herbs

Eggs

Baked Eggs with Chèvre + Cilantro Chutney

Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! Hopefully your shopping is done and the day ahead involves wrapping and baking and cocktails. I feel a bit guilty that I've been enjoying a lot of all three lately while Tripp (like a champ!) has been working  the front lines of retail slinging cheese for 12 hours a day. For those still hustling and bustling remember to give the good people behind the counter a thank you and a smile today - they're making Christmas happen!

Speaking of cheese, here's a simple holiday morning breakfast that takes only ten minutes and lets you get real liberal with the chèvre. I first made these eggs baked with my most favorite green hot sauce. They were divine as everything that hot sauce touches tends to be. Over those eggs I wondered, why are spicy eggs always Southwestern spicy? Why not Indian spicy? What if we swap out the hot sauce for that sour, tangy, spicy green chutney they give you at Indian restaurants with the samosas? I was inspired but still a bit gun-shy. I'd always wanted to recreate that chutney at home but never had the confidence to try. That changed when I found this article over at Food52. The author not only says that making your own chutney is easy, she encourages you to just wing it. My kind of pep talk! I did and it worked. Tripp usually says everything I make is good but this is the first time he lobbied that I bottle and sell. I don't know about that but family and friends take note, you might be getting a sneak peek at next year's homemade Christmas gift.

Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs With Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com

Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 of a serrano pepper
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 5 tsp water

Prep

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth
  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water 1 tsp at a time until you reach desired consistency
  • Store refrigerated and covered for up to one week

 

Baked Eggs with Chèvre (Fresh Goat Cheese)

Ingredients

  • Pat of butter
  • Eggs (as many as your appetite or guest count demands)
  • Fresh chèvre
  • Salt + pepper
  • Toast for serving

Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In an ovenproof skillet or pan, melt butter over low heat
  • Crack eggs into pan and scatter liberally with fresh goat cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Bake eggs until whites are just set, about 8 minutes (if you like your yolks firmer, bake for 10-12 minutes; watch closely though so eggs don't cook all the way through)
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately with toast and cilantro chutney

 

 

Pasta, Fixings

Pistachio Mint Pesto

Spaghetti + Pistachio Mint Pesto | www.hungryinlove.com

I don't have a good track record for remembering firsts. Pesto is a vivid exception. The scene was 9th grade - a 'pasta party'  at Christine C.'s house. In addition to the mandatory red sauce, Christine's mom also presented us with a platter of spaghetti all speckled green. I was intrigued.

For those who aren't familiar, a pasta party is an adorable ritual enjoyed by high school athletes. The evening before a game the whole team gathers at the home of one patient parent to eat heaps of pasta. The presumed logic being that carb-loading is imperative to peak performance the following day. It's entirely unnecessary and totally fun. Lots of inter-grade bonding and boy talk. I imagine this tradition has suffered in the era of gluten intolerance. If there are any high school readers out there I'd welcome a report.

Anyhow, I digress. I swiftly cornered Christine's mom and complimented the 'green stuff'.  She showed me an empty packet and explained that all you need to do is mix the contents with oil and presto, pesto! That night I relayed the discovery to my mom and made my case for partaking in this exotic delicacy. "Oh, your father doesn't like pesto." Womp womp. The ultimate veto. Reflecting on this memory, maybe my Dad didn't like pesto because his reference point was freeze-dried powder that came in a packet.

By college I had graduated to jarred pesto and understood that basil and pine nuts were essential common denominators. Then one fateful day a roommate demonstrated that any old combo of nuts + greens could yield a mighty pesto. I think her version featured arugula and walnuts. Fast forward many moons to this weekend where I found myself with a cupboard full of pistachios and mint aplenty due to the Easter holiday. A new duo, but why not? Even if only because it's documented here on the world wide web this is a first I won't soon forget.

