Friday, December 30, 2016

Holiday Fondue, it's a Retro-Family thing



Fondue, it's a very Winter Holiday, Ski Lodge, Group Meal kinda thing. I think when we think of fondue generally nowadays it's got a sort of "Retro" feel to it. 

It's a dish I first really experienced at the homes of family friends while growing up. It was one of those dishes that people would make for open house parties in the 70's and 80's when large groups of friends from work or the neighborhood would pass by for a drink, a nosh, and a chat.  Fondue was simple because it could be prepared and then placed in a big fondue pot or crock pot and left warming for guests to help themselves. As a kid I loved it because it was unlimited melted cheese goodness on crusty bread cubes. I mean what's better?

My first experience with real Swiss Fondue as an adult came through the invitation to dinner at a Swiss family's house in the town where I was working. The wonderful thing about Fondue in Switzerland is has none of the intimate romantic notions that surround it here in the US. Somehow,  here in the states fondue and fondue restaurants created the cache for Fondue as a "lovers mealtime". It was proffered in restaurants and nightclubs as  a sexy way for two people to share a meal. 

Not so in the land where cheese was born. It is a communal meal meant for simply for sharing and creating yummy convivial times with family and friends. The rules traditionally are simple, if the lady drops the bread in she had to wash the pot which she used to prepared the fondue, if the gentleman drops the bread in he has to wash the pot and kiss the lady! Kinda fun and I guess somewhat romantic but when it's a family around the table it's just fun good eats and if Mama doesn't have to do dishes and gets a kiss out of it so much the better.

So Fondue, is according to Wikipedia SwissFrench, and Italian dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a portable stove (réchaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s but its origins stem from an area that covers Switzerland, France (Rhone Alps) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta valley).

Since the 1950s, the name "fondue" has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid: chocolate fondue, in which pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.
Konrad Egli of the Chalet Swiss Restaurant is credited with introducing it as a mainstay in New York in the 1950's. He also is credited with the introduction of beef Fondue at Chalet Swiss and the  invention of chocolate Fondue which made it's appearance in the 1960's. 

Throughout the 50's 60's and 70's home cooks entertained with Fondue pots and other cookware that could make them the champions of table side cooking for their dining guests. Such meals like the famous "Steak Diane" made the guests feel like they were part of the "action" and certainly Fondue was one of those meals. 



So here is a simple Swiss recipe I have from my host family in Switzerland I have carried around all these years. As you entertain this holiday season think about Fondue as a wonderful way to share a meal with friends and loved ones. 

Easy and Authentic Swiss Fondue (serves 2 to 4)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Emmentaler cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Gruyère cheese
  • 4 triangles double cream (laughing cow) cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cherry brandy (Kirsch)
  • Cubed French bread, ham and vegetables 
Method:

  1. Rub garlic clove into the inside of the fondue pot. Bring wine and lemon juice to a low boil in a heavy saucepan; add cheeses, pepper, and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese melts.
  2. Whisk together cornstarch and cherry brandy. Stir mixture into cheese; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a fondue pot, and keep warm. Serve with cubed bread, cubed ham, raw mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and steamed brussel sprout halves.
  3. Enjoy Ya'll!!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas, 2016 and Keeping the Faith

2016 has been a hard year for the Hedden Family. We have a a long year of recognizing how fragile we are as humans. A seeing of how dependent we really are on our faith in God's providence and power. Oh, and how wonderful it is to love and be loved unconditionally. But also how hard that is to make manifest in one's world or sometimes to live up to that ideal and very sweet thought in real life.

Some of you who follow this may know that in May my brother Christopher had a brain aneurysm which resulted in his being in a coma fro 10 weeks. We had almost given up hope of his waking up when he finally came out of the coma. It was somewhat of a medical miracle that he had survived.

What has followed is a long and arduous journey for my family. My mother, myself, and of course my brother. The real heroine in all of this has been my sister in law, Jenny. She has proven to be the most amazing care giver and a stauncher support for my brother than he could ever have wanted or needed. Being married for 25 years and having a great marriage, relationship and love may have been a platform for this but her love and devotion and strength has proven to be beyond what one should expect or ever be asked to do. But sometimes that is life. It just asks a lot of you. I continue to be inspired by her.

Faith is a funny thing. Sometimes you don't know how much you have until it's tested. Sometimes you lose it. Sometimes you find it when you least expect it. I can say that I have experienced each of these relationships with faith during the last 8 months. But one thing has remained and that is that I have found faith to be a necessity during this time. Faith is not always just in God. It's the faith you have in people, the doctors, your family members, your friends and even yourself. Faith is finding the vision and strength to go on even when you don't think you can. It's that part of ourselves which somehow exceeds what we see as our limits. It is the thing that we hope for and that drives us on. it's the thing we hope to find when we can't see a way forward any more.

I have only been a supportive bystander to the horror show that has consumed my brother and my sister in law's lives. As such I have tried to go and support them in person. Weakly giving time and attention to my brother while he was in was in the hospital and trying to support Jenny with dinners out and time spent holding her hand while my brother lay unconscious. Trips that were no pleasure, but hopefully helpful, to the west coast but were the only way I could give my brother any support. I went gladly but still found that being so far away proved to be very hard in helping my sister in law with any of the day to day needs she had while tending to my brother.

My mother also needed tending to. And so that brings me to Christmas. In July after helping her to travel out to California, staying with her, and driving her around for the 10 days she was visiting out there, I felt like she was drowning in the pool of helplessness she was feeling. I cannot imagine the feelings a mother must have seeing a child go through the health issues my brother has been facing. She is a tough person but this was almost too much to bear. So as the holidays approached we discussed what I should do. The thought of going out to again a 4th time to California seemed like it was on the table until I realized that my mother really needed some love and attention. So I decided that the holidays would be for her. And my journey there which, while lovely, had seemed to become routine in the past years, now seemed both important and needed.

