Tag Archives: Eggs

Smoked Salmon, Dill & Horseradish Tartlets

Yesterday I shared how I deviated from my St. Patrick’s Day norm of Shepherd’s Pie to create a menu entirely from the “Irish Pub Cooking” cookbook I’ve had for sometime but hadn’t yet experimented with. I was so inspired by the gorgeous photos and recipe details that I just had to break the cardinal rule of never serving recipes that you haven’t perfected or at the very least, tried once.

Actually, I break that rule all the time. Life is too short to take food so seriously. Home cooking and entertaining should be fun.

Experiment. Yes, on your guests. Don’t be afraid.

Besides, if you fail, they will love you for being human, laughing it off and ordering pizza. And sometimes, your bravery will be rewarded with a gem of a dish that has everyone swooning over their empty, crumb licked plates.

Smoked Salmon, Dill & Horseradish Tartlets is just such a dish.

Salmon-Tartlets-1

“Irish Pub Cooking”, Parragon Books Ltd.

You will need six 3 1/2 inch loose-bottom tartlet pans.

Ingredients

Pie Dough

  • heaping 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 Tbsp COLD butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp creamed prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Spanish capers, chopped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 7 oz smoked salmon trimmings
  • bunch of fresh dill, chopped, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Note: I have modified the directions slightly, adding more instruction, as they were a little vague for a less experienced cook. “Add a little cold water” isn’t really going to cut it for someone who has never made a crust before. And if you are anything like me, you would totally try this recipe even if you’d never made a crust before.

Butter six 3 1/2 inch loose-bottom tartlet pans. Sift the flour and salt together and put into a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.

Salmon-Tartlets-2

Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add a little cold water (see what I mean), just enough to bring the dough together (2-3 Tbsp). Start with 1 Tbsp at a time and mix together with your hands so that you can feel when the dough is the consistency that you are looking for – soft but very workable, not sticky or dry and crumbly.

Salmon-Tartlets-3

Turn out onto a floured counter and shape into a log so that it is easy to portion out into six equal-sized pieces.

Salmon-Tartlets-4

Roll each piece to fit the tartlet pans.

Salmon-Tartlets-5

Carefully fit each piece of dough in its shell and press well to fit the pan.

My tart pans are 4 1/4 inch (I am now in the market for 3 1/2 inch pans) but I was determined still to get six tarts out of the recipe so my shells are rolled a little thinner.

Salmon-Tartlets-6

Roll the rolling-pin over the pan to neaten the edges and trim the excess dough.

Salmon-Tartlets-7

Put a piece of parchment paper in each pan, fill with dried beans or pie weights …

(learn all about Blind Baking here)

Salmon-Tartlets-9

Salmon-Tartlets-10

and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the tartlet shells blind in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the paper and beans/weights. If you use beans, you can save them in a mason jar to re-use again and again. Be sure to label them though because once you have used them for blind baking, you won’t want to eat them.

Salmon-Tartlets-11

Meanwhile, put the sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, and drained capers into a bowl with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Be careful with the salt as smoked salmon is pretty salty.

Salmon-Tartlets-12

Add the egg yolks, smoked salmon, and chopped dill (I put in about 2 Tbsp) and carefully mix again. Divide this mixture among the tartlet shells and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until just firm (mine took about 15  minutes).

About the salmon; I used cold smoked salmon, which is more like lox with a soft, silky texture. You could also use hot smoked salmon which is drier and flaky. Both are usually either in the deli section or by the seafood counter.

Salmon-Tartlets-14

Here’s where I lost my sixth tart, there just wasn’t enough filling.

Salmon-Tartlets-15

Thankfully, I only had two dinner guests so there was a tart for each adult and Sara and David split one; although they devoured their respective halves and would most certainly have eaten a whole one. Don’t worry about Nathan, he wouldn’t have eaten one of these tarts for anything.

Not a chance. No way.

Which is just fine because I did not want to share.

Salmon-Tartlets-16

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Smoked Salmon, Dill and Horseradish Tartlets Printable Recipe

I am planning on making these again for Easter (they are that good)  but I will be making them in smaller tart pans as bite sized appetizers for a bigger crowd.

I will let you know how they turn out.

In fact, I may experiment ahead of time. No, not because I’m perfecting anything, I’m just not sure I can wait until Easter to have another tart.

Enjoy!

Tomorrow, I will tell you all about my second favorite dish of the day;

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage.

I may make this again for Easter too as it had gorgeous color and was absolutely delicious!

Breakfast Burritos Baby!

This past weekend, I whipped-up a Brewer breakfast favorite, Breakfast Burritos. What I love about breakfast burritos is not only are they super yummy (yes, super yummy – I live with a five-year-old) but they are so easy to make very healthy and to customize to individual tastes. They are incredibly versatile and just beg for you to change-up the ingredients and experiment a little.

Breakfast-Burrito-16

See, super yummy!

