Going to the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market is always an adventure. When you think you know what to expect – you always find something unexpected! A great example are the duck eggs I picked up a couple days ago at from Massey Creek Farm! They are larger than their excellent peer chicken eggs and full of nutrients. After a little research, I found that duck eggs have twice the nutritional value of a chicken egg and stay fresher longer due to their thicker shell. Google them and see! I can’t wait to try them in my holiday baking projects (they say they are excellent in cakes!)
Back on Mendenhall, I found they make an excellent addition to a breakfast sandwich! You can certainly whip up this recipe with a chicken egg and pork bacon – but why not impress your friends, family, yourself and the dog (and from my estimates about 415 calories!)? Put the Massey Creek Farm Duck Egg Breakfast Sandwich on your holiday menu and impress!
Massey Creek Farm Duck Egg Sandwich
- 1 duck egg
- 1 slice turkey bacon
- 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 whole wheat english muffin, toasted
- cooking spray
In a large cast iron skillet, start to cook the slice of bacon. Add a large round cookie cutter to the pan and spray with a little cooking spray (Pam). Whisk the egg and add into the hot cookie cutter. Cook bacon and egg to your liking!
Meanwhile, toast the english muffin.
Add the cheese, egg and crispy bacon to the english muffin. Enjoy with coffee and orange juice!
I’m not sure things could be more nuts right now. But, I think it’s important to plan time for friends and fun. It can me easy and less expensive to do it at home too. Flatbreads are a favorite last-minute entertainment trick for me. They are versatile and really take no time to put together (with pantry items)!
This recipe is a little bit of splurge with truffle oil but consider it optional. Midtown Olive Oil at Friendly Center sells an affordable bottle and it will last you awhile. Consider it an investment to impress your friends!
Enjoy this seasonal recipe. It’s great with red wine and crisp apples or grapes!
Truffled Taleggio and Mushroom Pizza, from Gourmet Magazine
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
- 3/4 pound cold Taleggio or Italian Fontina, rind discarded and cheese sliced
- 1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
Put a large heavy baking sheet (17 by 14 inches) on lowest rack of oven, then preheat oven to 500°F.
Stretch out dough on a lightly floured surface, pulling on corners to form a roughly 16- by 13-inch rectangle. Transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper. Lightly prick dough all over with a fork.
Slide dough (still on parchment) onto hot baking sheet. Bake until top is puffed and pale golden in patches, 6 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven; prick any large bubbles with a fork and flatten. Scatter mushrooms over crust, then season with salt and pepper and lay cheese on top.
Bake pizza until edge of crust is deep golden and cheese is bubbling and golden in patches, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with truffle oil (if using) and season with pepper. Serve immediately.
Last night I hosted some special food and wine loving friends over for a casual Sunday supper. And these folks were worth pulling out some stops for. I put together a menu of small dishes (that in reality were not that small) of Italian savory bites. Roasted tomato crostini, pan roasted lemon shrimp, fried cauliflower zeppoli, dry pickled cucumber salad and these most delicious grilled pancetta wrapped asparagus. Oh, and the most perfect almond cake.
I think this dish was my favorite out of all. Don’t be shocked by it’s simplicity. Get grilling.
Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette from Food & Wine Magazine
- 2 pounds medium asparagus
- 1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve.
Wouldn’t this Goat Cheese Torte be absolutely beautiful if I was more patient and precisely layered each ingredient together while assembling? It would – but this less than beautiful one was just as tasty.
Using extra ingredients from the pantry and garden, I made several components of this torte before heading up to the mountains. Once there, during the beginning of cocktail hour, I assembled and refrigerated this torte. It’s very savory and pairs really well with crackers and vegetables.
This is an impressive starter to share with guests. Enjoy it during football season and get creative.
Goat Cheese Torte
- 8 ounce log of local (Goat Lady Dairy) goat cheese
- 16 ounces, cream cheese
- 1 cup, homemade summer basil pesto
- 1 cup, homemade tapenade
- 1 small jar, sundried tomatoes, minced in the food processor
Line the inside of a large glass bowl with plastic wrap. In a stand up mixer, whip together goat cheese and cream cheese. Layer cheese, then pesto, then cheese, then tapenade, then cheese then tomato mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Once chilled, flip onto a platter and serve with crackers and crudite.
It’s a good thing white jeans are out for the season because this Labor Day resulted in a little red wine spillage. I’m just back from another summer holiday at Overlook Lodge with friends. This weekend was no exception to our typical mountain mayhem including overextended cocktail hours and culinary indulgences. Over two nights, we prepared a variety of delicious dishes including this fresh no-cook summer gazpacho with fruits, fresh crab and avocado. My mom sent me this recipe several weeks ago with a “must make” recommendation. She was right (duh). This recipe paired perfectly with grilled steaks but would work perfectly for a nice lunch with tasty sandwiches. Save it for your end of season parties or flag the recipe for next year. It is different than your average tomato gazpacho with an interesting kick of fruits (peaches, strawberries AND watermelon!). So fresh and light – with a nice vinegary kick of seafood.
