Shakshuka- baked eggs, tomato and goodness

This dish has been floating in my thoughts since Feb 2014 when Chloe and I visited Irving Street Kitchen in Portland and I ate their, quote “Moroccan Slow Poached Eggs and Grilled Garlic Rubbed Toast”.It was spicy, simple yet had depth and very good.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-8

The house smoked Tasso side of bacon also rang my bell. I basically searched online tomatoes and baked eggs and Shakshuka popped up. But really it’s not a name that’s going to stick in my overcrowded mind. I also reached for the wonderful Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. They have a fantastic website as well.

I drew, as always, from a combination of recipes- Jerusalem, David Liebowitz’s Shakshuka and a simple version in the NYTimes.

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new york 2/14… first part

I left Seatac airport over two hours late last Friday, due to the arrival plane’s mechanical difficulties. Under the notion I’d be spending the night in Chicago, IL left me a) disappointed to think I wouldn’t even have time to make it downtown for a look around and b) that I truly wished to have a dash more enthusiasm for the Super Bowl in which case I could have at least been able to partake in the mass craze of blue and green jerseys and paraphernalia. Go Seahawks… and we all now know they did.

Flying out of Seattle and over the mountains…

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com

Incredible patterns we never consider when we are within them. Such a different perspective.

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chocolate mousse to ring in the new year

Here’s a little sweet treat you can make ahead for New Year’s Eve

Chocolate Mousse* in all it’s divinity

chocolate mousse-27

It’s really a simple feat that can be done in less than an hour. Continue reading

Meringue: White loveliness x2

Pavlova from Nigella Lawson’s, How to Be a Domestic Goddess…
pavlova-6

Twice in four weeks has this delicate, GF I might add, delicacy graced our table. I find it to be the perfect summer dessert. Well actually it’s perfect year round, but topped with fresh picked summer berries it is hard to beat. When searching Nigella and pavlova for a recipe link, I also came across this wonderfulness in chocolate.

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Polar Bear Plunge 2013, Orcas Island WA

Cascade Lake, Moran State Park, Orcas Island WA 1-1-13
Polar plunge and egg basket-2-2Polar bear plunge. Three very descriptive words. I see a white polar bear in full throttle sinking into an exposed patch of the ice. It is an adrenaline rush that has yet to seduce me.
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Peach chutney perks up the deviled egg…

Peach chutney and deviled eggs

I’ve got peaches in the freezer, peaches in the fridge, peaches on the counter… and what about the plums? Got them too. And a few fruit flies having a PARTYYYY! The sun just won’t quit which is warm, wonderful and scary at the same time. I prefer to think Indian summer rather than global warming.

Peaches

We got a 1/2 case of these beauties. If you look closely, James might peek around the corner.

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Coffee and Kahlua Pots de Creme

Ok… did you leave a little room for dessert?  These posts are short on story and long on taste. The third course for our dinner for two will be a Coffee and Kahlua Pots de Creme featuring Nielson Massey’s coffee extract, yet another treasure hidden in the black cotton goodie bags at Plate to Page. I can only imagine what it’s like to partake at the Emmy’s!

I’ve been on a pots de creme kick as they are just too easy and their flexibility in taste is exponential. Basically, this little dessert will take on the personality of your choice. Here we’ve got a grown up combination that doesn’t even require any infusion.

{Print Recipe} for Coffee and Kahlua Pots de Creme

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (225ml) cream
  • 1/2 cup (112ml) milk
  • 4oz (115g) chocolate (milk if you want a little sweeter or dark)
  • 4 large yolks
  • 3T (42g) sugar
  • 1T (15ml) Coffee Extract
  • 1T (15ml) Kahlua
  • 1 tsp(5ml) vanilla
  • 3/4 c (175ml) whipping cream for garnish

You will heat your milk and cream and whisk in the chocolate. Beat your yolks, sugar and salt till a little lighter in color. Then add coffee, Kahlua, and vanilla. Slowly pour heated cream and chocolate into yolk mixture, tempering the yolks, not scrambling. Gently whisk together. Pour into ramekins and skim the foam off the tops or go all out and use a sieve.