My intention with these particular breakfast burritos was to go healthy and lean and also to share with you a few of my favorite things – well, food things anyway.

Breakfast-Burrito-1

Eggs – I LOVE eggs! My family goes through eggs (and bananas) like other families go through milk and bread. I also love …

Tillamook medium cheddar cheese, from the block please, I’ll shred it myself thank you. Light sour cream – I can’t do fat-free anything; I’d rather not eat, and that is saying something. Frozen turkey sausage links – because they are lean and quick and easy and taste pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t pancetta or bacon or chorizo but they are a good lower calorie substitute. Smart and Delicious low carb tortillas are my favorite – well aside from the real thing, fresh from a traditional Abuela’s kitchen; but were talking low cal and healthy today so whole wheat, low carb, high fiber it is. Jalapeno slices, we eat so many in this house that we buy the giant jar from Costco and store it in the spare fridge where it waits to frequently replenish a smaller, repurposed jam jar. And Chollula, tangy and spicy and awesome (live with a five-year-old).

So, in the Brewer house, those are the beginnings of a just about perfect breakfast burrito.

Here’s what happens next …

Breakfast-Burrito-2

Scrambled eggs. For the five of us, I whisk together six eggs with about 1/4 cup of milk.

Breakfast-Burrito-3

I sprinkle in a few chives after the eggs are in the pan and have just begun to start setting up. Another favorite of mine are the Litehouse freeze-dried herbs, I love the fresh herbs from my garden but these are great to have on hand. Toss a pat of butter into the pan. Okay, I know we are talking healthy today but it is one pat for 5 people, just one tiny pat for f-i-v-e people. Did I mention butter is also one of my favorite things. Moderation. M-o-d-e-r-a-t-i-o-n.

Breakfast-Burrito-5

Now that the tiny pat of butter (for five people) has melted in a non-stick pan, pour in the beaten eggs and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat. DO NOT go past 4, don’t do it.

Breakfast-Burrito-4

Many a pan of scrambled eggs has been ruined on a burner that is just too hot. The other trick is to take the eggs off the heat just before they are cooked all the way through. They will finish cooking on their own and will come out silky and creamy instead of rubbery or possibly even crusty, which is what happens when you go past 4 and don’t baby them. When the are off the heat, season with a little kosher or sea salt and pepper.

Breakfast-Burrito-6

Silky and creamy. Baby your eggs, baby!

All that’s left is to make sure all of your filling items are prepped and ready to go and then,

Breakfast-Burrito-8

you can start building your burritos – or overstuffing them as is the case with me.

Breakfast-Burrito-9

I start with a warm tortilla and put a layer of cheese on first.

Breakfast-Burrito-10

Eggs next (heat from eggs makes cheese melty).

Breakfast-Burrito-11

Follwed by the turkey sausage – or whatever meat you decide (pick chorizo).

Breakfast-Burrito-12

Add the jalapeno pepper slices, remember there’s a big jar in the spare fridge so its okay to be generous.

Breakfast-Burrito-13

And finally, sour cream and Chollula – guacamole or avocado would be great too, I sadly didn’t have any on hand. Sniff. Roll it up and sprinkle it with a little more cheese, jalapeno and chives and pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm through and make everything melty. Serve with a dollop of sour cream on the side and guacamole if you have it. Sniff.

Breakfast-Burrito-15

Such a happy plate. Enjoy!

Incidentally, if you noticed that my cooktop has a crack in it, you are a) correct and b) very observant. Glass cooktops DO NOT respond well when cast iron dutch ovens are dropped right smack in the middle of them. Sniff. Just one more reason I miss my gas cooktop. Sniff. Sniff. A replacement cooktop will be here soon and maybe, just maybe, someday gas lines will come to our little “ruralish” homestead.

A girl can dream.

David’s Delicious Breakfast Sandwich

I am late in posting today because I have been “tinkering” around on Facebook and have FINALLY added a “Welcome Company” fan page. It still needs some fine-tuning and tweaking but it is up and I am excited about it. I would be so happy if you would join me there by clicking the “like” thumb on the sidebar – right over there, to the right. Yup, that’s the one!

I am so thankful for the new friends I have made through this blog and look forward to having more conversation and interaction with you on Facebook. Thank you for reading and encouraging me – you are all such a blessing.

So, as I am running behind and because my sweet son asked me to feature his favorite breakfast on a post sometime, I have decided share with you this quick and easy breakfast sandwich. David will be so excited to come home from school today and see his sandwich immortalized on the internet.

I make this sandwich just about every morning as David must have it at least 4 out of 5 school mornings. He loves it and I love sending him out the door full of protein and sugar-free; so it is a win-win for both of us.

