Monthly Archives: May 2012

Quick-Quick-Quick Skillet Cake

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QUICK—QUICK—-QUICK  SKILLET CAKE (and easy as well)

Here’s an iron skillet cake that I love.  It’s so easy to make and so good to eat.  I use either walnuts or almonds for the topping.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla for a walnut topping or almond extract if using an almond topping

2 large eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

  1. Butter a 9-inch iron skillet and sprinkle some flour over it all.
  2. In a medium size bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Add the butter and whisk until satiny.  Stir in the flour mixture; whisk until smooth.  Spread batter in the skillet and top with the walnuts or almonds.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  4. If you wish, drizzle some raspberry jam over it. I do and it makes it extra yummy and pretty.
  5. Serve slightly warm or at room temp.  I tie a pretty napkin or scarf around the handle.
  6. Ice cream goes great with this.

Bon Appetit!!!!

 

 

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Skillet-Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach

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This is especially for Steve Neal, a VSI guest from 2005,  who asked in a recent email:

“I do remember a spinach and egg breakfast you made on Sat. or Sun. morning but do not remember how you did it. I know you cooked the spinach some how and poached the eggs on top I believe it was delicious. I wish I remembered how you did it. ”

Thank you for remembering and asking Steve.  Memories are precious and you have made my day!!!  Here  is the recipe:

Skillet-Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach

 I so admire something that has had a long history of use and has pretty much stayed the way it always has been, but yet is still used in our modernized world. Cast iron vessels fit that bill. They have been used for cooking for hundred of year’s way before the modern stove was invented.  At that time, they were admired for their durability, their ability to retain heat, and for being a perfect cooking tool to hang over a live fire. In spite of being a bit heavy to handle, they are still wonderful in today’s world to use stove top for searing, frying or cooking stews and such; they also are fabulous to use for baking a dish started on the stove top and finished in the oven; or for baking cakes, cornbread and such. I most of the time serve my skillet dish straight out of it—with a pretty scarf or napkin tied around the handle.

Ingredients:

16 oz. fresh baby spinach or 1 (12 oz.) bag thawed frozen leaf –barely cooked, drained, and pressed/squeezed well to let the entire excess liquid out.

1 onion chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped fine

6 oz. mixed or same kind mushrooms thinly sliced

2 Tblsp. sweet butter

1/3 C. heavy cream

1/8th tsp. nutmeg

S&P

4 large eggs

2 Tblsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450

  1. In a large cast iron or oven safe skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook till translucent (3-5 minutes). Increase the heat to medium nigh and add the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally until softened and any liquid is released (about 4 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 45 to 60 seconds).  Add the cream, nutmeg, and spinach. Season with S&P.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and using the back of a spoon, make 4 “nests” in the mixture.  Break an egg in each indentation. Season the eggs with S&P and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (about 8 minutes.)
  6. Tie a pretty scarf around the handle and serve out of skillet at your dining room table.

As always, Bon Appetit!!~!!

Clafouti Aux Baie for May 30th Weekly Sun Edition

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clafouti aux baiesClafouti aux Baie (berries in French)

I bet that you thought that Memorial Day was over.  Well, it’s not.  Today is the real deal.  In order to make a 3 day holiday of it, this holiday was changed to the last Monday of May.  So, I am still thinking red, white and blue.  France also is a red, white and blue nation, so I thought that a French dish could be appropriate for today.  The clafouti is an excellent and easy dish to make.  It actually looks elegant when dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.  I’m not sure that elegance was in mind when the clafouti was originated. It started out as an ancient rustic peasant French pudding made in late spring and featuring typically stone fruits. It was served for desert, but it can also work as a nice breakfast dish. You can make it with various fruits and with many slightly different ingredients.  I serve mine warm with French vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 C. granulated sugar

3 Tblsp. honey

2 Tblsp. Kirch (cherry liqueur but you can also use orange liqueur or juice)

1 Tsp. vanilla

Dash of salt

1 ½ C. whole milk yogurt

1 C. Flour

3 Cups mixed berries—or if you wish, of just one kind of berries

2 tsp. sifted confectioner’s sugar

For garnish, save some berries

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F

  1. In a large bowl beat together the egg whites, eggs, sugar, honey, Kirsch, vanilla and salt with an electric beater.
  2. Stir in the yogurt till smooth
  3. Add flour and beat until combined and smooth
  4. Arrange the berries on the bottom of a buttered or non-stick sprayed 10-inch ceramic quiche dish.  Pour the batter over the berries.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center seems set when shaken slightly.
  6. Cool for 30 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve the clafouti warm.  Just before serving sprinkle with the sifted confectioner’s sugar and garnish with the left over saved berries.

