Egg in a Bagel

A handful of years ago I came up with a recipe known as ‘spicy egg in the basket with sausage‘. It was essentially a pretty awesome breakfast recipe where a piece of bread was cut out and topped with an egg and some cooked breakfast sausage. After thinking about it, I could probably eat that every morning. IT WAS THAT GOOD. This time was a bit different though. As I watch my wife eat her daily, morning bagel (Yes, she eats a bagel every single morning), something lit up, and it came to me to come up with this recipe. The egg in a bagel. As much as my wife loves her morning bagel, I’m a total sucker for making a McMuffin for breakfast. That’s my morning jam and I could probably eat something along those lines every day to get my morning going. This egg in a bagel was no different, but a nice little spin on a mcmuffin.

Egg in a Bagel Recipe
Egg in a Bagel Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 plain bagel (or use your favorite style)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • 1 slice of deli ham
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ring cutter, or serrated knife

Start by cutting out the center of your bagel. I use my handy, dandy ring cutter, about 2 inches in diameter, something wide enough to house the egg and get an even cook on it.

Do the same with with the cutter, or knife on the American cheese and ham.

Next, heat your skillet on medium heat, and add in the butter. Lay the bottom bagel down onto the melted butter, crack the egg into the hole, the top with the cheese, and ham. Top with the top side of the bagel.

Egg in a Bagel Recipe
Egg in a Bagel Recipe

Season the top of the egg with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper, then top with the lid, steaming the egg a bit so that it cooks through to your desired doneness.

Once the egg is cooked through, plate and serve.

Egg in a Bagel Recipe
Egg in a Bagel Recipe

Not only is this thing a joy to look at, it’s a thing of beauty to eat. That American cheese is crispy on the edges, along with the ham, creamy on the inside, the bagel lightly toasted from the butter, and the egg is perfectly cooked and creamy making this breakfast sandwich one to step up to any contender.

If you are looking for something fun to make, something pretty to look at, and more importantly something super delicious then give this one a try. Hope you enjoy and everyone have a great New Year!

Dill Pickle Soup

I was first introduced to Dill Pickle Soup over a year ago at one of Milwaukee’s annual, ethnic festivals, Polish Fest. If you have never been to Milwaukee, please come from June-August as there are so many fun things to do, including an ethnic festival that takes over a major downtown park every week. The one we went to was Polish fest. I have no idea why, as none of us our Polish, but I wanted to give my kids a glimpse into some of their culture, plus I knew they would love a Polish sausage, which would lure them into a couple of attractions. For me, well, it was to try new things, and things I would typically not run into on a regular basis. That’s when I saw dill pickle soup.

Dill Pickle Soup Recipe
Dill Pickle Soup Recipe

At first glance of those words, I thought there is no freaking way this is going to be good, but hey, it’s worth a try. So as I ordered sausages for my kids, and something else for my wife, I went all in and dove into this cup of dill pickle soup. At first glance it looks like a vegetable soup, then when sticking my nose to the rim of the cup, I could smell that dill flavor coming through. Don’t get me wrong, I love pickles, especially dill pickles, but in soup? What were these Polish folks thinking? It’s soup season in Wisconsin (yes, it’s currently -6 degrees), and I figured this one would warm the soul.

Let’s get started.

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 whole carrots, trimmed, and finely diced (I used my food processor)
  • 1 whole leek, cleaned, thinly diced (I used my food processor)
  • 1 whole russet potato, peeled, and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 5 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of dill pickle juice
  • 4 dill pickle spears, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Some good crusty bread, optional

Sounds great already, and trust me it is.

Start by getting your soup pot on the stove. Add in your butter, on medium-high heat, and let that melt down. Toss in your carrots, leeks, jalapeno, and potatoes, and give that a good stir. Continue to stir for about 3-5 minutes.

Dill Pickle Soup Ingredients
Dill Pickle Soup Ingredients

Next, add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, and bring to a simmer. Check on your potatoes from time to time, and once they are knife tender, add in the pickle juice, pickles, Old Bay, salt, and pepper.

Give that a good stir. Now, to a small bowl, add the water, sour cream, and flour. Whisk until you have a smooth mixture. This will be a small thickening agent for the soup, plus it gives a bit of great, mild sourness from the sour cream.

After a few minutes, take your whisk, and your sour cream mixture, and slowly begin whisking it into the soup. Keep whisking throughout the process. Once all of the sour cream mixture is in the pot, give another good whisk, then cover, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Dill Pickle Soup Recipe
Dill Pickle Soup Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Ladle into your soup bowl, or cup, and dig in.

What were these Polish folks thinking? I’ll tell you what, they were thinking that this bowl of soup would be nothing but delicious. Again, at first glance you think it is vegetable soup, but when bringing the soup spoon closer, you get that mild dill pickle aroma, with the subtle taste when spooning it in. My daughter, who ‘can’t stand’ pickles, at her bowl of soup. I was surprised, and upon her first or second bite she asked ‘are there pickles in this?’, and I said yes, she kept her face down, her bread dunked, and kept at it.

If you are skeptical, give it a try. My neighbors brought over a bear soup yesterday, and I traded up with my dill pickle soup. He, being Polish, had never had this type of soup, so it will be interested to get his take on it, once I see him after it begins to warm up in the great white north. Enjoy!

