Eggs and Potatoes in One Pan

I often make one of my specialties, called brenta, which is a recipe of my Grandma Hindes.  Brenta means burned in Yiddish, and these are basically fried potatoes- a Jewish version of hash browns-  but better (you can find this recipe on this site under potatoes). 

To make this, I put about 1 tablespoon of butter in a small nonstick frying pan and melted it on a medium flame.  Then, I put some leftover brenta (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups) in the pan and flattened them to cover the bottom of the pan.  Then I cracked 2 extra large organic eggs on top of the brenta.  I broke the yolks a little, then I covered the pan, and cooked over a medium high flame until the eggs were cooked.  I served and ate immediately, sprinkling with a little kosher salt and some fresh black pepper.  This Is as yummy as can be. 

The next time I do this, I may sprinkle some grated extra sharp cheddar on top of the eggs as they cook.  I’m also thinking about making this dish but in a larger quantity for my family or to bring to school for one of our teacher breakfasts.  I’d do it in an oval baking dish, and bake it in the oven on a high temperature – of course add more of everything- maybe about 4 cups of the brenta, 1 dozen eggs, and about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar over all.  I’ll keep you posted once I do this for more people than just myself.

Asparagus or Mushroom Quiche

I love quiche, but I don’t often make it because, let’s face it, it’s not exactly healthy.  When I happen to have a frozen pie crust in the freezer, either fresh or frozen asparagus or some mushrooms, some half and half or light cream, and swiss cheese in the fridge, I decide it’s time to treat myself and my daughter Randi, who loves my quiche.  I have these items handy more often now, because I’ve become a real Costco shopper, and I like to buy their fresh asparagus or mushrooms, and their lite gruyere cheese- which is delicious. This morning, I realized I had all the ingredients with about and hour and a half to spare, so I decided it was time to make some quiche.

for one quiche:

  • 3 extra large eggs or 3 large eggs plus one egg yolk (or 4 large eggs-3/2011)
  • 1 1/2 cups of light cream or half and half –  or 3/4 cup heavy cream plus 3/4 cup whole milk (March 2011, only used about 11/4 cups light cream)
  • about 1 pound or a little more fresh asparagus, roasted or 1/2 box of frozen asparagus spears, defrosted
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie shell, Oronique is my preference
  • 4 – 5 oz.  Swiss or Gruyere cheese ( I like to use lite gruyere or alpine lace, but any swiss is fine)(Used about 1/2 lb. 3-11)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cover sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Cut ends off asparagus spears.  Place on pan.  Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Drizzle a tablespoon of  light olive oil over, toss asparagus with oil.  Roast for about 20 -25 min. till asparagus is cooked.  Set aside to cool.  Then cut spears into bite sized pieces.  Or defrost 1 16 oz. box of frozen asparagus spears,  pat dry, then cut into bite sized pieces, use about 1/2 of the asparagus or more if you wish for one quiche.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.Take a frozen deep dish pie shell in its aluminum pan and place it in a pyrex pie plate to prevent any mess in the oven.   Prick pie crust all over with fork.  Bake for about 10 min.  Then take out of oven.

In medium bowl, whisk or beat with fork, eggs with cream, add salt and pepper.  Spread asparagus (or mushrooms-see instructions below) over bottom of crust, tear cheese into medium to smallish pieces and place over asparagus, pour egg and cream mixture over.   Place on sheet pan in preheated oven, and bake 45-55 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean, and quiche is nicely puffed and lightly browned.  Serve.

for mushroom quiche:

Saute 10 oz. of sliced white or baby bella mushrooms with or without 1/2 chopped onion, with little kosher salt, papper, optional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil or only olive oil till caramelized.

Fresh Spinach, Mushroom, And Cheese Frittata

I whipped this frittata up in no time at all for a quick lunch at my mother’s house last week for my daughter Randi, her husband Dan, and for my mother and me.  It took about 10 minutes of prep time, and about 20 minutes of cooking time.  This frittata looks and tastes beautiful!!

  • 12 extra large eggs
  • 8-10 ounces prewashed baby spinach
  • 8-10 oz. white mushrooms, cleaned and then sliced
  • 6-8 oz. grated cheese – I used pre-grated cheddar-monterey jack, but Swiss or Gruyere would be great, too
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes – optional
  • butter or olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk eggs in bowl; set aside.  Heat a largish saute pan, then add about a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Put mushrooms in pan, sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper, leave undisturbed till they brown on bottom, turn and brown on other side. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.  Put a little more butter or oil in pan.  Put spinach in on very low heat, until just wilted.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired.  Set aside in bowl.

