Yes, that is bacon in a jar you see above. BACON IN A JAR! Let me backtrack …
On Sunday, despite being
absolutely racked with raging allergy head cold gunk mildly under the weather, I threw a mimosa-soaked brunch for some lady friends of mine. Yes! Thanks to so many yummy recipe and craft finds on Pinterest, it was a very DIY affair.
I followed Martha Stewart’s steps to making perfect pom-poms, found a page that walked me through making bunting, and got a fabulous lemon cake recipe from Pinterest, as well as the cute idea to serve bacon from a jar. A JAR!! Okay, I’m over it, but isn’t it exquisite?
The final product was beautiful, though I wasn’t able to snap a full-frontal shot before the stampeding ladies hit the food line!
You can see the raised platform I created for the mimo glasses, and the mimosa corner and the tray of broccoli-gruyere mini-quiches and one-bite micro-quiches … which did not last long.
So I’d say my event was a success — outside of the food and festivities, I had a lovely time with my girls. Now pardon me whilst I pin this post to my Pinterest Brunch Party Ideas page!!Read the rest
As I’ve been cooped up at home most of this week, suffering a slow demise from asthmatic bronchitis, I’ve been craving home-cooked food. Well, since there’s no Mr. Diva to serve me up some favorites, I’ve been tooling around the kitchen just making whatever the heck I feel like. And it’s been delicious. I’ve wanted to share one of my self-created recipes for a long while, so why not now? Best part is, I can share it on my Pinterest page and hope it goes a little viral. Cough!! Why did I have to use that word, eh?
Anyhoo, this afternoon, I was craving a flavorful breakfast featuring a rec that I threw together a few days ago — Prosciutto and Shallot Pan-Fried Potatoes under some basted eggs. What’re basted eggs? Read on, dear foodie! Note that I play pretty fast and loose with the measurements, because, really — it’s all about what’s flavorful to you.
Prosciutto and Shallot Pan-Fried Potatoes
Serves one (preferably me)
Voila, your main ingredients: a Russet baking potato, a pat of butter, a shallot (part of one, really), and some chilled prosciutto (the chilly part will come in handy). For the one-person serving I created, I required a half a potato, 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, about a teaspoon of chopped shallot, 3 slices of prosciutto, and salt and pepper to taste. You’ll also need a spritz of …
… extra-virgin olive oil. I’m talking about 1/8 teaspoon, if that. So let’s start.
First you peel and dice your potato as such (above). My dice turned out to be about 1/2-inch squares.
Now throw your pretty diced potatoes into a microwave-safe container. This is where the splash of olive oil comes in. Add it to the potatoes and toss them around using a spoon or your fingers, coating the dice in the evoo.
Next, loosely wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and cook it in the microwave for one minute. This step shaves minutes off the stovetop cooking, so you’re not slaving over the stove for 15 minutes waiting for your potatoes to soften.
In a nonstick skillet, melt the tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the microwave. Take out your shallot and dice as much as you like — again, I went for about a teaspoon.
If you don’t have shallots on hand, onion works great, or even garlic!
Once you’re done chopping whatever bulb you decided to go with, add it to the pan of melted, sizzling butter.
I let my shallots cook for a minute, then I threw in the half-cooked diced potatoes.
I stirred everything about, making sure to get the ingredients good and coated in butter. Mmmm. At this point, I grabbed the prosciutto out of the fridge. Using my kitchen shears, I snipped slices of the Italian ham directly into the pan with the potatoes and shallots.
Now, the colder the prosciutto, the better in this step, as it makes it much easier to slice through than if it were, say, at room temperature and all the marbled fat made cutting through it a bit tougher.
Once you’ve added the ham, give the whole party a stir. It’s time now to season things up.
I add a generous amount of ground black pepper, because I’m spicy like that. You could add any number of spices and/or herbs to this dish, though: ground white pepper, ground red pepper, oregano, basil … even some fresh chopped parsley at the end.
You may’ve noticed I used black pepper from a can instead of freshly ground — why? My grinder is temperamental, that’s why. It spits out ginormous pebbles of pepper, and I can’t for the life of me adjust it to emit a finer grind!! I hate biting on rock-sized pieces of pepper in my eggs or potatoes, so the device is shelved for now. Gah! But we digress …
The bigger issue with this dish is whether you’ll want to add salt — after all, prosciutto, thy name is salt. Some palates may be satisfied having the meat as the only salt component. But potatoes always need salting, to my tongue, so I add a sprinkle, then taste …
Delish, but it needed a little more salt for my liking … my blood pressure is excellent, by the way.
Yessss … that’s the ticket! So, all told, stir and fry and season these babies for about 5 minutes, remaining at medium-high heat the entire time. Now plate that thang!
How is that for a side dish? All it’s begging for is eggs! Back to the drawing board …
Toss about another half-tablespoon of butta into your still-hot skillet.
Crack two eggs into the pan and let them fry this way for about a minute. Now comes the special part — basting. A basted egg is the lovechild of a fried egg and a poached egg — so you get the perfectly runny yolk and a perfectly set white. A match made in heaven! To start the basting process, add one tablespoon of water to the pan and cover tightly with a lid.
WARNING: Unlike with the Thanksgiving turkey, there is no actual basting that has to be done here. Simply peek through the lid as the yolks go pink, which should take about 45 seconds. When it’s done, ease that bad boy on top of your waiting potatoes …
… and take the whole shebang on a field trip to your tummy. This was so delicious, y’all — the potatoes were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, with a mild crunch and salt of the prosciutto adding a nice zing. Add to that the sublime yolk of the basted egg, and I’ll be dreaming of basted egg babies in prosciutto cradles all night. Bon appetit! Oh, and if you like this recipe, Pin It!!Read the rest
So Saturday night, I woke up feeling ucky, what with the sudden Northern blast hitting the area a few days ago. Thankfully, I had an invite to an intimate dinner party featuring a spread of Spanish-influenced food. We had the requisite tapas — a potato omelet highlighted by sliced peppers, cheese wedges (Manchego?) and ham, almonds and quick-seared shishito peppers, yum! But the belle of the ball was the main course — Rachael Ray’s Spanish take on chicken and dumplings, a saffron-tinged stew (or she might call it stoup) chock full of tender chicken, plump mushrooms, Spanish chorizo and cornmeal dumplings. The flavors of this dish were marvelous — deep and intense, filling the air with the most savory aroma. Although the handsome hosts passed around some warm French bread slices as accompaniments, the stew stood perfectly on its own. Great choice of wines, too, boys! You know who you areRead the rest
… the microwave oven, that is. For late, late brunch yesterday I nuked some leftover curry chicken I’d made for dinner the previous night. Mmmmm, there is nothing like tender chicken thighs and crumbly potato chunks simmering in a savory, mildly spicy broth. I need to make this more often … if you’re good, maybe I’ll share the recipe, chickadeesRead the rest