March 2018 - Spring Brunch

Spring Vegetable & Feta Frittata

Yield:  8 servings

Ingredients:

3-4 Tbl. olive oil

½ bunch asparagus (about ½ lb.)

10 large farm eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream, half & half, or whole milk

2 Tbl. chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, dill, chives, tarragon)

½ tsp. kosher salt plus more to taste

¼ tsp. cracked black pepper plus more to taste

2 c. packed baby spinach (or chopped kale, chard, mustard greens, arugula)

¾ c. cheese, diced/crumbled/or dollops (can use firm cheeses such as fontina, cheddar, Havarti, swiss or soft cheeses such as goat cheese, feta, marscapone, ricotta)

2 Tbl. grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450.  Trim the tough ends from the asparagus and use a vegetable peeler to shave the stalks into ribbons (easiest to do this while lying flat on a cutting board).  Set the ribbons aside.  In a large bowl combine the eggs, cream, herbs, and measured amounts of salt and pepper, and whisk for 1 full minute to incorporate.  Brush a 10” ovenproof skillet (non-stick if you have it) with olive oil and preheat the pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbl. olive oil to the pan along with the shaved asparagus, season with salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Transfer one-third of the asparagus to a plate and add the spinach to the remaining asparagus in the skillet, cooking for one minute until wilted.  Reduce the heat to low and spread the vegetables evenly over the bottom of the skillet.  Pour in the egg mixture, shake the pan gently and scatter the cheese over the top.  Add the reserved asparagus and cook the frittata over low heat until the bottom and sides just begin to set, about 8 minutes.  Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and place the pan in the top half of the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes or until the center is just set and frittata is puffy and golden.  Remove from the oven and slide frittata onto a cutting board or platter.  Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Variations

This base recipe can be made with any vegetable during the growing season, pre-cooking vegetables as needed (tomatoes & herbs an exception).  Cooked meats such as ham, bacon or sausage can be also added.  A good rule of thumb is to use 3 cups in total of veggies and/or meat for the above recipe.

Lemon-Berry Yogurt Muffins

Yield:  12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

2/3 c. vegetable oil

1 1/3 c. sugar

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

¾ c. plain yogurt (low or non-fat work as well)

¾ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. baking powder

2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour

1 ½ c. total fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mix)

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large bowl combine the eggs, oil, sugar, lemon zest and juice and whisk by hand for 1-2 minutes or until light in volume and color.  Add the yogurt and whisk until well blended.  Add the baking soda, baking powder, and flour, and stir until wet and dry ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth (though careful to overmix).  Fold in the berries and divide the batter evenly into a greased muffin tin lined with paper cups.  Bake muffins for28-32 minutes or just until no longer wet when tested in the center.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Variations:

-These muffins can be prepared, scooped into pan, and frozen raw.  Bake muffins frozen (no thawing), and allow a few additional minutes baking time.

-If desired, muffins can be drizzled with glaze made of confectioner’s sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

- Berries can be omitted and plain muffins filled with lemon curd piped in with a pastry bag, poking a hole through the tope of muffin into the center.

Candied Maple & Black Pepper Bacon

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 lb. good quality thick-cut bacon* (preferably hard-wood smoked)

1/3 c. pure local maple syrup

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Coarse-cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325. Whisk together the maple syrup and mustard in a shallow dish and set aside. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 22-25 minutes or until the bacon is two-thirds cooked (note….this time will vary depending on thickness*). Remove from the oven, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and dry thoroughly. Wipe all the fat from the baking sheet so that it can be used again and increase the oven temperature to 400. Dredge the partially cooked bacon in the maple syrup mixture, coating completely before placing the pieces back onto the baking sheet. Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning half way through and basting frequently with extra maple mixture until the bacon is fully cooked, sticky and glazed. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle both sides of the bacon generously with cracked black pepper.  *Note: Alter the cooking time for thin-sliced bacon, partially cooking for only 17-20 minutes and then once glazed, for another 8-10 minutes.

 


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