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041323 food column

Bite by Bite
Conquering My Culinary Bucket List One Dish at a Time
By Emily Banks Wooten

This is my fourth Easter to create “Bite by Bite” and for some reason I always gravitate toward egg dishes for the Easter issue. Well, except for Easter 2021 when I cooked, photographed and wrote about baked feta with cherry tomatoes, a recipe on TikTok that had become a bit of a viral sensation. Other than that one exception, I’ve written about frittatas, deviled eggs and egg salad for the Easter issue. With eggs being at a premium these days, you may not be in the market for recipes for egg dishes. Nonetheless, today I’m bringing you two, one that is new to me and the other, an old standby. 

A longtime friend I hadn’t seen in a while was in town recently and, being a kindred spirit in terms of our love of food and spreading our wings in the kitchen, we began talking about recipes, cookbooks, recipe blogs and various cooking methods. He turned me on to a blog I wasn’t familiar with called Jo Cooks or jocooks.com. I wasn’t on the site long before I’d already bookmarked several things I was interested in trying. However, being on the lookout for egg dishes, I came across one that intrigued me. It’s called “Creamy Parmesan Baked Eggs” and I found that it checked off a lot of boxes. It’s easy, quick, and good and it’s also what I refer to as a blank canvas, meaning you can tweak it with various additional ingredients to really make it your own.

The other recipe, called “Smoked Salmon Quick Quiche,” is one I discovered a couple of years ago when we had the good fortune to receive a box of smoked sockeye salmon for Christmas from a friend. Caught wild, hand-filleted and alderwood-smoked at the Seabear Smokehouse in Anacortes, Wash., it is quite the delicacy.

All this talk of eggs reminded me of a fun gift my husband gave me back when we were dating – a blue sweatshirt with a picture of an egg that said “You’re a good egg.” It was especially appropriate because that particular phrase was one he frequently said to me back in the day. Maybe reading this column will prompt him to resume saying it to me. Here’s wishing you and yours a safe, happy and blessed Easter! And may we all be “good eggs.” 

Smoked Salmon Quick Quiche
From foodiecrush.com

— 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed or pre-made pie crust
— 4 eggs
— 1 cup whipping cream, half and half, or whole milk
— ½ teaspoon kosher salt
— A few shakes of Tabasco hot sauce
— 4 oz. smoked salmon chopped in large pieces
— ¼ cup crème fraiche or goat cheese crumbles
— 2 Tablespoons fresh dill
— 2 Tablespoons chopped green onion

•Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry. Trim the pastry into a circle so the pastry goes up the sides of a pie tin or baking pan. Trim any excess so it's flush with the top of the sides. Pierce the bottom of the pastry with a fork then prepare the pan for blind baking by placing a sheet of aluminum foil over the puff pastry and gently mold into the edges of the pan and up the sides. Top the foil with enough dry beans or pie weights to fill the pan. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes.

•Meanwhile, in a bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, whisk the eggs, cream, kosher salt and Tabasco. Pour the egg mixture into the par-baked puff pastry shell then top with the smoked salmon pieces and dot with crème fraiche or goat cheese, green onion and fresh dill. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the eggs are set. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, or serve at room temperature. Top with more fresh dill and green onion and serve.

Creamy Parmesan Baked Eggs
From jocooks.com

— 1 Tablespoon butter, unsalted
— 4 eggs — 4 Tablespoons heavy cream
— ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
— ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
— 2 Tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• Butter 2 4-inch ramekins. Crack 2 eggs in each ramekin.
• Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream to each ramekin.
• Season with salt and pepper.
• Grate some parmesan cheese over the eggs.
• Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
• Serve with toast or crusty bread for dunking.

My Notes:
— I topped these with a few shakes of Tabasco and some fresh parsley. —This recipe feeds two people but is easy enough to adjust for more.

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