Breakfast/Brunch · Sponsored · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Crispy Polenta Cakes with Poached Eggs & Asparagus

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Spring has most definitely sprung!

The sun is shining, the days are getting longer, the flowers are in bloom (Aaaa-CHOO! My pollen allergies are terrible!) and everyone seems to be in a festive mood for celebrations and leisure meals. And why not? So many delicious items are coming back into season!

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Asparagus is one of those beautiful produces that are coming back and are popping up all over at our Farmers Markets and grocery stores. And in my opinion, nothing pairs more lovely with asparagus than eggs. Eggs and Asparagus….what could be more “Spring-like” than that winning combo?!

Safe Eggs
To celebrate the comeback of my favorite season, Spring, I’m partnering with the makers of Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs to create a quick and easy dish that would be perfect to make for breakfast or even a last minute brunch gathering and featured that winning pairing.

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Veggies? Check!

Bright and sunny egg/protein? Check!

But what about a starch?

I’m not a gal to shy away from bread or potatoes — I’m unabashedly carbo-holic like that. Though for this dish, I thought I’d bring a little Italian slant to it by pan frying up some crispy polenta cakes by using a pre-made polenta roll.

Now before you yell at me for using a pre-made polenta, let me justify it by the following:

  1. One of my favorite stores carries a wonderful organic polenta roll that is extremely tasty and affordable.
  2. If I made the polenta myself, I would have to wait for it to cool before frying them up into crispy cakes.
  3. It’s QUICK! And who doesn’t need some short cuts every now and then?

But hey-if you prefer to make your own, I’m all over it! In fact, it would be a great opportunity to use up any leftover polenta you may have lingering in your fridge.

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After roasting the fresh asparagus with simple S&P and lemon zest, I topped them with the crispy polenta cakes and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. And the pièce de résistance – a beautifully poached Safest Choice™ pasteurized egg. In my humble opinion, there are few other culinary beauties than seeing an unctuous egg yolk over a dish.

Perfection!

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And not only is a beautiful but it’s functional. The yolk becomes a rich sauce for both the crisp polenta cakes and asparagus. I know some folks are wary of under cooked eggs but rest assured. Davidson’s Safest Choice® uses an all-natural egg pasteurization process to eliminate the risk of salmonella–all without changing that farm fresh flavor or nutrition. Plus their wonderful chicks are Hormone free, Antibiotic free, and Vegetarian-fed. You can learn more over at SafeEggs.com

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As for the next few months, I’m looking forward to all that Spring has to offer as well as fixing up more dishes fitting of the season. But in the meanwhile, you can find this quick and delectable recipe for Crispy Polenta Cakes with Poached Eggs and Asparagus here.

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*DISCLOSURE: This recipe and post was created in partnership with Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*

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Breakfast/Brunch

Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg

Avocado Toast
Early last Sunday morning I found myself rummaging around my seestrah‘s fridge for some breakfast inspiration. I wasn’t in the mood for a laborious dish because I was on the brink of h’angry……

And quite frankly, that’s not a pretty sight.

I ended up pulling out eggs and some leftover smoked salmon and guacamole from the night before. Yup, it was Avocado Toast time! How absolutely trendy of me.

Now usually, when I fix up some Avocado Toast, I smash up some ripe avocado and add a bit of spice. But seeing how I had some delish guac at my disposal, I opted for that route.

Avocado Toast
As for the egg, I had initially wanted to fry it up—I love the crispy edges. But this gal is a sucker for an oozy-goozy poached egg that essentially makes a sauce from itself once you break into it. So wonderfully divine, so deliciously decadent.

And before I even had a chance to take a proper pic on a camera (instead of my phone), I had gobbled it all up.

Oh well, guess I’ll have to make it again to reshoot it.

Happy Saturday! ❤

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Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg
Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ ripe medium sized avocado
½ teaspoon lemon juice
kosher salt
black pepper
red pepper flakes
1 slice bread, toasted
3 ounces smoked salmon
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 large egg
chopped cilantro to garnish

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice, 2-3 pinches salt, 1-2 pinches black pepper and 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes. Spread the avocado mash (or guacamole if you have it) over the toasted bread and place the smoked salmon slices on top.

Fill a pot ¾ full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in the vinegar and slightly lower the heat. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl it around quickly in the pot to make a whirlpool in the water. Slowly pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The movement of the whirlpool will help the egg form but you can also use a spoon to help it along. After about 2-3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg. Gently blot it dry with a paper towel and place on top of the toast.

Sprinkle the kosher salt and black pepper over the egg. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Giveaways · Sponsored · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula + a RAD GIVEAWAY!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

It’s true.

This carnivorous, bacon loving gal can enjoy a “sans-meat” meal from time to time. Which is why I was happy to join our friends over at Safest Choice® Eggs this month with their fun {and downright awesome} March Meatless Meals Party!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

I went back and forth for some time as to what I would make and finally decided upon this hearty and heartwarming dish – tender, savory lentils with fresh arugula leaves topped with an unctuous poached egg.

Uh……YES, PLEASE!!!!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

It all starts by sauteing various aromatics and then cooking the lentils of your choice {I opted for green lentils} until they become tender. Perch a perfectly poached egg on top and you’re ready to dig in!

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

Great for weekend brunch entertaining or an easy weeknight meal, this lentils dish can also easily be adapted for the meat-lovers out there. Rendering bacon or pancetta with the aromatics would be utterly spectacular or perfectly cooked prawns would be the raddest sidekick to the poached egg.

But as delish as these lentils are, I’ve got to let you in on this FABULOUS giveaway sponsored Safest Choice® Eggs.

