Category Archives: eggs

Spinach Turnovers, yeah they’re French

A few years ago someone secretly slipped a burned DVD under my door. I popped it in the player and I found out it was all of the episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef. Not to look fortune in the mouth I immediately made this dish and then just as immediately forgot about it. If you’re looking for an impressive dinner that is different and fun, this one is for you. Don’t get intimidated. If this is too confusing here is Julia herself doing it.

Side note: Always check your oven before turning it on. The day before making this I had a thanksgiving party and someone thought it would be hilarious to put a plastic turkey in my oven. Well it was hilarious but I had to quickly move dinner to Kris and Laurels house as black smoke was emanating from my oven.batterjunkie-11
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pastry for 2 – 9” crusts, (unbleached pastry flour)
9 -12oz. fresh spinach, washed (Yield 2 cups blanched, drained- squeezed dry, chopped)
 4 oz. fresh white small mushrooms, quartered
½ cup diced small prosciutto
1 TBSP butter
Sauce Bouillée:
1 medium onion, diced
1/4  cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 and 2/3 cup hot milk
1 egg
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
For Cream Sauce:
Remaining Sauce Bouillée
1/2 cup or more cream or milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
2 eggs separated save the yolks
1 tsp. water
Wash the spinach and plunge into a large kettle of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Then immediately toss it into cold water. Squeeze the water out, dry it between towels and chop it finely. You need at least 2 cups of spinach toss in a large sauce pot.
In a fry pan sauté, thinly slice mushrooms  and prosciutto with 1 TBSP butter until tender. Set it aside.
In a sauce pan sauté onion over low heat in 1/4 cup butter until translucent. Take out half of the onion and throw it in the saucepan with the spinach. (this will make sense later)
For Sauce Bouillée:
Add the flour to the remaining onion and cook the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk in the hot milk a little at a time. This sauce is going to be THICK, just how you like it. Take the pan off the heat and beat in an eggSalt and pepper to taste and add a pinch of nutmeg. Put about a 1/2 cup of the sauce in with the spinach and onion in the other saucepan. Mix together over low heat for about a minute. Set aside.
For Cream Sauce:
Stir 1/2  cup or more of cream into remaining Sauce Bouillée until it is thinned to a sauce consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes stirring slowly. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a bit of the Gruyère and let it melt a bit, then stir it in. Set aside and when we are ready to serve we’ll warm it over low heat and stir in the rest of the Gruyère. 
To assemble the pastry:
Now you’ve got the parts lets make a long pie! Roll the dough into a 10” by 15″ rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Trim the edges so that it is even and square, saving cut scraps. Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface. Beat egg yolk with 1 tsp of water and glaze the pastry with the mixture.
Spread half the spinach mixture on 1/3 of the pastry lengthwise. Keep a 1/2” edge bare so you can seal it. Place mushrooms and prosciutto on top then spread remaining spinach over mushroom mixture forming another layer.
Fold the pastry up and over and seal the edges with your fingers, then press with tines of fork.
Place on greased baking sheet and cut pastry scraps into strips. Glaze turnover with an egg glaze of 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. Decorate with strips laying them on a diagonal or leave them off if you ain’t that fancy. Trim edges that hang over. Glaze again with your egg mixture. Press all of the edges with a fork.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned and crisp.
Slide it onto a board to cut diagonally. Now add the rest of the Gruyère and warm up the cream sauce. Pour a healthy dollop over each slice of turnover.
Serve that mamma jamma hot to happy people!batterjunkie-2

Gluten Free Strawberry Clafoutis

This dish is most likely pronounced Claw-flew-tee. I’m not sure but the pronunciation does not actually affect the taste. If you’re really into it, go watch Julie and Julia and see if it is uttered during the film. This is a recipe made famous by Julia Child. I found this a gluten-free version on Gluten free girl. I have, however, adapted it to suit the needs of the situation, and the current state of the fridge. Read on brave ones.

2 cups fresh cut strawberries
½ tsp cinnamon
2 TBs agave
1 cup vanilla rice milk
1/2 cup agave
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cups rice flour

Preheat the oven to 90 C (325 F).

Chop up those  strawberries into little chunks and toss with the cinnamon and agave in a good sized bowl. You can add other spices if you want but I thought that the cinnamon did the job.

