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Frisee Aux Lardons avec Ouefs Pochés et Gorgonzola/Frisee Aux Lardons with Poached Eggs and Gorgonzola

Frisee Aux Lardons with Poached Eggs and Gorgonzola

Another day, and more eggs. Only this time they are in a salad, and they are far more pleasing to look at because I took this photo last June when we were enjoying the height of natural light. (Oh natural light, how I miss you.)

But of course, this proves the eternal truth that just because a salad is called such a thing, there is no guarantee that it’s going to be rabbit food, given that friseé is one of those greens that isn’t the most nutritionally dense (at least compared to the ubiquitous kale) and it’s basically coddling a wonderful combination of Gorgonzola, bacon bits, and poached eggs–nary a spa food in the lot save for the greens. But that’s kind of what makes it wonderful: it strikes the right balance between heavy and light that leaves you satisfied without feeling like you have a gut full of food, and it’s also a one-course meal that can come together relatively quickly if your multitasking skills are in peak condition. (Mine vary by how tired I am when I get home from work, but I can still pull this together in about 20 minutes.)

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Kumquat-rosemary marmalade over goat cheese and toast

Did you know that Stamford’s motto is “Stamford: the city that works?” It’s kind of prosaic until you realize how many companies have offices here: from international banks to cosmetic giants to The Maury Povich Show. (Seriously–the studio where it, Jerry Springer and the show starring one of Jerry Springer’s security guys is on the next street over from us, a factoid that delighted my father-in-law to no end when we took him on a tour of our neighborhood.) It’s a good thing because all of those workers help support the local restaurant scene, but since most of them are commuting from other places, there seems to be a dearth of weekend brunch options around here. Even though we were never big brunch people when we lived in New York, it was oddly comforting to see all of those people out and about on a Saturday or Sunday diving into steak and eggs and sipping mimosas.

Here, not so much. Maybe when spring comes I’ll do a little more research, but for now we’re on our own if we have a craving for brunch food. Read More

Sobrasada Tapa

I had it in my head to make brunch on Saturday. We never eat brunch–I eat breakfast when I get to work, and Michael tends to only have oatmeal on hand, and fighting the crowds on Broadway to enjoy overpriced eggs and bacon holds little appeal for us. Sometimes, though, we’ll make it when friends are staying with us and that’s always fun, but it’s also a lot of work. So the idea of making a few small tapas for brunch had immediate appeal for me: filling but not overwhelmingly so. Michael tends to just eat a few hard-boiled eggs on weekend mornings to get him through until dinnertime, so using that as a base for ideas, I flipped through The Book of Tapas, made a shopping list, and on Saturday morning got to work.

The sobrasada tapa pictured above was by far my favorite–and that includes the tapa that I made with smoked salmon, for crying out loud! It was by far the easiest of the three to make, though, and when it comes to making a brunch spread at home, that’s really important.  Read More

Clear Out the Leftovers Fritatta

For all of the talking and writing and photographing of food we do, especially on the weekend, breakfasts and brunches are noticeably absent here on this blog.  It’s odd because we both love breakfast food, but I think it comes down to motivation–we’d rather indulge in dinner rather than breakfast on the weekends, and often brunch ranks among the few meals that makes more sense to go out for rather than to stay in and cook.

It’s also likely due to the fact that things like orange juice and milk are expensive to buy when they are only consumed two days of the week at most–plus it always requires planning as schlepping to the market and back on a Saturday or Sunday morning before the first caffeine hits is an unbearably cruel thing for anyone to endure over the weekend.

Maybe it was this quote from No Reservations that put us over the edge subconciously:

Then there the People Who Brunch. The “B” Word is dreaded by all dedicated cooks. We hate the smell and spatter of omelettes. We despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs. Nothing demoralizes an aspiring Escoffier faster than requiring him to cook egg-white omelettes or eggs over easy with bacon. You can dress it up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.

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Focaccia with Oven-Roasted Campari Tomatoes

When our dear friend L told us she wanted to spend a weekend in the city to visit her sister as well as check in on us, the first thought we had was, of course, what food to prepare in anticipation of her arrival.  She mentioned something about potentially going out on Saturday night, and therefore wanted to eat many small plates.  Michael’s only request was for eggs and sausage to be somehow worked into the meal, so it should be hardly surprising that tapas became the theme of what would be a singular afternoon in our little Manhattan apartment. Read More

First off–to those who are joining us from The Kitchn:  benvenuto, tutti!  We were thrilled to be among those chosen to guest-post, and we welcome you to explore our little piece of the food blogging universe.

Poached Eggs, Spinach Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette, and Ciabatta Garlic Toasts with Homemade Ricotta and Speck

Poached Eggs, Spinach Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette, and Ciabatta Garlic Toasts with Homemade Ricotta and Speck

This was a weekend of experimentation:  Michael took a small risk by doing a pan-Mediterranean take on tapas (apparently he was worried I wouldn’t like it, which seemed odd, but his concern was moot anyway as I happily dug into my plate) and I did the same by making ricotta cheese, as I had never done so before and it’s one of his least favorite cheeses to eat.  The recipe on Epicurious seemed so simple, though, so I at least wanted to try my hand at it; after all, we’ve done duck ham and will probably cure some pork in the next few weeks–why not add cheese into the mix?

