Archive for the 'breakfast' Category

Apricot-Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

Kidney bean biscotti 4 Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

Our basement has become a virtual coffee maker museum. If you were to go down to my basement storage room, you’d find among the spiderwebs a French press, a vintage percolator I rescued from an about-to-be-torn-down house, a standard drip, a Chemex and an Aeropress, half a dozen bags of good beans and still I can’t make a decent cup of coffee. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I must rely on baristas to make them for me on a regular basis, and that yes, if I saved all the money I spent and put it in a jar I could go on a fabulous vacation every year, but I’d rather have all that good coffee.

kidney bean biscotti 2 585x875 Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I really like something carby to go with. Generally I like my cookies chewy, with a crisp edge; dry, hard biscotti isn’t my thing, but it turns out crisp, dunkable-in-coffee biscotti totally is. I may even sneak a few in my laptop bag to the coffice.

Kidney bean biscotti Collage Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

These biscotti are made with beans, giving them a bit of a protein boost that alleviates some of the guilt associated with eating cookies for breakfast. And if I hadn’t told you, and you hadn’t seen the recipe, you’d never know – beans don’t have a particularly strong flavour, and so they’ll go along with whatever you want them to. Generally I use white kidney beans for aesthetic reasons, but I gave red ones a go out of curiosity and they turned out a lovely pecan colour. I’ll draw the line at black beans.

Related: my kitchen is still intact. But it’s getting close! These home renos are more work than I thought, particularly with a 100 year old house. Oy. Updates soon!

Apricot-Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or any combination of all-purpose and whole wheat)
1 cup oats
3/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup canned red or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained (half a 19 oz/540 mL can)
1/4 cup orange juice or milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt; pulse until the oats are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse to blend. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Put the beans, juice, oil, egg and vanilla into the food processor and pulse until smooth; add to the dry ingredients along with the almonds and apricots, or whatever additions you would like to add. Stir just until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into a log on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray (the dough will be a bit sticky-dampening your hands helps), flattening it so that it’s about 15 inches long and 4 inches wide. (Divide the dough into two if it doesn’t fit on your cookie sheet, or make longer, thinner logs for smaller biscotti.) If you like, sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then cut on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Stand the biscotti upright on the baking sheet, spacing them about half an inch apart, and bake for another 30 minutes, until crisp and dry.

Makes about 2 dozen biscotti.

button print gry20 Apricot Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti

May 29 2014 | breakfast and cookies & squares | 8 Comments »

Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

ham mushroom tart 11 Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

My youngest sister is a really fantastic cook. She’s a total cake boss and makes other delicious things, like baked yams with piles of butter and brown sugar, roast hams with wedges of Bosc pear, and this mushroom tart, which made an appearance at the last few family dinners and was so good I would have gladly forsaken the turkey (and the stuffing, and the mashed potatoes) for it. It’s a rich, dense, cheesy-creamy-buttery tart – the sort every 80′s quiche aspires to be.

mushroom tart Collage Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere
mushroom tart Collage 2 Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

If I called this a ham quiche, it wouldn’t do it justice. It deserves more words. It’s no quiche Lorraine. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

My sisters’ are long and elegant, baked in rectangular tart tins with removable bottoms and cut crosswise into slices. Mine is round because much rummaging around in the basement resulted in the discovery of many spiders and one Santa suit but zero tart pans of the rectangular variety. I used mine as a vehicle for leftover ham bits – and I figured if two thirds of a cup of grated Gruyère is good, a full cup is better, and a cup and a half even trumps that. If Gruyère isn’t your favourite, I imagine aged Gouda or white cheddar would be equally fab.

ham mushroom tart 5 585x408 Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

I used rosemary because that’s what was here, and fresh crimini mushrooms (they look like brown button mushrooms) rather than reconstitute the dried kind, which was called for in the original recipe, but I’ve never been much fond of doing, with all the rubberiness and the gritty-bottomed leftover mushroom water. Really, you could sauté any number of ingredients (spinach! kale! onions! peppers!) and spread them out over the bottom of this buttery crust, pour the rich egg custard overtop and bake it, scattered with more cheese. But this – it’s like rich mushroom soup pie. In a very good way.

ham mushroom tart 2 Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

Inspired by Bon Appétit, May 1994

Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold water

Filling:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-4 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb cremini, brown or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary and/or thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Cognac, sherry or brandy (optional)
1/2 cup finely diced ham
1 cup grated Gruyère, aged Gouda or white cheddar
3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg

To make the crust, in a bowl (or the bowl of a food processor) combine the flour and salt, then pulse or blend in the butter until almost combined – the mixture should resemble coarse meal. Add the water and stir until the dough comes together. Let it sit on the countertop for 20 minutes to rest – or stick it in the fridge if it’s warm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 10-12-inch circle – just bigger than a 9 or 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fit it into the pan and fold the edges over inward, making a double-thick crust; trim to about 1/8-inch above the edge of the pan. (I used a larger pan and so didn’t do this – just trimmed it to within 1/8 inch without folding it over.) Preheat oven to 375°F and chill the crust for 20-30 minutes.

To make the filling, heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and mushrooms until soft; add the rosemary, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until all the liquid has cooked off and the mushrooms are starting to turn golden. If you like, add a shot of Cognac, sherry or brandy and cook until it evaporates. Stir in the ham.

Line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights; bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the crust. Cover with the mushroom mixture. Whisk together the cream, yolks and egg – add a few extra snippets of thyme if you like – and pour the custard over the mushrooms. Scatter with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, until set and golden. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Serves 12.

pixel Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere
button print gry20 Ham & Mushroom Tart with Rosemary & Gruyere

April 22 2014 | appetizers and breakfast and one dish | 12 Comments »

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