Throw in the soy milk, 1/2 cup of the agave, eggs, vanilla, salt, and rice flour into a blender and whip those puppies up! When they become a slightly thick-ish batter you know you’re got it. Incidentally if your batter doesn’t thicken, well, add a modicum of rice flour, bit by bit, until it does.

Pour a thin layer of batter onto the bottom of deep pie pan. Bake it at 90 C until the layer doesn’t jiggle like a Savannah debutante’s heaving bosom when you shake the pie pan, about 10 minutes. (for the batter not the debutante…)

Dollop in the agave-d fruit, evenly, over the now slightly hardened layer. Pour in the remaining batter all in amongst the strawberries.

Bake until the top is golden brown and set, about 1 to 1 and 15 minutes. The clafoutis will be puffed up when you pull it from the oven and will deflate like your hopes and dreams. It’s ok kid, we can’t all marry a French supermodel with rock hard abs, a conservatory cello fellowship and a penchant toward the kinky.

Serve warm or room temperature (on the abs of a supermodel, of course).


Mama’s Homemade Frittata

This bad boy is good for breakfast and dinner or whenever you be wanting it. I love me some Frittata and my mom makes the best. On a recent trip home I met up with some wonderful friends from my time in Turkey and we had dinner at the folks. Frittata was on the menu! Things always seem to turn out tasty when that is the case.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 onion minced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper,
1 tsp basil and oregano
1/2 tsp each rosemary and thyme
6 large mushrooms sliced
2 small zucchinis sliced
1 red bell pepper diced
250 grams (1/2 pound) spinach
6-7 eggs
about 10 slices of mozzarella
Parmesan cheese to taste

Preheat to 180 C (350 F).

Grease a large oven-proof pot. This is an important step because if it’s not oven proof the whole shebang won’t work. Mom usually does this with cooking spray but you can use oil or butter. Heat the pot to medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and butter. Drop in the minced onion yelling something like, “It snowing flavor chunks” as you do. Make sure to open the windows so that your neighbors know that you talk to your food. Simmer for a few minutes and toss in the garlic.

Now add the spices. Toss them all in salt, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. At this point if you’re over the age of 50 you’re thinking, “Are we going to Scarborough Fair?” If you’re under the age of 30 you’re probably thinking, “I have to buy all of those spices?” Either way, add them. Then toss in your mushrooms zucchinis and peppers and give the whole thing a stir.

Once those have simmered for a few minutes throw in the giant wad of spinach. It will take over the pot like a great green afro. Don’t worry. Give the spinach a few minutes and it will kind of wilt down, reducing greatly in size.

Turn up the heat and pour in the beaten eggs. Cook briefly, lifting the edges with a spatula and turning the pan , so the liquid egg comes in contact with the pan.  The egg will start to set. Once that happens, the magic that is cheese is revealed. Place slices of mozzarella over the mixture until it is completely covered. Grate on some Parmesan cheese and toss the whole pot (remember to have used an over safe pot) right into the oven. Bake if for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese and just like that, you’re done.

Cut that veggie pie into squares or whatever geometric shape follows your fancy.

Serve and enjoy with friends!

Labels: eggs, breakfast, dinner, main, vegetarian

Tortilla Española!

No we’re not talking about those little flat things you see them put meat and cheese in down in Mexico. Tortilla Española is a surprisingly versatile and easy to prepare dish. It seems to have legendary roots in Navarre but no one really knows the derivation of this tasty ubiquitous omelet.
Prepare to be amazed at the ease with which you can make such an alluring treat.

2 medium potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 Large onion (or a whole small onion)
Olive oil (extra virgin)

Yep. That’s it.

For some extra flavor you can add peppers and or mushrooms but I like to keep this one simple. The general rule is about 1 egg per potato but I usually add an extra for eggy goodness.
Here’s how you go about it. First skin your potatoes. Then cut them up into little quarter inch cubes. In a large fry pan dump in an abundance of olive oil. Add the potatoes. Here is the waiting part you must fry the potatoes on medium to low heat so as not to burn one side of the cube. Placing a lid on your pan helps to cook them faster and more evenly. This process usually takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
During this time you can walk the dog, check the kettle, get in a nice book, exchange carrier pigeon messages with your friends in Romania, or simply watch the television.

