Category Archives: Eggs

Breakfast of Champions: Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame

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Easy Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

A few years ago, I had the privilege of contributing to my friend Rebecca Coleman’s extremely popular mom blog,  Cooking with My Kid. I had been Rebecca’s nanny for a stint and when I moved on to work in the restaurant business, she asked me to come back and help her come up with babysitter-friendly recipes. She named me The Savory Sitter, officially. Because, she reasoned, “NO ONE likes an unsavory sitter.” I agreed and we had a lot of fun making homemade pop tarts, ravioli lasagna and pirate ships made of melon and banana. Okay, that last one was her idea, but she gave me credit for it.

The best kind of eggs: farm fresh.  Photo Credit:  Heather Platt

The best kind of eggs: farm fresh. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

My favorite of the Savory Sitter recipes, though, was the Kid Friendly Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame.  I am a huge lover of the classic, French Croque Madame.  But when it came time to make it for Three More Big Bites, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that adorable kid version I’d made for Rebecca. This version is even easier. I forgot putting the ham in the middle and just placed the best kind of bacon, applewood smoked of course, on top of it.  I made it with my favorite bread on earth: the cinnamon raisin loaf from Green Rabbit Naturally Leavened Bread in Waitsfield, Vermont and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from Jasper Hill Cellars in Greensboro, VT. That being said, any delicious bread and good quality cheddar of your choice will do.

Enjoy!

Heather

Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-Hole Croque Madame. Pottery by Barbara Platt's Pottery. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-Hole Croque Madame. Pottery by Barbara Platt’s Pottery. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Heather Platt, Lunch

Summer Seafood: Seared Scallops with Chickpea Couscous, Warm Summer Tomatoes, Hazelnuts and Tarragon Aioli

Seared Scallops with Chickpea Couscous, Warm Summer Tomatoes, Hazelnuts and Tarragon Aioli. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Seared Scallops with Chickpea Couscous, Warm Summer Tomatoes, Hazelnuts and Tarragon Aioli. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

I ate too many snails once. I don’t regret it. They were delicious. It was 2003. I was a young, naive étudiante américaine  living in Paris and traveling with an utterly fabulous group of cooler-than-I-will-ever-be French bohemians to a man named Nico’s  oceanfront house in Bretagne. It’s a long story. And  it’s  also called Brittany if you’re American, but I like to pretend that I’m French. America had just begun the guerre en Iraq (war) and I had spent the winter in Paris bundled in French-looking jackets and a blue beret (no joke) that matched the color of my eyes in an attempt to blend in so as to avoid the angry questioning that many Parisians had for Americans at that time.

Nico and his girlfriend Celine were the kind of people who I simultaneously did not understand and yet totally admired. They spent half of their time in Madagascar. They did not want to live in the U.S. because it was not enough of a “bordel” (translation: whorehouse) for them. When asked what she does for work replied “we work with oils,” and one time handed me a plate of the most delicious ratatouille I have ever tasted in my life which we ate while watching the sunset on the balcony of her Paris apartment. Needless to say, a weekend in Bretagne with them was a privilege. And as I quickly learned, Bretagne is like the Vermont and Maine of France, speckled with cows, delicious cheese, cider and fresh seafood all-in-one. Did I mention that Nico was a chef?

On our first morning there, he woke everyone up and insisted that we walk down to the water because the tide was low. Using the given tools we dug up  treasures from the sea. Coquilles St-Jacques (sea scallops), Les huîtres (oysters) and my favorite of all; bulots (sea snails) were caught  for lunch. Bulots are different than the escargot you’ll find at your neighborhood French restaurant. Bulots are meatier, tougher and chewier. We ate the oysters raw and Nico steamed everything else and made a simple homemade aioli for dipping. On that beautiful sunny day in Bretagne, I ate more than my fair share of bulots mayonnaise.

I haven’t eaten bulots since then, been back to Bretagne or spoken to anyone on that holiday in about ten years. It was one of those trips where the only souvenir I have of it are the memories and the occasional really strong craving for homemade aioli with my seafood. So a few nights ago while preparing to make scallops with summer tomatoes and hazelnuts, I just couldn’t stop thinking about those bulots and Nico’s delicious aioli. So this quick summer dish of pan-seared sea scallops gets a special flourish at the end. A dollop of fresh made aioli as a tribute to Bretagne.

Enjoy!

Heather

 

Seared Scallops with Chickpea Couscous, Warm Summer Tomatoes, Hazelnuts and Tarragon Aioli

Serves 4

for aioli:

  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves

In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and salt to a paste. In a cold metal bowl place the egg yolk. Gradually whisk in the oil one drop at a time whisking constantly to make the mayonnaise.  As the mayonnaise becomes thick you may whisk in the remaining oil in a slow steady stream. If the mayonnaise becomes too thick, you may add a drop of cold water. Fold in the garlic paste, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Set aside and refrigerate if necessary.

 

for couscous

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 3 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the half of the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the chickpeas and cook until softened, about 30 minutes. Add the remaining vegetable broth and return to a bowl. Add the couscous and carrots, remove from heat and cover. Let stand while you make the scallops.

for scallops

  • 1/3 cup coarsely  skin-on hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pound large sea scallops, side muscle removed, patted dry
  • 1 pint mixed colored mini heirloom tomatoes
  •   2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant and  golden brown, about  8 minutes. Remove from oven and coarsely chop. Toss them with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Season scallops with salt and pepper and, using tongs, place in the pan. Sear on until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add tomatoes and shallot to the pan , season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 6 minutes. Mix in the red wine vinegar.

Place a large spoonful of the chickpea couscous on the center of each plate. Spoon the tomatoes and shallots over the couscous. Place the scallops on top of the couscous, sprinkle with hazelnuts and finish with a dollop of aioli and tarragon leaves.

