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Archive for 2017

TIP OF THE DAY: Circular Plating, Trending With Chefs

Often, what makes the familiar exciting again is presentation. We love this circular plating trend, exemplified by these three salads and a main course.

You can use the technique for any course that goes onto a plate.

For the past couple of years, we’ve noticed the trend creeping up among creative restaurant chefs. It’s not just salad, but seafood, vegetable plates, meats and desserts.

You, too can think outside the middle of the plate. It just takes a few minutes more to arrange food around the periphery, as opposed to putting it in the center.

So what’s in the center of the plate?

It could be cheese, croutons, dressing, sauce, spices, whipped cream…or nothing.

Start today with your dinner salad!
 
 
DESIGNING A CIRCULAR SALAD

For salad, there’s always a choice of greens; but look to contrasting shades and textures. Don’t be afraid to add fresh herbs.

Add at least two color elements, red (beets, berries, cherry tomatoes, grapes, radishes) and yellow or orange (beets, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, egg quarters, mango).

Use an interesting vinaigrette, i.e., made with infused olive oil or vinegar.

Serve the salad with plain crostini or garlic bread (crostini with garlic butter).

If you want to serve a monotone salad, like Caesar salad, use a bright-colored plate.

Take the same approach with non-salad courses.
 
 
RECIPE #1: EAST MEETS WEST SALAD

This circle of flavor from Pakpao Thai in Dallas combines east (mint leaves and dressing) and west. It’s hard to see, but the white in the center is whipped mozzarella. We didn’t have time to practice froth it to perfection, so we used whipped ricotta.
 
Ingredients For The Salad

  • Asparagus
  • Baby radishes
  • Red onion
  • Mint leaves
  • Watercress
  • Wheat berries
  •  
    For The Mint Vinaigrette (6 Servings)

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  •  
    For The Cheese

  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella*
  • 1 cup of half-and-half or light cream*
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    For The Crostini

  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Other seasonings as desired (garlic salt, dried herbs)
  • ________________

    *Substitute 1 pint ricotta for the mozzarella and cream.
    ________________
     
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crostini. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange the baguette slices on two baking sheets; brush both sides with oil. Season with salt and pepper and other seasonings as desired. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through until both sides are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets.

    2. MAKE the vinaigrette. Combine the mint and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let steep for 10 minutes; then strain into a large bowl, pressing on the leaves to extract all the liquid. You should have about 3 tablespoons of liquid after straining. Add the oil, vinegar, honey and salt; whisk until well combined. Refrigerate it for up to 3 days in a container with a lid, so you can shake it prior to dressing the salad.

    3. PREPARE the salad ingredients: Wash and trim as desired. Arrange on individual plates. Place the whipped cheese in the center of the plate (we used ramekins).

    4. DICE the mozzarella and place it in the bowl of a blender or food processor; or use a deep mixing bowl with an immersion blender. Blend into a froth and mix in the zest. Add the lemon zest at this stage.

    5. SHAKE and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Serve with the crostini.
     
     
    RECIPE #2: SPRING TO SUMMER SALAD

    This recipe comes from one of our favorite creative chefs, Eric B. LeVine. Here, the classic salad made with frisée, blue or goat cheese, apples or pears, and walnuts or lardons is plated in a circle.

     

    Circular Salad

    Circular Salad Plating

    Avocado Mango Circular Salad

    Plain Crostini

    Braised Chicken

    Strawberry Sorbet

    Pumpkin Custard

    [1] Recipe #1: a fusion salad from Pakpao Thai in Dallas. [2] Recipe #2: a frisée, apple and blue cheese salad from Chef Eric B. Levine. [3] An avocado-mango salad from Chef Eric B. Levine, with frisée, onion, tomato, yellow split peas (chana dal) and lemon oil dressing. [4] Crostini from Martha Stewart). [5] Braised chicken and eggplant with garlic chips, from Chef Eric B. Levine. [6] You could put sorbet, fresh fruit, fruit sauce and bits of tuille in a bowl, or you could plate it like this dessert from The Art Of Plating. [7] Pumpkin custard topped with a wreath of meringues, two types of cake crumbles, whipped cream and droplets of pumpkin seed oil, by Chris Ford| The Art Of Plating” target=”_blank”

     
    When stone fruits come into season, switch from apples and pears to nectarines, peaches or plums.

