Weeknight suppers got you down? Sick of PB&J? (Hard to imagine, but it does happen.) Looking for something lean, vegetarian-friendly and easy to prep? GKG’s got your back — try these Italian-Style Baked Eggs for a simple, subtly flavored dinner that’ll leave you satisfied without dirtying too many pots or resorting to that jar of Jiff.
The method? Bake the eggs in the oven!
Surprise: Baking the eggs in the oven is an almost foolproof method for whipping up something delicious. I first picked up on this idea from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter, and this tip also appears all over Pinterest when you search for brunch recipes and easy egg dishes. On Pinterest, there are all kinds of baked egg dishes like these:
Yup, drooling on the keyboard.
For my budding chef-friendly recipe, the directions couldn’t be simpler. And, frankly, the result couldn’t be more satisfying. The best part, though, is that once you’re comfortable with the method — which shouldn’t take more than your first try — you can mix, match and adapt ingredients and recipes to fit your tastes. Here’s to many an egg-friendly meal.
Hey, remember that time you wanted to cook a meatless entree, but weren’t sure what to serve? You poked around your pantry and fridge; found some veggies, some cheese, and not much else. What’s a hungry girl or guy to do?
Why, whip up an oven-baked veggie torte, of course.
How do you pair food with wine? Do the old “red-with-red meat, white-with-white meat / fish” rules even apply anymore? Can we just scrap them in favor of a good ol’ Barefood Contessa-style “Eh, drink what you want!” style?
Or is there more to it than that? What’s a modern-day chef to do?
In come the interwebs. Ba-DA!
Bet you started quoting “Home Alone” in your head, didn’t you?
This year, I will be staying in Washington, DC for Thanksgiving … IN ORDER TO HOST THE HOLIDAY! AIEEEE! OMAGAH! WHAT??
… Actually, it’s not THAT terrifying. (She said, in her famous last words before her death-by-drowning at the hands — er, goo? — of a mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy.) It’s a new adventure that the History Teacher and I are taking on this year. We’ll be hosting his immediate family (traveling in from all sorts of corners of the East Coast), as well as a few local friends who’d rather stay nearby than make their long and expensive voyages home. To which I say, the more the merrier! … and the slightly scarier? More people! More food! More chaos! More tryptophan-induced napping on a limited number of beds and couches!
Note: This is a bird that has literally fallen off of its bones. As soon as I plucked it from the slow-cooker, this moist, delicate chicken threatened to collapse entirely. The slow cooking method ensures an incredibly tender chicken with flavor out the wazoo. Yes, wazoo. It’s a technical culinary term: the thing out of which flavor can apparently come?
Anyhoo; aside from my additions to the dictionary, this roast chicken is perhaps the easiest fancy-pancy Sunday dinner out there. If you’ve got a slow cooker and some time on your hands, this recipe is for you. And your friends. And your family. And that neighbor across the street who happens to like chicken. Because it makes a lot of chicken.
With the advent of fall (yup, still excited about it, and will be until winter comes crawling), I always get in the mood for that caramelized, tender-crisp and buttery flavor of roasted vegetables. While fall specifically tends to make me crave root veggies — roasted sweet potatoes, squashes, parsnips and more — the simple technique of roasting veggies is clutch for any budding chef to master.
Here are the simplest steps for successful veggie roasting:
- Cut or trim veggies into semi-uniform pieces (for even cooking time)
- Coat lightly with salt, pepper and olive oil
- Spread veggies onto a baking sheet, and roast at 425 degrees for 10-30 minutes, or until the veggies have caramelized (browned with natural sugars) and are cooked to your liking.
That’s it! The process brings out so much of each veggie’s natural flavor while infusing them with the earthy olive oil and piquant salt & pepper combo. As Adam Roberts, a.k.a. the Amateur Gourmet, says of his take on Ina Garten’s roasted broccoli, “If parents made this broccoli for their kids, kids wouldn’t hate broccoli. They’d beg for it.”
Veg-roasting is also a killer way to stretch a dollar — pick up one sweet potato & one parsnip, slice & prepare as noted above, and boom. You have more than enough food to create a satisfying side dish for two or more, and for minimal cost. In the spirit of Jessie J, I suppose “it’s not about the money, money, money” — but saving a little never hurts!
A few of my favorite roasted veggie options:
- Asparagus with Tomatoes (seen above): Trim asparagus by holding both ends and “bending” the stalks — they’ll naturally break at the proper point. Toss with cherry or diced tomatoes and olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast as noted above for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of lemon juice. Mmm!
- Root Veggies: Slice sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga and red onion into steak fry-size pieces. Coat with olive oil and a drizzle of maple syrup (thanks, Gwyneth! Seriously — what would I do without your book?); roast for 30 mins to 1 hour, or until veggies have caramelized and cooked to your liking.
- Broccoli: For a take on Ina’s heavenly broccoli, coat broccoli florets with olive oil, adding salt & pepper to taste. Roast for 20-25 mins with 4 or 5 peeled garlic cloves. After the broccoli florets are done, toss with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and toasted pine nuts. Consume mass quantities, coneheads.
Do y’all roast veggies in fall and winter? What are your favorites? How about some meat-and-veggie parings: Which roasted veggies to you like with your protein? Happy eating!