Posts in Breakfast
MEL × RIVERBEND: Zucchini Cornbread
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

The thing about seriously good baking is this. It's more like the horizon "forever receeding" than a goal. Or as Tom would put it "the more you know, the more you know you don't know"

I inevitably become painfully aware of my shortcomings as my skills develop and then it becomes a matter of chasing the dragon so to speak.

I find myself akin to some back alley addict looking for the next high. The exception being that my particular form of high comes in the form of an expertly executed dish.

 
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

Whether that be Appalachian hillbilly chicken and dumplings or a single bite from a molecular pastry chef at the edge of his game makes no difference. If the dish sings to me.. it usually results in a hedonistic memory I can never shake.

My path into baking has been one of dragon chasing. Where I would eat savory and sweet baked goods crafted by other peoples talented hands and be left with a longing to recreate it in the kitchen. I would then return home with high hopes and no real plan, because I knew deep down that I can't bake. Until now.

I've equipped myself with a scale & some delicious flours. I'm starting at the bottom of the hill with the lowly but divinely delicious zucchini cornbread.

I've gone ahead and adjusted it to remove white flour & processed sugar and called it good. Perhaps my inability to follow a strict recipe is to blame for the flop of my more complex baking projects.. but this one is truly difficult to mess up.

So if you're like me, longing for a homemade treat but convinced your hands cannot produce such a thing, don't fret friend. I've got you. You've got this.

 
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THE RECIPE


INGREDIENTS

MAKES 6-8 PORTIONS

2 T coconut oil
1/4 C red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t pimenton paprika
1 t fresh thyme
1 C grated zuccini
3/4 C cornmeal
1 T whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
2 t honey
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C plain yogourt
1/2 t salt

DIRECTIONS

15 MINS PREP + 30 MINS BAKING

  1. Grease an 8 inch cast iron skillet with coconut oil & place it in the oven while it preheats to 400.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together your cornmeal, flour, salt, thyme, pimenton paprika & baking powder.
  3. Beat the yogurt, honey & egg together, then incorporate it to the cornmeal mixture.
  4. Once there are no more clumps, squeeze the zucchini to remove as much water as possible then add it, the garlic and the red onion to the batter.
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven & pour in the batter.
  6. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. 

more zucchini recipes

MEL × RIVERBEND: Herbaceous Spanish Tortilla de papa
perfect weekend brunch recipe, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Quiche or tortilla: a simple recipe by the nomadic wife

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Eggs are seldom only eggs.

I'd love to say I grew up on quiches and variations there of, but the truth is I mostly have fond memories of eating them in small restaurants and food-court lunches in Montreal with my cousin, Cat. When she worked downtown, I would go meet her every so often for lunch and we would have this beautiful quiche in a little sandwich & soup place near her office.

Those fun loving lunches, filled with laughter and all matter of things not only left me with an immense sense of joy, but they introduced me to a gloriously fluffy egg dish, typically filled with vegetables and herbs. I was smitten with quiche and always thought it must be immensely difficult to reproduce. Little did I know.

As the years went on, I then discovered the French omelette (thank you Julia Childs), the Italian frittata & finally the Spanish tortilla. While I loved them all for their differences, and they all have a place in my kitchen, these days I have to admit I'd rather not turn on the oven for a plate of eggs.

Call it laziness if you must, but if I'm hosting a group of girlfriends or enjoying this by myself, I like to just be able to cover for a few minutes, let it fluff up to a soft pillowy goodness, then rest and scoop it right into my mouth.

 
Herbaceous spanish tortilla recipe by the nomadic wife
simple brunch recipe all your girlfriends will love
 

Tortilla, Quiche & Frittata 

To crust or not to crust? To add dairy or not add dairy? To pan fry or bake? Ahh! How many existential questions can possibly surround a good plate of well whisked eggs?

Truth be told, this recipe falls somewhere in the middle. While it does include yogurt for fluffiness (which I love to substitute in the place of a more traditional creme fraiche), it's crust-less so by definition not a quiche, which usually comes in a crisp, flaky, well buttered crust.  Both the filling ingredients and the egg are set together in a pan, so one could argue it's truly a frittata, yet it's loaded with potatoes which is most often found in tortilla.

The way it's cooked and set also makes a difference. Typically a quiche is baked in the oven. While a frittata is started in a hot pan and finished in the oven & a tortilla is done completely stove top by flipping it halfway (if you're a ninja) or covering immediately after adding the egg mixture which is the technique I've used here.