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Triple Berry Bread Pudding and other sweet pudding variations

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In 1946, right after WWII, I was visiting in England and bread was one of the few main staples that the English still had to eat. They actually had had too much of it and were sick of it. Memories can be long, so, usually my English bed and breakfast guests didn’t like this dish—but I do. People usually think of bread pudding as something not being very gourmet when actually it can be extremely gourmet and delectable.  Bread pudding began as a humble dessert because the main ingredient was “left over stale bread”; however, the variations can be so numerous that it can become very decadent indeed. Additionally, bread pudding depending on its ingredients, can be served for any meal of the day.  Regardless of which bread you decide to use, white French, croissant, Challa, Brioche, English muffin, usually, the staler the bread, the final product will be more tasteful.  As to the custard base, half and half probably offers the perfect balance to texture. Heating the half-and-half before mixing it into the eggs and sugar will assure you of a final base that is perfectly combined.  Be sure to whisk it slowly into the eggs so as to not “scramble” the eggs.  Finally, soaking the bread pudding the day before baking makes it better and the easier for an innkeeper.  So, here are a few of the sweet type combos you can think about: chocolate/banana; pumpkin; gingerbread; rum/raisin; lemon-coconut;apricot-almond;berry;mocha; and double ginger.

The following recipe will serve 12.

Triple-Berry Bread Pudding

 

You will need the following:

9 X 13 inch baking dish

2-3 qt. saucepan

whisk

 

Make the custard:

Ingredients:

7 large egg yolks

3 large eggs

1 C. granulated sugar

6 C. half and half

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Bread:

10 C. 1 inch day old brioche bread cubes

Berries:

3 ½ C. fresh or frozen berries such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. If frozen, defrost before adding the pudding and drain most of the liquid.  It’s best with the fresh berries.

Instructions:

Whisk the yolks and eggs and vanilla.  Slowly whisk in the sugar and salt until totally blended.  Slightly heat the half and half and slowly whisk into the egg mixture.

Place the bread cubes in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and pour the custard on top making sure that the bread is submerged.  Let cool at room temp about an hour; cover with plastic wrap; and refrigerate for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. .

Preheat oven to 325.

Before baking, gently fold in the berries. Cover the pudding loosely with foil and bake at 325 for 70 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until no liquid custard is visible when you poke a small hole in the center with a paring knife, 20 to 40 minutes more depending on the custard or add-ins. So total baking time can be 90 to 110 minutes.

Let the pudding cool on a rack.  Serve warm at room temp with a dollop of whipped cream or a good yogurt.

I serve this with a side of the thick kind of Canadian bacon slices that I have sautéed in a frying pan with fresh rosemary.  I also serve more berries in a bowl.

Below are some optional add on options for the custard:

1 ½ tsp. almond;

2 C. chopped bittersweet chocolate to the hot ½ and ½ till chocolate is melted;

2 tsp. instant espresso to hot ½ and ½;

½ C. chopped fresh ginger in ½ & ½ —let steep in half and half for 10 minutes before adding to yolks;

fine grated zest of 3 lemons to ½ and ½ and whisk juice from the lemons (about ½ C.) into the custard;

whisk 1 ¼ C. pure canned pumpkin, tsp. ground Cinnamon; and ¼ tsp nutmeg into custard;

increase sugar to ¼ C. and add 1/3 C. dark rum to custard.

Optional Add-ins:

Choose one or two

3 ripe thinly sliced bananas

1 ½ C. toasted shredded coconut

3 ½ C. fresh or frozen mixed berries

1 ½ C. toasted coarsely chopped pecans

1 C. chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1 C. dried apricots, soaked in very hot water for 30 minutes and drained thoroughly

1 C. golden rains, soaked is above for apricots

½ C. chopped crystallized ginger

Roast Pork Rubbed with Sage, Garlic, Potatoes, Cabbage, Carrots & Onions

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roast pork with sage potatoes corn (15) roast pork with sage potatoes corn (4)

Roast Pork rubbed with sage & garlic with Potatoes, Cabbage, Carrots, & Onions

6 or more servings

I just bought a beautiful Fresh Boston Butt (Natural antibiotic free & no added hormones) Pork Shoulder Roast (bone in) for a very good price indeed-under $2/lb. It was a rainy and cold spring day and this was a perfect way to cook it for this kind of weather.  Supposedly this recipe originates from Naples, but who cares—Ketchum is a good place to cook it as well even though we are famous for lamb.  This is a rare pork recipe that if done so easily correctly is moist and tender—even though pork can easily be tough.

