Broccoli Skillet Flan and Cilantro Chile Frittata

IMG_0583When you love food as much as I do, it helps to have friends who feel the same way. If I rave about a recipe I just tried, or describe a dinner I just ate in detail, I don’t feel like my words fall upon deaf ears. Instead, my feast becomes their feast, and my culinary adventures become their own.

My friend Stephanie and I met in graduate school, and we immediately bonded over our love of cooking. Our first winter in Chicago, she introduced me to one of the best egg dishes I’ve ever tried: Broccoli Skillet Flan. The recipe is from the now, sadly defunct Gourmet magazine, and we adapted it to fit our tastes: Originally, the flan calls for a hash brown crust on the bottom, but I’m not a huge fan of hash browns, and neither of us felt like grating potatoes. So we skipped that step, and stuck to the flan.

I had never heard of a savory flan before–usually, I would eat a sweet, caramelized version for dessert when I was living abroad. The recipe exceeded by expectations: It was light and fluffy, but hearty and filling at the same time. We subbed Gruyere cheese in for the cheddar, and the salty, slightly tangy taste complemented the eggs and broccoli. Also, we used thawed frozen broccoli in our original attempt, but I have since used fresh chopped broccoli. Either way, the dish will still taste delicious–so feel free to use whichever fits your energy level.

Last weekend, Stephanie sent me another egg recipe that immediately caught my eye: “Tasty Frittata.” The picture alone was enough to entice me to make it, but it also came highly recommended with a “#delicious.”

DSCN3836Ironically, the part of the recipe that I questioned the most was the element that brought everything else together: the cilantro chile sauce. When I read the ingredients list, it sounded more like something you would make to drizzle on top of tacos or enchiladas, but I took a chance and decided to give it a try.

I was not disappointed. The cilantro sauce gave the dish a nice kick, and moved the frittata from above average to truly delicious. The caramelized, sweet red onions balanced out the saltiness in the eggs, the yellow squash and potatoes added a crunchy texture. I also liked the goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish. The dish would probably taste just as good without them, but the cheese balances out the spicy sauce, and the pumpkin seeds add a nice, smoky flavor.

The best part about both of these dishes? They come together quickly in one skillet. So you can do other things…like explore D.C. in the springtime.

IMG_0611Cilantro Chile Frittata (slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

Ingredients

Cilantro Chile Sauce

2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 small bunch cilantro
1 green (serrano) chile, seeds removed
2 pinches ground cumin
a couple big pinches of salt

Frittata
6 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 small potatoes, very very thinly sliced
1/2 cup yellow squash,1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
couple pinches of salt

Directions

Preheat your oven to 450F degrees. Make the cilantro chile sauce by pureeing the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, chile, cumin, and salt until very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with a small pinch of salt. Set aside. In a (small) 8 1/2-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil, onion, and another pinch of salt. Saute, stirring constantly, until the onion starts to brown, 5 – 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and squash, cover, and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Slide everything out of the skillet onto a plate and set aside.

Turn down the heat a bit. Using the same skillet, add the eggs and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until the eggs are just set and there isn’t a lot of liquid running around the pan. To facilitate this, run a spatula underneath the sides of the frittata and tilt the pan so the uncooked eggs run to the underside and cook. Drizzle the eggs with a few tablespoons of the cilantro chile sauce, now sprinkle the potato onion mixture over the top.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 9 minutes, or until well set and puffy. Add a crumble of goat cheese and the pumpkin seeds across the top of the frittata in the final 2 minutes of baking. Remove from oven (be careful the handle is hot!), cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 2 to 4.

Broccoli Skillet Flan (adapted from Gourmet)

Ingredients

6 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Gruyere
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 (10-oz) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed (or 10 oz of fresh chopped broccoli)

Directions

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together eggs, milk, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined, then whisk in Gruyere and 3 tablespoons Parmesan.

Heat oil in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shallot, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and spread broccoli over shallot, then pour in egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until set 2 inches from edge but still slightly wobbly in center, 12 to 15 minutes.

Turn on broiler. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until top is set, puffed, and golden brown.

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

DSCN3816There are few things I love more than chocolate and bananas. On their own, both elements are satisfying–but together, they take dessert to a new level. Whether they’re blended into a milkshake, scattered on top of an ice cream sundae, or combined in a pie or cake, the two flavors complement each other perfectly.

