Avocado Toast with Eggs and Tomatoes

Home from Cabo and happily back to life as Grand and GrandDad for the weekend. Tomorrow begins with a 5:50am wakeup call for Liam’s travel league baseball games, and then soccer matches for “the littles”. We will divide and conquer for the different locations; but we will all reunite in the Rock Dam Kitchen for a healthy brunch to refuel us all for the afternoon. Transfer the familiar into the fantastic. We’re taking all familiar ingredients and combining them in a wonderfully twisted way. So drop the mask for a few minutes to enjoy a meal…the stars are going to align on our taste buds and all the way down to our tummies! Here’s wishing all of you a happy, healthy, fun loving, athletic Saturday!

2 eggs
2 slices bread
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 avocado, gently mashed
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
Dash garlic powder
Dash onion powder
Fresh spinach
Gourmet Medley cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Alfalfa sprouts
Drizzle of honey
Drizzle of olive oil

Place eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes to soft boil.
Lightly sauté tomato halves in olive oil.
Toast bread.
Spread with Dijon.
Mix avocado with lime, garlic, and onion.
Spread avocado mixture on top of Dijon.
Top with a few spinach leaves.
Top with sprouts.
Top with eggs.
Top with tomatoes.
Drizzle with honey and olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Caesar Salad Turkey Burger

Happy Almost Labor Day Weekend! Most people grill out at some point during this official “last” weekend of the summer. Of course, the don and I don’t own a grill…yes all of our friends joke about it! But we really enjoy cooking inside in a wonderful cast iron skillet. No matter how you cook, just cook; and try these burgers with a Caesar twist. After all, with everything going on in the world, let’s remember that food brings us together. Cook Better. Eat Better. Live Better. Booyah!

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey*
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup Panko
Salt and pepper
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
Caesar dressing to taste**
6 burger buns, toasted

Sauté onion and green pepper in 1 Tbs olive oil until almost tender, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Mix together turkey, Worcestershire, mustard, egg, Panko, and onion, pepper, garlic mixture.
Form into 6 patties.
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes until firmer.
Grill or sauté in skillet about 4 minutes per side.
Toss together the romaine, shaved Parmesan and dressing.
Place burger on bun.
Top with Caesar salad.
Makes 6 burgers.

*The Don and I prefer GreenWise All Natural Ground Turkey Breast.
**As far as a store bought Caesar dressing, I prefer Marzetti Simply Dressed Caesar.


Quick and Easy Biscuits

Start to Finish in Less that 20 Minutes. And That’s a Promise! This is life in abundance, as we neither bake nor eat biscuits in this household often. But when we do, we do it right baby! I paired this wonderful bread with homemade pimento cheese, cilantro butter, and homemade blueberry jam. That was for Sunday brunch. Sunday Supper saw us making tiny turkey sliders and topping them again with yummyness. The Don enjoyed his with pimento cheese and jam; and I enjoyed mine with cilantro butter and jam (and plenty of it)! I made it just to share with you excellent people who follow along on this joint journey. Southern know how people! Shine Bright Like a Diamond.

2 cups all purpose flour 
1/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder 
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 cup whole milk 
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs melted butter

Preheat oven to 450°.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.
In separate bowl, whisk together milk and mayonnaise.
Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon level scoops of dough onto parchment paper, spacing them an inch apart.
Spread with melted butter.
Bake until golden, about 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Egg and Sausage Flatbread

Raise your antenna and begin a slow clap! This is a Southern agenda where flavors comingle. Boom…for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

1 sheet Phyllo Dough Pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator
3 Tbs Everything Bagel Seasoning
1 egg beaten
2 Tbs room temperature light vegetable cream cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
6 oz spicy sausage
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
Fresh tomatoes, sautéed
4 poached eggs
1 Tbs honey, for drizzling
Chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°.
Brown sausage and onion together until cooked through.
Drain on paper towel.
Fold all edges of pastry over 1/2 inch to form rimmed edge. 
Brush with egg.
Sprinkle with seasoning, and press to embed.
Spread cream cheese across pastry.
Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Top the cheese with sausage and onion mixture.
Top this with sautéed tomatoes.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until browned.
While that’s cooking, poach the eggs.
Remove the flatbread, top with eggs, and sprinkle with Gruyere.
Bake in oven for 5 more minutes until cheese is melted.
Drizzle with honey.
Garnish with chives and serve!

