I’m not the only blogger that thinks that about 2/3s of dishes can be easily improved by adding an egg of some sort. Soup is no exception. This dish is classically called eggs in purgatory and there are a lot of different variations on it. Almost always a tomato broth is used to cook the eggs in but sometimes the eggs are scrambled.
I used a spicy, kinda rustic tomato soup for my version and went with a poached egg. This was a really healthy dinner and Betsy and I loved it.
The soup is good. The egg is great.
I found this recipe in a Body and Soul magazine actually. But I couldn’t find it again when I was trying to look it up to write this post. I made some changes to the original anyway though.
I am not a huge sweets guy, especially in the morning. I’ll take some bacon and eggs over a cinnamon roll any day of the week. But you gotta change it up sometimes or life gets boring right? And one way I love to change it up is to experiment with pancakes. I’ve tried sourdough pancakes and cherry chocolate pancakes already, so I wanted to do something a bit different for this breakfast.
I substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream all of the time and sour cream pancakes are a pretty popular thing so I thought maybe I could use some yogurt instead. Worked like a charm!
Kind of tangy!
I think I make huge pancakes. This recipe says it makes 12 four inch ones. I just made what I consider to be a normal sized pancake and I only got four out of my batch, so maybe plan accordingly if you are trying to feed a crowd.
I don’t really follow college basketball that much throughout the year, but who doesn’t love March Madness?! It makes for great sports. I hope they don’t decide to expand it because why mess with a perfect thing?!
Anyway, even though I know practically nothing about basketball I always fill out a bunch of brackets. This year, just for fun, I filled out a bracket completely randomly. Basically I just filled out a blank bracket knowing the seeds but not what teams where where and then laid it over the actual bracket.
As you might guess, so far that bracket is doing the best of the 6 I’ve filled out. Better to be lucky than good I always say!
Anyway, even if you don’t care about basketball, take this weekend as an opportunity to spend some time with friends, have a few cold ones and root for the team with the best mascot or something!
I have 4 different champs in various brackets, but if I had to pick just one, It’d be Syracuse. Why? Because I like their style. Do I need a better reason?
And a poll that’s appropriate for the weekend…
A few links…
The Fast Food Bracket – In honor of March Madness, this is the best fast food bracket. There’s voting involved so get over there and check it out. Some of them I’ve never heard of, but it’s all in good fun! (@ So Good)
Keller’s Roast Chicken – I really need to get this cookbook. And I really need to try this roasted chicken recipe. I’m kind of on the hunt for the best roasted chicken. Right now Zuni’s chicken is in the lead, but this looks like a strong contender. (@ Simply Recipes)
Corned Beef – I really need to have a bigger kitchen/fridge situation so I can get into some curing and charcuterie. I guess you don’t really need a huge kitchen for this though. Just a big bag of some sort. I’m sure this is good though! PS. I don’t love his new font… (@ Ruhlman)
Shephard’s Pie Burgers – Kind of a batty idea, but I must say they look good. I’m never opposed to putting mashed potatoes on things that typically don’t have mashed potatoes on them. It’s usually an improvement. (@ TFIMB)
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Zest – I had a fight with red velvet cupcakes two nights ago. I had dreams of making delicious ones. Ones like this. It’s not that my version didn’t taste okay, but they looked like a trainwreck. And we all know that we eat first with the eyes! (@ Sassy Radish)
Is there anything better than fried cheese? Think about it. Is there? Ok maybe, but that’s not what this blog is about people! Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about food. And when it comes to food, I’m just not sure that there is. That’s why it didn’t surprise me too much when fried mozzarella cheese balls won last week’s poll.
I generally like Tyler Florence recipes. He packs in lots of flavors which I love and he never gets too kitschy. He also doesn’t believe in substituting. He uses real butter, real cream, and real food. I like all of those things.
So it should go without saying that I liked these bad boys.
The toothpicks were useless.
One thing that I really liked about this recipe is that Tyler uses homemade bread crumbs instead of store bought. This gives the fried mozzarella a kind of rustic feel. Store bought crumbs are uniform and the final product would end up almost too perfect. Using homemade, you get crunchy little imperfect bits that are really tasty.
It’s always a bummer when St. Patty’s Day falls on a weekday, but maybe it’s for the best. Especially given that this weekend is the start of March Madness, I probably don’t need any other reasons to cram beer down my throat…
So rather than making something with Guinness which was my first thought, I decided to make something a bit more old school: Soda Bread. There’s a lot to love about soda bread. It’s about as simple as baking gets, it produces a fantastic loaf, and it goes well with beer.
This was my final loaf!
Dense and delicious
I used a recipe from an old issue of Bon Appetit that I’ve had bookmarked for awhile. They apparently traveled all over Ireland hunting out the best soda bread recipe and this was the result of their search. I honestly haven’t had soda bread enough to know how this one stacks up, but I will say that I thought it was pretty darn good!
