Tag Archives: Breakfast

Eggs with Dukkah

I return to my posts with this recipe starring a favorite staple food – the egg.  My goal is to continue with regular postings on recipes and restaurants.  As I have been focusing on a more varied use of spices in my kitchen, I decided to offer this recipe featuring Dukkah, an Egyptian nut and spice blend.  It is a flavorful way to “spice up” your morning eggs and is inspired by a recipe I found in Eggs on Top by Andrea Slonecker (2014), an excellent cookbook all about the egg.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coriander

1 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons roasted salted pistachios, shelled

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sea salt to taste

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 eggs

Focaccia

To make the Dukkah, heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat.  When it is hot, add the coriander, cardamom and pepper, moving around with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.  Add the fennel seeds and continue to toast for another 30 seconds.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for several minutes.  Roughly chop the pistachios, then add them to the spice mixture.  Finally, stir in the sesame seeds and salt.

Dukkah

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Pour the oil into a 9 inch nonstick frying pan.  Crack the eggs into the pan and spoon the Dukkah on the top.  Bake for about 11 minutes for loose yolks, or a few minutes longer for more fully set yolks.  Serve with slices of focaccia to sop up the egg and spice – perfect for a weekend breakfast!

Eggs with Dukkah

a. kitchen is the kitchen

a. kitchen is more than a kitchen.  It is a dining destination in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood where Chef Eli Kulp (also of Fork and High Street on Market) creates modern and elegant cuisine.  My husband and I recently enjoyed brunch, lunch and dinner (not all in one day, of course!) at a. kitchen.  All three meals were delicious.  The service was outstanding, and the setting is pleasant and cozy.  The open kitchen with a chef’s counter also provides for a unique dining experience.

For brunch, we started with a charcoal biscuit with house made butter.  The kitchen boasts a custom made grill using natural hardwood charcoal.  Nearly all of the dishes prepared in a. kitchen, including this tasty biscuit, reach the grill at some point.  For my main course, I ordered the grilled prawns with creamy grits paired with a salad of baby kale, basque pepper and radish.  The preparation of pepper and radish provided a nice kick.  My husband enjoyed the steak and eggs of American Wagyu, over easy eggs and blackened “frenched” onion.  The beef was grilled to a medium rare perfection.  We chose a light ending – the trio of ice cream and sorbet.   The current icy offerings are milk chocolate, caraway-rye and cranberry-apple.  Our favorite was the caraway-rye – a very creative flavor for a winter sorbet.

For dinner, we were encouraged to share several small plates followed by a main course.  We decided on the grilled, shelled quail eggs with pickled beets and onions.  The quail eggs had a soft yolk, and their richness balanced out the tanginess of the beets.  We also selected the hamachi crudo, which was served over crispy rice cakes and spicy mustard.  This dish showcased the Asian influences on the menu.  Another highlight was the Caputo Brothers burrata floating in a golden beet soup accented with dill and trout roe.  The roe provided a “pop” to the silken soup and rich cheese.

Our final small plate was the grilled octopus salad of spiced sweet potato, peanuts and winter greens.  The octopus was the tenderest that I have tasted, and the Asian spices were superb.  For the main course, we selected the special Dover sole with a side of grilled leeks with green chili romesco and smoked Marcona almonds.  This sole was grilled on a. kitchen’s centerpiece, providing it with a smoky flavor while still retaining its buttery taste and tender texture.

The wine list is impressive and includes some of my favorite French reds, including those from the Rhone.  We enjoyed a Bandol, which complemented the earthy spices.

For lunch, we enjoyed the deviled skate with sambal and grilled bok chou – another plate that demonstrates the kitchen’s talent with spices.  To balance out the seafood dishes enjoyed at a. kitchen, I decided to try the Creekstone Burger with cave-aged cheddar, mayo and pickles.  The burger proved that a. kitchen should be a destination for those in the mood for red meat as well.  As a finale, we enjoyed the sunchoke custard with black walnut brittle, hopped apples and maple.  This delicious savory sweet was the most creative use of a root vegetable that I have encountered.

Plan a visit to a. kitchen for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and their new addition – an adjacent bar (a. bar) – which serves oysters and seafood specialties.  We will look forward to a lobster roll in the near future!

