I created this dish for a cooking class I was teaching at Stonewall Kitchen a couple years back. It was so popular, I've done it a few times there. And The Ellsworth American asked me for a recipe during an interview for a recent issue, so try this the next time you have friends or family over for a weekend brunch! Read the full article and get the full recipe here.
The photos (by talented photographers 5IVE LEAF PHOTOGRAPHY) from the event on May 17th at Cellardoor are up on the website! Check them out! The event was a great success and I thank Bettina for inviting me!
Poached eggs sit atop a pan crisped flour tortilla filled with whipped cream cheese, St. Andre triple cream cheese, Maine smoked salmon, fresh dill, diced onion, a squeeze of lemon and capers (I didn't have any!).
Plate over some micro greens and top with some fresh dill or chopped chives and this is one delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch, light dinner or midnight snack!
I fully appreciate food blogs, particularly those with beautiful food photographs. This blog is one of them! So when Nancy asked if she could interview me for her blog, I was happy to work with her, and flattered that she has my cookbook and appreciates my take on breakfast!
Read the full blog post and see the recipes Nancy made from the cookbook!
Savory Spinach and Parmesan Cheesecake
¾ stick butter, melted
¾ cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
one (10-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
1 bunch scallions
three (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
4 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the melted butter with bread crumbs and Parmesan and press into bottom of
9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Saute the shallots in the olive oil over medium heat until soft and lightly browned,
about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the
pan and place in a large bowl.
4. Add the spinach to the same pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 3
minutes. Remove, pat dry. Chop and add to the shallots.
5. Chop the scallions and add them to the shallot and spinach mixture.
6. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed. Add the cream cheese, sour cream,
goat cheese, mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, and dry mustard and mix for 10 to 15
seconds until well combined.
7. Add the Parmesan and Swiss cheeses and the spinach mixture to the eggs and mix on
low speed for 5 seconds.
8. Pour into the 9-inch spring form pan on top of the cooked bread crumbs and bake for
about an hour, until the center is set. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.
I'm a sucker for colors. It's the artist in me. Walking through the grocery store isn't about sustenance but rather a source of inspiration for creativity. I look at produce in terms of colors. What colors can I combine that will give me contrasting flavors and textures?
Beets were the springboard here. The color is the most gorgeous of all produce! So I knew I wanted to slice and cook some beets in a sugar syrup. To that syrup I added my favorite liquor, St. Germain (elderflower) for a light floral note. Once the beets were done, I removed them and cooked some sliced fennel in the syrup. When the fennel was done, I placed it in a container with a straight St. Germain simple syrup (without the beet juice) and let the beets sit in the juice they were cooked in. I then added some sliced oranges to the syrup with the beets and let them both sit in the refrigerator for two days.
I had a package of fresh cranberries in the fridge. So I made a simple cranberry orange relish. Now, we need something to balance the obvious sweet, citrus and acidity. I thought that a vanilla bean Panna Cotta (from the cookbook) if it was poured into a sheet pan to set up could be cut into squares (next time I'll do circles using a biscuit cutter) to layer with the oranges. I froze the Panna Cotta so that it wouldn't compress when layered and thawed very quickly, which allowed me to plate several and were ready to serve at the right temperature within 15 minutes while remaining stable and upright.
When I tasted all of the ingredients after they macerated for a couple of days, I decided the beets were still a bit too savory for a fruit course. So I layered fresh orange, Panna Cotta, macerated orange, another slice of Panna Cotta, fresh orange and then a small dollop of the cranberry orange relish and topped that off with some of the candied fennel. A drizzle! That's what the plate needed. So I poured a few drops of the beet syrup into my straight St. Germain simple syrup for a slight purple tint and drizzled that around the plate. But now I needed crunch. So I lightly toasted (and very lightly salted) pecans and scattered them over the tower and around the plate. Topped off with a snip of a micro green and voila! - there's my fruit course. Everyone raved and not a drop came back on a plate. And fennel is not something everyone loves!
The only improvement I think would be a Tuile cookie or even a thin slice of biscotti. I'll work on that and report back.
YES, this IS rock legend, Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin!!
He and Patty Griffin stayed with us at the Pomegranate Inn over Christmas! Check out my blog post about it.
When I think about the fact that he and Patty could have stayed anywhere in Portland and chose to stay with us, I'm honored, grateful and even more appreciative now of what he and his band did for rock music in America back in the 70s and beyond. This was just very special and surreal for me and my husband, both having grown up listening to them. My husband played guitar in a band in his late teens and naturally played LZ's music! And for those of you curious fans, Robert was funny, gracious and just the kind of man you'd like to sit with just to listen to his heavy UK accented stories!
From Wikipedia: "Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling music artists in the history of audio recording". The second best selling band in the US only to Elvis Presley. Something like 200-300 BILLION albums sold. That's pretty astounding when you think about the numbers. They're often referred to as the "greatest rock band of all time".
The band was just honored at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors as "Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands."
And to think that I cooked for him? Crazy cool!!!!!! A life highlight I don't think I'll ever forget.
Thank you Robert and Patty for choosing to stay with us! Best to you both and keep putting out the amazing tunes :)
The recipe in the book for the sauce that dresses the poached eggs is good. But I wanted more of it. And as you can see from the cookbook photo, the sauce was thick. I wanted more of a creamy, pourable consistency. So I decided to change it a bit. I first caramelized the poblanos and onions, then add heavy cream (in this 9 inch pan I added about a pint but this will serve 8 or so!) and reduce over medium heat until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. Then I add the sour cream (to this amount I added about 3/4 of a cup), then a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, salt to taste and freshly cracked pepper. And then just before serving I add a drizzle of Fiore chipotle olive oil. Someone once told me "That sauce is so good I could bathe in it!". So below is a video to show you the desired consistency. Enjoy!