Coturnix a la Española: Adaptation of a Spanish-Style Quail Recipe, circa 1898

Contains: Gluten/wheat, eggs. Is: Probably extremely “retro”.

quail, stuffed, recipe, coturnix, mushrooms, 1898

You can use gluten-free bread  for the breadcrumbs, if desired.

A 19th-century recipe from California for Codornices a la española (Spanish-style quail) was prepared by stuffing quails with a mixture of mushroom, green onion, parsley, butter, lemon juice and thyme. The birds were brushed with lard, bread crumbs and beaten eggs and finished in the oven. A savory pie could be made with quail, salt pork, eggs and fresh herbs.

This is referenced by El cocinero español by Encarnación Pinedo, 1898, as stated at Wikipedia. I decided to try my hand at the former of the two recipes. I only have ingredients but no quantities to go by, but no problem, I intend to come up with something, preferably delicious.

I doubt the original used Japanese Coturnix quail, but here this is what is available, especially since I am raising them.   Likely the Spanish settlers used quail native to the west coast (which I cannot raise here without a permit).

I had fully intended to bread my quail using the ingredients above, but  instead used EVERYTHING as stuffing.   Well, a little lard/duck fat to coat the skin lightly.

quail, stuffed, recipe, coturnix, mushrooms, 1898

Stuffing:   I debated whether to pre-cook the stuffing or not.  Finally, I went with cooking the mushrooms in the butter until just softened, then adding in the rest of the stuffing ingredients, as described below.  (Quail typically don’t need to bake all that long, and I didn’t want raw mushrooms in this.)

As this recipe came prior to the era of commercially-sold breadcrumbs, I’m suggesting you not use those for the breading or stuffing.  I also debated whether to roast these on a rack or directly on the baking pan surface. The  cooks a century or so ago may well have done this directly on the pan surface, but thinking this would permit the pan-side of the quail to become decidedly non-crispy, I opted for a rack, instead.  (If you do decide to bake/roast these quail directly on a pan surface, use the lard (or duck fat) on the pan surface as well as on the quail bodies… to prevent undo sticking.)

While I do have pork lard here, it hasn’t been rendered down to true lard, yet.  Using duck fat instead was not anything of a leap.   Duck fat has been used for centuries.   (Sourced from Amazon, but I am not giving you the link – I had ordered two jars, despite one of the reviewers stating he’d ordered two jars and one came smashed to smithereens due to poor packaging.   I had the same bad luck.   And I really couldn’t see  how I could ship back the greasy everywhere shards of sharp jar without more repackaging conniptions on my part than this was worth, so I “ate” the potential refund… but do your own research if you really like duck fat…)

quail, stuffed, recipe, coturnix, mushrooms, 1898

Yes, I have you make more stuffing than you need.  Always better to have more. You can always bake this extra alongside, or reserve for, say, an  omelet additive.   Or to add to a bean or other casserole.   In this case, I added the still warm stuffing leftovers atop the quail.

Prep Time:   10-15 minutes.
Cook Time:  30 minutes.
Rest Time:  5 minutes.
Serves: 2 quails per one person.
Cuisine:  New World cuisine circa 1898.
Leftovers: Certainly.

Coturnix a la Española: Spanish-Style Quail

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 quail, preferably Coturnix.  (Quail species vary in average size, although they are all still rather small.)   De-feathered and eviscerated.   Leave the skin on.
  • 4 fresh mushrooms, either button, baby bella, or cremini.  Or, a combination.  Dice  these fine.
  • 2 stalks  scallions/green onions, chopped.
  • 1 handful parsley, preferably curly leaf, but flat will do.
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 of a lemon, juiced.
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme,  stems removed, and finely chopped.
  • bread crumbs – either make your own bread or use a slice or two of bread from an authentic bakery (without that long list of ingredients supermarkets just about always have for theirs).   Let it dry and  go “stale” overnight at room temperature.   Crumble into small pieces for  use.  PS, if you go for gluten-free, you can still keep these principles in mind.
  • Ground pepper and coarse salt, to taste.
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon rendered pork lard or duck fat.

METHOD:

Rinse and pat dry your quail.  Set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 450F.

In a skillet, add the butter and chopped mushrooms,  Sauté until well-cooked, and most of the water is evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add scallions, parsley, thyme and breadcrumbs.  Sauté another 4-5 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and sauté another three.   Taste and adjust seasonings.   Add the egg and mix in, taking the pan off the cooktop.

While still warm, stuff the quail firmly.   Set the remainder of the stuffing back on the cooktop (warm or low). Rub or brush the quail with the rendered lard or duck fat.

Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Plate and serve, topping the quail with the leftover stuffing.

quail, stuffed, recipe, coturnix, mushrooms, 1898

(I do plan to make a closer variant with actual breading on the quail skin in the near future.)

Recipe shared with:

Fiesta Friday, with cohosts Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

Posted in Cooking, Mushrooms, Poultry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fig, Olive and Maple Syrup Sauce (or Glaze)

Contains:  No standard allergens.  Is:  Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan.

Around here it is fresh fig season (which won’t last that much longer, but at lower latitudes you may have more leeway).   

Although I used this with fish, for vegetarian or vegan saucing opportunities, I’d suggest using this with delicata or butternut squash.  Probably just about any of the squashes (summer or winter).  It is somewhat sweet, but not cloyingly so, if served with  a hearty vegetable such as squash. 

Another option is to serve with pork, especially one of the more fatty cuts (country style ribs or thick bone-in pork chops come to mind, but I probably wouldn’t go so far as to put it with pork belly). 

recipe, sauce, figs, olives, maple syrup, baharat. serve warm

As far as fish goes, a more robust type such as salmon, bluefish, and perhaps halibut would be appropriate.  

