Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fried Egg and Mushroom Toasts

I think I may have said before, but Brunch is my most favorite meal! I just cannot think of a single thing wrong with a leisurely weekend morning that ends in a meal half-breakfast, half-lunch, especially when combined with a spicy Bloody Mary. Occasionally, I will make a tartine for a quick brunch. Tartines are open faced sandwiches, meaning they can be extra messy (in the best way) because you're not eating them with your hands. This is a recipe that I have basically adapted from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home Series (my favorite cooking show.) You can watch their great mushroom hunt here. I love the idea of foraging in the woods for a good breakfast!

Fried Egg and Mushroom Tartine


2 Pints of Cremini Mushrooms, Sliced
6 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
6 Stems of Fresh Thyme
2 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Tablespoons of Half and Half
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon of Hot Mustard
1 Teaspoon of White Wine Vinegar (or a Citrus Vinegar)
2 Slices of Buttered Toast 
Salt and Pepper


Grab a frying pan, pour in your oil, and turn the stove heat to medium-high. You want to wait until the pan is nice and hot. Once hot, toss in your creminis, thyme and garlic. Stirring often, wait until the mushrooms have cooked down until nice and brown. They will be about half their original size. Add in your half and half and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Stir until the butter is melted, then pour into a bowl and set aside. Place your remaining butter in the mushroom pan and fry your eggs. Meanwhile, mix your yogurt, mustard, vinegar and a salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. To assemble, take your toasts and spread your yogurt sauce on, then top with your mushrooms, and finally your fried egg!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Puttanesca and Mice

Lately, I've been feeling the need for salty capers and olives with summer tomatoes. I've had Puttanesca twice this week, and I don't think it will stop there. It's by far one of my favorite quick pasta dishes to throw together. Since my best friend and I cooked some in Baltimore, it brings back wonderful memories, memories of red wine, setting up her fresh new apartment, and a delightful little mouse visitor! We were dining and feeling so proud of our accomplishments, when I looked over at the stove. A tiny mouse had crawled up from the gas eye and was checking out our leftovers. After I began sing-songing, "there's a mouse on the stove, there's a mouse on the stove...," my friend hopped up and shooed him away. Puttanesca will now, forever, remind me of her and that little guy!

Pasta Puttanesca


1/2 Vidalia Onion, Chopped
3 Anchovy Filets
4 Cloves of Garlic, 2 Very Thinly Sliced, 2 Minced
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Capers
8 Black Kalamata Olives, Pits Removed and Chopped
1-1/2 Cups of Tomato Sauce 
3 Tablespoons of Red Wine
1 Teaspoon of Sriracha Sauce, or Red Rooster Sauce
2 Cups of Fusili or Penne
2 Teaspoons of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Grated Parmesan


Put a pot of water on to boil for your pasta. When the water comes to a boil, toss in your salt and cook the pasta according to the time on the package. I often use Trader Joe's organic pasta, which usually takes around 10-11 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Toss in your onions, and when they start sizzling, add your anchovy filets. Most people shy away from anchovies, and I'm one of them, except when you use them in a sauce like this. The anchovies will literally melt away and create a nice, dark flavor base for your sauce. Next add in your garlic, then your capers and olives. Once the onions are translucent, pour in your sauce. I like to use an organic spaghetti sauce here, usually a tomato basil version. Reduce the heat to low. Add your red wine and Sriracha sauce. Drain your pasta, but reserve a couple of tablespoons of the water. Add the pasta and reserved water to the sauce pan. Stir together and let the flavors meld for about 5-10 minutes. Serve into your bowls and top with some Parmesan. Enjoy mouse free!