6 strips bacon
1 small red onion (diced)
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 cups butternut squash (peeled, 1/2″ cubed)
1 cup celery root (peeled, 1/2″ cubed)
1 TSP chili powder
1 TSP yellow curry powder
1 TSP cumin
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
8 eggs (soft poached and waiting to be eaten)
salt and pepper
Not exactly the healthiest thing you could eat for breakfast, but everyone loves some bacon grease on the weekends, right? It looks kind of sexy too…just saying. Continuing on my quest of not just using squash for soups, I decided to try and cook it up in a breakfast hash. Maple and squash is a pretty traditional flavour pairing, so I tried to spice it up a bit with, well, some other spices. Definitely hits the spot on a weekend morning when you’re feeling a tad tired from last night’s escapades.
Start by cooking the strips of bacon in a large pan on medium-high heat until they’re nice and crispy. Remove from pan and place on some paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Once the bacon has cooled slightly, chop into small pieces and set aside. Next, add the red onion, butter and brown sugar to the pan and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, place the next six ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss to combine. Add the squash mixture to the onions, stir to combine and let it continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, return the chopped bacon to the pan and stir in the maple syrup. a healthy dose of black ground pepper, some salt, then you’re good to go!
For serving, place a generous scoop of hash on a plate, top with a couple poached eggs and a final drizzle of maple syrup.
As for poaching the eggs, don’t be afraid. It’s easier than it seems. There are approximately 12000 YouTube videos on how to do it successfully. You can do it, I believe in you. If you want to skip the poaching, fried eggs on top are just as tasty, but make sure to keep that yolk runny!
Total cook time…25 min
Ok, let me preface this review by saying: ‘How have I never had breakfast here before?!’
I think I’ve found the magic trick, aka the ‘open sesame‘, for bypassing popular breakfast diner line-ups…Obviously, I won’t tell you, this secret is too amazing to share on the internet…I will take it to my grave. Anyway, onto the food experience!
Over Easy Breakfast pretty much charms you from the second you walk in the door. Perhaps it’s the lighting fixtures that spell out ‘O.V.E.R.E.A.S.Y’, or the chaulkboard roof (yes, roof) with sayings like ‘great eggs-pectations‘, but any which way you look at it, you know that Over Easy will be (wait for it…) egg-cellent.
So, what to order? One of the pluses at this restaurant is that the menu itself is quite entertaining. Even though it wasn’t ordered, I did smile at the dish entitled: ‘The one that did not get away’ which considered of herring, eggs, egg-cetera…(ok, no more egg jokes…)
After purusing the menu, I settled on ‘Soul in a Bowl’, which was, essentially, a breakfast poutine. Having had my share of poutines (as seen in Dan’s great Calgary poutine adventure), I eagerly awaited the delivery of the dish. Served in a take-out box, which was amazingly cute, my meal consisted of herbed potatoes, cheese curds (of course), bacon, soft-poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. Needless to say, it was god damn delicious.
My friend opted for the ‘Uova alla Toscana’, a dish involving poached eggs, rye bread, sun-dried tomatoes and smoked proscuitto, amoung other things. It was beautifully presented, and equally delicious, but (if I had to choose one flaw in this breakfast experience) there were a few too many sun-dried tomatoes on this dish. Undeniably overpowering, but the eggs were poached to perfection and the fries were delicious.
Over Easy wins on so many levels; the service was spot-on, the ambiance was fantastic, great food…I will definitely be back. Which brings me back to my initial question: ‘How have I not been here before?’
2 cups frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup cranberry & concorde grape juice
1/2 TSP vanilla
1/8-1/4 TSP pure orange extract
1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
This jam, which took us all of 20 minutes during class, took me 45 minutes. Forty five minutes! What is up with that? I’m sure if anyone else tried this, it would take them 25 minutes, tops. I modified the recipe as follows:
1. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup juice until well blended.
2. Combine all ingredients in a small pot, including cornstarch/juice mixture and remaining juice.
3. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
4. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally about 15 minutes or until desired thickness reached.
