Friday, October 28, 2011

Bird's Nest Toast and Egg with Grilled Tomato

This is one of my favorite simple and easy but still look really fancy breakfasts.

I am pretty sure that there is a fancy name for what this is called, but I've always called it Bird's Nest. I don't know where I even heard that, I may have made it up, but I like it.

Bird's Nest Toast and Egg

1 piece of whole wheat bread
1 egg
butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat a skillet to medium
  2. Light butter/oil both sides of the bread.
  3. Cut a hole in the middle of the bread
  4. When the skillet is hot, put the bread on it and also crack an egg into the middle of the hole
  5. When the toast and the egg are browned, flip the nest over.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from heat when the egg and toast are browned on the other side again
The inside of the egg will likely still be a bit runny, but I like that, since since the toast is likely to get a bit dry, the runny yoke is great for dipping.

Serve with slices of grilled tomatoes (easily done. Just slice some tomatoes, and before you turn of the oven heat, sear one side of the tomato, then the other. Salt, pepper, and a dash of basil do wonders on it, as well.)

I also like to toast in the pan the extra circle of bread that has been removed from the bread. It makes the meal more filling, and you can get creative with the garnishes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Soy Sauce Poached Salmon with Veggies

I adapted this recipe from Mark Bittman's blog, in which he made soy sauce poached striped bass. His recipe is prettier than mine, and also a little simpler since he only has scallions with his, but I wanted mine to be a bit more substantial, so I added veggies. But I knew that I wanted to try something like what he'd made as soon as I'd seen it because it looked delicious. And it was. And the fact that I changed it to salmon didn't hurt in the least.

Soy Sauce Poached Salmon with veggies

1/2 C dark, high quality soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 small shallots, sliced
2 tsp minced ginger
Red pepper flakes to taste
Dash of vinegar (balsamic or rice, preferably, also optional)
3 medium salmon fillets

Mixed Veggies, julienned where appropriate. I used green bell peppers, zucchini, and green beans.

Mix the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, shallots, ginger, and red pepper in a large, flat-bottomed skillet.
Heat on medium until the the mixture is boiling.

Gently add the salmon fillets. Cook for about 5 minutes then VERY GENTLY turn the fish, cook for an additional 5 minutes.

When you turn the fish, add the veggies. The fish will cook much faster than the veggies, but the veggies will also water-down the sauce, so wait until the last minute to put them in. Remove the fish when it is cooked all the way. Taste the sauce at the bottom. If it is too salty or soy saucy for you, add a dash of vinegar and/or an extra teaspoon of sugar. Both of those will help tone down the strong soy sauce flavor.

When the veggies are at your desired tenderness, remove them from the sauce. Cook the sauce a minute or two longer to let some of the additional water boil out, and it will make an excellent sauce to pour over everything. If you like a thicker sauce, you might consider adding some corn starch, though I prefer the thinner, broth-like sauce.

Serve the salmon and veggies with rice.


This has lots of great variations: you could use curry powder or other seasonings, any number of vegetables, and probably most any type of fish, or even other types of meat.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Curried Veggies

I get Bountiful Baskets most weeks, which means that every Saturday morning I get a large box of fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I get fruits/veggies that I eat all the time: lettuce, apples, plums, celery, etc. Those I generally find easy to use.

But sometime I get stuff like sweet potatoes, which I like but almost never buy for myself.

We had some sweet potatoes (or maybe there were yams...I don't really know the difference. Is that a bad confession to make on a cooking blog? Well, I said it) and I wanted to use them up, also they were pretty much the only food in the house other than a few spare veggies. So, I decided to make some sweet potato quesadillas, which I had once and Gurus and kind of liked, but thought I could do better.

The most difficult--and the whole thing is really easy--part about this quesadillas are the mashed sweet potatoes.

Peel and cube 2-3 small sweet potatoes.
Boil the potatoes in water, add a dash of salt and a dash of oregano for flavor. Pepper if you like.
When the potatoes are soft, drain the water.
Mix the potatoes with a dap of butter and a 1/3- 1/2 C cream.
Mash together. Set aside.

Then, make a quesadilla:

Lightly butter or oil one side of a tortilla.
Spread a thin layer of the mashed sweet potatoes on half the tortilla
Fill with cheese. I used a sharp cheddar and a Mexican mozzarella. Regular mozzarella would be superb, as would pepper jack. Jarlsberg would also be great, I have a feeling.
Grill on medium-low heat on one side, until the side is crispy but not burnt, then flip and cook the other side.

It is a great combo of cheesy and potato-y. Can be made spicy or mild. It also makes an ordinary quesadilla into a full meal.

For some color and a bit of extra deliciousness, serve with some fajita veggies on the side.  I also had extra mashed potatoes, so I served that on the side as well with some extra cheese sprinkled over it.

I used onion, green bell pepper, julienned zucchini, and mushrooms for my side dish. I sauteed them in olive oil with a few dashes of curry powder. The curry flavor was mild and not very strong, so just a hint which was a nice compliment to the quesadillas.


It's a good thing I used the sweet potatoes, too, because this week I got more sweet potatoes in my basket. I made Sweet Potato and Pear Soup, so that will be coming up on the blog sometime soon as well.