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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Have Fun With Your Food

I love making frittatas. They are easy and flexible and you can make them with whatever you have in your fridge. If we have guests staying at our inn who have dietary issues, it is easy to make these little individual servings and alter the add-ins to accommodate any .restrictions a guest might have.

The thing I like most is that you can really have fun making these little frittatas. I like experimenting with herbs, spices, veggies, and meats. This is one of the frittatas that I like to make. I use a muffin-top pan with six sections. Each section makes one frittata. You can even make them all different of you like. Have fun with your food!

Individual Frittatas with a Mexican Flair

Makes 6 individual servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Frittatas are baked in a muffin-top pan.

Ingredients
yellow egg fritattas in a blue baking tin
Baked Frittatas in a Muffin-top baking tin
7 eggs
3/4 cup half & half
4 ounces pancetta
3 tablespoons diced onion
1 cup diced red and yellow peppers
6 tablespoons Pepper Jack cheese
1 cup frozen cubed potatoes, thawed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Taco Seasoning ( I use Trader Joe's)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon butter
Salsa & sour cream

Cook the pancetta until brown, remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Remove some of the grease from the pan, but not all. Add the butter and sauté  the onions and peppers. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Add potatoes to the same pan, salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with taco seasoning.

Spray the muffin-top pan with Pam and sprinkle the bottom with some of the cheese. Sprinkle each section with onions, pancetta, peppers, and potatoes. Beat the eggs with salt, lemon pepper, onion
powder, garlic powder, and half & half. Pour mixture in each of the muffin-top sections. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set. Let cool and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Note: I like to serve these with a dollop of salsa and sour cream with a bit of minced parsley or cilantro sprinkled on top. These are great with corn muffins.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Enjoy This Roasted Veggie Frittata Recipe

A really quick and easy breakfast dish is a frittata. A frittata is defined as an "unfolded omelet containing vegetables and/or meat". This recipe is one that I use for breakfast at our inn. I like it because the prep time is short and while it is baking in the oven, I can prepare my fruit course. It bakes at the same temperature as muffins so my oven can do double duty in the mornings. I also use Trader Joe's Roasted Peppers and Onions. For an innkeeper, every little bit of time saved is a blessing.

 You can put just about anything you like in a frittata. Most cooks like to make it in a frying pan on top of the stove and then pop it into the oven on broil for the last couple of minutes cooking time. I find it much more to my liking to layer the ingredients in an oven-safe dish and then pour the beaten eggs over them and pop the dish in the oven to cook.

You can really be creative with frittatas. If you want to stick to the Italian method of cooking them, you would not include milk or cream in your ingredients and would have a flatter frittata. I sometimes like to add a bit of milk or lite cream because it causes the frittata to fluff up nicely. When it is done, the red and green peppers make it look very festive and beautiful.


Roasted Veggie Frittata
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Thaw 1/2 bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Peppers and Onions

In an 8-inch square baking dish that has been spayed with cooking spray, layer the following:
-1/2 bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Peppers and Onions (you can roast your own the day before),
-Torn fresh basil leaves ( I like a lot but use the amount you like).

Whip 6 eggs with lemon pepper, sea salt, a pinch of onion powder, a pinch of garlic powder, a pinch of nutmeg, and about a quarter cup of light cream. Pour over veggies and basil. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese of your choice ( I use a blend of Gruyere and Swiss). Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until set. Remove and cool for about 5 minutes.

I then cut the frittata into 4 triangles. I serve each guest 1 triangle of frittata with herbed tomatoes (recipe on this blog) and 2 mini muffins. This makes a wonderful, light and healthy breakfast.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mexicali Fritata Recipe

 One of my favorite things to make is a frittata. They are easy and you can be very creative with your ingredients. Guests at our bed and breakfast always seem to enjoy them, which really makes me happy.

I love Mexican food and when sisters Nadine and Sandy, who visit our inn often, told me they loved it too, I decided to see if I could come up with a recipe for a frittata that they and their husbands would enjoy. I have been serving this now for a couple of years and I want to share it with you.

When I make this, I use 2 glass, 8 x 8 dishes because it bakes quicker and more evenly than using a larger dish. If I am serving 10 guests for breakfast, I use 3 dishes.

Jan’s Mexicali Frittata

Serves 8
10 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
Lemon pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Chopped fresh cilantro
Dollop low fat or fat-free sour cream
4 small shallots, sliced
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup roasted corn kernels, Trader Joe’s frozen-thawed and drained
2 small cans mild green chilies, drained
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, cut in small pieces
1 cup milk or Sour Cream
Mexican cheese blend with spices (about a cup – more if you like real cheesy)
4 small corn tortillas

Topping:  1 cup sour cream, 1 cup salsa, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 2 square baking dishes liberally with cooking spray.  Put a light layer of the cheese blend on the bottom of the dish. Cut tortillas in half and cover bottom of baking dishes.  Layer shallots, black beans, roasted corn, chilies, cilantro, cheese blend, and sundried tomatoes.  Whip eggs with onion powder, garlic powder, small amount of low fat sour cream, sea salt, lemon pepper, and milk. Add parsley and cilantro.  Pour egg mixture evenly over layered veggies.  Finish off with another light layer of cheese blend.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until set. Cool for 5 minutes, cut into triangles or squares.
Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, and sprinkle with cilantro and parsley.

