the recipe sharer

Egg based

Shakshuka with tahini and olives

This is the most wonderful brunch or lunch, oozing with flavor and goodness.

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Serves 2 – 4 (but can easily be augmented)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 large organic, pasture-raised eggs
3 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion-diced
5 cloves garlic-roughly chopped
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1&1/4 tsp harissa
1 handful green olives – pitted and roughly chopped for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

For the tahini mixture;
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic-finely grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
Approx 1/4 cup water
pinch of sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic and lemon juice. The mixture will be clumpy. Keep whisking and slowly add 1 tbsp water at a time until the tahini loosens and can loosely coat the back of a spoon. Season with a pinch of salt- set aside

Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes until soft.
Season the onion mixture with the smoked paprika and sauté for 60 seconds- stir constantly to prevent burning.

Add the tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir, lower the heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the Harissa.
NOTE- If the tomato mixture dries out during the cooking, add 1-2 tbsp water.

Remove the lid and crack the eggs into the sauce one at a time.
TIP- Use a spatula to create a small “well” in the sauce and add the egg into the well so that the eggs cook in the sauce rather than over the top of it.

Cover with a lid and cook until the whites have hardened but the yolks are runny; approx 6 to 8 minutes.
For firmer yolks, cook for a bit longer.
Remove from the heat, drizzle with the tahini and garnish with the olives

 

Poached eggs on avocado-feta toast

I thought avocado toast was pretty wonderful until I tried mashing the avocado with Greek feta crumbles and my gosh, the flavor shot up like crazy.
This is especially lovely on sourdough toast. If you don’t feel like having the eggs on top, just have the avocado-feta toast on it’s own.

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For 2 people (can easily be augmented)

2 ripe avocados
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili flakes, depending on how much kick you like
3 to 4oz Greek feta cheese, crumbled
salt and ground black pepper
good olive oil
2 slices of sourdough toast
2 large organic eggs

Firstly, add about 1 inch of water to a frying pan and bring to a simmer.

Mash the avocados in a bowl with a few drops of olive oil (about 1 tsp) salt, pepper and chili flakes, then add the feta and mix through but don’t mash the feta too much, just enough to blend.

Toast the sourdough bread.

Drop the eggs gently into the simmering water, then turn the heat down so you barely see the bubbles. As you poach the eggs, gently gather the white of the eggs around the eggs and keep spooning the hot water over the top of the eggs so they cook. (Poaching eggs is something you just learn to do over time. I don’t use vinegar like many chef’s do, as I don’t like the flavor)

Spread the avocado mixture over the toast and season.

Remove the eggs with a spatula when they start to lose that “snotty” look (that’s the only way I know how to describe an under-cooked poached egg!)

Place an egg on top of each piece of toast and season with salt pepper and chili flakes.

Frittata muffins

These are super easy, and lovely to make ahead of time and reheat. You can change up the ingredients, just make sure they’re super tasty with lots of good quality strong cheddar cheese.

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6 large organic eggs
1/2 cup milk (or cream for a richer taste)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (6oz) shredded mature Cheddar cheese (not the pre-grated sort)
3/4 cup zucchini, chopped small
1/2 cup chopped bacon
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped small
2 tbsp chopped red onion

Makes: 6 servings/12 muffin frittatas

Heat the oven to 350°F.
In a little butter, saute the zucchini, bacon, red pepper and chopped onion until starting to soften and the bacon is starting to brown.
Beat the eggs, milk/cream, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well-blended. Add the grated cheese and the zucchini, bell pepper, bacon and onion mixture; mix well.
Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about 1/4 cup each. Add a little extra grated cheese on top of each muffin if you like.

Bake in the oven until just set, 20 to 22 minutes. COOL on wire rack 5 minutes. REMOVE from cups; serve warm.

Baked cheesy, bacon eggs

This dish reminds me so much of my mother when I was young as she would make this for me for lunch when I came home from school. It is so soothing and tasty.
This recipe is for 2 people, but you can make as many as you want.

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Serves 2

1/2 cup grated mature cheddar cheese (not the pregrated stuff)
1 tbsp good Dijon Mustard. (I use the “Edmund Faillot” brand)
2/3 cup smoked bacon pardons, pancetta
2 tbsp heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Grease and season 2 small ovenproof dishes with butter and crack 2 eggs into each one.

Place the 1/2 cup of grated mature cheddar cheese into a small bowl and mix with 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 2/3 cup of smoked bacon lardons or pancetta and 2 tbsps cream.

Season with salt and pepper. Scoop the cheese mixture on top of the eggs and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.

Serve with toasted bread cut into thin slices so that you can dip them into the eggs.

Easy vegetable and bacon slice

I love these savory throw-together brunch recipes that are wonderful served hot or at room temperature. They’re great to take on a picnic too.

