Purple Potato, Escarole, & Goat Cheese Frittata

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Sometimes a girl just needs to treat herself. Fast forward one impulse purchase later, here I am relaxed, sitting on the couch on a snowy Saturday after a blissful massage and facial. Today I learned that any Saturday that begins at the spa is a great Saturday.

Leaving the spa I knew I wanted to accomplish two things today; continue in this zen-like trance for as long as possible, and cook. I also knew that one thing I did not want to do was clean up a big mess in the kitchen. The perfect solution; a frittata. One pan, low maintenance, and utterly delicious. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2-3/4 lb purple potatoes, boiled until soft and sliced into “coins”
  • 1/2 head of escarole, cut into ribbons
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1.  Crack 12 eggs into a medium size bowl and add the milk, parmesan cheese, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk until incorporated and then set aside.

2.  Heat the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized oven-safe skillet. I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet, but an 8 or 10 inch oven-proof, non-stick skillet would work as well. Add the onion and saute for about 2 minutes, add the garlic and continue to saute until the onion begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the escarole and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Give the egg and milk mixture a good whisk and pour into the pan with the onions, garlic, and escarole. Then strategically plop the sliced potatoes into the mixture, all around the pan. Do the same with the goat cheese – crumble the goat cheese with your fingers and plop little pieces all around the pan. There is no need to stir the mixture in the pan – you are trying to get a “crust” on the eggs so leave them undisturbed.

4. Leave on the stovetop undisturbed for about 4 minutes, until the egg against the pan begins to set. Transfer the pan into the oven for 20 minutes. The fritatta should be set but slightly jiggly in the middle.

Frittata’s are such a versatile dish. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and throw almost anything in there, especially leftovers. I would pair this with a salad or some grilled chicken and call it a delicious weeknight meal. Enjoy!

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Coconut Green Curry Shrimp

I think if there were an award for the most inconsistent food blogger, I would get it. The statistics of my blogging activity look like the Himalaya’s; a long range of peaks and valleys.

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you aspired to do when the alarm woke you. But not today – today I let inspiration lead the way. I enjoyed a wonderful day off and took my taste buds to Thailand. With a windchill of -17 degrees outside, I wouldn’t mind taking the rest of my body there, but until then, this warm, robust Coconut Green Curry Shrimp will have to do. Enjoy.

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 Ingredients: (about 6 servings)

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 13 oz cans coconut milk
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into sticks
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch (about) of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbs green curry paste
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil

Preparation:

1.  Prep all of the raw ingredients, open the cans of coconut milk and water chestnuts. This recipe moves fairly fast due to the heat of the pan so it’s important to do all the chopping, etc. ahead of the actual cooking.board

2.  Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about a minute. Add the onion, red pepper, zucchini, and water chestnuts to the pan and saute until the vegetables being to soften, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Add the shrimp and stir. Add the green curry paste and stir until the paste is evenly distributed around the veggies and shrimp. Saute for about 3 minutes until the shrimp turns pink.

4.  Add the two cans of coconut milk and the fish sauce, Stir to combine. At this point, if you like things extra spicy you can add fresh red chilies or red chili flakes. Simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors blend and the shrimp are fully cooked.

Serve with white or brown rice and lime quarters.

Note: Feel free to use whatever vegetables you like. This would be great with eggplant instead of zucchini, broccoli instead of red pepper, the options are endless. This same recipe can also be used with red curry paste.

Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna

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There are basically three parts to this lasagna; Pumpkin Puree, Onion & Sage Sauté, and Béchemel Sauce – all layered between no bake lasagna sheets and cheese!

I was feeling ambitious on this damp, Fall Saturday so I made pumpkin puree from scratch, but if your not up for the challenge feel free to skip the recipe below and use 2 cans of canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!).

In addition to the ingredients in the recipes below you will need:

  • 1 box of no bake lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 cup parmesean cheese, grated
  • 9×9 baking dish

Roasted Pumpkin Puree:

  • 3 smallish pumpkins (about the size of a cd)
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cut each pumpkin into 4 wedges. Put the wedges flesh side up on a large baking sheet. Brush the flesh with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is fork tender. Once tender, scrape the flesh into a food processor or blender, add the nutmeg and salt, and puree until smooth.

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Onion & Sage Sauté:

  • 3 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10-12 sage fresh leaves, finely chopped
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sage and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.

Béchemel Sauce:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour to the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 2 minutes. This is called a roux. Once the roux has bubbled for a couple minutes, slowly pour in the milk and whisk. Turn the heat to medium high heat and continue to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. When the sauce begins to thicken add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and gradually whisk in the cheese. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon but thin enough to pour.

