To a new year. There will be books. Looking back on 2016, I will say that it was a failure somewhat from a resolution standpoint, but perhaps rightly so. It was to be the year of Chocolate, and I received some support from several chocolatiers to realize my goal of making one chocolate dish per week. My favorite here. And yet, “so stout at starting and so early lost,” says Dante. Well, you know, residency is a tad time-consuming. I think I made about two or three month’s worth of weekly chocolate dishes. I guess chocolate didn’t have the inherent drive for me like the haiku, which is a surprise, surprise. Not. I’m a Francie, not a Piggie.
I’ve been inspired by Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Betty Smith’s heroine is made to read one page from a book everyday—the Bible and Shakespeare. The precocious girl ups the ante to one book per day, remarkable child. One page a day seems reasonable. I’ll check in periodically with updates on the reading, and of course, with reviews.
I’m also going to call this the Year of the Cookbook. I am loving all the requests Bake This Day has been getting lately for cookbook reviews, and I’ll try to keep up! Got some great titles in my latest stack—the food photography has me drooling.
KP and I made this for some friends while home for Christmas, and I’ll say it was like a healthy version bread pudding. You really can’t tell that there are any bagels in there—the egg dominates the texture. I added a bunch of spicy jalapenos and thai bird chiles on the top because I love spicy breakfast, and because red and green for Christmas. Super delicious, bakes very well.
Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Food and Wine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
10 large eggs
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
6 oil-packed Calabrian chiles—drained, seeded and minced
1 pound day-old everything bagels (3 large)—any kind of bagel will probably work, cut into 1-inch pieces (9 cups)
1 small bunch of curly kale, stemmed and chopped (5 cups)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons minced rosemary
2 scallions, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces)
Yet another shameless plug for Safeway Bagels in Portland, Oregon. The best bagels I know of on the planet.
Lightly grease a 3-quart oval baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the half-and-half, chiles, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the bagel pieces and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and wilted, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, basil and rosemary and cook until the tomatoes start to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.
Fold the vegetables and shredded cheeses into the bagel mixture, then transfer to the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the baking pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 45 minutes more, or until the top is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.
Thanks to all my family in the Pacific Northwest for hosting a fabulous Christmas!
And to my brother for hands down the best present of the year. Love you Dave.