 

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Filed under Dinner, Eggs, Fish, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Summer

Suzanne Goin’s AOC Cookbook Preview: Mustard-Grilled Chicken with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Soft Egg

Mustard-Grilled Chicken, with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Soft Egg. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Mustard-Grilled Chicken, with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Soft Egg. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

As the hostess at Lucques, I am often the one who gets to hear our guests praise and applaud their dining experiences at the end of the night.  As they walk out the door  looking happy and satisfied they will announce, “That was delicious!” with a look of shock on their faces that reads, “I didn’t know that food could taste that good.” I love to see how some guests’ demeanor changes from on their way in to on their way out. It’s amazing what a great meal and a delicious glass of wine can do!

A few years ago, this mustard-grilled chicken dish was on the menu. Let me remind you that the only dish on the Lucques menu that remains year round is Suzanne’s famous braised-beef short ribs. Everything else changes with the seasons and that’s part of what makes it so special for everyone making the food and eating it. But this chicken dish created quite a stir. Guests were literally begging me to keep it on the menu. One gentleman even called in advance to make sure that it would still be available by the time he came in for his reservation. He pleaded with me to tell the chef to keep it there at least a little bit longer. I even came in, myself, to the restaurant where I work  to eat this amazing chicken.  I had to let Suzanne know about the public demand and she did let it linger on the menu for a few more weeks.

So when I saw that the recipe for it had made it’s way into Suzanne’s AOC cookbook, my stomach grumbled and I felt intimidated. How could I possibly recreate something that delicious in my very own home? And having interned in the kitchen at Lucques, myself, I knew that this was a dish with many components. But my taste-testing dinner guests for this particular night were my  blogger/rocker always-honest best friend Anna Bulbrook and my sweet friend Morgan Kibby, who I hadn’t seen in a while because she has been gone touring the world and receiving Grammy nominations with her band M83 and, quite frankly I wanted to impress them.  I couldn’t think of a better way to show off a few tricks I’d learned from cooking in Suzanne’s kitchen and from her books than to make a recipe that had caused a craze.  “I hope you like chicken.” I said to Morgan as she stood in my kitchen two nights after she had walked the red carpet looking completely stunning at The Grammy Awards.  “Are you serious?! I’m so excited to eat this !” She said, “I’m starving. I haven’t eaten in two weeks.” We all laughed. And I smiled to myself, feeling quite self-satisfied to be personally ending a Grammy-red-carpet-starvation diet with something this good!

Morgan at the Grammy Awards.

Morgan at the Grammy Awards

Pretty/Hungry Rocker Girls Anna Bulbrook and Morgan Kibby. Phoot Credit: Heather Platt

Pretty/Hungry Rocker Girls Anna Bulbrook and Morgan Kibby. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer's market shallots for the mustard marinade.. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer’s market shallots for the mustard marinade. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer's Market Baby Spinach. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Farmer’s Market Baby Spinach. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

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Filed under Dinner, Eggs, Heather Platt, In Season, Main Course, Poultry

Risotto Remake: Pan-Fried Spring Risotto Cakes with Fried Egg


I love cooking (obviously).  But I know a lot of people who don’t. Many of my dearest friends would rather eat a bowl of cereal for dinner than have to pick up a spatula or deal with actually lighting their stove top burners.  And as much joy as I often get out of my culinary endeavors, I can understand where they’re coming from. It’s a lot of work and when you’re tired and hungry sometimes all you want is to come home to something that’s already  made. Well, remember that delicious spring risotto you made yesterday, the one that was loaded with green seasonal vegetables and perfected with diced pancetta? Well, it gets even better. Now you can quickly remake it into these decadent risotto cakes and serve them with a perfect fried egg for an instant fancy meal!

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Lunch, Main Course, Spring

Fine Cuisine for the Starving Artist: Spaghetti with Anchovy Carbonara

I’m not starving. Obviously. I have a food blog and I work at a restaurant so it goes without saying that I am, at least, an extremely well-fed aspiring actress. But like many actors, writers, and musicians I know, we’re on a budget. This does not mean, however, that we’re willing to settle for non-delicious food. In fact, most of my actor friends from college ended up serving or tending bar in some of the finest restaurants in New York City, turning them in to highly discerning unintentional epicureans.  It’s a bit of a predicament; the broke artist with the well-developed palate.  This pasta dish is one of my answers to said predicament. It is incredibly creamy and delicious. Don’t be fooled by how simple it sounds. It’s one of the most delicious pastas you’ll ever taste.  It combines two of my greatest loves, carbonara and anchovies.  And unlike traditional carbonara, which calls for guanciale or bacon, this one requires things you probably already have on hand. I recommend serving it with a mixed green and avocado salad with parsley green goddess dressing. I had it for dinner tonight and I’ve never felt richer.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Dinner, Eggs, Heather Platt, Lunch, Main Course, Pasta

Cheesy Bread: Open-Faced Asiago Breakfast Sandwiches

Remember that miraculous no-knead bread I made a few months ago? Well, it gets better. You can make it with cheese! Los Angeles has been a cold, damp, and dreary place this week. The rain hasn’t stopped pouring in three days. But there’s no better way to fight the dreary drizzle blues than to bake up this loaf of warm fragrant homemade bread.

I used Asiago for this loaf but you’re welcome to use your favorite kind of firm cheese. The smell of the cheese baking inside the bread will make you so happy you’ll forget about the dreadful weather. Within 24 hours of removing the bread from our oven, the bread had been completely devoured. Clearly, it’s irresistable. We finished our loaf for breakfast topped with fried egg, basil and baby heirloom tomatoes. A simple, elegant, holiday brunch.

Happy holidays!

Heather


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Filed under Bread, Brunch, Eggs, Heather Platt