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Hobo Egg Grilled Cheese

Naturally I ponder about my favorite foods multiple times throughout the day so it is no surprise that I also fantasize about ways to make them even better. To make the ultimate version of all your favorite foods, now that is the dream.

When I stumbled upon this ingenious idea to elevate my family’s beloved hobo egg I almost couldn’t breathe from the excitement. A. Hobo. Egg. Grilled. Cheese? Must. Make. One. Now.

And of course my list of recipes to try is so long I didn’t get to it until many months later, years even, but I’m so happy I finally did. Combining the best of breakfast and lunch this is a spot-on lazy Sunday brunch meal.

Cheese and eggs have been a classic combination since the stone age when a caveman accidentally knocked a bowl of cheese curds onto his sizzling dinosaur egg omelette, or so I imagine, so before even taking a bite you know this sandwich is about to blow your mind.

And it does, again and again with every bite until you find yourself standing over the stovetop already making a second one. I hope you enjoy as much as I did, and don’t forget the bacon!

Hobo Egg Grilled Cheese
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 slices cheese, preferably cheddar, American, or any cheese that melts well
  • 1-2 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile prepare your grilled cheese by covering one of the slices of bread with the cheese and bacon then sandwiching the other slice of bread on top. When placing the bacon on the sandwich try to keep it around the corners of the bread so it doesn’t get cut out when you later cut out the circle from the middle.
  2. When the butter is melted and the pan is hot carefully place the grilled cheese in the skillet. Place a pan lid or tent a piece of foil over-top the sandwich in the skillet to help the cheese melt.
  3. When the cheese has started to melt and the bread is very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the grilled cheese. Cook until the other side of the bread is very lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  4. Using the rim of a glass or a 2” cookie cutter cut a circle out of the center of the grilled cheese. Enjoy as a pre-meal appetizer. Press down on the sandwich to flatten it slightly.
  5. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat and return the sandwich to the pan. Carefully crack an egg in the hole of the sandwich. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes then carefully flip over. Cook until the egg is no longer jiggling, but still feels soft to the touch, about 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still runny. Remove from the pan, cut in half and serve dipping the sandwich halves into the runny yolk.

 

Hobo Egg

This recipe goes by many different names, and very few of them make any sense at all. Toad-in-a-hole, egg in a basket, one eyed eEgyptians; where did these bizarre titles come from? In my family it is called a hobo egg. I thought my dad had just made that up one day and we were odd for calling it that, but I just Googled “hobo egg” and apparently other people call it a hobo egg as well! Fancy that.

If you haven’t had this fantastic breakfast staple it is essentially an egg fried in the hole of a piece of bread. You get a runny fried egg and a piece of buttery toast to sop up the yolk all at once.

It may seem like a simple dish, but I thought it was fitting with Father’s Day coming up on Sunday. This was, and still is, one of my favorite quick breakfast meals and was one of my dad’s specialities.

When I was younger only my dad could make the hobo egg, it just wasn’t the same if someone else made it. Our shared love of breakfast is just one of the many things my dad and I have in common. If I had a quarter for every time my dad and I got into such an intense laughing fit simply because the other person was laughing and had to stop ten minutes later because our sides were ready to split open, well you get the idea.

Other than our identical sense of humor and his signature laugh, my dad is my rock. He is smart, generous, sensitive, ambitious and is the person I always look to for guidance. I love our close relationship and am so lucky to call him dad. So happy Father’s Day, dad, and thanks for making me special hobo eggs all those years ago!

Hobo Egg
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Using the rim of a glass or a round cookie cutter with a 2” diameter cut a circle out of the center of the slice of bread. Place the bread in the melted butter and let lightly brown a minute or two on each side.
  2. Carefully crack an egg in the hole of the bread while in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes then carefully flip over. Cook until the egg is no longer jiggling, but still feels soft to the touch, about 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still runny.

 

Coffee Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Did you make the coffee ice cream I posted on Tuesday yet? No? Well you’re going to be kicking yourself for it after you see today’s post. But don’t worry! There’s still time to remedy your huge oversight. If you haven’t already started a grocery list after just reading the title, then let me get right to it: you need to make this dessert. Now.

Or this weekend, you know with that pesky little thing called work consuming the weekdays. Chocolate chip cookie cake with coffee ice cream and a salted butter caramel sauce. Woah, someone hold me, I’m weak in the knees!

The inspiration for this dessert phenomenon was my fellow ice-cream loving friend. We aren’t normal ice cream lovers. We are ice cream aficionados. We eat, sleep and breath ice cream. If we were on the top of Mount Everest we would say to one another, “P-p-pass the ice cream p-p-please.” In addition to our ice cream desires we also maintain our manners under extreme conditions. For her birthday I decided to turn one of our favorite ice cream truck treats into an ultimate dream cake. It’s dessert in a dessert times ten.

Although it looks like a monster of a project, if you split out the components it is completely do-able and so worth it. The strong coffee flavor, buttery and chocolately cookie, and warm caramel sauce will have you making obscene noises perhaps not suitable for children. I have never seen a dessert be devoured so quickly and neither will you.

