Matt’s parents were in town this weekend, and we did our best to show them a bit of the good food the Twin Cities have to offer, including that in our own kitchen. We went to Butcher & the Boar for dinner on Friday, and, as usual, it was incredible. From the turkey braunschweiger to the green chorizo to the red hot brussels sprouts to the massive, perfectly cooked pork chop, we savored every rich, meaty bite. Their whiskey sours are hard to beat, especially on a hot summer day. If only we’d saved room for their homemade s’mores…
Saturday was pretty low key aside from a round of golf for the guys and an outing to the Twins game on Saturday night. No summer weekend with visitors is complete with at least one trip to Grand Ole Creamery, and we made sure to check that off the list. Sunday revolved around watching football, all four of us trying to complete an impossible crossword and a decent amount of home cooking.
I can’t get enough of this egg sandwich combo: bagel, fried egg, spinach, cheese and harissa. Any cheese is good – this one had smoked mozzarella, but sharp cheddar works well and is always in our fridge. Spinach allows me to think that I’m being healthy, and the same goes for avocado when we have it. The harissa takes it to another level and makes me crave it weekend after weekend.
Goods from the St Paul Farmers’ Market: fresh dill, heirloom tomatoes, big beef tomatoes (I think), an assortment of peppers, zucchini, eggs and flowers
The flowers keep getting better and better. I love ornamental cabbage!
Spinach and goat cheese egg bake for Sunday brunch.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Grate 1 lb. of potatoes, place them in a bowl and cover with water while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Sauté 10-12 oz of fresh spinach until it wilts. Once it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess moisture and roughly chop.
Thinly slice 1 leek, rinse and sauté in a little oil until it softens.
In a large bowl, whisk 8-10 eggs with 1 cup of plain yogurt until combined. Season with 1 tsp salt and a little pepper.
Butter a 9×13 pan or its equivalent (I used a shallow 3.5-quart pan). Drain the potatoes and gently squeeze them to get rid of excess water. Line the pan with the potatoes, and top them with the spinach and leeks. Sprinkle (as generously as you choose) with crumbled goat cheese and chopped, fresh dill. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the fillings. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the center is set. If you prefer a browner top, crank the oven temperature up to 425 or so for the last several minutes.
Notes: Onion can easily be swapped for the leek, and while the herbs aren’t absolutely necessary, fresh ones add so much to the dish. This would be good with any number of cheese/herb combinations – Gruyère + parsley, feta + oregano, parmesan + basil, or all of them at once. Also, bacon. Bacon is always good.
Egg bake, fruit and fresh biscuits that I did not screw up, much unlike my last attempt.
While the others watched football on Sunday afternoon, I chopped vegetables for ratatouille. Everything but the onion was purchased at the farmer’s market, and everything but the eggplant was bought that morning.
I used a recipe for Easy French Ratatouille from the Kitchn, and I specifically chose it so I could chop the vegetables instead of thinly slicing and carefully layering them. The former is my kind of busy work; the latter requires too much thought. I didn’t use the exact amounts of each vegetable called for in the recipe, but that’s the beauty of a non-layered ratatouille. Also beautiful: not slicing any fingers on a mandoline.
Ratatouille after cooking and before stirring in fresh basil. This was so easy and such a delicious way to use a bunch of summer vegetables. The leftovers would be a great pasta sauce, especially with a blanket of grated parmesan.
Along with the ratatouille we had rosemary roasted potatoes, chicken/ham/provolone roll ups that Matt’s dad had found a recipe for and bread. It was a great way to end the weekend.