More recipes for appetizers, grilled meats and fig sauces to come!
Southern Living’s Summer Gazpacho
- 1 medium-size red heirloom tomato
- 1 cup diced seedless watermelon
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 Kirby cucumber, diced
- 1 cup diced peaches
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cut tomato in half; gently squeeze to remove seeds. Discard seeds, and chop tomato. Combine tomato and next 12 ingredients in a large pitcher. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, prepare Avocado West Indies Salad. Spoon gazpacho into bowls. Top with Avocado West Indies Salad
Avocado West Indies Salad
- 1medium avocado, chopped
- 8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat, drained
- 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons, chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons, apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Gently stir together avocado, crabmeat, onion, basil, vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours.
Last week I held a small birthday party in honor of my dear friend Jamey. We’ve been celebrating Jamey’s birthday over the years with fantastic parties at their mountain house in Deep Gap. This year we were all too busy to break away but couldn’t resist getting together for a nice meal and lots of rose wine.
I love hosting birthday parties – a special occasion to cook something special for a friend, an excuse to go a little over-the-top and set a beautiful table with lots of color and fresh flowers (I’m loving hydrangeas right now from my garden!). The over-the-top part of Jamey’s birthday menu was the Fried Green Tomato Stacks.
Fried green tomatoes are really only permitted once a year but are an amazing treat to surprise friends with. I use a simple recipe of buttermilk, eggs, cornmeal, flour and garlic powder. And fry in a mix of canola oil and butter. The recipe is from Garden & Gun Magazine but I scale back the frying proportions dramitcally for the sake of all mental and physical health. This recipe is incredible and worth all the mess. I served the green tomatoes stacked between a smear of pimento cheese and a sliver of super hot fire-roasted jalapenos (a big kick!). You could easily replace the jalapeno for fresh basil.
Tis the season for this treat – so hop on it this holiday!
Fried Green Tomato Stacks
- Garden and Gun ACME Fried Green Tomatoes
- Your favorite pimento cheese. The Fresh Market and My Three Sons make great store bought and I love homemade too.
- Basil or fire-roasted jalapeno (I made my own by charring fresh jalepeno on the gas burner and then steaming in a paper bag)
Yesterday, someone asked me how in the world I hosted a party on Saturday night after such a crazy week of work. The truth is, the menu couldn’t have been easier. Especially considering I cheated with the guacamole dip! I purchased ready-made guacamole from The Fresh Market, added olive-bar roasted red peppers and cooked crispy turkey bacon. Done and Done. With blue corn chips and Ginger-Raspberry Margaritas – I looked like a pro. Highly recommended!
Here are too very garlicky recipes that take no time to prepare – and folks will go wild for them! The trick is to roast both of them while guests are beginning to arrive. The aroma is pretty incredible and they will want to dive in with bread, big glasses of wine and their finger tips!
These two dishes pair extremely well with the other dishes from my Spanish Tapas night. And, these are the only two that require much cooking!
Garlicky Roasted Chorizo & Shrimp (serves a crowd – reduce shrimp quantity for smaller groups – but never reduce the chorizo!
- one packaged, dry-cured chorizo – I used Palacios Imported that is available at The Fresh Market
- 2 pounds, pealed and deveined shrimp
- 4 or 5 cloves of fresh garlic, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a large oven proof ceramic dish, throw in sliced chorizo and garlic. Over with olive oil – a bit generously. Roast at 425 degrees until fragrant and chorizo is beginning to get crispy. Toss in shrimp and stir well. Season generously like salt and pepper. Roast until shrimp are cooked to your preference – this will not take long!! Serve immediately while hot and delicious!
Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms from Gourmet.com and Smitten Kitchen
- 1 pound mushrooms such as cremini or white, halved lengthwise if large
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a 1 1/2- to 2-qt shallow baking dish. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden and bubbly garlic sauce forms below, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately.
The best thing about our Spanish Tapas Night was the ease of preparation! When you aren’t worrying about getting food out at the right temperature – you can really enjoy yourself! These dishes don’t even need recipes. Here are some ideas for an simple menu for noshing over good Spanish wine!
- Spanish Marcona Almonds with Fresh Thyme
- Spanish Don Julian Manchego and Fiorucci Pre-Sliced Serrano Ham
- Dates Pitted and Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Almonds
- Blanched Asparagus dressed with Lemon Vinaigrette and Hardboiled Eggs
- Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with a Mixture of Goat Cheese, Fresh Mint, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice and Piquillo Pepper Vinegar