Spring Green Shakshuka



Spring Green Shakshuka
This first appeared in the Clemson Area Food Exchange newsletter, edited by Ellie Sharp

Traditional shakshuka is a spiced tomato-based egg dish that originates in Israel where it is served for breakfast. In the United States it is more popular in the evening and is a perfect eggs-for-dinner-kinda-meal. Since tomatoes aren’t yet in season locally, I created an alternative by highlighting fresh greens. A bed of local spring ingredients really showcases the beauty of goose eggs. And, wow, the goose eggs are truly spectacular. Chicken and duck eggs are great, too, and can be used in place of goose eggs. You can easily swap the base of spring greens with whatever you have on hand: sub in kale and spinach for the Swiss chard and escarole; use asparagus instead of Brussels sprouts. Do try to include escarole if you can! If you haven’t tried it, this dish is a perfect intro for you as its nuttiness really comes through. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 TB butter
  • 3 to 4 small leeks or 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup of Brussels sprouts, quartered 
  • 1 small bag of baby Swiss chard, chopped
  • ½ head of escarole, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Goose eggs (2-4 depending on the size of your pan)
  • Goat cheese
  • Pea shoots dressed in vinegar (optional but highly recommended)


Directions:
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Select a large, oven-safe sauté pan. 
3. Melt the butter in the pan. Add the leeks and Brussels sprouts, sautéing until they start to soften. Add the chopped greens and minced garlic and cook just until the greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Be careful to not to cook too much here as everything will go into the oven soon. 
4. Using a spatula, create “dents” in the greens into which you will crack the eggs. I used 3 goose eggs, so I made three nice dents/craters in the greens. Crack eggs into place. Season each egg with salt and pepper. 
5. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes depending on how well done you want your eggs. If you like your eggs easy, start checking at 15 minutes for their firmness. If using chicken eggs, start checking around 6 minutes. You can gently shake the pan to see how set the egg whites are. 
6. When ready, remove from the  oven and top with crumbled goat cheese. Add pea shoots in the center (microgreens make an excellent substitute) and drizzle everything with a few splashes of a nice herbal/finishing vinegar. You know you have that weird one in the back of your pantry and this is a great time to use it!   

Spanakopita Quiche

Originally appeared in the Clemson Area Food Exchange newsletter, Edited by Ellie Sharp

The bounty of spring brings to mind eggs, greens, and dairy! I know everybody is making quiche and frittata these days, but I wanted to introduce something that’s a little different: spanakopita-inspired quiche! This rich and savory dish brings Greek flavors to your table any time of day, and takes full advantage of local ingredients. You will need to purchase a few items from the store, but it’s more than worth it!

If you’ve never worked with phyllo dough before, you can find it in the freezer section next to puff pastry and pie dough shells. Make sure to thaw it the night before so it’s ready to go when you are ready to cook. Phyllo dough can be finicky: it dries out quickly and the super-thin sheets make it a blessing and a curse — difficult to work with but a joy to eat. For this recipe, it doesn’t need to be perfect, and tearing will add to the rustic plating, but do make sure you take the time to prep your ingredients and work space so that you can twork quickly once you unwrap the dough.

A note about equipment. I used a 10-inch springform pan so that I could remove the “collar” or side of the pan for a pretty presentation. This is totally not necessary and this recipe will work in a regular 9 inch pie pan! However, if you do use a 10-inch springform pan, I do recommend adding 2 more eggs (for a total of 6 eggs) as it’s a bit bigger and fills out nicer. I made the recipe both ways with equal success. 

