Month: September 2011

Spicy Egg in the Basket with Sausage

Spicy Egg in the Basket with Sausage

You have probably heard this dish been called a handful of names depending on where you grew up. Often referred to as egg in the basket, egg in the hole, frog in the hole, or even toad in the hole, this simple breakfast dish is…

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

I will be up front with you, I have never been to Cuba. I had to get that off my chest. But that does not mean that I have not sampled Cuban food throughout my lifetime, or better yet food from the southern part of…

Toasted Ciabatta Sandwich with Bacon and Brie

Toasted Ciabatta Sandwich with Bacon and Brie

It must be that time of year in Wisconsin. That time where you really crave comfort food. It must be something in the air, whether it is the temperature being in the upper 60’s or the light breeze that goes along with it. This past weekend was a comfort food explosion in my kitchen, and of the many things I did make for the family, one stood out as being a really great combination in flavor, and that being a simple grilled sandwich.

A recent visit to the Milwaukee Cheese Bar set my sight and taste buds on delicious cheese. As I sampled one of their cheese plates, On the Wild Side, I could not stop thinking about what I was going to do with cheese that weekend. I initially thought of using one of my favorite blue cheeses for a sandwich, but I have been using that quiet a bit, I instead decided on going with a creamy French brie cheese. If you have never had brie, I highly recommend it. It is a cow’s cheese, that is soft and creamy with a bit of rind around the cheese which gives the cheese an added flavor. What to pair it with? Bacon, of course. A nice, smokey bacon. I knew my wife would like this sandwich, and on a rainy day, it really hit the spot.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ciabatta roll, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked, per sandwich
  • Brie cheese, room temperature, cut into approximately four slices
  • 2 tbsp butter, per sandwich
  • 1 sprig of thyme, per sandwich

Begin by heating a large cast iron skillet on medium to low heat. Add one tablespoon of butter to the side of each slice of bread. Lay one piece of the bread, butter side down, onto the heated skillet. Top with some brie cheese, then the bacon, thyme, and top with more cheese. Add the second piece of bread to the top of the sandwich, butter side up.

Let the sandwich cook, approximately 3-4 minutes on one side, then gently lift and check for the golden brown toasting color. Once you achieved that golden crust, slip it over, and cook and additional 3-4 minutes, lowering the heat just a bit.

Grilled Cheese Ciabatta with Baon and Brie

Do not smash the sandwich. Let it do its thing.

Once the other side is toasted, remove the sandwich from the skillet, and let it rest for a few minutes.

The end result is a delicious, melted cheese sandwich that has a pairing like no other. You get the smokiness and crispiness from the bacon along with the creaminess, and a bit of delicious aroma from the outside skin of the brie. Truly simple and delicious.  If you are looking to add some more pairing to the matter, slice an apple, or pear and serve alongside your sandwich. Enjoy.

Pork Ribs with Salsa Verde

Pork Ribs with Salsa Verde

Let me begin by saying this dish is actually called ‘Costillitas de puerco con salsa verde’. I say this only because I first encountered this at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee, El Rey. See, normally when I frequent El Rey, I typically…

Gorgonzola Stuffed Mushrooms

Gorgonzola Stuffed Mushrooms

One of the few things I disliked while growing up were mushrooms. I wanted nothing to do with them. That, and pasta with red sauce. It was not until later in life, much later, when I truly began to love mushrooms, and in particular, portabella…

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza

Many of us growing up probably had that night out of the week where breakfast was being served for dinner. I know when I was growing up, it was a fairly exciting night to have breakfast for dinner. Maybe it was the idea that we were going to have bacon, or pancakes with that bacon, or heck even the sweet syrup to be poured on top of both the pancakes, and the bacon. Well, you get it. Breakfast for dinner is always exciting and it still is in my family.

I will admit that we are back in the full swing of things. The kids are all back in school and my wife and I are extremely busy trying to get out of the door on time, and with that said, the kids are not always getting a warm breakfast. I will also admit that I think breakfast is a very important meal of the day and can set the right mood in most everyone. Granted, by kids are not without food. They are eating bowls of cereal for the most part, keeping them occupied until lunch. So, it is always a good deal, and I know that my kids get excited when we are able to have breakfast for dinner.

Breakfast Pizza Recipe

This past week prompted a question I always get from my oldest son when he walks through the door ‘Hey Dad, what’s for dinner?’. Breakfast, I said, and as they all overheard that, you could sense the excitement. What they did not know, is that it was not your standard pancakes and bacon, but instead, a pizza idea I had in mind.

See, pizza is becoming a weekly standard in my house. Batching out the dough is no problem and when you come home from work, everything is pretty much ready. The cool thing about pizza night, is that the dough is your canvas, and you are the artist. Endless thoughts and ideas come into play, and is why I thought I would offer breakfast pizza to my kids.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Homemade pizza dough, or store bought if you prefer
  • 3 breakfast sausages, uncooked, casing removed
  • 1 yukon gold potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp light corn meal

Begin by heating a small sauce pan on medium to low heat. Add in the oil and the garlic clove, and let it cook on low for about 20 minutes.

Breakfast Pizza Recipe

During this time, add the sliced potatoes to a pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat and let the potatoes cook for about 3-5 minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon. Lightly pat dry.

Preheat your oven to 475-500 degrees, with a pizza stone in the oven as well.

Roll out your dough into the size you prefer, and the thickness you prefer. I like thin crust, but that’s me.

If you have a pizza wheel, use it. Lightly dust with the corn meal and add your rolled out pizza dough to the top.

Brush the garlic oil all over the dough. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Top with the thinly sliced potatoes, dollops of the sausage, and add the cheese. Open the oven, and gently slide the pizza onto the stone. The corn meal really helps in this effort.

Slide the stone out a bit, and crack the egg, right in the middle. Slide everything in the oven, close, and cook for about 12-17 minutes, until the cheese is nice and bubbly and the crust is a golden brown.

Once cooked, remove to your pizza pan, slice, and serve.

You should have seen one of my kids expressions. It was priceless. He was so excited, and he never had seen an egg on a pizza before! That bite was all his.  Every bite was delicious as well. Breakfast in a bite. It doesn’t get any better than that. Enjoy!