WIAW 61

GF waffles and egg and ham muffins - a lovely breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

This week I seem to have been obsessed by breakfast. I’ve been writing about waffles. (And because I made a mildly snide remark about Belgian Waffles not being the Current Hot New Thing – a friend passed on a slightly used Belgian Waffle maker. Which works better, I think, than the dinky little waffle iron I’ve been using. So there may be Belgian waffles in the future…)

And I wrote about egg muffins. I really only had one breakfast where they intersected, but when I write about things, I eat them, and… that was yesterday, when I realized I hadn’t been taking pictures, so here you are.

It was actually a pretty good combination, though I felt a bit funny heating the one in the microwave and the other in the toaster oven… but they work better, that way.

Otherwise my concentration has been on improving photography, and making sure I’m ready (I hope) for the Google algorithm switch, and – well, some work gigs, and… it’s been moderately busy this week.

I had soup from the Pot of Lentils approach – with leeks and kale and chicken. And an ambitious muffin from earlier in the week – doesn’t it look as if it’s trying to be a brioche? (Failing miserably – it’s a perfectly nice muffin, you should play to your strengths, Corn Muffin, not try to be something you are not… and you’re a good corn muffin, but a lousy brioche.)

Lentil soup with leeks and chicken, and corn muffins - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

Never did get a picture of dinner… Rich actually made it, I was occupied. Sauteed an onion, added chicken broth I’d frozen earlier, used a roux cube to make gravy, added cooked chicken breast from an earlier roast, added frozen green beans, served over quinoa (which he cooked – not just reheating this time.)

I sat down to dinner. Nice…  You forget what that feels like, when you’re the cook… I love to cook, but this is relaxing in a completely different way.

Jenn’s party has now floated over to Clean Eats, Fast Feets – come on over! There is always such a variety of food – it fascinates me…

 

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast!  www.inhabitedkitchen.com

After the waffles, I seem to be on a breakfast kick…

I saw someone in a group I’m in mention making a version of these – they’ve been all the rage, lately. Because let’s be real – they’re handy, and sometimes we really just need a very fast and easy breakfast, and they’re delicious, and sometimes we need a grab-and-go breakfast, and – they make the morning run smoothly. I’d made these regularly about a year ago, and then slid out of it – my breakfasts tend to be streaky, since they need to be mostly mindless (because I have no mind when I wake up…) I prefer options that don’t take much prep. I want to wake up, go into the kitchen, and not have to make any decisions…

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

But that means I eat the same thing, day after day – and I’m trying to get out of that. It’s a bit boring, for one thing… But also, if I eat the same thing every day, I can’t tell if I’m reacting to anything. I want to deliberately vary my meals, to see what makes me happier, see if anything is associated with negative (or positive) reactions.

Now, these variations haven’t quite managed this – the waffles still have corn in them (for texture) and I’m still eating eggs. But it’s a start.

Besides – I have some ham on hand, and I like ham in these.

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

So, I started with the ham. This is fully cooked – and not just the commercial Fully Cooked, but also then I baked it. I’ve found that most supermarket meat these days has water in it… when I have Fully Cooked Ham that I have not myself cooked, I add a step and pan fry it to drive out the water, or the muffins end up a bit watery. And if I don’t have ham, I cook breakfast sausage and use it. All good. (I have cooked a batch of sausage and frozen the cooked crumbles for later use… Convenient!)

You can also use grated cheese for all or part of this – it also adds both protein and flavor.  Do grate it, though – cubes of cheese don’t work well. (I thought they’d be cute. When I reheated the egg muffins in the microwave, they exploded… don’t go there…)

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

Then I add some green leafy vegetables, also cooked. This is really for flavor and interest, because it’s really a pretty small amount… In this case, I mixed them – used half a cup of cooked kale, and half a cup of cooked leeks. You can do all one kind, you can do a couple – you can just thaw frozen chopped spinach or chopped broccoli… You do want them chopped well, and you do want them thawed and, again, any liquid drained.

I made a dozen here – the recipe divides (or doubles!) easily.  I buttered the pan well – these are tender, and if the egg sticks at all they tear easily. Then I divided the ham, and then the vegetables evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

I use one egg for each muffin. I beat them in a large bowl – you can use a blender for this, it’s easier. You want to make sure you really break up all the egg white, or you get odd clumps… but you don’t want it too frothy…  air bubbles will cause problems later. So if you use a blender, let it rest a little while before pouring the egg into the cups. If I’m doing half a dozen, I beat them in a measuring pitcher and use it to pour the egg – a dozen won’t fit, so I use the Pyrex bowl with a pouring lip (I do like the design of these bowls – they’re easy to use) and start with a gravy ladle. At the end I pour out the last remains of egg, to distribute it evenly.

