Poached Eggs With Canadian Bacon and Roasted Mushrooms

One of my poached eggs emerged from its water bath wearing a pointy hat. I am not exactly sure how this happened, but it sure was cute and it certainly didn’t alter that oozy, creamy perfection of a freshly poached egg.

Poached Egg With Pointy Hat

Poached Egg With Pointy Hat

Yes, I had poached eggs on my menu this week, but I admit, I did veer from my original recipe. I traded the frisee for roasted mushrooms and wilted spinach, kept the Canadian bacon and showered the whole thing with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese. What a lovely one-dish meal on a weeknight. The switch from my original plan was inspired by my very good friend and fellow food-lover Eryn (from my past life in Las Vegas), who made the dish the night before and raved about it. She was right. Here is the link to the recipe for the roasted mushrooms. I added in fresh spinach during the last 10 minutes of cooking (per Eryn’s suggestion) and then topped the whole mess with poached eggs and the Canadian bacon sauteed with black pepper until crispy. It’s breakfast for dinner.

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Birthday Dinner Party Menu

Appetizers:

Fennel & White Bean Dip : This was definitely a surprise hit. I served it with fennel sticks and rice crackers for dipping.

Fennel & White Bean Dip

Fennel & White Bean Dip

Pancetta-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Manchego & Mint: It’s hard to go wrong with this sweet, salty, crispy, gooey combo. These always disappear quickly.

First Course:

Pomodori al Forno with Burrata & Crostini Bagnati: MAKE THIS DISH. If you make just one thing from this entire menu, this is it. Simple and perfect. I have yet to make this and not have somebody ask me for the recipe.

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Main Course:

Pancetta & Herb-Roasted Pork with Fig Jam: This always goes over well. A juicy pork loin slathered with an herb paste and topped with crispy, crunchy pancetta. What’s not to love? The fig jam takes the whole thing over-the-top. Delicious!

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork

Toasted Quinoa with Pistachios & Mint: Nutty, crunchy AND healthy. Also great for leftovers

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Sea Salt:  Simply roast halved brussels sprouts in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or so. Toss with lemon juice, freshly grated parmesan cheese and sea-salt & black pepper.

Plated Meal

Plated Meal

Dessert:

Selection of cupcakes from Cup Love & a selection of cookies from Vaccaro’s Italian pastry shop

Slow-Roasted “Melted” Tomatoes (Pomodori al Forno)

This is one of those recipes that people ask me for over and over again. It’s incredibly simple and the finished dish is so versatile. The tomatoes are wonderful simply with chunks of bread or paired with fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese.  You can also toss the tomatoes with greens for a salad or with pasta for a spectacular main course. If you’re making this outside of tomato season, use the best quality canned tomatoes you can find.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (or more) olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved length-wise and seeded
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp minced Italian parsley or basil

DIRECTIONS

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with oregano, sugar and salt. Bake 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over and bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over again. Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to plate when soft, about 15 to 45 minutes longer.

  • 2

    Layer tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkling garlic, parsley and or basil over each layer, reserving oil in baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temp 2 hours. Cover and chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temp before serving.

    Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Weekly Menu — 3/16/2013

Week of March 16th

You may find this week’s menu is rather light on the recipes and heavy on the leftovers — you would be correct. We have a busy week so I am erring on the side of easy.  Oh well, it happens. That is what restaurants and leftovers are for.

Saturday:
  • Surprise menu for a friend’s birthday dinner. I will share the details after the event.

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Sunday:

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Monday:
  • Leftover wild mushroom soup
  • Simple green salad
  • Pan-seared scallops (perhaps bacon-wrapped if I have any bacon leftover).

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Tuesday:
  • Leftovers from Saturday’s birthday dinner

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Wednesday:
  • Leftovers from Saturday’s birthday dinner

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Thursday:

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Friday:
  • My family is visiting from California and we are taking them to one of my favorite local restaurants — Cinghiale. If you haven’t been yet, go. 

Supper Club

What’s the best compliment one can bestow upon an avid home cook? A good ole’ fashioned plate-lick. A plate-lick of the two-fisted, full tongue extension variety.
A moan of pleasure is always good too, as is a squeal of delight followed by a recipe request, but not much beats an exuberant plate-lick.
Needless to say, I was overjoyed when my Supper Club dish was met with a hearty tongue swipe of the plate. Yeah! Who knew a fennel and avocado salad with candied kumquats and horseradish dressing could inspire such delight? I do think it was the dressing, so if you haven’t yet made it, what are you waiting for?
The salad was just the start of what turned out to be a delicious parade of food during our 10th Supper Club dinner. We were all so busy laughing, chatting and licking plates, that nobody bothered to take any photos of the gorgeous dishes. Bummer for my blog.
Our hosts for this particular dinner chose a theme similar to that of the foodie TV show Chopped. The hosts gave each of us three ingredients, which we then had to use to create our given course for the meal. Ingredients and courses as follows:

  • First Course Mystery Basket: horseradish, avocado, mascarpone cheese
  • Main Course Mystery Basket: duck, chocolate, rosemary
  • Side Dish Mystery Basket: eggplant, walnuts, capers
  • Dessert Mystery Basket: lemons, tomatoes, ginger

The results? Succulent, perfectly cooked duck breasts paired with a mole-type sauce. A chunky eggplant dish topped with a flavorful parmesan crust. And a silky lemon panna cotta paired with a tomato jam and a tomato-ginger chutney. In other words, a complete success! I look forward to the next Supper Club event, which we are hosting this spring. Theme to be determined.