Baked Scallops w/ Ritz Cracker Topping

The foods that stay always stocked, the staples of anyone’s pantry, hold the secret to understanding what makes each individual household special in its own way.

One of the most telling is where someone keeps their Ritz crackers: stocked as the go-to snack for the family, among the chocolate chips as a home baker’s secret to pie, or with the tinned fish, destined to be the base of canapés for a party. Keeping a box of Ritz crackers on the shelves means always having a welcoming taste on hand— easy access to a versatile staple that goes with anything and requires no effort to prepare.

Ritz Crackers are a universal favorite. They’ve been a comforting fixture in grocery stores for over 80 years. Simply put, these scalloped golden discs have an ideal level of saltiness. They’re tender, but not to the point of crumbling as soon as you take a bite. They’re toasty, buttery, and seasoned throughout (instead of just on the top) but not in a way that would overpower whatever toppings or dips you’d enjoy with them.

Cracker breading is the perfect complement for fish, seafood, chicken or a vegetable casserole, mashed potatoes and of course, macaroni and cheese.

The combination of flavors in this simple casserole make it such a classic — just scallops, lemon, butter, vermouth, and Ritz crackers. Taking a bite of baked scallops with Ritz crackers is like going back in time, an old-school pleasure. It’s purely delicious, and incredibly easy to make.

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Baked Scallops w/ Ritz Cracker Topping
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Place rack on the second to top position.
  2. Wash scallops & pat dry. Remove the side muscle if still attached.
  3. Arrange scallops in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, garlic salt & pepper. Sprinkle the scallops evenly with the cracker crumb mixture, then Parmesan. Pour the butter over all, then sprinkle evenly with the lemon juice & vermouth. Cover the dish with foil & bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil & bake an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat up to 'broil' & with the oven door ajar, brown the top for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with a slice of lemon & fresh chopped chives or parsley.

1770 House Meatloaf w/ Garlic Sauce

The other day I came across a recipe for meatloaf that certainly seemed like something ‘special’. Years ago, every family had a meatloaf recipe that was so dearly loved, it achieved iconic status. Today, I’m not so sure that is the case anymore. Nevertheless, this recipe was called ‘1770 House Meatloaf’ which made me curious as to what the history was behind it. Most every review raved about it being pure comfort food and much more than just meatloaf.

From my research on this meatloaf I found that the 1770 House is an East Hampton Inn and Restaurant famous for this dish. East Hampton Village on Long Island, New York is a beautiful village. It’s been that way for years with a glorious pond right as you come into town where swans swim in summer and skaters take to the ice in winter.

The 1770 House has welcomed guests with hospitality and comfort, a tradition that continues to attract guests from around the world to the intimate Inn, steps from the heart of East Hampton Village. The venerable home, today a boutique hotel and restaurant, seamlessly integrates historic elegance with luxurious, modern amenities and first-class dining.

This glorious colonial house has two restaurants—a more formal fine dining room on the ground level and, down a flight of stairs, a cozy ‘tavern’ with its roaring fireplace and comfort food menu.  And always, on this seasonally changing menu, there is Chef Kevin Penner’s remarkable meatloaf with its even more remarkable garlic sauce.  

This familiar dish is simple enough that it can be prepared as a weekday meal, but that has been elevated by adding a few key ingredients. The celery and thyme infuse the mix with intense flavor, and the garlic sauce works perfectly. The outcome is a delicious dish with moist texture: not your average meatloaf.

So there you have it …. meatloaf with first-class dining status!

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1770 House Meatloaf w/ Garlic Sauce
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Instructions
Meatloaf
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion & celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Place the beef, veal, pork, parsley, thyme, chives, eggs, milk, salt & pepper in a large mixing bowl. Put the panko in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the panko is finely ground.
  4. Add the onion mixture & the panko to the meat mixture. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it's combined but not compacted.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until it forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan (this will ensure no air pockets). Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 155 F. to 160 F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve hot with the Garlic Sauce.
Garlic Sauce
  1. Combine the oil & garlic in a small saucepan & bring to a boil. Lower the heat & simmer for 10 -15 minutes, until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter. Remove the garlic from the oil and set aside.
  2. Combine the chicken stock, butter & cooked garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat & cook at a full boil for 35 - 40 minutes, until slightly thickened. Mash the garlic with a fork, whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper & taste for seasonings. Spoon the warm sauce over the meatloaf.
Recipe Notes
  • Since there are just two of us, I made the full recipe then divided the mixture into 3 portions. I baked all 3 & used one for our supper meal today,  froze the second one for a future meal & with the third, I sliced it for 'meatloaf' sandwiches. Doesn't get better than that!