When I found this recipe for double chocolate banana bread, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. It combines two of my favorite ingredients, and puts a new spin on a classic dessert: Usually when I make banana bread, I don’t include additional ingredients, or I add a few chocolate chips for a hint of sweetness.

For this bread, I added half a bag of chocolate chips, plus half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. The result is nothing short of delicious: I felt like taking the bowl filled with batter and eating it alone in one sitting. But not all ideas are feasible, and, I reasoned, I should share the end product. So with a bit of willpower, I poured the batter into a pan and put it in the oven to bake.

DSCN3810One of the best parts of baking is how your house/apartment/living space smells while you’re waiting for the finished product. Most of my childhood food memories involve me sitting in my bedroom reading, with smells from the oven wafting upstairs, pulling me away from the next paragraph or chapter.

While a bit tortuous, waiting also has its perks: The end product is usually as delicious as it smells. This bread was unreal: It tasted like a cross between a brownie, a moist piece of banana bread, and a muffin. It was light and fluffy, but also sinfully rich. I’m not sure how it accomplished all those things, but I’m glad it did. The chocolate will melt in your mouth, the gooey chocolate chips add an extra touch of sweetness, and the subtle banana flavor complements the intensity of the chocolate.

I would only be exaggerating a little if I called this the piece de resistance of bread. If you want to satisfy your chocolate and banana craving all in one go, I would highly suggest giving it a try.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread (slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, melted
3/4 cup (145 grams) brown sugar (I used light; either light or dark work)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (about 6 ounces or 170 grams) semisweet chocolate chunks or chips

Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon or stand mixer until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. I keep mine wrapped in foil.

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Apple Sage Gruyere Muffins and Butternut Squash Soup

When I moved to D.C. back in January, everyone kept telling me that I brought Chicago with me. Sometimes I believe them–especially on days when it looks like this: DSCN3805I thought by moving here, I would escape snow in March–but I guess like the best laid plans, this one was also destined to fail.

When I heard a storm was coming through, I did what any self-respecting D.C. resident would do–I rushed to the grocery store. I bought ingredients for two recipes I’ve been meaning to try for a while, but kept putting off: apple sage Gruyere muffins and butternut squash soup.

DSCN3795The recipes come from one of my favorite blogs, “Cannelle et Vanille.” Food writer and stylist Aran Goyoaga is originally from Basque Country, and her recipes reflect her childhood in rural Spain. Many of them are also gluten-free–including the one for apple sage Gruyere muffins. I usually shy away from gluten-free recipes; partly because I don’t want to spend extra money buying all the special ingredients, and also because I have a strong affinity for flour.

So in this case, I decided to make a compromise: I bought brown rice flour and potato starch, but I decided to add all-purpose flour in place of millet. I also left out tapioca starch and xanathan gum, and double the potato starch instead.

I was a little nervous about how the finished product would turn out–making substitutions in baking is a risky business. But in the end, the muffins were delicious: The cakes were moist and fluffy, the outsides were golden brown, and you could taste the slightest hint of Gruyere and sage. The sweet bits of gala apple complemented the savory cheese and herbs.

DSCN3795To go with the apples, I made butternut squash leek soup. Usually when I make soup, it’s the kind that involves adding water or broth–so it’s much lighter in consistency. This soup was thick and creamy, but it didn’t have any cream. The combination of potatoes, butternut squash, leeks and vegetable stock created a soup with a velvety consistency–almost like mashed potatoes with extra butter and milk. As I was eating a bowl for lunch today, I thought of the word “velouté.” It’s the French word for soup that’s thickened with butter and flour, and I used to buy boxes of it when I lived abroad.

DSCN3800These are the perfect dishes to eat during a snowstorm that comes out of nowhere, or on a day when you need a comforting dish. My only warning is that the muffins go fast–so if you’re sharing them with someone, be sure to reserve a few for yourself.

Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins (adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbs potato starch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried sage
1 cup shredded Gruyere
1 egg
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
2 apples, peeled and small diced

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 11 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Fold in the diced apples.

