Fry Pan Pizza

If you’ve watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, you may remember that he exclaimed in horror “Pizza for breakfast?!”.

Of course, he was referring to the mass-produced, cardboard tasting, salt-laden abomination of “pizza” that is sold to countless millions. What he wasn’t referring to was a fresh, handmade, organic, veggie-topped pie-of-heaven with a Greek fried egg on the side that we had for breakfast!

Well, you know me, I just have to fry stuff I guess!. No really, making a pizza in a frying pan is an awesome idea especially if it is too hot to turn on the oven, your oven is broken (you know who you are!) or, like me, you are starving and just can’t wait for all the rigour-ra-moll that goes with making a pizza from scratch at home.

Luckily, I made a batch of pizza dough yesterday and was ahead of the game. I took a fist-sized ball of the dough and rolled it out quite thin and chopped up my toppings while the ever trusty cast iron pan got sizzling hot.

For the toppings I used: Swiss Chard (of course!), green onion , red bell pepper, garlic and crushed red pepper, all of which got the usual treatment in the cast iron pan.

Now for the fun part, I took out the toppings and set aside and got the pan really hot. I added a little oil and then carefully added my rolled out dough. That thing poufed right up and just sizzled away to crispy goodness. I flipped it over and “baked” the other side while I added my toppings and a little grated Jack  and Cotija cheeses.

After it was nice and crispy on the other side, I took it out of the pan and then quickly fried a few Greek style eggs.

I cut this true “pan” pizza in two and served with the eggs. It was really just a fancy version of toast and eggs, or shall I say a “luscious” version? Yeah, it was all that. Oooh, I just realized that it would be a yummy and unusual base for a Benedict, using a biscuit cutter to make smaller rounds before frying. Oh my.

yes, I took bites before taking the pic. sorry, but I was sooo hungry!

(Oh, and I also topped it with some pepperoncini, but I put those on lots of stuff. I’m addicted, and plan on making my own later in the summer!)


Who Knew Eating Out of a Jar Could be so Fun?

So we finally tried the pickled eggs. What a pleasant surprise! I had always thought they looked gross when I was a kid, but now I can see their value.

Slightly sweet, tangy and tender the very chilled eggs straight out of the jar were a perfect light lunch with bread and cheese and some of the really delicious pickled onions from the jar as well. Hubby and I were both coming up with all kinds of ideas for future pickled eggs. He, of course, wants a “Diablo” style, super hot egg. My mind went in the direction of improving the quality of the eggs by using organic, and then I realized just how awesome it would be to have my own flock of chickens for the eggs! very cool.

I was thinking that Porchtime Organic Pickled Eggs are a great thing to have on hand in your fridge: unexpected company, really hot outside, camping, picnics, use them for deviled eggs, smash on bread, chop on salad etc.

Isn’t it great when one of your goofy ideas comes out good? I think so.

In Case of Clouds, Add Mimosa

Brunch is one of my favorite meals ever. You can eat to your heart’s content and have plenty of time to burn it off later, plus it’s the perfect excuse to start drinking early on a Sunday. My Mimosa of choice is Louise d’Estree Brut 3/4 full glass with the rest Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda, both from Trader Joe’s.  I like it because it’s not too sweet and the color is beautiful.

I was feeling pretty creative this morning and took my time preparing this yummy brunch.

My good stuff on hand: Dried Shitakes, Organic Jumbo Eggs, Bread from the local bakery Frank’s, Swiss Chard, Dill, Basil and Leeks (all from my garden), Goat Cheese, Hot house tomatoes (i usually don’t buy tomatoes, but they were on sale), Balsamic, Olive Oil and just a splash of Fish Sauce.

First, I frizzled my leeks in olive oil and used them to top a pretty tomato slice and a slice of goat cheese on the plate. I then added fresh ground pepper and topped with a little chopped dill.

