Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2012

California Omelet

Been a busy weekend.  Enjoyed the day off today for Veteran's Day, but mainly tried to be as productive as possible catching up on all of the other odds and ends of life that I tend to ignore.  Car maintenance, house cleaning, taking about 1000 lbs of odds and ends to Goodwill, and so on.

I feel purged, caught up, and ready to take on the week.  Surprise - more travel.  Oh well - beggars can't be choosers.  The next few months will be filled with quite a few more exciting updates - from the food world, merchandise world, TV world, and so on.  Stay tuned - I'll be 'leaking' info here and there and along the way.

Nevertheless I did slow down a bit to enjoy a hearty breakfast after my morning run.  It was the perfect healthy and nutritious start I needed to get my day moving.  This omelet, along with some Community Coffee saved the day.  Enjoy!


California Omelet

1 Teaspoon EVOO
6  Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 Eggs, scrambled
1 Pinch Salt
1 Pinch Black Pepper
2 oz Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1/4 Ripe Avocado, sliced

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat; add tomatoes.  Cook tomatoes for 1-2 minutes; add eggs.  Gently lift cooked portions off egg of the bottom of the pan while tilting the pan to allow the runny portions to reach the heat - do not scramble.  Once egg mixture is set, quickly flip entire egg mass in pan.  Cook for one more minute, add cheese to one side, fold, and plate.  Top with sliced avocado.  Serve.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Season's Eatings

I was happy to partner up with a new fantastic magazine, The Local Palate, to create Mother's Day and Father's Day menus for their Season's Eatings feature.  If you haven't seen this magazine - immediately go to their website.  Like, RIGHT NOW!

Better yet, they offer an issue free of charge - get it!

Full text and recipes below.

Seasons Eating’s
by Matt Moore

Mothers Day + Fathers Day.  Quite frankly, most moms and dads just want a “day off day”. 
With the holidays rapidly approaching, I thought I’d lend a helping hand to all those parents and kids seeking new and creative ways to show appreciation to moms and dads everywhere.  Instead of wasting money on a gift that may or may not suit one’s fancy, provide them with an experience that they’ll never forget.   I’m not talking about an afternoon at a crowded restaurant with a hundred other patrons.  Instead, get the kids involved, and surprise mom or dad with a laid-back family meal at home!

For all you dads - don’t fret gentleman. I’ve laid out a Mother’s Day brunch menu that will rival anything she’ll order at her favorite restaurant, yet it is simple enough for even the caveman cook to pull off.  The kids can even pitch in by doing some of the prep work, or surprising mom with a morning cocktail or cup of coffee in bed.  Don’t forget to let mom sleep in!

And ladies, let’s not forget about the men.  I’m serving up a creative take on meat and potatoes alongside a tasty slaw and fresh fruit dessert.  Of course, tossing in a cold beer or my classic brown derby cocktail will certainly up the ante and make dad feel not only relaxed and appreciated, but also like the true man of the house.
So, that’s that!  Follow my game plan on the big day to ensure a family oriented celebration that recognizes the true heroes of the household - mom and dad.

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Blood Orange Mimosa

1 Part Chilled Champagne or Italian Prosecco
1 Part Chilled Blood Orange Juice
Orange Peel Twist (garnish)

Combine chilled champagne and orange juice into a champagne flute, stir.  Garnish with twisted orange peel.

Spring Mix Salad - a light and simple salad to serve alongside the filling hash and frittata.

6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Honey
4 Cups Spring Mix Salad Blend
¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

In a serving bowl, combine oil, vinegar, and honey; whisk until combined.  Add greens, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Serve.

Cast-Iron Roasted Potato, Pepper, Onion Hash + Pancetta - an elegant play on traditional hash browns, these potatoes will add some heft, and bold flavors to this delectable meal.

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½ inch cubes
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
½ Red Bell Pepper, diced
½ Green Bell Pepper, diced
½ Yellow Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
¼ lb Pancetta, cut into ¼ inch cubes

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.  Add oil and potatoes to a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat; season liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Pan fry the potatoes, stirring on occasion for 6 - 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.  Next, add the remaining ingredients and continue to sauté until vegetables are just tender and pancetta begins to render fat and brown.  Finally, add skillet to oven and roast for 25 - 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and fork tender.  Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and serve.

Fresh Mozzarella + Sundried Tomato + Pesto Frittata - think of a frittata as a baked omelet.  Simple in form, and quite versatile, this Italian egg dish makes for easy entertaining.  I have further simplified this recipe by using a pre-prepared pesto.  Of course, should you choose to be more adventurous, you can always make your own pesto at home.  I find it best to use an oven proof, non-stick 10 or 12 inch skillet when preparing frittata’ - a well seasoned cast-iron skillet also works very well.

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
¼ lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Sundried Tomatoes, julienned
4 Teaspoons Pesto

Set the oven to broil, placing the rack in the middle of the oven.  Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil to a skillet over medium high heat.  Beat the eggs thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.  Pour eggs into skillet and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Cook 3 - 4 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.  Next, evenly top with mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes, and pesto.  Finally, place the skillet into the oven for 2 - 3 minutes, until the frittata is lightly browned and fluffy.  Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.  Cut into even pie-shaped portions and serve.

Father’s Day Menu

The Brown Derby - A fashionable take on a true classic, this drink was once the De Rigueur cocktail for the glamorous Hollywood crowd of the 1930’s.  The bourbon, combined with sweet honey and grapefruit will compliment any savory meal.

1 Part Kentucky Bourbon
1 Part Grapefruit Juice
1 Teaspoon Clover Honey

Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake well for 30 seconds.  Pour into a cocktail glass over ice.  Serve.

Red Cabbage + Chive + Blue Cheese Slaw- a colorful and delicious slaw, this version skips out on the unhealthy mayo without losing any flavor.  It’s best to prepare this at least an hour in advance, keeping covered in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld, before serving.

5 Cups Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
¾ Cup Chives, sliced every inch on the bias
½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Add the first three ingredients into a large serving bowl.  Next, whisk together the remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the cabbage and toss until evenly distributed.  Cover, and keep in the fridge for at least one hour prior to serving.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cajun Roasted Steak Fries - a no-fuss, non-fried version of an American favorite.  The Cajun seasoning adds a kick of spice and flavor to set these fries over the top!
2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cajun Blackening Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Meanwhile, wash and scrub potatoes.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and then quarter each half to create 16 wedge fries per potato.  Rinse cut potatoes under cold running water and pat dry.  Arrange potatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and Cajun seasoning.  Toss until well combined and arrange into a single layer, careful not to overcrowd.  Add pan to oven and roast for 45 - 50 minutes uncovered, shaking the pan and flipping the fries on occasion to brown on all sides.  Serve warm with ketchup or basil-balsamic mayo.

Bistro Skirt Steak Sandwiches + Caramelized Onion + Basil-Balsamic Mayo - even with such a complicated name, this recipe couldn’t be easier.  However, don’t let the ease of this recipe fool you, as it boasts tons of flavors.  Follow my step-by-step instructions for this delicious and hearty favorite.

Bistro Skirt Steak Sandwiches
4 French Hamburger Buns
2 lbs Skirt Steak
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Caramelized Onions (see below)
Basil-Balsamic Mayo (see below)

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.  Slice buns and cook cut side down over direct heat until slightly charred and toasted.  Meanwhile, coat the skirt steak in oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add the steaks to the grill over direct heat and cook for 2 - 3 minutes on each side for medium rare/medium (depending on the thickness).  Remove steaks from grill, allowing them to rest for 4 - 5 minutes before slicing.  Next, thinly slice the steaks on the bias and across the grain ever ¼ inch or so.  Pile the sliced steak high on the bottom side of the bun, while generously coating the top side of the bun with the mayo and onions.  Top off the sandwich and serve immediately. 

Caramelized Onions
2 Large Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Add ingredients into a skillet over medium low heat.  Cook onions for 25 - 35 minutes, stirring often until browned and tender.  

Basil-Balsamic Mayo
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Clove garlic, finely minced
¼ Cup Fresh Basil, julienned
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Wisk together ingredients into a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Blueberry + Peach Granola Crisp - a simplified version of a classic cobbler, chock full of fresh peaches and blueberries. 

Fruit Mixture
3 Ripe Peaches, pitted, peeled, and sliced
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries, washed
½ Lemon, juiced
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Cup Granola
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
4 Tablespoons Cold Butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Toss the fruit mixture together into a greased cooking pan until evenly combined.  Next, add the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl, cutting the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a course crumble.  Spread the topping over the top of the fruit mixture and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until browned and crispy.  Cool slightly before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Country Ham + Egg + Pesto Breakfast Sandwich

 Last week, I came clean on taking a kitchen shortcut by utilizing store bought pesto to create my killer pesto + shrimp pasta (see prior post below).  Based on your overwhelmingly positive responses, it seems that taking my shortcut wasn't such a bad thing after all.

Well, I had some pesto leftover, and you know how I feel about eating the same thing two days in a row.  Hmm, what to do.

Inspired from a sandwich I once had at PEI's Casa Mia Cafe, I took matters into my own hands - Southern style.