Scoop batter into molds. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Leek, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup

Ingredients

2 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup (1/2 leek), diced
2 cups butternut squash, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
3 cups vegetable stock
Black pepper

Directions:

In a medium pot, saute the leeks and garlic in the olive oil for about 2 minutes. Do not let them brown. Add the squash and potatoes and saute them for another minute. Add the vegetable stock and salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook them covered for about 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender (or with a hand blender) and taste it. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with cracked black pepper.

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Chai Spice Breakfast Smoothie and Carrot Cake Oatmeal

DSCN3770Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day–probably because it’s almost like a mini-dessert. I usually try to eat something healthy that will keep me full throughout the morning, but I also splurge on sugar: I gravitate toward sweet cereals, oatmeal with lots of berries and brown sugar, and toast with fruity jams. Lately, a lot of the recipes I come across for brunch and breakfast foods imitate dessert in some way: “hot chocolate oatmeal,” “creme brulee French toast” and “strawberry shortcake pancakes” are just a few that have caught my eye.

This weekend, I made a chai spice and almond smoothie and carrot cake oatmeal. Both recipes combine elements of other dishes I enjoy: the chai spice smoothie reminds me of drinking warm, soothing Indian chai tea, and carrot cake oatmeal includes most of the ingredients you’d find in the dessert.

DSCN3755For the smoothie, you’ll need to create a blend of chai spices: I used cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. The original recipe also called for black pepper, but I decided to leave that out. Add a spoonful of almond butter, a splash of almond milk, and a banana, and you’ll have a delicious smoothie worthy of dessert or breakfast.

DSCN3757The carrot cake oatmeal combines grated carrot, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and raisins. You bring quick cooking (or, steel-cut) oats to a boil, add the carrot, spices and sugar, and then bring the mixture to a simmer. Once the oats are cooked through, you can remove them from the heat and mix in more sugar to taste.

DSCN3766Even though both recipes take a little extra time and effort (something most of us don’t have during the regular week), they’re perfect for a lazy weekend at home. Plus, they’re healthy–so you can have your cake, and eat it, too.

Chai Spice Smoothie (adapted from here)

Chai Spice Blend:

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Instructions

Combine all spices together.  Store in an airtight container.

Smoothie :

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk, or any other nut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana (frozen or room temperature)
  • 1 heaping spoonful almond butter
  • 1-2 tsp chai spice
  • a squirt of maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal (adapted from Joy the Baker)

1 cup / 240 ml milk, plus extra for serving

3/4 cup quick cooking oats

1 /2 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of kosher salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil.  Stir in the oats, carrots, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and return to a boil.  Decrease the heat to low and partially cover.  Cook the oats stirring just once or twice until it begins to thicken and the oats are soft yet chewy, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest.  Serve warm with extra milk or sugar.

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Soba Noodles with Kale Pesto, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini

DSCN3740It has been a while since my last post–and so much has happened since then! I am still getting adjusted to life in D.C., and the pace of a 9-5 (well…7:30-4:30) job, but so far I’m really enjoying it.

When you move to a new city, it’s normal to compare it to the one you just left. But often,  I find myself comparing D.C. to France. Maybe it’s because there’s so much history here, and the city as a whole is smaller than Chicago; the streets are narrower and more winding, just like in Europe. But I think it’s also because I’m starting to feel at home here. I enjoy walking to work every morning–at 7 a.m., the city is just waking up, and I like watching people open their shops and walk through the quiet streets. It reminds me of when I used to get up early to catch the bus to school in the morning in France. Even though I’ve always considered D.C. a big city, in those moments, I feel like I’m in a small town.

Yesterday night, I decided to make a recipe I’ve been meaning to try for a while: soba noodles with roasted zucchini and cherry tomatoes. I found the recipe on Pinterest, and the photo immediately grabbed my attention: Bright, colorful strands of squash, and vibrant, red juicy tomatoes served atop a nest of ribbon-thin noodles. It looked almost too good to eat–but in my experience, there are few things that meet that qualification.

DSCN3725I’ve also been intrigued by soba noodles: I read about them in my new Mediterranean cookbook, and I recently tried them for the first time in bibimbap at a Korean restaurant near my work. I always associated them with soups and salads, but as it turns out, they also work well in a pasta dish.

To make the zucchini, I would highly recommend investing in a julienne peeler–the one I bought was not expensive, and in minutes, I peeled the zucchini into perfect, ribbon-like strings. I roasted the zucchini and cherry tomatoes in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then focused on the pesto.

DSCN3728The recipe calls for using two different kinds of nuts/seeds for the pesto (pumpkin seeds and walnuts), but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Also unlike most pesto, this one is completely vegan. The recipe didn’t call for any Parmesan cheese, so I just combined the seeds with a little olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and kale (the original recipe called for chard…but I didn’t have any on hand).

The great thing about this dish is that is tastes even better cold: While there’s something to be said about the hot, caramelized zucchini and warm, steaming noodles on a cold winter night, the tomatoes get even more juicy on Day 2 (and the flavors in the pesto meld together more). It’s perfect for leftovers the next day for lunch or a quick after-work meal.

DSCN3735Soba Noodles with Kale Pesto, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini (slightly adapted from here)

Ingredients

a pint (about 2 cups) of cherry tomatoes
2 green zucchini, shredded with a julienne peeler or by hand
a drizzle of olive oil
salt+pepper

1 package of soba noodles

for the pesto:
a big bunch of kale
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of walnuts
1 clove of garlic, minced
a squeeze of 1/2 a lemon
a pinch or two of salt + pepper
1/4-1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Roast the zucchini and tomatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 400º.
  • Place the cherry tomatoes and the shredded zucchini on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes and zucchini start to brown.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the pesto:

  • Place all of the ingredients, expect for the olive oil, into a food processor and pulse several times. Then, while the food processor is running, add in the olive oil in a slow stream until you have the consistency you like.
  • Once everything is incorporated, give the pesto a taste and adjust any seasoning accordingly. Sometimes I find it needs a little more lemon juice, or a little more salt/pepper.

When the vegetables are done roasting, prepare the soba noodles. 

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.

Assemble the dish:

  • Spoon the pesto over the noodles and toss until the all the noodles are coated with the pesto. Add in the zucchini and tomatoes on top.
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Winter Couscous and Pomegranate Arugula Salad

IMG_0493Last week, I cooked dinner for my friend Rachel and my roommate Adva. Eventually, I want to have a dinner party in my new apartment. But I thought I’d start small, and try a few dishes from a cookbook I recently purchased, “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi.

I first came across Ottolenghi’s recipes on one of my favorite food blogs, Lottie + Doof. The blog featured spinach, date and almond salad from “Jerusalem” cookbook, and I was instantly smitten. The combination of crispy pita bread, spicy sumac and sweet red onions and dates was unlike anything I have ever tasted, and continues to be one of my favorite recipes. I made it for Rachel when I visited D.C. in July, and she said she has made it for some of her friends and family since.

While “Jerusalem” cookbook offers both vegetarian and meat-centric recipes, “Plenty” is completely focused on vegetarian fare. I mainly cook vegetarian at home, and I’ve already dog-eared most of the recipes in the cookbook. For dinner last week, I wanted something that would come together quickly after work, and would be warming on a cold night. When I came across “the ultimate winter couscous,” I knew I had hit recipe gold.

The recipe comes with a long list of ingredients–so a relatively thorough shopping trip is required. I couldn’t find parsnips, so I substituted in extra carrots. Also, you may or may not find all the spices on the ingredient list. I had some trouble finding star anise and saffron, so in the end I just left them out. If you have those spices at your disposal, I’m sure they’d add another dimension to the dish. But even without them, the couscous turned out well.

IMG_0492The roasted butternut squash and carrots gave the dish an earthy flavor, the cinnamon and dried apricots added a touch of sweetness, and the chickpeas were hearty and filling. We spooned the mixture over heaping piles of buttered couscous, and let the sauces soak into the grains. The dish tasted even better the next day for lunch after the spices and sauce had marinated.

IMG_0491I wanted to make a salad with figs, basil, and goat cheese on the side, but a Whole Foods employee informed me that figs were out of season. So I decided to improvise, and made a salad with arugula, pomegranate seeds, crumbled goat cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is from the original recipe, and incorporates Dijon mustard and pomegranate molasses (also a difficult ingredient to find, but it should be available at ethnic or specialty stores).