Breakfast-Sandwich-9

I know it looks simple, and it is, but the magic is in the egg …

Breakfast-Sandwich-1

Breakfast-Sandwich-2

Gorgeous, right? This is how my dad always made “fried” eggs. My mom is a phenomenal cook but my dad, he was the egg man. A little bit of butter in the heated pan, crack the egg in once the butter has melted and then add about a teaspoon of water, cover and seal tightly with a lid and just a few minutes later, on medium heat, you have the perfect egg. Soft and silky and scrumptious.

The next trick is the cheese, sliced perfectly thin for just the right melt.

Breakfast-Sandwich-3

This magical little tool is how you get the perfect slice of cheese. No more giant hunks lopped off with a boning knife. Perfect little gossamer strips of cheese. Fewer calories and all of the flavor, just something else to love.

Breakfast-Sandwich-4

I found this cheese slicer in Norway about 20 (gulp) years ago. Wow! 20 years; I’ll have to scan those pictures and write a Norway post or two one of these days. It is one of my favorite places on earth. You can get these slicers all over now but it might be fun to go to Norway to get one.

Breakfast-Sandwich-5

Now, here is where the sandwich is very specialized for David. Whole grain bagel, un-toasted, butter on both sides, cheese slices on the bottom.

Breakfast-Sandwich-7

Top the cheese with the egg.

Breakfast-Sandwich-8

Break the yolk and smear it around a little to spread out that rich yumminess and to avoid sudden splurts of bursting yolk with the first bite. Mom doesn’t need any additional shirts to wash or egg yolk to clean off of the dog, who is sure to be close by begging her boy for a bite.

Breakfast-Sandwich-10

And there it is, David’s Delicious Breakfast Sandwich (no, that is not how I normally serve it to him, that is just a pretty breakfast sandwich posing for the camera).

Breakfast-Sandwich-11A thumbs up from a happy kid. What other reason could I possibly need to make the same egg sandwich morning after morning?

Now, if this were my favorite egg sandwich, it would be on a toasted and buttered English muffin and would have just a little bit of Dijon mustard. My husband would have to add meat (ham or bacon) and jalapeno peppers.

Give it a try and let us know what you think and what favorite things you add to make it …

“(your name here)‘s Favorite Breakfast Sandwich”.

Thanks for visiting today – I’ll see you on Facebook!

My Favorite Strata for Brunch or Christmas Morning

Sourdough Strata with Tomatoes and Greens

Strata-9

I found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine a few years back and have made it countless times since then. Brunch is one of my favorite ways to entertain friends so I am always looking for great recipes and this one certainly qualifies. It is always a crowd pleaser and I hope you will try it. It is great for Christmas morning as it has vibrant red roasted tomatoes and luscious green spinach and looks very festive. I tastes even better and is a good vegetarian option. Because I am not a vegetarian, I often serve it with a side of apple chicken sausages which is a nice touch.

I recently made it for brunch with friends from bible study, read all about it in Set Aside Busy for Brunch and a Deep Breath, and it did not disappoint.

Because this is not my original recipe, although I can pretty much make it in my sleep which is often the case as it gets made right before bed and put in the fridge overnight, I can’t reproduce it for you here on my blog but this link will take you right to it, Sourdough Strata with Tomatoes and Greens.

I would, however, be happy to give you a few hints as to what yummy goodness awaits you and a few thoughts on what has worked best for me in making this dish.

Strata-1

Beautiful ripe plum tomatoes …

Strata-2

tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh thyme (you could stop right there and be happy but it gets even better, think cheese – lots and lots of cheese, so keep going) …

Strata-4and roasted until rich and full of flavor. Yes, you will need to soak your sheet tray after roasting the tomatoes. Don’t line it with foil or parchment as you need to be able to scoop and flip the tomatoes during roasting. No shortcuts, you’ll just have to use a little elbow grease and clean the pan or maybe you are fortunate and have children big enough to clean the pan. I envy you. Either way, I promise, it will be worth it.

Strata-6

A good crusty sourdough is really the best bread for this strata. Don’t trim the crust, use every crusty, crunchy bit!

Strata-5I told you there would be cheese. The recipe calls for Fontina and Parmesan, if you can swing the price, use Parmigiano Reggiano and then save a sliver to eat with a slice of pear. You’ll thank me later.

Strata-7

I have always used spinach but you can use any green such as kale, collard, arugula, etc. It would be great with arugula – I’ll have to try that soon.

Strata-8

I know, right? Just wait until it is baked and bubbly and gooey and so delicious that you forbid anyone to speak to you until it is gone so as not to ruin the blissful moment you are having.

If you’ll excuse me, I have some in the fridge leftover from brunch last Thursday, I think I hear it calling my name.

Okay, just a few more things before I go …

Be sure to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge to allow the bread time to soak up the eggs and milk.

Take it out of the fridge about 30-45 minutes before baking and let it come to room temperature, you will get better results that way.

Be sure to turn off the heat and let it rest in the oven for at least 10-15 minutes so it has time to set up properly.

Enjoy!!

And let me know what you think once you are ready to talk (or type a comment) again that is.