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Archive for Tip Of The Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Eggs In A Nest & Dark Vs. Light Baking Pans

Baked Eggs In Nests

Easter Bunny Rabbit Rolls

[1] Eggs in nests for breakfast (photo courtesy Cooking Light). [2] Bunny rabbit rolls (photo courtesy Artisan Bread In Five).

 

What’s on tap for Easter breakfast? How about eggs in crispy hash brown nests (photo #1).

If you want to make the adorable bunny rabbit rolls to serve with them, bake them first. You can make the dough the night before, and bring to room temperature before baking.

EASTER EGG NESTS FOR BREAKFAST

We adapted this recipe from one in Cooking Light. Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes.

You can also place a bacon or ham surprise on the bottom of the basket.

Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1/4 cup refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes*)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded carrot (substitute beet or zucchini)
  • li>Optional: 1 tablespoon diced onion

  • Optional: 2 tablespoons crumbled crisp bacon or diced ham
  • 1 large egg
  • Crunchy salt (kosher or coarse or flaky sea salt)
  • Garnish: 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives and/or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  •  
    Plus

  • Light-colored muffin pan
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Combine the shredded potato, carrot and optional onion, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

    2. MAKE the nests: Coat the muffin cups with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture into each muffin cup. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the cup, to above the rim. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Once baked…

     

    3. ADD the optional meat to the bottom of the nest. Crack 1 large egg into each nest. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes for runny eggs, or 12 to 15 minutes for set eggs.

    4. SPRINKLE the top with a dash of salt and garnish the egg and the plate with the chopped herbs.

    WHEN TO USE LIGHT VS. DARK COLOR BAKING PANS

    Depending on your age, all of your mother’s and grandmother’s baking pans were aluminum, a metal that absorbs and conducts heat evenly and is not reactive or corrosive.

    Then, test kitchens discovered that food browns better (e.g., the bottom of a baking sheet and the bottom and sides of a cake pan). This is because dark pans absorb more heat and thus, more heat radiates off the surface.

    For foods you want to brown (pizza, pie crusts, potato wedges, roasted vegetables), darker metal baking pans, sheets, and pie plates give you an edge.

    For recipes where you don’t want the extra browning on the bottom (breads, cakes, some cookies, muffins), use a light-colored pan, which absorbs less heat.

    That being said, we don’t know why Cooking Light specified a light muffin pan. There is no comments section on the page so we couldn’t ask; but we wouldn’t mind a browner potato nest (as opposed to a browner blueberry muffin).

    You don’t have to get rid of your pans. According to Cooking Light, if you bake in either dark metal pans or glass dishes, reduce the oven temperature by 25° and check for doneness early.

    Here’s an interesting article on the history of cookware and bakeware.

    ________________

    *1 package (19.7 ounces, 560 grams) yields 6 egg nests.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Creative Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Combos

    April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. The Tip Of The Day is: Think outside the box.

    How can you make your grilled cheese sandwiches more complex, more creative, more…celebratory?

    Campbell’s did just that, creating four new approaches—if not exactly simple ones—to that American lunch favorite, grilled cheese and tomato soup.

    Kudos to Chef Eli Kirshtein’s recipe curation : We love the flavor combinations and fun factor.

    And we never would have thought of any of them!

    RECIPE #1: GRILLED CHEESE BENEDICT

    This riff on Eggs Benedict places the egg on top of a grilled cheese sandwich, and turns the hollandaise sauce into a tomato hollandaise with their iconic tomato soup.

    It makes this Grilled Cheese Benedict recipe we published in 2015 look so tame.

    Ingredients Per Sandwich

  • 2 slices honey wheat bread
  • 3 slices sharp cheddar (we’re fans of Cabot’s)
  • 2 eggs
  •  
    For The Hollandaise

  • 3 egg yolks, separated
  • 8 tablespoons (¼ pound) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup white wine, reduced by half
  • ¼ can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: fresh basil, shredded
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the hollandaise. Whisk the egg yolks and white wine over a double boiler until you have a ribbon consistency. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter.

