Friday, June 13, 2014

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

*Adapted from here.

Prep: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 entrees or 4 appetizers

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup honey
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Stir balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced by half and is desired consistency, about 10 minutes. Set the balsamic reduction aside to cool.
2. Arrange alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, spread fresh basil over the salad, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Pumpkin Whole Wheat Pancakes

*Adapted from here.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground clove (optional)
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. (For less seasonal flavor, add just a dash of cinnamon instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.)
2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
3. Fold wet ingredients into the dry.
4. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out batter and pour into a warmed griddle.
5. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with butter and syrup.

Notes: These can be very thick, so spread the batter as needed to help the pancakes cook evenly. You're going to want to double this recipe and eat these all week!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eggs Benedict with Easy Hollandaise


Prep: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 slices Canadian bacon
2 English muffins, split and toasted
4 large eggs
for easy hollandaise:
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1. Prepare easy hollandaise, but do not finish until ready to serve. In a blender, combine egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and salt; blend until frothy.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook until well browned on both sides. Divide bacon among the English muffin halves.
3. Fill a large deep saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. When water is barely simmering, break one egg into a small heatproof bowl. Placing lip of bowl in the water, gently tip the bowl to slide egg carefully into pan. Use a small spoon to "fold" the edges of the white over the egg, for a neater edge. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook until whites are just set, but yolks are still soft (they should still move around inside), 2 to 3 minutes. Lift out eggs with a slotted spoon or small mesh sieve; transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Trim edges of whites with a knife, if desired.
4. Gently place the egg on a bacon-topped muffin, and then finish the hollandaise sauce.
5. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in the microwave. With blender running, pour in hot butter in a very thin stream, blending until sauce is thick and emulsified. Serve over egg-topped English muffins.

Cracker Barrel's Pecan Crusted Catfish

*Adapted from the Wholesome Fixins Menu at Cracker Barrel.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

4 5oz boneless, skinless catfish filets (tilapia works well too)
1 tsp olive oil
for creole marmalade:
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
dash of creole/cajun seasoning
for pecan crumble:
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup Panko seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp creole/cajun seasoning

1. Prepare pecan crumble: In a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add bread crumbs and cook until golden brown, then add the pecans and garlic, lightly sautéing. Add parsley and seasoning and mix together.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Spray cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) with nonstick spray and heat with olive oil. When sizzling hot, add catfish and cook until golden on bottom--about 2 minutes. Gently turn fish with flat spatula, and even brush each filet with 1/2 Tbsp creole marmalade. Lightly pat fish with pecan crumble and place skillet in hot oven until crumble is golden brown.
4. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Casserole Bites

*Adapted from

Prep: 40 minutes
Serves: makes 12

1/2 lb cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage
2 pieces whole wheat bread
9 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups. Tear sandwich bread into 1/2-inch pieces and evenly distribute them in muffin cups.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk; salt & pepper as desired.
3. Evenly distribute sausage among muffin cups. Pour egg mixture into muffin cups and then top with cheese.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until eggs are set.

These freeze well, so double the recipe and enjoy them next week or next month!