So I have come home for the holidays and am spending time with my mother. I am making food to bring some joy and pleasure and conversation to bring some laughter and cheer to this house which has known too many tears in the past year. I plan on sharing some of these dishes with you all over the next two weeks so stay tuned.

May you all find faith and peace along the roads you travel. And may you find ways to make food and conversations with people who are important to you or those you encounter who need some love in a world that this year has known too many tears for all sorts of reasons. I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Peace.












Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cheese and Relish Tray- An Easy How To for Your Holiday Entertaining



So you're having friends over. And I have to say I am always surprised how many people are not sure how to put things together to make cocktail hour simple and tasty. and sexy.

SO I'm offering up this quick cheese and meat and pickle board to help you offer your guests a tasty and simple and good looking board.

So here's what you need for 2 to 4 ppl.

1/4 to 1/2 wheel of soft french style cheese like a brie but there are more interesting and funky one's just ask your local cheese monger.

1 big dollop of a soft sharp or herby flavored cheese spread. Like wine cheese or horseradish or Boursin Cheese normally found in the cheese selection in your grocery store.

10 to 15 pickles can be any like you have or like here I used cornichon or little french ones but you can use sweet and sour or bread and butter pickles whatever is your favorite. I would suggest a sour pickle because it plays against the creamy and fatty flavors of the cheese and meats.

Smoked ham, speck, salami folded on the board or artfully shingled or arranged. Be sure to have serval kinds so people can taste different things with each one.

Mustard. Well Dijon is a winner here but some German or Swedish types are also nice. Just be sure like the pickles you avoid sweet mustard. Unless that's your thing. Again there are no rules just what you like.

Bread or crackers. Again whatever you like. There are no rules. Here I have butter crackers which I adore. But baguette or water crackers are also great.

A few other things like are weird but good could be thin rounds of sliced red onion or try rounds of cucumber instead of crackers of bread.

To set it all up you want to create some drama by dropping your big dallop of mustard on your board and then dragging your spoon through it artfully to create a nice swirl. Suggestive of the paint on a painters pallete.

Next cut you cheese and stack and fold and crimp you meats into a nice arrangement. Mound the soft cheese in the center and garnish the board with the pickles. \

Place out with a knife and paper cocktail napkins and maybe some plates and you are good to go.

So I hope if you are looking to make your cheese board look beautiful this helps this season. Enjoy. And Happy Holidays from Taste and Tales!!

Friday, December 9, 2016

California Dreaming on Such a Winter's Day - San Diego Chilliquiles For Breakfast



Ok lets face it making breakfast for the family during the holidays is not always an easy thing. I mean it's early, it's cold, it's your holiday too! But none the less those of us who are the designated breakfast makers know that we have to come up with tasty filling fun food that will delight and uplift and celebrate the spirit of the holiday season for those we love.

Traditionally my family like most have gone a true American direction embracing the traditions of those who went before us and making up mounds of pancakes, waffles, frittatas, hash brown casseroles or sweet breads baking fresh and served up warm and sugar ridden. They take work, prep, overnight rising, setting up and while all good are often a lot of work.

So this year I offer up an alternative to that whole all American breakfast effort. I discovered a dish while in San Diego this past Summer visiting my friends Tom and George that was so tasty and easy that I've decided to make them into a holiday season breakfast. Maybe not for the big day. That's still the domain of Monkey bread and Truffled Scrambled eggs and bacon, but for any of the other days when we are having people over for brunch or breakfast these will be on standby. What is this dish? Well if you read the title you know it's Chilliquiles!

SO for those of yo who don't know chilliquiles are really a breakfast scramble of fried tortillas and eggs, cheese and other Mexican ingredients. It's basically a big mess of good stuff served up hot and delicious. And what's the best part my version of them (which is far from authentic) is SO easy. And they have a mild flavor and are not offensive to people who don't like spice.

Basically you start with some basics then go holiday fridge diving and add whatever you have that make sense. Like gouda cheese, well not maybe Mexican but hey this is a melting pot dish throw it in. Last nights horseradish sauce, hm....not so much. So you get the idea.

So here's the recipe and I hope that this will help you with that holiday breakfast preparation for your crew. It can be expanded for more than the 6 the recipe feeds. Just add in more of everything and get a really big pan! Or make two batches, yeah maybe that's better. Happy holidays everybody.

Easy Chilliquiles

1 Bag Tostitos Brand Scoops Dipper chips
10 eggs
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup cheddar cheese 1 /2 cups if only using cheddar
1 medium onion diced
3 medium tomatoes diced
1 8oz jar salsa from the store ( I like Chi chi's brand...don't laugh) Medium heat
4 green onion diced
3/4 cups extra cheese like gouda, brie, swiss, even cream cheese anything mild and not strong
2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeno peppers from the jar ( optional ) as garnish
hot sauce
1/4 cup cooking oil like safflower or corn

Method:

Beat eggs with the spices and sour cream till creamy and combined
Add oil to a very large Saute pan with high sides
Add onions and tomatoes and cook till almost soft
Add 3/4 Chips and stir coating with the onion mixture and oil
Cook till well coated and starting to soften
Add 1/2 of the Salsa and combine
Stir in cheeses and let start to melt
Stir in Egg mixture stir the pot calmly so as to not smash the chips but constantly till the egg is just soft cooked and the cheese are melted into the egg
 (this may seem strange not to cook the eggs hard but please don't because they will form a sauce sort of like a hollandaise. The eggs will continue to cook in the hot chip mixture)
Fill 6 large wide bowls with the rest of the chips and salsa divided between the bowls
Serve into individual bowls over the chips and salsa in each bowl immediately, and top with a few really good shakes of hot sauce (unless you have eaters who would rather add their own)
Garnish with the chopped green onion and jalapenos ( if using)
Enjoy right away while hot

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas - Thanksgiving Gone South of the Border



So last night two friends came over and brought with them the fixings for Margaritas! So I accommodated them by making my Guacamole and some Turkey Red Sauce Enchiladas. They were very happy and we all found it a fair trade!