The flavor profile that immediately came to mind was  the addition of cardamom.  It’s in my kitchen here, just couldn’t find it.  Sniffing my spice mixtures a bit, I went with Baharat.  According to The Spruce Eats, the basic baharat ingredients comprise of black pepper, coriander, paprika, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, and cinnamon.   Cardamom – yeah, check!  (You will find variations.)  

Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cook Time: 10 minutes.
Rest Time:  Serve warm, or re-heated.  (Or, as a glaze for cooking)
Serves:  6 or 8.
Leftovers:  Yes.

Fig, Olive, Maple Syrup Sauce or Glaze

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 ounces  / 130 grams fresh figs, de-stemmed and quartered.  (This amounted to seven or eight, but figs do come in different sizes, depending on variety).  
  • About 7-8 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half.
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine.
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup, 
  • 1 teaspoon Baharat seasoning.   (Or, one teaspoon ground cardamom.)
  • Optional juice from 1/4 lemon.  (This is best with fish – optional for other purposes.)

METHOD:  

Simmer the figs, olives and wine together, for about 4 minutes, in a SMALL saucepan.   This will soften everything. Do not let all liquid evaporate.

Remove from the cooktop,  and add enough water that you can use an immersion blender to break up both the figs and olive oil.  Make a coarse puree.   

Return to heat, and add the rest of the ingredients.   Stir, and continue to simmer until you reduce this sauce to a preferred thickness.  Taste and adjust seasonings as preferred.   

For cooking the “target” vegetables or meats – season (salt, pepper, garlic?) as you choose.  Roast or grill as you prefer.  (For salmon, I roasted with pre-roasted fennel – fennel takes a little longer), and had used ground pepper and additional lemon for  seasonings.  The salmon and fennel was served cold, with fennel fronds and capers – and topped with the above sauce, warmed just prior to use    No reason not to use this sauce on fresh from the oven or grill salmon!)   There were six of us at this pot-luck occasion, with enough sauce left over for another serving.  

If I were to use this as a glaze, I’d reduce further, and most likely would  prefer to glaze a longer-cooking item such as the above-mentioned  pork. 

recipe, salmon, sauce, fig, fennel, olive, maple syrup

The above was my contribution.

recipe, sauce, fig, olive, maple syrup, vegan

Shared with:   

Fiesta Friday, with cohosts Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

 

Posted in Condiments, Cooking, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

Contains:   Gluten / wheat, dairy, eggs, added sugar.  Is:  Breakfast, vegetarian.

blueberry, waffles, recipe, buttermilk

Recently, I picked up a small waffle maker for $10 at my local household supply Big Box.   Actually, this was last spring.  I hadn’t used it until now.  At first I thought that I could use a pancake recipe for waffles, but apparently not; apparently the best waffles follow a different format.  Thinking about it … yes, they do have a different texture than pancakes.

I picked these blueberries at a Pick Your Own farm here in my town, late season.  The egg came from one of my own hens.

recipe, blueberry, waffles, buttermilk

The recipe I decided on came from Martha Stewart.  I cut her recipe in half, and ignored her topping suggestions (which I personally wouldn’t care for) in the favor of my own simple basics.  (Yes, the maple syrup was tapped from my own trees… still have to go on about my first year attempting syruping, obviously.  It was fun.)

Blueberry, waffle, recipe, buttermilk

Blueberry waffles being created. I add a little butter to the still-piping hot waffle that precedes the new one – I want that to MELT!

Her recipe is here: Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Waffles.

Let’s have breakfast!

Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cook Time:  3-5 minutes per waffle.
Rest Time:  Not essential.
Serves:  3-4
Cuisine:  Western breakfast.
Leftovers:  I’d save the excess batter and freeze.  Actual waffles – no.

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted.
  • 1 whole egg.
  • At least one good handful of rinsed blueberries.  (Other fruit will work, too – just chop your choices up to about blueberry-size or smaller.
  • Cooking oil for waffle iron.
  • Toppings.  *

METHOD:

To serve all at once, preheat oven to 275 F, and place a rack on a baking sheet in that oven.  (Otherwise ignore this step).

Mix all the dry together in one large bowl.  (Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt.)

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a smaller bowl, minus the fruit.  (Buttermilk, butter, egg.)

Add the wet to the dry and stir until combined.  Having some lumps remain is fine.

Add the blueberries to the waffle batter – add more if visually you’d prefer more (I ended up using nearly two good handfuls.)

Brush top and bottom of the waffle iron innards with oil.  I used olive oil.  Plug in and allow to heat up, probably about five minutes (refer to your waffle maker instructions).

Add some batter, leaving approximately a 1/2 inch rim.  Cook 3-5 minutes, or verify with your waffle iron instructions.  (The small waffle maker I am using resulted in cooked waffles in about 2.5 minutes.)

Add the waffles to the oven as ready and as needed.  This is to keep them warm if you are preparing a few batches for your family or guests.   Continue on.  If you notice the oil is gone from the base of the waffle maker, brush on a bit more.

For my run today with the above amounts of ingredients, I got 9 small waffles from my petite mini-waffle maker.  I figure this to be three servings, or four if there are other items being served for breakfast.

Serve with your desired toppings.

My preferred toppings are room temperature butter and a splash of maple syrup.  Other options:  Sprinkle more blueberries on top, either whole or slightly mashed.  Martha Stewart suggested frozen blueberries (thawed) mixed with sugar, and a small amount of lemon juice.  If you decide to try this with fresh berries, I’d add a little water to keep the fruit from burning.  Simmer, and drizzle over the waffles.  Lightly sugared whipped cream would also work.

