter and real maple syrup.
Makes 12 to 14 4-inch pancakes.