Tag Archives: pesto

Breakfast Brioche, Baked Eggs, Bubbles, and Bulldogs

Cutest little guy you ever did see.

Remember how I was making a case to bring  the Slumber Party back? Well I’m adding something else to that list: Brunch and Bubbles. A perfectly brilliant combination, brunch allows for so many of my favorite things (easy, make-ahead dishes; beautifully set tables; champagne before noon). Furthermore, in these wildly busy lives that we all seem to lead, where syncing up calendars can often result in not seeing dear friends for weeks, Sunday Brunch seems to be a secret pass, often unscheduled and just waiting for a mimosa to kick it off.

This past weekend’s brunch was even better than usual, because not only did we have Blueberry Mimosas, Savory Breakfast Brioches, and Baked Eggs…we had Bulldogs! Well, just one bulldog to be precise, and a pretty stinking cute one at that. Meet Madden Hardaway Fay.

Lest you think it’s not possible, let me assure you that he is even cuter in person…the kind of cute that makes your heart pop and damn your willpower not to get a second dog. The only thing cuter than a 12-week old bulldog puppy? A 12-week old bulldog puppy romping and rolling for all he’s worth with Mr. Duke. They played for hours, we ate and drank for hours, and everyone was oh-so-pleased.

Those Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns were pretty out of this world, but since Matt is vehemently opposed to almost all things sweet, I decided to try a savory variety. And let me just say…we may have a problem here. They were delicious (damn them), and a perfect brunch entrée since they can be made completely ahead and then just popped into the oven the morning of. Serve them with Baked Eggs and Bubbles, and raise a toast to bringing brunch back.

Savory Breakfast Brioche with Prosciutto, Pesto, Feta, and Artichokes

Savory Breakfast Brioche, with Prosciutto, Pesto, Artichoke Hearts, and Feta

Serves 8

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°, you can use a meat thermometer to check)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and chopped into about 16 small pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon. salt
  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Filling:

  • 1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup feta (you could sub another cheese if you liked)

How-To

  1. Make the dough.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 7 – 10 minutes. You want to see some little air bubbles.
  2. Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, salt and 3 cups flour.  Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place). After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.
  3. Roll dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Top with the pesto, prosciutto, feta, and artichoke hearts. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.

    Adding the filling.

  4. Place dough slices, flat side down. Space out so that they roughly fill the whole pan while still slightly touching in places. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving room for the buns to rise, and refrigerate overnight.

    Ready to rise.

  5. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator an hour before you want to make and let come to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Bake buns on the middle rack until golden, 28 – 32 minutes.
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Filed under Breakfasts, Comfort Foods, Entertaining, Make ahead, Uncategorized

The Classics: Knife and Fork Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

I almost never make the same thing twice. Perhaps it is because the ever-growing pile of cookbooks and magazines in my kitchen creates a minor level of anxiety that “I don’t have time to make that again!!! Do you have any idea how many recipes there are in the world??”

And yet, as I look at the search terms that consistently drive people to Shut Up & Cook, it’s the same few items over and over again.

There are also the slightly ridiculous search terms. A few favorites include:

  • “shut up and cook chili”
  • “how to pronounce seared”
  • “big butt cupcakes” (isn’t that awesome?)

So yesterday when I was starving and thinking about what to make, what I really wanted was a good ‘ol fashioned Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. And without fail, the little voice in my head went off, “You can’t make that!! You just got a new Food & Wine. Do you have any idea how EASY and BORING that is?!?!”

Fortunately for me, sheer hunger took over as did our impending trip to Ikea and I threw my culinary snobbery to the wind, grabbed the bag of prepared Chicken Tenders from our freezer (yes, gasp, I know) and made a massively delicious sandwich.

To be fair, I dressed it up with slow roasted tomatoes and cilantro pesto, but it was still damn easy and damn good.

Sometimes we need to remember it’s okay to stick with the classics, and not always reinvent the wheel…remind me of that when I forget, would you please?