Enjoy!

blueberry, waffles, buttermilk, recipe

Recipe shared with:

Fiesta Friday, co-host is  Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons

Posted in Breakfast, Cooking, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Goan Fish Curry

Contains:  Seafood (fish), coconut, nightshades.  Is:  Gluten-free, Whole30, paleo, quick and easy. 

Fish specific to the waters of Goa, India, would be preferred, but as this isn’t always possible (including where I live), any decent white fish of a bit of thickness would work in this curry.  I used cod.

goa, indian, curry, recipe, fish, cod

The recipe I followed left open the choice of vegetables – I went with okra, as I already had some in my refrigerator.   AND mushrooms.  But feel free to use your own choice of veggies – I do prefer to use those that are actually grown and eaten in Goa.

goan-okra

Goa is a large district of India, on the western coastline of that country.  Being coastal, seafood was very important for many of the inhabitants here.  This region was “colonized” by the Portuguese, and some cross-melding of  food ingredients  occurred.

This recipe comes here from Good To Know.

The recipe can be made as hot or as mild as you prefer (or, this may depend on ingredients available to you.)

goan-second

And yes, I had to modify a bit – I really don’t know where my ground turmeric went, but do use it as described in the following recipe.  (The jar will no doubt turn up now that I no longer need it…)

Prep Time:  15 minutes.
Cook Time:  20 minutes.
Rest Time: Not needed.
Serves:  2 or 3.
Cuisine:  From Goa, India.
Leftovers  Yes.

Goan Fish Curry

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds.
  • 1 medium onion (or two small onions) coarsely chopped.
  • 1 or two spicy peppers, your choice of level of spice.  Chopped, and seeds optionally removed.  You can also use dried and spicy instead – cut in half and remove seeds.
  • Anywhere from 3/4 pound to 1 pound of vegetables.  I used okra (cut off the end that attaches to the stalk, and if the tip at the other end is brown, chop that off, too.  If the okra are large, cut into one or so inch lengths).   I also used mushrooms – slice or chop.  Button or baby bella mushrooms are best for this recipe.
  • 2/3rds to a full can of coconut  milk –  up to 14 oz. / 400 mL.
  • About 1.5 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of ginger paste.
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon guaram masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • Two tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 pound / 450 grams white fish (I used cod), cut into chunks.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

METHOD:

Add the ghee to a large skillet, and heat to medium/medium high.  When hot, add in the cumin and mustard seeds, allow to roast for about a minute, or until they start to pop.

Add in the onion and peppers, cook and stir until softened, about five minutes.  Then, if using, add in the okra and mushrooms (or other vegetables you may be using – although if you are using very quickly-cooked veggies, wait until later for those).  Also add the coconut milk and all the seasonings.

Cook another five minutes, to meld the flavors together.  Add the fish, and any rapidly cooking vegetables you might be using.  Cook another five minutes, continuing to stir.

Taste, and adjust seasonings as indicated.

Ideally, serve over a bed of basmati rice.

Goa, fish, curry, cod, recipe

Shared with:

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Almond-Breaded Tapenade-Stuffed Trout, with a Mushroom Sauce

Contains:  Seafood (fish), tree nuts (almonds).  Is:  Gluten-free, nightshade-free, paleo.

recipe, trout, tapenade, almonds, mushrooms

This recipe is inspired by Jacques Pépin, from his book, Poulets & Légumes:  My Favorite Chicken and Vegetable Recipes.  Although he stuffed chicken breasts, I used trout.  So, to be honest, the only part of his recipe I took was the mushroom sauce! I hadn’t wanted to adapt the tapenade that much, but it turned out I needed to do so.  (And, I added lemon because fish often requests it.)  Pépin varies his recipes around, so I see no harm in these modifications.

Pepin calls for a mixture of black, green and Kalamata onions; since there are still no supermarket olive bars around, I bought just Kalamata olives.  I didn’t need a couple large stashes of olives, which I eat irregularly.  Work with what’s available!

recipe, trout, tapenade, stuffed recipe, trout, tapenade, stuffed

Since I have stuffed trout before (but not with tapenade), I decided to up the level and “bread” this fish with almond.

I am able to find trout at supermarkets (when available) that has been largely de-boned.  What remains is the backbone, fins and head.  You can ask your fish monger to prepare your trout for you – or even adapt this recipe to another whole fish.  

recipe, trout, tapenade, stuffed recipe, trout, tapenade, stuffed, almond

Prep Time:  30 minutes.
Cook Time:  15 minutes.
Rest Time:  4-5 minutes.
Serves: 2 per each trout.
Cuisine:  French-influenced.
Leftovers:  Yes.  The breading will likely lose any crispiness, however.

Almond-Breaded Tapenade-Stuffed Trout, with a Mushroom Sauce 

INGREDIENTS:

Tapenade Stuffing:

  • A generous1/3rd cup olives, pitted and chopped.
  • 1 small peeled and sliced garlic clove (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic paste).
  • 3 dried figs, chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon rinsed and drained capers.
  • 3-4 anchovy filets (in oil), chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  • A handful of chopped parsley.
  • Zest of half a lemon.
  • Juice from 1/4 of that lemon.

The Fish:

  • 1 trout, mostly deboned (the spine/backbone and fins are likely still to be attached). If the head is present, you can leave it on (or not).
  • 1 small/medium egg, beaten.
  • About 1/4-1/3 cup ground almond (NOT ground down to flour!)
  • 1/4 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish.
  • A few sprigs of parsley, for garnish.

The Mushroom Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick in the US)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms.  Use your choice, or a combination.  Remove any inedible parts (some types of mushroom stems, for instance) before measuring.  (I used Hen of the Woods and Baby Bella mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion.
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine.  (For wine-free, try a dry non-alcoholic cider.)

METHOD:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

For the tapenade, mix all the tapenade stuffing ingredients together, pulse lightly in a food processor.   Or, very finely chop it all together.