These ramekins are a little on the small size at 4oz. They are recycled pudding cups from the grocery store. I love that. I have a collection of lovely terra cotta yogurt pots from France too! Europe still sees their fair share of paper and plastic containers, but I prefer to purchase glass when possible.

You can see here a bit of foam here that I didn’t skim.

The only downside, which is really minor, is a little sponginess on top. NO BIGGIE! But if you want extra smooth. SKIM.

And there you have it…. Short and sweet. In real life these got ate up quick. Not a lot of hanging around for a photo shoot!

You’ve got now a fabulous three course dinner that is perfect for summer, garners a sense of sophistication, and is ‘doable’!

Goat cheese Salad with Candied Pistachios and Citrus vinaigrette followed by Seared Scallops and creamy goat cheese polenta with a light citrus sauce, ending with a coffee & Kahlua pots de creme. And don’t forget the honey pots de creme might also be a nice fit in here. Enjoy.

On Saturday we head to the states for our summer US of A fix, spending a majority of time on Orcas Island, a little time in Seattle and a visit to Atlanta where I’ll have a little real time visit with Jodi from Biscuits and Bobbins. In the meantime, stay tuned for a blueberry treat from Jodi in a few days time.

Tschüß for now,

P.S…..Here’s a couple photos I took flying into the San Juan Islands…

Honey & Vanilla Pots de crème

Honey and Vanilla Pots de Crème

for the Monthly Mingle hosted by CookRepublic featuring ‘honey’

Walking through my local market yesterday, iPhone in hand, Epicurious on my screen, I struggled to flip through recipes while pushing my cart at an unacceptably slow pace. Searching for a good recipe that featured honey, I perused options …

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Deep dish quiche

This was a popular item on our menu at Chez Chloé. Deep dish savory torte. Deep dish quiche. Let me know if you think of the perfect name. Honestly, I can’t remember where I saw this the first time or if I made it up. I don’t think I can take the credit for the original idea but this is my recipe.

This is a great dish to serve for a Sunday brunch or to bring to a gathering. I brought this last week to my choir rehearsal…. and I was an hour late. 30 minutes because I had the start time wrong and 30 minutes because I forgot how long this monster needs to cook. So give yourself a break and do it the night before. You can warm it up in the morning. Or if you insist on baking it fresh… have your crust ready in the springform, your veggies sautéed, and your egg mix ready to pour. Then just put it together and bake. Or how about make it for dinner.

What I love about this is you can really use what’s available in your fridge for the garniture (filling). Leftover veggies, sausages etc. Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta is a great combo too.

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Veggie quiche and a collage

There are many versions of baked eggs. One of my favorite cookbooks containing all egg based recipes is Michel Roux ‘Eggs’

As much as I love a light quiche, this is a denser, eggy version of quiche if you don’t want to use as much cream (or you don’t have any on hand). I started with my pie crust in the morning.  See below for crust recipe.

This is a tried and true savory crust recipe from cooking school and in the crust bible:

  • 250g flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g butter
  • 50ml (call it a gram) cold water
  • 1 yolk
  • Flour, salt, butter pulsed in cuisinart.  Place in bowl or on counter.
  • Add water and yolk. Lightly knead to bring ingredients together and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30min.
  • Roll out, place in pie dish, cover with parchment paper, fill with pie weights or garbanzo beans like I do.(If your fridge is bigger than my Euro under the counter you can put rolled out crust back in fridge for another 30 min or longer.
  • Bake at 400° for 12 min
  • Remove weights and paper, bake another 5-8 min.

The filling is on the collage. Except I forgot green pepper, zucchini, salt to taste and maybe a grate or 2 from a fresh nutmeg…. and since what I wanted to say is it took me as long to figure out how to do the collage as it did to make this quiche (including the crust making and resting, pre-baking, cooking the filling and cooking the quiche itself), I just thought I’d add it on here. Did I mention the app was free?

  • Sauté your veggies, cool slighty, put in pre-baked pie crust.
  • Mix eggs and whole milk and gently pour over sauteed veggies
  • Place slices of chevre on top
  • Bake at 400° for 30min.

And you can be completely creative with this….. Quiches are the perfect place to use your last scraps of things including veggies, meats, cheeses.

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