    We wanted some bitterness, so we added baby arugula.

    Ingredients

  • Apples or stone fruits, sliced
  • Red or purple grapes, cherries or strawberries
  • Blue or goat cheese
  • Frisée
  • Optional: baby arugula or watercress
  • Chile almonds (toast whole almonds with chili powder)
  • Apple vinaigrette
  •  
    For The Apple Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

    2. PREPARE and arrange the salad ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Frosé, Frozen Rosé Wine For Cocktails Or Dessert

    Frose Granita

    Frose Dessert With Ice Cream

    [1] Frosé granita. [2] Frosé with ice cream (both photos courtesy Kim Crawford).

      Call it a cocktail or call it dessert: We have long enjoyed a frozen rosé cocktail by scooping some sherbet in a glass and topping it off with sparkling wine or still or sparkling rosé.

    A couple of years ago, some rosé marketer came up with a new term: frosé! Some winemakers even named bottles of sweet-style rose, frosé.

    Here are two frosé recipes courtesy of Kim Crawford Wines from New Zealand. He sent these for National Rosé Day, June 10th.

    (Mr. Crawford must have a sweet tooth: A few years ago, he proposed rosé ice pops. Just add the wine to ice pop molds, with optional berries.)

    For a cocktail, use a drier-style rosé. For dessert, top sorbet or ice cream with a sweeter rosé: a zinfandel rosé from California, or anything labeled frosé (a relatively new term taking advantage of the trend). Or ask the clerk for guidance.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: FROSÉ GRANITA

    This recipe is a rosé granita, a word that means granular in Italian (granité/granitée is the French word, meaning granite-like).

    Granita is a rustic version of sorbet, made without an ice cream machine. The ingredients are frozen in a pan. As the crystals on the top freeze, they are scraped into a grainy, coarse cousin of sorbet.

    Granita, made from sugar, water and flavorings, originated in Sicily. The preferred texture and flavor varies from town to town, where residents variously preferred (and still do) almond, black mulberry, chocolate, coffee, jasmine, lemon, mandarin orange, mint, pistachio and strawberry flavors.

    But the concept of water ices goes back to China in the fourth century B.C.E. The recipe, as it were, arrived in Persia via traders.

    Persians enjoyed what we might now call snow cones: snow flavored with syrups. Called sharbat (the origin of sherbet and sorbetto), it was made at least from the middle of the third century B.C.E.

    Alexander The Great brought the concept back to Greece after he conquered Persia in 330 B.C.E. Gelato, the first type of ice cream, took a while. It is believed to date to Florence, Italy in the late 16th century.

    Here’s the history of ice cream. And now, back to the frosé, in photo #1.

     
    Ingredients For 5 Servings

  • 1 bottle Kim Crawford Frosé or substitute
  • Garnish: lemon twists or berries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. POUR the wine into ice cube trays, a baking pan, or what-have-you and pop it into the freezer. As ice crystals begin to form, scrape them to the front of the pan until frozen solid. You can do this in advance. To serve…

    2. USE a hand blender or food processor to process the frozen wine until smooth. Serve directly or freeze again for up to 1 week, covered. Garnish and serve with a spoon and/or straw.

    Note: We weren’t at home so couldn’t occasionally stir and scrape. So we simply froze the rosé as ice cubes. We then placed the frozen cubes into the blender. The result was a crunchy granita. If we had continued to blend, we might have ended up with something finer, but we liked the crunchiness!
     
