Thursday, October 23

Dutch Baby Pancake with Cinnamon Apples

Part pancake, part crepe, and part soufflé... this is the breakfast of champions

Dutch Baby Pancake with Apples

My friend introduced me to dutch babies (the pancakes, not small humans) in high school and I remember a period of time where we were pretty obsessed with making them after school and on the weekends together. I couldn't track down our exact recipe, but this version was pretty close to what I remember. It's a cross between a pancake, a crepe, and a soufflé, and it's one of those dishes that looks impressive but is actually super easy. Heat the pan in the oven while you quickly make the batter in a blender. While the dutch baby bakes, sauté apples in brown butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup - and, voila! The dutch baby is an easy way to make pancakes for a crowd for breakfast and is sweet enough for dessert. I guess this recipe could feed four people, but my husband and I finished it between the two of us and had no regrets.

Related Recipes:
- Oven-Baked Pancakes
- Free-Form Apple Tart With Cinnamon Crumble
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Dutch Baby Pancake with Sautéed Apples:
  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Add 2 tbsp. butter to a large, preferably cast iron, skillet and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Swirl the melted butter to coat the whole bottom of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, combine scant 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. melted butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. milk, and a pinch of salt.
  • Pour the batter directly into the hot skillet and bake for 30 minutes, or until puffed and brown at the edges.
  • 10 minutes before the dutch baby is cooked, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a small skillet.
  • Allow the butter to foam, then to turn brown. Immediately add 1 cored and thinly sliced apple and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in 2-3 tbsp. maple syrup and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, or until the apples are soft.
  • Sprinkle the dutch baby with powdered sugar and pour the apples on top.
  • Cut into wedges and serve or gather around the skillet and dig in.

Serves two-four

Wednesday, October 22

Savory Leek and Mushroom Bread Pudding

This is like a cheesy, more decadent version of Thanksgiving stuffing

Leek and Mushroom Bread Pudding

Now that L.A. is finally feeling fall-like, I'm starting to get really excited for Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays of the year, but I don't want to have to wait another month to eat all my favorite Thanksgiving foods. Stuffing (or "dressing" to some people) is usually my favorite part of the meal, and this recipe (adapted from Ina Garten) for leek and mushroom bread pudding is like the best stuffing ever. Bread cubes are tossed with a simple custard made of eggs and milk, sautéed leeks and cremini mushrooms, and parmesan cheese. Then the whole thing is baked until bubbling and brown. It makes a great accompaniment to a roast chicken (or turkey, of course), but would also make a lovely vegetarian meal alongside a green salad. Is mushrooms or leeks aren't your thing, you could easily customize this by adding in other vegetables or even some bacon or sausage.

Note: This recipe is a great way to use leftover stale bread. If your bread is already stale, you can skip the step to toast it in the oven and add it straight to the custard.

Related Recipes:
- Herbed Ciabatta Stuffing
- Cinnamon Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding
- Homemade Croutons

Savory Leek & Mushroom Bread Pudding:
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
  • Cut 1 loaf of ciabatta bread into bite-size pieces so that you have 3-4 cups of bread cubes. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Let the bread cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 3/4 c. whole milk, 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese, and a large pinch of salt and pepper
  • Add the bread to the custard and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add in 3 diced leeks (white and light green part only) and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.
  • Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for another 30 seconds, then add in 1/2 lb. sliced cremini mushrooms and 2 tbsp. sherry. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool slightly.
  • Stir the vegetables into the bread mixture and pour into the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the top with 1/4 c. grated parmesan and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy and the custard sets.
  • Let cool slightly, then serve.

Serves four-six (side dish)

Tuesday, October 21

Sautéed Spinach with Feta and Pine Nuts

This ten-minute vegetable side dish will become a new family favorite

Sauteed Spinach with Feta and Pine Nuts

I'm always looking for quick vegetable side dishes and this Barefoot Contessa recipe is a new favorite. Simple sautéed spinach is tossed with crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts for a flavor profile that's similar to spanokopita and pairs well with almost any meaty main course. The whole dish only takes five ingredients, one pan, and ten minutes but the finished product looks super impressive and tastes great. It's great alongside a store-bought rotisserie chicken on a busy weeknight or with a slow-cooked roast for a fancy dinner party. This dish is so versatile that it's sure to become a new addition to the weekly dinner rotation.

More Quick & Easy Veggie Sides:
- Perfect Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Carrots with Avocado & Lemon Dressing
- Creamed Kale

Sautéed Spinach with Crumbled Feta and Toasted Pine Nuts:
  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in 1/2 diced onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.
  • Add in 1/2 lb. baby spinach, 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for a few minutes, or until wilted.
  • Add in 2-3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese, 1 tsp. lemon zest, and 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts.*
  • Stir to combine but do not over mix. 

Serves two-three (side dish)
*To toast nuts, add them to a dry skillet over medium heat and cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.