Dutch Oven Pancakes: Pannekoeken

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This recipe comes from my husband’s family, and was relayed to me recently using non-measuring terms. Graham held up his hands about an inch and a half apart and told me we used that much sugar. Don’t worry, I have actual measurements for you.

Whisk together 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon sugar, a pinch of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup almond milk. When thoroughly combined, spread a light layer in the bottom of two greased cast iron skillets or 9×9 glass pans. Or find a plethora of tiny cast iron skillets or spring form pans. Swirl around so the dough climbs the walls of your pans a bit, which will encourage it to grow when you bake it.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

When removed from the oven, spread a generous amount of Greek yogurt over the surface of the pancake, then mix in brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved into the yogurt. This ends up being pretty sweet, so you likely won’t need syrup. Top with fresh fruits of your choice and dig in!

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Apricot Scones

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Scones are one of those things that feel intimidating and fancy, but really shouldn’t. They come together quite easily and are pretty versatile.

In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup cubed cold salted butter. Mix together with your hands until it looks like coarse crumbs. Fold in a heaping 1/2 cup diced dried apricots (I used half regular dried apricots, and half chocolate covered dried apricots we had in the pantry) and 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, whisk together one egg and 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream. Add to dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Knead lightly approximately 30 seconds, until everything comes together. If it feels too wet and you’re having a hard time pulling your hands out cleanly, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it you can shape the dough without it sticking to you much. It should look a lot like cookie dough.

Pat the dough into a ball and transfer to a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Flatten into a 1″ disk. Use a butter knife to carefully cut the disk into eighths. Brush with additional heavy whipping cream, then sprinkle with sugar. Cook about 17 minutes at 425.

If you prefer savory scones, omit the cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, apricots and chocolate. Instead, half the sugar (use 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup), add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup grated sharp cheddar and 1/4 cup fresh chives.

 

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Bruleed Grapefruit

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Cut the ends off a fresh grapefruit and then cut in half. You’ve cut the ends off so that when you wield a torch at it, it doesn’t wobble and you don’t light your house on fire. Hopefully. Place grapefruits fruit side down on paper towels for ten minutes.

For some extra flavor, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or cardamom over the grapefruit before you add sugar. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Sprinkle half of mixture on each grapefruit half. You want a relatively thick coating. Even it out with the back of a spoon or a fork.

Light your brulee torch. Keeping the torch 1-2 inches from the fruit, move it in small circles to keep dispersing the heat. Melt the sugar so it caramelizes.

Give it a minute to cool off, then serve!

You can also make this in your oven: turn your broiler on and give it a few minutes to get hot. Put your sugared grapefruit under the broiler and keep an eye on it. It should take about 8 minutes.

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Papas Borrachas

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Traditional drunk potatoes call for, you now, alcohol. I modified it because I am not a big beer drinker and don’t always have them in the fridge to cook with. If you’re very committed, add them to the beans in lieu of chicken stock and cook down. Add salt to taste since you’ll be missing that from the stock. Technically this makes them drunken black beans.

While your crispy rosemary potatoes are cooking, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a high walled skillet. Add three cloves of minced garlic and two finely sliced shallots. When garlic is lightly browned, add two cups of chicken stock and one can of drained black beans. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, not a boil, and continue simmering until chicken stock has cooked down.

While the stock is reducing, cook one chopped yellow onion and one sliced bell pepper fajita style; you’re looking for lightly blackened edges.

When your potatoes are done, top with fajita style veggies and black beans. Graham likes his potatoes with breakfast sausage and a fried egg. I like mine with plain Greek yogurt and fresh jalapeño slices.

Serve hot.

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Crispy Rosemary Potatoes

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Preheat the oven to 475. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add three Russet potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces. The smaller you cut the potatoes, the crispier they’ll be. Boil the potatoes for approximately 15 minutes. Drain. Put the potatoes back in the pot, hold the lid on and give the potatoes two good shakes. The fluffy bits become the crispy bits.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a roasting pan and place in the oven for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange potatoes in a single layer in the roasting pan. Top with 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary and 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Reduce the oven temperature to 425. Cook 45 minutes to an hour. Serve hot.

These are also the basis for Papas Borrachas.

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Shakshuka: Eggs poached in tomato sauce

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This is a great one-pan meal that’s good for breakfast or dinner. For Graham, we threw a little chicken on top for good measure.

Preheat your oven broiler. In a cast iron or oven-proof skillet (we use this one from Cuisinart), heat 3 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 medium diced yellow or white onion, one diced bell pepper, and 1/4 cup of diced eggplant. You can also add 1/4 drained garbanzo beans if you’re feeling adventurous. Mix together to coat everything in olive oil. Cook uncovered for about 8 minutes until softened. Add three cloves minced garlic and cook about two minutes extra. Add 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper), 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar, 28 ounces drained diced tomatoes, and 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. While sauce is cooking, chop two cups fresh spinach. When sauce is slightly thickened, add the spinach and 1/4 cup table cream to the sauce. Remove pan from heat. Make five wells for your eggs using a spoon. Crack an egg into each well, spooning a bit of sauce over the whites. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. salt over the eggs and add lots of crumbled feta goodness to the red sauce you can see (about 3 Tbs.). Return pan to low heat and cover with a lid. Cook about 6 minutes. Transfer pan to preheated oven and broil for about 90 seconds.

Remove from oven and enjoy with crusty bread to mop up all the flavor.

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