*Author’s Note: the don prefers scrambled eggs to poached eggs. So you will notice in one of the photos above that I used poached eggs on one half of the flatbread, and scrambled eggs on the other half. Feel free to mix it up in any manner that you desire!

Mahi, Two Ways: Part One

Well hellodie from the fishing scene in Istanbul! Follow the journey from the Turkish shore all the way back to Morehead City’s Captain Jim’s Seafood, and then straight in to Peg’s Kitchen for a lively adventure in fish prep! First, Istanbul, 2013… Lone fishermen in small boats catch Bluefish on the Bosphorus Strait and deliver them straight to the docks where they are cooked on sight for locals and tourists alike. Fanciful, docked, decorative boats serve as open air kitchens. Can NOT get any fresher than that! The cooks are constantly singing melodic tunes of “Balik Ekmek”, meaning “Fish Sandwich.” We indulged happily!

Fast forward to 2021 , where we are state side, and here in Greenville, NC cooking some great fresh mahi filets, two ways! No need to escape to the shore, I’m gonna school ya from right here. So, Be Inspired and Come in Hungry! Perhaps one of these recipes will become your signature fish dish…One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! (Thank you Dr. Seuss.)

First Way: Sautéed Mahi with Clarified Butter

6 oz mahi filet, 11/2″ thick
1/4 t Kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
1 t olive oil
2 Tbs clarified butter
1/4 cup dry white wine, more if needed
1 Tbs capers
1/4 cup baby tomatoes
1 Tbs chopped chives, for serving
Cilantro, for serving

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
Drizzle oil on bottom of skillet.
Add butter to skillet and swirl to evenly coat pan.
Add fish to skillet.
Cook 4 minutes.
Flip fish to other side.
Add wine, capers, and tomatoes to skillet.
Reduce heat to medium low.
Cook 6 minutes, until cooked through.

To plate:
Place filet on plate.
Spoon cooking juices with capers and tomatoes over filet.
Garnish with chives and cilantro.
Serve with a side of roasted red potatoes.

Jazzy Grilled Cheese

 

Your finished “Grilled to Perfection” product!

Just in time for the weekend…the temp promises to be a bit more comfortable for Fall Ball Y’all! We are all about a jazzy grilled cheese lunch and then heading to the ball park for late afternoon and evening games, under the lights!  Please know that we are super careful; We group together as families, in our own circle of chairs. We are 12 feet apart from the next family. We are not allowed on bleachers. We do not exchange even elbow bumps with other families. But it still brings great joy to be there for the love of the children, grandchildren, and the game!     And now to share a great thought here:

“We believe in friendship,
In community,
And in gathering side by side.
We believe in lively conversation…
The kind where our differences are realized and met with honor.
The kind where we leave having been made better.
We believe that when gathered around the table,
There’s room enough for all of us.
Where strangers become friends.
And friends become family.”
Magnolia Journal, Summer 2020. Joanna and Chip Gaines.

Let’s spread faith not fear. Happy Weekend!

For 4 sandwiches:
8 slices favorite bread
2 cups grated Colby jack cheese
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
Kernels from 3 ears corn, sautéed or grilled until tender 
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pimento cheese
2 Tbs soft butter

Mix together Colby jack, tomatoes, onion, corn, salt, and pepper.
Spread on 4 slices bread.
Top with dollop pimento cheese; spread to edges.
Spread butter on all other sides of bread.
Grill or sauté 3 or more minutes per side.

*Try my homemade pimento cheese recipe here!

This is your starting point, just placed on the griddle. I use my George Foreman Rapid Grill for tasks like this all the time. It’s so simple!