     
    RECIPE #2: DRINKABLE FROSÉ SUNDAE

    Ingredients For 5 Servings

  • 1 bottle Kim Crawford Frosé or substitute, well chilled
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar*
  • Club soda
  • 1 carton vanilla ice cream
  • Garnish: edible flowers or more berries
  • ________________

    *Use less sugar or omit it entirely if the strawberries are very ripe.
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the strawberries and sugar in a bowl, cover and let sit for 30 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    2. DIVIDE the strawberries and any juices among 5 rocks glasses. Add the wine and a splash of club soda. Top with a scoop of ice cream and garnish (photo #2).

     
     
    CHECK OUT THE OTHER TYPES OF FROZEN DESSERTS.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Best Foods To Pair With Rosé Wines

    June 10th is National Rosé Day.

    Unlike Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and the other grape varietals, there is no “rosé grape.” Rosé (French for pink) wine can be made from any variety of red grape.

    As a result, the styles and flavors from different wine-making regions vary widely.

    The pink color occurs is when the red grape skins are briefly left in contact with the pressed juice: for only a few hours, as opposed to the few weeks of skin contact when making red wine.

    Even within a wine region—New Zealand, Northern California, Provence, South Africa, etc.—rosé wines are made in a variety of styles: drier, sweeter, lighter, fuller, pale in color, deep in color. See the chart below.

    IT’S MORE POPULAR THAN WHITE WINE

    Dry rosé wine is the all-occasion wine in the south of France—no surprise, since Provence is the world base of dry rosé production. There, vin rosé is paired with all the foods, all year around.

    In fact, dry French rosé outsells white wine in France!

    The dry rosés from Provence can be substituted any time you need dry wine. When you can’t decide between red or white wine, reach for the rosé.

    America rosés can be dry or sweet. Many, especially on the lower end are like blush wines, contain nearly seven times as much residual sugar as a Provençal rosé. Ask the wine store staff for guidance, or do research online.

    Sweetness in rosés can be very welcome. They’re great for dessert and for casual sipping, instead of a sweet cocktail.

    One of our favorite summer desserts or snacks is a scoop of sorbet in a wine glass, topped off with a sweeter rosé.

    You can also blend sorbet and rose into a “frozen” cocktail. Here’s a recipe for “frosé.”

    Better yet, have a rose wine tasting. It’s a great summer party idea.
     
     
    ROSÉ FOOD & WINE PAIRINGS

    With Drier Rosés

    Here’s how we like to pair dry rosé wines:

  • American appetizer fare: bruschetta, deviled eggs, cheese balls, chicken wings, crudités, stuffed mushrooms, etc.
  • Cheeses: fresh (goat, mozzarella) and semisoft (brie, camembert, gorgonzola, gruyère, havarti, young gouda, Monterey jack and provolone).
  • Egg dishes: breakfast eggs, frittata, quiche.
  • Cheese dishes: Caprese salad, crostini, fondue, grilled cheese and other sandwiches, soufflés.
  • Fish and shellfish: baked, poached, grilled, raw (chirashi, crudo, sashimi, sushi, tartare, tiradito), smoked< ./li>
  • Grain salads and other grain dishes: barley, couscous, farro, quinoa, rice, etc.
  • Green salads, plain or with chicken and seafood.
  • Pasta: lighter hot dishes and pasta salads.
  • Spicy cuisines: Indian, Mexican, Szechuan, Thai.
  • Summer soups: corn chowder, gazpacho.
  • White pizza and flatbread.
  •  
    With Sweeter Rosés

  • Cocktails, sangria, punch and casual sipping
  • Fruit and fruit salad.
  • Desserts.
  • Fresh cheeses.
  •  
     
    MORE WAYS TO ENJOY ROSÉ

    Have A Rosé Tasting

    Rosé Sangria

    Affordable Sparkling Rosé

    Frozen Rosé Cocktails

    Rosé Milkshakes
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF ROSÉ WINE

    Provence, the warm and sunny southeastern part of France, is where the France’s wine grapes were first cultivated 2,600 years ago. The ancient Greeks brought grapevines to southern France around 600 B.C.E., when they founded the city of Marseille.

