Spinach, Cheddar and Egg Breakfast Tarts

Spinach, Cheddar and Egg Breakfast Tarts

Baked Egg Breakfast Tarts: Buttery, puff pastry tarts filled with everything we love at brunch; creamy spinach, bacon, cheddar cheese and eggs. This is a real breakfast special. 

Well, I don’t know about you but so far my spring has been…less than stellar. Not to bore you with the details but I’ve been pretty much out of commission for the last few weeks with shingles. If you’ve ever had them, you know that the majority of your day is spent sitting stock-still so absolutely nothing touches you (when what you really want to do is raise your fists up to the sky and scream “Why God, why!” at the top of your lungs). I’ll just say that if, next time (please, please let there not be a next time), I’m given a choice between wearing a helmet of bees and having shingles again, I’m going with the bees.

This is my long-winded explanation for the lack of posts recently, because honestly, cooking and photographing were just not happening around the ol’ Clifton place of late.

But the weather has turned warm and I’m not writhing in pain anymore so, for my triumphant come-back, I wanted to post something really special.

The idea for some kind of spinach-y, cheese-y and egg-y tart or pie had been kicking around my noodle for awhile and over the weekend I realized we had all the ingredients I thought would work on hand so I decided to give it a whirl.

I’m calling it a “breakfast tart” because of the bacon and egg components but we had them for dinner (and then for lunch the next day) and they were perfect. They’re really easy to make and would be great for a brunch party. You could easily customize them for the crowd (no bacon on one, mushrooms on another, etc).

Read more

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.

Read more

Potato, Spinach and Cheese Frittata

Potato, Spinach & Cheese FrittataYou know those times when you look in the fridge and think, “meh”. You might have a little bit of this and a little leftover that but seemingly not enough of any one thing to actually make something? Well, that’s me about 75% of the time.

While I definitely get inspired and enjoy the process of shopping and cooking (and photographing and blogging), there are many more days when I’m just really busy and can’t even think about what to make for dinner until I’m fifteen minutes past being really bloody hungry.

That’s when I like to make a fritatta. Seriously, you can pretty much throw anything in it and it will work. (Edible, anything edible). Have a potato or two? Great, chop it up! A bag (or frozen box) of spinach? That’ll work. Weird little bits of several kinds of cheeses? Why not. No one’s looking. As we say in Brooklyn, “do you”. (I’m so, so sorry).

The great thing about a fritatta is that as long as you have enough eggs to bind it all together, pretty much anything is going to work. Sure, you have to think a bit about what flavors go together. That really stinky, pungent bleu cheese may not work so well with, say, shrimp but would be delicious with bacon and onion (and shrimp would be fantastic with corn and scallions).  Just think about what you have available, what tastes good together and don’t overthink it.

Potato, Spinach & Cheese Frittata

This particular recipe is just what I had on hand (and it’s a nice combo) but you should feel free to substitute any ingredient you want (except the eggs, of course).

Read more