Breakfast Turkey Hashbrown Burgers

There’s something fundamentally satisfying about the textural contrast of biting through a crisp savory shell into a juicy turkey burger. It’s not like burgers needed to be reinvented, but I’m all about trying new things to see if there’s something novel and delicious to be discovered. 

Breakfast can be many things to many people. Hash browns come in many shapes and sizes. They can be prepared in various ways. Some consider it the ultimate breakfast food that needs to be served with eggs.

Brion has always enjoyed hashbrowns, not the diced, fried to a crisp in a deep fryer kind, but the nice shredded, golden kind. My inventions for new culinary techniques that revolutionize the way we eat usually happen in the middle of the night during a bout of insomnia. But all it takes is a quick Internet search to reveal that I’m far from the first person to have invented the cookery method, and hundreds of recipes already exist. Nevertheless, this idea for an interesting breakfast is a good example of that.

I crusted the turkey burgers with some shredded potatoes, so when they cook and get crispy, they act as a barrier that locks in all the juices.  The roasted tomatoes add a nice little garnish to the burgers.  I topped the burgers with poached eggs, because when you cut into it, the velvety, creamy yolk pours out onto the burger and acts as a sauce…and what goes better with potatoes than eggs, right?  So, there you have it …. crispy, golden hashbrowns, meat, eggs & tomatoes …. what a breakfast!

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Breakfast Turkey Hashbrown Burgers
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Course Brunch
Cuisine American
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Course Brunch
Cuisine American
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Instructions
Hashbrowns
  1. Thaw shredded hashbrowns on paper towel. In a bowl, place the flour, cheese, egg, onion, garlic, coriander, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Add 'dried' shredded hashbrowns. Using a fork, mix everything until combined being careful not to break up the hashbrowns. Set aside until burgers are ready to be coated with the mixture.
Turkey Burgers
  1. In a bowl, combine burger ingredients & divide into 4 equal portions. Form into burger patties. Coat burgers with hashbrown mixture, gently pressing coating down to make sure it adheres well.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  1. In a small bowl, place cherry tomatoes & add some Italian dressing to coat. Place on a foil lined baking dish.
Cooking
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp EACH butter & olive oil. Carefully place hashbrown burgers in skillet & cook burgers on each side only until they are a golden brown. Remove to a baking pan & place in the oven to continue the cooking process until the meat is fully cooked. Roast the cherry tomatoes at the same time.
  3. While the burgers are in the oven, prepare the poached eggs. Heat a small pot of water until it is almost at a boil. Add 1 Tbsp vinegar to help the eggs to congeal. Crack the eggs gently right above the surface of the water. Turn off the heat & cover the pot for about 3-4 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are fully cooked but the yolks are still runny. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon.
  4. When the burgers & tomatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven. Place them on serving plates & top each burger with a poached egg. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme if you wish.

Zesty Broccoli & Smoked Cheddar Pizza

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

St. Patrick’s Day is a funny thing here in Canada. It’s the one time each year that people seek out green food and drinks, everything from shamrock shakes, a green bagel, or green beer are part of our version of this holiday.

And what’s funnier, is that this holiday is a very different experience in Ireland. At least that is what I have been told by people who live there. They don’t do all the ‘crazy green stuff’ like we do, if they celebrate it at all.

Green food has been getting more and more ‘creative’ on this particular holiday. Clean eating, green foods like spinach, avocado and broccoli for example. A walk through the grocery store produce section will provide a variety of examples of just how many green foods are available to use in meals and snacks. 

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to incorporate some green food in our supper meal. What better excuse could I have to make some broccoli pizzas!

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Zesty Broccoli & Smoked Cheddar Pizza
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Instructions
Herb Sauce
  1. In a saucepan, combine butter, cream cheese, milk, garlic & onion powder, basil, oregano, salt & pepper. Heat & stir over medium heat until cream cheese is melted & sauce becomes thick & creamy.
Toppings
  1. Slice grape tomatoes in half lengthwise & marinate in zesty Italian dressing.
  2. Prepare broccoli florets. Steam in microwave dish for about 2 minutes. Drizzle with zesty Italian dressing.
  3. Shred cooked chicken & grate cheese.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Spread herb sauce over Naan breads & top with shredded chicken. Divide cheese evenly between the 4 Naan breads.
  6. In the center of each pizza lay 6 marinated tomato halves. Place the florets in a circle surrounding them sprinkling veggies with black pepper.
  7. Bake pizzas for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are nicely roasted & edges are crispy. Remove from oven & serve.