Now some people have looked at my winter white enchilada post http://cookforrestcook.blogspot.com/2011/12/winter.html and have let me know that they think they are really good. In fact I have had at least two people I know of make them and with great success. That recipe came originally from a boy in the cast of one of the shows I did in Wisconsin. It was when I discovered that American casserole style enchiladas are really what I love.

Now enchiladas fall into 3 categories and people fall into three camps about them. First camp is red or green. In other words is your sauce base red or green chilli?  The second camp is corn or flour or what type of tortillas do you use. The last is do you include dairy additions beyond the shredded cheese or none at all. Now I have made and had all of these different types. I tend to go for a red enchilda with maybe a suiza or "swiss" style when I eat out at a restaurant. Mostly thats because I find that alot of enchiladas in restaurants are too dry and the "swiss" or "Suiza" element helps with that. Oh, "Suiza" means that there is a sour cream sauce in addition to the red sauce base.

So my enchilada making experience began in the kitchen of our house in Reston, Virginia when my father's job took us north for a few years. Old El Paso had just come out in the grocery stores in force nationally and my Mom decided to give making Mexican at home a try. We often ate in the kitchen around the breakfast table on Friday nights. It was a family fun night where the foods were likely to be some form of ethnic food ( our attempt at branching out) and the conversation ran the gamut of whatever was happening in our worlds.

Since money was tight sometimes growing up ( navy Family) my Mother and Grandmother would find foods that would be entertaining as well as tasty and filling. My brother and I had taken quite a liking to mexican foods and they began looking at ways to make them at home. We started with tacos and continued with tostadas and burritos but the real challenge was to make really good enchiladas at home. We would buy a lot of cans of enchilada sauce and refried beans and start our meal from there. Mostly these were beef or chicken dishes sauced and cheesy  and while they were really good they mostly provided a lot of fun in both the making and the eating departments.

As my culinary horizons widened over time I became aware that while ground beef and chicken was fun, there were other even dare I say, other options, that could satisfy even the most hard core beefy meaty cheesy savory seeker! So I developed a recipe for enchiladas that brought in major savory action but left out the beef. Believe me these are so "meaty" the way they come out you won't miss the beef.


Turkey Enchiladas in a Red Sauce Swiss Style

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped turkey meat (leftovers)
1 package Flour Tortillas ( 16 count)
1 medium onion
2 cups sour cream ( extra for garnish)
2 cup yellow cheddar cheese grated
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 cup salsa
1 tablespoon diced pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
2 cans red enchilada sauce
1 small can sliced black California olives
1 small bunch sliced scallions ( 1/2 reserved for garnish)
1 small tomato diced
1 head of iceberg lettuce finely shredded


Method:

In a bowl mix together 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream with turkey, spices salsa, peppers, and 1/2 can red sauce

Pour 1/2 can of the red sauce into the bottom of a baking dish spread out

Warm the Tortillas in a microwave to make them bendable

Fill each with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mix till full but still rollable

Place them tightly into the baking dish in a row the last two may have to be tucked on the side

Pour the remaining sauce over the top and let fill in the pan

Spread 1 cup sour cream over the top

Top with cheddar, 1/2 of the black olives and some scallions

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 mins till top is starting to brown nicely.

Serve on a plate and garnish with lettuce tomato black olives and scallions. Place sour cream in a squeeze bottle and pipe all over the dish. Enjoy!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Korean Chicken Fried Rice - The best fried rice I have ever made



Korean Food is hot, and I don't just mean spicy!

These days Korean food is coming into it's own as a major player in the Asian food arena. It's not only pretty new to most Americans but also strangely familiar. One of the reasons for this is that Koreans eat a lot of meat. Unlike Japan which has a strong association with the sea, Korea has a strong agricultural base in animal husbandry which finds root in it's cuisine as well.

Also the most well known Korean foods in this country are well...pretty all American. Foods like fried chicken, beef BBQ, cabbage dishes, and pickled dishes. All slightly off from the typical American versions but none the less familiar. I mean no one would confuse spicy Kim Chee with Spicy hot pickles, but they are somewhat akin. Korean Fried chicken is double fried for crunch and then sauced with spicy gochujang sauce but they are similar in many ways to our everyday interchange with the Buffalo chicken wing.

So let's talk fried rice. I mean it's sometimes amazing and it's sometimes kinda dull. I mean your local chinese place either hits it out of the park on this or like most in my experience hits it into the rough. Even my favorite fried rices like the ones you get at Japanese Steak houses are good but somehow need a little kick from added those sauces they give you on the side. Why? Because I find fried rice is often just dry.

Now I have had some amazingly good homemade fried rice for example at my friend George's house. But he's Chinese and his dad was a chef so if better be good. But in general I am more of a risotto guy than a fried rice guy. I like succulent saucy gooey yummy stuff. So that's why this fried rice is so darn good. It's the secret Korean Sauce recipe that makes it.

This is a great way to use up leftover chinese chicken or even buy frozen General Tso's chicken in a bag from the store and cook and chop it up. I'll give you a recipe for my homemade version. You could also use just plain cooked chicken thighs chopped up but it's not as good. In any event youll need about a pound of chicken.

So give this a try at home. Serve it up with some cucumber sesame salad and some Kim Chee on the side.