Ingredients

  • ½ package of phyllo dough
  • 4 TB. butter, melted
  • 1 TB butter or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 package of large scallions/spring onions, diced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb greens – I used a combination of swiss chard and spinach to mix it up
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • S & P
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped herbs – dill, parsley, oregano, chives are all good choices
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Defrost phyllo dough in the fridge the night before. Take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while you start prepping the quiche filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter/heat oil and add onions. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Start adding greens in batches, stirring to wilt and incorporate. Continue adding until all greens are cooked down, reserving one small handful of spinach leaves for the top. 
  5. While this happens, you can whisk eggs in a bowl with the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 
  6. When all greens have wilted down, season the skillet with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Turn the heat off, taste and adjust seasonings. 
  7. Set up your phyllo dough station. Unwrap phyllo dough and set next to melted butter with a brush. Using your preferred quiche pan, brush the insides with melted butter. Start by removing one phyllo sheet and covering the bottom of the pan. Brush lightly with butter. Place another sheet down in the other direction to cover the bottom thoroughly and brush with butter. Now, work on draping the sheets of dough over the pan. Brush each lightly with butter, and continue draping the sheets of dough to cover the sides and bottom of the pan while creating a large overhang on the outside of the pan. If you need to walk away or notice your phyllo dough drying out very quickly, you can cover it with a very lightly damp dish towel that will help! I used roughly 15-20 sheets of phyllo dough. I still had some leftover that I wrapped up for another use. 
  8. Next, spread the greens over the dough, spreading out in an equal layer. Top with whisked eggs/milk. Finally, top with crumbled feta cheese.
  9. Fold the hanging dough on top of the quiche. You may have to crinkle it a bit to make sure you can visually see the greens in the center. Drizzle remaining butter all over the top of the phyllo.
  10. Bake the quiche at 400 for about 35 minutes until the dough is browned and crunchy and the eggs are set (if it jiggles in the center, the eggs may need another minute or two)! 

Braised Radishes (w/ bacon or browned butter)

First appeared on CAFE newsletter January 12, 2020

Edited by: Ellie Sharp

In the middle of the winter, finding colorful crunch is hard without the beautiful radish! Most people put radishes in salad. While they certainly are a tasty, crunchy addition to a salad, there are other ways to use them! The most common way is to simply dip them in soft butter and sprinkle with salt. Seriously, don’t knock it until you try it! If you can’t quite swallow that, you can spread some bread with a (thick) layer of butter, then a layer of radish, then top with salt (black salt pictured). Don’t forget about the tops too! They are thinly sliced and placed on top of the radish sandwich here, but radish tops make an excellent addition to homemade pesto and soups (think in place of spinach, kale, or mustard/turnip greens!).

Perhaps though, my favorite way to prepare radishes is to cook them. They are wonderful roasted on pan amongst other vegetables (like potatoes or squash). I’m a big fan of “sheet pan meals” and love to throw potatoes, radishes, broccoli, and some local sausages on a pan to roast and call it dinner! But I want to leave you with a very tasty addition to your recipe box. Braised Radishes. I hope you try it and love it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon OR ¼ cup butter
  • 2 bunches of radishes, about 1 pound, or about 14 radishes
  • 3 large shallots or a small red onion, sliced and 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Water or chicken/vegetable stock 2TB-1/4 cup
  • Italian parsley, leaves chopped into about scant ¼ cup
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim away bottoms of radishes. You can keep nice looking greens intact or remove and save for another use (or compost!). Slice each radish in half from top to bottom. Peel the shallots and slice into thin rings.
  2. Cook the chopped bacon in a large heavy skillet – preferably cast iron. When the bacon is crisped remove from skillet and set aside. If you need to, drain some fat away. You should have enough bacon fat covering the skillet (about 1-3 Tablespoons). OR melt butter in pan. Over low, allow butter to cook until small bits start to brown on the bottom of the pan ~3 minutes.  
  3. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they start to brown slightly. Move to the outside of the skillet, away from heat. Add the radishes, placing each cut side down in the skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms just start to color.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and some water/stock – the liquid should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the water has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley/herb of choice and sauté for about a minute or two, until it’s wilted.
  6. If using, add the bacon back in and season with salt and pepper. Serve over grits!