     

    Rose Wine Glass & Bottle

    Rose Champagne With Dessert

    Rose Wine With Oysters

    Tartine With Rose Wine

    Shades Of Rose Wine

    Photo credits from the top: Herringbone Eats, Ruinart, 100 Layer Cakes, Kitchen Aid, Jacksonville Magazine.

     
    In the time of the Greeks, all wines were generally pale in color—the color of today’s rosés. By the time the Romans arrived in 125 B.C.E. (and named the area Provincia Romana, hence Provence), the rosé wine produced there was known throughout the Mediterranean for its high quality. Even when the Romans introduced their preferred red wines to the area, the locals continued to prefer the rosés.

    After the fall of the Roman Empire, invading tribes came and went, imposing their own preferences. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that wine-making in Provence saw growth again—thanks to the efforts of the monks in local abbeys. Rosé wines were an important revenue source for the monasteries.

    Beginning in the 14th century, the nobility and military leaders acquired many Provençal vineyards, and laid the foundation for modern viticulture. Rosé became prestigious, the wine of kings and aristocrats [source].

    So when you take a sip, think of history: the Greeks to the Romans to the French nobility to you!
     
     
    Styles Of Rose Wine

      

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    RECIPE: Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting

    Strawberry Rhubarb Bars
    Strawberry rhubarb bars, ready for dessert or a cup of tea (photo courtesy Adore Foods).

    Strawberries &  Rhubarb

    Strawberry and rhubarb, spring produce for a spring food holiday (photo courtesy Dessert First Girl).

     

    June 10th is National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day.

    This year, instead of a strawberry rhubarb pie, how about bar cookies?

    Food Trivia: Bars, from brownies and lemon and oatmeal bars to Rice Krispie Treats, are cookies, not cake. The dividing line is finger food vs. something that must be eaten with a fork.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB BARS

    There’s also National Rhubarb Pie Day, on January 23rd. While fresh rhubarb is available only in the spring months, frozen rhubarb can be found year-round (the history of rhubarb is below); here’s the history of strawberries).

    As to why people persist in creating holidays of foods that are out-of-season, we have no idea.

    For this recipe, prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 45 minutes. The recipe is from Adore Foods, adapted from Southern Living.

    Ingredient For 20 Bars

    For The Crust

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ stick butter, melted, plus more to grease the pan
  • 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
  •  
    For The Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 3 rhubarb sticks, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 15 fresh strawberries, cut into ½-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Cream Cheese Batter

  • 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Optional garnish: powdered sugar* or a strawberry slice
  •  
    *Frankly, we can’t understand why people garnish baked goods with powdered sugar. It just flies off and lands on one’s clothing. Centuries ago, it might have been a decorative element before icing, or a garnish for an un-iced cake like a bundt. But today we have better garnishes: year-round strawberries, mascarpone, whipped cream, etc. In this recipe, the cream cheese topping is enough. Need a garnish? Add a slice of strawberry.
     
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crust. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and almonds. Add the melted butter and stir into a crumbly mixture. Press it onto the bottom of a greased pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until ready to use (keep the oven on).

    2. PREPARE the pie filling. Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and chopped rhubarb and strawberry pieces in a medium saucepan. Let it stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the filling starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

    3. MAKE the cream cheese batter. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the egg and beat just until blended. Add the lemon zest and juice, beating well.

    4. ASSEMBLE: Spread a thick layer of strawberry-rhubarb filling over the cooled crust. Gently spread the cream cheese batter over the filling. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack for an hour. Refrigerate, uncovered, for about 4 hours or overnight. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving and cut into bars while still cold. Garnish as desired.
     
    RHUBARB HISTORY

    Rhubarb is an ancient plant, cultivated in China since 2700 B.C.E. for medicinal purposes (it was a highly-valued laxative; other species don’t have the same properties).

    Much later (at the end of the 12th century), Marco Polo wrote about it at length in the accounts of his travels in China, suggesting that the plant had not yet made it to southern Europe.

