Looking for something quick, and wonderfully cheesy and boozy at the same time? May I direct you to this lovely little splurge – melty brie, and a bit of prosecco jelly (courtesy of Eataly) smeared on top. The original recipe has a whole bunch of other stuff, but honestly, I just wanted something simple. This is amazing on those little brioche toasts that they have at Trader Joe’s, especially fresh out of the oven. 

Baked Brie with Prosecco Jelly

Ingredients

  • 1 wheel brie (6 to 8 oz)
  • .25 c prosecco jelly (also substitute champagne jelly; you can find this type of thing at Eataly, or the original recipe has a recipe for this if you’d like to try it)

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and cut the top of the wheel’s rind off while the oven’s preheating. Spoon the jelly over the top of the brie. Bake for ten minutes, until nice and melty, then spoon onto a brioche toast, and enjoy. 

Nancy Singleton Hachisu recently put out a new cookbook, Preserving the Japanese Way. Her previous cookbook was a favorite of mine, so I was excited to get my hands on this. It’s mainly themed on pickling and preserving, and this recipe came up right when I had a small fuckton of broccoli on hand, so I was eager to give this a try.

The resulting broccoli has a great flavor from being macreated in the soy sauce, dashi, and red pepper flakes, and the katsuoboshi adds a lovely savory flavor to it, too. I doubled the recipe because of the sheer amount of broccoli I had, but will include the original amounts below.

Broccoli in Soy Sauce with Red Pepper

Ingredients

  • 3 heads broccoli
  • 6 T dashi (recipe here)
  • 8 T soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes to taste (original recommends 3 dried red chiles, crumbled roughly)
  • 2 T katsuoboshi flakes (you can find these at your local Asian grocery)

Bring a mediumish pot of water to boil, and have a bowl of cold water waiting in the kitchen sink. While the water comes to a boil, cut your main stem from your broccoli heads and discard, and then cut up closer to where the florets start, so that it’ll break down into lots of nice sized florets. Cut the upper stems that are left over into similar sized pieces.

Drop your broccoli into the boiling water, and cook for three minutes. While the broccoli cooks, mix together the dashi, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl with a lid. Strain the broccoli from the boiling water, and then immediately put in the cold water. Run cold water from your tap over the broccoli until cooled, and then pat dry.

Once dried and cooled, toss the brocooli with the dashi/soy/red pepper mixture and then cover, Let macreate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then drain the mixture. If eating right away, sprinkle with the katsuoboshi and eat, but these can be stored for a few days in the fridge and still be good.

Nancy also recommends a version with yuzu or lemon peel at the end instead of the katsuoboshi, so I would recommend that if you can get your hand on it.

If you have a CSA this time of year, you are likely to have a small excess of a fuck of a lot of broccoli. I tend not to like my broccoli raw, so I’ve been looking for some interesting recipes with it, and I can say the two I’ve tried the last two days definitely didn’t disappoint. These recipes are simple, quick, cheap, and delicious to boot. Here? All you have to do is roast the broccoli, brown the butter, toss in the panko and garlic, and boom, you’ve got a great tasting side dish!

Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter Toasted Panko

Ingredients

  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, stems cut and broken down into florets
  • 2 T olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 T butter
  • .5 c panko
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your oven to 425. Take your broccoli florets, and spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Roast for fifteen minutes, and check where they are at. If you feel like flipping them do so, otherwise, roast for another ten minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and the stems of the florets are fork tender. 

During that last ten minutes, heat your butter in a small pan over medium heat, and keep swirling once it’s melted, until you get a nice light brown color and it’s nice and nutty smelling. This usually takes about five minutes. Once you’ve got it at that sweet point, add in the panko and minced garlic, along with a little bit of sea salt and pepper, and toast until the panko is nice and just barely browned from the butter, about two to three minutes. 

Right about then, the broccoli should be done. Remove your broccoli to your serving dish or storage container, toss with the panko, and enjoy!

I actually tried making these waffles a few weeks ago, but made a fatal reading mistake – instead of 1/3 c of warmed Nutella, I somehow decided to include ¾ c warmed Nutella. Now, while more Nutella usually isn’t a bad thing, in this situation, it led to a waffle that was half Nutella, and a bit crispy. I finally did these this morning using the right proportions, and the resulting waffle is lovely. This recipe doesn’t make that many waffles (5 total), so you may want to consider doubling the recipe. 

Nutella Swirl Waffles
Makes 5 waffles

Ingredients

  • .75 c flour
  • (original recipe recommended .25 c cornstarch, I found it didn’t need it)
  • 1 t sugar
  • .5 t baking soda
  • .5 t sea salt
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c Nutella
  • 1 T vegetable oil

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt, followed by the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and egg. Let the batter sit for twenty minutes.

Towards the end of the twenty minutes, heat your waffle iron according to its instructions. Scoop the 1/3 c of Nutella into a microwave safe glass measuring cup, along with 1 T vegetable oil, and heat for about thirty seconds to warm and thin. Drizzle and swirl it into the batter (see pic 2 for what this looks like). 

Then, make your waffles according to your maker’s instructions, and enjoy!

Tried this on a whim last weekend, as I’ve been on a creme brulee kick lately, or at least the idea of it, and the idea of that plus french toast sounded grade A amazing. I think this needs another go around to get it perfect, especially with the topping. Maybe caramelizing the sugar will work better under a broiler, or with a blowtorch? Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

Seriously, though, be sure to flip the toasts to get the perfect goldenness to it, and and have some fresh berries to make it even more amazing (these are Tay barries, a cross between raspberries and blackberries). I also used a loaf of shokupan (a type of Japanese milk bread) instead of brioche, and I still think it tastes amazing. Plus, odds are you’ll have some left over, for some lovely breakfasts during the week. 

