gigantic party breakfast sandwich

~*~*~ how to win brunch in six easy steps! ~*~*~

1. pick stuff from the garden that looks good! herbs, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and zucchini are all great choices. and don't forget to swing by the coop eggs!

2. make a sheet pan of focaccia and use your biggest serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally, almost like you're leveling a cake.

3. make a big baked egg situation that's the same size as your focaccia and flop it onto the bottom of the focaccia.

4. top it with cheese, herbs, tomatoes, bacon, any other toppings you'd like.

5. top it with the top of the focaccia and bake until the cheese is melty. now you have a hot sheet cake of breakfast sandwich!

6. cut it into squares! yay!

yeahhhh baby!

I am knee deep in development mode for recipes to make at Unglued Camp and have been testing this as a way of making breakfast sandwiches for a huge group of people! I'm so excited about it. It's my take on this thing that I discovered on the internet, the breakfast sandwich casserole. Google it, it's wild.

I am digging this recipe for these reasons:

-Most of the prep can be done in advance. You can bake the focaccia and egg a day before serving, and then the day of all you need to do is assemble and heat.

-It's endlessly improvisable based on what you've got in your garden or what looked good at the market! Think of the egg layer as one giant quiche: cram in as many or as few veggies as you'd like, change up the cheeses, fux with the seasonings, you know the drill. 

-You get geometrically pleasing sandwiches where the filling lines up exactly with the bread.

-It's vaguely reminiscent of those really long Subway party subs, which were the most underrated birthday party food.


party breakfast sandwich

makes 12 sandwiches

part 1: focaccia

ingredients 

1 1/2 c (354ml) warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tb sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 c + 2 tb (175g) olive oil, divided
5 c (650g) all-purpose flour, or sub 2 c (260g) for whole wheat flour
Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped (thyme would also work!)
1/2 purple onion thinly sliced
Flaky salt
 

clues

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. With the mixer running on low speed, add the salt and 1/2 cup olive oil, and then gradually add the flour. Add the rosemary. Increase the speed to medium high and mix for 7-10 minutes, adding just enough additional flour so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Do not add too much flour. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky. Lightly coat a clean large bowl with oil or cooking spray and then place the dough in the bowl and turn it once or twice to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

[This is a good time to make the eggs!]

Coat the bottom and sides of a 9” x 13” rimmed sheet pan with 1/4 cup olive oil. Pat out the dough all the way to the edges, but keep it slightly thinner around the edges (it will seem like there’s a lot of oil in the bottom of the pan but that will make it good). Brush the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and distribute the purple onion slices all over. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Let rise uncovered another 40 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. (While it’s baking the dough might start to creep over the edges of the pan but that’s ok, some overhang will actually make it easier to cut it when the time comes.) Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. If making this the day before, turn onto a wire rack, let cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and store at room temp. If you’re wanting to serve asap, let the focaccia cool until it’s just cool enough to handle and zip down to the assembly steps.
 

part 2: eggs

ingredients

2 tb olive oil
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Other optional veggies: 1 small zucchini thinly sliced, 1 jalapeño seeded and thinly sliced, a handful or 2 of leafy greens like spinach, kale, or chard
Kosher salt
Black pepper
3 oz (85g) shredded cheddar (swiss or mozzarella would also work!)
8 large eggs
1/2 c (120ml) Heavy cream
3/4 c (180ml) whole milk
1 tsp sweet paprika
Hot sauce, to taste
 

clues

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease and line a 9” x 13” rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, leaving 1” wings on two of the sides. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the pepper, onion, and other veggies and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer to the sheet pan, spread them out evenly and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, paprika, hot sauce, 1 tsp salt, and a few turns of pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and bake until set and lightly browned on top; begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

If making the day before, let this cool in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If not, go straight to assembly, below.
 

part 3: assembly

ingredients

About 8 oz (226g) shredded or sliced cheese
Optional toppings: sliced tomatoes, chopped fresh basil or other tender herbs, cooked bacon, cooked sausage
 

clues

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the focaccia back in the sheet pan if you took it out to cool. Use the largest serrated knife you have to cut the focaccia loaf in half horizontally, using the rim as a guide. I like to rotate the pan with one hand as I saw off the top with the other (it’s just like leveling a huge cake). Flip the egg onto the bottom piece of focaccia. Top with cheese and other toppings as desired. Top with the top of the focaccia. Bake until the cheese is melted, the edges of the focaccia are crispy, and the egg is warmed through; begin checking for doneness at about 20 minutes. If the focaccia begins to get too browned for your liking but the middle still needs some time, then tent with foil. Slide onto a cutting board, slice into squares and enjoy!
 

