Tag Archives | brunch

dutch puff pancake

yumivore dutch puff pancake (2)

A simple-to-make pancake with several names, I first tasted this along the Turquoise Trail in New Mexico. My host called it a Dutch Puff, though it also goes by the name Dutch Baby or German Pancake. Fluffy-light but filling, the soufflé-crêpe-popover-esque pancake whips up in no time and makes for an impressive plate. The batter can be blended together the night prior and then heated in the oven to serve on the spot. It’s a perfect dish to serve for breakfast or brunch, and it can be topped with a range of jams, jellies or marmalade, fresh fruit or dusted with seasoned sugar. Serve it for dinner or dessert, it won’t disappoint, it’s delicious.

yumivore dutch puff pancake (1)

Dutch Puff Pancake
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium cast-iron pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter (ensure that it doesn’t brown) and set aside. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar. Blend until smooth and foamy, about 1 minute. Pour the batter into your skillet; bake until the pancake is fluffy like a soufflé and lightly brown,roughly 20 minutes. Serve immediately while hot. Don’t expect any leftovers.

yumivore dutch puff pancake (5)

yumivore dutch puff pancake (3)

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grapefruit brûlée for brunch

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It’s hard not to miss the piles of plump oranges, mandarins, pomelos and grapefruits at the market. It’s the season to enjoy citrus. Sliced, peeled or squeezed to enjoy fresh juice, these fruits are pretty perfect as they are. But if you’re looking for a little something different and a conversation starter for the brunch or breakfast table, then grapefruit brûlée is something to try. Sprinkled with brown sugar and use either the culinary torch or toss under the broiler in the oven, the sugar caramelizes on top from the heat then hides soothingly warm juicy grapefruit beneath.

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Broiled Grapefruit
1 grapefruit
2 tablespoons brown sugar

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The recipe couldn’t be more simple, you only need two ingredients. Cut the grapefruit in half across the center. Preferably loosen the sections with a knife (it will be easier to eat later). Top each side of the grapefruit with a generous tablespoon of brown sugar. If you have a culinary torch, go for the brûlée as they do in Bon Appetit, otherwise put the grapefruit in a pie pan and place in the oven to broil for roughly five to seven minutes. Keep an eye on it as it will turn almost amber in color and the peel has a tendency to burn. Serve warm out of the oven.

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As a variation, try adding fresh shaved ginger, or sprinkle with cinnamon before broiling, or even garnish the grapefruits with chopped mint before serving. It’s fun to be creative and try different options. Another food blog, Cookie and Kate, dished up a lovely version with a few additional ingredients; she added sea salt (or kosher salt), which could really enhance the flavor of the citrus. For brunch I served my new found wonder with plain yogurt drizzled with a bit of honey and topped with homemade walnut almond granola. I love plain yogurt drizzled with honey, it’s in fact a breakfast favorite. Sometimes I add blueberries, pomegranate seeds, or bananas; I love tasting different honey varieties and exploring yogurt brands along with trying different toppings mixed in. I enjoyed the broiled grapefruit best with regular nonfat plain yogurt (versus Greek yogurt which seemed too dense with the citrus) but see what suits your palate best (or what’s in the refrigerator). If honey isn’t your cup of tea, try topping yogurt with natural maple syrup. Neither are really necessary with this dish, the grapefruit is sweet on it’s own and extra sweet from the sugar, honey or maple syrup are an added touch. You can also turn the grapefruit brûlée into dessert, plate it with a scoop of frozen yogurt and it becomes something sweet to enjoy in the evening.

Two ingredients and so easy to prepare, it’s a fun twist to try, and topped with yogurt, it becomes a delicious way to start the morning. Light and tasty additions to a brunch menu, pull up a chair, hope you’ll join me for a bite!

yumivoregrapefruit (8)

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fresh from the coop and garden

When friends asked if I could take care of their edible garden and backyard chicken coop while they were away on a trip, I jumped at the chance. Of course I was happy to help them out, and it was also a chance to see what it’s like to take care of home raised hens. The best part to look forward to, garden-picked vegetables and the freshest eggs you could hope for.

As my friends explained how to care for the hens, they also clarified the difference between fertilized versus unfertilized chicken eggs. Hens lay eggs, regardless if they mated with a rooster, so essentially the eggs we eat are unfertilized. This assured me that the eggs I would be collecting wouldn’t surprise me and hatch into chickens.

By around my third visit to the chicken coop, the hens had seemed to recognize my voice from far away and gladly greeted me each time I would stop in to feed them or clean their water. In Israel, I had spent time caring for chickens while visiting family who live on and are members of a farming community. That hen house was much larger though, and it was harder to get to know individual chickens in that particular setting compared to this one.

A main perk of course to having a backyard hen house and edible garden is the bounty of fresh produce you have on hand. The tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers ripened a little bit each day over the time I visited, and were eventually ready for picking. The garden contributed to a few small salads and the vegetables were even added to omelets or egg sandwiches. The challenge on some days was figuring out how to consume all the eggs or what dish to prepare!

As a guest, caring for the chickens and tending the garden was relatively easy and enjoyable. Undoubtedly the hardest part to having a home-based coop and garden is getting it started. If you’re considering starting your own garden, there’s a lot of accessible information online. There’s also a growing number of online sites devoted to caring for chickens. In fact, over the past several years there has been a growing trend to raise chickens at home.

Egg dishes are often easy to prepare, versatile, and can be whipped into a tasty meal. My favorite meal of the day, brunch, which spans pancakes, waffles, soufflés, quiche and beyond often highlights eggs. If you are going to have home-raised hens, The Fresh Egg Cookbook will probably also be a good investment, and checkout this round-up of great egg-based recipes:
Yumivore | Shakshouka
Barefoot Contessa | Fines Herbes Omelet
101 Cookbooks | Egg Salad Sandwich
OMG! Yummy | Fast and Flavorful Frittatas
Chow and Chatter | Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes
Simply Recipes | Brunch Recipes
The Kitchen | 10 Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes With Eggs

To learn more about starting your own chicken coop or find a virtual egg stand:
Home Raised Eggs
My Pet Chicken
Eggzy
For interesting facts about eggs visit:
Anatomy Of An Egg
10 Fantastic Facts About Eggs
41 Things You Didn’t Know About Chicken Eggs

Got recipes and tips? Share your favorite eggsellent recipes to whip up!

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shakshouka

Shakshouka is a meal that sounds as fun and pleasing to the ear as it is to taste. It’s a dish I grew up with, is widely popular on breakfast menus throughout Israel and can be found throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Though not similar in flavors, you might compare its popularity to Eggs Benedict or Huevos Rancheros served here in the United States. The dish came up in conversation with food bloggers recently, so I’m happy to serve it up as well.

Hearty, spicy tomato sauce with cooked eggs, I easily enjoy shakshouka any time of day; for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it’s a great dish to serve for brunch. Originally of Tunisian origin, shakshouka (also written as shakshuka, chakchouka and referred to as menemen in Turkey) means “a mixture” and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a mixture of tomatoes, onions and spices with poached eggs. Beyond those traditional ingredients, there are a number of different ingredients to add to this delicious egg dish. Here’s how I usually make mine:

Shakshouka
Olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced small (you can substitute with a green or yellow Bell pepper or omit altogether)
2-4 garlic cloves, chopped (more or less, depending on your preference)
4-5 tomatoes diced (I prefer vine ripened tomatoes)
Tomato purée or paste (optional)
Ground cumin
Ground turmeric
Paprika (I use fresh ground paprika, recommended if available; hot or sweet based on preference )
4-6 eggs
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

To make the sauce, sauté the onions, add the peppers (adding chili peppers for heat is an option as well). Add the garlic, then spices and the tomato purée (used to thicken the sauce, and is optional), followed by the tomatoes. Mix over low heat and adjust the seasoning. Crack the eggs on top (placing each individually around the pan). Cook until the eggs set. Top with fresh chopped parsley or mint if available.

Bread is a must-have with shakshouka to sop up the sauce and balance the heat of the spicy-paprika tomatoes. I often serve it at home with warm pita, but in Israel (and if you’re visiting) order it with a side of fresh baked multi-grain bread. I also enjoy it with a side of labneh or laban which is a strained yogurt, also popular throughout the Levant. I love topping labneh with olive oil and za’atar a Middle Eastern spice mixture.

Since most of my recipes are in “a little of this, some of that” quantities, and meant to serve as inspiration, you can find more exact ingredients and measurements on Yummly. My friend Karen is also whipping up shakshuka, visit Globetrotter Diaries for a taste. While I recommend making it fresh and serving right away, you can make the sauce a few days ahead then heat and serve with the eggs.

Shakshouka is a hearty, flavorful, zesty meal that allows you to travel to the Middle East with your taste buds. It’s a favorite of mine, hope you enjoy it as well!

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