You see, we Southerners certainly love our pork.  Whether it's in the form of bacon, belly, chop, loin, or pulled - it truly is the 'meat of the gods'.  That's why I always keep a hock of salt cured country ham in my fridge.  Whether to serve hot off the griddle, or as a base in stocks, greens, or risotto's - it's one of my favorite 'go-to' ingredients.

Of course, when it came time for a 'breakfast on the go' - I started perusing my fridge and pantry for anything I could find.  A ciabatta roll, a few eggs, a slice of ham, some sharp Wisconsin white cheddar, and . . . you guessed it - that leftover pesto!

My creation, served hot and wrapped up in parchment paper was the perfect way to start a 6 hour road trip to visit family in MS.

Take note that I prefer not to melt the cheese prior to assembling this sandwich.  Instead, I find that sliced thin, and just slightly melted from the heat of the toasted bun, this cheese really pushes through a nice nutty flavor, and sharp bite.  Do as you wish - melted or not melted - this sandwich is still delicious.

Country Ham + Egg + Pesto Breakfast Sandwich

1 Ciabatta roll, sliced in half and toasted
2 Tablespoons Pesto, prepared

Wisconsin Sharp White Cheddar, thinly sliced
1 Slice Country Ham, pan fried/grilled
2 Eggs, Scrambled

Toast bread, smear with pesto and top with cheddar.

Top with pan fried Country Ham

Next add freshly scrambled eggs
Top off and serve!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cajun Fried Eggs

Thus far, winter has been pretty mild here in Nashville.  Maybe that Al Gore character is on to something.  Maybe not.  This is the internet, right Al?

Anywho, I must confess I still have been enjoying my mornings with a hot breakfast and cup of coffee - regardless if it's 60 degrees in the morning.

With that said, the daily routine of eggs (a staple in my diet) sometimes needs a kick.

A few dashes of hot sauce, some Tony's seasoning, and green onions transform the simple fried egg into a walk on Bourbon Street.  Give this a try - and kick it up a notch!

Cajun Fried Eggs
1 Tablespoon EVOO
3 Large Eggs
1/8 Teaspoon Tony's Creole Seasoning
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Green Onion Tops, sliced

Preheat a non-stick stick skillet over medium high heat; add oil.  Crack 3 eggs into a skillet and cook undisturbed for 2 - 3 minutes, or until yolks reach your desired preference.  Season eggs with creole seasoning, and add a few dashes of hot sauce.  To finish, sprinkle the eggs with sliced green onion.  Serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turkey, Green Onion, White Cheddar Omelet

Life is returning back to normal this week.  After much excitement, I can say that all of the wheels are back in motion to make 2012 an even better year than last.  I'm off to a good start!

Creatively, I tend to work my best in the mornings.  I typically can accomplish twice as much between the hours of 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. as I can the rest of the day.  That is of course, assuming I'm not trying to get over last night's cocktails.  Those mornings typically turn out less productive than I'd like.  Otherwise, I tend to come up with most of my wild ideas while pounding the pavement on long runs around Nashville.  Hey, to each his own, right?

Anyways, I'm wanting to start this year off right by getting back to the basics, personally and creatively.  Of course, I've advocated for a long time that starting the day off right begins with eating a healthy breakfast.  Towards the end of last year, I wrote a post on "How to Make Better Eggs" for my pal Brett over at The Art of Manliness.  Contrary to popular belief - most people don't know how to make great eggs.  Yet . . . they want to know how.  That post turned out to be one of my most popular posts in my series of Kitchen Fundamentals.

So, in light of this month's upcoming posts, I've been pretty busy making omelets.  I wanted to share one of my favorites that's not part of my AofM series coming out later this month.

More importantly - it feels good to be back in the kitchen!


Ingredients for my Turkey, Green Onion, White Cheddar Omelet

Turkey, Green Onion, White Cheddar Omelet

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 Cracked Pepper Deli Sliced Turkey, finely diced
2 Tablespoons Green Onion, finely diced
3 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
¼ Cup Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese, grated

Preheat a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat; add and melt butter.  Add the turkey and slightly brown for 1
- 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together eggs until frothy and combined and season liberally with salt and pepper, mix in sliced green onions.  Add egg mixture to pan and cook undisturbed for 45 - 60 seconds.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula, carefully lift the cooked portions from the bottom of the pan while tilting the pan to allow the runny portions to reach the hot surface.  When the majority of the eggs have set, and with the top portion still moist, carefully flip the omelet over using a spatula - or score some bonus points - by using a quick back and forth motion, flip the omelet in the pan by using gravity and the lip of the pan (Note:  you might want to do this over the sink on the first try).  Assemble cheese on one side of the omelet and cook the underside for another 45 - 60 seconds.  Finally, serve the omelet out of the pan, folding over the other side as you plate to melt the cheese and finish the presentation.  Serve.