Korean Chicken Fried Rice:

Make 5 cups cooked white rice and let sit in the fridge for a day

Forrest's Wok Fried Chicken and Asian Sauce: 

(or use General Tso's either leftovers or from the grocery prepared as on package and cooled and chopped, or just cooked chopped chicken)

1 pound boneless chicken thighs cut up into 1/2 inch pieces
peanut oil
cornstarch
Dust the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and fry till almost done remove from wok and hold on the side.
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (about one 1-inch piece)
2 teaspoons minced scallion bottoms (about 1 scallion), plus 6 to 8 scallions, white parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths
8 small dried red Chinese or Arbol chilies (see note above)

For the Sauce: 

Combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside. Combine oil, garlic, ginger, minced scallions, and red chilies in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Add in cornstarch mixture and cook till thick then add the chicken and coat stir fry till sticky and done. Hold on the side in a bowl and cool, then rough chop the chicken into small pieces

Wipe out the wok and get it very hot to fry the rice

To make the Fried Rice:

4 Tablespoons of butter to the wok
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of minced ginger
Add 3/4 cup plus extra if desired Red Korean Super Sauce
1/2 pound Brocolli rough chopped
1 medium onion finely diced
1/2 cup chopped Scallions (2 Tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 Thai chilis thinly sliced 

Method:

Heat Wok
Add two tablespoons butter, melt
Add garlic
Cook till garlic blooms about 1 minute
Add ginger then add onion and cook stiring constantly till soft 
Add brocolli
Add the rest of the butter then the rice and stir till the rice is coated with the butter and veggies
Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Let rice cook getting crusty and golden and then stir to keep it from sticking
Repeat this till rice is crunchy and veggies soft
Add the chicken
Add the Korean Sauce
Stir fry till all combined and heated through
Add more sauce if too dry for your taste
Serve hot.


Red Korean Super Sauce (This stuff is no joke)

It stays good for months in the fridge

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups Mirin 
1/2 cup gochujong 
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup pureed ginger
1/8 cup garlic puree

Puree all this together in a blender then bring to simmer in a pot till sugar is melted
Store in an airtight container.












Monday, September 19, 2016

Braised Beef Brisket in Spiced Wine Marinade and Cauliflower Steak



This is a very Scandinavian take on a classic American dish, pot roast or brisket. Normally cooked in a wine or tomato based broth and served with mashed potatoes this recipe substitutes the regular wine for Glogg or Scandinavian style mulled wine and cauliflower for the potatoes. It's a low carb and simply delicious way to change up what you normally associate with this particular cooking method.

The marinade is used as the cooking liquid and then reduced to form a sweet and sticky sauce which really helps to cut through the richness of the meat and the hearty earthy flavor of the cauliflower.

Simple herbs and an absence of garlic in this dish make for a subtle and muted flavor but the hints of spice from the wine really help to give it a familiar yet different taste. The pickled vegetable garnish helps to wake up the dish and adds pepper and acid.

Beef Brisket in Spiced Wine and Cauliflower Steaks

3 cups of Glogg wine
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
3.5 to 4 pounds of beef brisket or ox cheek
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 large onions peeled and cut into quarters and then again into halves to make chunks
1 large head Cauliflower
3 tablespoons salted butter
Pickled cauliflower or chopped cornichons (small french pickles) for garnish

Place the brisket in a bag pour in wine and strip the thyme leaves off and put then in with the beef. Close the bag and rub the meat with the wine and thyme let sit overnight in the refrigerator
Next day remove and reserve the wine.
Season the beef well with salt and pepper and sear the beef on all sides making sure you get it nice and brown
Place the onions on the bottom of a baking dish and place the brisket fat cap up and pour the marinade over the beef.
Place in a roasting pot and cover tightly with foil.
Bake at 350 for 3 to 3 1/2 hours checking after two hours and if too dry add 10 oz of water
In the meantime place a whole head of cauliflower in a pot with a small amount of boiling water and steam till almost soft. Keep adding water if it boils off.
Cool and slice into 4 steaks fry the steaks in 2 Tablespoons of the butter before serving and reserve in the oven to keep warm.
Remove the beef from the roasting liquid and drain fat. Bring to a boil and then simmer till reduced by 2/3's then stir in 1 Tablespoon of butter.
Taste and season if necessary.
To serve shred the beef into hunks and serve on top of a cauliflower steak with some sauce under it on the plate as a base. if desire garnish with thin slices of picked cauliflower of chop up some cornichons and sprinkle over the top of the dish.








Monday, September 12, 2016

Scallops, Porridge and Radish



This dish is a good transitional dish from the generally hot weather dishes of Summer to the cooler and more satisfying warming dishes of the fall. I also love that these ingredients while simple are surprisingly complex and delicious together.

Scallops are quite possibly my favorite seafood. They were the favorite of mine growing up and I am always seeking out ideas to prepare them in a variety of ways.

Here we use salty ham and shallots and a touch of thai chillies to enhance the earthy flavors of the rolled spelt flakes. Crunch and freshness comes through from the radish and the scallops fried in butter are a wonderful accompaniment to the overall dish.

Make this as the cooler evenings start to creep into the months ahead and you want something satisfying but still a reminder of the memories of warm Summer seaside nights. Cause who couldn't use a few of those? Right?

Scallops, Porridge and Radish

4 Tablespoons olive oil
6 oz prosciutto or speck or country ham thinly chopped
1 large shallot very finely chopped
1 thai chili very finely chopped and seeds removed
4 cups fish stock (commercially sold is fine)
1 cup rolled spelt flecks
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
12 large scallops
1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dill
4 radishes julienned and kept in cold water
Some flaky sea salt to finish the dish.

In a pot bring the fish stock to a boil and add the spelt
Cook until it becomes a wet thick porridge consistency
Stir in the vinegar and adjust the seasoning add salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the shallots till soft add the chilies and cook till you smell the heat coming off of them. Place in a bowl hold.
Pour the remaining oil in a pan and fry the ham till crisp. Drain and reserve.
Clean the pan and melt the butter and cook the scallops till fried on both sides and golden about 3-4 minutes a side. Hold warm
To assemble add the shallots and chili and ham and dill to the porridge and stir well to combine.
Place in the bottom of a serving bowl top with the scallops and garnish with the radish.
Finish with so.e flaky sea salt.
Serve right away.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tomato and Olive Salad with Ricotta and Pesto in Roasted Red Peppers



Again for summer eating outdoors season comes this recipe from Food and Wine magazine. Now I am not one to normally post recipes out of cooking magazines but I saw these in an article and thought that for a no carb and gluten free recipe it sounded really very tasty.

