Easter Archive

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms

baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms

My brunch arsenal, the dishes I’ve made enough times that they no longer cause any furrowed brows — a core entertaining principle here at House Smitten Kitchen (sigil: cast-iron skillet) — is as follows: bacon (always roasted in the oven, I mean, unless you were hoping to mist yourself with eau de pork belly*); some sort of fruit salad (either mixed berries and vanilla bean-scented yogurt or mixed citrus segments, sometimes with mint and feta); buttermilk biscuits; a pitcher of Bloody Marys, a bottle of champagne and a couple carafes of freshly-squeezed grapefruit or orange juice, blood orange whenever available; something sweet (our current favorite) and eggs. As I dictated years ago, everything that can be made in advance should be, thus pancakes, individually fried slices of French toast, omelets and even eggs baked in ramekins, adorable as they may be, are verboten. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and it’s always the worst.

so much baby spinach
wilted spinach

In the egg category, my favorite for ease and laze is this spinach and cheese strata, however, if I have even 15 additional minutes at my disposal (which, let’s be honest, I do, especially when I spend less time here) remains these baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms. We talked about it, oh, seven years ago, but it’s been so buried in the archives, literally three recipes deep with a single hideous photo, that I’m long overdue to unearth it. At the time, I was charmed by how incredible something so wholesome could taste. These days, I’d add to its list of charms: vegetarian, gluten/grain-free, as good for a weeknight dinner as it is a weekend brunch dish, and oh, did I mention that it looks like an Easter egg basket? That’s a recent development.

add the mushrooms

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

asparagus-stuffed eggs

asparagus-stuffed eggs

Deep in the Julia Child archives, past the boeuf bouguignon, onion soup, jiggling aspics and the patently untrue yarn about the chicken that fell from the counter, mid-trussing, and was dusted off and put back into use with a remark about “nobody’s in the kitchen but you,” there are recipes so low in butter and bacon that they hardly fit the stereotype of French food as gluttony, as are thus rarely mentioned. A good lot of them are in From Julia Child’s Kitchen; published in 1975, it contained recipes and kitchen wisdom that came from episodes of her PBS show. Gentler to novices than her Mastering the Art of French Cooking classics, the recipes were probably more familiar to American audiences, things like leek and potato soup, sauteed chicken breasts with tarragon and tomatoes, and, here, a riff on deviled eggs that I am making my mission to rescue from obscurity.

does anyone eat their eggs in order?
covering with cold water and ice cubes

I’m a big fan of the hard-boiled egg; I find that keeping a few in the fridge makes for an easy breakfast with a slice of whole-grain cinnamon toast, a wholesome way to add protein to a lunch salad, or for snacks. My favorite way to eat them is slightly undercooked, peeled, halved and schmeared with the thinnest film of mayo and then sharp Dijon, followed by a few flakes of sea salt, but Julia Child’s version might be their highest calling: the potential to stuff their centers with something like a balanced meal, or at least a really gush-worthy appetizer.

simmer to cook

Continued after the jump »

Friday, June 4, 2010

lamb chops with pistachio tapenade

lamb chops with pistachio tapenade

One thing I am realizing about going a long time without eating meat (15 years) followed by a relatively short time eating as a moderately enthusiastic meat eater (5 years and change) is that it doesn’t always occur to you to include it in meals. In fact, I have apparently only made four dishes on the site this year that include meat, and two were briskets for big dinner parties. With a fridge bursting (literally; if you can find room for a jar of mayo in there, you’d be my hero) with spinach and scallions, radishes, real baby carrots, sugar snaps, shelling peas and tiny freshly-dug red potatoes rolling off the top, I can hardly imagine why I’d need to roast a chicken. But when I was going through my (very, very, very long) list of Recipes I Want To Try last week, these lamb chops jumped out at me, promising to at least temporarily break me out of my asparagus — hashed! ribboned! tossed with pasta for one! — rut.

toasted pistachios
flat-leaf parsley

There were three big sells on this recipe for me, the first being Anne Burrell: I love everything she cooks. The second was that these chops are entirely in the kitchen and I had no idea you could make great lamb chops without a grill. Related, reason three is that, I only recently discovered that I like, nay, love lamb chops. Adore them. In fact, I think my enjoyment of lamb chops — versus dabbling in ribs or a vague appreciation of steak — is pretty much the only thing that makes me a “real” meat eater these days, which I define as liking the taste of something so much, you’d even enjoy it plainly, just salt and pepper on a grill. That’s love, right?

capers, pistachios, olives, parsley, garlic
Continued after the jump »

Friday, April 30, 2010

leek bread pudding

leek bread pudding

I feel like I have been sitting on this leek bread pudding recipe forever, though it has technically only been six months — the New York Times ran this recipe from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home last October, when [updated: ahem, I had thought] leeks were decidedly out of season and apparently, I’m really becoming someone who really digs her heels in about these sorts of things. I imagine how much better something will taste in season, how much better it will look, how much more excited I’ll be when I “score” the thing I’ve been longing six months for and say “aargh, fine! I’ll wait.” And wait I did. (Jacob, too, was patient but mostly because he was just a little lump back then.)

leeeeeks
leeks in one-inch segments
leek coins

Nevertheless, despite my initial grumbling that I was bereft of my favorite spring delights, I’ve been hauling back armloads from the Greenmarket since, literally as much as I can carry and leeks were finally among last week’s haul. (It has also helped that I’ve discovered the glories of Wednesday — glorious uncluttered, overflowing-stands Wednesdays! — shopping. Wednesday, I’m in love.) For this savory take on bread pudding, the leeks are sliced in pretty, pretty coins then cooked slowly in butter until soft and caramelized enough to bring tears to your eyes. I really get carried away with leeks, I know.

toasted brioche cubes

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, March 27, 2008

swiss easter rice tart

swiss easter rice tart

I have what some might consider an unhealthy interest in celebrating religious holidays that have nothing to do with my own, yet the fixation is more of a cultural than a devotional one. Growing up in a one-religion household, you miss out on certain foods. In the same way that I’m sure a lot of people who had never tried hamantaschen or latkes before have had their curiosity piqued by mentions of them, I am itching to try one of those yule logs with marzipan mushrooms or one of those mega-hams people bake for Easter, something not one even one of my most bacon-loving Jewish friends has ever tried. I strive to break down culinary cultural barriers! Or, I just like pork. Anyhow

falling rice

The New York Times ran an article last Wednesday about Easter baking that is more traditional than, say, egg-shaped pastel cakes or bunny cookies, and I was captivated by something called a Swiss Easter Rice Tart, with a custard base, ground almonds and lemon zest. It wasn’t just me; within 12 hours of the recipe’s publication, both my mother and a friend had drooled over it to me, imploring me to make it but my only response was “when the heck would I have an excuse to bake an Easter tart?” I mean, between the “Easter” in the name and the article’s note that it is “served only at Easter” (emphasis mine) it seemed like it would be pretty hard to pretend its something I normally bake, just because it’s the second-to-last Sunday in March or something.

boiled rice

Continued after the jump »


css.php