Avocado Toast

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Happiness is a fresh seasonal avocado. I’ve met a few people who have mentioned they don’t like Avocado’s…those people cannot be trusted LOL. Avocados this year have been amazing so far, I’m happy it’s finally summer and I can have access to all of the avocados…if only I could get more than 2 for a reasonable price!

Avocados are a stone fruit with a creamy texture that grow in warm climates. Their potential health benefits include improving digestion, help in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and are a very nutrient rich fruit with beneficial fats to keep you full and satiated. With an impressive list of health benefits, I don’t comprehend how anyone could say they are gross. Avocados are versatile and one of the freshest ingredients to work with in summer dishes. They make a great alternative to mayonaise and butter in many recipes, even dessert! I propose if you are one of the many people who don’t appreciate a fresh avocado, to eat least try it in this recipe listed below. Add a little salt & pepper, maybe some juice from a lime or lemon, give it a good stir and they try again. Avocados might just guac your world.

This recipe is a trend showing up on many menus around the country. I’m certain Avocado Toast is nothing new for you to get excited about. These are just (3) ways I love my avocado Toast. Do you have any suggestions of a good avocado toast pairing? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Avocado Toast with Fresh Strawberries and Balsamic Reduction:

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Mise en Place:

  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 2 Slices of Bread, Toasted (I use Whole Wheat, or English Muffins)
  • 4 Strawberries, Sliced
  • Balsamic Reduction, to drizzle on top
  • S&P, TT
  • Fresh Mint leaves, optional

Method of Prep:

  • Cut avocado in half, remove from skin and add to a bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Using a fork, mash, then spread on toast. Top with strawberries. Drizzle with a little balsamic. Top with fresh picked mint.
  • Enjoy!

Southwest Avocado Toast:

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Mise en Place:

  • 1/2 Avocado, sliced
  • 2 Slices of Bread, Toasted
  • 2 Eggs, over medium
  • 2 Tablespoons Chunky Salsa or Pico
  • S&P, TT

Method of Prep:

  • Add sliced avocado to toast. Season with S&P. Top with over medium egg. Garnish with salsa.
  • Enjoy!

Smashed Avocado with Hard Boiled Egg:

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Mise en Place:

  • 1/2 Avocado, Smashed
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • 2 Slices bread, Toasted
  • Hot sauce, optional

Method of Prep:

  • Remove avocado from shell, mash with salt and pepper. Spread on toast. Top with Hard boiled egg. Garnish with hot sauce.
  • Enjoy!

**Not pictured: Avocado Toast with Crab dip

  • Same process as above, just top sliced avocado with fresh lump crab or a seafood crab dip.

 

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Shakshuka

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There’s no doubt that with the weather being below freezing, everyone is fixing themselves a nice hot dish of something comforting, perhaps something that doesn’t require a lot of time to make. With breakfast being the most important meal of the day along with the coldest part of the day, I’ve got something hot and simple to wake you up and get you moving for the long day ahead.

This middle eastern dish called Shakshuka (pronounced shock-shoe-ka) is a very common poached egg dish usually in a tomato sauce served for breakfast or brunch. When I was working in Florida, we ran a Mediterranean influenced breakfast buffet with Shakshuka being one of the featured items. I made this the other day during breakfast for my dad and me, kind of as a thank you for him cooking dinner the previous night. He absolutely loved the idea of this dish. This is a great item to make for a family brunch with more than 2 people. However if it’s just 2 people eating it, no worries! Simply make the recipe as is, and only add the amount of eggs that you and the other person will eat. Save the leftovers and make more another day! This will hold in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

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Vegetarian/Gluten Free/Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free.

Mise en Place:

-1 Yellow onion, small dice

-2 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic

-1 Can Plum Tomatoes

-2 Tablespoons Cumin

-1 Teaspoon Cayenne

-Salt & Pepper, TT

-3 Handfuls Raw Kale

-3 Splashes Franks Red Hot Sauce

-1 Cup Water

-Whole Eggs (Amount depends on how many each person wants)

Method of Prep:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees.

-Over medium heat, saute garlic and onion for 3 minutes in a medium pot. Add in dry spices, mix.

-Add in canned tomatoes, salt/pepper and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

-Add in kale, one handful at a time until it shrinks down. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over a simmer.

-Once all the kale is added, add in Franks. Taste and adjust if needed.

-Pour the sauce into a cast iron pan or baking dish of choice (sauce needs to be just under boiling hot).

-Crack eggs, one at a time into the sauce. Space out at least 2″ apart, season them with s&p.

-Cover with foil and place in the oven for 7 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking (I prefer a nice runny yolk). Eggs will continue to cook as they sit in the sauce once pulled out of the oven.

-Remove from the oven. Serve Immediately. Pairs great with toast!

Enjoy!

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Egg Nog

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The first time I tried egg nog I thought it was disgusting. Perhaps it was the thick custard texture followed by a weird nutmeg flavor. My grandparents always had a half gallon of it in the refrigerator during the holidays. Everyone else in the family seemed to love it especially when bourbon was being added into it. A few Christmas’s back, my cousin asked me to grab him the bottle of Wild Turkey that was in my Grandfathers liquor cabinet. When I handed it to him, he began to slowly add it to a glass of egg nog. He assured me that if I didn’t like egg nog plain, to try it with a little Wild Turkey and it would change my life. Mind blown.

Egg nog only comes around during the holidays as far as I know. I don’t drink a lot of egg nog but when I do I add bourbon to it. If you read the label on eggnog the ingredients are: high fructose corn syrup (surprised?), sugar, egg yolks, 2% non-fat milk, nutmeg, and annato (for color). If you enjoy egg nog, you will most likely enjoy the at home quality better from making it from scratch with a lot healthier whole ingredients. I recommend adding in bourbon to your recipe, it adds an awesome flavor. You can keep the alcohol out and just add it into your drinking glass in case there are children around that you will be sharing this beverage with.

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Active Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 12

Mise en Place (Ingredients):

-6 Large Eggs

-2 Egg yolks

-3/4 Cup Maple Syrup

-4 Cups Whole Milk

-2 Cinnamon Sticks

-4 Ounces Bourbon (optional) I used Jack Daniels in this recipe

-1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

-1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg (Pumpkin spice works well if you don’t have nutmeg)

Other Tools:

-Whisk

-Mixing Bowl

-Sauce pot

-Mesh strainer

Method of Preparation:

-Whisk eggs, yolks, and maple syrup in a large saucepan until combined. Whisk in milk, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Add in cinnamon sticks. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until custard thickens, approximately 25 minutes. (Should coat the back of a spoon)

-Pour custard through a sieve into a large bowl. Remove cinnamon sticks.

-Stir in liquor if using, vanilla, and nutmeg.

-Place in refrigerator and allow to cool until well chilled. Cover and hold in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

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**If your mixture curdles from overcooking the eggs, just take the (pudding like) mixture and blend it together in a vitamix or high speed blender until smooth then strain.