Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Frittata

Merry Christmas to all!! I'm writing this from the hospital where I'm working the weekend. Yay. ;) I wanted to pick something yummy to share on this Christmas while I had a few minutes. I figured this frittata would be just the thing. It's full of pretty Christmas colors from the green of the pesto, to the red of the tomatoes. This visually festive frittata is be the perfect thing for your Christmas brunch!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Frittatas such as this are perfect for make ahead breakfasts, either on a sandwich, or just eaten on their own. You can eat them cold, warm or room temperature. You can also freeze them pretty well too. They tend to get just a bit watery when they thaw, but overall a nice option!

 
 

 

Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Frittata
I
ngredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 8-10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • Mozzarella or ricotta cheese

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a square 9x9-inch baking dish (or 10x7-inch rectangular baking dish which is what I used) with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Set aside. 

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Evenly spoon the pesto over the eggs. Sprinkle the chopped tomatoes and the cheese over the eggs evenly. 

Transfer baking dish to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set in the center. Can eat hot, warm, or room temperature. 

Sun-dried Tomato and Kale Strata

There are times when my fridge and freezer are full of odds and ends, little bits of leftovers from various meals that have been hanging around a week or two. There are a couple ways to go at this point, pasta is always a good way to "clean the fridge," but recently I've been going another of my favorite routes, eggs! I've done frittatas, omelettes, and scrambles, but most recently I also needed to use up a couple of weeks worth of bread ends that have been floating around the freezer. Strata - here I come! 

Strata's are great; a full meal all in one pan. And you can basically put whatever ingredients you want in them. All you need are some bread cubes and eggs, then let your imagination go wild! I really enjoyed the sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta in this version. The creamy ricotta and the sweet tomatoes are a lovely combination, I added in some finely chopped leftover kale and called it good! This is a perfect lunch to make ahead and eat all week. Super easy to grab and go in the morning. You can eat it for breakfast or lunch, or even dinner. Super versatile, healthy and delicious! 

 
 

Sun-Dried Tomato and Kale Strata
Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 2-3 cups bread ends, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 cups kale, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

Directions
Crack eggs into a large bowl. Add the milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.

Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Spread the bread, tomatoes, and kale evenly in the baking dish. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Press the bread down into the eggs to ensure it is all moistened with the egg. Spoon dollops of the ricotta evenly over the whole dish. 

Place in preheated oven and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Let set for 5-10 minutes before slicing to enjoy hot, or let the dish cool to warm or even room temperature before digging in. You can also let cool and place in the fridge. If you choose to refrigerate, let come back up to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before eating. 
 

Zucchini Slice with Bacon Sausage

We're going to continue on the zucchini theme for a little while yet. I for one am not yet ready to embrace all things pumpkin and spice. The trees are still green, the sun is still warm, and most importantly, it's still summer! I'm going to hang on to every last second as long as I can. Today I have for you another somewhat different way to use up some zucchini you might have hanging around; it's my take on the zucchini slice, something I'd never heard of before I stumbled across it over at The Clever Carrot. Apparently it's an Australian thing, but other than that I know nothing about it. If someone out there would like to enlighten me feel free! 

I thought the recipe looked intriguing, full of zucchini and eggs with a relatively little amount of flour, like a cross between a savory quick bread and a frittata. And that's really how it turned out! I'd say the texture was more like a frittata, but a little less egg-y due to the flour. It'd be a great thing to have on hand for a quick and filling breakfast, or a light lunch. Easy to whip together and open to endless variations. A fun late summer project, and a great way to use up some zucchini and eat well all at the same time!

The original recipe called for some bacon, but when I went to the butcher, my eye's were drawn to a new sausage that was in the case, bacon sausage!! I thought this would be a fun place to try it so I went with the sausage instead of the actual bacon. I also added some red pepper along with the onion and topped it with a wonderful dry sheep's milk cheese that I picked up at the farmer's market last week. Feta would be a wonderful substitute, or creamy goat cheese for that matter. I also used 100% whole wheat flour in mine, which is probably why my slice does not look as beautiful and light as the pictures at The Clever Carrot looked, but don't let that stop you from trying out this fun recipe. 

 
 

Zucchini Slice with Bacon Sausage
Adapted from The Clever Carrot
Ingredients

  • 3 cups grated zucchini, well drained
  • 1/4 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 bacon sausage, or alternatively 3 slices of bacon
  • 5 eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons bacon fat
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Crumbled sheep or goat's milk cheese

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 F.Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper for easy removal. Coat with cooking spray (even when lined with parchment, the eggs can sometimes stick).

Using a box grater, shred the zucchini. Line a bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place the zucchini inside. Twist it up to close, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set the zucchini aside until ready to use.

In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the onion and red pepper until softened and just starting to take on some color, 10-15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add the bacon fat. Season with black pepper and whisk well to combine. Toss in the sautéed onion and pepper, and the reserved zucchini. Crumble in the cooked bacon sausage (or bacon).  Mix well to combine everything. 

To the bowl, add the flour and baking powder. Continue to mix until it looks like pancake batter. Pour into your lined baking pan. Sprinkle the sheep or goat cheese over the top.

Bake until the filling is set, about 40-50 minutes. The top and bottom should be deep golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking time for even browning.

Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Mini Spinach, Onion and Prosciutto Quiche

I love quiche. It is so versatile and delicious. Flaky, buttery crust filled with endless options. Veggies, meats, cheeses, herbs, or spices in any combination. You can really let your imagination go wild. I randomly had some leftover prosciutto and gruyere and decided that some mini quiche would be the perfect place to use it up. Along with a little diced onion an some spinach, it really was a wonderful combination. 

I just thought it would be fun to make some mini quiche, but this would be equally as good as a regular size quiche. Whatever you do, I highly recommend making your own pie dough. It really is so much better than anything you can get at the store. 

Spinach, Onion and Prosciutto Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and very well dried
  • A couple slices of prosciutto
  • 2 ounces Gruyere (or your favorite cheese)

Directions

In a small sauté pan with a little olive oil in it, cook the onion for a few minutes until it begins to soften and become translucent. Set aside. Mix together the eggs and milk, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Evenly divide the prosciutto, spinach, onions and cheese between the prepared tarts. Pour the custard into the individual tarts, being careful not to overfill. Bake the mini quiches for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the custard is just set. 

Pate Brisee

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two fork.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together with out being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still to crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

When ready to use, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Press gently into tart pans, making sure not to stretch the dough. Place pans in the freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes.

Remove tarts from freezer, and blind bake for 15-20 min at 375 degrees. Remove weights and bake about 5 minutes longer, until crust is lightly browned. 

Swiss Chard Quiche with Cheddar and Green Onion

Quiche is one of those things that I really like, but for whatever reason don't seem to make as often as I should. Not only is it delicious, but it is super versatile, you can really put whatever you want in it. This winter my sister and I signed up for a winter CSA. We've gotten the first 2 weeks now and we're loving it. It is so much fun to go pick up our bag of fresh veggies every week, wondering what we'll get and what we'll be able to make with it. This past week we got some Swiss chard which I have never actually worked with before, but now I know I like a lot! First I made a Swiss chard pizza with roasted garlic and mozzarella. It was a wonderful combination, something I'll be doing again. With the chard we had left, I whipped together a quiche with my healthy-ish whole wheat olive oil tart crust. It was the perfect light and delicious Sunday afternoon lunch, all I needed was a salad of fall greens on the side, yum!

Swiss Chard Quiche with Cheddar and Green Onion

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of Olive Oil Tart Crust
  • 2 cups half and half (or mixture of half and half and milk)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Directions

Blind bake the tart crust for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. 

While that is baking prepare the filling. In a large measuring cup or a large container with a pour spout, whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt, and cayenne pepper until well combined and set aside. 

Mince the garlic, thinly slice the green onions and roughly chop the Swiss chard. Heat a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions, garlic and chard. Cook until the chard is wilted and the onions and garlic are nice and fragrant. 

When you are ready to assemble the quiche, layer the chard mixture and cheese in the bottom of the tart shell. Stir the custard and pour it over the quiche mixture, fill in the pan to within 1/8 inch of the top of the pastry. Don't overfill, or the custard will run out of the crust during baking.

Bake the quiche for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the filing begin to puff up and the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. Place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the quiche from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Leftover may be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Baked Egg "Muffins"

Now that I am super busy with school, it's a goal of mine to come up with recipes that I can make in large quantities and then freeze for a quick lunch or dinner during the week. Last weekend I looked in my fridge and found some leftover egg yolks that I didn't want to go to waste so I decided to bake them up in a muffin tin for some individual egg "muffins" that I can throw onto an english muffin along with some cheese and ham for a nice breakfast or lunch. Not fancy, but simple and delicious. It works for me!

There is no recipe with this, it is more of an idea. I just whisked together the egg yolks and a few whole eggs with a little milk, salt and pepper. Then just throw in whatever else you want; I did peppers and onions but cheese, or some type of meat would be delicious too. It's kind of like making scrambled eggs but instead of scrambling them in a frying pan, pour them into a (liberally) greased muffin tin and bake. Super easy and very versatile.

One word of caution; you don't want to fill up the muffin tins very full, about halfway is plenty. You can't tell from the pictures, but as they bake the egg really poofs up and you can have a mess on you hands if it all overflows. Once they come out of the oven they collapse and aren't nearly as tall, but mine looked almost like mini soufflés when they were fresh out of the oven.

I bake my little frittatas at 350 degrees for maybe 20-25 minutes. I didn't set a timer, but just kept my eyes on the oven and waited until they all looked set up. Just watch them to make sure they don't overbake. I threw the finished product into the freezer and have been eating them all week, yum!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

For my cousins bridal shower that I threw a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to serve quiche. It seemed like the perfect savory option for the brunch, a savory pastry to go along with all of the sweets! One possible problem with this was the fact that I haven't actually made quiche that often, if at all, I honestly can't remember. Although I am confident in my baking abilities and wasn't too concerned that they wouldn't turn out, I did want to give the quiche a test run before serving it to a large group of people. This broccoli cheddar quiche was my first attempt. It turned out delicious, and even though there were a few things I wanted to tweak before the big day, I definitely could have served this at the shower.

I really loved the custard filling in this quiche. It was silky and creamy, and not too eggy, perfect for filling the flaky and buttery crust. The crust however, didn't turn out quite like I wanted which I think was mostly my fault. To begin with, I think I probably added too much liquid to the dough, it wasn't as delicate as I wanted. I also didn't end up rolling the dough out thin enough so it was quite thick and didn't get a chance to cook all the way through. Despite these small problems, it still tasted buttery and yummy.

Another thing I learned on this trial was that I want to put the cheese in the crust first and not last. I didn't like how the cheddar formed a orange shell on top of the custard. I don't think it looks bad, but I just didn't like how it turned out. For the shower I went ahead and put the cheese on the crust first and it turned out much better.

For a first attempt I thought this turned out quite well. It gave me the confidence I needed to serve quiche at the shower. I ended up using a different crust recipe, one that had good reviews and sounded foolproof. I didn't want to worry about this crust turning out exactly like I wanted it to. I plan on trying this recipe again, but for myself first. I think it has the potential to be quite wonderful.

 Get your filling ready, I used lightly steamed brocoli and sautéed onions

And cheese of course!

Buttery, chilled dough, ready to be transformed

Start a rolling

Use those muscles

Grab a tart pan, or a pie plate (that's what I used

at the shower)

Gently lay your pastry dough on the pan

Lightly press the dough into the pan making

sure not to stretch it out

Cut off the excess dough

Ready for blind baking

Grab your pie weights, or beans, or rice, whatever

Bake it up until golden

Time to start filling,

onions first

Then broccoli

And top it off with the cheddar

Baked! 

Piping hot, it's still bubbling away

Remove from pan

Cut yourself a slice, yum!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
From: The Sweeter SIde of Amy's Bread

***I didn't actually measure the broccoli, onion or cheese when I made this quiche. The measurements below are a rough estimate of how much I used. Feel free to alter the amounts of these ingredients when making the quiche to fit your taste buds. 

Ingredients
Crust

  • 7/8 cup (200 grams) butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice and very cold
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons (52 grams) ice water

Custard Filling

  • 1 cup (240 grams) half and half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup lightly steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 medium onion, sautéed
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Directions
To form the crust, mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub the very cold, but not frozen, butter into the flour with your fingers or a pastry blender until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. If the butter starts to feel soft, freeze the mixture for 10 minutes before continuing. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and ice water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together until they form a rough ball.

As the mass become more define, use you hands to press it gently together into a single mass of dough. There should not be any pockets of dry crumbs remaining. If needed, sprinkle with an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of ice water. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. Seal the wrap around the dough and flatten to make a round 3/4 inch thick disk. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

Remove the child pastry from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out eh dough to 1/8 of an inch thick. Remove the bottom of your tart pan and place the ring of the tart pan on a parchment lined sheet pan. Lay the pastry round on the pan and gently push it down into the pan, pressing the pastry firmly to the sides, making sure the bottom sits flat in the pan, with no curve where the sides and bottom meet. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.

Line the tart with parchment paper and spread the paper with pie weights, beans or rice, pressing down gently to be sure the paper is weighted firmly against the sides of the pastry shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the top edges of the pastry just begin to brown. Remove the paper and the weights, and return the tart to the oven. Continue baking for 5 minutes more, or until the shells are lightly browned and the bottoms begin to look a little dry instead of doughy. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, before adding the quiche filling.

While the crust bakes, make the custard filling. In a large measuring cup or a large container with a pour spout, whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt, and cayenne pepper until well combined and set aside. When you are ready to assemble the quiche, layer the onions, cheese and broccoli in the bottom of the tart shell. Place the baking sheet that is holding the tart into the oven. Stir the custard and pour it over the quiche mixture, fill in the pan to within 1/8 inch of the top of the pastry. Don't overfill, or the custard will run out of the crust during baking.

Bake the quiche for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the filing begin to puff up and the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. Place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the quiche from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Leftover may be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.