I never cared much for grits until I met my sweet Southern husband. We still don’t have them in our regular rotation, but they’re a nice change of pace every once in a while, and they’re certainly easier to make than anything that involves peeling potatoes. These Creamy Cheddar Grits (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) paired nicely with the French Country Omelet (also from Back to Basics). For the omelet, I only have a 12″ oven-safe pan, and the recipe called for a 10″ pan. I just added an extra egg and a dash of extra milk, and I shared my portion with the toddler on my lap. The grits must have passed muster, because my husband had seconds for dessert.
Tag Archives: eggs
I made a lot of frittatas during the CSA season as a way to use up vegetables at the end of the week. Broccoli was added to bacon and cheddar, and swiss chard was excellent with sausage. This particular frittata used some of our CSA potatoes, and it was hearty enough to serve for dinner, even though it’s probably more traditionally served at breakfast. With a ton of cheese and plenty of eggs, we didn’t miss eating meat for dinner the night we had this.
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, p. 182
Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 177
From the ugly but tasty files, I bring you stuffed cabbage (Barefoot Contessa at Home, pp. 106-107). It’s not pretty, but it tasted so good, and it used our last head of cabbage of the CSA season. It takes a little puttering and a lot of dirty dishes, but the end result was worth the trouble. I omitted the raisins and the brown sugar listed in the recipe, because I don’t really do the whole savory/sweet thing for dinner. I used to have a thing about all raisins found in cooked food, because they got all puffy and swollen. (Not unlike, as a friend pointed out, ticks. Yuck.) I’ve expanded my palate to include raisins baked in things like bread pudding, but I just can’t bear to put them in a dish that also requires ground beef and onions. Someone’s grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave right now because I omitted the sweet ingredients, so I apologize for that, but we enjoyed our dinner sans fruit. (I added a little Worcestershire sauce to the meat to up the flavor in place of the raisins and brown sugar.) Also, I assembled this dish in advance and refrigerated it before baking it, so the cooking time was quite a bit longer than what was called for in the recipe. I used a meat thermometer to make sure it was fully cooked.
Like so many other things, I’ve never used a recipe for French Toast. My mom made it on Saturday mornings when we had surplus milk, eggs, and bread to use up. When making it for a crowd, I’ve made Baked French Toast Casserole, which is a little bit like a breakfast bread pudding. I had some leftover challah in the freezer from Rosh Hashanah, and the first snowy day of the season (in October!) seemed as good of a day as any to try out Challah French Toast (Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 187). You may be thinking, “Wait. She’s an Episcopalian. Why does she celebrate Rosh Hashanah? And who in her right mind has leftover challah?” You’re right. I’m an Episcopalian, in the upper Midwest, no less, and had never formally celebrated Rosh Hashanah before in my life. Some dear friends invited us over for their family celebration, and I volunteered to bring the challah. I was going to make it from scratch, but ended up ordering (way too much of) it from a bakery. I think I showed up with six loaves, just because I couldn’t possibly decide between the egg raisin, vanilla raisin, plain vanilla, plain egg… you get the idea. Our hosts were gracious about the extra loaves, but of course sent some home with me for the freezer. (I learned that night that challah, while usually oblong, is round for the Rosh Hashanah celebration, to acknowledge the circle of life and to celebrate the cycle of the new year.) I have to say, I think leftover/stale/day-old/formerly frozen bread is probably actually better than fresh challah for this recipe, since a little bit of dryness allows the custard of the egg and milk mixture to soak in. There’s orange zest in the custard mixture, which makes it oh-so-good. Unlike the french toast of my youth (and most recipes I’ve seen), this recipe did not call for cinnamon. As much as I love cinnamon, I think it would have competed too much here with the other flavors, especially the orange zest, so I didn’t miss it. This was a big hit all around, including with the picky toddler. Thankfully, there’s more challah in the freezer to make this again!