Thai Style Beef Jerky

My kids go nuts over beef jerky, or heck any type of jerky for that matter. It almost sits on the fence of borderline ridiculous as if they have a bag of eat, they pretty much would devour the entire bag, and let’s face it, beef jerky is not that cheap. With that being said, I wanted to introduce them to a Thai style beef jerky that you often find in Asian markets, homemade to say the least. Thai style beef jerky, in my opinion, is a bit sweeter and is lightly coated with sesame seeds. Not only that but once dried, it is lightly fried giving it a wonderful chew. My kids don’t know it yet, but this stuff is a great game day snack and pairs perfectly with a cold beer. (Note, I don’t have the final photo as my kids pretty much devoured the entire batch. Regardless, you get the idea from the photos, I hope.)

Thai Style Beef Jerky Recipe
Thai Style Beef Jerky Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 lbs of beef eye of round roast, or something lean
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Maggi seasoning
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • .5 oz of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Start by trimming any fat away from the beef. Once removed, thinly slice the beef into about 1/8 inch slices, not too thin, but definitely not too thick. I find it best to lightly freeze the beef before slicing, and using a sharp knife as well.

To a mixing bowl, add the ginger, sugar, garlic, salt, Maggi seasoning, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Add in the beef, and using both hands, mix really, really well. Wash those hands, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

The following day, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature. Mine only goes down to 170, and that is fine. You can also air dry this, laying the beef on your oven racks, and using a fan to constantly blow air on them. Or, you can use your food dehydrator if you have one. I don’t, but really, really want one.

Take your oven racks out. I used all three of mine, and lay the beef along the racks. Some of my cuts were shorter, others longer, but just make sure they are not touching one another, and that they lay on the rack. This can be a bit messy, so I laid paper towel on my counter to make cleaning up a bit easier.

Carefully place the racks back into the oven, and slowly cook these for about 3-5 hours on low and until they are the texture of beef jerky.

When you are ready to make them, after the jerky phase, heat a medium skillet on medium heat, adding the oil, and place however many pieces of jerky that can fit, into the heated oil, and lightly fry for a few minutes per side. Remove, place onto some paper towel, repeat, and then dig in.

My kids were so stoked, not only that there was almost an endless amount of jerky, but a new jerky at that. The sweetness from the sugar, and that balance of ginger and garlic really make this jerky a real winner. Hope you enjoy, and if you want to donate a dehydrator for me, that would be awesome! Kidding.

Squash Lasagna

At the season’s end of our last farmer’s market, I decided to load up on a variety of squash. I’ll admit that I am not too big of a squash lover, but I did it for my wife, as she is the one that likes them. But as I stared at the delicata and butternut squash, I decided I would roast both of them. That’s when the idea came into play, probably because I was searching for ideas for dinner and something everyone would love and agree on, and that’s when I thought of lasagna. Lasagna with a twist that is. Who doesn’t love a great dish of lasagna? What no one knew is that I had a good couple of cups of that delish, roasted squash, and ever better I did not tell them until after they devoured a couple of slices. Yep, that’s where my kids are now, two slices, and eating me out of the house.

Squash Lasagna Recipe
Squash Lasagna Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 delicata squash, sliced in half, seeds removed
  • 1 small butternut squash, sliced in half, seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, rubbed onto sliced squashes
  • 9 sheets of lasagna, oven ready, or par boiled
  • 1 lb ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 2 mild Italian sausage links, casing removed, cooked and fat removed
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/12 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add the squashes to a baking sheet, and cook flesh side up for about 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Once the squash is cooked, scrape out, and mix into a bowl. You will only need about two cups, but feel free to use more or less based on your preference.

Start by cooking both of your meats. Feel free to combine these in a large skillet. Break apart the meat as it is cooking to prevent large clumps. Strain the meat mixture, removing the fat, then return the meat back on the stove on medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, some cracked black pepper, the red chili flakes, and the garlic powder. Give a good stir, cooking for a minute or two, then add in your sauce. Stir, and let this reduce down a bit, cooking for about 10 minutes.

To another mixing bowl, add the egg, ricotta cheese, the squash, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and half of the parmesan cheese. Give that a good mix so that the squash is fully incorporated into the cheeses.

Now let’s get to this lasagna. Take a good ladle of your meat sauce, and add to the bottom of your lasagna dish. Add the lasagna sheets. Mine fit three to the pan.

Squash Lasagna Ingredients
Squash Lasagna Ingredients

Next, be generous and add enough of the ricotta and squash mixture to cover the pasta sheets. Lightly sprinkle on mozzarella cheese, then more meat mixture, pasta cheese, more ricotta mixture, more cheese, more sauce, then remaining pasta sheets. Cover with meat sauce, the cover with cheese. Shower with the remaining parmesan cheese.

Spray the back of some aluminum foil with some cooking spray. I’ve found this to prevent all of that wonderful cheese from sticking onto the foil when removing from the oven.

Cover the baking dish, and place into a 375 degree oven, cooking for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil, and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and golden.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing into squares.

The end result was everything that is wonderful about a great lasagna, but there was that bit of hidden sweetness from the blended squash that made this one even better. After the kids were finished eating (as well as my wife), I said “So how did everyone like the squash?”. They had confused looks on their face, but all replied that they had no clue it was in there, and loved every bite. What’s not to love about that? Gotta get the good stuff in there somehow, I was successful on that front. Hope you enjoy!