Let me say that all three types of egg filled dishes are divine, but this one has a special place in our kitchen.


 
simple spanish tortilla with herbs by the nomadic wife
 

Poh-tay-toh   Poh-tah-toh

Not all potatoes are created equal & exploring the different varieties is definitely part of the perks of getting a Riverbend Garden CSA share. In this recipe, I used the Mozart variety (beautiful pink on the outside and yellow flesh on the inside) because it lends itself well to be smashed or mashed. I find that it tends to be a little bit more tender than most, but cooked the way I've done it here it doesn't quite fall apart.

Each potato has it's purpose, because of how the flesh is composed. Some are better boiled, others baked or even make the perfect french fries. If you're curious about which direction to head when you're facing a new potato, there's a handy-dandy little page right here that can give you some insight.


 
Torilla with chives, parsley, garlic & shallot by the nomadic wife
A simple weeknight potato dish, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
 

What can I put in tortilla?

Well the traditional take is potatoes (Tortilla de Papa) to start and then truly you can add what ever you like. Softer vegetables tend to do well in here, especially if you give them a chance to release their water before pouring in the egg mixture. Think of onions, shallots, peppers, zucchini or even greens like spinach or kale.

In this version, I focused on aromatics and herbs. So I skipped the vegetables in favor of chives, shallots, garlic & parsley and it always turns out perfectly lovely.

 
Our new favorite potatoes and egg dish spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Steaming hot plate of spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife

2 SERVINGS

10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 medium shallot
½ C chopped chives
½ C chopped parsley
2 T butter, divided

2 eggs
1 T yogurt
2 T milk
1 t olive oil
Salt & pepper

10 MIN PREP + 20 MINS COOK

Start by dicing your potatoes into uniform bite size pieces and placing them in a small pan with enough water to cover.
Boil the potatoes over medium heat until all the water has evaporated then add 1 T of butter and reduce heat to medium low to allow the potatoes to finish cooking and brown slightly.
In the meantime, chop your garlic, chives, shallot and parsley, then add them to the potatoes & mix well.
In a small bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, milk, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper until you have a uniform blend.
Give the potatoes a good stir, then pour over the eggs and give the pan a quick shake to ensure even distribution. 
Cover with the pan lid and cook until the middle is set, about 5-6 minutes.


WASTE LESS TIP

Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.

 


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE Potato DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

MEL x RIVERBEND: Potato & Kale One Pan Breakfast
potato and kale one pan breakfast by the nomadic wife

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

This past week, it felt truly felt like autumn was knocking at the door.

It really had me dreaming of simple filling breakfast. When those moments come, I turn to dishes like this one. It's hearty without being heavy & the red pepper flakes ignite a fire in my belly, warming up my bones.

I try to include in my cooking a simple array of spices one can easily find in just about every pantry. Garlic, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes are common in just about every household, but together they form the perfect crescendo of pungent heat.

I don't know about you, but I grew up with potatoes at just about every meal. Although this is no longer my reality today, they still have a place on my plate and in my heart.

 
 

Adjusting for the potato variety

The potatoes, depending on the ones you use, can be either quite buttery & soft or lean more towards the dry side. If you feel, when you taste the dish that the lack the creamy interiors you desire, simply add a dollop of butter or coconut oil. This luscious layer of fat will elevate the overall feeling of this dish and transform it into good old soul food.

Be warned, once you have a serving, you may want to gobble down the other..which on a cold fall or spring day, may just be what the doctor ordered. 

 


wheat free, dairy free, soy free, vegetarian


2 Servings

3-4 fist sized potatoes
3 large kale leaves, stems on
1 tomato
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic
½ t red pepper flakes
1 T coconut oil

10 mins prep + 15 mins cook

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat.
Add potato & enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, then cook covered until the potato begins to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic & pepper flakes, cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Shred kale & dice tomato, add them along with a splash of water, salt & pepper.
Crack eggs into the middle of the plan & cover once more until the eggs have set, about 5 minutes.


waste less tip

If you're not inclined as I am to use the kale stems to add a bit of crunch, you can always remove them to the freezer for smoothies or to use in vegetable stock. As for the kale itself, if it feels like it's waited too long in the fridge and has begun to wilt, give it a bath in cold water with a little salt and watch it come back to life.


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE kale DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES: