Eggs Jeannette ~ Jacques Pepin's Mom's Recipe

"Les Oeufs Jeannette"
Jacques Pepin shared this recipe devised by his mother many, many
years ago and it remains a favorite at my house as well.

It's very tasty, budget friendly and easy to put together.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know
we raise chickens for their eggs. You can read more about
our family of feathered friends here (scroll down once you
click the link.)

Our current flock includes Ameraucanas, Buff Orpingtons,
Gold Lace, Rhode Island Reds, and Silver Lace.

All of them except the Ameraucanas lay various shades of
brown and pinkish eggs. The Ameraucanas lay various
shades of blue, as you can see below.

However, of these particular hens, one or two of them lay eggs which are more greenish than blue, so I suspect we have a few "Easter Eggers" (a breed
which is not recognized by the US Poultry breeders association)
but they are reliable layers and produce some of my favorite eggs.

Until the young Ameraucana  or Easter Egger hens begin laying
you never know what color eggs they will produce. Contrary to some
beliefs, a hen will lay only one color egg her entire laying life.
(In other words, she will not lay a blue egg one day, and a green egg
the next.) 
Also, hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs. Egg laying is simply
part of her reproductive cycle. However she does need a rooster
if you want fertilized eggs, or chicks! ;)

Anyway, back to the recipe!

This clever method simply consists of hard cooked eggs, halved. 
Yolks removed and mashed with a fork (or put through a sieve ~ my
preferred way), seasoned with minced parsley and garlic, salt & pepper,
then smoothed out with a little milk.
The yolk mixture is then returned to the egg white, then
the eggs are warmed, cut side down, in a little oil 
(I like grape seed oil here) until they are golden brown.

A little of the egg yolk mixture from above is reserved and
blended into a tasty Dijon mustard vinaigrette then drizzled
over the warm eggs.  I placed them on some baby arugula and
accompanied them with a few Kalamata olives.
(The eggs are just as delicious served at room temperature.)

These can be served as a light lunch or dinner, or
as an appetizer or first course.

If you would like a copy of the recipe, and a little background
info about it, you can find it here.

And here is a link to a very short video clip showing
Jacques and his daughter Claudine making the recipe at
the 2011 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

If you try these, I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do.
With grateful thanks to Mme. Jeannette Pepin and
Jacques for sharing this wonderful little recipe.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

~Mari  xo 


Smoky Black Bean Soup

No matter how many pictures I click, it's fairly
difficult to make black bean soup look attractive. :p

My suggestion is to serve it in your favorite bowls
or mugs and garnish it with whatever seems appropriate.
Once your family or guests taste it they'll forget
all about how it looked before they began eating it. ;)
I garnished with grated cheddar, scallions and cilantro.
Sour cream and/or diced avocado (or ripe tomatoes) would be very good, too.
This time instead of my usual black bean soup I
chose this one, and tweaked it just a little bit.

It was delicious! I actually like this soup better the next
day, but it tasted very good right after preparing it.

You can cook your own black beans, or do as the recipe
suggests and just get your can opener out, and the soup can
be on the table in about 40 minutes.


These are the changes I made to the recipe:

> Reduced the bacon to 6 strips (my bacon was extra thick cut)

> Used only 3 cans of black beans (because that's what I had on hand)

> Omitted Chili Powder and added a scant tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning
 (I usually always have this in the pantry, it's so inexpensive to make, and it tastes better, too.)

> Skipped the ketchup and added a tablespoon of agave nectar and
a tablespoon of tomato paste instead.

> Tossed a bay leaf in while ingredients were simmering.

> When the soup was finished simmering I stirred in about 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar. (Adds a nice bright note to the beans)

If you add cooked rice to the soup (with a little extra chicken
broth), voila! You have a complete protein.
The original recipe over on Food Network has received
over 300 Five-star reviews (so you may just want to go with that one.)

However, my tweaked version was declared a winner here, 
so I'll definitely keep it in my rotation.

If you give it a try I don't think you'll be disappointed, and it
tastes so good on a cold winter day (or evening!)

Thank you for stopping in today friends.

Blessings to you and your loved ones.

~mari  . . . xo


Spaghetti (or Fettuccine) with Brown Butter Sauce

Yes, it's an easy, no brainer classic that I adore. :)

Goes together in well under 30 minutes:
Just make the brown butter, cook the pasta al dente,
sprinkle the cheese over the hot, drained pasta and
pour the browned butter over all and toss, then serve hot.
I usually add a little of the hot water from the pasta
pot to loosen the sauce a little. 