So I made it and it was good. However, I found the peppers on their own a little under dressed and underwhelming. So the second time I made these I dressed the peppers, tomatoes and olives with a basil based vinaigrette first and that helped to perk them up and amp up the luxe taste of this dish. We learned all about how a dressing can make everything better with the "Crack Dressing recipe"http://cookforrestcook.blogspot.com/2016/07/crack-salad-recipe-or-famous-greek.html

They could not be simpler to make. You roast red pepper halves till softish. Then make a tomato and olive salad that you dress heavily with a simple oil and vinaigrette made from olive oil, dried basil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. This you spoon into cooled red peppers and top with fresh ricotta cheese and pesto that I actually purchased in the pasta case of my store cause it was easier than buying everything to make pesto. Well and I was in a hurry. Just like a lot of you guys out there.

So here's what you need to make these:

3 good sized red peppers rubbed with a little olive oil and placed in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until roasted and soft but not overdone. You need the peppers to still hold their shape.
16-18 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
10-12 Kalamata olives sliced in half
1/2 tsp dried basil mixed with about 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard and some salt and pepper to taste. Then dress the tomatoes and olives with this.
Then once peppers come out of the oven and cool, divide the salad amongst the peppers
Spoon and big dollop of the ricotta cheese on and dress with pesto to taste.

That's it. So easy and it's very impressive. You'll seem very fancy if you serve these which is why I did it. Cause who wants a plain Jane dinner right.

Enjoy making these for your family and friends and enjoy a little vegetable magic with your summer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Artichoke Squash Relish and Walnut Tomato Pesto Sauce



OK it's Summer Grilling and chilling time. I have a recipe for you that will make you very fancy the next time you entertain or just want to get dinner onto the table for your family.

Summer time is a time for grilling and relaxing and using the vegetables that are around. Yellow squash is one of my favorites and it can really add color and flavor.

The nice thing about this meal is it can be served room temperature as well as warm. You also have the choice of roasting the chicken in the oven if you don't want to make it on the grill so it's a dish that could be changed up with various seasonal ingredients and customized all year long.

Here we go. Chicken thighs, yes thighs, better taste and so much more forgiving than their white meat counterparts. And they still are cheaper.

Next vegetables are on the order. Here we are using frozen artichoke hearts and fresh yellow squash cut up into triangles. These were roasted and then used to top the dish. During the year you could use any vegetables mushrooms, brussel spouts or pearl onions and peas. Vary it up.

Then there's the base. Roasted Tomato Walnut pesto sauce. This is the stuff. Walnuts, basil, cheese, tomatoes garlic, and olive oil. Whipped into a fantastic pesto it really makes the flavor of this dish over the top.

Tomato and Walnut Pesto

1 1/2 pint summer fresh grape tomatoes
1 cup bunch of fresh basil
1 cup of oven roasted walnuts
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
Italian Herb salt
Good quality Olive Oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice



Place tomatoes on a baking tray toss with olive oil and Italian herb salt and roast for 30 mins in a 350 degree oven,
Place cheese, the tomatoes, walnuts,  basil leaves, two big shakes of worcestershire, garlic, and lemon juice in a small food processor and process adding oil slowly about 1/2 cup till a thick paste forms, add water a bit at a time till the sauce is loose and spoonable.  Taste and add salt till it's nicely salted.

Chicken

12 Chicken thighs

Place chicken in a zip lock bag and add olive oil Italian herbs salt and lemon pepper. Allow to marinate about 3 to 4 hours.

Place on a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 45 mins or grill till done,

Vegetables:

Take vegetables of your choice. Here I used 1 bag of frozen artichokes and 2 small yellow squash chopped into wedges. one small red onion chopped into wedges. Toss with olive oil and
Italian season salt and roast for 350 till soft and caramelized. Remove from oven toss with chives


Assembly:

Spoon the pesto onto the bottom of a large serving platter. Shingle chicken onto the platter on top of the sauce. Mound vegetables over the chicken and dress with the parsley.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Buccatini With Walnut Tomato Pesto, Blistered Tomatoes and Fresh Basil



Summer Pastas are a really joy to eat. They are lighter than their Winter counterparts and given the gorgeous produce available at this time of year any number of ingredients can be pulled into the mix.

This dish is a riff on a pasta dish which is well known in Italy.  It relies on very traditional flavors mixed in with the richness of nuts, cheese and oil. Walnut pesto is a rich different sauce compared to regular pesto which is made with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic and olive oil.

My walnut pesto includes California black walnuts instead of pine nuts and oven roasted grape tomatoes in addition to a smaller amount of basil, Parmesan and olive oil.

The pasta is tossed right into the sauce along with oven roasted grape tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. and served up hot and fresh. It's actually kind of a decadent taste treat with a creamy depth of flavor yet including no dairy at all. I crave this pasta now that I've made it. It's that good.

So if you like pesto and walnuts give this a try. You won't be sorry.

