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Posts Tagged ‘leftovers’

If I had to choose just one meal to eat three times each day, breakfast would win hands down — but only if it included bacon and eggs. Sorry, I realize that isn’t politically correct, but I simply cannot fathom the idea of dining on granola with flax seed and yogurt as a steady diet for the rest of my life. Yes, I might live longer. But I wouldn’t be happy.

When I was a child we sometimes had pancakes or scrambled eggs for dinner. I guess my mother was ahead of her time in celebrating Meatless Mondays, decades before it became a trendy practice. Or perhaps she started the trend? Hmm … let me give that some thought.

Scrambled eggs were always on the top on my list for childhood meatless dinners. Mom perfected a method of stirring the eggs that allowed them to form large curds that were still thoroughly cooked inside. We initially nicknamed them “Casper Eggs”  – after the amorphous cartoon character – but we always looked for other shapes to emerge. “Look, that one is a rocket ship!” It was kind of like looking for images in the shapes of clouds. Or like taking a Rorschach test. But I digress.

Recently I wrote about retro cocktail parties and shared a recipe for Spinach Parmesan Crostini. The crostini topping is based on an updated recipe that can double as a spinach dip for veggies (for your next healthy cocktail party). I recently discovered another use for the leftover creamy topping — a hearty breakfast to kick-start the morning.

Creamy Scrambled Eggs and Spinach

Creamy Scambled Eggs with Spinach

Since it can be made with leftover creamy spinach, this quick but elegant dish is nice for a weekend breakfast or easy dinner. You can also double or triple the recipe if you happen to be serving brunch to guests. Just add freshly baked muffins or bagels with smoked salmon lox. And bacon.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large eggs (more…)

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Like most Alaskans I enjoy cooking and eating salmon and other seafood, but I have a confession — I crave red meat. Beef, pork, and lamb often win when I’m faced with the choice between a protein that had hooves versus one that had fins. Yes, I know some readers may deem this stance to be politically incorrect, but I am a meatetarian. It is part of my genetic makeup.

It would be easy to limit my red meat coverage to recipes that focus on high-end gourmet cuts. Who doesn’t enjoy a juicy rib steak or flavorful pork chops? (Vegetarians, you might as well stop reading now. You are unlikely to find much of interest in this essay or the recipe that follows – other than how to make a roux – but I’ll write something specifically for you in a future column. I promise.)

Yes, New York steaks and rack of lamb are delicious and a cinch to prepare, but easy preparation isn’t as interesting as perfecting the techniques needed to properly cook inexpensive or less-tender cuts of meat. Truth? The inexpensive cuts are often far more flavorful than the pricey ones, as long as they are handled with care.

Enjoy slow-braised beef brisket on a crusty kaiser roll, topped with caramelized onions, sautéed red peppers, and greens -- create a wonderful lunch from leftovers.

 
Despite being inexpensive, brisket rarely made an appearance on our table when I was growing up in the Midwest, probably because low, slow cooking methods weren’t my mother’s forte. When it did appear, it was in the sad form of thin, dry slices of beef leather. I remained convinced that I didn’t like brisket until I was well into my 20s and living in Texas. That was when I discovered how flavorful and delicious brisket can become in the hands of a knowledgeable cook.

For me, brisket was the first in a series of culinary epiphanies. The recollection of luscious, tender brisket and beef ribs lovingly slow-smoked by Goode Company Barbeque on Kirby Drive in Houston can still make me swoon, and are some of my favorite memories from my years in Texas. Ribs! Brisket! With such rich, deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas flavor, no sauce was ever needed — the meat could stand alone. Ah, but I digress.

At the risk of riling up my Texas friends and starting yet another Texas versus Alaska feud, I’m going out on a limb with this next proclamation. Great brisket can be prepared without – yes, I said without – using a smoker or barbecue grill. Yes, I hear the howls of dissent. But before you discount other methods for cooking brisket, keep in mind that I live in a place where winter can last for 7 months and temperatures can easily reach 20 below zero. Indoor cooking is easier in Alaska. Cooking is also one of the ways I keep my sanity during the long, dark months of winter.

Beef brisket, in my opinion, is one of the more misunderstood cuts of beef. To the uninitiated it appears similar to steak, a deception that tricks far too many cooks

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