Ingredients in the pan - Work and set the eggs another minute before flipping.                                

Voila - breakfast is served.  I like to add A LOT of green onions - sweet, mild, and delicious - not to mention color!
Let us not forget a warm cup of Don Francisco's Hazelnut Coffee.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Greek Breakfast

It's a beautiful Saturday morning in Nashville.  Thanks to construction across the street, I'm up unusually early - the sound of saws, hammers, and workers screaming at each other just isn't very conducive to sleeping in - oh well.

Last night was a relaxed evening anyways.  I finally got around to seeing Woody Allen's new film, Midnight in Paris - it was underwhelming.  

So I decided to pick things up this morning with a great breakfast.  After strolling down to the Nashville Farmers market, I scored some fresh tomatoes, greek oregano, farm fresh eggs, local feta, and some pork sausage to round out the rest of my Greek inspired meal.  

After brewing a cup of Don Francisco's hazelnut coffee - I went to work.

Slicing the tomatoes - lightly seasoned with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil - all topped off with some fresh oregano leaves.

After that, I simply seared the sausage in my cast iron pan, scrambled up some eggs - topped with feta - and there you have it - breakfast is served.

Time to hit the gym - and get started on the next course.  Hmm - what to make today to help cheer on the Dawgs vs LSU.  Time will tell.



Monday, October 31, 2011

Making Better Eggs

My post on making better eggs debuted last week on The Art of Manliness - quite frankly, it was one of my most popular posts ever - guess there is a lot of interest out there surrounding the world of breakfast - no matter what those publishers say in NYC!  It's got me thinking . . . Enjoy!


In my opinion, eggs are one of your best resources in the morning.  Full of quality protein, virtually carb-free, and packed with vitamins and minerals, they make the ultimate breakfast food.  Don’t be too swayed by the cholesterol scares of the 1980s; eating the whole egg-not just the whites-has actually been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and to improve good cholesterol levels. Eggs are a fantastic food for men who are looking to get in shape; they help build your muscles, and they keep you satiated for a long time. A study showed that men who ate eggs instead of carb-rich bagels for breakfast consumed less calories over the course of the day.

And besides their great nutritional profile, eggs are easy to prepare, taste great, and are dirt cheap (less than 15 cents per egg!).

Yet, for all of their greatness and simplicity, I know a lot of guys who mess up even a basic scrambled egg. Their eggs are edible, but not incredible. Since we’ve been focusing our efforts on getting back to the basics in the kitchen, I wanted to share my thoughts and techniques on getting the most out of this versatile food.

Here are tips on preparing eggs in four of the basic, traditional ways: scrambled, fried, poached, and hard-boiled. We’ll cover the wondrous omelet in a separate post.

Let’s get cracking.

Scrambled Eggs

In my opinion, there are two schools of thought when it comes to the perfect scrambled egg.  Low and Slow vs. Hot and Fast.  Whatever your preference, the two methods typically turn out two very unique types of scrambles.  Low and slow yields eggs with small curds that are moist and soft, whereas the hot and fast method turns out eggs with larger, denser curds.  Instead of taking sides, I’m laying out both options.

Non-stick cookware truly comes in handy when scrambling eggs.  The slick non-stick surface allows for easy cleanup, and preparation containing less fat or oil.  Make sure you always use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula on the cookware to prevent damaging the non-stick coating.

One of the more important elements to the perfect scrambled egg, regardless of the method, is air.  That’s right, air.  The more air you can whisk into the mixture, the more full and fluffy your scrambled eggs will turn out.  It’s important to whisk your eggs in a large bowl, using a circular motion that pulls the eggs to the surface, rather than stirring around the perimeter of the bowl.  Utilize a tilted wheel motion with either a fork or whisk to get as much air into the eggs as possible.  With that said, you do not want to overbeat your eggs.  You will know when your eggs are ready when the mixture is evenly colored and frothy.

Many people like to add salt, pepper, cream, and herbs to their eggs prior to scrambling.  I prefer to wait to season the eggs until they have finished cooking.  Regarding cream or herbs, you can utilize these ingredients to enhance moisture and flavor, but they are not necessary.  A properly scrambled egg will not need any additional ingredients to taste excellent.