Next, I sauteed the Chard quickly with a little garlic and put it to the side. The Shitakes I had soaked so I drained them and dry fried them with the Basil, adding the dash of fish sauce to deglaze the pan. Toasted Bread was then added to the plate and here’s where I got creative. One slice I  dressed with a quick little dressing I made with the Oil/Balsamic/more dill/dried herbs and then topped with the cooked chard. The other slice I left dry and mounded the mushrooms on top. I meant to poach the eggs, but kinda forgot and did the Greek Fried Egg like I mostly do. I topped each bread slice with an egg and sprinkled on a little more chopped dill and basil.

the first flavor layer on the bread base and my pretty tomato stack

The beauty behind the presentation is this: My hubby likes goat cheese, but doesn’t like a lot of it. Having the little stack of tomato and cheese on the plate made it so we each could add as much as we liked as a condiment to the eggs. Plus, it was funner to have it presented in a pretty way. I have to say while both versions were excellent, my favorite was the Swiss Chard one with plenty of the tomato/goat cheese stack added.

Shawns "overhard" version. Def would be prettier with poached, but still yummy!

No, we did not have the ubiquitous pile of potatoes on the side like you get in so many restaurants. No butter was harmed (or used!) in the making of this brunch and it really was not heavy at all, just fresh, elegant and delish.

On to the rest of the Mimosas and a great Sunday!

Buddha Approved!

Porchtime Pickle Preview

Finally. My first pickling attempt has taken place and….it was fun!

I kind of knew that I would enjoy the process because I generally love to make dishes that require some assemblage such as enchiladas, lasagna, spring rolls etc. and the pickling process was right up my alley.

I pickled eggs for a couple of reasons. For starters, my cucumbers are not ready yet and also Henry’s had eggs on sale for 88 cents. At that price, it was buy them and throw them at the cars driving by on Washington or pickle those bad boys!

I found a recipe online for “Sweet Pickled Eggs” which I of course altered except for the brine. I added garlic, dill, a radish and a carrot to each jar. The brine was simply water, vinegar, sugar and pickling spice. I didn’t have pickling spice, so I used Zataran’s crab boil as it was practically the same thing. I’ll have to update y’all when we taste them in about a week, but they sure look yummy!

Greens Gumbo for a Gray Day

My garden is absolutely exploding with greens right now. I’ve given them away to neighbors, friends and my daughter, I’ve incorporated them into every recipe I can and I am still swimming in them! My fear is they will be wasted when they bolt (go to seed) and I hate wasting food, so today Shawn and I are making a Greens Gumbo which will be a bastardized version of a Paul Prudhomme Gumbo recipe. To go with the soup, we are also making a really yummy Biscuit Muffin also from Chef Paul. I’m really hoping that we can use up a good mess of the Collards, Mustard, Rainbow Chard and Lacitano Kale in this tasty and rich soup.

Looking at that basket of produce, can you see why I haven’t ordered my FMB today? My garden is really paying off now! Shawn was able to use all the carrots and all but just a few of the greens in the soup today. I will admit that my only contribution was to go down and collect this basket of goodies for him, then he was on his own. Remember I said I’ve been distracted? Well, today I had a hair up my ass to work on sanding that deck. I probably could have finished the whole thing except for the forecast of rain made it not a good idea to paint or seal anything, but I did get alot done!

Shawn and I are both big proponents of using what you have on hand and not running to the store unless you absolutely have to. Gumbo usually calls for Gumbo File, Paprika,Okra, which helps to thicken it and Cajun cooking’s trinity calls for a red pepper. Of course we did not have any of this stuff. The paprika we had is the Spanish smoked variety.

Lo and behold, he still managed to make an absolutely delish Gumbo that was thick and seasoned beautifully. I will post the actual recipe for you soon. I’ll have to quiz him in detail to figure out everything he did. For certain, he started with a beautiful and rich Roux.

I ended up making the biscuit muffins, although we were so hungry the smell of them baking almost made me swoon!

They are super easy to make. These Southern Biscuit Muffins were easily modified using buttermilk instead of milk (which of course we were out of) and were perfect with the gumbo. I pigged out on about four of these bad boys.

The batter came out quite a bit thicker because of the buttermilk and they were not as pretty as the last time I made them, but oh so tasty! There is a little sugar in them which gives them a bit of a crystalized texture on the crust and the slight sweetness complimented the spicy Gumbo.

This is definitely the fullest I have been in days….mmmmmmm