Archive for the ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ Category

Greens and Gruyere Tart

May 6, 2018

It’s been a heck of a busy weekend here.  It’s the first full weekend I’ve been at home since March!  So, yesterday I put in most of the garden.  Not quite warm enough yet for beans and cowpeas.  You’ll be hearing plenty about the garden in the coming months.  Yesterday was outside, so today had to be inside.  Many hours of cleaning. SO tired.  I might have punted and had wine with cheese and crackers for dinner, but I’ve been planning for this tart for a while.

I had odds and ends of greens from last week – chard, leeks, green onions.  And for some time now I’ve been in a quest to find a use for the green tops of leeks.  It just kills me that most recipes only call for the whites.  I’ve been throwing away 2/3 of the leeks for years.  I hate that!  No more.  Now I know I can saute and eat them like other greens.  Win!  I also had some leek whites leftover so that was my starting place.

Honestly, when you search recipe sites for leeks, this is about the first thing that comes up on most of them.  Let me warn you.  It takes a long time from the time you start to the time you eat, even with a store bought crust, so plan accordingly.  Fortunately it’s not difficult and since it sits for 30 minutes after it’s cooked, it’s perfect for having people over.

I’ll do a separate post about cleaning leeks.  And you do have to clean them.  They’re filthy.  I mean actual mud in between the layers.  So be diligent about the cleaning.  No one likes a gritty meal.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pie crust – store bought or make your own
  • Assortment of chopped greens – shard, leek tops – about 4 cups
  • 1 leek and 2 green onions, whites and light greens only, chopped
  • 3 T fat/oil (bacon grease, olive oil, butter – or a combination)
  • 1 T flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C half and half
  • 1 C grated gruyere, divided
  • 1/4 t grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper

Here’s what you do:

For the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Place crust in pie pan
  • Prick crust with a fork
  • Line the bottom with parchment
  • Top with pie weights or dried beans
  • Bake 10 minutes
  • Remove weights and parchment
  • Prick crust again, bake another 5-7 minutes, until crust is done

For the filling (while the crust bakes)

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Grate gruyere, set aside
  • In a large, heavy pan, heat 2 T fat
  • Add leek tops and saute 7-8 minutes, until fairly soft
  • Add chard (or other soft greens) and saute another 3 minutes
  • Remove the greens from the pan and set aside to cool
  • Add 1 T fat and heat to a shimmer
  • Add leeks and green onions, saute 8-10 minutes

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  • Add 1 T flour, stir 1-2 minutes

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  • Remove from heat and set aside, mixing with greens
  • In a large bowl, beat 2 eggs
  • Add half and half, nutmeg, salt, and pepper
  • Whisk together

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  • Stir in greens and leeks

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  • Layer 1/2 the gruyere on the bottom of the crust

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  • Pour in filling, spread evenly

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  • Top with remaining cheese

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  • Bake at 375 30-35 minutes until center is set

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  • Remove from the oven and let sit another 20-30 minutes before serving

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Here’s how it turned out:

So good I ate two pieces!  Granted, this looks a lot more like brunch than a dinner after a weekend of killing yourself around the house and yard.  I’m shocked at how filling it is.  Only 2 eggs in the whole thing!  I threw together a little salad to have on the side.  A perfect brunch for guests to be sure, but I’ll be eating this for breakfast, lunch or dinner this week!

Try it with different greens or bacon or another hard, sharp cheese.  Serve it with grits or potatoes or fruit, in addition to a small salad.  Good warm and at room temperature.  Enjoy!

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Leftovers Make Tacos

January 8, 2018

I’ve been sitting on my couch for an hour talking myself out of ordering delivery something for dinner – pizza, Indian, Chinese, Thai, whatever.  You know how it goes.  There’s food in the house.  I’ve eaten the Pomegranate Beef a few times now, so I need a break from that.  I had lentil soup for lunch, so that’s out for dinner.  That leaves a basement freezer full of pumpkin soup, minestrone, white beans and greens soup, chili – are you getting the theme here?  Not interested in soup.  I’ve got some odds and ends in the fridge so let’s see what 5-10 minute meal we can make from those.

I’ve got eggs, feta, spinach, a little spaghetti sauce and tortillas.  The diced ham belongs to the dogs (not kidding) and it’s been a vegetarian day anyway.  I love eggs.  Quick, easy, and versatile.  What more could you want?  Beats the heck out of peanut butter and jelly on a cold and rainy night.  And leans toward the healthy too.

Two scrambled egg tacos coming up.  Here’s what you need:

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1 whole egg, 1 egg white, water

1/4 chopped fresh spinach

2 T diced feta

2 T spaghetti sauce

shaved parmesan

2 corn tortillas

I add a little water to my eggs when I’m mixing them to scramble.  It makes them fluffy.  And you really do just need an egg and an egg white to make 2 tacos.  Makes a darn good omelet too.

I’ve already stemmed my spinach.  I did the whole container the other night when I was stemming some for the beef.  Makes it easier to use later.  Most people will tell you this is an unnecessary step. True enough.  But it’s so much nicer if you do.  I don’t like the feel of the stems in my spinach, raw or cooked.  And I don’t like the way it looks.  I notice them when I go to restaurants.  I think it’s tacky.  That said, I may be the only person on the planet who bothers with this, so make your own call on this.  If you decide to do it, the easiest way is to put the container in the middle with a bowl on one side and a place to put the stems for trash on the other.  It goes quickly.

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I buy my feta in blocks stored in brine.  I found it at Wegmans.  I think it lasts longer that way.  And it gives me the flexibility to use slices or big chunks or tiny diced.  Again, make your own call.  Buy the crumbles if they’re on sale.  Buy the flavored if you like it.  But be very careful to read the label.  Never ever, ever get the fat free.  The container looks the same as the other.  It’s a horrible mistake to make.  I speak from experience.

Warm the tortillas so they’ll be soft enough to fold.  I do mine in the countertop oven. It’s really the only oven I use.  You can also use a toaster oven, a warm pan on the stove, or wrapped in damp paper towels in the microwave.

Split your eggs between the tortillas and top.  I had one with spinach and feta and one with spaghetti sauce and parmesan.  Both excellent.  Almost no prep and almost no clean up.  Delivery food avoided for today.

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Oh, and the extra egg yolk?  I cook it immediately and dice it up for the dogs to have with breakfast in the morning.  I have a very picky eater so they both get something special added to their food.  She’s a chow hound and needs nothing added, but you have to be fair!

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