The best part about dinner wasn’t the food itself, but seeing Rachel and Adva’s reaction as they tried their first bite. To me, there’s no greater satisfaction than the people I care about enjoying something I made. I’m excited to try new recipes from “Plenty” soon, and to host more dinners in D.C.

The Ultimate Winter Couscous (adapted from “Plenty”)

Serves 4, or even more

Ingredients

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks

8 shallots, peeled

2 cinnamon sticks

3 bay leaves

5 tbsp olive oil

salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp hot paprika

1/4 tsp chile flakes

2 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped

1 cup canned chickpeas

1 1/2 cups chickpea cooking liquid and/or water

1 cup couscous

1 cup boiling vegetable stock

3 tbsp butter, broken into pieces

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the carrots and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, 4 tablespoons of the oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and all the other spices and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the butternut squash, stir, and return to the oven. Continue cooking for about 35 minutes, by which time the vegetables should have softened while retaining a bite. Now add the dried apricots and the chickpeas with their cooking liquid and/or water. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until hot.

After 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour the boiling stock over the couscous. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for about 10 minutes. Then add the butter and fluff up the couscous with a fork until the butter melts in. Cover again and leave somewhere warm.

To serve, spoon couscous onto a plate or into a bowl. Spoon the vegetables onto the center of the couscous.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette (from “Plenty”)

Ingredients

1 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp pomegranate molasses

salt and black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Place the shallot, mustard and pomegranate molasses in a medium bowl. Add some salt and pepper and whisk vigorously as you slowly pour in the olive oil. Aim for a homogenous mixture.

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Butternut Squash, Kale and Pepper Hash

DSCN3718Happy (Belated) New Year! Even though we’re already a couple of weeks in, I haven’t had time to write recently–I just moved to Washington, D.C., and this is my first post from my new apartment. I still can’t believe I’m here; I walk to work every morning, and if I look down a side street, I can see the front of the White House and the Washington Monument in the distance. It seems like an optical illusion–but they’re actually there.

I love D.C. already, not because of the weather (which, given the polar vortex in the Midwest, seems like a Caribbean paradise), or because I’m almost neighbors with President Obama (I will meet him….eventually). It’s the feeling I get when I walk down the street, and I see old buildings, brick sidewalks, and places steeped in history. There’s a palpable energy, and people are constantly on the move. I like the way the city is small in terms of size, but has a larger than life personality. It’s a great place to start something new, because you don’t have to look too far to meet people with similar passions and interests.

But there are also things I have to get used to. When I left my apartment this morning, there was an odd combination of ice, slush and rain on the ground. It was almost like 7-11 spilled one giant slushie on the pavement, and then covered it with a thin layer of ice. Needless to say, it was more difficult than usual to walk to work–and by the time I got home, I was craving comfort food.

So I decided to try a new recipe for butternut squash, kale and pepper hash. The recipe only requires one pan, and comes together quickly. I let the squash get soft in the skillet, and then I added diced onions and red pepper. After letting it simmer for a few minutes, I added spices and chopped kale. I mixed the vegetables together, made a hole in the middle of the skillet, and dropped an egg in. Stick the skillet in the oven for 5-7 minutes (depending on how you like your egg cooked), and then enjoy. If you have leftover squash/vegetable mixture, you can always use it in burritos or quesadillas the next day–or fry an egg on top. The combinations are endless.

Butternut Squash, Kale and Pepper Hash (slightly adapted from here)

  • 1 1/2 cups of Butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup kale, roughly chopped (I just used my hands and tore it into small pieces)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep all the vegetables – peel and diced the squash, red pepper, onion and kale.
  3. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat ½ tbsp of olive oil on medium/high heat.
  4. Add in the squash and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat to medium/low, cover the skillet, and continue to cook the squash until it softens, stirring every so often. (About 3-4 minutes)
  6. Uncover, and turn the heat back up to medium/high.
  7. Add in the pepper and onions and cook them until soft (2-3 minutes.)
  8. Stir in the cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Stir in the kale and let it wilt for a minute.
  10. Make a little nest in the middle of the veggie mixture, and crack the egg into the center. Sprinkle with a pinch of extra salt and pepper.
  11. Place the skillet in the oven, and cook until the egg reaches your desired consistency (about 5-7 minutes depending on how runny you like the yolk)
  12. Enjoy!
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