Scrambled Eggs

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
3 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Low and Slow- Heat an 8 or 10 inch non-stick pan over medium low heat, add butter.  Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl and vigorously whisk until combined and frothy.  When butter is completely melted, add eggs to pan.  Wait to stir until eggs have just begun to set.  Using a wooden spoon, begin to push the eggs towards the center while tilting the pan.  This will create small curds and allow the runny portions to reach the hot surface.  Continue in this manner until there is no longer any runny portion remaining.  Remove eggs from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Hot and Fast - Heat an 8 or 10 inch non-stick pan over medium high heat, add butter.  Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl and vigorously whisk until combined and frothy.  When butter is completely melted, add eggs to pan.  Wait to stir until eggs have set in the pan, the runny portion should remain on top of the cooked portion.  Quickly use a wooden spoon to scramble and lift off the cooked portions while allowing the uncooked eggs to reach the heat.  Do not over scramble. When there is no longer any runny portion that remains, remove eggs from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Fried Eggs

Unfortunately, most people typically have a negative connotation with fried eggs.  Perhaps it’s the word “fried” in the description.  Keep in mind, a fried egg is much different than the caloric disaster of chili cheese fries down at the Starlight Diner.  Honestly, fried eggs, when prepared correctly, hold very little of the oil or fat used to prepare them.

On mornings when I’m rushing out the door, my go-to breakfast is a few fried eggs.  I can cook the eggs quickly, and I don’t have to pull out, or clean up, several bowls or utensils.

Butter is traditionally used in the preparation of fried eggs; however, I prefer using olive oil instead.  The health benefits of olive oil are abundant, but I also like the distinctive flavor it adds.  Also, because extra virgin olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter, I find that my pans clean up easier when using oil instead of butter.

Fried Eggs

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Heat an 8 or 10 inch non-stick pan over medium heat, add oil.  Carefully crack eggs into the pan, allowing room for each egg to cook separately.  After a minute or so, the egg white will solidify from transparency into a firm white texture.

At this point, you have a few options.

For sunny-side up eggs, continue to cook for another minute until the white portion is firm and just cooked through.  Carefully slide eggs onto a plate, season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste, and serve.

For a firmer yolk (over easy, over medium, over well), place a lid over the pan and cook (steam) the yolk for another few minutes until the egg is cooked to your desired consistency.  You can gently use your finger to press on the yolk to determine doneness.  An over-easy yolk will give to slight pressure, whereas an over-medium yolk will be firm to the touch.  Remove lid, season eggs with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste, and serve.

Another option is to remove the pan from the heat, and using a quick tilted back-and-forth motion with the pan, flip the egg onto its other side.  Of course, a spatula may also be used to flip the egg.  Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook until the yolk is cooked to your desired consistency.  Remove from heat, season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, and serve.

Poached Eggs

Novice cooks typically shudder in fear at the idea of poaching an egg.  Truth be told, it takes some skill to get this technique down.  But, with a little practice and a few tips, you will be able to impress your guests in no time.

Poaching is one of the healthier methods for preparing eggs.  Because the eggs are cooked while immersed in water, there is no need to add extra oil or butter.  A word of caution: it typically takes a bit more time to prepare poached eggs, which may not make for convenient preparation on a busy weekday.

When poaching, it’s important to find the freshest eggs possible.  Ideally, eggs should be no more than a week old.  Remember, fresh eggs lack oxygen, are heavy in weight, and the white will gather completely around the yolk, making a rounder, neater shape.
Adding a tablespoon of white wine vinegar to the simmering water will help the egg hold its shape.  Simply placing the poached egg in a bowl of water will remove any of the vinegar taste after cooking.  I also find that placing the egg on a piece of bread after cooking is a great way to get rid of any excess water.

When entertaining a large crowd, you can poach a batch of eggs in advance, and immerse and hold the eggs in ice water until ready for service.  Before serving, return the eggs to simmering water to heat through.

Poached Eggs

1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
2 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Fill a 12 inch stainless skillet or a large pot with at least three inches of water.  Bring water to a boil over high heat.  When water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, add vinegar, and allow water to remain at a very slow simmer.  Break eggs into separate small containers.  Next, carefully slip eggs into the simmering water.  If necessary, using a spoon, gently nudge the egg whites closer to the yolk.  Allow eggs to slowly simmer for 3 - 5 minutes, depending on yolk preference.  Carefully remove eggs using a slotted spoon or spatula and immerse in water to remove any vinegar, if desired.  Season eggs with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, serve.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a handy “on the go” breakfast staple.  Eating a few hard-boiled eggs in the morning is a convenient way to get your metabolism started without facing a crash later in the day.  The best part about this cooking method is that it creates eggs that you can store for several days to use in salads, sandwiches, or simply as a quick snack.  A touch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper can really enhance the flavor of a simple hard-boiled egg.

Several manufacturers now sell hard-boiled eggs alongside fresh eggs at the store.  For a premium, they offer the convenience of precooked and peeled eggs.  If you don’t have the time to prepare hard-boiled eggs on your own, this is a great time saver.

However, if you want to save a few bucks, these are really quite simple to prepare at home.  My best advice after cooking the eggs is to allow them to come back up to room temperature before peeling.  You will encounter trouble if you try to peel the eggs while they are either too hot or cold.  Store your hard-boiled eggs in an airtight container and refrigerate, keeping up to 3 - 5 days.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

6 Large Eggs
Place eggs into a large pot or skillet and cover with water by one inch.  Over medium high heat, bring water to a slow boil and allow eggs to simmer for 1 minute.  Remove from heat, cover, and allow the eggs to sit for 10 - 12 minutes.  Carefully transfer eggs into a colander and rinse under cold running water until they are no longer warm to the touch.  Allow the eggs to sit at room temperature for 15 - 20 minutes before peeling.  Serve immediately or store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for later use.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today UGA plays Vandy in Nashville.

I woke up at 9 a.m., knocked out a 10 mi run on the river, and now I'm sitting here writing to you before I take off for a day of tailgating and drinking beer.  It's sunny, cool, the leaves are changing . . . and I'm in a great mood - life is good.

Of course, life is even better when you start your day off with a breakfast like this.

Not too much writing today for me - but I will say that I've got some new projects in the works that I'm super excited about.  I've been keeping my nose to the grindstone as of late, well - sorta . . . but today I'm gonna go cheer on my Dawgs, drink beer, and dance with women.

All the best,


Parmesan Basil Scramble + Cajun Shrimp

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 lb Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
4 Eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon Parmigiano Reggianno Cheese, grated

Add oil to a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add shrimp, season with Cajun seasoning, and saute until pink and firm, 2 - 3 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside on a plate; keep warm.  Add eggs, waiting for one minute to allow them to set in the pan.  Using a wooden spoon, carefully lift the cooked portions off the pan, tilting the pan to allow the runny portion to reach the heat.  Scramble for another 1 - 2 minutes, or until eggs are still moist and firm.  As you finish, add chopped basil and remove from heat.  Plate eggs, top with cheese, and top with a generous serving of shrimp.  Serve.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Greek Omelet with Hot Pork Sausage

Cook.  Eat.  Repeat.

That's basically my plan for the day.  It's a hot Saturday here in Nashville, TN and if you are any sort of regular reader of my blog, you know that this is indeed a rare day here in my camp.  i.e. I'm home on a weekend!

And the best part?  The Titans kick off the season tonight with a 7:00 game against the Vikings.

Anyways, I've been cooking non-stop for the past two days, with no end in sight.  A few friends of mine just had a beautiful baby girl, so I signed up to make them a meal so that they could enjoy their Friday evening.  In fact, has anyone heard of MealTrain?  What a great site to put together, organize, and provide meals for friends.  I figured that most of their meals had consisted of lasagnas and casseroles, so I wanted to step outside the box.

Greek style pork tenderloin - marinated in olive oil, balsamic, oregano, and garlic - served with caramelized onions, kalamata olives, and marinated artichokes was the main course.  I did a cold orzo greek pasta salad and some grilled veggies to round out the rest of the dish.  And for dessert?  Grilled peaches with vanilla Greek yogurt.  Oh, and a nice light Pinot Noir to wash everything down.  FYI - Greek food is awesome light/comfort food on a hot summer day.

After dropping everything off I . . . well, I took advantage of being at home on a Friday night by tossing back a few cold beers with friends at several of my favorite local haunts around town.  Good times.

Nevertheless, I'm moving a little slow this morning.  Upon opening my fridge, however my hangover was soon to be cured.  You see, I had all these great leftover ingredients to make a killer breakfast to ease my nausea and fight the sting of my headache.

It worked.


Greek Omelet with Hot Pork Sausage

2 Links Hot Pork (Italian) Sausage
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon Bell Pepper, diced
5 Grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 Tablespoon Kalamata Olives, diced
3 Eggs, beaten
Kosher Salt
Cracked Pepper
2 Tablespoons Feta Cheese, crumbled

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage for 2 minutes on all (4) sides.  Remove from heat and tent with foil to keep warm.  Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a non stick skillet over medium high heat and saute onions and peppers until just tender.  Add tomatoes and olives and continue to cook until tomatoes have softened, about 1 minute.  Add eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Using a wooden spoon carefully lift the cooked portions of the eggs and tilt the pan to allow the runny portions to reach the heat.  Do not scramble.  Continue in this manner until the eggs are set in the pan and no runny portion remains.  Add the cheese to one side of the eggs, and fold over the other side.  Serve omelet with pork sausage on the side.  A cold beer with breakfast is optional, but highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low Carb Living

I get it - Isn't this blog supposed to be about dinner?  What's with all the breakfast stuff?  In due time, you shall see.  Besides, a tree fell beside my car this morning and I can't go anywhere.  What else to do besides make breakfast for . . . 2.