Pesto Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Pistachio Mint Pesto | www.hungryinlove.com
Lime Zest + Olive Oil | www.hungryinlove.com
Spaghetti | www.hungryinlove.com
Spaghetti + Pistachio Mint Pesto | www.hungryinlove.com

pistachio Mint Pesto

Makes ~ 1.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tb. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt

Prep

  • Toast pistachios in a dry skillet over medium heat until just they are fragrant and just beginning to browm, 3-5 minutes; let cool
  • In a food processor combine pistachios, mint, cheese, lime zest,  garlic, and salt until you have a thick paste
  • With the motor running add olive oil and lime juice through the feed tube;  if pesto is too thick add water 1 Tbs. at a time until pesto reaches desired consistency
  • Keep pesto in the fridge for up to a week; also freezes well

 

Vegetables

Acorn Squash + Creamy Herb Farro

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Herb Farro | www.hungryinlove.com
Creamy Herb Farro | www.hungryinlove.com

Spring has sprung and brought with her today  a high of 28 degrees. Good grief. We're weary here in New England but I know, I know, old news.  I'd probably be numb to our situation if we hadn't just returned from a jaunt to Florida. There's nothing like a four day Vitamin-D binge to bring your state of deprivation into sharp focus. Well that and the fact that while I'm sporting flip flops and a maxi dress, the snowbird one seat over at brunch is cloaked in a turtleneck and a fleece. No lie.

But enough of that. In the spirit of the sunshine state, I'll turn to the bright side. March in New England has its charms and one is kitchen projects that involve cream sauce and melted cheese. Think of our poor neighbors to the south. Floridians have no business turning their ovens on in 80 degree weather. I'll bet there's but six weeks a year where roasted squash sounds like a good idea. The rest of the time they're left to get along on coconuts, strawberries, and rum runners. It's a pity, really, to not know the joys of hunkering.

This mish-mash was dreamed up one of those nights where the dinner selections looked positively drab. Wilty parsley = not inspiring. But you know what is? Mac + cheese. This farro will take you there. Except 'there', with all those whole grains and green speckles, will feel delightfully virtuous.

Hello sunshine, my old friend. 

Hello sunshine, my old friend. 

Farro | www.hungyinlove.com
Acorn Squash | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Acorn Squash | www.hungryinlove.com
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Herb Farro | www.hungryinlove.com

Roasted Acorn Squash + Creamy Herb Farro

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Acorn squash
  • Olive oli, salt, + pepper
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 Tbs. butter 
  • 1 Tbs. flour
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 1 Cup grated Gruyere cheese + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 Cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil)

Prep

  • Roast the Squash
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    • Cut squash in half lengthwise (be careful, this part's a tad scary)
    • Scoop out seeds and discard (or save to roast)
    • Place halves on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt + pepper
    • Bake for one hour or until the flesh easily gives when pierced with a fork; remove from oven
  • Cook the Farro
    • Bring 6 cups of salted water to a rolling boil
    • Rinse farro and add to boiling water (You can cook farro like rice or like pasta; I prefer the pasta method so you eliminate the guessing game of getting the right grain to liquid ratio)
    • Cook farro at a boil for 20 minutes or until grains are tender
    • Drain
  • Make Cheese Sauce
    • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan melt butter over medium heat
    • Whisk in flour
    • Whisking regularly, cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until roux takes on a light brown color and becomes completely smooth; take care not to burn
    • Add milk whisking constantly until sauce begins to thicken
    • Turn heat to low and continue cooking, whisking regularly, for about 10 minutes until sauce is smooth and no longer tastes of flour
    • Add grated cheese and stir until melted and incorporated
    • Remove from heat
  • Assemble
    • Add cooked farro and fresh herbs to the cheese sauce and stir until well blended (you will have more of this mixture than you need to fill the squash, and that's is a good thing! It's awesome on its own and makes great leftovers)
    • Scoop farro into squash halves and garnish with grated Gruyere
    • Return squash to a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese on top has melted and just browned
    • Serve hot