Sunday, June 27, 2021

Breakfast Sandwich {Summer Slim Down Series #5}

These days everyone is all about some sourdough bread. I see it all over YouTube, and in the markets. Then yesterday I saw something that told me EVERYONE really is all about sourdough because I went to our little Georgetown, KY farmers market and there was a whole booth set up just for sourdough! There are only about 10-12 booths and one of them is totally and completely dedicated to sourdough. I couldn't resist buying some! Bonus, because she had it wrapped up real pretty. I am such a sucker for packaging.

Why is sourdough good for you? Well, answers vary, depending on where you look, but they say sourdough is easier to digest, has a lower glycemic index, is better for gluten sensitivity, has more good acid, has healthy bacteria, less yeast, fewer preservatives, and provides good fuel.

Better yet, sourdough has always been my favorite, so this new fad pleases me greatly. I decided to use my sourdough to make Ina's Bacon, Egg, & Cheddar Sandwich from her latest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food. To make the recipe healthier and reduce my gluten intake, I made a breakfast toast or an open-faced sandwich. I do this nearly all the time now because my tummy cannot handle much gluten anymore.

Now some may say, "Kim...this is no slim down healthy sandwich." I'll agree that the calorie content is probably on the high side, but I also don't think calories are the only thing we should pay attention to. We have to find healthy ways of incorporating favorites like the breakfast sandwich into a healthier lifestyle and I think this sandwich is perfectly balanced and achieves that goal. I'm also of the firm belief that every once in awhile we need a healthy dose of fats, whether it's healthy fat from avocado or fat from bacon.

Plus, we are representing all the basic food groups here, and using portion control: a slice of sourdough, some sliced avocado, one slice of bacon, two eggs, and two tablespoons of cheese. You are getting a lot of bang for your buck because, this is no sissy sandwich. It is so substantial that you are likely to be full for hours. I tend to look for more substantial healthier meals that keep me from getting hungry and having cravings at inconvenient times because that's when my not-so-healthy impulses tend to get the best of me (chocolate and sugar, I'm talking to you).

Something interesting about Ina's approach to this sandwich recipe is the way she cooks the eggs. Would you believe she cooks them in the microwave? I had to read it and then reread it several times because I could not believe THE Ina Garten cooks her eggs in the microwave AND put it in a cookbook! And you know what? They are oh so creamy and delicious! You'd never guess. She puts the eggs in an oiled bowl and microwaves them at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, and it works like magic. The eggs are so good! I love this approach and will continue to try it out. I thought this was an incredibly delicious and filling sandwich. I was trying to think about how to describe it and words like  "unctuous and top-quality and so satisfying" came to mind. It's only a few simple ingredients, but you can taste them all so well and they all play together so nicely.

Breakfast Sandwich

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten

Serves 2

2 slices thick-cut bacon

olive oil

4 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

salt and black pepper

4 tablespoons grated sharp white Cheddar, divided

Bread of some kind: English Muffins, bagels, sourdough bread, etc.

1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced

Notes: Ina wrote this recipe as an English muffin sandwich and you can certainly serve it that way or on any other type of bread you fancy. There are so few ingredients here and it does pay to use the best you can buy. I love the Tillamook sharp white Cheddar and can really taste the difference.


To cook the bacon heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally, until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. (I never cook my bacon on the stove top. I always preheat the oven to 375F and lay out all the bacon on a baking sheet and bake around 10-15 minutes, until done to desired level of crispiness).

NEW METHOD FOR COOKING EGGS: Meanwhile, generously brush two small microwavable bowls (about 4 inches in diameter) with olive oil and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour half of the egg mixture into each of the two oiled bowls and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the eggs gently with a fork to combine the cooked parts with the uncooked parts. Continue to microwave and stir at 30-second intervals, until the eggs are puffed and almost cooked through. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Cheddar in each bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese and finish cooking the eggs.

Meanwhile, toast the English muffins, or bread of your choice, until nicely browned. Place the bottom half of each toasted English muffin, or bread of your choice, on a plate. Layer half of the avocado slices on each one and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break the bacon strips in half and place two halves on each sandwich. Slide the eggs, cheese side up, on top of the bacon, and sprinkle a tablespoon of the remaining Cheddar on each sandwich. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with the tops of the toasted English muffins. Serve hot.

Souper Sundays @Kahakai Kitchen

Summer Sammies @ IHCC

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Broccoli & Kale Salad {Summer Slim Down Series #4}

I've been wanting to make this hearty vegetable salad ever since I got my hands on a copy of Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten. The trouble with recipes like this is that they take quite a bit of work and time and I'm usually the only one who will eat them. So after I fool with making something like this, I then have to turn around and cook something more "normal" for the family.

