Now that fall is finally here, it’s time to bust out some comforting cool-weather breakfast recipes. I’m a self-declared morning person, but when I wake up with a grumbling tummy, the less hands-on time required of a breakfast recipe, the better. That’s why I love baking eggs in the oven. Call it a casserole or a crustless quiche (or a frittata if you start the cooking process on the stove top). The method is simple: eggs are whisked with a little milk (or half-and-half or cream, whatever you have on hand) and then combined with one to two cups of the fillings of your choice—sausage, leftover veggies, cheese, whatever sounds good–and baked for 30 minutes. Breakfast done.
To take the dish up a notch, top it with a simple arugula salad tossed with an olive oil and lemon dressing. Not only does the arugula salad add extra veggies, but the tartness offers a nice contrast the richness of the eggs. Plus, look how fancy! (more…)
So, kale. It gets lots of buzz in the health food world, and it should. It’s loaded with calcium, vitamins A, C, and K, anti-cancer carotenoids and flavonoids, and it’s been shown to help lower cholesterol. But, uh, it’s kale, and people aren’t always sure what the heck to do with it. The good news is the options are vast: make a salad with a warm vinaigrette, add a bagful to soup or stew, wilt it down with garlic and serve it as a side , throw it in your frittata or fruit smoothie (seriously!), add it to pasta, or make a kale and caramelized onion grilled cheese, if you please.
A few weeks back, I got an email asking me to make my 2014 the year to KALE UP. I’m down for healthy food challenges, so I checked out the KALE UP site, to see what this campaign was all about. Their first blog post introduces kale as your “new friend with benefits” and explains the year to “kale up” means finding easy ways to get kale in your daily life.
I suggest we all start with these 120 calorie savory cheddar-kale scones–they’re a tasty way to score some kale points for the day.
Bacon Bros Public House has been open for less than two years, but many people in town have already declared it one of Greenville’s best restaurants. Located on Pelham Road, a 15 minute drive from downtown Greenville, the kitchen at this meat mecca is headed up by Chef Anthony Gray (who previously served as the executive chef at High Cotton in Charleston), while the front of the house is the stomping ground for general manager Jason Callaway, who worked with Chef Gray at Coal Fired Bistro (also located on Pelham Road). As a sommelier and mixologist, Jason is the mastermind behind Bacon Bros’ inventive cocktail list as well as the new reserve wine list offerings. I met these two fellas during my visit to Greenville with Nichole of Gap Creek Gourmet, and was enamored with this duo of fun-loving jokesters.
The food at Bacon Bros is what I’d call farm-to-table, southern-inspired gastrofare–it’s comforting and hearty, and, sure, they’ve got the southern standards covered, but their urbanized approach has upped the ante. Pimento cheese? They serve it up with bacon jam. Mac and cheese? Theirs has bacon and chiles. The burgers? Made with a house-ground mixture of bacon, brisket, and beef chuck. Jonesin for some pulled pork? How bout pulled pork shoulder with cornmeal and country ham waffles (yep, there’s hunks of ham right in the batter), sorghum BBQ sauce, and creamy slaw? It’s awesome, believe you me, and it was my favorite of all the dishes I devoured at Bacon Bros.
When you’re visiting a place with “bacon” in the name, especially one that cures, smokes, and dries all their meats in house, you’d be remiss to pass on the charcuterie offerings. The term “in-house” used here is literal–there’s a glass-enclosed curing room near the rear of the restaurant, where you can see the Bacon Bros pride and joy: all-natural, pasture-raised meats from South Carolina farms, which they pitt smoke with South Carolina peach wood. They even sell packs of their peach wood smoked bacon to-go for $9. How’s that for bringing home the bacon?
There are half a dozen “snacks” (or small plates) on the menu, including tater tots with smoked pork shoulder, sticky bacon caramel popcorn, and cornmeal fried pickles with smoked ranch. I imagine most people come to Bacon Bros to eat themselves to the brink of meat sweats (I know I was successful in this mission), but if salad is your thing there are several interesting options, like the frisee topped with a poached farm-fresh egg, kale with grilled fig and lardo (cured meat) vinaigrette, or arugula with lamb ham, apples, and pistachios. (more…)
If you’ve checked out my Facebook page, you already know I’ve got a thing for Sunday breakfast. You’d also know what I cooked this week, and that I sliced half of my thumb off with my mandoline over the weekend. See what you’re missing?!
But I digress. Let’s get back to breakfast.
Six days of the week, I eat plain ole eggs with toast for breakfast, and I’m more than ok with it. But things change when Sunday rolls around. That’s when I start to crave something special–maybe a breakfast burrito or home fries or a big fat Belgian waffle. Despite this urge for decadence, nothing makes me happier than enjoying my lavish breakfast spread from the comfort of my pj’s, in my own house, sipping my own coffee.
This week, I had the pleasure of spending 22 hours in New York City, 11 of which were dedicated to work, 8 to sleep, and 1 to my morning get-ready rituals, leaving 2 measily hours for exploration. Luckily, those work hours included a great dinner at ViceVersa, an Italian restaurant on West 51st. ViceVersa’s menu is fairly mellow, but with hopes of eating something I could only find in New York, I ordered the Casoncelli, a pillowy pasta stuffed with crumbled veal, raisins, and crushed amaretto cookies, of all things, topped with butter and fantastically salty slivers of pancetta. Let’s not forget the wine and the delicious garlic and herb house bread.
Even though time was scant, there were three key New York moments during my trip that made me smile like only an out-of-towner can.