The truth of the matter is this meal is virtually carb free, assuming you omit the onions and tomatoes, but I like to add them in for color and flavor.

As discussed in the past, starting your morning off with a solid dose (overload) of protein is the best way to keep you full throughout the day.  It also doesn't spike your blood sugar like say cereal, bagels, or pastries.

Just keep in mind that meals such as these typically have high fat content.  You can cut back by using turkey sausage, egg whites, or even reduced fat cheese.

Seeing as though I ran 20 miles last night through the TN foothills, I'm okay with a few extra grams of fat.

That's all for now.  Enjoy!

Low Carb Breakfast (Serves 2)
4 Breakfast Sausage Patties
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Onion, diced
8 Cherry Tomatoes, diced
6 Eggs, beaten
Cajun Seasoning
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Chives, sliced

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, brown sausage for 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through; keep warm.  Next preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil, followed by the onions and saute until tender and caramelized, about 6 - 8 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook until the skins begin to brown.  Next, add eggs and season lightly with cajun seasoning.  Allow the eggs to set in the pan, then gently scramble using a wooden spoon - do not over scramble.  Remove eggs from heat and plate.  Top with grated cheddar cheese and chives.  Serve alongside sausage patties.  Enjoy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kitchen Sink Omelet

As you well know, I'm not the biggest fan of leftovers.  So, imagine my surprise on this casual Saturday morning when I opened the fridge to find enough ingredients to make myself one heck of a breakfast.  No trips to the store.  No spending money.  No need to change clothes.

Ah, leftovers aren't so bad after-all.

Honestly, making the most with what you have is often what forces us to become creative.  Whether in the business world, with personal finance, or in my case - in the kitchen.

Here's the play-by-play.

Surveying the fridge, I came across some red onion, a few cherry tomatoes, eggs, and - bummer.

No cheese.

Just as I was about to pick up my wallet and head to the store, I was reminded of the smidgen of spinach-artichoke dip I'd saved from a few nights earlier.  Most likely saving it for a guilty snack after a night out at the bars.

Sorta weird - I've never thought of using a 'dip' as a cheese filler.  Fortunately, it worked.  In fact, it was incredible.  P.S. Publix makes a pretty killer prepared spinach-artichoke dip for those needing a shortcut.

Anyways, I call this the kitchen sink omelet because it literally cleaned out my fridge.  (I always shop for fresh ingredients)

Nothing went to waste, and in some small way, that makes me feel good on this beautiful Saturday morning.

Kitchen Sink Omelet
2 Tablespoons Red Onion, finely diced
4 Cherry Tomatoes, finely diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Eggs Beaten
2 Tablespoons Spin-Art Dip, warmed

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions and tomatoes in oil until tender, about 3 - 4 minutes.  Next, pour in eggs.  Allow eggs to set, lifting the cooked portions from the bottom of the pan to allow the runny eggs to reach the hot surface - do not scramble.  When no more runny portion remains, add the warmed spin-art dip to one side of the cooked eggs.  Fold the clean edge on top, remove from pan, and serve.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Building a Better Breakfast Sandwich

Each morning I pass by about 10 fast food restaurants with a line of cars circled around the building.  Keep in mind, the parking lot is typically empty.

Honestly, it never fails, yet I will admit that I'm surprised each time I witness such an event.


Well, I'm astonished by the following:

A) That many people eat fast food 
B) That many people are too lazy to get out of their cars and walk inside 
C) That many people sit with their cars idling when gas is over $4.00 a gallon

I suppose you can blame it on convenience, or affordability - after all, it's easy to have someone else make your breakfast for a few bucks.  But sooner or later, your waistline will start to pay the price.

Yes, I know I sound pretentious and self-righteous asshole.

I'm not above the law - I eat/enjoy fast food.  Hell, I'll even go so far to admit that I crave a Wendy's Double Stack from time to time.  However, I look at fast food as a 'treat' (thanks Mom) and not a solution.

Instead of making you feel guilty for your unhealthy habit, I'd rather provide you with a solution.

My breakfast sandwich will make you forget all about the McFatAss sandwich you pick up in the drive-thru each morning.  The best part?  Not only is this sandwich better for you - it costs less - and it takes less time to prepare than the amount of time you spend waiting in the drive-thru.

Better Breakfast Sandwich - NO, LOW, GO DIET approved!