    2. WHISK in the tomato soup slowly. Taste and season.

    3. MAKE a traditional grilled cheese sandwich with the bread and cheese. Cut in half. (Here’s a basic recipe and tips).

    4. FRY two eggs sunnyside-up and place eggs on top of grilled cheese. Top with hollandaise and garnish with basil.
     
    RECIPE #2: GRILLED CHEESE BREAD BOWL WITH TOMATO SOUP

    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1 individual sourdough bread bowl (here’s a recipe)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces soft mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

       

    Grilled Cheese Benedict

    Grilled Cheese Benedict

    Grilled Cheese Soup Bowl

    Campbell's Tomato Soup Cans

    [1] and [2] Grilled Cheese Benedict. [3] Grilled Cheese Soup Bowl (all photos courtesy Campbell’s). [4] America’s favorite tomato soup.

     
    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Carefully pile all the cheese on top of the sourdough.

    2. PLACE the bread in the oven until all the cheese is melted and browned. Let the loaf cool to room temperature.

    3. SLICE off the top of the bread and reserve. Carefully scoop out the inside of the loaf, with care not to puncture the bottom.

    4. PLACE the soup concentrate in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the fresh thyme; then pour the soup into the bread bowl.

    5. GARNISH the top of the soup with chives. Place the reserved top back onto the bread and serve immediately.

     

    Grilled Cheese Pockets

    Michelada Grilled Cheese

    [5] Grilled Cheese Pockets With Tomato Sauce. [6] The drinking man’s/woman’s lunch (photos courtesy Campbell’s).

     

    RECIPE #3: GRILLED CHEESE POCKETS WITH TOMATO SAUCE

    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 4 sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 2 ounces cheese curds
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) Campbell’s Tomato Soup concentrate
  • 2 eggs (for egg wash)
  •  
    Plus

  • Pastry brush
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F.

    2. DEFROST the puff pastry and lay on flat surface. On two pieces, place the cheeses in the center, leaving a half inch border.

    3. MAKE the egg wash: whisk the eggs with a splash of cold water or milk until they are pale yellow and completely integrated. Lightly brush the egg wash around the edges of the pastry.

    4. PLACE the remaining sheets over the top, pressing the edges to create a seal. Trim neatly with a knife, and use a fork to impress a pattern (crimp) on the edges. Brush some additional egg wash on top of the pastry.

    5. BAKE for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Meanwhile…

    6. REDUCE the tomato soup concentrate slowly in a sauce pan, until thick and dark red. Serve the pastry hot, with the tomato sauce on the side.

     

    RECIPE #4: MICHELADA WITH QUESO FUNDIDO GRILLED CHEESE

    Pronounced mee-cha-LAH-dah, a michelada is a Mexican “beertail” (beer cocktail) made from beer, tomato juice, hot sauce and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.

    This “adult” lunch gives you a michelada with a Mexican-style grilled cheese.

    If you’ve never had a michelada, here’s some more information.

    This recipe requires a panini press or a George Foreman-type grill.

    The recipe can make one tall drink or two in rocks glasses.
     
    Ingredients For The Michelada /font>

    For The Rim

  • 1 lime, halve juiced, half sliced into wedges
  • Salt
  • Chili powder—or—Tajin seasoning
  •  
    For The Drink
    1 can Campbells Tomato Soup concentrate

  • Optional: 2 tablespoons clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Mexican lager (e.g. Modelo), chilled
  • Ice
  •  
    Ingredients For The Grilled Cheese

  • 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (e.g. asadero, queso de papa, queso oaxaca,queso quesadilla)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 soft yeast roll
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CREATE the rim garnish by combining equal parts of salt and chili powder in a small dish. Or if you have Tajin seasoning, use it straight. Place the juice of half the lime in a shallow dish. Twist the rim of the glass in the juice, and then twist it in the dish of seasoning. You can use a Collins glass or a beer mug (or two rocks glasses). Set aside.