This dish is great served warm or at room temperature. For breakfast, I love to serve this with chunks of peach & chipotle chicken sausage and pineapple that have been skewered and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. Yum, yum.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Morning Muffins

I like to serve a really delicious but healthy breakfast to guests who are staying at our Sandwich bed and breakfast. I am always experimenting with recipes that I have found online or in magazines in an effort to have food that is low in fat and sugar without sacrificing flavor and texture. More often than not I wind up developing my own recipes in order to meet these requirements.

I wanted a muffin recipe that was low in sugar and healthy. I have tried a lot of muffin recipes that I found online or in magazines and didn’t really find anything that suited my needs. After experimenting with whole grain flours, with fruits to add for sweetness, and the right combination of spices, I finally had a muffin that worked for me. There are a lot of ingredients in these muffins and it takes some time to make them, but I think they are well worth the effort. I make these muffing the evening before I want to serve them because they really need to set in an enclosed container for a few hours to reach their peak sweetness. They are just not as good right out of the oven as they are after a few hours.

Good Morning Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour       
1 cup oar bran               
¼ cup Splenda               
1 tablespoon baking powder       
2 teaspoons baking soda       
½ teaspoon salt           
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spices   
1 teaspoon cinnamon           
1 can  pumpkin                   
2 eggs, slight beaten           
¼ cup canola oil       
½ cup orange juice           
1 apple, pealed and chopped       
½  cup chopped walnuts
 ½ cup raisins       
½ cup dried cranberries
 2 tablespoons honey               

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, Splenda, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a smaller bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, the canola oil, and the eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in apple, raisins, cranberries, nuts and honey. Spray muffin tin with Pam. Fill tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The muffins are done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out dry. Place muffins on cooling rack. When they are just warm to the touch, place in an air tight container with half an apple, quartered. Close container and let sit overnight. Serve warmed or at room temperature.

These muffins are so hearty and delicious. They are very dense and will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. They really do get better each day. Putting the apple into the container with them will keep them moist. I rub the apple with a slice of lemon to keep it from turning brown but it isn’t really necessary.

Note: If you want to leave the Splenda out, these muffins will still be delicious. You can also substitute the Splenda for Stevia or Agave Nectar.
 Enjoy!

 Jan Preus, Innkeeper, Chef, and Artist in Residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, MA

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Italian Fritata

I love making frittatas for breakfast because they are easy to make and very versatile. I enjoy making this Italian frittata for guests at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast because it is not only healthy and delicious, it is colorful and beautiful when it is served.

A frittata is really just a flat omelet that is baked in the oven. Some people start them on the top of the stove in a large skillet and then finish them off in the oven. I prefer to put all the ingredients into a baking dish and bake it in the oven. That just seems to work better for me when I am making breakfast for any number of people. I do prepare two smaller dishes rather than one larger one because they bake in less time and I am sure of having them bake all the way through.

This recipe serves 4. You can use many types of vegetables in the frittata, you just need to make sure they don’t release too much liquid. Roasted vegetables are wonderful in this. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the frittata. You want it to cook through so that the eggs are set and do not ooze or jiggle.

 
Ingredients
4 shallots peeled and sliced into thin slices,
1 cup baby bella (brown) mushrooms, sliced,
4 small tomatoes ( I use Campari or Roma tomatoes) sliced and seeded,
1 cup fresh Spinach loosely packed,
4 to 6 large fresh basil leaves, torn,
6 to 8 eggs, depending on the size of the eggs,
Lemon pepper (I use Trader Joe’s blend) to taste ( about ½ teaspoon),
Sea salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon),
¼ to ½ cup cheese,
1 Tbls. Olive Oil,
1 Tbls. cold water,


Slice the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and drain on paper towels. This can be done ahead. In a small skillet at medium temperature heat olive oil. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add cold water to caramelize. When done,  remove from skillet and set aside to cool. Use the same warm skillet to cook mushrooms just until they release their juices. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (I use canola oil or olive oil spray). Layer the shallots, mushrooms, spinach, basil leaves, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheese over the layered vegetables. (You may do 2 layers like this if you would like a thicker frittata.) Beat eggs with sea salt and lemon pepper and pour evenly over vegetables. (Vegetables may not be completely covered.) Bake until set. Take out of oven and let set for about 5 minutes before serving. It is ok if it sets longer as this is also good at room temperature. Cut into portions and serve.