Strawberry Brunch/Tea Sandwiches

Brunch Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches.jpgYummy…All the Way Down the  Throat. No joke. This is a total software update for your palate…and speaking of which; it totally looks like the palette for a still life…calling Kristin!! Since strawberry season is in full swing here, I’m taking it straight to the kitchen. Hope that you do the same. With the marinade in this recipe, any strawberry will work if you live in an “off berry season”!

1 cup thinly slices strawberries
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 t honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
Vegetable cream cheese, room temperature (I prefer light)
Bunch baby arugula
8 slices white bread, edged, and cut in half

Toss together berries, balsamic, honey, and salt.
Let sit 30 minutes, then drain.
Spread cheese on all bread slices.
Season 8 bread halves with salt and pepper.
Layer strawberries across these halves.
Top with arugula.
Top with remaining bread slices.

Makes 8 tea sandwiches.

Turkey Artichoke Sandwich

©PEGhardee

©PEGhardee

Savor this Flavor! I’m just thinking this will be a PERFECT way to use that left over turkey to great effect. Make your household smile grin.

Left over turkey!
1 loaf ciabatta, or bread of choice
12 slices precooked bacon
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
6 oz crumbled goat cheese
Small bag of baby lettuces
Maille Dijon mustard (or other)

Slice turkey in uniform slices.
Slice ciabatta in half lengthwise, and leave top and bottom together.
Slice loaf into 6 even sandwiches, approximately 2” wide.
Chop the artichoke hearts into large pieces.
Warm the bacon.

To assemble the sandwich:
Lay sliced bread open on plate.
Cover each side with Dijon mustard.
Place bacon on top of mustard.
Spread baby lettuces across bacon.
Place sliced turkey on top of lettuce.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
Place second slice of bacon on top of chicken.
Spread artichokes across the bacon.
Top with 1 oz of goat cheese.
Top with top part of ciabatta.

Brie, Avocado, Tomato Melt

There’s a hint of a nip in the air this morning. Makes me think of a warm sandwich. Secrets revealed here my friends!

©PEGhardee

©PEGhardee

8 slices sourdough bread
8 slices Brie
1 avocado, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup Sandwich Sauce (see below)

Grill or toast each slice of bread on one side only.
Place Brie on non grilled side of 4 slices of bread.
Broil until cheese melts.
Top with avocado slices and tomatoes.
Spread sauce on non grilled side of remaining 4 slices of bread.
Place on top of tomatoes and cut the sandwich in half.

Serves 4.

Sandwich Sauce:
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
2 Tbs chopped sweet onion
3 Tbs sugar
1 stalk celery, small dice
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t Hot Shot!

In small mixing bowl combine all, stirring until blended together.
It is best if sauce is made 24 hours before using.

From Southern California Cooking from the Cottage. Jane and Michael Stern. 2004.

BLAT Egg Sandwich

Burned up the skyways and highways this past weekend, sharing fun times and special occasions with fab friends (more on that coming soon). Arrived home safely late Sunday afternoon to find a new carton of Ben’s Leggett Farm fresh eggs patiently waiting for attention, well yearning actually. Made this yummy BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) sandwich, topping it up with a fried egg. I used my homemade 1000 Isle dressing (recipe soon) rather than mustard or mayo this time around. Delightful change, and the perfect “in your pj’s Sunday night” sustenance.  Out of the frying pan and onto the BLAT!Sandwiches BLAT Egg2 Arnold sandwich thins
4 large leaves of romaine lettuce
1 tomato, sliced thinly
6 slices of precooked bacon, heated
1 avocado, sliced
2 eggs, fried or scrambled individually
1 Tbs light cream cheese
1 Tbs homemade 1000 Isle dressing

Spread bread with cream cheese and dressing.
Place 2 lettuce leaves on bread.
Place 3 tomato slices on top of lettuce.
Place 3 slices of bacon on top of tomato.
Top with slices of avocado.
Top with egg.
Top with another slice of bread.

PS. the don wanted his egg scrambled!Sandwiches BLAT Egg II