Buccatini With Walnut Tomato Pesto, Blistered Tomatoes and Fresh Basil
Serves 6  

1 package Buccatini pasta
2 pints summer fresh grape tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh basil
1 cup of oven roasted walnuts
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
20 picked basil leaves
Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves minced garlic
Italian Herb salt
Good quality Olive Oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
More basil leaves picked for the dish
cold water
Parmesan for garnish

Place tomatoes on a baking tray toss with olive oil and Italian herb salt and roast for 30 mins in a 350 degree oven,
Place cheese, 1/2 of the tomatoes, walnuts, 20 basil leaves, two big shakes of worcestershire, garlic, and lemon juice in a small food processor and process adding oil slowly about 1/2 cup till a thick paste forms, add water a bit at a time till the sauce is loose and spoonable.  Taste and add salt till it's almost too salted. On the pasta it won't taste so salty.
Cook pasta 7 mins till just al dente reserve a cup of pasta water
Toss with the sauce in a large bowl adding enough pasta water to make sure the sauce coats the pasta and is creamy.
Divide between 6 bowls and top with the remaining tomatoes and some basil leaves
Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately










Saturday, July 2, 2016

French Style Avocado Foccacia Toasts


I love avocados in the summertime. I mean what's not to like about them. They are the basis for Guacamole which has got to be one of the best things ever. They are smooth and rich and buttery tasting, and have the most wonder ability to compliment a variety of starchy foods.

In Food and Wine Magazine, one of the contributors talked about avocado toasts with sea salt and red pepper flakes. He explained that the simplicity of the grilled bread with the rich and picante flavor of the mashed ripe avocado was the highlight of his dinner party. Well he was right on. I tried this delectable recipe and I have to say it was good.

Now toasted bread is perhaps one the greatest things in the world as far as I am concerned! Toasted bread is crispy, crunchy, warm and can be savory or sweet, It can be topped with anything from butter and jam or vegetables to melted cheese. It is in short the most wonderful vehicle for savoring a variety of foods.

So next time you are having people over make a little effort and try this instead of the old chips and dip. It will elevate your dinning experience a notch or two and make your guests so happy. So enjoy, Ya'll!

French Style Avocado Foccacia Toasts
serves 4

4 small to medium ripe but not over ripe avocados
Maldon Sea Salt ( or other course flaky sea salt)
1 to 2  teaspoons red pepper flakes depending on your heat level ( plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
VERY good quality finishing olive oil about 1 1/2 tablespoons
Sliced radish as garnish
Fresh lemon pepper grinder for garnish

Method for the Avocado:

Mash the avocados in a bowl till creamy with just a little chunk left then add sea salt flakes to taste and red pepper flakes to taste.
Add a small bit of the olive oil and the lemon juice and stir together till creamy and combined
hold on the side.

Method for Rosemary Toasts:

Foccacia Bread loaf
Good butter at room temp
olive oil
rosemary flavored oil
Maldon Sea Salt

Cut bread into rectangular pieces which are about 4 inches by 2 inches
Slather one side with butter
Place enough olive oil in a skillet till the bottom is lightly coated
Turn on heat to med high
When very hot place the bread butter side down in the pan and allow to cook till toasted and browned
Turn over and let grill till the other side is toasty
Drizzle the rosemary oil over the bread (not too much or it will taste soapy) and sprinkle with the sea salt

To Assemble:

Place toasts on a plate and top with the avocado spread. Drizzle with really good olive oil, red pepper flakes and top with pieces of sliced radish.
Sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes and ground lemon pepper

Enjoy ya'll

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Famous Papas Greek Country Salad (Sort of) better known as Greek Crack Salad!







Ok...Ok,  I know I promised I would post this after posting the dressing. So just in time for the fourth of July festivities I give you the best salad that you will ever put out at a cookout and have your guests ooh and ah over.

The secret to this is really the dressing. It's the all American Vinaigrette that's pretty unstoppable. ( see post: http://cookforrestcook.blogspot.com/2016/06/crack-salad-dressing-recipe-all.html)
However, the salad itself really is the most incredible recipe you can have in your back pocket to impress guests. And now I'm going to give it to you.

I have been making this salad for years, I make this salad for a crowd. It's a large recipe. Feeds 8 to 10.  It's really ideal for a party. But make it at the risk of always having people ask for it. I've made it for 2 Christmas parties at my Mother's home for a large group of people.  I'm telling you it's actually been requested  every year including again this year for the next party. That's how good it is.

Ok the hype sounds like a lot. And maybe it is. What is crack salad? Well it's essentially a Greek panzanella salad. Lot's of things chopped up into similar sized cubes and tossed with bread croutons. But it's got few unique ingredients and the famous crack dressing that take it from good to amazing.

Forrest's Famous Greek Country Salad (aka. Crack Salad) 

(recipe can be doubled or tripled for a crowd)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Greek feta cheese cubed into small dice (1/2 cup reserved on the side for garnish)
2 cups grape tomatoes halved or roma tomatoes seeded and diced small
1 1/2 cups small persian cucumbers diced small
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas sliced in small pieces
1 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup Greek kalamata olives finely diced up in small pieces
1 1/2 cups eggplant diced and fried up in oil then cooled down
1 cup corn kernels (can be frozen or canned if fresh is not available)
3 1/2 cups slightly crushed croutons ( good quality like Trader Joe's or homemade)
1/4 cup chives chopped finely
2 cups of crack dressing (you might not need it all)

Method: 

Add everything into a big bowl and toss together to combine the toss with enough dressing to coat well and thickly but not over dressed. Garnish with extra feta on top.

Be the hero. Enjoy the compliments.











Pesto & California Black Olive Orzo Pasta Salad



Pasta Salad is an unsung hero of the picnic cookout season. There are a lot of bad pasta salad recipes out there overly dressed and full of all types of crazy ingredients. Sometimes those are fun, but I prefer a simpler recipe as a side dish to accompany delicious grilled meats and fish.

This is a very simple salad. Creamy classic gorgeous green pesto is stirred into hot pasta with California black olives, cheese, a spoonful of Mayonaise that adds just a hint of creamy and lots of chives for color and flavor.

It's served at room temperature and it's a nice mild background to your BBQ meats and other creations. Enjoy this holiday weekend and all Summer long.