We serve this frittata with turkey sausage or bacon and either potato gratin or mini-muffins….Enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe For Cool Summer Melon

On a warm summer morning, what is more refreshing than chilled, fresh melon? Weather permitting we like to serve breakfast al fresco. At our Sandwich Bed and Breakfast, we have a lovely patio with umbrella-covered tables where guests enjoy sitting outdoors to dine in full view of goldfinches having their early morning thistle seeds, the dish-plate sized hibiscus blossoms in full bloom, and the blue hydrangeas that are so prevalent on Cape Cod.

I like using a variety of melons in this fruit dish. Most grocery stores carry cantaloupe, watermelon, Crenshaw, and honeydew melons.  In some areas of the country, you may find other seasonal varieties.  The more different colors you use, the more colorful this dish will be. I use a melon-baller to cut perfect small melon balls. Most melon-ballers come with two different sized balling tools. I like to use the smaller one but the larger will work just as well. I then toss the melon balls with a little bit of honey. I think the honey really brings out the taste of the melon.

I serve the melon balls in crystal compote with a topping of plain Greek yogurt whipped with a little bit of lemon curd and with a dollop of lemon curd on top. I use 2% Fage (pronounced Fa-yeh) as I find fat free yogurt to be a little bit chalky tasting. I also prefer sweetening yogurt myself so that I know what is in it. I also use Trader Joe’s Lemon Curd. It is really beautiful. I chill it before using it.

Melon Balls with Greek Yogurt and Lemon Curd
4 Servings
½ Small Cantaloupe
½ Honeydew Melon
1 small slice seedless watermelon
A drizzle of honey
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 to 4 tablespoons lemon curd
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Ball the melons using the small end of the melon-baller. Drizzle with a little bit of honey and toss together. Whip the lemon curd and lemon zest into the Greek yogurt and store in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Place the melon balls into a fruit compote or bowl and top with the yogurt. Put a dollop of lemon curd on the top.

Option: You can sprinkle with blueberries or cranberries for more color. The yogurt and lemon curd topping also works really well with berries.

If you have lots of people coming for breakfast, brunch, or are using this as dessert with dinner, you can cut the melon balls the night before and mix the topping and just store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. You family and friends will love melon served this way.  Enjoy!

Jan Preus, Innkeeper, Chef, and Artist in Residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, MA

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cape Cod Bananas

Breakfast at our Sandwich Bed and Breakfast always includes fresh fruit served in crystal compote. I enjoy experimenting with different ways to serve fresh fruit. Summer is really wonderful because of all the seasonal fruits that are available. Fall offers an abundance of fresh apples. Winter is a bit more challenging but, with today’s growing technology, quite a variety of fruit is always available.

I like including cranberries in fruit dishes because they are grown in bogs on Cape Cod. They are the ingredient for which this dish is named. Sometimes when guests remark that they didn’t know bananas grew on Cape Cod, Charlie jokingly tells them that we grow the bananas in the back yard.

The cranberries I like to use in this dish I get at Trader Joe's. They are orange flavored cranberries and I think they add another layer of flavor to this delicious dish. However, you can use any kind of dried cranberry.

For the topping, I use low-fat Daisy sour cream, but any kind will do. It is best to use one with a small amount of fat as the fat-free is a bit chalky tasting. I have also tried to use yogurt instead. Regular yogurt does not hold up to having honey whipped into it as well as Greek yogurt does. Again, use low-fat instead of fat-free. You can also use half sour cream and half Greek yogurt. That works quiet well. After you have made this dish a few times, you will be able to judge just how much honey and orange juice you like in the topping.

This is a wonderful, healthy dish that can stand alone for breakfast, lunch, or a snack. I use small servings of it for breakfast at the Inn because we follow Cape Cod Bananas with an egg dish.

Topping

½ cup low-fat sour cream,
2 Tbls. honey (or more if desired),
1 Tbls. orange juice (I use fresh squeezed),
½ tsp grated orange peel – optional.

Mix well, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight. (This is still good if you do it the morning you want to serve it and it will hold in the fridge several days.)

You will need:
1 banana per person,
Orange chunks ( I slice oranges in ½ inch discs, then remove the peel and cut into chunks.)
Dried Cranberries,
Granola – I use Cascadian Farms Organic Honey Oat Granola.


In the morning:

Slice half a banana into each serving dish and put in some of the orange chunks and a few cranberries. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the topping over the banana-orange mixture. Sprinkle with a small amount of granola. Add the rest of the banana, a few chunks of orange, and a few cranberries. Add another tablespoon of the topping and Sprinkle with granola.  Top with a few cranberries. Serve immediately so that the granola does not get soggy.

I hope you will try this dish and then experiment with it to make it your own…Enjoy!


Jan Preus, Innkeeper, Chef, and Artist in Residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, 118 Tupper Road, Sandwich, Cape Cod, MA