Potato and Onion Frittata

Sometimes a frittata just calls out to you, like the other night when my husband was working late. I needed something that would be just as tasty served lukewarm as it would be piping hot from the oven and it fit the bill. This potato and onion version is classic and lends itself to all sorts of additions. Cheese, bacon, sausage, or your favorite vegetables would be delicious.

Traditionally served at brunch, it makes a lovely light dinner when paired with a green salad.
And don’t forget Mother’s Day!

 

 

Makes one 8 or 9 inch frittata
2 lbs. red potatoes, washed, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch half rounds
2 large yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 2 T. olive oil
10 eggs
salt and pepper
fresh thyme or parsley


Preheat oven to 450F
In a bowl, toss the potatoes and onions with 2T. olive oil, salt and pepper
Place on a sheet pan and roast about 25 minutes until the potatoes are brown and tender.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.


Lower the oven temp to 350F
Whisk the eggs with salt, pepper and herbs
Add potatoes and onions and stir to combine
Using a 9 or 10 inch cast iron or ovenproof pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil until almost smoking
Pour egg mixture into pan and cook for 1 minute to form a nice bottom crust
Move the pan into the oven and bake 20-25 minutes until the center is firm to the touch
If necessary, brown the top under the broiler for a minute or so
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the frittata to cool slightly before slicing
You can slice directly from the pan or flip onto a serving plate.
Flip it again so that the top is facing up
This is also delicious served at room temperature.

 

Spiced Kumquats

Citrus was abundant at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market in San Francisco last week.The oranges and kumquats were the sweetest I have ever tasted, and I couldn’t resist packing some to take home with me to Ohio.

Kumquats are a particular favorite of mine. They are unique in that they can be eaten whole as their sweetness is in their skins and their tartness in their flesh. Often used to make jams and marmalades, they become even more versatile when spiced. Served alongside pound cake, as a topping for ice-cream or waffles, added to a chicken dish or even mixed into seltzer or cocktails, spiced kumquats seem to breathe life into any dish they touch.
Crates of Miewa Kumquats at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market
Citrus, citrus everywhere!
Spiced Kumquats

Recipe from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook

2 lbs. kumquats, rinsed

2-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 stick cinnamon

6 whole cloves

2 cardamon pods

1/8 t. nutmeg

1 cup cider vinegar

Place the kumquats in a saucepan with enough water to cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, covered.

In another saucepan, add the sugar, spices, and vinegar. Heat to dissolve the sugar, then raise heat to boil for 5 minutes.

Remove the kumquats, reserving the cooking liquid.

Add them to the spiced vinegar mixture using some of the reserved cooking liquid if needed to submerge the kumquats. Cook covered over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Remove the kumquats from the syrup and pack into clean and sterilized canning jars. Bring the syrup back to a boil to thicken slightly. Add to the kumquats. Seal and store in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before serving. Use within 3 months.

 

 

Raspberries in Prosecco Jelly

Simple yet elegant, this dessert requires but a few ingredients. For a non- alcoholic version, substitute apple juice for Prosecco.

Jumbo silicon muffin cups from Sur La Table make interesting molds.

I like the clean taste and smell of gelatin sheets which can be mail ordered here. If you prefer to use a powdered variety, you can substitute Knox unflavored gelatin, available in most grocery stores.
Raspberries in Prosecco Jelly
Recipe adapted from Jelly Mongers
4 servings
2 cups Prosecco, Champagne, or Apple Juice
5 Gelatin Leaves
or
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
12 oz. fresh raspberries
Fresh mint

In a heatproof bowl, cut the gelatin sheets into small pieces with scissors . Cover with 1/2 cup Prosecco. Or, sprinkle powdered Knox gelatin over 1/2 cup Prosecco. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften.

Bring a pan of water to a boil and place the bowl of softened gelatin on top of the pan of boiling water. Once the gelatin has melted, stir in the sugar to dissolve and add another 1/2 cup of Prosecco.

Pour the mixture through a sieve and into a large measuring cup. Squeeze the lemon through the sieve and add enough Prosecco to measure 2 cups.

Divide the raspberries among the 4 molds, adding a few small mint leaves throughout. Fill with the Prosecco mixture.

Refrigerate for 6 hours before unmolding.

 

Eating San Francisco

There are so many wonderful places to eat in San Francisco that I often wish I was a bottomless pit. As I’m not, I’ve devised a strategy that works well for me. It involves my husband Richard. He eats, I taste. It’s perfect. Here are a few of the places in San Francisco I tasted today.

Plow in Potreo Hill serves up breakfast and brunch to happy diners. If you go on Sundays, be prepared to queue up. There’s always a line thats worth waiting in.