    2. COMBINE the drink ingredients except the beer; set aside in the fridge.

    3. MAKE the grilled cheese. Slice the roll open and toast the inside. Place the cold cheese inside the roll, press it into the bread somewhat so the layers adhere. Add slices of jalapeño to taste.

    4. BUTTER the outside of the roll lightly and, using a panini press or in a pan on the stove top, toast it until the cheese is melted. While the cheese is melting…

    4. COMBINE the beer and the michelada mix over ice and garnish the glass with a lime wedge.

    5. TO SERVE: You can serve the sandwich, halved, on the side, or quartered on a long toothpick or skewer over the michelada.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: One-Pan Main & Side

    Our pots and pans don’t go into the dishwasher: They need to be hand-washed.

    While hot sudsy water and a Scrub Daddy do the job, we wouldn’t overlook the opportunity to save our manicure.

    So we were all ears when Good Eggs sent us this recipe to cook the main and the side in one dish. Home cooks have been doing this for years—but not the cooks in our family.

    With great enthusiasm we made this recipe, and then ordered a couple of books on one-pan cooking to see how we could make kitchen life easier (recommendations below).

    RECIPE: LAMB & ZUCCHINI WITH GREEK ACCENTS

    We love lamb and Greek cuisine with its accents of lemon and mint, so we didn’t wait to try it. In 30 minutes, we were ready to dig in.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 lamb chops (we used two per person)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, ground to a paste
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 handful mint, roughly chopped (substitute basil)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Flaky salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SALT and pepper both sides of each lamb chop and set aside. Add about ½ cup olive oil to a cast iron pan and heat over high. When the oil is hot (almost to the point of smoking), carefully add the zucchini in one layer and cook on high heat until browned, flipping so both sides are crispy and deeply golden-brown.

    2. USE a slotted spoon to remove the zucchini from the pan; place on a plate and set aside.

    3. COMBINE the yogurt, garlic, lemon and a tablespoon of the mint in a clean bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

    4. POUR off some of the oil from the zucchini pan, leaving a thin layer on the bottom. Turn the burner to high. When the oil is hot, add the chops and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Check for doneness—you want it still a bit pink in the middle.

    If the chops sear before the meat cooks through, pop the pan into a 400°F oven until they are cooked to your liking. For medium-rare, the temperature should be 145°F on a meat thermometer.

    5. FINISH the zucchini: Sprinkle with the red wine vinegar, add the rest of the mint, and a few pinches of flaky salt to taste. Arrange the chops and the zucchini on a platter and serve with the yogurt sauce.

     

    One Pan Cooking

    One Pan & Done Cookbook

    One Pan Wonders Cookbook

    [1] Lamb chops and zucchini, a one-pan dinner (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [2] One Pan & Done, an oven-to-table cookbook. [3] One-Pan Wonders for casserole, Dutch oven, pan, skillet and slow cooker.

    ONE-PAN COOKBOOKS

  • One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals from the Oven to Your Table
  • One Pan, Two Plates: More Than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two
  • One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker
  • Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Overnight Breakfast & Brunch Casseroles

    Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns were the biggest treat of our childhood breakfasts: Better than waffles or pancakes.

    The Horn & Hardart Automat, Americas’s first fast food chain, had such popular items that customers clamored to take them home. They set up a retail arm to package and sell some of them in retail stores.

    Our family devoured many boxes of the honey buns. Today, they’d be called pecan sticky buns.

    Cinnamon Vs. Sticky Buns: The Difference

    The terms are often used interchangeably, but there are two categories of sweet yeast buns: cinnamon buns and honey (now called sticky) buns. Other terms include cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirls, honey buns and sticky buns, among others (cinnamon pecan rolls, e.g.).

    All are made with a cinnamon swirl inside; all may have raisins as well.

    But a honey bun or sticky bun needs to have a sticky topping: caramel, honey, maple syrup or sugar syrup). These typically have a garnish of nuts. Those topped with white icing fall into the cinnamon bun category.

    And only the sticky bun has its own holiday: National Sticky Bun Day is February 21st.