challah pizzettes with swiss chard, lemon, and ricotta

Hello from the delightful state that is westbound jet lag, when waking up with the sun is easy as pie and pre-lunchtime productivity is at a height. Falling asleep tonight is going to be a breeze! To be honest though, I’m actually surprised that I even have jet lag because over the course of this past week in Amsterdam and Paris, we did not put an ounce of effort into adjusting to the time change. We danced to Yallah Yallah at the Melkweg until the sun came up and slept way past breakfast every day. We regularly ate dinner at 2am. Our method of traveling was a string of what Rob calls stream of consciousness days. That is, we planned nothing and did everything we wanted at the moment we wanted to do it. We sat for hours watching ducks in the Tuileries and climbed the adult jungle gym in the Vondelpark in the rain, we rode bumper cars and boats, and then royally freaked out when we discovered endless free chocolate samples at the Tony’s Chocolonely Superstore. On the way to eat Rijsttafel, we smelled pancakes and they smelled so good that we decided to eat those instead. In Paris we went to Rose Bakery every afternoon and Canal Saint-Martin every night, and I had a lot of ice cream cones. My new friend Catherine introduced me to Glace Bachirwhere Lebanese ice cream gets covered in bright green pistachios. So so so so so good. We had no restaurant lists, no schedules, no places we needed to be (except for when it was time for Rob to get married), and it was… fantastic. 10/10 would recommend this method of traveling. Especially with your old college homies, because there is something about wandering aimlessly around a city that feels extra nostalgic and school-kid-like. But most importantly: Congratulations, Rob and Hansaem, on getting hitched!!!!!! Thanks for having a wedding Paris! 🤗 (And, guys! My rhubarb rose jam made it safely all the way to their wedding!!)

Here are some photos of old fronds and good food:

Now let’s talk about these pizzettes! The idea for these was born during the brainstorming phase for the Girl Meets Farm episode that aired this past Sunday. We originally thought it might be fun to show a few different ways to use challah dough, and making mini pizzas was one way. We ultimately decided to go with just the garlic and onion challah, but I still really really wanted to make these for you because challah dough as pizza dough is fluffy, soft, and great. Texturally, it reads slightly more like a focaccia, but "pizzette" is such a cute word and calling it that makes it appropriate for Pizza Friday. (And with 4th of July tomorrow, today is basically a Friday!!!) These are topped with my current favorite pizza toppings of lemon, cheese, shittons of garlic, and green things. It’s an A+ mix of bitterness, creaminess, and acidity, and bonus: you get a slight sweetness from the challah dough. I feel like I’m cheating the Pizza Friday system when I use my pizza as a shovel for green vegetables, because you’re supposed to let loose on Pizza Friday… but just like anything that involves dough and cheese, you cannot go wrong with changing things up a bit, so if you’re not feeling the lemon and greens vibration, go wild and sub the chard for salty meat. Just let your biggest takeaway from this post be that challah dough as pizza dough is good. 


challah pizzettes with swiss chard, lemon, and ricotta

makes 8

ingredients

Dough:

1 packet (about 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
3/4 c warm water
1/4 c (50g) + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3 1/4 c (423g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (or sub up to 1 1/4 c (163g) for whole wheat flour)
2 large eggs
1/3 c (67g) flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable

Toppings:

Olive oil
12 oz (340g) swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, both coarsely chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced and deseeded
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
1 c (250g) whole milk ricotta
Parmesan
Crushed red
Flaky salt
 

clues

To make the challah dough, in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, flour, and remaining sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil.

When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook, for 7-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. It will take slightly longer if you’re using whole wheat flour. Alternatively, you can stick it in the refrigerator overnight and then let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before shaping. 


Once the dough has just about completed its rising, preheat oven to 400ºf and line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook the chard stems for about 4 minutes, until tender. Transfer the stems (and any oil from the pan) to a large bowl and combine with the chard leaves and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat the leaves in olive oil, adding an additional drizzle if needed. 