Look, this might not seem like a lot of work and dirty dishes, but it really truly is. First, you have to destem all the broccoli and boil it in a pot, then you'll need a bowl of ice water just for the broccoli, because Ina wants you to blanch it - exactly after 4 minutes of cooking.

Then you need to wash and trim all the ribs off a bunch of kale and julienne the kale. Get out your salad spinner because you'll have to dry the kale as well.

Then, if you made this recipe exactly as written she would have you making a homemade Caesar dressing. I'm dieting and I needed a lighter version, so I went ahead and used my store-bought favorite, Ken's Light Caesar. I feel accomplished because I saved a step.

After all that, she wants you to make your own croutons, so cut up some bread and get out yet another pan and saute up some homemade croutons. Fine, Ina. It's really easy enough.

Then she wants you to get out yet another pan to boil the eggs. For crying out loud, Ina! Why can't we just save a step and use the pan we boiled the broccoli in? I like you Ina, but I really feel like you should mention this and save people some dishes. Sheesh!

Then you get out another bowl and toss all the veggies and cheese and croutons in the dressing and top with the 6-1/2 minute eggs. Then you need 6 bowls so you can divide the salad into bowls and top with the eggs. Take care to cut the egg in half over the salad or you might lose some of the golden goodness on a cutting board instead of on your salad. Also, take note, Ina likes to call this a 6-1/2 minute egg, but my eggs could've used another minute, so maybe do a little practicing to see what works for you.

One plus about this salad is that it would make a lovely lunch or dinner for entertaining. You could prep all the ingredients beforehand and toss it altogether when the guests arrived. You could also prep all these ingredients and then meal prep this salad for lunches throughout the week. In fact, that's what I will likely do. This salad is hearty, healthy, beautiful, and delicious, but it will yield an entire sink of dirty dishes and a rather messy kitchen so be forewarned!

Broccoli & Kale Salad

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten 

Serves 6

salt and black pepper

8 cups broccoli florets, stems removed (2 bunches)

1 bunch baby kale

Caesar Salad dressing (recipe follows)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)

1 cup Toasted Croutons (recipe follows)

1/4 cup grated Italian Parmesan cheese

6 extra-large eggs

Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil and fill with ice water. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for exactly 4 minutes. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl of ice water. When cool, drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Remove and discard any hard ribs from the kale, stack the leaves on top of each other, and thinly julienne them crosswise. Add to the bowl with the broccoli.

Add enough Caesar Dressing to moisten the broccoli and kale and toss well. Add the croutons, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Divide the salad among six dinner plates.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil (I used the same pan I boiled the broccoli in). With a spoon, carefully lower each of the eggs into the boiling water and lower the heat until the water is at a low simmer. (You don't want the eggs knocking around in the pot or they will crack.) Cook the eggs for 6-1/2 minutes exactly, remove them from the saucepan, run them under cool water, and peel. Place one egg on each salad, cut it in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Caesar Salad Dressing

2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, at room temperature

2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)

10 anchovy fillets

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, at room temperature (2 - 3 lemons)

salt and pepper

1-1/2 cups good mild olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese

Place the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube (as though you were making mayonnaise) and process until thick. Add the Parmesan and pulse 3 times to combine.

Toasted Croutons

good olive oil

2-1/2 ounces country white bread, 1/2" diced

salt and black pepper

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small 8-inch saute pan and heat over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the bread and saute, tossing occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, until evenly browned. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 


Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen







Sunday, June 6, 2021

Simple Sorbetto {Summer Slim Down Series #3}


In the summer everyone has to have a way to cool down. Ice cream, slushies, snow cones, sundaes, fresh squeezed lemonade, or maybe even a sweet iced tea are all delicious ways. The trouble is, they aren't necessarily good for the waistline. There is either too much fat or too much sugar. We need a way to cool down and stay cooled down. A recipe that is so good you will forego all the above mentioned treats.

In walks Giada's Simple Sorbetto, and it couldn't be simpler. A frozen bag of mixed berries, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Be sure to use true maple syrup, none of the corn syrup stuff. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that contains minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese and it doesn't spike your blood sugar as fast as regular old-fashioned sugar does. 

A quick whirl in the blender and you are ready to enjoy! This is a healthier way to enjoy a cool treat in the summer. The best part is you can make lots of different versions. This time around I followed the directions and used a bag of frozen mixed berries, but I think I'd love a mango version (maybe with honey instead of maple syrup) and I'd also love to try a cherry version. I'd also like to experiment with adding a touch of Greek yogurt to the mix, just to add in some protein and creaminess.

This is a definite make again!

Simple Sorbetto

Adapted from Eat Better, Feel Better

by Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 2-4

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen mixed berries

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon vodka (optional)

Combine the berries, maple syrup, salt, and vodka (if using), in a blender. Pulse the mixture to create a coarse puree. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Continue to pulse, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth and scoopable.

Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to a week.


Classic Summer Dishes @ I Heart Cooking Clubs