Recipe: Savory Waffles

We have been on a little kick recently. A wonderful little kick. I know a lot of people are really into breakfast for dinner or better known as “brinner”. And as egg farmers…that happens a lot at our house. We put fried/poached eggs on top of everything, we do lots of baked eggs, egg curries, omelettes, frittatas, well you get the point. Our “go to” is clean-out-the-fridge-hash in a skillet with eggs on top. But I came across this recipe a while back and couldn’t get it out of my head. So, then I made it (slightly adapted). Here’s a pic from the night we DEVOURED them.

waffles

Don’t mind the March Madness and beers in the background. Honestly, I couldn’t believe this idea has never occurred to me. Farmer B LOVES waffles and grew up in a household that had waffles frequently. Even waffles stuffed with bacon. Genius. And I like waffles and everything, but I don’t know, they’ve just never been my thing…even with the bacon. But something about taking the sugar out and letting the egg yolk provide the moisture…well now I can get on board with that!

The possibilities are endless with savory waffles. Throw in what you have and make a meal out of it! My first attempt at a recipe was great. I threw in some chicken sausages and sun-dried tomatoes, topped it with some greens and an egg. Divine. Best part? Farmer B loves cooking waffles, so all I have to do is whip up a batter and relax.

image (1)

A couple quick notes. It’s a little dry. If you are looking for the same texture and moisture of a waffle soaked in syrup, this might not be for you. However, I was caught poking my egg open and drizzling it all over…and the thought crossed my mind to fry up another egg just to get more liquid gold on the waffle 🙂 These take a little bit longer to cook. We use a Belgian waffle maker and because the batter is so thick and dense, we leave it to cook for a few minutes longer than when the machine beeps at you telling you it’s done…sometimes we are smarter than the machines we make…sometimes…

Let us know if you fall in love with savory waffles, too!

savorywaffles

Savory Waffles: Chicken Sausage, Sun-dried Tomatoes with a Green Salad and Egg on Top!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry, next time I want to add some ground flax)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (kefir or a milk sub if you’re dairy free, almond milk worked great the last round I tried)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 chicken sausage links (I used one with apple in it) and okay it turned out to be 2 1/2 links that made it into the batter, but I swear Farm Baby helped)
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated (I put them in a bowl and cover with water, place in microwave for 1 minute, let stand for about 5 and then drain)
  • 3 green onions, sliced or minced
  • 3 cups of mixed baby greens (we had swiss chard, arugula, spinach) tossed lightly with lemon juice and EVOO
  • 2 eggs, fried gently or poached over easy

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Beat together eggs, butter, and milk until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients and gently mix together. Fold in the sausage, tomatoes, and onion.
  4. Grease the waffle iron, we use butter in these parts, but spray would do the trick. Pour batter into pre-heated waffle iron, close.
  5. Wait for the beep or follow the directions of your waffle-maker. Again, these are pretty thick, so we like to cook ours a minute or so longer than usual.
  6. Serve with the greens and the eggs on top.

The best breakfast muffins

Breakfast is something I perpetually have to plan for. I am not a morning person, so the thought of getting up earlier than I have to to cook eggs and bacon, well that’s a nice thought and all, but it will never happen during the week. And trying to get a really healthy, homemade breakfast in fast, can be difficult.

Our standards are homemade yogurt with toppings (jam/honey/fruit, nuts, granola, etc.), homemade bread with almond butter, jam, or cinnamon butter and honey, overnight steel cut oats, smoothies (almond butter, banana, and milk is our fave!), and muffins. I have gotten in the habit of making a batch of muffins on Sunday and then freezing them. We take them out in the morning and throw them in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute and enjoy hot, homemade muffins for breakfast.


This is by far, the best, most nutritious recipe I have tried. It only has 1/4 cup of brown sugar. It uses both oats and whole wheat flour AND it’s just a template so you can add whatever your heart desires. The only downside is that the recipe does take some preparation. It calls for the oats to be soaked in buttermilk (or soured milk) for an hour before cooking time. This requires some planning, but the rest of the recipe comes together in 5 minutes. 