Pesto & California Black Olive Orzo Pasta Salad

8 oz. of dried Orzo pasta
1 to 1 1/2 cup pesto ( homemade or store bought fresh not the jarred type)
2 6 oz cans sliced California black olives
1 heaping tablespoon Mayonaise
1 cup shedded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Easy Homemade Pesto

2 cup fresh leaves of basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts or pecans)
1 3/4 cups olive oil
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Puree the herbs and garlic and pine nuts in the food processor and slowly blend in the oil with food processor running
Add the nutmeg and the cheese and salt
Blend till combined and bright green

To make the Pasta Salad

Boil the pasta and drain
Add the pesto to the pot and stir to combine while still warm ( This will change the color of the pesto but will also flavor the pasta)
Stir in the mayo
Add the Olives
Add the cheese and add most of the chives leaving a few as garnish
Season with salt and pepper
Garnish with remaining chives

Sitr well to combine and let sit to meld the flavors for a few hours in the fridge
Serve at room temperature
Enjoy Ya'll



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Crack Salad Dressing Recipe: All American Vinaigrette


As we approach the 4th of July I offer up this Summer recipe special.

There are salad dressings and there are salad dressings. I mean think about all the restaurant and restaurant chain salad dressings that you have either experienced personally or have had friends rave about. Dressings that have spawned internet searches and questions to waiters and copy cat posts all over the web.

So I'm throwing my hat on the ring. This dressing is one that everyone should make. It's a definite winner with any kind of Greek salad with salty feta and kalamata olives and to be honest it's best in the "Crack Salad" I will post later.

But this dressing is just good and I've tried it in very many salads. Mixed it into mexican bean salads with Mexican cheese and added it to pasta sauce.  I've also stirred it into forbidden black rice for a delicious side dish. It's an umami bomb and when mixed with the right ingredients it becomes unstoppably good.

It's a play on a vinaigrette with an all American ingredient which takes it over the top. But no one will know it's in there. So make it, and watch the smiles spread as people taste it on your salad of choice.

All American Vinaigrette "aka Crack Dressing"

2 small shallots
1/2 cup really good sherry vinegar
2 cups picked fresh oregano ( must be fresh)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
big pinch of salt and pepper
2 cups good quality olive oil
3 heaping tablespoons or so French's Yellow Mustard ( Must be French's)

Place shallots and vinegar in a food processors and pulse till minced
Add oregano and pulse till smooth paste
add lemon juice and salt and pepper and pulse
With motor running slowly add the olive oil till combined
Add mustard 1 tablespoon at a time pulsing till the dressing is emulsified
Add mustard ( Note: You may use it all or not use it all. You might need a little more but till you can taste the oil is balanced out and the dressing is smooth and tangy tasting keep adding. You'll taste it when it's sharp and perfect but not overly mustardy. You don't want that.)







Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Smokey Tomato Soup and Colby Grilled Cheese with Chives, Finding our yesterdays in cooking today.



There are few combinations that go together better than grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

If I were to think about when I was a kid, there were a few meals that would come to mind as favorite things I ate. And this combo was certainly one of them. I have grand memories of sitting down to the table as a little kid at lunch on a weekend and being served a big cup or bowl of tomato soup right out of the red and white can and a grilled cheese sandwich made with white bread crisped in margarine and melty with slices of yellow American cheese oozing out of them.

 Like any comfort food memory it is inextricably tied to the time, place and mostly importantly people that I remember surrounding that food. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are the stuff that sweet dreams of childhood are made of. So whenever I eat them no matter the quality I am right back at that round kitchen table with my mother, grandmother Irene, father and brother having lunch and laughing talking and sharing. A food memory, a family memory, a lovely happy moment in time captured in one mouthful of the simplest of foods.

In the forthcoming book I am writing, "Foraging Memory", I explore this phenomenon of comfort food, home and history.  Personal food heritage and it's role in our understanding ourselves and our place in the world.

Although today I make a version of these humble dishes that far exceeds the culinary roots of the my recollection, originally served up from the can and the ubiquitous white bread loaf in the plastic wrapper. The taste memory remains strong and is actually the same. This soup is delicious and the paprika gives it a really round smokey flavor. The chives added to the grilled cheese seems silly but the slight onion flavor really takes the sandwich to another level, truly delicious.

Please enjoy these recipes on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon with your loved ones or dear friends. It is a delicious combo many of us might recall with joy. The joy of happy afternoons spent in the company of loved ones and of a time when we were still making the memories that inspire us today.  

Smokey Tomato Soup
( makes 6 to 8 servings )

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry white wine ( or vermouth )
6 gloves of garlic finely chopped
4 cups good chicken stock, I like stock not broth
3 carrots grated
3 stalks of celery finely diced
2 large white onions chopped
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves finely chopped
1/2  teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon or more to taste smoked paprika
3 (28 ounce) cans of Italian Roma peeled tomatoes
1 pint of cream
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine melted butter, onions, carrots, garlic and dried spices in a large pot with the olive oil salt and pepper cook vegetables down till they are soft. Add white wine and let simmer till cooked into the mix.
Add Tomatoes and the red pepper flakes, basil leaves and the stock.
Stir mixture and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally for about 40 mins.
Take soup in batches and blend till smooth in blender in batches or use an immersion blender
Return soup to pot and heat up and season to taste with salt and pepper.
At this point you can add the cream or not depending on your taste and heat through.
Divide and serve in large bowls garnish with chopped parsley or more basil


Colby Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Dill Pickles (Makes 4 sandwiches)

Eight slices of good quality thick white bread, sour dough or pullman loaf
12 slices of Colby Jack or Colby cheese
1 small bunch chives finely chopped
20 or so slices of good quality hamburger dill pickles
mayonaise 
dijon mustard
butter at room temperature