  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Assembly:

To assemble the lasagna, put a thin layer of the béchemel in the bottom of the baking dish. Top the béchemel with pasta sheets, top that with a layer of the pumpkin puree, then another thin layer of the béchemel, then the grated parmesean and fontina cheese, and finally 1/3 of the onion and sage mixture. Repeat three times; pasta, pumpkin, béchemel, cheese, onions, etc. On top of the last layer place pasta sheets and top with another layer of béchemel and the rest of the grated cheese.

Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, until the top begins to brown slightly. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before you cut into the ooey goodness.

Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese…Literally

There’s something so captivating about warm, gooey cheese on crispy bread. Pair it with grilled, in season, perfectly ripe stone fruit! What a show stopper. I saw this on TV and knew I’d be picking up a wheel of brie on my next trip to the store. This is such a simple way to turn your average cheese plate into a summer BBQ hit. When you walk outside with brie and fresh apricots, no one is going to expect you to fire up the grill. The element of surprise! 🙂

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I chose apricots because they looked picture perfect at the store and I LOVE the way they taste with brie, but any other stone fruit in season (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc.) would do.

Here’s what you need:

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Here’s what to do. Cut each apricot in half, remove the pit, and brush the open side with vegetable or canola oil. Brush each side of the brie and bread slices with the oil as well.

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Over medium heat, grill the fruit and bread until the fruit is soft and the bread is toasted. Grill the brie for 10-15 minutes on one side (or until the corners begin to crack and ooze).

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Carefully flip the brie and cook for another 5 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Honey-Garlic Glazed Butterflied Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is a summer staple, but plain old barbecue sauce can get old. Here’s a simple, zesty twist on grilled chicken. Crispy skin with a sweet, tangy, sticky, honey-garlic glaze. Honey & garlic have a natural affinity. I added a little soy sauce to balance out the sweetness, and a little fresh lime juice for some zip!

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Chicken on the bone is always better in my opinion. Super moist and flavorful. Butterflying your chicken is easy to do and is a great presentation! Don’t let your butcher do for you what you can do for yourself. Here’s a quick HOW TO on butterflying a chicken. WARNING: This is kinda gross.

Buy a whole chicken, remove the giblets, and pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 1: Sit your little guy on his butt facing away from you.

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Step 2: Remove the backbone. Hold the backbone at the top and run your knife down either side of the bone.

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Step 3: Once the backbone is removed, lay the chicken down and press until flat (you’ll need to press hard to break the breast bone). Once he is flat, remove the breast bone. See that weird looking bone popping out? Grab it with your fingers and yank it out.

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Step 4: Flip him over! Ta dah! Beautifully butterflied chicken. No butcher necessary.

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Enough of that…On to the delicious part!

Pre-heat your grill to a low heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients below and set aside.

  • 2 Tbs Canola oil (or any flavorless oil)
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • juice of one lime

Season the chicken with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Put the chicken flesh side down on the grill and find something to weigh it down. Cast iron skillet, a brick, a weight, whatever. Be sure to wrap whatever you are using in foil so it is not directly touching the chicken. The weight will ensure the chicken skin is getting optimal exposure to the heat source, creating super crispy skin!

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Close the grill and set your timer for 15 minutes. Check every once in awhile for flare ups. After 15 minutes, carefully flip the bird and start basting with the honey garlic glaze! Cook the chicken on the other side for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thigh meat is 160 degrees. Baste the chicken with the glaze every 3-5 minutes, until the glaze is gone.

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See, girls can grill too 🙂 Tender, juicy, sweet and tangy Honey-Garlic Butterflied Grilled Chicken.

Shellfish with Fennel in a Coconut Citrus Broth

Imagine this: You’re sitting on a porch overlooking the ocean on a warm summer evening, listening to the lullaby of the waves on the shoreline, with the steam from a bowl of fresh shellfish rising up to tease your senses, meeting the hint of sauvignon blanc lingering on your tongue.

…Okay…my imagination may be a little ahead of mother nature, but summer will be here before you know it and I’d like to celebrate with this dish! It’s light, it’s satisfying, it’s mouthwatering…what more could you ask for? Spring has sprung and it is time to shed our winter coats! It doesn’t get much more slimming than seafood. Don’t be alarmed by the ‘not so typical’ ingredients in this dish. Most of us are used to seeing mussels in some sort of garlicky, tomato based broth (which is delicious and delightful by the way) but it’s time to change it up. Just as the flowers are blooming outside, so too will your taste buds!

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Here’s what you need for this dish to serve 4 people:

  • 1/2 lb sea scallops
  • 1/2 dozen little neck clams
  • 1/2 pound of jumbo shrimp
  • 1 bag of mussels
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (save some of the frawns to chop up for garnish)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 bottle (8 oz) clam juice
  • 1 yellow onion
  • the juice of 3 oranges, the zest of one orange
  • 1/2 can light coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Put the mussels and clams in a large bowl, cover with cold water and set aside. When it is time to use them take them right from the bowl of water to the pot. Try to avoid the sand and grit that collects on the bottom of the bowl. Give the scallops and shrimp a rinse and set aside with the mussels.

Thinly slice the onion and fennel, mince the garlic, zest one orange, and juice thee oranges.

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Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the fennel and cook for 5-7 minutes until the fennel begins to soften. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper.

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Once the fennel, onions, and garlic have cooked down a bit and softened, add the wine and clam juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and allow this to cook down a bit (8ish minutes). Then add the orange juice and orange zest.

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Immediately after you add the orange juice you can add the mussels and clams. Put the lid on and give the pot a shake. Allow the mussels and clams to steam for 10 minutes.

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After 10 minutes remove the lid and add the scallops, shrimp, and coconut milk. Cover the pot once again and allow the scallops and shrimp to steam for another 7-10 minutes.

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Once all the shellfish is fully cooked, give the pot a stir and simmer for a couple minutes. CAN YOU SMELL THAT?? ARE WE ON AN INHABITED ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF NEW ZEALAND? Because that’s what it smells like.

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To finish off this amazing dish chop up some fresh cilantro and fennel frawns, get some crusty bread for dipping, and pour yourself a stunning glass of white wine.

OH BY THE WAY!…I’ve asked my two talented sisters to guest post on my page as often as they’d like. I credit my oldest sister, Carolyn, for my interest in food. She was cooking fruit on the grill before it was a thing.  The ambition she has for life comes through in her cooking as well. My second oldest sister, Jackie, is the most health conscious of us all and always finds a way to bring her passion for a fit lifestyle into her meals. I know you’ll enjoy what both of them have to share!

Nora Rattigan’s Secret Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

Bacon Fat.

Yes, there is bacon fat in my great grandmothers Irish Soda Bread.

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This Irish Soda Bread recipe has been in my family for generations. My mom, Catherine Tierney, makes it every year because her mom, Catherine Ruane, made it every year because her mom, Nora Rattigan, made it every year. I think about my Nana and her rosy cheeks, that I always remember plumped with joy, whenever I eat or make this bread. And although I never had the opportunity to meet my great grandmother, I can imagine her in a homey little kitchen in Galway, frying up bacon in a cast iron skillet and collecting the fat for just this reason. That being said, I’m not changing a thing! I’m going to pause here to allow my four Tierney Aunts to grab a tissue, I know their hearts are warm with the thought of their mother. This one’s for you, Nana.

The bacon fat keeps the dough super moist and the raisins and caraway seeds add a sweet and savory element. It’s perfect.

The perfect bread warrants the perfect butter. If you’re feeling really ambitious and would like to make your own butter from scratch, click here to check out one of my past posts!

Everything in moderation, including moderation. I latched onto this motto like white on rice when I first heard it. In other words, shut up and eat this delicious bacon fat bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs caraway seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 Tbs bacon fat
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Measure out 1 cup of milk in a liquid measuring cup and add the 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar to it. Set this aside. The milk will begin to curdle…that’s good!

In a large bowl mix together the first 5 ingredients.

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Add the bacon fat to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to work the fat throughout the flour mixture. Once it is all combined you should have a consistency that looks like the picture below..

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Ok, here’s the strange part. To another liquid measuring cup add the teaspoon of baking soda. Pour a few tablespoons of the milk/vinegar mixture into the liquid measuring cup that has the baking soda in it and stir to dissolve and encourage bubbles! We want to make a lot of bubbles. Pour the milk/vinegar mixture into the baking soda mixture and then pour the entire mixture back and forth between the two liquid measuring cups at least 10-12 times. You should begin to notice the baking soda and vinegar reacting and creating lots of little bubbles. Thank you, Mom for the excellent demo.

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Once the milk mixture is good and bubbly pour it all into the flour mixture.

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Stir the mixture until fully combined. Butter and flour whatever baking dish you are going to use. Typically Irish Soda Breads are made round, but we’ve been using this same ceramic loaf pan for as long as I can remember and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

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Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins-1 hour. A wooden skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.

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I hope you enjoy my family’s recipe as much as we do. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

“May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long”