Crêpes — Savory, Then Sweet

When one of my students gave me a gift of a crêpe pan several years ago, I decided to put it to good use.  It would not become one of those kitchen items that sits in a cabinet just to be seen once a year.  So, I decided to make crêpes for Sunday morning breakfasts…savory crêpes filled with scrambled eggs followed by sweet crêpes topped with maple syrup and berries.

Below is a simple crêpe recipe intended to make two savory crêpes and two to four sweet ones.

Ingredients for Crêpes:

1/3 cup milk

3/4 cup cold water

1 egg

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

1/2 cup flour

Butter for the crêpe pan or non-stick pan

Place all of the ingredients except for the flour in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  Then, add the flour and continue to whisk, eliminating any lumps.  Set aside while preparing the eggs.

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Ingredients for Scrambled Eggs:

4 eggs

Splash of milk

Splash of water

Fresh herbs

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

This is how I typically make scrabbled eggs.  (No precise measurements are involved…sometimes I add cheese or peppers, whatever strikes my fancy.  You probably have your own technique and should use what you would enjoy tasting.)  Place the eggs, milk and water in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  Set aside until you are ready to scramble.

This breakfast requires two pans to be working simultaneously, side by side, on the stove.  The first is the crêpe pan.  Place a slice of butter in the crêpe pan over medium heat.  When the butter melts and sizzles, tilt the pan so that the butter moves around its bottom.  Pour a large ladle of crêpe batter (just under 1/4 cup) into the center of the pan and tilt the pan around so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan.

As the batter begins to bubble, move the pan forward and backward to loosen the crêpe.  Lift the edges of the crêpe with a spatula to see when the bottom of the crêpe is lightly browned.  Then, carefully turn the crêpe using a spatula and your fingers (or, you can toss the crêpe with a quick movement of the pan away from you then toward you).  Brown the crêpe on the other side for another minute at most.  Transfer the crêpe to a dish and grease the pan for the second crêpe.

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While working with the crêpes, prepare the scrambled eggs.  Add some olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to a non-stick pan.  Turn the heat to medium low and tilt the pan so that the olive oil covers the bottom.  Pour the eggs into the center of the pan and add your fresh herbs.  The olive oil should prevent the eggs from sticking, and as the eggs begin to solidify around the edges, use a non-stick spatula to scramble.

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When the eggs are finishing cooking, spoon them down the center of each crêpe.  Fold the sides of the crêpe over the eggs and turn the entire crêpe over so that the “seam” is not visible.  Garnish with more herbs and a drizzle of chili oil (or a flavored oil of your choice).

DSCN4115After this savory course, repeat the crêpe making process for the sweet course – crêpes topped with maple syrup (or honey) and fresh berries.

DSCN4119 Note: This also makes a fun breakfast for dinner!

 

Toast Again??? Ideas for a Pullman Loaf of Brioche

I purchased a Pullman Loaf of brioche, the traditional French bread, at local bakery Black Lab Breads.  For several breakfasts, I enjoyed toasted slices of this sweet bread with French butter and raspberry jam, yet over half the loaf remained.  So, for a more decadent start to the day, I decided to make French Toast with fresh raspberries.  This recipe for Brioche French Toast is for six slices, but you can adjust the amounts accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of brioche about ¾ inch thick (use brioche that is 2 days old or toast the slices prior to making this recipe to prevent mushy French Toast)
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Butter

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the milk.  Mix in the cinnamon, lemon zest and vanilla.  Add several tablespoons of butter to a large non-stick frying pan or non-stick griddle on medium-high heat.  When the butter melts, dip each piece of brioche into the egg mixture and place in the pan or griddle.  Fry the brioche until both sides are golden brown.  Repeat for the remaining slices.

Serve with your choice of fresh berries and maple syrup or honey.  Making French Toast with brioche adds another dimension of sweetness to the dish – the bread itself is sweeter than regular bread and its airiness allows it to soak up more syrup.

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Buttery and Syrupy

The few inches of Pullman Loaf remaining after the French Toast were just enough to make croutons for a Caesar Salad.  To make brioche croutons, simply cut slices of brioche into cubes and place them on a tray or a piece of aluminum foil under the broiler, turning the cubes so that all sides become toasted.

Top your Caesar Salad with these sweet, crispy croutons…and stay tuned for my favorite Caesar Salad recipe.

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Sweet and Crispy