Dinner For One ~ Asparagus, Egg and Truffle

When Mister is on business travel or has a late dinner meeting, I usually turn to eggs for a quick dinner. I have never been a bowl of cereal at dinner girl and enjoy my time in the kitchen too much to just pour dinner in a bowl.  Dinner for one doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.  A few key ingredients in the pantry and refrigerator make all difference.

Eggs and asparagus are a match made in heaven, eggs and truffle are a match made in heaven and the tomato was perfect…so perfect that I went back to the kitchen for a piece of whole grain bread to get every bit of the tomato juice and truffle oil from the plate.

When you find yourself alone, indulge in this simple, elegant and truffle decadent dish for one.

I always have Truffle Oil and Truffle Salt on hand.  For me, there is nothing as wonderful as the taste and aroma of truffles and while truffle products are a bit expensive, a little goes a long way in elevating a dish from drab to divine!

Ingredients for One:

6 steamed asparagus spears
1 poached or lightly fried egg
1/2 tomato, sliced thin
Pinch of black truffle sea salt
Teaspoon of truffle oil

Preparation:

Layer asparagus and tomato on plate and drizzle with truffle oil. Place egg on top and sprinkle with truffle salt and a pinch of ground pepper.  This dish also works very well with hard-boiled eggs, sliced or chopped and sprinkled on top of the asparagus and tomato slices.

This also makes an elegant brunch or salad dish.

Truffles are wonderful in risotto and pasta as well.  I recently made a Lobster Mushroom and Truffle Risotto and there wasn’t a grain of rice left.  I owe that to the truffle!

Linked to:

Real Food Wednesday, What’s On Your Plate, Works for Me Wednesday, Sweet and Savory WednesdayWelcome Wednesday, Wandering WednesdayGold Star Wednesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Raising Homemakers, Potluck Wednesday, Let’s Do Brunch, What I Ate Wednesday, At Home with Haley, No Whine Wednesday, What’s For Lunch Wednesday.

Eggs a la Italia

An Italian twist on the classic Scotch Eggs.  Italian sausage and a tomato & basil sauce.

Sausage, Eggs and Panko

We made this recipe for two or 1.5 eggs per person.

3 hard boiled eggs, peeled

3 links of Italian sausage (casing removed)

1 egg beaten

Flour to coat eggs

1 cup panko

I can diced Italian seasoned tomotoes

2 tbs basil (chiffonade)

3 tbs grated pecorino romano cheese

Prep:

Flatten the sausage to create a disc that is about 2 times bigger than the egg.   You will need to be able to wrap the entire egg in the sausage.  Toss the egg in a bit of flour to coat and then wrap in the flattened sausage.  Roll the sausage wrapped egg in the beaten egg and then in the panko.

Rolling Egg in Panko

Egg Covered with Sausage and Panko

Eggs a la Italia Ready for Oven

Place the eggs is a casserole dish, chill for at least one hour (we chilled overnight) and then bake for 30 minutes at 400.

Ready For Oven

While the eggs bake, mix the diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of chiffonade, salt and pepper (to taste) in a saute pan until most of the liquid evaporates.

Remove eggs from oven when sausage is browned and drain on paper towel.  Spread tomato basil sauce on plate, add egg and dust with one tablespoon of cheese.

Plated Egg a la Italia

Enjoy!

Linked to Tasty Traditions, Life as a Mon Recipe Swap, Creative Juice Thursday, HoH

It’s About the Spices!

I love spices, I collect spices, I use spices.

Enter Istanbul.  There was no question that I would wander the aisles and stalls at the Spice Market.  The sights, colors and aromas!  No question that I would pack the suitcase with little bags of spices. All types of spices.  No question at all.

What I didn’t know was that I would bring back pistachios, dates, figs, teas, manti and a wonderful spicy red pepper paste used during our culinary class (and lunch) with Eveline at Cooking Alaturka.  Eveline and her chef were the most gracious instructors providing all the “ins” and “outs” of the Spice Market.  Right down to the stall where she buys her red pepper paste.

I am dreaming of Istanbul today…and yes, my spices need replenishing!

In honor of my beloved SPICES,  on my plate today is Spicy Red Chicken MeatBalls and Pistachio Cardamom Cake.

Istanbul Spice Market

Spice Market Front Entry

Spice Market

Spice Market

Spice Market

Amazing sweets at little shops and the market.

Turkish Sweets

Turkish Delight

Turkish Sweets

Turkish Sweets

Spicy Red Chicken MeatBalls ~ Based on Eveline’s Spicy Red Lentil Balls substituting 1 pound ground chicken breast for Bulgar and lentils.

Turkish Spices

Saute Chicken Balls

Spicy Turkish Chicken Meatballs with Orzo

Spicy Turkish Chicken Meatballs with Orzo

My only regret of the evening was that I did not jot down the ingredients as I created this dish.  Red pepper perfection…my husband asked for it again soon….so…will make a recipe card for round two.

Dessert was perfect….spicy and nutty!

Pistachio Cardamom Cake ~ Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Ready For Dessert.

Pistachio Cardamom Cake

Topping

2 tablespoons (1 ounce/30 g) unsalted or salted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 cup (60 g) sliced almonds, preferably unblanched

Cake

3/4 cup (95 g) shelled unsalted pistachios

1/4 cup (35 g) plus 3/4 cup (110 g) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cardamom seeds

1/2 cup (4 ounces/115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

Prep

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

To make the topping, melt the 2 tablespoons (1 ounce/30 g) butter in a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan set directly on the stovetop over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool briefly. Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over the melted butter, then add the almonds, tilting and shaking the pan to distribute them evenly. Set the pan aside.

To make the cake, in a blender or a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulverize the pistachios with the 1/4 cup (35 g) flour until as finely ground as possible. Transfer to a small bowl.

Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle or seal them inside a sturdy plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add the crushed seeds to the pistachio mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the 1/2 cup (4 ounces/115 g) butter and 1 cup (200 g) sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until completely incorporated.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup (110 g) flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir it into the butter-egg mixture. Stir in the pistachio mixture just until combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan by dropping 4 or 5 mounds on top of the almonds. Carefully spread the batter into an even layer, trying not to disturb the almonds. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool completely.

Cardamom, Pistachio and Almonds

Crushed Cardamom

Last Egg into Batter

Pistachio Cardamom Cake

Linked to: Wanderlust and Lipstick

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