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

Then I bake them, at 350°, for 20 minutes. They puff up as they bake, all very pretty – and then fall almost immediately… don’t be surprised (or disappointed…) Let them rest five minutes – they do sink, but also shrink away slightly from the sides of the pan, so that they are easier to remove without tearing.

And there you have them. You can serve them at once. If you have guests it can be a nice breakfast dish – package the ham and vegetables ahead of time, pop them into the pan and pour beaten egg over them while the oven heats. Bake while everyone is getting coffee or eating cereal. But then if someone gets up later (or showers first to relieve the bathroom rush, if you’re all heading out to something) they get a pretty little muffin, not the sad remains of a breakfast quiche – and you don’t feel obliged to go scramble more eggs…  You can even fairly easily make variations – with and without meat, or cheese.

You can also refrigerate them, and either eat them cold or reheat in a microwave. That’s what I do – have cereal or waffles or something, and then grab a couple of these for a quick breakfast. And, while they’re not really quiche, they’re close enough – you can eat them cold, and they will pack in a lunch.

Bake mini egg and ham muffins, then reheat for a quick breakfast! www.inhabitedkitchen.com

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 pieces

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Bake egg muffins with ham for breakfast, then serve at once, or reheat for a quick meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz cooked ham, diced
  • 1/2 c chopped cooked kale (or other leafy greens)
  • 1/2 c chopped cooked leeks
  • 12 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Distribute ham, and then vegetables, evenly between the muffin cups of a 12 cup muffin tin.
  3. Beat the eggs smooth. Pour evenly over the ham and vegetables in the cups.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until egg is fully cooked.
  5. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Or - refrigerate, and either eat cold or reheat in a microwave 30 seconds, for a quick breakfast.
http://www.inhabitedkitchen.com/2015/04/breakfast-egg-muffins/

Wonderful (Gluten Free) Waffles!

Golden braown, gluten free waffles - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

When, for any reason, you stop eating any kind of food, there are two main and opposing approaches. One is to try madly to replicate the food you are avoiding – which I think generally leads to some frustration, as you never will get the exact same taste and texture, and in many cases just leaves you still craving the missing foods. But that approach gives us artificial sweeteners and gluten free cake mixes… and it is the most common. (It is also the one that most benefits food corporations, but that’s another post…)

Gluten free waffles - crisp and golden - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

The opposite approach is to concentrate on meals that don’t need that food anyway. You may have noticed that I go in that direction – with unsweetened granola and dinners served with rice and quinoa. I feel that, in the long run, it is easier – I don’t resent my baked potato for not tasting like a dinner roll, I just enjoy it as a baked potato… but it does require a mental shift. And while many people come to it eventually, most don’t start there, especially if the dietary change was not voluntary.

There is a middle ground… It may be found by a person following the first path but starting to ease over, or it may be the exception for the person following the second path…  For me, while I rarely eat anything sweet other than plain fruit, I do want a few exceptions for a special occasion – so chocolate pudding and all fruit cranberry sauce. And, while I am happy to eat corn tortillas and brown rice much of the time, I also eat muffins. And I’m looking at waffles, which can fill in nicely for a slice or two of bread.

Gluten Free waffles for breakfast or brunch - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

I’d been looking at waffles a year ago anyway…  my antique cookbooks have whole sections about them. They weren’t served just for breakfast.  Creamed chicken and waffles is still a classic in some parts of the country, and I have other recipes using them instead of patty shells. They were used as dessert, too – I have waffle recipes based on cake recipes. And it seems that the Modern Young Woman living daringly on her own in a Studio might have one of those new electric waffle irons, and invite a few friends for a fashionable little Supper – waffles with various toppings, both savory and sweet. Quite modish! So chic!

They’re starting to perk up into the general cultural awareness in this way, again, too. Belgian waffles are lovely things, but I had my first at the Belgian Pavilion at the World’s Fair 50 years ago – we can hardly call them new any more… (I remember Belgium’s carrousel better than their waffles – I was pretty little.) We’re returning to the American style – flatter and firmer. They certainly never left the breakfast table, but… now I’ve seen sandwiches built on them. (And I’m told that a waffle sandwich in a lunchbox makes a kid look lucky, not weird – which can be important if the other kids think his whole grain or gluten free sandwich bread is weird…) There are frozen gluten free waffles, and gluten free waffle mixes… but they are also not hard to make. Moreover they freeze and then reheat really well in a toaster or toaster oven…  I make a batch and then heat them as I want to use them.

