Browsing Category

breakfast & brunch

appetizers breakfast & brunch main courses Recipes sauces seafood

Shrimp & Grits

October 30, 2010
home made gourmet shrimp and grits with chard
home made gourmet shrimp and grits with chard

A friend and I stopped by Farmer Brown for a late night meal after seeing a play about a week ago and we had some shrimp & grits. Created a little inspiration.

Had a little panic, though. I canned my own tomatoes this summer with just some fresh lemon juice; a coworker and I were talking about canning techniques and she mtnioned she would not can her own tomatoes especially without preserved lemon juice because of the variation in pH in fresh lemons, due to the botulism risk.. I felt like a bit of a dummy. I took chemistry, why’s my brain not thinkin?

At any rate, I ran out of tomatoes and really had to break open that jar and had myself all hyped up that we might start having lazy eyes and collapsing lungs within a day or two, but it’s been a few and we’re fine. I did throw the rest of the jar away, kinda regretting that now, and what we did eat would have been totally worth it because it was totally tasty.

Here’s my version.

Shrimp and Grits
For four

1 C polenta
1 C chopped tomatoes, strained tomatoes, or 2C fresh tomatoes chopped and seeded
1 tsp dry thyme or 1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 C vegetable stock
16 18-20 count shrimp (prefer blue Mexican prawns), deveined and shell removed completely
2 C chopped fresh spinach

Cook the polenta using a 1-3 ratio with water or stock. Be sure to bring liquid to boil first, evenly cipher in the polenta and continue stirring on low heat for at least 5-6 minutes until creamy and thick.

In a sauce pan bring the tomatoes to a simmer and add the chili flakes, thyme, and veg stock. Reserve some veg stock in case you need to thin the sauce. Let it reduce to a tasty, rich flavor and add the shrimp to cook. Add the spinach, turning off the heat and throwing a lid on the pan for 30 seconds or so to wilt. Serve on top of the polenta in a bowl.

breakfast & brunch desserts dinner lunch main courses Recipes seafood special occasion

Alaskan Halibut on Hazelnut Gomashi Corn, Peaches in Wine

July 26, 2009
Halibut on hazelnut gomashi corn

Halibut on hazelnut gomashi corn

1lb halibut fillet, no skin
5 ears fresh sweet corn (2 white 3 yellow)
Gomashi (toasted sesame seeds and salt in a grinder, use a mortal and pestal lightly if you dont have one)
Rainbow microgreens
3 green onions/scallions
Hazelnut Oil
Sesame seeds
Soy Sauce
1T butter
Olive oil

Marinate the halibut in soy sauce, touch of olive oil, and sesame seeds for at least a couple of hours, but not more than 12.  Cook it in a nonstick pan just big enough for it, so it’s nice and tight. More on this in a moment.

Cut the corn off the cob. Slice the scallions thinly into the green.

In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 T hazelnut oil and butter (alternatively use a lightly flavored oil or olive oil and toast actual hazelnuts in it–crush them well first, use low heat for some time to infuse, but it’s just not the same) at medium heat, and add the corn. Add Gomashi mixture to add saltiness. Taste as you cook to add regular salt if needed, depending on proportion of your gomashi.

In a small nonstick pan, cook your marinated halibut on medium, top side down first. Once getting opaque, flip it over and cover it at least loosely with a lid, reduce heat slightly and continue cooking through.

When corn starts to color, add the scallions. Keep tossing until some kernels are browned and all are cooked. Place this on the base of your plate.

Top with clean microgreens, then portion the halibut onto each plate. This serves four with an appetizer (we had some heirloom tomato sauce & red pepper linguini, very small amount).

There is also now a Chilean Sea Bass & Spinich version of this dish.

White and Yellow Organic Peaches, Sliced

Peaches in Wine

4-5 peaches (you can mix apricots too, and yellow and white peaches)
White sugar
Rose or dry white wine

No need to skin them unless you don’t like the skin

Slice evenly and toss in a bit of sugar, then cover in rose or dry white wine, most of the way. Cover and refrigerate for several hours at least. I served them on shortcakes and reduced the liquid to syrup in a pan, putting on top.

breakfast & brunch Recipes special occasion

Dutch Baked Apple Pancake

March 15, 2009

In the tradition of what American’s mispercieve as French souffle, this baked pancake could also be called domestically “souffle” though internationally I’d argue it’s not.

I received a set of Penzey’s spices from my mother some time ago and have been slowly making my way through the spices. Since that time, they’ve sent me catalogs, which I am mostly uninterested in and ought to call and have myself removed as I do with everything else–but back to the point, this one had a recipe that looked good.

As an aside, they carry much the same quality and even often from the same suppliers as The Spice House in Chicago, and in fact, the families behind each are closely related (brothers) and it’s some sort of feud that causes them to have seperate and competing businesses. I’d recommend either for a variety of reasons, for online ordering.