Four Barrel Coffee

Named one of the coolest coffeehouses in the country by Travel + Leisure magazine, Four Barrel roasts their own beans in this vintage German roaster.

Bi-Rite Creamery

Handcrafted ice-cream with flavors such as Toasted Coconut, Roasted Banana, and Orange Cardamon, make Bi-Rite a San Fran favorite.

“We make all of our ice cream by hand, in small batches, on 18th Street. In the bak­ery adjoin­ing our ice cream kitchen we make every­thing that goes into our ice cream, whether it’s brown­ies, peanut brit­tle, marsh­mal­lows, or the snick­er­doo­dles for ricanelas! We have lots of home­made top­pings to jazz up your ice cream includ­ing almond tof­fee, gra­ham crack­ers, and spiced pecans to name just a few of the most pop­u­lar (and don’t for­get to ask for our deca­dent home­made hot fudge to top it off!)”

Straus Fam­ily Cream­ery, only 45 miles away, deliv­ers all of the organic milk, cream and eggs for our recipes. Our salted caramel, roasted banana, honey laven­der, and other fla­vors draw lines that wrap around the block!”

To be continued…

 

Caprese Eggs Benedict

Caprese doesn’t always refer to salad. In this dish, Eggs Benedict loses it’s bacon and borrows the Mediterrean flavors from a Caprese salad.

Start with buttered and toasted English muffins. I like to use Wolfermans Sourdough.

Top with Buffalo Mozzarella..

Add tomato slices…

And poached eggs…

 

Top with a lemony Basil Hollandaise sauce that you can whip up in your blender.

Mmmmm…now that was seriously good!

 

Recipe:

Serves 2
2 English Muffins split in half
4 slices of Buffalo Mozzarella
4 slices of tomato
4 eggs, poached (see video below)

 

Basil Hollandaise:

if you can operate a blender, you can make this sauce! And in only 5 minutes.
Makes 3/4 cup
3 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon (at least 2 T.)
Salt and Pepper
6 fresh basil leaves
8 T. butter (1 stick), melted
Combine the yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender at high speed for a few seconds. Remove the top and slowly add the butter in droplets with the motor still running. Add basil and process for a few more seconds. Serve immediately.

 

Orange Creamsicles

Summer may be months away, but you’d never know it by looking at the thermometer. It’s sunny and warm and only March! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. As a matter of fact I’m celebrating by making Creamsicles!

Blood oranges, vanilla custard, and Cara Cara oranges are layered to make these Creamsicles..

Blood Orange Layer:
Mix together
2 cups Blood Orange juice
1/3 cup honey

Vanilla Custard Layer:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and milk just to a simmer. In a bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes until doubled in volume.
In dribbles, pour a little of the warm cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Once you’ve incorporated about half of the warm cream, pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take only 1-2 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Strain and cool completely.

Cara Cara Orange Layer:

2 cups Cara Cara orange juice

Layering:

You can use Dixie cups, Popsicle molds, styrofoam cups, even silicone cupcake molds to form the creamsicles. You will also need wooden Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks.
Pour at least 3 tablespoons of juice or custard into your mold for the first layer. Freeze for about 45 minutes before adding the second layer. Make as many layers as you like in varying thicknesses. Insert your stick in the center when the creamsicle is partially frozen.
Allow to set up in the freezer overnight.

Unmold by peeling off styrofoam or paper cups. If using molds, they can be dipped in warm water for a few seconds to loosen.

Tastes like summer!

 

Lamingtons or Coconut Bars?

Depending on where you live, these pillowy little cake squares dipped in chocolate and unsweetened coconut have two names. In Ohio they are known as Coconut Bars, and have been a Cleveland tradition for decades. Go into almost any bakery and even some grocery stores and you will find them prominently displayed alongside the cookies and brownies. But try asking for them outside of Cleveland and you’ll be met with a blank stare. They don’t exist. That is unless you live in Australia, where Lamingtons, as they are named, are a popular national dessert! Now if you live somewhere between Cleveland and Australia and want to experience their loveliness, this recipe, adapted from David Lebovitz, makes them accessible to everyone. They are delicious and addictive.

Preheat oven to 350F

Cake:

6 large eggs at room temperature

3/4cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/3 cup (175g) cake flour

2-1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Chocolate Icing:

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1-1/2 ounces unsalted butter

3/4 cups whole milk

2 T. unsweetended cocoa powder, Dutch process

2 cups powdered sugar

3 cups desiccated (unsweetened) coconut

Makes 16 individual squares

Butter a 9 inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly beat the eggs, salt and sugar together. Once incorporated, turn mixture to high and whip for 5-10 minutes until the eggs are very thick and form a ribbon when you lift the whisk. Fold in vanilla.