    Now: What if you could bake a pan of sticky buns or cinnamon buns with ease, and bring them to the table warm and fragrant?

    If this sounds like your kind of good time, McCormick has created the easiest recipe, an “overnight” casserole (plus another for blueberry muffins, below).
     
    The Easiest Way To Make “Cinnamon Buns”

    You mix five ingredients together the night before—bread, milk, cinnamon and vanilla—just 10 minutes of prep time.

    The next morning, just bake the casserole for 25 minutes until golden brown. It then gets a drizzle of cream cheese frosting: 30 minutes total.

    We served it yesterday, and a very good time was had by all—with some leftover for today.

    While the recipe is a casserole, you slice it into square, bun-size pieces. The difference:

  • Conventional buns are individually shaped and then baked together side-by-side in a pan, and then pulled apart.
  • The casserole has bread cubes like a bread pudding. It bakes as whole and is then cut into pieces.
  •  
    RECIPE #1: OVERNIGHT CINNAMON ROLLS

    Ingredients For 12 Servings

  • 12 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 loaf brioche or challah bread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK the eggs, 1-1/2 cups of the milk, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon, 3 teaspoons of the vanilla and the baking powder in large bowl until well blended. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat well.

    2. GENTLY POUR into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

    3. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Remove casserole from refrigerator. Mix the melted butter, brown sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in small bowl until well blended. Drizzle the over casserole. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes.

    4. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile…

    5. MAKE the cream cheese topping. Mix the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla in small bowl until smooth. Slowly stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons milk.

    6. REMOVE the casserole from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Drizzle over the casserole before serving.

       

    Cinnamon Roll Casserole

    Cinnamon Roll Casserole

    Sticky Buns

    Cinnamon Rolls

    [1] and [2] Overnight Cinnamon Roll Casserole. See the process step by step, from Gimme Some Oven. [3] Side-by-side cinnamon rolls (white icing) and sticky buns (with nuts, photo courtesy Wolferman’s). [4] Conventional: Individual cinnamon buns are placed side-by-side in the pan (here’s the recipe from The Baker Chick).

     
    ROLL OR BUN: THE DIFFERENCE

    There are many Standards Of Identity defined by the USDA and the FDA, but buns and rolls are not among them.

    Thus, there is no official answer. According to the American Institute of Baking:

  • A roll is usually a hard-crusted small bread, such as French rolls and Kaiser-rolls. However, some hard-crusted individual breads are soft, like hot dog rolls.
  • A roll can also contain a filling, such as cinnamon rolls (which, in many areas, are sold as cinnamon buns) and Danish rolls.
  • A bun is generally more bread-like in shape (round or elongated) and soft. It typically does not contain a filling. An exception to this is hot-cross buns.
  •  
    So the answer is, there is no answer. Historic, regional and family traditions often determine what is a bun and what is a roll.

    You may buy hot dog and hamburger rolls, for example; we buy buns.

     

    McCormick Blueberry Muffin Casserole

    Blueberry Muffin Casserole

    [5] Lemon Blueberry Muffin Casserole (photo courtesy McCormick). [6] A conventional blueberry muffin (here’s the recipe from Unwritten Recipes).

     

    RECIPE #2: OVERNIGHT LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFIN CASSEROLE

    If you prefer blueberry muffins to cinnamon buns, McCormick adapted the muffin concept as well.

    Prep time is 15 minutes the night before, and cook time is 30 minutes.

    Ingredients For 12 Servings

    For The Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
  •  
    For The Casserole

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure lemon extract*
  • 2 cups blueberries, divided
  • ________________
    *You can substitute twice as much lemon zest (2 tablespoons) for the lemon extract. You can also make your own lemon extract by soaking lemon zest in vodka for two weeks, and then straining out the zest.
    ________________
     
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the streusel: Mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cover and set aside until ready to assemble in the morning.

     
    2. MAKE the casserole: Whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of the milk, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl until well blended. Add bread cubes and toss gently to coat.

