Tag Archives: prosciutto

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

Day 1: Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

Day 1 of my self-imposed month of personal work (or what my dear friend Emma more generously calls “my month of exploration.”)

Doggedly determined to do (and enjoy) all those things I always swore I would do if I wasn’t sitting at my desk at 7a I slept in, albeit waking up at 6:30a on the dot and smugly noticing that the “on” button on my alarm clock was humbly dark. I lounged in bed in my PJs. I ate toffee for breakfast. I watched two (two!) episodes of The Office and I even thought they were funny.

I made it until 12:15p.

And then, I couldn’t take it anymore. I leapt out of bed, cleaned the house, tidied up the kitchen, walked the dog in the pouring ran (the long loop!), picked up cupcakes for book club, and began organizing my closets.

Looks like I’ve got a ways to go until I reach that highly enlightened and peaceful state. In the meantime though, there’s always pasta.

This is very simple, quite yummy, and adapts well to being a base from which you can throw random leftovers into and use them up.

Make it on a rainy Thursday when you realize it might take more work than you thought to slow down.

Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

14 oz can whole artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1/2 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced

4 oz sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (packed in oil)

8 TB Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Fettuccine for 4

1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)

Parmesan (optional)

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, add four TB olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until artichokes are softened and fully blended, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil and cook fettuccine according to directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water before draining.
  4. Add the basil, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and remaining four TB olive oil. Stir well and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, about another 5 minutes.
    Artichoke Mixture

  5. Add the artichoke mixture and pasta water to the cooked fettuccine and toss well. Like all things, this is better with a bit of cream, so if using that add now and toss to combine.
    Tossed
  6. Top with black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan.
    ArtichokeHeartsFinal

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Filed under Comfort Foods, Lactose Free, Month of Exploration, Pasta, Uncategorized

The Culinary WonderBra: Grilled Fig and Prosciutto Flatbreads

Sometimes we all need a little pick-me-up. Something to make us feel like a million bucks. These moments can happen in our personal lives, in our careers, and if you’re a passionate, but albeit, untrained cook, in the kitchen.

If ever there was a comparison to the WonderBra in the kitchen, these grilled flatbreads are it. They are easy, fun, delicious and sure to impress a crowd.

Make them when you’re looking for the culinary equivalent of a double take. These babies are guaranteed to deliver it.

Grilled Fig and Prosciutto Flatbreads

Serves 3-4. Can easily be doubled for a crowd.

Pair with a champagne or sparkling wine for the ultimate gourmet, chic, (and effortless) meal.

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce ball of pizza dough, at room temperature (the plain dough from Trader Joes is super cheap and easy)
All-purpose flour
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fig jam (from a 6-ounce jar)
1/4 pound Mozzarella
3 ounces sliced prosciutto
2 cups arugula

  1. Turn your grill on and allow to get quite hot (about 500 degrees).
  2. Divide the pizza dough in half and on a floured surface roll out into two, 12-inch circles. Lightly brush one side of the dough with olive oil.
  3. When the grill is to the desired temperature, put the pizza dough rounds on the grill, oil side down. It may look like they are going to do terrible things like fall through the grates or make a big sticky mess, but they won’t. Close the grill and cook until bottoms are golden brown and beginning to puff up. Flip the dough and allow to just slightly cook on the other side (you’re essentially just getting it firm enough that you can handle it). Remove from grill and transfer to a plate.
  4. Top the pizza (the first side you cooked) with a thin layer of fig jam, prosciutto, and mozzarella.
  5. Return to the grill and allow to finish cooking (the dough should be slightly blackened in spots and the cheese should be fully melted and bubbly).
  6. Remove, top with arugula (allowing to slightly wilt) and serve.

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Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Entertaining, Uncategorized

Cupcakes Make My Butt Big

Warm Mushroom Salad

Warm Mushroom Salad

My friend’s 20-month old daughter came home from daycare the other day and declared, while having a snack, “Cupcakes make my butt big.” Half an hour later while sipping a juice she made a similar proclamation: “Juice make my butt big.”

Now, all women have clearly thought these things to themselves occasionally, and have maybe confessed these thoughts to a good friend, but the fact that they were coming out of the mouth of a child not yet even two was understandably shocking and upsetting. A quick call to the daycare determined that the staff there had undertaken a “Biggest Loser” challenge and weight was very much on the minds of the caretakers. Admittedly, weight and body image are things that everyone struggles with, and some more than others, but the demonizing of food is something I vow to try to avoid in my children, for as long as possible.

Food should be celebrated and enjoyed. A chance to get people together, where they may share the mundane reports of the day coupled with the big dreams of the year.

Which is not to say that every now and then a few low-cal additions to the meal plan isn’t a good thing.

This Warm Mushroom Salad is a wonderful mix of indulgent and healthy. Easy to make and very pretty to serve it makes both a great lunch or a pretty salad when entertaining.

Warm Mushroom Salad (adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten)

1 lb cremini mushrooms

2 TB butter

6 TB olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 bunches fresh arugula

8 slices prosciutto

3 TB sherry wine vinegar

Chunk of Parmesan

8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and julienned

Remove the mushroom stems and slice the caps to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

In large saute pan heat the butter and 2 TB of the oil until bubbly. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper to pan and saute for 3 minutes over medium heat, tossing frequently. Reduce the head to low and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, arrange the arugula on 4 places and cover each portion with 2 slices of prosciutto. When are mushrooms are cooked, add the sherry vinegar and the remaining 2 TB oil to the hot pan. Spoon the mushrooms and sauce on top of the prosciutto. With a vegetable peeler make large shaving of the parmesan cheese and plan on top of the hot mushrooms. Sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes. Serve warm.

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Filed under Health Conscious, Salads, Uncategorized