I believe failure can be a life strategy. That may sound weird but I’m completely serious. A lot of what I’ve learned so far in my life I’ve learned by persistently failing at something until I get it right. Luckily, people tend to remember the successes a lot more than the failures.
Case in point: This website. It’s very far from perfect and I have a list a mile long of improvements I hope to make over the next year or so, but it’s a start. Almost everything I’ve done on the website up to this point has been the result of a series of failures – changing a bit of code here or there until I get what I’m looking for. Normally I get it wrong about 30 or 40 times, but eventually find a way to make it work. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll hear my occasional rant on CSS issues.
As you can imagine then, I fail a decent amount in the kitchen. Sometimes I try things a bit outside of my skill level, sometimes I botch something that I’ve made a dozen times, and occasionally, I just plain suck at reading recipes.
I haven’t posted all the mistakes on Macheesmo because a lot of times there’s nothing to learn from them. For example, I’ve been battling a croissant recipe for like 6 months. Until I get it right though, there’s really nothing that can be learned from it except that croissants can be hard which is a pretty well known thing.
That said, I do frequently post my failures for one of a few reasons:
1) I screwed up something small that you could easily fix. Maybe I used a cup instead of a quart or a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon. These are easy fixes. It just requires me to admit that I can’t read 100% of the time.
2) I battled and won. Sometimes if I try something and fail at it, but eventually get it right, I’ll post the fail and success so you can get a better idea of what could go wrong and how to avoid it.
3) It’s hysterical. Sometimes I get bad ideas for dishes. At least we can get some entertainment out of the situation.
4) Hopefully it’ll give you a dose of confidence. Let’s face it. If you start cooking a lot, you’re probably gonna bomb a dish or two so it’s helpful to see that you aren’t the only one.
So, over the weekend I went through my rapidly growing archives and picked out 10 Fails since the beginning of the site. In order from lesser fail to greatest fail:
This was my most recent fail and kind of gave me the idea for this post. There are tons of great comments on how to correctly cook a soft boiled egg. I’m hoping to redeem myself in a few weeks. The only reason this one isn’t higher on the list was because it was pretty easy to just sub poached eggs which I can get right most of the time.
This was a frustrating one. Basically, I found two versions of the same dish and picked one of the methods. I picked the wrong method which became very apparent about halfway through. Oh well. Ya live ya learn.
This was one of my favorite fails because it was an easy lesson in the importance of ingredients. I was following a recipe from Judy Rodgers and she said to make sure you use real fresh, not processed, ricotta cheese. I didn’t believe her and just used some from the store on my first try. Well, it was WAY to wet and never formed into nice little dumplings.
All I did between the fail and the success was find some good ricotta cheese.
Doesn't have to be worth eating to be worth printing.
This wasn’t actually my fault. This was a case of following a recipe and thinking that it might be a bad recipe but not trusting my instincts. Turns out, I was right. It was a bad recipe. This also happened to be the third post ever on Macheesmo and failing that close to the beginning gave me pause about continuing…
Sometimes when recipes say to use the grill, they mean it. I tried to cook this dish in the oven instead of outside on the grill and while the final fish actually turned out pretty flavorful and okay, it was not worth the pain. Turns out when you roast like 100 bay leaves they give off an aroma that literally burns your eyes. Think onion chopping times a lot.
This was my fault. I got a bit crazy with the filling and created a ticking time bomb of a tart that went off in my oven. It actually didn’t taste that bad, but it wasn’t going to win any beauty awards. That’s for sure.
While I would love to blame Rachel Ray for this one, I’m pretty sure it was on me. I changed the recipe a lot by basically removing anything with flavor from the recipe and then I was surprised when it was bland. Go figure.
I actually served this to a dinner guest. Luckily he was a good friend who I’ve served many successful meals in the past. Also, I corrected this fail a few weeks later after many fantastic reader suggestions.
This was just horrible. I got the idea from a Top Chef dish… a losing Top Chef dish. I thought I could fix it. I was wrong. So so wrong. The good news is that there’s some tips in that post on what to do when your recipe fails because it’s the only way I could justify posting this epic disaster.
I’ve been working on the FAILS for this post for over a year so I’d love some company… leave a comment and share one or two of your mess-up stories!
Betsy used to have a serious McDonald’s addiction. Of course, I find most things at McDonald’s to be pretty horrible. So it’s been my goal over the last few years to bring her back from the dark side. I’ve done my part over the years by promising to make anything that McDonald’s would make whenever she gets the craving. The idea of course is to prove that it’s not that hard to make their food and also it’s a whole lot better when it’s homemade.
She really only ever orders two things from there so it means that I make a lot of fries (or she’ll allow a tater tot substitution) and nuggets. The girl loves her nuggets. Luckily Betsy is far from picky so I get the chance to play around with how I make them. If I fry them, I call them NickNuggets because they taste the same (but better) as the McDonald’s variety.
This time though, I decided to bake them.
I like mustard. Betsy likes ketchup.
I wanted to make sure that the crust would be nice and crispy for these so I decided to use Panko instead of normal breadcrumbs.