    3. POUR evenly into 13″ x 9″ baking dish sprayed with no stick cooking spray.

    4. MIX the cream cheese, the remaining 2 tablespoons each of milk and sugar, and the lemon extract in a medium bowl, until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the blueberries. Spread evenly on top of bread cubes. Top with the remaining 1 cup of blueberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    5. PREHEAT the ooven to 350°F. Remove the casserole from refrigerator and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile…

    6. CUT the butter into the streusel mixture with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Easter Eggs Filled With Cake!

    Steph of The Cupcake Project created a recipe called How to Make Cupcakes in Egg Shells.

    But, if you decorate the eggs before serving, you have Easter Egg Surprise: an egg with cake inside.

    It’s fun and memorable: Most people won’t have seen anything like it.

    Here’s the recipe.

    We took it one step further, using white eggs and decorating them.

    This protects everyone from any bacteria on the egg, and protects the eggshells from any oils on hands that may prevent the dye from adhering.
     
    HOW TO DECORATE CAKE EGGS AFTER THEY’RE COOKED

    We used a wide paintbrush and took the advice of Incredible Egg to use water warmer than the eggs.

    They also caution that hands should be washed in hot, soapy water before and after handling eggs—even if they’ve already been cooked or decorated.

    Because a hole has been punched into the top of the shells to insert the cake batter (photo #1), you can’t fully dip cooked cake eggs in dye (well…maybe if you use dark chocolate cake, a bit of color won’t show).

    Instead, you can try one of these three techniques.

  • Option 1: Try this if you have an exceedingly nimble grip, and can hold the eggs at the top while dipping them into the dye. We filled a juice glass with dye (diluted in water) that would not reach the top of the egg when the egg was added to the glass. The narrow glass held the egg upright. We could lift the egg out using doctors’ gloves and a spatula, but it wasn’t easy.
  • Option 2: We next moved to the hand-painted approach. Using wide hobby paintbrushes, we placed food coloring in ramekins, placed the egg upright on a nonslip mat and held it with one hand, as we painted swaths of color with the other.
  • Option 3: We didn’t try this one for lack of time, but we think it will work and could be the easiest. Dye the eggshells before adding the cake batter, and bake the cake in the colored shells. The cake eggs bake at 350°F for 23 minutes, so they should retain their colors.
  •  
    You can practice the first two techniques with the raw eggs in your fridge (and return them for subsequent cooking).

    Or, you can color whole eggs and then bake them in the oven to get hard boiled eggs.

    The hard boiled eggs look and taste the same.

    THE HISTORY OF EASTER EGGS

    The tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during springtime pre-dates Christianity. Fertility and rebirth are fundamental to life—not just for people but for the crops and animals that sustain them.

    The most ancient known decorated eggs are 60,000 years old: engraved ostrich eggs found in Africa. Decorated eggs have also been found from prehistoric Egypt and the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete [source].

     

    Cake Easter Eggs

    Cake Easter Eggs

    Dyed Easter Eggs

    [1] and [2] It’s an egg. No, it’s a little cake (photos courtesy Cupcake Project). Use white eggs if you plan to color them. [3] Here’s how to get these beautiful colors, from Urban Comfort.

     
    Easter was a pagan holiday adopted by Christians; it has no relation to Christ.

    The Christian custom of Easter eggs began among the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs with red dye in memory of the blood of Christ (more).

    The Easter holiday itself is named for the Germanic goddess Eostre (Eostra, Eostur, Ostara, Ostare, Ostern and other names), a fertility goddess. Her name derives from the ancient word for spring, eastre,

    She was very popular with Anglo-Saxon pagans in Brittania as well, many of whom were descended from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island.

    Eostre’s sacred animal is the rabbit, a symbol of fertility; and the egg is her symbol of fertile purity, both of which involve the spring and new birth.

    In Old German, the month of April was called Ostar-manod: Easter month, or month of the Goddess Eostre. In Old English, it became Easter-monab (pronounced eh-AH-ster moh-NATH).

    The English word April derives from the Latin aperire, to open (e.g. buds).

      

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