Back to the point: There was an eye catching recipe for an apple pancake using their “cinnamon sugar” mixture (it’s the lazy man’s mixtures that turn me off from Penzey’s as a serious cook), and I do have a ton of apples left from my Farm Fresh to You shipment, so I figured hey, why not?

I used half the recipe but the full amount of milk, and made a few adjustments such as making my own cinnamon heavy “cinnamon sugar”, using more vanilla extract than required, and per usual using organic free range blah blah everything. It does taste better to do so, though, most of the time if not for anything else but the care and quality put into it vs mass produce. Half the recipe served 2 of us with nothing else for breakfast, I think this would be a great brunch dish to have a small slice of.

I baked it in a springform pan as we all know about my limited space and I haven’t room to stock both a pie pan and a springform.

Instead of syrup as the recipe suggests, I’d top it with powdered sugar.

appetizers breakfast & brunch condiments & pickles Recipes sauces snacks Wine pairings

Peruvian Potato Pancakes with Homemade Apple Sauce & Creme Fraiche

March 1, 2009

Peruvian Potato Pancakes with Homemade Apple Sauce and Creme Fraiche Recipe Photo

4 Peruvian Potatoes
3 large fingerling potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
2 eggs beaten
2 T salt
1 T fresh ground pepper
6-8 heaping T flour
1 tsp baking powder
vegetable oil
creme fraiche
applesauce (store bought or recipe follows)

After washing, shred your potatoes and add to a bowl. Mince your onion, and add it to the bowl. Cover mixture with water and soak 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly.

Mix potatoes & onion with the eggs, adding salt, pepper, baking powder and 4 T of the flour. Mix and add flour as needed until you can see the mixture will stick together.

Heat oven to warm. In a nonstick pan, heat vegetable oil to medium high heat. Add heaping tablespoon full of batter and push flat, repeating without crowding the pan (in my 12 inch pan I put no more than 4 small pancakes at a time). Flip when it’s holding together well, cooking golden on both sides. Add more oil as is needed keeping just enough to give color/allow sizzling.

When cooked add to parchment lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven until serving. Serve with bowls of finely cut chives, sour cream or creme fraiche, and applesauce.

Spiced Home-made Apple Sauce

This recipe is forgiving and you may make a batch of any size with thoughtful adjustment. I used 8 or 10 apples of mixed varieties from my farm shipment.

minimum of 5 apples (don’t use all red, they don’t have enough pectin)
1-2 sticks cinnamon
4-10 cloves
2 T sugar – 1/3 C sugar
1 tsp – 3 tsp salt
Fresh grated nutmeg to taste

Peel and core your apples and add the cores & peels to a pan that will accomodate the apples eventually. Add water until almost covered. Add the cinnamon and cloves, and bring to a simmer, cooking until reduced and all soft (15-30 minutes). Strain. Keep the juice, discard the rest in your compost preferably.

Meanwhile, cube your apples. Add to the juice once you’ve made it, keeping the spices in. Cook at medium low heat or a slight simmer until softened, probably 1 hour. Stir in sugar, salt, nutmeg to taste. Put into clean or sterilized jars or containers. If canning, will keep for some months. If putting in a container to be used from refrigerator, will last up to 1 month. Throw out at first signs of changing taste, color, or visible molding.

Wine: We had the Peruvian potato pancakes with a delicious and inexpensive bottle of dry prosecco. Any apply, dry sparkling wine will be great and cleans the fat of the oil & creme fraiche out of the mouth.

breakfast & brunch dinner Italian lunch main courses pasta Recipes special occasion Wine pairings

Roast Golden Beet & Chevre Tortelloni in Brown Butter Sauce

September 15, 2008

fresh golden beet & chevre tortelloni pasta

Including: How to make fresh pasta for tortelloni and other stuffed pastas & ravioli

Most of us who are at least a little enamored with Italian food realize and recognize the vast and unending code for Italian pasta shapes. They range from fairly consistent (spaghetti is spaghetti just about anywhere you go) to the incredibly confusing (tortelloni can be either the little parmesean filled pastas we find dried in the grocery, more commonly known in the US as tortellini, or large, fresh pasta dumplings, or even a stuffed dumpling of any kind, as in a bit after the middle ages, when pasta was really making itself popular in Italy via Napoli’s maccheroni which we think of as being the elbow shape but in Italy can mean just about any unstuffed pasta shape, especially something similar to bucatini).

Anyway, it’s not consistent. But by tortelloni here, I mean a stuffed pasta in a particular shape, as, well, shown.

For the filling:
two medium golden beets, roasted with olive oil, salt, & pepper in foil for 1 1/2 hours or more, peeled & rough chopped
1/3 lb capricho di caba or other salty, moist fresh goat cheese/chevre
salt & pepper
olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add olive oil as needed to make a ricotta consistency.

