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Archive for April, 2010

Egg in a Hole

I’ve recently become obsessed with “Egg in a Hole” (or “bird’s nest”/”toad in a hole,” whatever you call it). I ordered this for brunch one day on a whim and wondered where it had been all my life! I’m definitely more of an omlette person. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever made a fried egg in my life. Tony and I tried to re-create this one night but it was a total failure (we didn’t have the right bread, the eggs were cooked all wrong, etc.).

Then last week while we were up at my parents’ house over Easter weekend, I saw my Mom had baked a few loaves of bread and I decided to try again.  It was actually my Mom’s birthday, so that morning “the kids” made breakfast and when I asked, everyone wanted to try Egg in a Hole! I’m happy to say they turned out great!

Directions

Start by cutting thick slices of bread (one slice per person or per egg). Any hearty, thick bread will work- although for best results I highly recommend homemade bread freshly baked by my Mom! : ) (and based on personal experience, two day old french baguette does not work!). Next, using a small biscuit cutter (or the rim of a small glass) cut a round circle out of the center of the bread. Tip: save the bread cut outs and add to the pan to toast them too.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of butter. When the butter is melted, add the slices of bread. Toast for a few minutes on each side to get crispy.

Next, crack an egg and drop in “the hole” (don’t worry if the whites spread out over the bread, it tastes better that way!). Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the egg appears to be firm but not completely cooked.

Then gently flip each slice of bread and cook on the other side for a few more minutes until done (more or less time depending on how runny your like your egg).

Salt and pepper and serve!

Enjoy! This is my new favorite breakfast!

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Spring Has Sprung!

Yey! The weather is finally warming up! It feels so good to get outside and see the sun again!

(outside the Smithsonian Institute)

(flowering trees at the Smithsonian Haupt Gardens)

While it’s not quite time to fire up the grill, the days of winter soups and hearty casseroles are behind us! I made this great “spring” pasta the other night. It’s light but still very satisfying. A perfect transitional dish for this time of year when the days are warm but the nights are still a bit chilly!

Spaghetti with Olives and Bread Crumbs

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Giada at Home

(serves two)

Ingredients

  • ½ pound spaghetti
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped large green olives (from your grocer’s olive bar)
  • 1/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped black olives (kalamata, or other greek olive)
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Note: the olives make this dish very salty, so I recommend going light on the salt, if not omitting altogether. We only added it to the boiling pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and pepper. Stirring constantly, cook the breadcrumbs until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta into the bread crumb mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and add the black and green olives. Add the Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Gently toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with the remaining parsley.  Enjoy!

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