hash 3

Ever notice it’s hard to find good corned beef hash out? Me, too. Sometimes, when you crave one of your favorite things, it’s best to start in your own kitchen. So, today, I made my own. It’s less of a recipe, more of a concept, so let’s go through the steps together.

CORNED BEEF HASH/EGG IN A HASH HOLE

Everything you chop should be about the same size–the badadas, pepper, onions and corned beef.
2 good-sized red potatoes, skins on, cut into cubes
1 red pepper (I used half red, half orange), chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
about 3/4 pound corned beef (ask for a thick slice at the deli), cut into cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Cook the potatoes in salted water till tender. You can do this a day before to save time on hash day.

Next, chop, chop, chop. The corned beef, too.

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Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add peppers and onion.

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Cook about 5-7 minutes till onions are golden and beginning to lightly brown.

Add potatoes and stir. They should begin to brown in 5-7 minutes. At that point, stir in two tablespoons of heavy cream to form a nice crispy crust.

I’m just cooking for me today, so I transferred my portion of hash to a smaller pan, made an indentation, cracked an egg in and covered, cooking on low for about 5 minutes.

You could make several hash holes in the larger pan if you have company.

hash done

And there you have it. Egg in a hash hole. Don’t like eggs? Hash stands just fine on its own and is a meal unto itself. Enjoy!

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I woke up this morning and found a message wishing me a happy anniversary. It’s been four years–162 posts!–of food and tasty beverages! Time flies when you’re having fun.

The past month, I’ve been on a frozen cheese blintz kick. It’s nice ‘n’ easy to throw a blintz in a pan with some butter and oil, then top it with homemade blackberry syrup and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. In fact, it’s so easy to make, I made the syrup today as my blintz was sizzling. Of course, it would be delish on pancakes or waffles, too. Or  ice cream. But who eats ice cream for breakfast?

BLACKBERRY SYRUP FOR BLINTZES

6 oz. container of blackberries
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Ready for how easy this is? Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As the berries get soft, you can use a potato masher just to break them up a bit.

Let cool and store in the fridge. Enjoy a sweet start to your day! And remember this sage advice from our friend Frank: Nice ‘n’ easy does it every time. Snap. Snap. Snap.

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Looking for a sweet ‘n easy way to start your day? Apricot almond bread pudding coming right up! Ultra-almond-y, custard-y inside, with a toasted almond, slightly crunchy sugar top! I adapted this from my favorite, tried and true chocolate bread pudding recipe.

ALMOND APRICOT BREAD PUDDING

1 baguette, sliced into 1-inch cubes (2 mini baguettes = 12 oz. in today’s batch)
canned apricots, slice each half in three slices
1.5 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup (½ stick) of butter
½ cup sugar (I used ½ light brown, half Sugar in the Raw)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds for top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange half the bread in a buttered 8 x 8″ baking dish. Distribute sliced apricots evenly across the bread so each serving will have a few pieces.

Heat the cream, milk and butter. Add to the eggs, sugar and almond extract you’ve beaten in a separate bowl.

Pour this mixture over the bread. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and 2 teaspoons sugar in the raw.

Place this pan into a larger (9 x 13″) pan filled with an inch or so of hot water. The water should come no higher than two thirds of the way up the side of the pudding pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge of the pan comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold–it was breakfast today, but would be a great dessert! To take it over the top, pour a little heavy cream over the top. 🙂 Or add whippy cream. Whatever you do, enjoy!

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How about a little lovin’ from the oven on a Sunday morning? This Pillsbury classic is an old favorite of mine. I’ve been making these for so long, they feel like my own recipe, though I think I must have found them in a magazine or on the label of a Pillsbury crescent roll can once upon a time.

The original recipe is doubled. I rarely feel the need to be surrounded by 8 danish, so here’s the recipe as I always make it: one can of crescents yields four yummy cream rolls.

ALMOND CREAM ROLLS
4 oz. cream cheese (I use reduced fat Neufchatel–nothing is lost in translation)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
sliced almonds for the tops
1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls
cinnamon to sprinkle over the inner cream layer

Egg wash
1 egg white + 1 teaspoon water

Glaze
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 to 2 teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, almond extract and powdered sugar.

Separate crescents into four rectangles. Use your fingers to seal the dotted line that runs diagonally across each rectangle. Spread each rectangle with a quarter of the cream cheese filling to within a quarter inch of the edges. Sprinkle cinnamon over cream cheese. Starting at the longer side, roll up each rectangle into a long roll of dough. Gently stretch each long roll to approximately 10 inches long. Then coil each roll into a spiral with the seam on the inside. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

In small bowl, whisk together egg white and water, brush over roll. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake at 350 degrees F for 17 to 23 minutes.

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Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Enjoy your breakfast!

“Some people like cupcakes exclusively, while myself, I say there is not–nor ought there be–nothing so exalted on the face of God’s great earth as that prince of foods, the muffin!” (Frank  Zappa)

Then again, some people think they don’t like muffins. But those people (whoever they are!) really should try these, because if you like cornbread and you like blueberries, well, what’s not to like? They’re sweet little corn cakes with fresh blueberries baked inside, all sorts of golden on top, perfect for breakfast or snickity-snackin’!

Yeah, you want one right now. I completely understand, so sit down in that chair right there, let me show you how it’s done (fire on the mountain, run, boys, run!). If you had any idea how many versions of that song I had to click through to find the correct version (NOT the “son-of-a-gun” one!). 😉 HA HA!

KATTY’S BLUEBERRY CORN MUFFINS

¼ cup butter, softened
scant ¼ cup light brown sugar
scant ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup fresh blueberries

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add milk and orange juice. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, stir till moistened. Now stir in half to three quarters of the blueberries. Save a handful to sprinkle over the top of each muffin—the rest of the blues will sink to the bottom.

As usual, I love my Wilton silicone baking cups for making muffins, or any single-sized serving of something. Either brush them with melted butter, or use softened butter to coat them, then spoon the batter JUST UNDER the fill line. When you sprinkle the extra blueberries, you should hit the fill line.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 9-10 delicious muffins. Best that’s ever been? I dunno–maybe so. You tell me!

How about an almond-y twist on French toast? Talk about almond joy! I often make this just for me.

Almond French toast with "meat candy"

ALMOND FRENCH TOAST FOR ONE

1 egg
splash of milk
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon sugar

handful of sliced almonds
2 slices bread (I used a lovely sourdough boule)
butter for toasting
maple syrup

Whisk together egg, milk, almond and sugar; soak bread with egg mixture. Toast in a buttered pan over medium heat till golden brown. Aw, heck, you know what French toast is supposed to look like–kinda like faint tiger-stripes on each deliciously eggy slice (see above!).

Throw the almonds in to warm them up in some of the butter. You can simply sprinkle them over the top of the toast, but getting them buttery beforehand is an even better idea.

Serve with vanilla maple syrup–take a vanilla bean and let it hang out and infuse in your syrup bottle. Mmmmmmmmmmm! I had mine with candied bacon and blame Rick Bayless for wearing his “Bacon is meat candy” t-shirt when I saw him on Mexico: One Plate at a Time yesterday. It’s dangerous to be quite so suggestible…and dammit, I want that t-shirt. 🙂 

http://newsblaze.com/story/20080829153259rocc.nb/topstory.html

CANDIED BACON

Dredge bacon in brown sugar and cook as usual. My favorite way to do it is in the oven on foil (or parchment). Just about 10-12 minutes per side at 350 degrees F will do the trick. IMPORTANT: resist the temptation to blot or rest the bacon on a paper towel no matter how you cook it ’cause it will stick!