Fresh Tortelloni with golden beet & goat cheese

For the pasta:
Measurements are approximate
1/2 C (or 50g) semolina 00 size flour
1/2 C (or 50g) 00 white wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg

Mix the flours, pour in a pile and create a well. Sprinkle with salt, add the egg to the center, and gently beat to incorporate flour. Once somewhat together, use hands to mix the rest of the flour in until it takes a comfortable amount and is no longer sticky when handling repetedly for several rounds of kneading. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and let set for at least 1 hour, up to 12. See this entry on making fresh pasta for more details on making the dough: How to Make Fresh Italian Egg Pasta.

Roll the dough out using plenty of flour to keep it from sticking. I find it easier to work with half the dough at once, keeping the other half nicely covered with the plastic wrap. Roll out as thin as the dough will allow without tearing or becoming fragile. The longer you let it rest the easier it will be to accomplish this. Using the correct size flour (extra fine) will also aid in this.

Cut in equal squares. I eyeball it, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Add a small drop of filling to each square.

Fold into a triangle and seal with your fingertips by pinching, starting at the top of the triangle and working around the edges. Try not to include extra air near the filling, or they may have trouble staying closed once in the hot water.

how to fold home made tortelloni pastahow to fold home made tortelloni pasta

Press the left and right sides of the triangle together to form a circle with a tail. Flip the pasta “inside out” to create an edge that will help trap sauce.

how to fold home made tortelloni pasta

how to fold home made tortelloni pasta

Cook in boiling hot water, salted (several T of sea or kosher salt).

Fresh Tortelloni Cooking in Water

Meanwhile, melt 2-3 T of butter, adding salt & pepper; you can add poppy seeds too if you like. Let it brown, and add pasta as it’s finished cooking. Toss. Serve.

Wine: this one is fairly tricky, because of the salty-sweet combo. A nice and soft, round merlot would work, as would a dry, less aromatic white.

breakfast & brunch Recipes

Fluffy, Moist Week-day American Pancakes for Two

June 28, 2008
Blueberry-Lemon American Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy, Moist Weekday Pancakes for Two
2017-11-08 05:49:44
Serves 2
All from scratch pancake recipe portioned for two people. Many possible variations, but all are moist, fluffy, and perfectly portioned.
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. Flour, all purpose 1 Cup
  2. Baking powder 1 Tbsp
  3. Sugar 3 Tbsp
  4. Salt 1tsp
  5. Egg 1
  6. Milk 2/3 Cups
  7. Lemon zest 1
  8. Apple cider vinegar 1 1/2 tsp
  9. Sparkling water or beer 1-2 Tbsp
  10. Sour cream, yogurt, or creme fraiche 1 Tbsp
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. Whisk dry ingredients together
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together, except vinegar
  3. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ones
  4. Heat pan to medium and warm some butter
  5. Add vinegar right before cooking, stir to combine
  1. When butter stopps bubbling and before it turns brown, add batter to the desired size pancake. Let cook on first side until bubbles appear and close slowly, and whole surface has firmed.
  2. Flip pancake and cook about 1/2 the amount of time as the first side
  3. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve.
  1. Blueberries - add to pancake once it is in the pan and begins cooking
  2. Chocolate chips - add to pancake once it is in the pan and begins cooking
  3. Ricotta cheese - add about 3 Tbsp to wet ingredients for a different texture; do not overmix, or add last to mixed batter for more texture
  4. Orange zest - substitute for lemon
By Caroline Cadwell
I Love You More Than Food
Blueberry-Lemon American Fluffy Pancakes

Recently I have been making pancakes a lot (by request of a certain man). Here’s the best pancake recipe for two people or three large pancakes that I have discovered/altered/come up with.

1 C flour
1 T baking powder
3 T sugar
1 tsp salt

1 egg
2/3 C milk
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp cider or sherry vinegar
1-2 T sparkling water (plain or citrus flavor) or ALE/BEER
1 T sour cream, creme fraiche, or heavy whipping cream (sour preferred)

Whisk dry ingredients together, whisk wet ones seperately. I use rough measurements using my eye and/or an actual large table spoon. This recipe is pretty forgiving. Combine the wet and the dry, adding the sparkling water last. Cook on medium to medium low heat to get a nice even color. Flip when sides have firmed up away from the pan and there are bubbles/holes in the batter on the skillet.

I sometimes add fresh blueberries; the best time to do this is immediately after you put the batter on the hot skillet. They are delicious in this and make the pancake require very little syrup if any at all.

There is also now a buckwheat flour and almond milk version of these pancakes.

Also, I made Tonno Carpaccio con Yuzu again as summer is upon us, and took a new, much more appealing photo which is now posted on the entry.