    Different strains of rhubarb grew wild elsewhere, including in Russia. Its genus name, Rheum, is said to be derived from Rha, the ancient name of the Volga River, on whose banks the plants grew.

    Record show that rhubarb was cultivated in Italy in 1608, 20 to 30 years later in northern Europe.

    A 1778 record refers to rhubarb as a food plant. The earliest known usage of rhubarb as a food appeared as a filling for tarts and pies.

    The earliest records of rhubarb in America concern a gardener in Maine, who obtained seed or root stock from Europe sometime between 1790 and 1800. He introduced it to growers in Massachusetts where its popularity spread…and today we celebrate it on National Rhubarb Pie Day and National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day. [source]

    Here’s more about rhubarb, including why rhubarb is a vegetable and not a fruit.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Go Beyond Your Brunch Comfort Zone

    Restaurant menus mostly offer brunch favorites: a bagel platter, corned beef hash, Eggs Benedict, eggs and omelets with your choice of bacon-ham-sausage, French toast, pancakes and waffles, steak and eggs (and if it’s a trendy place, avocado toast).

    At home, you can get more creative, from chilaquiles (here’s a gourmet version) and shakshouka to riffs on the standards, like peanut butter and jelly waffle sandwiches and an omelet roll.

    For home cooks, we’re devoting this weekend to getting out of the brunch comfort zone. Today we present two recipes, guaranteed to be appreciated.

    RECIPE: CHORIZO & EGG BREAKFAST BOWL

    This attractive bowl is loaded with a poached egg, fresh avocado, crispy hash brown potatoes, chorizo sausage, arugula salad and chipotle cream. The recipe is from Idaho Potato, which has many creative recipes for potatoes at every meal.

    You can buy chorizo crumbled, or in the casing (to crumble your own). You can also find turkey chorizo.

    If you don’t like things spicy, trade the chorizo for a sausage you prefer, omit the jalapeño and trade the adobo sauce for flavored olive oil or whatever else sounds good to you.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 russet Idaho potatoes, diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 green pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces chorizo, casings removed
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced avocado, for garnish
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Avocado and minced cilantro for garnish
  •  
    For the Chipotle Cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or sour cream
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the canned chipotle peppers)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the diced potatoes in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes and immediately strain. Set the potatoes on paper towels and carefully pat dry.

    2. HEAT the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the par-boiled potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring as needed.

       

    Poached Egg Chorizon Breakfast Bowl
    [1] The finished breakfast bowl (photo courtesy Idaho Potato).

    Chorizo Sausage
    Chorizo with no casing (photos 2 and 3 courtesy Good Eggs).

    Chorizo No Casing

    [3]Crumbled chorizo.

     
    3. ADD the onion, red and green pepper and jalapeño. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring as needed, until the potatoes are golden and crispy. You may need to lower the heat to medium, so keep an eye on things. Then add the minced garlic and cook for one minute longer; remove from the heat.

    4. COOK the chorizo in skillet over medium-high heat, breaking into bite-sized crumbles, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and rest them on a paper towel-lined plate.

    5. WHISK the mayonnaise or sour cream with the minced chipotle pepper and the desired amount of adobo sauce for your heat preference.

    6. TOSS the cooked hash in a clean bowl with the chipotle cream, to coat lightly. Fold in the arugula and cherry tomatoes.

    7. PREP the bowls with the hash and salad mix, dividing equally into each bowl. Add the chorizo on top.

    8. POACH the eggs by bringing a saucepan of water to a gentle boil; add the white wine vinegar. Crack each egg into a small bowl. Gently drop each egg into the water and cook for 3 minutes. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon, gingerly shaking off any excess water. Place a poached egg on top of each bowl and garnish with sliced avocado and freshly minced cilantro. Serve immediately.
     
     
    WHAT IS CHORIZO

    Chorizo is a highly-seasoned, spicy sausage. Its red color comes from spices such as paprika and chipotle.