In a bowl beat eggs and add salt. Once the the little cubes become soft to the touch of your spoon they’re done. At this point, take the little cubes out and mix into the bowl with the eggs. Be sure to leave the majority of the oil in the pan.

With the pan empty you can now toss in your onions. Do so and cook them over medium heat until they start to become translucent.

Add the cooked onions to the eggy potato mixture. In a much smaller omelet pan pour about half of the remainder of the oil into the bottom. Make sure to coat the edges of the pan with oil too. This will make your life easier later. Place the pan over medium heat and pour in your egg mixture.
You’ll need to cook it until it moves as one piece when you touch it. You don’t want it all sloppy. We all know that is bad. Once it has firmed up nicely, take it off of the heat and place a flat plate or cutting board over the top the tortilla. In one fluid motion (over the sink I might add) flip the whole thing so that the tortilla comes out on the cutting board.

Then simply add the remaining oil from the fry pan to the now empty omelet pan and coat the edges like last time. Gently push the tortilla into the pan and fry the other side the same way. Now if you’ve done it right the topside should be golden brown. Cook the other side for a few more minutes and serve, baby, serve!
It is best when it is hot but can be eaten cold. Cut triangular shapes from the middle and enjoy.
Bon profit!

Labels: breakfast, eggs, potatoes, tortilla

After Clubbing: Biscuits and poached eggs

So you’ve had the friendly evening, flirting, dancing, and chugging back drinks. Maybe it ended well and you’re thinking, “now what do I make for breakfast?” Never fear, the Batter Junkie will get you that second date or at least make the end of this one special.

Biscuits and eggs are one of the the most time honored morning-after traditions. So drink plenty of water, put the coffee pot on and get your ingredients!

2 cups flour (Here I used 1/2 whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
6-8 Tbsp butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup buttermilk

Heat up your oven just like those sheets to 218 C (425 F).

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl while you desperately try to remember the name of the other person in your bed. Add in the wet ingredients to make a stiff dough. (feel free to make your own joke here)

Once that’s done roll it out like you did on the dance floor the night previous. Pat out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/2 inch thick.

Now that you have your dough well in hand, grab a pint glass or a coffee mug and begin to make little biscuits. Place these little breakfast heroes on a tray and pop them ceremoniously in the oven for 15-17 minutes.

If your sleep over buddy has not yet awoken, you should take this opportunity to say something like, “Wow can you believe that it takes four hours to make these biscuits? I would be really grateful if someone went to such an effort for me.” Make up whatever you want to fit the situation.

Poached Eggs:
While you’re biscuits are burning (or simply baking) prepare the first egg. Here’s what you’ll need.

Some eggs
Vinegar (any kind will do red wine vinegar makes them pink!)
a small cup
A saucier  or sauce pan
some water

Fill the sauce pan a little less than half way up with water (roughly your blood alcohol level of the previous evening) and put it on the stove to boil. Pour anywhere from a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the water. Take a blurry visioned moment to crack the egg into a cup.

Now you’re all set to “wow” someone who already has low expectations.

Once the water begins to boil use a spoon to swirl the water into a mini cyclone. While doing this hold the egg in your other hand.

Bring the cup very close to the water and in one fluid motion (like extending your wrist to get stamped at the door) and dump the egg into the whirlpool.

The swirling keeps the egg from going everywhere when it hits the water. I know it looks like a commercial for not doing drugs but it’s OK. It will become beautiful! Allow this little egg it’s embryonic journey to yumminess for about 4 minutes.

Oh no did you forget the biscuits? I hope you set a timer.
Split one of them and put it on a plate. With a slotted spoon, remove your egg and place it on one half of the biscuit. Rinse and repeat for each other egg. Add salt and pepper for fun.

Well, I certainly hope this helps you get by that morning awkwardness. It won’t help you remember why you thought that person was attractive last night, but you’ll be able to work through your confusion and embarrassment on a happy tummy.

P.S. It is advised that you rip off your paper club-entrance bracelet before you begin cooking.


(featuring the quaint kitchen of Kim in Seattle)

Labels: bread, breakfast, eggs