Phyllo Torte Stuffed with Chicken (or Ham), Ricotta and Swiss Chard

Phyllo Torte with Chicken, Ricotta and Swiss Chard

This Phyllo Torte with Chicken (or Ham), Ricotta and Swiss Chard has a crispy, flaky, buttery crust filled with all our favorite Spring flavors. It looks like a showstopper, but it’s easy as pie. 

We’ve been having topsy-turvy weather here in the Hudson Valley over the last couple of months. We had an late Winter blizzard that dropped almost 3 feet (!) of snow on us, followed by a week in the 70s, followed by a month of cold dreariness, and then yesterday it got up to 89ºF. Even our poor little chickens are like “WTF, people?” (You haven’t seen side-eye until you’ve seen chicken side-eye. They are not shy about squawking their displeasure right into your face). 

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Baked Eggs with Creamy Greens and Garlic Butter Toasts

baked eggs with kale spinach

Three kinds of leafy greens combine with mushrooms, garlic, leeks, mustard, and spices to form the base for a baked egg dish that’s a bit like an omelette turned inside out. It’s an ideal recipe for brunch, or really any meal of the day.

Sometimes we want to start the day with an omelette: maybe cook up some chopped leafy greens, sauté a few mushrooms until they’re golden, throw in a handful of cheese, and enclose the whole thing in an egg jacket. And sometimes, we want to flip the whole concept inside out and bake the eggs right on top of the other ingredients, because, you know, we’re mavericks like that.

It does take a little longer than the omelette method, and it requires turning on the oven. But really, since we’re fully cooking the greens and mushrooms either way, it’s the difference between a couple of minutes standing at the range and 20 minutes of unattended baking. You can also cook the creamed greens ahead, and bake the eggs when you’re ready for eat. 

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Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes cooked in individual cast iron skillets. They puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown before we spoon in homemade lemon curd and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.

Ramp and Cheddar Biscuits (Redux)

Ramp and Cheddar Biscuits

Ramp and cheddar biscuits are a great savory vacation on the classic biscuit – you’ll wish you had your own secret ramp patch!

Hello, friends. If you’ve been following this blog from the very beginning (and if not, WHY) you might remember a recipe for ramp and fontina biscuits from a couple of years ago. Here it is. We were not tricking you, it was indeed a fine recipe and made good-tasting biscuits. However, the consistency of the final product was more like that of a scone, and did not have the rise nor the flakiness of a really excellent biscuit. I thought we could improve on that with a new technique.

Ramp and Cheddar Biscuits

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Easy, home-made Greek yogurt

Creating your own home-made Greek yogurt is easier than you might think and doesn’t require any special ingredients, just a little time. 

Easy, home-made Greek yogurt

The missus has been out sick this week, so I’ve taken over blog duties. Last weekend I expanded on my bread baking with a really good multigrain recipe from Martha Stewart (to be blogged later) that involved three kinds of flour, two kinds of grain, and four kinds of seeds, and after all that I had to have a good lie down in a darkened room.

For this post, conversely, I decided to try something else I’d never done but keep it as simple as possible. Yogurt is something that we always try to have in stock in the fridge – not only is it a fantastic breakfast option, especially with some toasted nuts or seeds, maple syrup or honey, or (when in season) fresh berries, but it’s a great stand-by for a host of other recipes, such as marinades, dips and saucy dishes such as curries. We often use it in place of sour cream, like in this Lemon Basil Sauce.

We almost always buy the Greek varieties of plain yogurt, which are strained and therefore thicker than the “regular” variety. People have started wars over their preferred brand of Greek yogurt – to avoid bloodshed, I won’t reveal the specific brand we prefer, other to say that it’s the one that’s not Chobani.

Home-made Greek yogurt is so much more delicious than even the best store-bought kind, and is also much more affordable. The best part is that you get to control the quality of the milk that goes into it and we found that even using the best organic, grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free milk was cheaper than buying it already made.

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Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar

All you need is day-old steamed rice, some good garlic, and an egg to make a quick breakfast, lunch or supper – garlic fried rice. 

Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar
What to do with: leftover rice? Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar

Blah blah, winter. Blah blah snow. Blah blah thiswinterismakingmeinsane. Okay, obligatory whining done. Whew, I actually feel better.

Rice! (I love a good non-sequitor). Is there a a container of leftover rice in your refrigerator right now? If so, you are in luck, my friend. Why, you ask? Because your mission (a delicious, quick and easy breakfast) should you choose to accept it, involves that rice, some garlic and an egg.

Basically, this is a garlic fried rice recipe from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, that I used to make all the time. I’m pretty sure the recipe was actually called the Philippine Breakfast and it’s so simple, I didn’t even need to look it up to remember how make it again.

Don’t be put off by the garlic. It gets lovely and nutty when cooked this way. Not pungent at all.  I like to serve it with a few slices of avocado, a lime wedge and a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Matt loves it with a squirt of sriracha.  

Garlic Fried Rice with Eggs and Chile Vinegar
Chile Vinegar
Nerd Tips:
  • Be careful not to burn the garlic. Burned garlic is horrifying and if you really scorch it you should really throw it out, clean the pan and give it another go.
  • Garlic fried rice works with pretty much any kind of rice (except wild rice which isn’t really rice at all).
  • If you like things extra-spicy, try using a habanero pepper, but don’t sue me if you burn your bits and pieces off.
  • The pepper vinegar gets better and better as it sits, so make extra and store it in the fridge for next time.

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