    There are many varieties of chorizo. You’ll find them in different colors, shapes and with different seasonings.

  • Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked paprika and salt. It is generally classed as either spicy or sweet, depending upon the type of smoked paprika used.
  • There are hundreds of regional varieties of Spanish chorizo, both smoked and unsmoked. They may contain garlic, herbs and other ingredients.
  • Mexican chorizo is based on the recipe for uncooked Spanish chorizo, but the meat is ground rather than chopped; and different seasonings are used.
  • Mexican-style chorizo is a deep reddish color and largely available in two varieties, fresh and dried (although fresh is more common). It is so popular that beef, venison, kosher and vegan versions can be found in the U.S.
  • Green chorizo is a style native to Toluca, Mexico, southwest of Mexico City. The color comes from green vegetables and herbs mixed into the meat: tomatillo, cilantro and chiles, plus garlic.
  • Portuguese chorizo is made with pork fat, wine, paprika and salt. It is stuffed into natural or artificial casings, and slowly dried over smoke.
  •  
    Chorizo fans should gather the different types of chorizo and invite guests for a sausage board, with cheese, beer, bread and mustard.

     

    Mushroom Pancakes
    [4] Have a stack of pancakes, or just one (photo courtesy Gordon Ramsay Group).

    Baby Bella Mushrooms

    [5] Baby Bella is a marketing name for crimini mushrooms. Criminis and younger portabellas. When the crimini is allowed to grow large and ripen after being picked, the gills are exposed and dark.

     

    SAVORY MUSHROOM PANCAKE & EGG STACK

    We’ve published a template for making savory pancakes, and here’s an addition to the collection.

    Pancakes, no sugar added (or in a box mix), are topped with a flavorful mushroom and herb blend, and a fried egg. If you like, you can have a creamy mushroom topping with a bit of marsala

    Ingredients

    For The Pancakes

    This recipe makes six four-inch pancakes, or a three-pancake stack for two people. Of use your favorite from-scratch recipe, omitting the sugar.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
  • Large pinch salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes or other savory spice
  •  
    For The Mushroom Filling, Per Two Pancakes

    Don’t worry if you make too much filling. You’ll like it so much, that you’ll use it up on everything else you cook.

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 12 ounces baby bella or button mushrooms, wiped and patted dry, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest or 1 tablespoon marsala or sherry, or 1 teaspoon or brandy
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions (more as desired)
  • 2-3 tablespoons cream or half and half
  • ______________
    *When a recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have any , just add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to a cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until the milk begins to curdle.
    ______________

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the mushroom sauce. Heat olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the mushrooms, garlic and onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a bit of salt, cover with the lid and continue cooking the mushrooms for another 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring.

    3. REMOVE the lid after the mushrooms have released their moisture and sauté for another 5 minutes or so minutes. If you’re using the cream of lemon zest, add it now. Stir the cream into the mushroom liquid. Total cooking time from the beginning to end should be 15 to 20 minutes.

    2. SEASON with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with chopped chives or scallions. Keep warm and set aside.

    3. MAKE the pancakes Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, lightly whisk together the milk, egg and oil or butter.

    4. POUR the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. The batter will be lumpy, so don’t over-mix (it toughens the pancakes). Let the batter sit while heating up a griddle or skillet over medium heat.

    5. COOK the eggs and keep warm as you make the pancakes.

    6. GREASE the griddle or skillet and pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Once bubbles are formed on top and along the edges, flip the once and finish cooking the other side.

    7. ASSEMBLE: Stack the pancakes with mushroom filling in-between and top with the egg. Spoon extra mushroom liquid on the plate, as shown in the photo.
     
     
    MORE BRUNCH RECIPES

  • Congee, China’s favorite breakfast
  • Caviar Eggs (with affordable caviar)
  • Eggs In A Nest (of hash browns)
  • Bone Broth Breakfast Soup
  • Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
  • Pho, Vietnam’s favorite breakfast
  • Smashed Pea Toast
  •   

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