It's soo good!
I usually serve this alongside grilled fish or chicken ~
unless I am making a variation of the recipe (adding
cooked shrimp, fish, or chicken to the noodles, see more
suggestions listed below.)  If you're cutting carbs the sauce
also works well with cooked Spaghetti squash.

This is another of those simple recipe that I
keep in my head.  However, I prepare the recipe
nearly the same way as this one , except I usually
add a little of the caramel colored milk solids from the
bottom of the pan to the noodles (personal preference.)
This time I added some finely grated lemon zest and served
little lemon slices so each one can add a squeeze if they wanted to.

If you cannot find the Greek Mizithra cheese,  grated Romano,
Ricotta Salada, or Parmesan can be substituted in a pinch.

Yum, I love this stuff!

Never made a Brown Butter Sauce, or need to improve your technique?

Elise at Simply Recipes shares a wonderful picture tutorial on the subject.

And Mark Bittmann offers up at least a dozen variations for
Pasta with Butter sauce. You may want to check out 
his suggestions over on his web site. 

The following are just some examples to launch from this simple buttered
spaghetti (or fettuccine) dish.

Add in one or a couple of the following:

Sage (or any favorite fresh herb or a mixture) and Parmesan
Vegetables, Cream and Parmesan
Parmesan and pancetta, coppa, prosciutto or regular ham
Frozen peas, thawed
Toasted almonds, walnuts or pistachios
Thinly sliced garlic cloves
Blanched broccoli or cauliflower
Soft fried eggs, chopped
Roasted garlic cloves, mashed
Cooked prawns, salmon, or chicken, etc.

There are so many ideas and I'm sure you can come up
with lots of your own as well.

But it's really delicious just plain as in the original recipe 
(and kids happen to love it that way, too!)

Thank you for stopping by today ~
I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

Blessings ~ Mari xo


The Best Crab Cakes you may ever eat!

Happy New Year everyone ~ 
I'm wishing you all the best in 2013!

Did you celebrate away, or at home?

We never go out on New Year's Eve, preferring instead
to celebrate at home, cozily in front of the fireplace... with a light
dinner and a glass of bubbly.  :)

From the images, I bet you can almost guess what celebratory dinner was
served at my house on the last day of 2012.



 Chef Robert Irvine's fabulous Crab Cakes.
His simple recipe is my favorite. 
No veggies to stretch the crab or mask the flavor of the 
good, pure crab chunks, and very little binder. And
they are a fabulous party food when formed into
bite-sized portions.

Besides the crab, the list of ingredients is short:

Old Bay Seasoning,
a little mayonnaise,
Some Panko crumbs (only a quarter of a cup)
white pepper
fresh ginger juice (or ground ginger)
1 egg
flour for dusting the cakes
grape seed oil for shallow frying

Juice of 1 lemon to squeeze over the
finished crab cakes.

Beware if you do a search on the Food Network site
for his crab cake recipe, there are two listed and
one of them is incorrect. (It instructs to mix the
grape seed oil into the mix of crab and seasonings.)

no, no, no!

This is the correct recipe.

You can use any crab that you prefer, but my favorite is...

Dungeness, our meaty, local & fresh Pacific Crab.

Time I served them with lemon wedges and the following simple sauce:
(It's not heavy at all so it doesn't compete with the richness
of the crab meat.) 

You can serve them plain without a sauce, but I love to contrast
the delicately crisp crust of the cakes with something saucy.
So I made up this accompaniment on the fly:

It's simply roasted sweet red peppers from the jar pulsed in 
the food processor with a touch of vinegar (I used Sherry vinegar,
but any favorite vinegar will do), a splash of grape seed oil or olive oil,
some sea salt, a pinch of sugar, and a couple
of shakes of hot sauce (Tabasco® is what I used.) 
All whirled in my small food processor until completely smooth;
adjust seasonings to your taste, if the sauce is too thick
add a few drops of water and continue processing. 

I also had some homemade fish taco sauce* left over in a 
squeeze bottle, so I gave the cakes a finishing touch of
that, yum!

*Fish taco sauce: Whisk equal parts mayonnaise (Best Foods/
Hellmann's) and plain, unflavored yogurt (Greek-style works
really well in this sauce.)

And finally a sparse shower of sliced scallion tops.

The next time you make crab cakes, I hope you'll
give Chef Irvine's recipe a try.  I don't think you'll be

Thanks for stopping by today, friends!

Blessings ~ Mari xo

A Sampling of my food . . .


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