Creme Brulee French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf rich bread of choice (again, Deb recommends brioche, I used shokupan, sliced to about an inch or so thick)
  • 1 1/3 c whole milk
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 T alcohol of choice (original recommended Grand Marnier, I went Kahlua)
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Topping

  • 2/3 c white sugar

If your bread isn’t already sliced, slice it into generous, thick slices – Deb recommends 1.5 in thick slices, my loaf was cut into 1 in slices, about 9 slices total. Whisk together the milk, heavy whipping cream, eggs, white sugar, sea salt, booze, and vanilla extract. If you want to use a vanilla bean, you can do so – just follow Deb’s recommended steps for whisking in the vanilla bean scraping in the linked recipe. 

Preheat your oven to 325. Take a rimmed tray or pan that will fit as much of your bread as possible (I ended up going with two separate glass pans, and even those weren’t the greatest fits, as you can see), lay out the bread, and pour the custard over it. Let the slices absorb the custard for a half hour, flipping over about halfway through to ensure every side is soaking up the custard evenly. (You can also toss this in the fridge overnight to soak if you’re so inclined, and you won’t need to flip them if that’s the case.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it (I do because the people before me in this apartment left a lot of stuff, hallelujah), and space out the french toasts so that there’s juuust enough space that they can breathe a bit. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through so that each side gets a lovely golden sear to it (I didn’t flip them, and I think they look better with both sides seared). You’ll know they’re ready when you lightly slice into the center of the bread and twist, and no wet custard comes out. 

About five minutes out from the toast being done, take a small, heavy, completely dry pot and melt 2/3 c white sugar over medium heat, stirring with a fork, and until it’s fully melted and the color of honey (see pic five). Time this so that this happens as soon as the toasts are done. Remove the bread from the oven, and then drizzle about 1 T of the caramel over the toasts, attempting to do so evenly (I just ended up doing a fancy drizzle). 

Add berries, and voila – a lovely, decadent weekend breakfast. 

(If anyone’s tried the broiler method for caramelization that Deb mentions, please let me know if it worked for you – I want to try that next time. Or maybe the hot spoon method would also work.)

These are a lovely, quick, simple treat, especially with asparagus available cheap and in large amounts at the farmer’s market, and prosciutto available over at Trader Joe’s. It just requires the oven going up to 450, which, with how hot it got yesterday, wasn’t an option until later in the evening. However, the end result was absolutely worth it. 

Kevin also recommends dipping these in a soft boiled egg, which I can absolutely see improving this even more. I’ll give it a try later. 

Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 oz prosciutto, torn into strips

Preheat your oven to 450. While your oven heats, tear your prosciutto into thin strips (about three or so strips from a piece), and wrap each of these strips around an asparagus spear (see pic one). Wrap until you run out of asparagus or prosciutto, whichever comes first. Bake for about ten minutes, until the prosciutto is nice and crispy (see pic two), and then enjoy the savory greatness. 

I want to start this recipe with a disclaimer. Tieghan makes amazing recipes. A lot of her stuff is in my arsenal, or on my to-try list. HOWEVER. I usually end up cutting out upwards of three or four ingredients of hers per recipe, because as nice as those things are, they’re there more for garnish, and don’t really add anything to the dish. Here, I cut… three things, but we’ve still got a damn amazing recipe here. 

The most expensive things you will likely have to get are the cherry tomatoes and the feta, but the rest you likely either have in your pantry/fridge, or can find them nearby for reasonable prices. You can still make this for a pretty reasonable price, and it makes enough for you to have leftovers and then some. 

Twenty Minute Mediterranean Hummus Noodles with Blistered Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 6 baby bell peppers (I used about half of what the original recipe recommends, found them cheap at my local grocery, look for sweet snacking peppers)
  • pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • .75 lb thin spaghetti, or your personal preferred thin pasta (I went angel hair here)
  • .75 c of your favorite hummus (roasted garlic, here)
  • 1 c pasta cooking water (drain this off right before you’re done!)
  • 1 c fresh basil (I tore it, Tieghan isn’t really clear on if it needs to be chopped, diced, left whole, etc)
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • .25 c kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz feta crumbles

Take a pot of water, salt it, and bring it to a boil.  While the pot warms up and begins to boil, take a large grill pan, pour 2 T olive oil in, and heat over high heat. Once heated, add the cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and grill until the cherries begin to wrinkle and grill marks appear on the peppers, flipping from side to side. The difference between pictures one to three here is about 10 minutes’ time, and pic 3 is what it should look like at the end of that time. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to instructions, until al dente. Right as it finishes, scoop off one cup of the water the pasta’s cooked in, and add it to a medium sized bowl. Then drain the pasta, and let it sit a minute while you get the next part ready. 

To the pasta cooking water, add the hummus, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes, and whisk together until you’ve got a thin sauce (see pic five). Let it sit a bit to thicken. Then, take your pasta, and toss it to coat with the sauce. 

Take 1 c of your blistered cherry tomatoes, put them in a small bowl, and smash them lightly with a fork, so that the juices are released. Stir in the oregano, chopped kalamatas, remaining 2 T olive oil, a bit of sea salt and pepper to taste, and balsamic, and toss to combine. 

When ready to eat, take the sauced pasta, add the tomato-olive mix, a few blistered tomatoes and peppers, and feta, and toss to combine, and then enjoy the amazingness!