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6 large eggs
2 zucchini, grated
2 carrots grated
1 onion finely diced
1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
10 oz thinly sliced bacon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Beat the eggs in a large bowl then add the freshly grated nutmeg, salt, pepper and baking powder. Softly stir all ingredients together.
Place in lined or well greased baking tin, sprinkle some extra cheese over the top. Bake for 25mins or until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are set.

A beautiful caper vinaigrette to serve with fish

This is worth posting on it’s own as it is absolutely delicious on a salad or drizzled over a piece of hot salmon or halibut. It also keeps for a long time in the fridge

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2 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Champagne or White balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup blended oil (1 part olive oil to 3 parts avocado oil mixed together)
2 tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper

In a food processor or in a blender, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic and vinegar.
Slowly whisk in the oil. Remove from the blender into a bowl and fold in the capers, mustard and herbs.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle over your seared piece of fish or a salad

Crustless zucchini, onion and ricotta pie

This gorgeous, savory summer pie with a base of fresh ricotta and eggs seasoned with shallots, garlic, and pecorino cheese is the answer to an overly abundant vegetable crop. This version from Italy’s Piedmont region is made with zucchini and onions, but feel free to substitute with peppers, eggplant, squash, even tomatoes.

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Serves 6

1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
6 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup grated pecorino cheese (not pre-grated)
1⁄2 cup ricotta
1⁄2 cup roughly chopped parsley
4 eggs, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. bread crumbs

Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic and shallot until golden, 4–6 minutes.
Add the zucchini, cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Let cool. Stir in the pecorino, ricotta, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Heat the oven to 350°F
Grease a 10″ pie plate with butter and coat with bread crumbs.
Spread the zucchini mixture evenly over top; bake until golden on top and slightly puffed, 40–45 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Giada’s easy cheesy risotto cake

This is a very easy and tasty recipe and perfect for those summer get-togethers.

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Serves 6 to 8

Butter, for greasing the pan.
Rice
2 cups Marinara or tomato-basil sauce
1 cup Arborio rice

Bechamel Sauce
3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

To assemble
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil.

For the rice:
Bring the marinara sauce and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
For the bechamel sauce:
Melt the butter in a 1 quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and grated nutmeg.

For assembly:
Mix together the bechamel sauce, rice mixture, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and the prosciutto and peas in a medium bowl. Slowly mix in the eggs, salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture into the prepared spring form pan and cover with foil. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the spring form pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Preheat the broiler. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese and the breadcrumbs. Broil just enough to melt the cheese and create a crispy crust, about 3 minutes/
Cool for 15 minutes.
Loosen the risotto from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Remove the sides of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.

Baked butternut squash, ricotta and spinach

Although I’m not a vegetarian, I am always attracted to non-meat dishes and this one, given it’s December and has me making soups, stews and baked dishes, this really attracted me. It’s from the wonderful British website and food magazine, Delicious.

Baked butternut squash, ricotta and spinach

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash, halved lengthways (about 2.5 – 3lbs in weight)
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz baby spinach
1lb ricotta cheese
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese,(not the pre-grated stuff) plus extra to serve
1 large egg, plus an extra egg yolk
A bunch of fresh sage leaves

Heat the oven to 400F
Scoop out and discard the seeds from the squash. Sit the squash halves cut-side up in a roasting tin. Score flesh in a crosshatch pattern with a knife and season.
Scatter over the caraway seeds, chillies and whole garlic cloves, then drizzle with the olive oil.
Cover with foil and roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until soft.

When cooked, set the garlic cloves aside, then scoop all but 2 tbsp of the squash flesh into a bowl, keeping it in pieces. Gently stir through the spinach and season.Leave to cool.

Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a large bowl and mash into the remaining 2 tbsp squash using a fork. Add the ricotta, Parmesan and some seasoning. Add the whole egg and extra egg yolk, stir then gently stir through the spinach and squash mixture.

Spoon into 4 x 6 oz individual gratin dishes.Top with Parmesan, scatter with extra caraway seeds and the sage leaves, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately

Bacon, sausage and cheese muffins

Well, as it gets towards Christmas, I start thinking of lovely cozy breakfasts in front of the fire. Yes, even in Southern California we have fireplaces and use them a lot. These are steamy bites of savory goodness and are very addictive, so make double what you think you’ll need.

 

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1 cup cooked, chopped bacon
1 cup cooked crumbled sausage meat. I use mild Italian.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated sharp or mature cheddar cheese
1/2 small yellow onion (diced)
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon. Chop into small-medium bits. Set aside. Using the same skillet, cook the crumbled sausage meat. Set aside.
Chop the onion (you can use other veggies if you choose).
Grease tin cups in a 12 muffin tin pan with butter or shortening.
Whisk together the eggs and milk, a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the bread crumbs, cheese, sausage, onion and bacon, leaving just a handful of bacon and cheese for the topping.
Fill the muffin tip cups evenly with the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining bacon and cheese atop of the egg mixture for presentation purposes!
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, eggs should be completely cooked through (you can test with toothpick). To remove the muffins, run a small butter knife around the cups to loosen and pull up. Serve warm.