Ingredients:

1 3-4 lb. pork Fresh Boston Butt (and according to Mark Bittman, “in Boston, evidently they did not know which end was up, since this is the shoulder)

2 Tblsp. minced garlic

2 Tblsp. fresh minced sage leaves or 2 Tsp. dried sage

S&P to taste

3 baking potatoes, scrubbed, skin left on, cut into thirds

1/2 head of cabbage cut into 1/6’s

2 large carrots, peeled, and cut into quarters

1 large onion cut into eighths

1 nice handful of Parsley, chopped

1 Cup or a bit less of Vegetable Stock

2 Tblsp. or more of Olive Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425.

Mix together the garlic, S&P, and sage.

Bring pork to room temp, spray or rub some olive oil over it all, and then slit in the pork on both sides with a sharp knife little 1 inch slits.. Place all but 1 tsp. full of the garlic mixture into slits, using your fingers to dig it in place the garlic mixture, and what’s left over, spread over the rest of the pork.

In a 10 inch round baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick olive oil spray place and mix the potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onion, the 2 tblsp. olive oil, parsley and the one left over tsp of the garlic mixture.

Nestle the roast among the vegetables in the dish.

Place the baking dish with the roast and veggies on the middle rack in the 425 degree oven and roast undisturbed for 30 minutes.

Take dish out, turn oven down to 350, and stir veggies a bit.

Add 1 Cup or a little less of vegetable stock to the dish.

Put dish back in oven and continue cooking, stirring every now and then if need be, for one hour for a 3 lb. pork butt and more for a larger one—or at least to when an instant read thermo registers 145 to 150.  Let dish rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Artichokes are a nice side dish to serve with this wonderful dish.

 You DO NOT WANT TO OVER COOK!!!! this dish.  It’s best to keep testing the roast for doneness and tenderness and remember that it will keep cooking a bit when resting. Pork tends to dry out very quickly; however, if you are careful, it can be very moist and tender.    

Emeril’s Spinach, Ham & Cheese Overnight Breakfast Casserole

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Emeril’s Spinach, Ham and Cheese Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Servings 6-8

Thank you Emeril for a recipe that I think sounds fabulous, easy to make, and a perfect one for innkeepers.  I can’t wait to try it and knowing that it came from you, I’m sure it will be delicious.

Ingredients:

1 Tblsp. olive oil

2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 C. finely chopped onion

1 C. small diced ham (5 oz.)

4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

4 C. 1-inch diced English muffins

1 lb. fresh spinach leaves, cooked and squeezed dry; or one 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, prepared according to package directions, well drained

6 large eggs

1-1/2 cups half and half

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat

Add the onions and a couple pinches of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled onions, ham, cheddar cheese, English muffins and spinach and toss gently to combine.  Transfer to a well-greased 11.5 X 8 inch baking dish; spread the mixture out evenly.

Using the same bowl, add the eggs, half and half, the 2 tsp.salt, thyme, and cayenne pepper.  Whisk to mix well and pour over the bread mixture.  Cover with foil and store in the refrigerator up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.  Return to the oven and continue cooking until golden brown, puffed, and cooked through—about 10 minutes more.

Place on a cooling rack and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse & Chef Karen Pickus.  Margot saw it on her PAII Infoemail that she received on May 1, 2012. 

 

 

Emeril’s Spinach, Ham and Cheese Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Servings 6-8

 

Thank you Emeril for a recipe that I think sounds fabulous, easy to make, and a perfect one for innkeepers.  I can’t wait to try it and knowing that it came from you, I’m sure it will be delicious.

 

Ingredients:

1 Tblsp. olive oil

2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 C. finely chopped onion

1 C. small diced ham (5 oz.)

4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

4 C. 1-inch diced English muffins

1 lb. fresh spinach leaves, cooked and squeezed dry; or one 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, prepared according to package directions, well drained

6 large eggs

1-1/2 cups half and half

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat

Add the onions and a couple pinches of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled onions, ham, cheddar cheese, English muffins and spinach and toss gently to combine.  Transfer to a well-greased 11.5 X 8 inch baking dish; spread the mixture out evenly.

 

Using the same bowl, add the eggs, half and half, the 2 tsp.salt, thyme, and cayenne pepper.  Whisk to mix well and pour over the bread mixture.  Cover with foil and store in the refrigerator up to overnight.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.  Return to the oven and continue cooking until golden brown, puffed, and cooked through—about 10 minutes more.

 

Place on a cooling rack and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

 

This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse & Chef Karen Pickus.  Margot saw it on her PAII Infoemail that she received on May 1, 2012.