1 Arnolds Thins Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
1 Large Egg
1 Slice Muenster Cheese
2 Thin Slices Deli Ham

Place the sandwich thins into a toaster for 30 - 45 seconds.  Meanwhile, in a nonstick pan over medium high heat, fry egg (no oil or butter needed) for 3 - 4 minutes, or until egg reaches your desired preference.  Season egg with salt and pepper.  Next, add egg to toasted sandwich slice and top with ham and cheese.  Add mustard (if desired) and top with the remaining slice of bread.  Serve.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From Dinner to Breakfast

So yesterday's post was all about creating a healthy and delicious meal using only minimal ingredients.  Based on the feedback, it seems that everyone likes things that are quick and easy . . . hmmm, I'll stop there.

Sometimes I get asked if it feels strange to constantly post items that I eat on the internet each day.  Of course, it's a bit weird, but I suppose that's how the story is best told.  I stand behind my writing, recipes, and work - because it's truly my lifestyle.

I'd made mention that the Fresh Cuts Salsa used in last night's recipe is an excellent base for a veggie omelet in the morning.  Well, I made good on that mention with an outstanding and tasty omelet this morning.

Guess what - it also comes in at under 5 ingredients - utilizing quite a bit of the same ingredients from last night.  Nothing like keeping things consistent, simple, and affordable.


Quick Veggie Omelet
1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cut Salsa
3 Eggs, beaten
Cajun Seasoning
Pepper Jack Cheese

Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat; add oil.  Add salsa and saute for 1 minute.  Lightly season eggs with Cajun seasoning and add to pan.  Allow the eggs to set on the bottom of the pan.  Using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, gently lift the cooked portions of eggs from the bottom of the pan, using a tilted motion to allow the uncooked eggs to reach the heat.  Continue in this manner until no more runny portion remains.  Use a spatula to flip the omelet (or flip in pan).  Cook for another minute.  Add cheese to one side of the omelet, fold, and serve.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Breakfast

It's always fun to have an old friend in town for the weekend, especially when there's no agenda.  Past a certain age - let's call it late twenty-something - the gravity of bright lights and noisy bars has less of a pull.  Contented to stay in and cook a good meal, drink some wine, and catch up on the goings on of the last few months, a lazy brunch is the right way to start a Saturday of . . . whatever.

Hope you and yours are enjoying the same freedom of time out of mind.


Poached Eggs over Cajun Roasted Hash and Mixed Greens
1 Russet Potato, diced
1/4 Cup Onion, diced
1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, smashed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Cajun Seasoning
4 Eggs
2 Large Handfuls Organic Mixed Greens

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Add the first four ingredients into a cast iron skillet over medium heat with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, season liberally with Cajun seasoning.  Lightly fry potatoes until browned, and insert into oven and cook for 40 - 50 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill a large skillet with at least 3 inches of water and bring to a slow simmer over medium high heat.  Carefully crack eggs into the water, and poach for 3 - 4 minutes.  Remove eggs using a slotted spoon.  Toss greens in a 3 - 1 ratio of oil to balsamic vinegar and plate next to a generous portion of the potato hash.  Place poached eggs on top of hash and season lightly with Cajun seasoning.  Serve.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Steak for Breakfast

I've never been a huge fan of leftovers.

But, sometimes somethings gotta give . . . Awakening to a freezing TN morning, with snow flurries, and a pounding hangover didn't really set the stage for me wanting to get out.

It's times like these that I'm glad I actually put away last night's grilled skirt steak.

For someone obsessed with food, I'd hate for you to see my refrigerator - it's typically empty.  I prefer not to let anything go to waste, so I purchase what I need, when I need it.  It's a rarity for me to be able to pull off a great meal with what I have on hand.  However, it's these occasions where I surprise myself.

Starting off your morning with steak ain't a bad way to get your Saturday up and running.

Give this a whirl the next time you forget to eat your steak because you consume too much red wine the night before.  Doggie bag - sure... you'll be thankful later.

Grilled Skirt Steak Scramble

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Leftover Grilled Skirt or Flank Steak, sliced
Green Onion Tops, sliced
Crumbled Blue Cheese

In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Whisk eggs together until combined and frothy, season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Add eggs to pan, waiting to stir until eggs have set.  Using a wooden spoon, gently lift the cooked portions from the bottom of the pan, allowing the runny portions to reach the heat.  Continue in this manner until no more runny portion remains, careful not to over-scramble.  Meanwhile, heat the leftover steak to temperature using a microwave or skillet over medium heat.  Plate eggs, topped with sliced steak, and garnish with green onion slices and crumbled blue cheese.  Serve.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch

Looking for the perfect gift for the MOST important woman in your life?  Check out this piece I just wrote for our friends over at AskMen.  Don't forget to take care of Mom!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Onion, Tomato, Feta, and Basil Omelette with Roasted Potatoes

Onion, Tomato, Feta, and Basil Scramble