Knife and Fork Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Knife and Fork Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

As the name implies, this is definitely a knife and fork sandwich. Delicious with a glass of red wine such as a Syrah.

Serves 2.

  • 4- 6 Breaded Chicken Tenders, pending on size. Costco has some good options here
  • 2 Ciabatta rolls, cut in half
  • Cilantro Pesto – Recipe coming soon or store-bought would be fine
  • Slow Roasted Tomatoes – Recipe coming soon or store-bought would be fine
  • 2 Slices Mozzarella
  • Handful of Arugula
  1. Preheat oven to 450. On a cookie sheet lined with foil place tenders and cook for 20 minutes until beginning to brown. Turn half-way through.
  2. Meanwhile, spread approximately 2 TB pesto on the top half of each ciabatta. Top with a slice of mozzarella. Spread approximately 1/4 cup slow roasted tomatoes on the bottom half of each ciabatta.

    Slow Roasting Tomatoes

  3. Pull the cookie sheet from the oven, and leaving the chicken tenders on there, add the bread next to the tenders, with the pesto/cheese and tomatoes facing up.
  4. Add back to the oven and cook until bread is toasted and cheese is bubbling. About 10 minutes.
  5. To assemble sandwiches take the bottoms, add the chicken tenders, add a handful of arugula, and top with the upper halves.
  6. Enjoy with a knife and fork!

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Filed under Comfort Foods

Day 30: Gourmet Meatball Subs

I can be a bit of a snob sometimes.

I don’t mean to be, but there are moments when seemingly out of my control, my East Coast upbringing kicks in and up my nose turns. It might be the result of poor manners, tacky decorating, or bad food. You know what I mean…those meals they served in elementary school like Sloppy Joes or Tuna Casserole? Up until a short period of time ago I would have included Meatball Subs in the shun-worthy category. That is…until I tried the recipe from the “Tartine Bread” cookbook.

Tartine Bread

The book that changed it all

These things are amazing. Granted…the addition of pesto, fontina, and arugula definitely provide for a lift in status, but in addition to that they’re just really dang tasty.

Having reached Day 30 of my “Month of Exploration” these feel like the perfect culinary representation of what I’ve learned: Faster isn’t always better, glamorous isn’t always worth it, and sometimes it’s okay to admit you’re happy with just plain ‘ol good.

Serve these for a casual weeknight dinner with friends paired with a great bottle of red wine, such as a Malbec.

Gourmet Meatball Subs, adapted from Tartine Bread to make a bit easier to prepare and lactose free

Serves 6

3 TB Olive Oil

1 large white onion, chopped

1 lb ground beef with at least 20 percent fat

1 pound ground pork

4 large eggs

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Two 16-ounce cans chopped tomatoes (splurge on the good, organic option)

6 crusty sub rolls, or one large crusty baguette cut, split in half lengthwise

Good pesto, store-bought (yes, homemade is better, but for a Wednesday, store-bought is just fine)

6 slices fontina

2 cups baby arugula

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×12 baking dish. To make the meatballs, in a large deep skillet over medium-low heat, warm 2 TB of the olive oil. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent and beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a large bowl combine the beef, pork, eggs, panko, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and cooled onions. Mix well to combine. Form the meat mixture into balls the size of golf balls. Add to the baking dish and bake until cooked through, but not overcooked, about 25 minutes.

Ingredients

Ingredients for the meatballs

Meanwhile, in the onion skillet add the remaining 1 TB olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and deglaze the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned residue. Bring the tomatoes to boil and reduce the heat to very low. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Simmering meatballs

Simmering meatballs

Spread the top half of each roll with the pesto spread. Add the cheese to the bottom half (skipping if you’re making lactose free) and top with meatballs and sauce. Add the top back on and loosely wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until the cheese has melted and the bread is crispy and toasted, about 25 minutes. To serve, unwrap from the foil, top with fresh arugula, and offer extra sauce for dipping.

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Filed under Comfort Foods, Lactose Free, Month of Exploration