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

Enter now until Monday, March 31st for a chance to win one of two Safest Choice™ prize packs. Each prize pack will include (1) $200 Amex gift card, one (1) Lodge Round Fry Pan 10”, one (1) Sur La Table® Red Mixing Bowls, one (1) Flexible Nylon Spatula, one (1) Eggs cookbook, and 52 coupons for a free dozen of Davidson’s Safest Choice® Eggs; Approximate Retail Value is $467.00

HAVE MERCY– that’s awesome!!!

Want to know how to enter? Easy peasy! Click HERE where you’ll be redirected to Safest Choice giveaway powered by Rafflecopter.

Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula

Best of Luck, Friends!

And remember, enter by March 31st so you can get in on all that goodness!!!!

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Poached Eggs over Lentils and Arugula
Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups chopped leeks, thoroughly washed and dried
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup lentils
½ cup white wine
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs
kosher salt
black pepper
2 cups fresh arugula leaves
4 ounces parmesan cheese shavings
quality extra virgin olive oil
In a heavy bottom pot, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, leeks and garlic. Sauté until softened but not browned—about 5-7 minutes. Add the red chili flakes, thyme sprigs, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the lentils and then pour in the wine . Continue simmering until the wine has reduced and nearly evaporated. Add the vegetable stock, bay leave and bring the liquids to a boil. Partially cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook the lentils for about 25-30 minutes or until tender.
While the lentils cook, begin poaching the eggs. Fill a separate pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in the vinegar and slightly lower the heat. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl it around quickly in the pot to make a whirlpool in the water. Slowly pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The movement of the whirlpool will help the egg form but you can also use a spoon to help it along. After about 2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg and set aside into a warm bowl of water. Cook the eggs just under of how you’d normally like your eggs. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Once done, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low to keep the water hot.

After the lentils have cooked until tender, pull out the stems of the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Drain any excess stock that may remain. Season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Toss the lentils with the arugula leaves and use a slotted spoon to plate into 4 dishes.

Using the slotted spoon and dip each poached egg into the pot of hot water to rewarm it. Gently blot it dry with a paper towel and place on top of each lentil mound. Place parmesan cheese shards over plate and drizzle the tops with a bit of the olive oil. Garnish with additional thyme sprigs and serve immediately.

Meatless-Meals

Breakfast/Brunch

Poached Eggs with Vegetable Medley and Arugula Pesto

Poached Eggs with Vegetable Medley and Arugula Pesto

I could eat breakfast all day long. Savory items, sweet items….so many options! And what other meal can you order a dessert for your main entree? (French toast, pancakes and all other types of sweet goodness…)

Poached Eggs with Vegetable Medley and Arugula Pesto

My only problem is that I can rarely eat breakfast first thing in the morning. At most I’ll have coffee or a smoothie because it takes a few hours for my tummy to wake up.

But that is why Brunch is so brilliant!

You get the chance to enjoy all the delish breakfast-like dishes hours after you manage to roll out of bed. And the icing on the cake? It’s totally acceptable to start sipping on cocktails way before noon!

Poached Eggs with Vegetable Medley and Arugula Pesto

At brunches, I tend to gravitate towards any and all types of Eggs Benedict dishes. Rich and decadent hollandaise sauce with an ooey-gooey poached egg—how could you go wrong with that?!

This wonderful offering is a nod to my beloved Eggs Benedict with an attempt to make a slightly figure-friendly version by swapping out the hollandaise for pesto. Now before you start getting all worked up, I realize pesto isn’t totally healthy but it’s a tad lighter than the (mouthwatering) egg yolk and butter laden sauce. The bright herbaceous flavor also helps balance the rich egg yolk. And since I had some great veggies on hand, I thought they would make a wonderful base in lieu of the muffin.

The next time you host brunch, consider making this rustic beauty! It’s quite simple but really is a showstopper that will definitely impress your guests.

And of course, Mimosas are a MUST. Or a Bloody Mary. Or an Irish Coffee. Well…you get my drift.

Happy Friday Friends…and make time for Brunch this weekend!

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Poached Eggs with Vegetable Medley and Arugula Pesto
Serves 2

Ingredients:

Arugula Pesto
2 Packed Cups Fresh Arugula Leaves
1/2 Cup Sweet Basil
½ Cup Roasted Pine Nuts
2-3 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
Approximately ½ – ¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegetable Medley
1 Shallot, finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
2 Cups Crimini Mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, quartered
1 Ripe Avocado, diced
Lemon Juice
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Poached Eggs
1 Teaspoon White Vinegar
2 Fresh Eggs

Prepare the pesto. In a food processor, pulse garlic and pine nuts. Add arugula, basil, cheese, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. With the food processor on, stream in olive oil and blend until the pesto is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down sides in between steps. More olive oil can be added if a smoother, loose texture is desired. Refrigerate until ready to be used.

Bring a heavy saucepan that has been filled with a few inches of water to a rolling boil. Add in the vinegar and slightly lower the heat. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl it around quickly in the saucepan to make a whirlpool of the water. Slowly pour the egg into the middle of the whirlpool. The movement of the whirlpool will help the egg form but you can also use a spoon to help it along. After about 3-4 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the other egg. Cover the saucepan and turn the heat down to low to keep the water warm.

In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the shallots and garlic over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continuing cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the avocado and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and a few squeezes of lemon. Toss to incorporate.

To serve, add a few spoonfuls of the vegetable medley to a plate. Using the slotted spoon, dip one of the poached eggs into the hot water to warm the egg and blot dry. Place the egg on top of the vegetables and generously spoon the pesto on top. Repeat with the 2nd dish. Enjoy!