Take the trout, check for any residual pin bones, then stuff the fish.

In a wide bowl, put the beaten egg, and dip the trout into the bowl, coating with egg.

In a second bowl, put the ground almond, and dredge the trout into this, coating both sides with the ground almond.

Place on a rack, and put the rack on a cookie sheet to catch any droppings, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Make the mushroom sauce while this is baking.  Start with one tablespoon of butter (let it melt), add the mushrooms and onions, and sauté for about 3 minutes.  (I also added in the rest of the tapenade, which is quite optional!)  Add the wine, and let cook down for another five minutes or so.   Season with a little salt and pepper.  Stir occasionally.  Add more of that butter should the sauce seem to need it.

When the fish is cooked to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and plate it on a platter.  Let sit for 4-5 minutes to rest. As this serves two, you will be dividing this fish in half for individual plates.   Add the mushroom sauce just prior to serving (to keep some of the crispiness), and garnish.  Or, you can place it to the side of the trout.  

Enjoy!  A simple salad, perhaps with home grown or local tomatoes, might be tasty along side.


This recipe is shared with #FishFridayFoodies, and the linking locales of contributing members are listed below.  (This is a cooking group found on Facebook.)

Also shared with:  

Full Plate Thursday.
Fiesta Friday.   (I am co-hosting this week.)
What’s for Dinner?  Sunday Link Up

 

trout, recipe, tapenade, olives, almonds, stuffed, breaded

Posted in Mushrooms, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Dining Out: Ozzie’s Steak and Eggs, Hinsdale, Massachusetts 01235

This breakfast/brunch/lunch eatery is located just off of Route 8 as one heads north towards Pittsfield.  Their mascot is an alligator, which has a continuing motif around the restaurant.

ozzie's steak and eggs, restaurant review, hinsdale massachusetts

They have a great and awesome outdoor sitting area (more available land than Carms), and weather permitting, no matter the disease “climate”, I prefer the outdoor area over inside.  Most of the outdoor seating is covered.  During the days of COVID restrictions, everyone but everyone got plastic ware.  I don’t understand:  Dishwashers sanitize, and they have to run those plates through, anyway.  At least, now they are back to flatware.

I haven’t eaten here as often as at Carm’s  (in Chester, MA, but to be reviewed later), and this is in part due to logistics.  I tend to do much of my Pittsfield shopping on Mondays, and they are closed here on Mondays.  But when I do go in on other days, I’ve always preferred being an early bird at shopping, so it’s nearly always since I moved here been breakfasts.

They open every day (except those Mondays) at 8 am.  Each month they have new specials, too.

I appreciate their kielbasa.  I may have gotten better kielbasa from my past meat shares, or from a Polish specialty sausage market over in Hatfield, but this is not to sneeze at.

My favorite breakfasts:

I am a sucker for eggs Benedict, even if I usually pass over the Hollandaise (especially if not home-made).  These poached eggs on English muffins with various styles are always on the menu here.  My typical favorite is a Florentine style – no ham, which I don’t really want with my eggs Benedict to begin with.

Ozzie's Steak and Eggs, Breakfast, brunch, kielbasa, eggs Florentine, dining out, poached eggs

Eggs Benedict Florentine. With hashed potatoes, faux Hollandaise, and a side order of enjoyable kielbasa.

Specials I’ve enjoyed:

They have special seasonal coffees, and prior to the lockdown times, I enjoyed their pumpkin and their eggnog offerings – they made these far better than most conventional endeavors I’ve previously tasted.  (The waitress told me they did their own recipes for these – this was back in 2019, so no idea if this tradition continues on.)

Most recently, I had a lobster eggs Benedict special.  Other than the Hollandaise being a washout, I rather enjoyed this breakfast.  Only a couple of pieces of lobster were dry, (Regards Hollandaise – I have long learned that just about nearly every place serves bogus pre-bottled Hollandaise, and I do NOT need more than a teaspoon or so of that stuff to enjoy a good eggs Benedict, ever.)

Ozzie's steak and eggs, poached eggs, lobsters, dining out, Hinsdale

Shredded potatoes tucked underneath the lobster Benedict. Ignore the Hollandaise here.

On a beautiful cool day (60’s), I enjoyed another special, outdoors under shade:  Two pork chops smothered with that Southern sausage gravy, with two over-easy eggs (you can pick your egg style), with hash browns smothered in pan-skilleted onions and peppers.  The meal also comes with your choice of toast – and I decided to pass on the toast.  There was going to be much more than enough of food!  Actually, I could have done with one pork chop, and about a third less of the potato portion of the meal as well.  It was very good, and the boneless pork chops were not dry nor tasteless.

pork chop special, breakfast, brunch, eggs, ozzies steak and eggs, hinsdale massachusetts

There’s the Kielbasa Skillet, from the regular menu – contains kielbasa (I’d hope!), two eggs your choice of style, shredded potatoes (or hash browns), peppers, onions, melty cheese, and toast.  Definitely fills one up!

breakfast, brunch, review, ozzies steak and eggs

Lunches – I’ve had very few from here, but…

Take out wings – this is something EASY to re-heat once home.  They have a variety of choices, and as per usual I choose one that is the least breaded and least sweetened.  They are good.  They come with that bleu cheese dip, too.

I’ve had a burger of theirs once prior to COVID.  Hard to recall that far back, but it wasn’t bad.

There are a variety of other luncheon options; I simply haven’t availed myself of them.  (The Rueben sounds tempting… – and there are some salads (i.e. the Greek) that would be worth the try sometime.)

I did find an old photo of a haddock Rueben sandwich – Can’t recall much about it three years later, but but I am pretty certain I liked it!

Ozzies. haddock, reuben, sandwich



There’s not a lot for vegans to eat here, but there are plenty of vegetarian options at breakfast or brunch.  The pancakes and French toast choices look great, (i know I had the pancakes some time back, but don’t recall – but they do provide real maple syrup for an extra dollar) and there is a whole variety of Benedicts to choose from.  There’s a full bar, and specialty mimosas are often listed on the monthly specials menu.  I haven’t availed myself of that portion of their food service, however.  Their coffee is quite good.

The bathrooms (well, at least the ladies’) are clean and comfortable.  Someone else can check the gents’.

Ozzie’s Steak and Eggs, 26 Maple Street, Hinsdale MA, 01235

For breakfast/brunch, I’d say 4 stars.  No verdict on lunch at this point.   That burger was too long ago, and the wings weren’t eaten until I took them home and re-heated them!   (Prefer to make my reviews for on-site.)

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Tomagoyaki: A Japanese Rolled Omelet (Dashimaki Variant)

Contains:  Eggs (natch….), soy, seafood option, added sugar.  Is:   A great appetizer, or bento-box ready addition.  

recipe, tamagoyaki

FEATURING:  Home Grown Eggs!   (And, scallion/green onion). 

This recipe is derived from https://www.justonecookbook.com/tamagoyaki-japanese-rolled-omelette/, and I have taken the liberty of adding chopped scallops to this (as the author says it is often done to add seafood and a few other ingredients as desired). 

recipe, tamagoyaki

A while back I ordered a tomagoyaki skillet, but never got around to using it, at least not as intended… so… now that I am in a cooking challenge on CookingBites, I figure it is time to break this implement out and USE it.  (These skillets are small, and don’t take up much kitchen space…)  

recipe, tamagoyaki

There seem to be two major types of tamagoyaki, according to the above-linked Just One Cookbook, the descriptions of which I have excerpted below:  

“There are actually a few versions of Tamagoyaki or rolled eggs in Japanese cuisine, which can be confusing.

In general, you can find Atsuyaki Tamago and Dashimaki Tamago. Each variation uses slightly different ingredients, varying ratios of seasonings and cooking methods, but sometimes the names are interchangeable.

The texture of Astuyaki tamago is firm and dense, and it’s much easier to make.”

recipe, tamagoyaki

Adding a third or fourth layer of egg…

The essential difference between the two is that the Dashi variant contains (get ready for this) dashi.  This makes the batter more liquid, which apparently makes this version more difficult to attempt.  DEEP Breath… we are going to attempt it anyway.  I will be stingy with the amount of dashi added, but I’ll add it.  The final omelet will be more soft and silken (with luck) than the Astuyaki variant, because it is made with more liquid.  

recipe tamagoyaki

roll into a sushi mat. Next time I will use parchment paper instead of foil to protect the wood of the mat – I almost used plastic cling wrap, but with the heat of the egg, decided not a good idea.

Nowadays, you can buy powdered dashi, but I make my own.  My recipes for dashi can be found here – you have three variants from that post to choose from (bonito-based, vegetarian/vegan shiitake mushroom-based, or a combo of both those major ingredients). 

recipe, tamagoyaki 

Prep Time:  15 minutes.  
Cook Time:  10 minutes.  
Rest Time:  Five minutes in the sushi mat.  Can be eaten immediately, or later in the day or so.  
Serves:  2 to five, depending on other meal components.  
Cuisine:  Japanese.  
Leftovers:  To be served cold or room temperature, I estimate three days.

Tomagoyaki: A Japanese Rolled Omelet (Dashimaki Variant) 

INGREDIENTS:  

  • 3 large eggs, de-shelled. 
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting cooking oil (I prefer avocado or grapeseed oils)
  • One half an optional sheets of nori – that  flat seaweed wrapper sold in squares.  
  • 1 or 2 optional sea scallops,  finely  sliced an chopped.  (Bay scallops are also possible, also finely sliced and chopped.)
  • Some cooking oil – I personally prefer either avocado or grapeseed oil, but you do want an oil meant for higher temperatures and without intrinsic flavor.

Seasonings

  • 2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons dashi. 
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium gluten free tamari (or soy sauce as preferred). 
  • 1 teaspoon mirin/Asian cooking wine.
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar.
  • A pinch of coarse sea salt, or Kosher salt.

Garnishes (choose among, or use them all):  

  • Up to 3 ounces of daikon slivers =  (1 inch is equivalent to 2.5 cm; optimally choose the green top section as it is sweeter-tasting than the white.)
  • A small dipping bowl containing about 2 tablespoons of low sodium, gluten free tamari, or of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of ikura (salmon eggs)
  • A little shredded or sliced nori.  
  • A small scattering of chives, or of thinly sliced green onion/scallions.  

METHOD:  

Whisk the eggs.  In Japan they use the chopsticks to do this, rather than a whisk or a fork.  Don’t over-mix.  If using a seafood such as the scallops mentioned in this recipe, add them now.  

Mix all the seasonings ingredients together in a separate bowl, let the sugar dissolve.

Add the seasonings to the eggs, and gently mix together.  Put this new mixture into a cup with a spout, which will make the omelet-pouring process easier.  (Better yet, start your eggs in such a cup – one less dish to clean!)  

Take half a piece of paper towel, and fold it up to use as a mop for oil.  You’ll need to oil the pan after each layer of crepe that goes to form this tamagoyaki.  Even if, as in my case, your tamagoyaki pan is non-stick-coated.  (Trust me on this, I missed a corner during one layer.)  Oil the pan, and set the mop aside with more oil.  

Get the pan very hot – I went with medium-high.  A drop of egg mixture should sizzle on the pan.  (To adjust pan temperature as you cook, move the pan, don’t bother adjusting the flame or heat while cooking.)  

Lay out one thin layer of egg mix, and move the pan to cover all the bottom.  If you see bubbles forming, pop them with chopsticks.  You will use chopsticks for the rest of the process.  When the egg is no longer liquid but still soft, roll the egg from one end of the pan to the other, using the chopsticks.  The first layer will probably be rough and ugly, but that’s going to be on the inside.  

Oil the pan again (mop action), move the egg to the other side of the pan, then oil where it was.  Pour in another thin layer of egg.  Here, I added half a sheet of nori (the picture didn’t come out, alas), then, rolling from the old layer, roll this over the nori+new egg layer, and back to the other side of the pan.  (You can, of course, omit the nori.)  

Again, re-oil the pan as above.  moving the rolled omelet portion over to that far side again.  Add another thin layer of egg mixture, and roll this with the chopsticks again to the near side.  

Continue this process until you use up all the egg mixture.  Remove from heat, and roll it onto a prepared sushi mat.  I was going to use plastic cling wrap until I realized how hot this omelet was – and punted for foil.  Parchment paper would work as well.  Roll up tightly, and let set for five minutes.  As it cools, it will settle into this more compact shape.  Use this time to finish the garnish preparations, if any still needed.  

Remove from mat.  Cut into six approximately equal sized pieces.  This yields three pieces per serving.  

Garnish with your choices of garnish, and ideally serve with a warm bowl of sushi rice.  This omelet is also good for bento boxes, and will stay good for a day or two, refrigerated.  (Garnish, however, shortly before eating.)  

recipe, tamgoyaki, dashimaki, Japanese, egg, omelet, scallop, nori

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Another BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) Salad

Contains:  Nightshades,   Is:  Quick and easy, gluten-free.

For me, bread is NOT the staff of life.  I am fine with eating breads, but I don’t have an overwhelming desire to need to eat them.  So, once again, I present a BLT salad devoid of breads.  A major benefit is that it took less than no time to make.  Fry the bacon, and while doing so, chop up the rest of the ingredients, arrange on your plate, finish that bacon, coarsely chop it and layer over the top of the dish, and jump in to eat.

I do provide a suggestion to adapt this salad to a sandwich at the bottom of this post, should you desire.

recipe, blt, salad

This one comes with pumpkin seeds and with  a request for a good quality horseradish sauce.  (I don’t like the Kraft version, which to me tastes rather artificial – you may have to hunt for the best variety in your area.)   I DO plan on making my own variant for this within the next month! But there are some good ones out there for sale.

To make this, I highly recommend using tomatoes from your own garden, or from a nearby farmer’s market.  It is still tomato season up here, and the supermarket ones are geared to outward longevity in the bins, but not towards flavor.

I like just about any variety of crispy lettuce with this.  Here, adding those pumpkin seeds adds just a bit more crunch.  You can substitute with pine nuts (I can no longer eat those, unfortunately), if you’d prefer.

Amounts are to your whim in this recipe.  Expand or contract depending on your desire.  I used cilantro, but fresh basil would be really good in this dish!

Prep Time:  10 minutes.
Cook Time:  Bacon cooking time, maybe 10 minutes.
Rest Time:  No.
Serves:  1 – just multiply for more!
Cuisine: American, I guess.
Leftovers:  No, bacon and lettuce will go soggy.

Another BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 slices bacon.
  • 1 large, tasty tomato – heirloom or at least locally grown.
  • Leaves from a crispy lettuce.  (Romaine, iceberg, or other)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of roasted pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts if preferred)
  • Ground pepper to taste.  
  • A teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (or of avocado oil)
  • A couple tablespoons of creamy horseradish sauce.  
  • Fresh cilantro or basil leaves for garnish. 

METHOD:

Prepare the bacon by your favorite method – I prefer to pan fry mine as I can watch for proper done-ness.  Preferentially cook to crispy but not burnt.

Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients – remove the bottom of the tomato, and any bad spots, and chop coarsely.  For large lettuce leaves, break up into smaller chunks as needed, by hand.  Scatter the above onto your dish.  Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over.  Splash on the oil and vinegar, and then add the horseradish sauce in scattered dollops.

You can add the cilantro / basil leaves now, or after the bacon.  For the bacon, drain on a paper towel, then break up the pieces over the salad.  For the herbal garnish, coarsely tear the leaves to add.  (Cilantro stems are just as good as the leaves, if you are using them.)

Dig in, and enjoy!  (PS, if you like a little salt, go for it.)

Oh, PS:  If you do want to adapt this recipe to a BLT on toast:

METHOD TO SERVE ON TOAST:

Prepare everything as above, but omit the oil and vinegar.

Choose a good quality bread (ie, perhaps a bakery or homemade sourdough or rye), slice medium slices, and toast these slices.

On both inner slices of toast, spread the horseradish sauce.

Add the other ingredients in between.  (The veggie and bacon slices need not be broken up as much as they are in the salad presented above.)

Close up the sandwich, slice it on the diagonal (to be stylish) and enjoy, still warm.

recipe, blt, salad

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Bell Pepper Boats: Scallops, Bacon, Tomato, Quail Egg, Ikura (Salmon Eggs)

Contains:  Seafood, eggs.  Is:  Whole30, paleo.  

ikura, recipe, bell pepper, quail egg, bacon, tomato

You can consider this a sit-down appetizer, or perhaps a side for a fairly fancy meal.  The recipe description is per person, simply multiply for more.

This was a rather fun delight to create, something out of the ordinary.  I’ve known for awhile that bacon goes with scallops, which goes with ikura, which goes with quail eggs – and you can certainly leave off the quail egg yolk if unavailable.

You want what is sometimes called “dry” scallops.  They will brown nicely at a high enough temperature, and doing this will keep the insides moist.

You want to remove the “whites” from the yolk of the quail egg – I’ve seen it done by hand, but a small fine strainer, with some finger assistance, works well.  Keep a couple eggs to hand, in case one breaks. Yes, this is served raw.

Prep Time:  10 minutes, maybe.
Cook Time:  Up to ten minutes.
Rest Time:  Simply what is needed for assembly.
Serves:  One side – multiply the below ingredients for more.
Leftovers:  Not as assembled.

Bell Pepper Boats: Scallops, Bacon, Tomato, Quail Egg, Ikura (Salmon Eggs)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 half a bell pepper, seeds and other innards removed. 
  • 1 strip of bacon
  • 2-3 sea scallops – the number will depend on size, and on the size of the pepper.
  • 1 grape tomato, halved longitudinally.
  • 1 quail egg yolk.  (Discard the white.)  
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of salmon egg roe (ikura).  
  • A small splash of extra virgin olive oil and white wine (or rice) vinegar.

METHOD:

Blanch the bell pepper half (each bell pepper half) in simmering water for 2 or so minutes, to the level of texture you like.  Remove and cool in chilled water to cease the cooking, set aside.

Pan fry the bacon to your preferred level of crisp.  Set aside, and crumble when cool enough  to the touch.

In the bacon fat, cook the scallops at medium high.  Toss occasionally; cook 2-5 minutes depending on the quality of your scallops, and your texture preference.

Set each bell pepper half out on a small plate, and place a scallop (or a cut portion of a scallop) in each corner within.  Scatter the bacon over the top.

Add the grape tomato halves atop the scallop/bacon.

Scatter the ikura (salmon roe) in a decorative pattern within this bell pepper half.  Allow for a small shallow indentation in the roe.  To this, add the raw quail egg yolk.  A small splash of quality oil and vinegar will be a good final touch here.

Serve, and enjoy.

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Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Smoked Salmon and Additions (Gỏi Cuốn)

Contains:  Seafood, potential legumes.  Is:  Gluten-free, soy-free if without most typical dips, finger food.  

summer roll, Vietnamese, smoked salmon, recipe

The dip I used contained soy, from a legume, although I don’t specify a dip for you to use in the recipe proper.  There are many options, and some are soy-free — as well as choosing none at all.  

As neither trout nor salmon nor lobster are native to Vietnamese waters, this is a dish made “in the style of”.  In this case, the main similarity is that the rolls are wrapped in rice paper, and there are a few southeast Asian ingredients also included.  You are also welcome to make a Nuoc Cham dipping sauce, should you wish. But overall many of the ingredients are NOT Vietnamese.

recipe, Vietnamese, smoked salmon, summer roll

This is actually also made for the “Appetizer” challenge from the Facebook group, #Fish Friday Foodies, a monthly event organized around one theme or another.  (You’d really need a blog space to post your own said recipes, just to note, should you join.)  The list of blog recipes created for this month’s challenge are linked at the end of this post.  I’m sure some join just to read recipes, too, but I believe you still need a web URL.  

This recipe was made using a smoked trout pate or spread.  Mine came from a local source (well, based in Vermont). If you can’t find such a spread, you may need to make your own, or substitute in some other spreadable of your choice.  However, I’ve seen some smoked trout spreads in larger supermarkets.  ALERT, ALERT, ALERT:  I made the above, but I accidentally deleted the photos and had to make this dish again.  The smoked trout pate was no longer available, alas.  So I ended up with “Seafood and Lobster Dip”.  I’ll post both recipes below, but note that the photos all come from the second endeavor.  

I use shirataki/white yam/konjac noodles – rice noodles (thin vermicelli types are best) are readily substitutable.  Mung bean noodles are also a possibility here.  Prepare these according to package instructions.  The shirataki is more Japanese than Vietnamese, but I rather like this texture in summer rolls.  (You will find some shirataki noodles that are made from tofu/soybeans; read labels if soy is an issue for you!)  This noodle has keto benefits, but since I am not doing keto (even if I am preferentially low-carb), I’m simply using this from a favored (for me) textural standpoint in certain dishes. 

NOTE:  I rolled these up on a plate.  I found it easier back when I used my bamboo cutting board as the rolling surface – the rice wrap papers didn’t try to adhere so much to the surface I was rolling from.  Preferentially, use a bamboo board!

A great explanation of the differences between Spring and Summer rolls, Vietnamese style, can be found here:  https://theculturetrip.com/asia/vietnam/articles/spring-rolls-and-summer-rolls-whats-the-difference/

Prep Time:  20 or so minutes, but if this is the first time making summer rolls or similar items, add on to the learning-curve time!  Also depends on how many you make.
Cook Time:  Just for the noodle portion.
Rest Time:  Noodle portion should be chill.
Serves:  An appetizer, count on 3 rolls per person?
Cuisine:  Vietnamese-style, but not authentic.
Leftovers:  Eat within a day.

Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Smoked Trout Pate & Smoked Salmon

INGREDIENTS:  

  • 3.5 – 4 ounces white rice or shirataki, rice , or mung bean noodles, of vermicelli or similar thickness.  Make according to package directions, drain, set aside and allow to cool.  Cover with a damp cloth/towel if you aren’t doing the rest of the steps immediately.  
  • rice wrap papers.  
  • smoked salmon, separate the slices.  (Some brands are better than others in keeping the integrity of a slice together, but with these rolls it really won’t matter.)  One slice is usually good per roll, but depends on how your particular smoked salmon is sliced…
  • 1 ounce or so of smoked trout pate, with a small spoon to hand. 
  • 1 ounce or so of cream cheese.
  • small cucumber, sliced into close to toothpick sizes.  Skinning is optional, but recommended for those large supermarket cukes.
  • A teaspoon or two of lemongrass paste.  

Choose among a variety of the below:  

  • Baby bok choy, chopped coarsely.
  • Mung bean sprouts.  
  • Green onion / scallion, chopped into 1 – 1.5 inch lengths.
  • Finely diced red onion.
  • 1/2 avocado, skinned and de-pitted.  Make narrow slices for adding to the rolls.
  • Capers, a few per roll.  
  • Cilantro to taste (or, not).  Cilantro stems do not need to be discarded.  Chop lightly.  
  • Leaves of fresh mint or Thai basil will always be welcome here.  Prepare by separating from stems after washing.  Chop lightly.  
  • ??? (Your choice…)

METHODS:  

Prepare the shirataki or rice noodles as per package, set aside to cool.  

Meanwhile, prep all other ingredients so you are ready when it is time to roll your rolls.  

Set up your workstation in a place you are unlikely to drip on things you don’t want to drip on.  (Like your laptop?)  In a shallow large bowl or deep plate, add hot/warm water.  Set by your workstation.  

Wet your rice wrappers ONE AT  A TIME with the warm water, lay it down flat on your rolling surface, set your ingredients (I’d use the salmon first) in a line across a space just below the middle of the rice wrapper disc.  Leave about an inch (2.5 cm) space un-cluttered with additions at both ends of the future roll.  Smear or spread a little of the trout pate upon the salmon, along with a little cream cheese.  

With any noodles, add a thin layer of some, now. (An interesting taste treat:  splash with a dash of sesame oil, or roasted sesame seeds!)

Add a little bit of the rest of the ingredients you have decided to use, and be warned that you’ll be tempted to overstuff your first roll.  But they don’t all have to be atop the smoked salmon!  Just close… 

Starting from the part of the rice paper closest to you, begin to roll up the rice paper towards the line of seafood and veggies.  Roll into this line, and to the halfway mark of the rice paper.  

Tuck those edges I had you reserve on the right and left in and over the line of seafood/veggies.  Tuck down hard to roll your roll tight, and continue rolling until the summer roll is complete.  Set aside, and ONLY NOW do you begin to wet down your next summer roll wrapper!  (Too early, or too much, and the thing will disintegrate!)  

You need to prepare these the same day you serve them, for best flavors.  

vietnamese, summer roll, recipe, smoked salmon

Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Seafood and Lobster Dip & Smoked Salmon

INGREDIENTS:  

  • 3.5 – 4 ounces white rice or shirataki, rice , or mung bean noodles, of vermicelli or similar thickness.  Make according to package directions, drain, set aside and allow to cool.  Cover with a damp cloth/towel if you aren’t doing the rest of the steps immediately.  
  • rice wrap papers.  
  • smoked salmon, separate the slices.  (Some brands are better than others in keeping the integrity of a slice together, but with these rolls it really won’t matter.)  One slice is usually good per roll, but depends on how your particular smoked salmon is sliced…
  • 1 ounce or so of Seafood and Lobster Dip, with a small spoon or table knife to hand.   (Note – any type of seafood spread in a mayonnaise base will work.)
  • small cucumber, sliced into close to toothpick sizes.  Skinning is optional, but recommended for those large supermarket cukes.
  • Snow peas, chopped into smaller portions.

Choose among a variety of the below:  

  • Baby bok choy, chopped coarsely.
  • Mung bean sprouts.  
  • Green onion / scallion, chopped into 1 – 1.5 inch lengths.
  • Thin sliced sections of leek, the white part.  
  • Cilantro to taste (or, not).  Cilantro stems do not need to be discarded.  Chop lightly.  
  • Leaves of fresh mint or Thai basil will always be welcome here.  Prepare by separating from stems after washing.  Chop lightly.  
  • ??? (Your choice…)

METHODS:  

Prepare the shirataki or rice noodles as per package, set aside to cool.  

Meanwhile, prep all other ingredients so you are ready when it is time to roll your rolls.  

Set up your workstation in a place you are unlikely to drip on things you don’t want to drip on.  (Like your laptop?)  In a shallow large bowl or deep plate, add hot/warm water.  Set by your workstation.  

Wet your rice wrappers ONE AT  A TIME with the warm water, lay it down flat on your rolling surface, set your ingredients (I’d use the salmon first) in a line across a space just below the middle of the rice wrapper disc.  Leave about an inch (2.5 cm) space un-cluttered with additions at both ends of the future roll.  Smear or spread a little of the seafood dip.  Add a small dollop of the lemongrass paste in a couple of sections of the future roll.  

With any noodles, add a thin layer of some, now. (An interesting taste treat:  splash with a dash of sesame oil, or roasted sesame seeds!)

Add a little bit of the rest of the ingredients you have decided to use, and be warned that you’ll be tempted to overstuff your first roll.  But they don’t all have to be atop the smoked salmon!  Just close… 

Starting from the part of the rice paper closest to you, begin to roll up the rice paper towards the line of seafood and veggies.  Roll into this line, and to the halfway mark of the rice paper.  

Tuck those edges I had you reserve on the right and left in and over the line of seafood/veggies.  Tuck down hard to roll your roll tight, and continue rolling until the summer roll is complete.  Set aside, and ONLY NOW do you begin to wet down your next summer roll wrapper!  (Too early, or too much, and the thing will disintegrate!)  

You need to prepare these the same day you serve them, for best flavors.  

For some visuals to assist you in rolling summer rolls, please check my old posts, Vietnamese Summer Rolls and  Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas) with Lamb.   Cross-cultural same principles!  Expect that you’ll likely overfill your first roll or two!  Hey, tasty chef’s snack!

smoked salmon, vietnamese, recipe, summer roll

This recipe is a part of the Fish Friday Foodies posting for this month.  

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