Sunday, February 27, 2011

We grew up with Croque-Monsieur, progressed to Croque-Madames and now Croque-Uncle Jimmy!

Sunday mornings have become rather lazy around here so even though I may rise early, it doesn't mean I'm moving around early.  Today was perfect example, up @8, surfed the internet; read emails; created and emailed a client's menu and read some news.  Finally, around 11 o'clock I got up from the computer desk and exercised on the elliptical. Once I was done I realized I hadn't eaten breakfast and was now famished.  So instead of our typical breakfast of fruit, cereal and toast, I opted to make brunch!  Had watched Melissa D'Arabian make Croque Madames, while exercising, so wanted something substantial like that based on what ingredients I could find. 

Check out this Wikipedia list of different Croques!

The results of my search:

Bacon; Gruyere Cheese; Eggs; Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane; ingredients for a mustard dressing; a variety of fruits for a Fruit Salad.

First while the bacon was baking with fresh ground black pepper on it, I made the fruit salad: Pink Grapefruit, Orange, Sliced Strawberries, Blueberries; Blackberries and sliced Banana.  Easy to prep, very tasty, sweetened the grapefruit and orange juices a bit with raw sugar, tossed all together, see the pretty bowl it made!

All the other ingredients were for Paninis.  To make the dressing I used a simple to remember proportioned recipe:  1/2 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 2 tablespoons, 3 tablespoons.  

!/2 teaspoon fines herbes
1 T Capers chopped
2 T Dijon Mustard
3 T Mayonaisse
if it's too mustardy for your taste just add more mayo!

Brushed the dressing onto one side of each slice of bread, topped one side with 3 bacon slices and 3 planks of cheese, fried the eggs in butter with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper placed one egg on top of cheese and covered with the other slice of bread.  Spray outside slices of bread with Pam and place on Panini Grill.

Simple yet tasty, served them with additional dressing as desired.

So that takes care of breakfast and lunch---now dinner?  Leftovers or something new and fresh?  Hmm, there is grilled Flat Iron Steak, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Fava Bean & Corn Succotash and Salmon Croquettes from last night's dinner with Tiff & Howie!  Or maybe save that for Monday after cooking all day!

Need to read a cookbook for inspiration!  Enjoy the day, and don't forget the evening will be all about Oscar night!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Feeling lazy today, mired in business paperwork, not really looking to cook something complicated I opted for a pizza using the Trader Joe's Ciabatta Flat Bread I had in the freezer.  Stumbled across this recipe while downloading other Mediterranean Recipes for clients from Eating Well's website.

So besides subbing in the flat bread for the dough I decided Gruy√®re would be interesting in place of cheddar!   

If I were to use dough in the future, I'd probably stretch it to fit the sheet pan and make the edges push up the sides to help contain the egg.  I also heated the bread for 3 minutes before adding the toppings.  

* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Bacon, Egg & Asparagus Pizza

Serving Size  : 6     Preparation Time :0:00

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1              pound  prepared pizza dough -- preferably whole-wheat
  2             strips  bacon
     3/4           cup  sliced shallots
  1              pound  asparagus -- trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  4              large  eggs
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  1                cup  shredded extra-sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 500°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet (see Tip). Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until crisped on the bottom, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Add shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes more. 

Spread the vegetables over the crust and crumble bacon on top. Whisk eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined; slowly pour over the vegetables, trying not to let any run off the crust. Sprinkle the pizza with cheese. Bake until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

  "This pizza, topped with bacon, eggs and asparagus, was inspired by a wood-fired-oven pizza served at the Montpelier, Vermont, farmers' market. Serve with: Mixed green salad."
  "EatingWell:  March/April 2010"
S(Internet Address):
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We enjoyed it with a green salad.  We spent a good amount of time discussing the variations that could be concocted.  It's a versatile as a frittata!