Coffee Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
for the cake
for the salted butter caramel sauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
Directions
for the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9” round springform pan with parchment paper. Take half the cookie dough and evenly press into the bottom of the springform pan to create a large round cookie. Bake for 20 minutes. Do not overcook the cookie or it will be hard after freezing. Remove and let cool on a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the second half of the cookie dough.
  3. When the cookies are completely cool you can start assembling the cake. Place one of the cookies in the bottom of the springform pan lined with parchment paper. Scoop and evenly spread the coffee ice cream on top of the bottom cookie until you have about a 2” layer. You may not have to use all the ice cream. Place the second cookie on top, right side up, making sure not to press too hard. Wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours. Let the cake sit out and soften before serving.
for the salted butter caramel sauce
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large heavy duty saucepan. Stir in the sugar with a heatproof spatula and continue stirring frequently until the mixture is a deep golden brown and starts to lightly smoke. The sugar will be completely dissolved at this point.
  2. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in ½ cup of the cream. I recommend using an oven mitt as the mixture may bubble splatter. Stir in the rest of the cream, vanilla extract and salt until combined. If any sugar lumps remain gently whisk over low heat until dissolved. Serve warm.
Notes
Caramel should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container and can be reheated in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave.

 

Coffee Ice Cream

Coffee and I have a strange relationship. I’ve gone my whole life without needing caffeine in the morning. Whether I stayed up all night cramming in college or made the mistake of going out too hard on a weekday before having to be in the office at my usual early hour, I have gotten by without depending on coffee, tea, soda or energy drinks. I run on excitement for life! My avoidance was partly not wanting to be dependent on something to wake me up, but mostly because with my severe acid reflux and various other stomach ailments most of those items don’t agree with me. With coffee, it was also due to me not liking the taste.

However, in the last couple years I have come to enjoy coffee as an occasional treat. I still don’t like hot coffee, but a Dunkin Donuts iced mocha or a Starbucks caramel frappuccino? Yes, please! This new-found coffee exploration has also led me to yummy coffee flavored items that were previously, and sadly, absent in my life. Among these my favorite way to consume coffee flavor is through ice cream. No surprise there.

This simple coffee ice cream is smooth, creamy and bursting with coffee flavor. This is my favorite ice cream I have made so far, and that’s saying a lot considering my self-professed chocolate ice cream superiority complex. Although now that I mention it this would be really good with some Oreos or chocolate swirls mixed in… just saying ;-).

Coffee Ice Cream
 
Yield: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups whole coffee beans
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground coffee
Directions
  1. Heat the milk, sugar, coffee beans, ½ cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it is just starting to steam, but not boiling. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. When the hour is up, place the remaining cup of heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl then set a mesh strainer over top. Set aside.
  3. Reheat the coffee bean mixture over medium heat until it is steaming, but not boiling.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks in a separate medium bowl. Once the coffee bean mixture is ready, slowly pour some into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Continue slowly pouring and whisking, then scrape the whole mixture back into the medium saucepan.
  5. Stir the mixture over medium heat, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan, until the mixture has thickened to the point where it is sticking to the back of the spatula. It is ready when you can run your finger over the back of the spatula and the mixture doesn’t run. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the prepared mixing bowl with the cream. Press on the beans to extract as much coffee flavor as possible. Stir the mixture together and add the vanilla and ground coffee. Stir until cool over an ice bath then place in the fridge. When completely chilled freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Notes
You can use caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee beans for this recipe, the choice is yours.

Recipe from The Perfect Scoop.

Crisp Gnocchi Salad with Shiitakes and Asparagus

My brother gave me one of the most thoughtful Christmas gifts last year: a copy of this beautiful Tasting Colorado cookbook. Every recipe is a popular dish from a Colorado restaurant, covering everything from fluffy biscuits to local mouthwatering steak. Not only did I wish I could stuff my face into every picture and eat the contents, but I’ve actually been to a few of the restaurants!

Although he’s a Boston native, Colorado stole my brother’s heart 10 years ago and he’s lived there ever since. I get a chance to visit him once or twice a year and for those of you who have never been add it to your bucket list. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited and I’ve had some of my favorite dishes there.

While flipping through the cookbook and mopping drool from my mouth I was so excited to stumble upon this recipe from the restaurant Six89. Six89 closed in 2012 and their gnocchi salad disappeared along with it. Until now.

I cannot properly express in words the deliciousness of this dish. The crispy gnocchi together with the savory shiitake mushrooms, asparagus and nutty Parmesan is enough to have you going back for more. But when you add the shallot vinaigrette and leafy greens this meal becomes irresistible.

You can certainly use store-bought gnocchi to make this dish, but I highly recommend taking the extra time to tackle homemade gnocchi to experience the full potential of each mouthwatering bite.

Gnocchi Salad with Shiitakes and Asparagus
 
Yield: 4 appetizer servings
Ingredients
for the gnocchi
  • 2 cups gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups asparagus, blanched and cut into 1” pieces
for the vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 4 cups baby field greens
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh grated Parmesan, for serving
Directions
  1. Boil the gnocchi in a medium saucepan until they float to the top and are heated through, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the gnocchi until crispy and lightly browned.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium then add the shallots and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add the asparagus slices and sauté until warmed through then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
for the vinaigrette
  1. Combine the shallots, mustard, oregano and white wine vinegar. Whisk together well with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the gnocchi with 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Plate the gnocchi.
  2. Toss the baby field greens with some of the vinaigrette and place over the gnocchi. Top each plate with a generous serving of fresh grated Parmesan.

Recipe from Tasting Colorado:  Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State.