5. Remove from heat and let cool.
6. Transfer to an air tight container and let chill in fridge.
My modifications: Most of these ingredients I used because they’re what we had in our house, like the frozen fruit and the juice. I omitted the sugar to make it healthier, lessened the vanilla, and after discovering orange extract in our cupboard, decided that its tartness would go well with sweeteness of the blueberries and compliment the cranberry. Plus, vanilla + orange = creamsicle. Booyah! Although it was sweet enough for me without the sugar, I think most people would enjoy it with a bit of honey. Oooh, and cinnamon. If this jam was on shelves, it would be in the gourmet section. Well, it would be if it wasn’t for…
My mistakes: In class, we added the cornstarch to the other ingredients immediately (contrary to what the recipe suggests) and it turned out great. Looking to save time, I decided to heat the ingredients and then add the cornstarch straight in. Note: this did NOT save time. After adding only half the cornstarch, I soon found myself wondering why the jam wasn’t thickening, and why it contained deep purple rubbery chunks full of powder. Turns out you have to add cornstarch when your mixture is cold, or, as the original recipe suggests, mix it with water first. Lovely. By the time I had removed what I could from the jam in the way of chunks, it had started to thicken on its own. So I added the remaining tbsp of cornstarch to water and poured it into my already semi-thick jam. It thickened immediately and was finally ready to go.
All in all, a successful modification (minus the disgusting chunks which I could not completely get rid of).
By the way, I ate the whole pot of jam for dessert. Since my modifications made it basically just fruit [in altered form], I didn’t even feel guilty! But I did feel full!
Yields 2 1/2 cups of jam
Total cook time…20-45 min
After a chilly Saturday evening out in Kensington, Sunday morning was the perfect opportunity to indulge in some warm hot cakes and show off my new talent of flipping pancakes SANS-spatula. You got that right, flipping a pancake in the air with just me, a pan, and some f***in’ (flippin’) determination.
I rinsed off a pint of blueberries and a pint of strawberries to prep for the jam. Because I’m not a fan of chunks of strawberries in my jam, I decided to blend them into a puree (Dan thinks: Great idea Alyssa!). The puree became quite liquidy so I opted to axe the call for “1/2 cup of apple juice”. Which turned out to be a wise decision as the jam turned out to have a perfect texture.
While I let the jam cool and thicken, I used Peter’s family recipe to cook up some pancakes. They turned out great. I also attempted to show my friends my newly acquired flipping skills, but was unsuccessful! My friends then attempted flipping as well, but we all ended up folding the cakes. But it was worth it.
Strawberry Blueberry Jam (no pics of the pancakes we were too eager)
1 pint fresh blueberries (approx. 2 cups)
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup apple juice
1 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP corn starch
This is going to be easier than, well, I don’t know…most things in life? The reason I’ll call it ‘cheat’ jam, for lack of a better term, is the fact that there is no pectin, nor jarring required. Not that I’m knocking preserving at all. I just think it’s best left to the autumn months. Not to mention, it makes a superb grandson-grandmother bonding activity.
Super simple. Combine the first four ingredients in a small pot. Stir a few times to combine, and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Now, reduce to medium heat and let the mixture bubble away for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After this time, the berries will have broken down and the sauce should have a nice blue colour to it (we are using blueberries after all…).
Now, to thicken things up a bit…In a small bowl, whisk together 2 TBSP of corn starch and a 1/4 cup of water. Pour into the pot, stirring until the combo has been completely absorbed into the mix. Within about a minute, the sauce should thicken up considerably. If it’s still a bit runny, just add a bit more corn starch/water to the equation. Problem solved.
Remove the pot from heat and let cool. Transfer to an air-tight container and into the fridge. This ‘cheat’ jam will last up to two weeks. Keep ‘er covered.
Now, shall we toast to the jam?
Yields 2 1/2 cups of jam
Total cook time…20 min
1 zucchini squash
2 red potatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
2 clove garlic
1 TSP tarragon
salt & pepper
Not your typical pancakes for a Sunday brunch, but delicious nonetheless! My mom’s best friend had a dog lovingly named Latke (Hebrew for ‘potato pancake’) so I have always held potato-based pancakes close to my heart…I don’t mean I cuddle potato pancakes or anything, just metaphorically close to my heart.
Start by washing and drying the squash and the potatoes. Next, grate them into a colander and press down firmly to drain out excess liquid. Place the grated veggies in a bowl.
Finely chop the garlic and add it into the mix along with the egg, flour, cheese, and spices. Mix with a spatula (or by hand) until you have an good-looking batter.
Heat a medium sized pan to medium-high heat add a touch of olive oil and place some of the batter into the pan, help flatten it out by using your spoon. The pancakes should be about 1/3″ thick. You can make these however large or small you like (I prefer big and meal-sized, and I like to challenge my flipping skills!). Give them about 3 minutes on each side, and you’ll have a beautiful, savoury pancake. Have them with a fried egg on top, runny yolk, makes an eggcellent syrup. Ok…bad joke…
Latke would be proud!
Total cook time…20 min
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