Grease sides and bottom  a 10 inch oven safe non-stick saute pan with butter.  Put on stove over a medium flame.  Pour eggs in.  Run spatula around edges, lift eggs off bottom until eggs are starting to set a little, but still are somewhat liquidy.  Take off stove.   Then sprinkle the cheese on top of eggs.  Distribute spinach all over the top, and then place mushrooms over spinach.  Place in oven for about 10 minutes until eggs are cooked through and are no longer liquidy.  Slide frittata onto serving dish, or serve right from pan. 

Spinach, Mushroom, Swiss Cheese, And Egg Casserole

This delectable vegetarian dish is a cross between a frittata, a souffle, a quiche, and a casserole.  The last time I made this delicious dish was when I made my daughter Randi’s bridal shower.  This dish made an incredible hit, and many people asked me for the recipe.  I like to make this because I can do most of the prep work a day in advance, and then it’s a breeze to pop it into the oven.  This is a wonderful dish for a brunch or a family breakfast, or for a special occasion.  You will love this!

  • 1 Tbsp. oil (I use any olive oil for this)
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, sliced, and brushed off or lightly rinsed and dried (use your favorite mushrooms- I usually use white)
  • 9-10 oz. prewashed baby spinach
  • 10 extra large or jumbo eggs
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese (about 8-10 oz. -I like to use a combination of the two cheeses, but that isn’t necessary) – then divide your cheese in half
  • 1 cup of half and half 
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • cayenne or red pepper flakes – optional

You can do this part of the prep in advance and then refrigerate until you are ready to bake:

Grease sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 rectangular or oval baking dish with butter or margarine.

Heat oil in large saute pan on medium high until oil is hot.  If you are using crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat, sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of them into the oil.   Add onions; saute 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms; saute 5 minutes until the mushrooms are starting to brown a little.  Add about 1 teaspoon salt and about 15-20 grinds of black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon), and if you are using the cayenne instead of the red pepper flakes, sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon in. Turn off the heat.  Add the spinach, and mix in so that the spinach wilts and turns a darker color.  Spread the onion, spinach, mushroom mixture in the bottom of the greased baking dish; top with half of the shredded cheese.  This can now be covered and put into the fridge until you are ready to bake it. 

When you are ready to bake, follow these steps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Beat eggs with half and half in mixing bowl. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon of each).  Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese; top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake 35-40 minutes until eggs are puffed and set and top is lightly browned.  You should not see any liquid from the eggs.  If you do, bake another 5-10 minutes.  If the top isn’t browned, turn the setting in the oven to broil, and cook 1-2 minutes, but watch very carefully so you don’t burn this masterpiece!

Serve immediately!  

Note:  You can do all the preparation and then bake this at the same time.  But if you are making this for company, doing the prep work a few hours in advance or the night before takes all the anxiety away.

Beyond Amazing Oven-Roasted Tomato and Cheese Tart

THIS LOOKS AS BEAUTIFUL AS IT TASTES!

I recently made this for my daughter Randi and her husband, Dan. It was the second time I made it for them. Randi informed me that Dan decided this currently is his favorite dish that I make. This tomato tart is wonderful for a light summer supper- I like to serve it with salad.  This is a totally amazing recipe!!  It tastes like a combination of a pizza and a quiche- and who wouldn’t want to eat that!  My preference is to use the fontina cheese- which has a little more flavor than the mozzarella.  Wow!

**See note below for latest improvement or adjustment I made to recipe.

  • 1 frozen, unbaked deep dish pie shell (I use Oronique deep dish, if I can find it)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (I prefer light) (or Wegman’s Basting Oil)
  • 6 medium beefsteak tomatoes or 7-9 large Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks (Cut each tomato into about fourths) (I stick with the Roma)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely (or you can use 1 clove or even no garlic if using Wegman’s Basting Oil)
  • a little crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided 0r about 1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • a heavy 3 or so cups of grated fontina (about 8 oz.) and the rest- mozzarella cheese (I
  • 3 large or extra large eggs
  • 2/3 cup whipping, heavy, light cream or half and half (used light cream on July 20, 2011 and combination of light and a little heavy)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (to sprinkle on top)

On July 20, 2011- I made this. I didn’t have fresh thyme.  What I did have in the house was Wegman’s basting oil- which is amazing stuff.  It has fresh herbs and garlic in it.  So that is the oil I used to roast the tomatoes, and that gave the tomatoes amazing flavor. I used extra fresh thyme.  If you are using this oil, you can either sprinkle the tomatoes with some chopped garlic or not, cause this oil imparts a lot of flavor on its own. If you are using regular extra virgin olive oil, then definitely use some fresh chopped garlic. Before I baked the tart, I sprinkled the top with some dried oregano.  I also added some dried oregano, about 1/2 teaspoon to the custard mixture.  I really liked the result, and I will do this instead of using the fresh thyme next time.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick frozen, unbaked pie shell on sides and bottom. Bake for about 7 minutes. Set aside.

Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees. Line half sheet pan with foil. Sprinkle 1  tablespoon of oil on pan. Place tomato pieces on baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, then some freshly ground pepper, the chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves- or only the garlic if using the Wegman’s oil. Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over the tomatoes with some fresh chopped garlic or not- you don’t need to use anything though with this oil.   Toss to coat with the oil. Bake about 1 hour until the tomatoes begin to shrink, look slightly dried, but still are soft. (If you have the time, you can do this at 300 degrees, but it will take about 2 hours.) Set aside.

While tomatoes are roasting, prepare filling. In a medium bowl, mix the cheese, the remaining 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves- or the 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, a little salt, some freshly ground pepper, the eggs, and the cream. Stir until well blended. Spread cheese filling into prepared crust. Arrange roasted tomatoes over filling. Sprinkle Parmesan or Romano cheese (and a sprinkling of dried oregano) over top.

Lower oven temp back to 375.  Bake until filling is puffed and set, about 35-40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.

Optional: You can add about 1/3 cup good oil cured black olives and place them between the tomatoes before you bake the tart. (It’s nice for a change, but I actually like the taste of the tart better using only tomatoes, especially in the summer when the tomatoes are so beautiful.)

Healthy and Delicious Vegetable Frittata

This Frittata Is As Good As Quiche But Easier To Make And Healthier Too!

My mother and I were invited over to our friend Sherill Kobb’s house yesterday for lunch.  Sherill is an amazing cook and baker, and a wonderful person.  So between just spending time with Sherill and eating her amazing food, I was in seventh heaven.  It was such a treat for me to enjoy someone else’s cooking for a change.  I felt like a princess, because Sherill is such a gracious hostess, and she really makes her guests feel special.  Well, Sherill prepared a delicious feast which was as appealing aesthetically as it was gastronomically.  She started with French onion soup that was incredible, then she served this vegetable frittata along with a beautiful salad with goat cheese and her homemade mustard and white wine vinaigrette, and then she served a delicious apple cake and coffee for dessert.  What a treat!  

  • 5 extra large or jumbo eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 heavy tablespoon of sour cream (adds richness and tanginess, but you don’t have to use it)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • about 8 spears of fresh asparagus
  • about 4 green onions or scallions, yellow and white part
  • about 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley (parsley adds a fresh clean taste to the frittata)
  • about 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • about 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of light olive oil  or other vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus.  Then cut the asparagus into bite size pieces, about 1-1 1/2 inches long. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender about 2-5 minutes depending upon the thickness of the asparagus.  Drain the asparagus and then run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Dice the red pepper into about 1/2 inch pieces.  Chop the scallions on the diagonal into pieces about 1/2 inch in length.  Melt the butter with the oil in a non-stick saute pan that measures approximately 8 inches across the bottom and 10 inches across the top of the pan.  Make sure you swirl the butter and oil around so the sides of the pan get coated as well.  Then saute the red pepper and scallions (season with a little salt and pepper) for about 3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.  Turn heat off and take off stove, and set aside. 

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and the egg whites.  Add a pinch of the kosher salt and about 6 turns of freshly ground black pepper.  Add the tablespoon of sour cream if you are using it and whisk. (You will still see the sour cream in the eggs, and that is ok.)  Set aside.

Add the parsley and the asparagus to the sauteed red pepper and scallions in the pan.  Mix together gently.  Place back on the stove over a medium flame.  Pour the eggs into the pan.  Then sprinkle the grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on top.  As the eggs begin to cook along the outer edge, lift up the cooked part so that the raw eggs can slide under.  Do this until the eggs are pretty cooked around the edges but still uncooked on top.  Slide the pan into the preheated oven and cook for about another 5 minutes or until eggs are no longer raw looking on top and the eggs are just set.  Frittata should be a little browned and puffy around the edges.  If you like your eggs more well done and browned on top, put your oven on broil, and cook for maybe one-two minutes at most, watching very carefully.  When you take the frittata out of the oven, it will continue to cook, so be careful not to overcook this.   

Loosen the edges of the frittata with a spatula, and then slide it onto a  10 inch round serving plate.  If you don’t have a big enough serving platter, then bring the frittata to the table in the saute pan, slice it, and serve it right out of the pan. 

Note:  You may use any combination of vegetables that that you like.  You might use sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach to name a few.  You may also substitute grated cheddar, swiss, or gruyere cheese for the Parmesan or Romano, but the fresh Parmesan or Romano gives the frittata a great tangy flavor without adding too many calories!