Brunch

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese

Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in Brunch, Healthy Eats, Ingredient Knowledge, Sides & Appetizers | 0 comments

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese


How to Roast Beets

You can’t beat beets! According to Men’s Health beets are amongst the top 10 best foods you can eat.  Besides all the wonderful vitamins and minerals it provides and its amazing ability to tie die your favorite tee, yes I use to tie die….don’t judge, it is also delicious to eat! For the longest time, beets most definitely scared me.  Besides buying them canned and putting them in my juicer, I had no idea what to do with them.  Especially whole and raw.  Eeek! So I decided to face my fears and realized that beets aren’t so scary after all. In fact, they are incredibly easy.Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Beets are the most flavorful during the spring and fall.  When you are picking it out look for small to medium firm beets that are smooth without soft spots. When you buy them whole, they have long leafy stems that are also edible and kind of taste like spinach.  You can sauté them up or use them in soups, but if don’t want them at all you can trim the beets a couple inches off the stem for easier storage.

The best way I found to roast them is with absolutely nothing….that’s right you heard me NOTHING! Just pop them in a 375 degree oven for about an hour skin on.  Do trim off the stem however about an inch away from the root.  You may want to line your pan with some foil as the liquids will start to ooze as it roasts just for easier clean up.

Fried Goat Cheese & Beat Salad

After all the beets have cooled, simply peel off the skin which will be very easy and loose.  And the beets are ready to be used.  Just a little tip since the beets do stain.  Use gloves during this process. See easy peasy! Why would anyone be scared of a beet?

I’ve always been a fan of beets and goat cheese.  The smooth sweetness of the beet is fabulous with the tangy creaminess of the goat cheese and frying them with a coat of panko gives it a really nice crunch. I also added Hazelnuts and a Balsamic reduction to this recipe which just pulled it all together. If you haven’t had beets & goat cheese together before.  You must try it!

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 Medium Roasted Beets (see instructions above)
  • 16oz Goat Cheese (1 Log)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • Salt & pepper

Garnish

  • Chopped Hazelnuts
  • Balsamic Reduction

Note

You can either buy the balsamic reduction or make it yourself.  To make the balsamic reduction, heat balsamic vinegar in a saucepan at a simmer for about 30-40 minutes until it become thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Voila balsamic reduction!

Directions

Step 1
Freeze the goat cheese log for about 15 minutes prior to slicing. To easily slice goat cheese, use a serrated knife and make it sure it is clean after each slice. Or you can always use non flavored dental floss as well. Slice the goat cheese into 8 slices. Place them on a plate and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Step 2
In a medium bowl good for dredging, beat the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the panko, garlic salt, thyme, dried parsley, salt & pepper. Heat a pan over medium heat with oil & butter. Dredge each goat cheese slice in the egg and then coat both sides with the panko mixture.
Step 3
Fry each on each side each goat cheese slice just until it turns golden brown. You do not want the goat cheese to get runny and melty.
Step 4
Peel the roasted beets and slice into rounds, about 1/2" thick. Arrange alternating rounds of fried goat cheese & rounds of beets. Top with chopped hazelnuts & drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Bacon French Toast

Posted on Sep 22, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch | 0 comments

Peanut Butter Banana Bacon French Toast

I’ve been converted to the dark side and jumped on the bacon band wagon, but really can you blame me?  What doesn’t taste better with bacon?

Peanut Butter Bacon French Toast

Every time I make French Toast there are pieces left uneaten.  Never fails. I guess when it’s just me and the hubby, it’s hard to eat all 8 pieces I always seem to make.

Peanut Butter Banana Bacon French Toast

 

Well, instead of the garbage can like so many other pieces of french toast that have come before have gone, the pieces left over from the bread used in my Stuffed Strawberry French Toast were used to make this beauty! No need for explanation on this one, it’s a Peanut Butter Banana Bacon all together sandwiched between two pieces of French Toast…Peanut Butter Banana Bacon French Toast Sandwich!  The saltiness of the bacon and the nuttiness of the peanut butter with the cinnamon nutmeg deliciousness of the bread and the sweetness of the banana…. seriously?? delish!

Peanut Butter Bacon & Banana French Toast Sandwich

Ingredients

French Toast Sandwich

  • 8 Challah Bread Sliced 1
  • 16 Slices of Bacon
  • 2 Bananas Sliced
  • 1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter

Batter

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk or Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Directions

Step 1
For the batter, combine the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla in a shallow bowl or pan. Something easy to soak the bread in after it is stuffed.
Step 2
Dredge each piece of bread in the egg mixture on each side. You might want to let the bread sit in the egg mixture for a minute to allow the bread to soak up the deliciousness.

Heat a large skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook each slice on each side for about 4-5 minutes and when the bread is golden brown. Work in batches. Dredge the next slice when the first slice is completed and put in the skillet to cook.
Step 3
Brown & crisp the bacon in a separate pan. Use a paper towel to absorb excess oils and fat.
Step 4
Assemble your french toast sandwich. Layer in between two pieces of French Toast , peanut butter, bacon & sliced bananas. Enjoy!
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Neuf-awho? Neuf-awhat? Neufchatel Cheese & Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch, Ingredient Knowledge | 0 comments

Neuf-awho? Neuf-awhat? Neufchatel Cheese & Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

 Neufchatel cheese reminds me of my given name.  The name I suffered through all the way up until 8th grade when I finally decided to drop my Chinese first name no one could pronounce (and one I won’t mention here 😉 to go by my middle name Elizabeth.  Life suddenly became easier and those that avoided me for fear of pronouncing my name wrong suddenly seemed so relaxed when saying hi. That’s kind of the way I feel about Neufchatel Cheese. Even though I see it at the store every time I reach for the Cream Cheese, I always avoided it having no idea how to pronounce it and having no idea what it was. I probably still don’t know how to pronounce it but after getting to know it a little better it’s really just as simple as its sister Cream Cheese.

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My Favorite Ways to Thicken a Sauce & Turkey Sloppy Joes with Avocado & a Fried Egg….YUM!

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch, Healthy Eats, Main Dishes | 0 comments

My Favorite Ways to Thicken a Sauce & Turkey Sloppy Joes with Avocado & a Fried Egg….YUM!

I don’t think I had my first Sloppy Joe until I was probably 25….sad. I grew up in a Asian household so typical meals for me, besides the frequent Burger King, Popeye’s, Boston Market & Taco Bell was chicken feet & rice porridge.  Although delicious, they were no Sloppy Joes!

The one thing that can destroy even the most flavorful Sloppy Joes is a watery & runny meat sauce.  So here are my 3 favorite ways to thicken any sauce.

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Guilt Free Spinach Goat Cheese Turkey Bacon Frittata

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch, Healthy Eats | 2 comments

Frittatas are one of my favorite things to make, mostly because you really can’t mess it up and once you learn the technique behind making a frittata you can totally throw whatever you have on hand for a quick and easy dinner, lunch, breakfast or my favorite of all brunch!

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