Sift the flour onto the mixture and using a whisk, fold into the batter. Once incorporated, gently fold in the butter.

Pour into cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges pull away slightly from the pan. Allow to cool on a baking rack.

Unmold the cake onto a cutting board and remove the parchment paper. Trim the ends and either cut the cake into 16 squares or use a cutter.

Refrigerate or freeze the cake while you make the icing. They will be easier to dip into the chocolate when cold.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate, butter, and milk in a bowl placed over simmering water. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. If too thick, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water.

Prepare to dip the squares. Place coconut in a small cookie tray. Place a cooling rack over a large baking sheet to set the squares after dipping. It’s a bit messy so I like to keep a bowl of water and a towel to keep my hands clean.

Remove cake from the freezer or refridgerator. Working 2 at a time using your hands, dip in chocolate to cover all sides, then sprinkle with coconut. Remove carefully using 2 small forks and allow to set on a cooling rack.

 

 

 

 

 

Hamantaschen Cookies

These delectable little pastry “hats” are traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim, but they are so good, they really should be eaten year round. Buttery pastry filled with a dried fruit and nut jam, they are a special treat. This slight twist on the traditional filling contains apricots, prunes and walnuts. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies

Makes about 27

Pastry

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1-1/2 Tablespoon orange juice

Sift together dry ingredients and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. With a fork, lightly mix egg, orange juice and zest in a small bowl. Pour into food tube and pulse until dough begins to come together. Cover in plastic wrap, flatten dough slightly and refrigerate overnight.

Filling

12 oz. (2 cups) dried pitted prunes

6 oz. (1 cup) dried apricots

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

3/4 cup walnuts , cut into medium size pieces

Cut the dried fruit into small pieces. The prunes can be cut in half but the apricots should be diced. Place in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook until fruit is very soft, 10-15 minutes. Check occasionally and add a little water as needed. Once fruit is soft, add lemon juice and honey. Cook, stirring constantly for about 5 more minutes. Allow to cool, then stir in the nuts. Set aside.

Shaping and Baking

Preheat oven to 400F

Line 2 cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. Work with half the pastry at a time; refrigerate the other half. Flour your surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Work quickly or the dough will become sticky.

Turn it over to keep both sides floured. With a 3 inch cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut the dough into rounds. Do not make them smaller than 3 inches.

Holding one disc in your hand, place a rounded teaspoon of the filling onto the center.

Fold up 2 sides of the dough and pinch together at the top where they meet. Fold up the third side and pinch together to form a triangle.

Place cookies 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets and bake 12-15 minutes until lightly colored. Cool on a rack or serve them warm.

Leftover filling makes an excellent conserve for morning toast. It will keep refrigerated for at over 2 weeks.

 
 

Rice Soup with Chicken & Shrimp

This soup is an adaptation of Chao Boi, a dish of northern Vietnam. I omitted the crabmeat and replaced dried mushrooms for fresh, but the essence of the soup remains the same. Because it contains chicken, shrimp, rice and vegetables, it’s my favorite kind of dish, a complete meal in a bowl!
 
Serves 4-6
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup long grained rice
12 cups chicken stock
6 mushrooms, sliced
2T. canola oil
1 small onion sliced
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and halved
1/4 cup small tapioca pearls
1/3 cup chopped scallions (white and green)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
salt
sweet chili oil (optional)
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a 5 qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add chicken, cover and allow it sit for 20 minutes. Remove chicken, but do not discard the water. Once chicken has cooled, shred it and set aside.
 
Return the water to a boil and add rice. Parboil for 8 minutes until tender but firm. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
 
Using the same pan, bring stock to a boil. Add the rice and chicken, lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the rice expands.
 
Meanwhile in a skillet, heat oil. Add onion and mushrooms, cooking until fragrant and soft. Add shrimp and cook only until they curl. Set aside.
 
Rinse the tapioca in a sieve under cold water. Add to the soup once the rice has expanded and cook for another 10 minutes. Once the pearls have expanded and become translucent, add the shrimp only to heat through. Taste for salt.
 
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Add sweet chili oil for a little heat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cara Cara Orange Salad

It was love at first bite when I tasted the Cara Cara orange. A relative of the navel, it is sweet, juicy, seedless, and possesses such a deep rosy color that you can’t help but smile. You can find them at your local grocery store, or even at Costco, from December – April.
 
Inspired by a recent visit to New York’s’ Union Square Cafe, this simple salad was delicious and memorable.
Cara Cara oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
Pine Nuts, toasted (optional)
Ricotta Salata cheese. sliced into thin matchsticks
Fennel, sliced into thin matchsticks
Chives, snipped
 
Rice Wine vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper
 
So easy and delicious!