Roasted Vegetable Crumble

Crumble is not just a crispy dessert. Some variations on the original recipe have managed to transform the crumble into a mouth-watering savory dish. Almost Mediterranean at its heart, the roasted vegetable crumble introduces a whole new vegetarian culinary experience. A magnificent display of accessibility & balanced flavors, with rustic and crispy textures. While both sweet and savory versions have received international acclaim, at its root, crumble is a fruit-based dessert topped with a breadcrumb-like topping made with flour, butter, and sugar.

Crumbles became popular in Britain during World War II, when the topping was an economical alternative to pies due to shortages of pastry ingredients as the result of rationing.

This savory crumble with roasted vegetables is topped with buttery cracker crumbs, Parmesan, Panko crumbs, thyme and cracked black pepper to give it some added texture. It makes such a nice fall or winter casserole.

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Roasted Vegetable Crumble
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a 9-inch deep pie dish; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine crackers, bread crumbs, cheese, pepper, thyme, and butter. Toss to coat everything in butter. Spoon just less than half of the mixture into the bottom of the pie dish and slightly up the sides. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms and thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and let the vegetables sauté down until well softened, browned, and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper as the vegetables cook down. The mushrooms will release a lot of their moisture and then the mixture will brown and cook down.
  4. When vegetables are cooked down and softened, reduce heat to medium, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until the flour disappears. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer to thicken. Finally, stir in the cream and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Spoon mixture onto the browned crust. Sprinkle with gruyere. Top with the remaining crumble crust. Place in the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until top crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving warm.

Chai-Spiced Peach Cobbler w/ Pepita Oat Crumble

Homespun desserts such as crisps, cobblers, betties, slumps & pandowdy’s are all variations on the same theme. As much as we like to be definitive, these old fashioned desserts are ‘folk-food’ passed down orally from mother to child and like all folk culture slight variations arise from kitchen to kitchen.

My spice drawer gets a good workout in the fall. I want to add fall spices to as many things as possible. Warm fruit desserts are a perfect candidate for doing just that.

The filling for this cobbler is a combination of peaches, brown sugar, butter and some added spices. All of that is cooked briefly to give it a caramel-like flavor. The topping is a simple one but the combination of spices adds such amazing flavor and is the perfect complement to the peaches. I’ve added cardamom to both the filling and topping. If you follow the blog, you are probably aware of my obsession with cardamom. Definitely feel free to use your favorite combination and ratio of spices.

I think this Chai-Spiced Peach Cobbler is everything you could ever want in a fall dessert.

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Chai-Spiced Peach Cobbler w/ Pepita Oat Crumble
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Pistachio-Oat Topping
Chai-Peach Filling
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Pistachio-Oat Topping
Chai-Peach Filling
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Instructions
Topping
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, pistachios, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom & sugar.
  2. Using a pastry blender, combine flour mixture with butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Store the mixture in the fridge until ready to use.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium heat & add in butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the (thawed) peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom & black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer & cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Pour cooked peaches into a large casserole dish & evenly top with the pistachio-oat crumble.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown & the sauce bubbles around the edges.
  5. Once finished baking, serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if you wish.

Scarpaccia

Scarpaccia is a savory zucchini tart originating from the northern coast of Tuscany. There are two versions: savory from the town of Camaiore, and sweet from Viareggio. It’s name roughly translates to ‘old shoe’, the reason being twofold; first it bakes up as thin as the sole of a shoe and second, much like a bad shoe that has been worn by many, this tart can be made with a variety of ingredients.  Scarpaccia was typically considered a spring time specialty that sailors made with their garden vegetables which included zucchinis and their blossoms.  The dish was served warm or at room temperature and enjoyed at the end of a meal (because of its slight sweetness), or a snack food paired with white wine or prosecco. The dish was made by folding zucchini into a simple batter of flour, eggs, olive oil and sugar or honey, then spreading the mixture into a baking sheet and cooking until golden and crisp.

The recipe has evolved to incorporate seasonal vegetables and herbs along with variations on the type of flour used allowing for its enjoyment year-round.  It can be eaten for dessert, as a great brunch dish or the main course when paired with a salad. 

Every region in Italy has its own specialties, some shared by other regions but with different names. Scarpaccia can be made sweet or savory, thin or thick, crisp or soft – as long as the common ingredients of zucchini and flour are used. Zucchini … what a treasure!  

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Scarpaccia
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword scarpaccia
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Filling
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword scarpaccia
Servings
Ingredients
Filling
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare a 12 x 16 inch baking sheet pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Slice zucchini into very thin slices & place in a large bowl. Slice red onion into very thin slices; add to zucchini along with corn.
  3. Drain oil from sundried tomatoes into a cup measure and set oil aside. Cut tomatoes into quarters & add to bowl with the other vegetables. Add pepita seeds, basil, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, salt & pepper to the large bowl with vegetables; toss all ingredients together.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl mix flour, corn meal and baking powder. Add this to the large bowl and toss again to mix the ingredients. In that same smaller bowl, beat eggs & add to the large bowl, mixing into ingredients.
  5. Take the reserved cup measure with the oil drained from the tomatoes and add enough olive oil to fill one cup. Add to the large bowl, mixing to combine. Slowly mix the water into the large bowl, only using enough to make a thin batter. You may not need all of the water. Pour batter into the prepared sheet pan, drizzle the top with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
  7. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over the top and drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle the remaining thyme over the top. Cut into squares and serve.

Oyster, Bacon, Tomato & Avocado Po’boys

I have always had a love for sandwiches, not sure why … just do. Submarine, sub, grinder, hero, hoagie … there are many names for a sandwich on a length of Italian bread split horizontally and filled with cold cuts, cheese, veggies and dressing.

The classic oyster po’ boys make the most of briny, salty oysters. If you’re not familiar with this sandwich, it originated in New Orleans in 1929 as a way to feed the striking workers. Credit goes to brothers Clovis & Bennie Martin, streetcar conductors-turned-sandwich-shop owners who made it their duty to help out striking streetcar conductors by giving them free sandwiches. The strikers were called ‘poor boys’ (New Orleans shortens everything, so it got shortened to po’ boy). The brothers’ generosity earned thousands of new fans, and the sandwich with its new name, became of symbol of the city’s heart & soul.

The original po’ boy was filled with breaded, fried oysters or shrimp. Some common variations include crab, catfish, crawfish, spicy sausage, fried chicken and shredded seasoned beef. Seafood and chicken po’ boys are made with breaded and deep fried ingredients, but if deep frying is not your thing, oven baked is the closest technique to achieve the crunchy, deep-fried texture.

Brion & I like this combo because the avocado brings out the sweetness in seafood. Oysters coated in cornmeal make a savory sandwich and a perfect meal. It’s portable, it’s filling and there are endless possibilities.

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Oyster, Bacon, Tomato & Avocado Po'boys
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Instructions
  1. In a skillet, fry bacon until crispy but not hard. Drain on paper towel until ready to use.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal & spices; set aside.
  3. Gently dredge oysters in flour then in egg whites & lastly in cornmeal/spice mixture. Cover breaded oysters & refrigerate until ready to bake. Prepare tomato, avocados (guacamole) & bread.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Remove oysters from refrigerator, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray & carefully place oysters on it so that they are not touching each other. Bake for 15 minutes until crispy & cooked.
  6. Spread bread 'pieces' with your choice of dressing. Divide oysters between bottom halves, followed by avocado, bacon & tomato. Place top halves of the bread over the fillings & press lightly. Serve immediately.

Savory Sweet Potato Toast w/ Avocado & Poached Egg

Its hard to believe its already Easter Sunday. In North America, many of us like to enjoy or host an Easter brunch. Traditional favorites very often include glazed baked ham, quiche, frittata & French toast casseroles. Of course, there are the classic hard boiled eggs that have been dyed & decorated for the occasion. Many countries make their own signature Easter breads ands buns. The one thing that I always loved about Easter was it signified the coming of ‘Spring’ in our part of the world. Plants were coming to life in the garden, the birds were singing their cheery, little tunes & the stores were filled with beautiful pastel colored Easter ‘things’.

I wanted to come up with something unique for our Easter brunch this year. French toast is always good but I was thinking more along the savory line. Sweet potatoes seem to be one of those polarizing food items, people either love or hate. For most part, I think its the memory of the overly sweet casserole most of us remember from our childhoods. But have you ever thought about using them in a savory context?

