Soup Up My Soup

Food and Stuff


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Lazy Sunday Frittata

A frittata  is an open-face omelette originating from Italy. Unlike a traditional omelette where the eggs are cooked at  high heat and then folded, a frittata is typically made by sauteing some combination of vegetables and meat until softened, and then the egg mixture is poured into the pan and then left to set at low to medium heat. A non-stick brunch pan such as the one in the photo is most ideal, but any pan which has been sufficiently seasoned with butter or oil will do.

After the vegetables and/or meat has been cooked through, it should take about seven minutes give or take for the eggs to set properly. About half way through the setting process you can add cheeses such as feta to the mix.

I usually just end up using whatever is in my fridge, but normally I will put in spinach, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and then maybe ham, bacon, and feta or cheddar at the end. It takes about four eggs worth of liquid to fill this brunch pan, but use whatever you want that reflects the number of people you are cooking for. You can serve this by cutting into slices.

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Piperade

Basque country spans the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast. It is made up of the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and Norther Basque Country in France. Piperade is the national dish of the Basque people. It’s basically a hash without the potatoes.

Pipperade is served in restaurants and cafes throughout France. There are many different styles and variations of the dish, but here is one that I particularly like. If you want to add ham, consider prosciutto  The saltiness and fat renders nicely into the dish and give it an extra layer of flavour. This dish is perfect for breakfast or brunch; as it takes about an hour and change to cook from beginning to end, having someone get up a little early to get things started will result in a happy house by the time everyone wakes up.

Pipperade

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • Onion, chopped, 1 cup
  • Green Peppers, cut into thin slices, 6
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 2 cloves
  • Bayonne, Parma, or Prociutto ham, thinly sliced, 4 ounces
  • Tomatoes, peeled and seeded, 4 pounds
  • Eggs, 6 (Optional)
  • sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste

1: Slice x’s into the top and bottom ends of the tomatoes and place into boiling water. This will make it easy to peel later. Leave the tomatoes in there for about 3-4 minutes, then remove. They will be really hot, so you can give them an ice water bath for a minute afterwards to speed things up. Once you can handle the tomatoes, peel the skin off with a knife, then dice. Reserve.

2: Heat the oil in a large sauce pan (a cast iron pan works well too) over medium heat and cook until the onions soften and have begun to turn translucent. Add the peppers and cook until they have softened.

3: While the onion and peppers are cooking, cut the ham into small pieces and stir into the onion/pepper mixture. Also, add the tomatoes to the mixture now as well.

4: Once all the ingredients are in, give it one more mix and then let simmer for about an hour on low heat. By the time you’re done simmering, the tomatoes should be fairly reduced and the entire mixture should have thickened somewhat.

5: Add the cayenne and black pepper to taste and cook an additional 5 minutes. If you don’t want to add eggs, serve now. Otherwise, move to step 6.

6: (Optional). Crack half a dozen eggs or so and place gently along the top of the mixture. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes at 400. Serve Immediately.

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Flourless Pancakes

I came across this recipe in Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution and loved it (shout out to David for the show). If you are on the Paleo diet, or you have a gluten allergy, or you just want to eat something without flour in it, this is a great recipe for breakfast or as a snack. I’ve only made this as a sweet dish, but I’m sure you could find ways to make it savory.

You might need to do a bit of hunting for the cashew or macadamia butter. I found some at Sobey’s, but if your local grocery store doesn’t have any, then you probably have to go to a health food store. I’m sure there are a dozen places in Kensington market that sell it.

Also, it’s super easy to make applesauce from scratch. Just quarter a couple apples, and put them in a covered pan with an inch of water or so and cook on low for 15 minutes. The apples will completely break down and turn into applesauce. Just get rid of the apple skin, and put in a bowl for later use.  Don’t buy it unless you really have to!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup nut butter, use macadamia or cashew, peanut butter doesn’t work
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • coconut oil

Mix everything together but the coconut oil. Next, grease a pan at medium heat with the oil, and wait for it to melt.  Then just pour out the batter into pancakes, flipping after a couple minutes. You might ruin a few until you get a feel for what the right temperature should be and how long it should take before you flip them (everyone’s pans and stoves are different). About two minutes for the first flip worked for me, and the  maybe another minute for the second side.

You can dress these up however you want. I got a little fancy with it and made some apple-strawberry coulis, but you can do any fruit sauce, more applesauce, etc.

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Extension to Tim Ferriss' 3-Minute Breakfast


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Extension to Tim Ferriss’ 3-Minute ‘Slow Carb’ Breakfast

Tim Ferriss’ 3-Minute ‘Slow Carb’ Breakfast has served me well for a long time. It’s usually my go-to when I want a quick bite in the morning, with my other choice being a bowl of steel-cut oats. If you haven’t yet, you can find a description and video of it here.

Like anything in life, the same thing over and over gets boring, so here are a few easy modifications, keeping in the spirit of making it quick and relatively healthy. It should still take about 3 minutes or less.

Egg Whites w/Paul Newman Mango Salsa, Baked Beans and Beets

You can prepare beets ahead of time by boiling them, cutting them up and putting them in tupperware, and then eating as needed. You can also buy them jarred and pickled. I prefer the former but will usually keep a jar on hand for when I’m lazy. I personally don’t heat them, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

Baked beans are a good source of protein, fibre, iron and calcium, and the tomato sauce in canned beans is a decent source of lycopene. I will usually eat half a can of baked beans, but you can eat whatever amount you want, maybe even a 1/4 can or less if you’re a girl or want to control your portions. The downside to canned baked beans is that they are pretty high in sodium, so if you have hypertension or too much of your diet comes from canned stuff already, you might want to limit yourself here and take the time to buy them dry and cook them yourself in batches. Any type works.

Of course, the salsa can be substituted for any kind. I’m a big fan of the Paul Newman salsas, there are three or four of them, and make a nice alternative to the cheaper el-Paso type ones that are kind of runny and flavourless in comparison. You can also try your hand at making your own salsa.

Extension to Tim Ferriss' 3-Minute Breakfast

Egg Whites, Salsa, Baked Beans and Beets


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Steel Cut Oats – Without the Wait

You can’t beat Steel Cut Oats with brown sugar in the morning, but with a cooking time of approximately 35 minutes, they are a pain to make – until now. I found this shortcut recently and now eat them almost every weekday morning.

Before you go to bed, drop the amount you want in boiling water, then turn off the stove and let sit overnight, covered. The next morning, they should be mostly cooked through. Turn on the heat again and cook for about 5-8 minutes longer, then they’re done. I usually turn the stove on and make coffee right before I hop in the shower, so both are ready when I’m out and dressed.

Remember steel cut oats are about 4-1 ratio wet to dry. I will usually eat 2 cups in the morning, which means I put about 1/2 cup dry with 2 cups of water (see pictures).

I buy them for $1/pound at a store in Kensington Market, Toronto, and most grocery stores will have them as well.

Steel cut oats also work nicely with some fruit mixed in, like bananas or berries.


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