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Posts Tagged ‘great brunch ideas’

quiche abovequiche close

I simply love this dish! It’s easy to prepare, chock full of many of my favorite things, and I love that you can serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. For breakfast or brunch, I like to serve it with a beautiful bowl of ripe berries or other fruit. For lunch or dinner, I’ll pair it with a simple side salad. It also fits with my long-time mantra: “eggs with anything.”  In the past, when I’d found dinnertime nearly upon me, the day having zipped by without a chance to run to the store of think of a meal, I would whip up an omelet or quiche using whatever ingredients could be found in my fridge. It’s a trick of the French, and it will never fail you.

But back to the quiche. I’ve made it using a regular as well as a gluten-free crust. Both hold up fine in this dish, so take your pick. Although the recipe below calls for kale, chard works equally well. You can also substitute goat cheese for feta, although I’m really in love with sheep’s milk feta at the moment. It doesn’t seem to aggravate my stomach the way cow’s milk products do.

 

Ingredients for the crust

1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled (or use coconut oil if you’re dairy-free)

1/4 tsp sea salt

2-3 tbsp ice cold water

 

Ingredients for the filling

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp butter or ghee

1 large leek, trimmed, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only) and carefully washed

1 handful fresh kale, carefully washed, ribs removed and chopped into 1/2-inch strips

3 strips thick-cut quality bacon

1/2-2/3 cup feta cheese

A few tbsp fresh herbs, such as basil or oregano, chopped (optional)

4 large eggs

1 cup milk

Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper

 

Preparation

Heat the oven to 375F.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flours and salt until combined. Slice in the chilled butter, and mix with the flours using a pastry cutter, two knives or your hands  until there are no chunks larger than pea-size. Sprinkle in a little ice water–1 tbsp at a time, and continue mixing until the dough holds together well. Scrape the contents into a 9-inch pyrex or ceramic pie dish and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides to form your crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then set aside.

quiche crust

 

While the crust is baking, fry the bacon strips over medium heat until cooked but still tender, not crisp.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter or ghee with the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or similar pan over medium-low heat. Add in the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and turning a little translucent. Add in the kale, and cook until the kale has softened, about 2-3 minutes.
quiche leeks
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in a few grinds of pepper and a pinch or two of salt, and the fresh herbs, if using.
quiche bacon layer
Arrange the leeks on the bottom of the quiche. Spread the cooked kale on top of the leeks as the second layer. Make the bacon your third layer. Pour the egg mixture over. Crumble the feta cheese over the top and place in the middle of the oven. Cook at 375F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the quiche is “set,” and the crust is golden brown.
Allow the quiche to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!
quiche kale
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potato pancake abovepotato pancake close

 

Our diets have finally returned to normal following our European vacation (read: croissants, prosciutto, fruit tart, steak frites, etc.). I’m back to eating mostly Paleo–trying at least, and more importantly, eating very nutrient-dense foods. That means I’m always conjuring up and looking for dishes that incorporate the best meats (seafood included) and vegetables. Fruits have morphed into natural sweets, and grains have been relegated to occasional treats.

This dish fits the bill, although I’ve been working on this dish for some time now. It tastes delicious, but I can’t seem to photograph it quite right. What I mean to say is, I can’t make the photograph depict the tastiness of the dish. So I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

This recipe is an example of me attempting to replicate something I had at a restaurant. My version is nearly as good, and possibly a bit healthier. These pancakes are wonderful served as I’ve shown them here, or set on a bed of arugula that’s been tossed or drizzled with a little vinaigrette. They also make a perfect brunch, lunch or dinner dish.

 

Ingredients for 4 persons

1 medium-size Yukon Gold potato

1 medium-size zucchini, scrubbed but not peeled

1 large egg, lightly whisked

1-2 slices of quality lox, per person

1 crisp apple, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Avocado oil or xtra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh-ground black pepper

1 tbsp fresh chives

 

Preparation

Place the chopped apple, onion, honey and cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. When the apple has softened a little, take the pan off the burner and allow to cool to room temperature.

In the meantime, peel the potato and grate using the standard size holes. Squeeze out the excess liquid and place in a medium-size bowl. Chop the ends off the zucchini and grate on the same setting. Squeeze out the excess liquid and add to the potato. Add in the whisked egg. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom of the skillet with an even layer of oil. Using approximately 1/2 cup (packed) of grated vegetable mixture, form the pancakes two at a time, flattening them slightly so they’re 4-5 inches in diameter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook another 4-5 minutes. Keep cooked pancakes warm while you cook the rest. Note: everyone’s cooktop and pans cook differently. You don’t want to burn your pancakes, but you do want the potato cooked through. Keep an eye on the color while cooking and lower the heat if necessary.

Place the pancakes on plates (or on a bed of dressed greens, if using). Top with 1-2 slices of lox. Place a spoonful of the apple mixture (drained) on top. Sprinkle the chopped chives over the whole dish. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For a little added flavor and presentation appeal, top the pancakes with a dollop of creme fraiche before adding the “chutney” and chives.

 

Enjoy!

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clafoutis aboveclafoutis slice closeThis dish is so easy to make, a child could do it!

Clafouti is a classic French dish, and is similar to the Dutch baby pancake. It’s essentially a very simple, eggy batter poured over fresh fruit. I’ve used strawberries here, but raspberries and cherries work equally well.

The best part about this dessert is that it’s really not strictly a dessert. It doesn’t have any more sugar than you’d consume if you made pancakes served with maple syrup or jam. And although I usually serve this as a simple dessert, I recently made it for breakfast to the utter delight of my children. I also like that it’s light enough to serve as dessert in the summer, but warm and custardy enough to serve during the winter.

 

Ingredients

1/2 tbsp butter or coconut oil

8 oz strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise

2 tsp cornstarch

3 eggs

1 cup milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole-grain barley or spelt flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

Powdered sugar for dusting, optional

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease a 2-quart baking dish (or 8×8-inch pyrex dish) with the butter.

Toss the strawberry halves with the cornstarch until thoroughly coated, then spread the berries evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside.

 

calfoutis berriesPut the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt in a blender and blend on high for 15-30 seconds. Pour the batter of the strawberries.

 

clafoutis pourPut the dish in the oven and bake until it’s puffed and golden brown and feels set in the center, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm. (Note: The clafoutis looks its most impressive and puffy right when you remove it from the oven, so if you’re serving it to guests, by all means, get it on the table. But if you actually slice it up and put it on people’s plates before you’ve allowed it to cool slightly,  you’ll risk tongues getting burned on the piping hot pieces of fruit.)

 

Enjoy!

 

clafoutis above2clafoutis slice

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