The cheese came out well, if a little too lemony (I think I used just a little too much–shame on me for  not measuring!), and paired nicely with the salty speck, crusty bread and runny eggs.  I always liked the idea of having a salad with brunch to cut some of the grease inherent in so many of the classic dishes, and this one–a mustard vinaigrette–is perfect for spinach:

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together mustard and desired amount of vinegar (some like a 1:1 ratio, others a 2:1 of oil to vinegar), add salt and pepper to taste, then slowly add oil and whisk to combine.  Drizzle over greens of choice.

It’s a light alternative to traditional brunch, to be sure, and perfect for a summertime morning/afternoon after a backyard cookout.  Buon apetito!

 

Roasted Tomato Focaccia, Red Grapefruit, Cheese Platter and Cappucinos

Roasted Tomato Focaccia, Red Grapefruit, Cheese Platter and Cappucinos

 

 

It’s very rare that I buy lunch during the week, but following the taping on Thursday I found myself in the Whole Foods near my office picking up a so-so sandwich and almost buying the latest issue of Saveur.  There’s a gorgeous focaccia dappled with cherry tomatoes on the cover, but I didn’t feel like dropping 5 bucks on another magazine and instead made a mental note to make my own version.

The results, happily, were delicious.  I found some gorgeous tomatoes at Stop & Shop, and they roasted so well as the bread baked, resulting in a delicious, savory brunch.

Paired with some cheese, grapefruit and espresso, it was a good brunch.

Soft-Boiled Eggs with Salsa Verde

Soft-Boiled Eggs with Salsa Verde

Though Michael is Italian, his family mostly hails from the southern half of the boot, and therefore when we decided to go to Piemonte for a week, neither of us knew much of anything of the region besides the fact that we would be staying at a fabulous B&B run by a dear friend’s awesome aunt.  Said friend gifted me with a copy of the gorgeous travelogue/recipe book Autumn in Piemonte as a way to get us acquainted with the food of the area–something Michael had expressed uncertainty over, only because he never had it before–and so a few weeks before we hopped on a plane, we finally made some dishes from the book.

I started with this delicious salsa verde–a combination of onion, parsley and butter thickened with some flour–and served it with crusty ciabatta bread (seriously, New Haven has the best ciabatta bread ever via Chabaso) and the reccommended soft-boiled eggs.  In the future I think I’ll give the onions a finer dice and cut back on the butter, but otherwise it is a fantastic dish.  Don’t scrimp on the eggs, either–get the brown ones with the almost neon-orange yolks, since you’re eating them as-is.  Just spoon some sauce onto a slice of bread, put an egg on top, and enjoy.  Sop up the rest of the sauce with the remaining pieces of bread once you run out of eggs.

Unconventional, yes, but so good.

In an effort to break me from the PB&J habit, I started experimenting with eggs back in the fall.  This one is among my favorites, and a perfect brunch sandwich:

Soft-boiled Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Soft-boiled Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Soft-Boiled Egg & Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp goat cheese, plain or herbed (preferably one that’s easy to spread, like Charvie)
  • 2 slices whole grain/whole wheat bread
  • Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dark, leafy greens of your choice (optional–I only thought of this after I ate the whole thing and realized that it would be nutritionally complete from all major food groups this way)

Directions:

  1. Bring an egg to a rolling boil, then let it boil for about 3 minutes, or longer if the idea of runny yolks really gross you out.  At the end of three minutes, sit the egg in cool water.
  2. While this is going on, prepare the bread.  Thinly spread one side of each slice with the goat cheese, and then add Italian seasoning blend or Herbs de Provence, if desired
  3. Peel eggshell off, then position on one slice of bread and gently slice the egg to a rough dice, arranging it on the slice.
  4. Freshly grate the Parmesan over the egg–just a little will do the trick, then season it all to taste with salt and black pepper, freshly ground if possible.  Add dark leafy greens of choce (mine would be baby arugula).
  5. Slap the other slice on top, flip over, and enjoy!
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Grapefruit with Ciabatta Toasts and Goat Cheese with Tarragon

Nothing makes me happier than getting up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and trudging over to Romeo & Cesares for brunch fixings.  Sometimes eggs are involved, but often it’s me picking up either a loaf of Chabaso ciabatta bread or their ciabatta rolls, two or three grapefruit and some Charvie goat cheese (it spreads so easily!) and nosh on them while watching weekend morning sitcom reruns.  On this particular morning Michael grilled some bread for me and sprinkled some leftover tarragon over a lump of Charvie (a great use for leftover herbs), and I sliced up some grapefruits for us.

It’s simple, delicious, and easy to spread over two days at least (though the temptation to scarf all of the bread at once is extremely tempting at times as well…)

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