Method

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Very generously butter each slice of bread wall to wall on one side then spread very thin layer of Mayo (this keeps it from burning) and place butter side down on a sheet of wax paper
Heat a skillet to medium heat
Mix a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with the dijon and spread on all slices of the bread
Divide the cheese between the slices of bread
Place the buttered bread 2 at a time in the skillet and cook till each piece is toasted golden and the cheese starts to melt then add a big dallop of the chives blanketing both sides of the bread and cheese
When done hold to the side repeat till all slices are toasted and buttery warm
Put sandwiches together
On a clear baking sheet place the sandwiches and lightly press down with the spatula
Place the sandwiches in the oven and heat for about 10 to 15 mins till the cheese is melted and heated through
Remove from the oven and let stand for about 3 mins. Slice in half and serve with dill pickle chips and the soup.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Roasted Tomato Risotto



I love risotto and of all the types out there tomato risotto is one of my favorites. It holds a special place in my heart because of a dear friend and roommate who introduced me to making it.

Now risotto if often thought of a a winter dish and I agree that it can be just that. All the warming and rich things that one loves to eat during the cold season. However if prepared with a lighter touch it can be a very hearty seasonal dish that can be enjoyed all year long.

This risotto has a light tomato flavor and is a delicious meal in itself with a salad and some good bread and olive oil.

So give it a try for your next meatless Monday and see how easy it is to make Summer tomatoes sing Italian.

Summer Roasted Tomato Risotto

To Make you will need:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion finely diced
5 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
20 small campari style tomatoes on the vine.
1 large ripe tomato diced very fine with seeds and juice
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine or vermouth ( I think vermouth and tomatoes are a wonderful combo)
4 to 6 cups warm chicken broth ( can use veggie )
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup shaved parmesan reserved for garnish
1 1/2 cups grated aged gouda (such as Old Amsterdam)
1 cups grated sharp aged cheddar cheese
Salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons butter
Big Fat finishing olive oil on hand
Maldon Sea salt flakes

Method:

In a 350 degree oven roast tomatoes tossed with a little olive oil and sea salt for about 45 mins
Cook onion in oil in a large pan till translucent then add garlic
Cook till garlic blooms
Add rice and cook for about 3 to  4mins. or till the rice is beginning to toast slightly in the oil and is well covered add salt and pepper
Add dried herbs and diced tomatoes and tomato paste cook another minute
Add 1 cup dry vermouth wine cook till absorbed
Slowly add stock about a cup at a time stirring until the risotto is thick and the liquid is completely absorbed then add more broth until all broth is used up or the risotto is just al dente ( slightly chewy)
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let sit a few minutes. Then very carefully cut the tomatoes from the stems and let fall into the pot. Pour any oil and excess juice from the baking sheet into the pot;
Keep 4 sets of three tomatoes to use as garnish on the side
Then using your spoon crush the tomatoes into your risotto
At this point add the parsley
Add butter stirring vigorously. remove from the heat and add all cheeses and stir.
When creamy add a touch of finishing oil and divide among 4 to 6 bowls depending.
Garnish with Maldon salt and the remaining cheese
Serve right away!


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer Tacos with Chorizo and Avocado



It's grilling season and that means cooking up meats on the grill of all sorts. Of course there are lots of ways to enjoy those meats but tacos are always a top favorite in my book.

Now there are many many many recipes for tacos that are out there and I'm here to give you a simple and easy fresh recipe you can make anytime of year and doesn't rely on you having a grill available.

These tacos are easy and fresh and delicious. They are made with a combination of beef and chorizo sausage which gives them a really great flavor and lots of spice. The garnish is simple fresh tomatoes and avocado and scallions and simple red California style taco salsa.

Forrest's Beef and Chorizo Tacos with Fresh Toppings 

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground chorizo
3 ripe avocados diced
3 ripe tomatoes diced
1 small red onion small dice (optional)
6 scallions chopped including green parts
1 jar Trader Joe's regular red salsa
Cilantro leaves picked
16 small corn white corn tortillas

Method

In a bowl with you hands mix the beef and the chorizo together
In a pan cook the meat until just cooked crumble into large pieces
Toast the tortillas in a little oil
Fill the tortillas with the meat and garnish with the avocado and tomato onions and scallions and top with the salsa and cilantro.
Enjoy!




Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Homemade Beef Hash with a Fried Egg and Horseradish Sauce







Breakfast is the best meal of the day. No really it is. While in California recently I had homemade real roast beef hash and I was reminded how good this can be. It was made with the crusty bits from the Prime rib the restaurant serves and came with eggs and a delicious hollandaise that was amazing.

My home version of this can be made with any scraps of beef that you might have. Left over steak, Roast Beef, even Short Ribs which is what I used. The key is to have shredded potatoes which you can make easily with a grater or buy in a bag. And the other key is to flavor the beef and potato mixture with lots of garlic and thyme and seasoning salt really well. I returned from my European vacation with a bottle of Maggi seasoning in tow. It's a flavoring salt that adds a depth of flavor to all sorts of things. It's really good.

I also skipped the hollandaise and opted for a sour cream based horseradish sauce that just really amped up the dish. Below is the recipe. Go crazy!!

Homemade Beef Hash and Eggs

4 eggs which you will fry sunny-side up or use a ring mold like I did and cook to fit directly on the stack of hash you will make.

2 cups potatoes shredded
1 cup really finely diced onions
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 /2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Maggi or Season salt
1 few shakes of worchestershire sauce
1 1/2 cup chopped left over beef

Fry potatoes and onions till crispy and brown
Add beef and seasonings
mix well.
When heated through and ready to serve press mixture into 4, 4 inch ring molds set on 4 plates
Top with the fried eggs
Garnish with paprika and chopped parsley
Serve with horseradish sauce
( note you can just served this on a plate without a ring mold works just fine)

Horseradish Sauce

1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons drained prepared horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste