Thursday, 25 October 2007

I do like green eggs and ham

Posted by Bonita

I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I do not like them in a boat.
I do not like them with a goat.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

-- Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss

oct26_02

Thursdays are a nice change of pace from the craziness of the week, since I only have one class and it doesn't start until 3:30 in the afternoon. Technically, it means I can sleep in and have a leisurely morning, but like most mornings, I still get my butt out of bed at 8 in order to do school work, or if I'm lucky, get around to some household chores that have been neglected thanks to school.

My friend Kait is doing her Masters in Comparative Literature this year, and is lucky enough to be teaching a 1st-year Italian class. I've been wanting to pop my head in one Thursday morning and just sit in her class. After having my friends over for dinner last week, we made plans to all go together and invade Kait's class. That being said, I promised my friends breakfast as long as someone provided me with my all-important cup of joe.

oct26_01

I had some ingredients leftover from the dinner party: pesto, mascarpone cheese and prosciutto. This got the wheels in my head clanking, and I thought that it would make for a unique but (hopefully) delicious breakfast sandwich. I honestly tried coming up with a super-cool name for it, but it was ultimately described as a Contemporary Euro-style Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast Sandwich. Why so? Well, you have the Italian-inspired pesto-scrambled eggs (eggs scrambled with pesto, mascarpone cheese and grated parmesan cheese), prosciutto (Italian cured ham) and brie, a French cheese, all wrapped up in an English muffin. I topped each sandwich off with two basil leaves for an added punch of flavour. Firstly, I toasted the english muffins, and while those were in the toaster, I scrambled my eggs. I topped each muffin half with a slice of prosciutto, topped it with two slices of brie and then topped the cheese with the eggs and basil leaves. Closed the sandwiches up, wrapped them in some parchment paper and put them into their breakfast package, along with some slices of banana bread. I had no idea how these sandwiches would fare, but my friends loved them, and that's the most important part. What I love about this sandwich, besides how easy it was to put together and how delicious it is with the pesto and basil, is how the cheese becomes slightly melted from the heat of the eggs.

oct26_03

Considering we were invading Kait's class, I thought it would also be a nice treat if I brought some biscotti for her students. As always, I love to experiment with new recipes and new inspirations. This time, I wanted to try something new, and based my latest muse on this recipe. Looking at the recipe, I found it bland and boring, so I wanted to throw in some other ingredients to make it more interesting, and thus, I made Biscotti al cioccolato, madorla e ciliege (Chocolate, Almond and Cherry Biscotti). It had a really nice crunch to it without being too hard, and just the perfect chocolatey-ness to them. The almonds added extra crunch and flavour to the cookie, while sweet and tartness was perfectly balanced out between the chocolate chips and the dried cherries. I finished them off with a white chocolate drizzle to make them look prettier. These will definitely be made again in the future, especially with Christmas fast approaching!

Biscotti al cioccolato, madorla e ciliege
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Makes about 30 biscotti
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, halved
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined well; mix in vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in almonds, cherries and chocolate chips.
  3. On prepared baking sheet with floured hands from dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Bake logs for about 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  4. On a cutting board, cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes on each side. Cool biscotti on a rack. Drizzle cooled biscotti with white chocolate, if desired. Biscotti will keep in airtight containers for 1 week, or frozen for 1 month.

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