Last week I mentioned a new nutrition project at BMC, for which I developed a recipe for buttermilk-marinated oven-fried chicken. Not only did a end up with a surfeit of chicken drumsticks (which I turned into harissa Buffalo chicken), I also had a half quart of buttermilk leftover. When I have buttermilk around the house, I never think pancakes, which I realize might be the go-to use for leftover buttermilk. Luckily (in this case), I decided to make biscuits, and these came out amazing.
This is kind of a workhorse recipe. We used the biscuits throughout the whole weekend; fresh biscuits hot out of the oven with butter for breakfast, toasted and sliced sandwiching some chicken with mayo and mustard for a quick and easy dinner, and then again the next morning, we made a scrambled egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. And not once did we feel like we’d overdosed on these flavorful, savory biscuits. Although they are best warm right out of the oven, I found that heating the oven to 200-degrees and re-warming the biscuits right before using them also seemed to do the trick. I’d just pop them in the oven for about 10 or 15 minutes, let them get a little toasty and crispy, then smear them with butter, mayo, mustard, or top with eggs.
Eggs and toast are David and my usual weekend breakfast fare. Every Saturday and Sunday morning we choose between scrambled versus over-easy, toast a couple slices of bread, and put on a pot of coffee. The Recipe Redux challenge for this month is breakfast, so I’ve been experimenting with egg-based dishes on weekend mornings instead. I wanted to include both eggs and potatoes — two of my favorite foods that usually get a bad rap. Neither is actually a deal-breaker for people looking to eat healthy, and this recipe showcases both ingredients’ flavors without adding a ton of fat and salt. Instead of frying the potato pancakes, I baked them with a minimal amount of oil at a fairly high temperature to ensure they’d get a nice brown, crisp exterior. The pairing of runny egg yolk with a starchy base is a classic combination, and swapping these potato pancakes in place of toast or English muffins worked well.
Once I started my Master’s program in nutrition, I started following several dietitians’ blogs to help me stay in touch with what’s going on in the field: they blog about food, research, trends, and often include vignettes from their experiences with patients. The Nutrition Blog Network is where I first came across several of the Recipe Reduxers blogs. Each month the bloggers share their recipe interpretations of a common theme on their individual blogs. This month is my first post with the group, and our subject is “new” whole grains — in other words, incorporating less familiar whole grains in new or inventive ways. I wanted to branch out into something new, but still use readily-available ingredients in my kitchen. Whole wheat flour and oatmeal are two of the most common options for cooking with whole grains, but I also usually have quinoa on hand in my pantry. Quinoa is technically a seed, but it is still often considered a whole grain. Instead of making a salad, I decided to grind the quinoa into a flour and go from there. Continue reading
David and I are usually eggs and toast people when it comes to weekend breakfasts, but I recently made these hearty oatmeal pancakes that I think are worth sharing. Because of the oatmeal, these pancakes have enough heft to them to satisfy those who don’t like super sweet foods first thing in the morning (like me). They’re kinda like the Quasimodo of pancakes, though: they’re a little lumpy and misshapen but they’re also kind of sweet and worth the effort. (I’m talking about the Disney version…).
They’re also super healthy. With oatmeal, fruit, and whole wheat flour, they’ve got plenty of nutritious goodness to feel good about on a Saturday morning. Continue reading
These originally started as corn fritters and kind of morphed from there. I made these for picnic of dietetic students this last weekend. I was assigned to make an appetizer for the potluck and was intrigued by the idea of a corn fritter and hush puppies recipe I saw in an old cookbook. They obviously wouldn’t work for this exact occasion (they need to be hot, and I wasn’t really cooking for a fried food audience), but they got me thinking about flavors and ingredients. Continue reading
On Saturday mornings, once a month, I join a handful of volunteers in my neighborhood to distribute groceries and share coffee & conversation with residents who often have trouble getting to the grocery store or find themselves with limited resources. The people who come to our post to pick-up goodies tend to be on the older side and Italian immigrants (this is the North End). I got the idea for this dish while talking to one of our residents last month: it’s a dish he remembered from his younger years. He described eggs poached in a simmering broth of tomatoes and garlic served over toast. He didn’t have a recipe per se, just thoughts and memories on ingredients and flavors.
Last weekend, I took a shot at the dish based just on our conversation. Instead of toast, I thought it would be fun to serve the eggs over a bed of polenta. I made it for both Saturday and Sunday breakfast, cooking the polenta by baking it first, and by pan-frying it the second day. Since poaching eggs can be a delicate task taking up much of a small stove top, I thought it simplified things to put the polenta cakes in the oven and just let them be.
Also, the first day we made it, I thought the tomatoes overpowered the flavors of the eggs. When you make this, it’s important to let the tomatoes cook long enough so they start to break up and form a sauce. The softer your tomato component, the better it will blend with the creamy polenta and runny yolks.
I bought my first strawberries of the season last weekend. A little premature, given that it was actually snowing again in Boston today. Another sign that I was a bit ahead of myself was that I hadn’t devoured them within the first day, so, after a few days, they started to look a little dull and limp. To avoid wasting them completely, I turned them into a healthy breakfast: strawberry muffins made with whole wheat flour… except a few years ago, I bought a mini loaf pan that is now my stand-by for muffin tins. It makes fewer finished goods, but it also turns out a nice breakfast portion, including whole grains and fruit. So, here’s my take on strawberry muffins, turned into miniature loaves.