Use waffles instead of bread for a fun and delicious sandwich - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

I started here with just a very simple, basic recipe that can then be used for either sweet or savory meals. I’ve had them with just a dab of butter, Rich has used syrup, and I’ve also made sandwiches (which are even better when they are heated… and the cheese melts…)

Mix dry ingredients - millet, sorghum and masa harina, and baking powder - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

First I mixed together my dry ingredients. I chose to use millet flour, which I like as a mild base, sorghum flour because it adds some flavor, and a little masa harina, because I find it improves texture. (If corn is an issue for you, use sweet rice flour instead.) I measured them, by weight, into my bowl, added salt and baking powder, and used a whisk to mix them thoroughly. (No, this bowl is not big enough for a full whisking motion – but I find just using it and turning it does a better job of blending than any spoon.)

Add liquid ingredients to dry - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

Then my wet ingredients. For waffles, I really do beat the eggs until they are frothy, not just mix them until they are sort of smooth… it makes a difference in texture. Then I beat in milk and either oil or melted butter or other fat. (I just used oil this time.) Yes, there is much more than you would put in a pancake… waffles do need it.

And I poured the wet into the dry, and mixed it in until it blended completely. Then I set the batter aside to let the flour hydrate while I heated the waffle iron.

At this point, the Your Mileage Waffle Iron May Vary factor kicks in. I have used old irons and new ones, expensive elaborate ones and cheap ones, and everything else along the way – I have demonstrated several of them in stores, as well as using my own and ones belonging to family and friends. They work differently and I have found no clear pattern… I can’t tell you how long each batch will take, or even how many waffles you’ll get from the recipe because the size varies so much!

baking the waffle in the iron - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

There are a few constants. Definitely heat the iron well first. Either pour the batter from a pitcher or use a ladle. Accept that even on the best irons, your first waffles of the batch may not come out well. Even on the worst, your waffles will probably improve as you go (look at the pictures – I got some very evenly brown ones right at the end of the batch… though the earlier ones were cooked but uneven.) If you go to open it and the lid doesn’t lift, don’t yank it – the waffle is not yet fully cooked. (I don’t care if the Ready light is on! if it has a ready light… ) And above all – as you use it and get used to your own machine, it will get easier with each batch.

But all that means I can’t tell you much more than “Now make your waffles.” Sorry about that…

So, anyhow – make your waffles. I piled them up to be pretty, but really – if the family is eating them all now, have them start right away, while the waffles are hot and crisp. (I know you’re teaching the kids to wait politely for you to sit down. Let this be the exception…) Or, spread them out on a baking sheet and put them in a low oven to keep warm. Piled up like this, the bottom ones can get soggy… If you’re going to use them later, spread them out on a baking sheet to cool. (I did that with most of them, and ate the last ones right away.) Once they are cool, bag them, and put them in the fridge if you’re going to use them in a day or so, in the freezer to keep longer. Then heat them, either one or two at a time in the toaster, or spread them out again on that baking sheet, and pop them in the oven at 400° for five minutes.

And enjoy!

Fresh Waffles

Shared at Gluten Free Fridays at a Vegetarian Mamma

 

Wonderful (Gluten Free) Waffles!

Wonderful (Gluten Free) Waffles!

Make your own gluten free waffles for a delicious breakfast or brunch. And then, reheat for sandwiches, fast weekday breakfasts, fun lunches.

Ingredients

  • 80 g millet flour
  • 80 g sorghum flour
  • 50 g masa harina
  • 1/2 salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T oil or melted butter
  • 1 c milk

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs until frothy. Add the oil and milk, beat again.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Set the batter aside.
  4. Heat your waffle iron. Follow its directions to bake waffles.
http://www.inhabitedkitchen.com/2015/04/wonderful-gluten-free-waffles/

 

WIAW 60

A day of food WIAW 60 - www.inhabitedkitchen.com

Don’t you like round numbers? Somehow 60 sounds more as if I’ve accomplished something than 59 does (or 63, which is just plain silly…)

It is finally getting warm. We’ve even had a few sunny days! There are rumors that vegetables are starting to grow…  though I have not gotten to Greenmarket this week to see if any have arrived there yet.  One advantage we have here in New York City is that several agricultural zones meet in our general area – greens start growing in South Jersey when there’s still frost on the fields in the hill country of New York, and the New York farmers have lettuce when it has bolted in warmer areas. So hopefully… a little spinach soon? (There is never very much, now – strawberries and asparagus are June crops around here.) Continue reading

Pork and Pintos

Add pintos and cabbage to slow cooked pork - www.inhabitedkitchen.comThe Word of the Week seems to have been Meat.

Pork and Pintos - Add beans and cabbage to slow cooked pork

The local stores had excellent sales on large cuts of meat you might want for your holiday table – ham, of course, but also pork shoulder. (This has been a largely Puerto Rican neighborhood all my life. As has happened with many ethnic neighborhoods here, the young people moved out, other young people moved in, but Grandma still lives here, on the block where she was born. And of course she has to make pernil when the family comes home for the holiday…) Continue reading