I had seen an idea using grated sweet potato patties with avocado and poached eggs. The temptation to kick it up a notch and make a savory sweet potato ‘toast’ for a base become a wonderful Easter brunch for Brion & I.

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Savory Sweet Potato Toast w/ Avocado & Poached Egg
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Savory Sweet Potato Bread
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Savory Sweet Potato Bread
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Instructions
Bread
  1. Pierce sweet potato several times, and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave the wrapped potato 4 - 6 minutes, or until it is soft to the touch & cooked through. Remove from oven, cool slightly, peel & mash. Measure correct amount needed for bread & reserve the rest for another use.
  2. In a small bowl, combine water, milk, sugar & yeast . Allow to sit until yeast is frothy.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour & salt.
  4. In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, butter, black pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme & sage. Taste & adjust seasonings if desired. Add yeast & flour mixtures. Combine well but don't overmix.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface & knead until dough is smooth & elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, & set in a draft free place until doubled in bulk.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a flat work surface lightly dusted with flour. Leave to rest about 10 minutes. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Flatten, shape into a loaf & set inside of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap & set aside to rise.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 F. When dough is about an inch over the top of pan, place in oven & bake about 45 minutes, rotating pan about half way through baking time. Remove from oven & allow to cool completely before slicing. It is a good idea to make bread the day before you want to serve it.
Additional Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cherry tomatoes in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil & roast for about 15 minutes.
  2. Cut avocados in half & peel off skin. Lay one half of the avocado, cut side down, & slice the avocado thinly. Fan out avocado slices so that they form a long line with the slices overlapping each other. Starting from one end, curl avocado slices toward center. Continue curling the avocado slices until you have a 'rose'. Repeat with remaining 3 halves.
  3. Heat a griddle to 350 F. Slice sweet potato bread to your desired thickness. Lightly butter bread slices on both sides. When grill is heated, grill bread on both sides. Place on serving plates, cover & keep warm.
  4. Bring some water to a boil then poach the eggs for about 2 minutes. Drain.
  5. Top grilled savory bread with avocado roses, poached eggs & roasted cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.
Recipe Notes
  • This dough is very soft so it is a bit tricky to work with. I would imagine if you prefer it to be firmer you could you less yeast. 
  • When working with it , I used a buttered spatula.

Italian Sausage Lasagna

Whether you prefer a sweet or spicy variety, there’s no denying the delicious versatility of Italian sausage.

The predominant flavor in ‘mild’ Italian sausage is fennel, or actual anise, a licorice like flavor with a little more earthiness. This emulates the style of sausages in Northern Italy, known for milder flavors with a noticeable presence of both fennel and garlic. It will also typically have a small amount of red pepper flakes to open up the flavors.

The ‘hot’ designation means a higher content of pepper flakes, or the addition of cayenne, giving you that spicier flavor that is more common in the southern regions of Italy.

‘Sweet’ is pretty straightforward, little bit of sugar, milder flavors around that, sometimes some mild herbs, typically a lot of basil and such to round it out.

In this meal, the layers of lasagna noodles blanket a creamy béchamel sauce and a filling with a savory ‘Italian sausage’ flavor and tender artichokes. Truly a comfort food meal.

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Italian Sausage Lasagna
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Instructions
Filling
  1. Drain artichokes (reserving oil) & slice in halves; set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat artichoke marinade oil; sauté garlic, onions & mushrooms for a few minutes.
  2. Add ground pork, sun-dried tomatoes & spices. Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; add artichokes. Remove from skillet & set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.
Béchamel Sauce
  1. In the skillet, melt butter over low heat. Once the butter is completely melted and bubbling, add the flour & mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes until flour just begins to take on some color.
  2. Slowly start adding the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring often. Season with a pinch of salt, white pepper & nutmeg.
  3. Set aside until you are ready to use, by pouring the sauce into a glass bowl & covering with a buttered sheet of plastic wrap. Cook lasagna noodles. Grate cheeses.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce on the bottom. (Set aside 1 cup of the béchamel sauce for the top.) Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles over sauce; spread some of the filling over noodles, top with a sprinkling of the grated cheeses. (Make sure to reserve a bit of cheese for the topping.) Repeat layers, ending with noodles.
  3. Spread the reserved 1 cup of béchamel sauce over the noodles & top withy the remaining grated cheese. Cover with foil, bake for 35 minutes, remove foil & bake until bubbly & lightly browned on top, about another 15-20 minutes.
  4. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.