So far, I have made fresh blueberry muffins and raspberry-almond muffins. It’s rhubarb season, so really looking forward to picking up a few stalks and throwing in some cardomam for the next batch. If you try this recipe, let me know what flavor combinations you try or even ones that sound good! I have been dreaming of the following combinations:

  • Fresh blueberries and ground ginger
  • Raspberries and vanilla bean
  • Rhubarb and cardamom
  • Grated carrots and raisins
  • Diced apple, extra cinnamon, and walnuts
  • Peaches
  • Frozen or fresh cherries and chocolate chips
The best breakfast muffins
Adapted from here.



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk (OR alternatively 1 cup milk with 1 tspn. lemon juice of white vinegar added and let sit for 5 minutes before proceeding)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not the quick kind)
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (I want to try replacing this with coconut oil too!)
  • 1 tspn. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 TB flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tspn. salt
  • 1 tspn. baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn. baking soda
  • 1/4 tspn. nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tspn. cinnamon
  • Add-ins of your choice

Directions:

  1. Combine milk and oats in a large bowl and let stand one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and line with cupcake papers.
  3. Crack the egg into the oats; add brown sugar and mix to combine. Stir in melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Sift remaining ingredients into the bowl: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Gently fold into batter, taking care no to over mix.
  5. Sprinkle add-ins and additional flavorings and combine gently.
  6. Spoon into muffin tins. 
  7. Bake until light brown on top and muffins spring back when gently touched, about 10-12 minutes. This will take longer is you use fresh or frozen fruit additions.
  8. Remove and enjoy!

* I keep a few out fresh but then I fit 9 into a large, freezer ziploc bag and throw it into the freezer. Pop in the microwave for 30 seconds in the morning and enjoy a tasty, warm muffin for an easy breakfast!

Summer Breakfast – Squash with blossoms and eggs

Music: After breakfast, BJ got called for an impromtu show, so while we didn’t technically listen to this while cooking, I dedicate this meal to the awesome show he and friends played and that night’s killer rendition of “Whipping Post” by the one and only Allman Brothers. 
Menu: Baked eggs with squash and toasted bread rubbed with garlic

I realize this post is a bit out of date as far as in season goes, but we just loved this quick, simple,  summer breakfast. Since our garden was OVERRUN with yellow squash, we ate it at almost every meal.  And anyone who came over, left our house with a big yellow crookneck squash.  Funny? Yes. Helpful? Absolutely. 

 The original recipe called for zucchini, which would add a lot of color and visual variety, but for the above mentioned reasons, I used yellow squash.  I piled matchstick squash and chopped blossoms in these cute little ramekins we got a Pier 1 (thanks M/L!)

 I wish I could say these are eggs from our backyard too, but maybe next year 🙂 

After squash came a few shreds of Swiss cheese. 

 And then the cracking of eggs, sprinkle of chives and breadcrumbs, and a splash of milk.  I might crack two eggs if you have a larger ramekin. 

I threw into into the oven with the bread that was toasting for about 10 minutes.

Then we dunked the bread in the yolk and ate it all!  There may have been licking involved, but I guess you’ll never know.

Yummy food in belly = Excellent impromtu show with friends.  Enjoy the pics from the last minute get together with BJ and friends at the Monkey Bar!


 Squash Blossoms and Baked Eggs
Ingredients:
  • 2 – 4 large eggs*
  • 1 small yellow crookneck squash, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 – 4 squash blossoms, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Large handful of shredded cheese
  • Breadcrumbs (I toasted a small slice along with what I served alongside dish)
  • Chives, minced
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Bread slices, toasted
  • 1 small whole garlic clove, peeled
Directions:  
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and grease ramekins. 
  2. Fill each ramekin with equal amounts of squash, blossoms, milk, and cheese. 
  3. Carefully crack an egg over each one, making sure the yolk remains intact. (It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t – it will still taste great!).
  4. Sprinkle the top of each egg with breadcrumbs, chives and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Transfer to the oven (easiest by placing on baking sheet) and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the whites are just set. 
  6. Remove and promptly duck toast directly into runny yolk.  Enjoy 🙂

* Depends on hunger and size of ramekins.

Serves 2 healthy portions