Divide dough into 8 balls and flatten them into rounds about 1/2” thick. Place them on the baking sheets about an inch apart. Brush with a thin layer of olive oil and then top each with lemon slices, garlic, onion, dollops of ricotta (sprinkle the ricotta with a pinch of kosher salt), a shower of parmesan, a big pile of chard, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Sprinkle flaky salt around the edges. Bake until the challah is browned; begin checking for doneness at 16 minutes. Top with more parm if desired and enjoy!


-yeh!

pizzette photos by chantell and brett quernemoen!

peanut butter s'mores pop tarts

Omg I love a s’more occasion because it means it’s warm enough to sit outside but not so warm that you’d overheat near a bonfire. It’s a similar pleasure to having the temperature of your house on the colder side just so you can wear your coziest sweatshirts. 

I made these s’mores pop tarts last month for Eggboy’s cousin Sarah’s bridal shower. She’s getting married at a ranch in the Tetons next week and I cannot wait!!! We are staying one night in Jackson Hole, which will be my first time to Wyoming, and then driving to the ranch to hike and celebrate. Where do I need to eat brunch in Jackson Hole???

There are some very specific things I need to talk to you about with these pop tarts. I’m going to do this in list form:

  1. The magic is in the crust! It is a pie crust dressed up as a graham cracker and the measurements below are such that the crust remains thick. It’s true that I have a complicated relationship with pie crust and that I am so not opposed to using store bought pie dough in situations where the fillings carry the dish, however, 1) this crust is truly magical and nutty and oomphed up with cinnamon and nutmeg, and 2) the fillings require no preparation so the crust is the only place where you need to exert energy. It’s so good! 
  2. An unfortunate thing about marshmallows is that they really can be too sweet. It’s one reason why Lily doesn’t like them. But between the crust, which is not very sweet, and the unsweetened peanut butter, there is a really nice balance that happens in this tart that I think Lily and others alike would approve of. Where these tarts leave off in sweetness, they pick up in nuttiness from the peanut butter. Obviously almond butter or another nut butter or tahini would also be great here.
  3. Real marshmallows alone do not werk! They are firmed up with gelatin, which melts down to complete liquid in the oven and has a very, very high chance of oozing out. However, if they do stay put in the tart then when they cool back down to room temp, they leave you with some of that signature s’mores chewiness. Marshmallow fluff, on the other hand, does the opposite of all of that. It is thickened with egg whites and therefore gets firm in the heat of the oven so there’s little risk of that oozing out but then when it cools you don’t have the chewy marshmallow texture. My solution is to use both. Fluff to lock in the marshmallows, marshmallows to provide chewiness, and both to provide flavor. You can make both from scratch if you’re truly feeling extra (this fluff rules), or you can make neither from scratch. Just do whatever option will leave you with enough energy to make the pie crust because that really is the most important part of this picture.
  4. To me, Hershey’s bars are a very important part of a s’more. The waxy texture and milk chocolate flavor are what I latch onto when I dream of a s’more and that’s just how I am. You might have a need for a fancy chocolate and that’s fine, you do you. I’ve opted to use a straight up piece of the chocolate bar here rather than using a chocolate spread because I like how it firms back up when the tarts cool. (I also like my chocolate croissants this way, with a full on hard chocolate bar in the middle. It’s texturally more exciting to me than a soft spread. It makes me want to eat a chocolate bar sandwich. We’re getting off topic.)

Make these!!! 


Peanut Butter S’mores Pop Tarts

Makes 10

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 c (195g) all-purpose flour
1 c (130g) whole wheat flour
1/4 c (50g) sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A few passes of nutmeg
18 tb (253g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 c ice cold water


Filling and assembly

About 1/4 c (65g) unsweetened peanut butter (I like Smucker’s All-Natural)
2 hershey’s milk chocolate bars
About 3/4 c (60g) marshmallow fluff
30 mini marshmallows
1 egg, beaten 


Glaze

1 c (120g) powdered sugar
1/4 c (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tb whole milk
A pinch of kosher salt

Sprinkles

Clues


In a food processor, pulse to combine the flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized (a few larger bits are ok). Drizzle in the water and continue to pulse until the dough starts to come together. It may still look crumbly but it’s ready when it sticks together if you squeeze a handful of it together. Turn it out onto a clean surface and use your hands to smush it all together into a ball. Divide it in half and pat out into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a day or two. 

Preheat the oven to 425ºf. Line two pans with parchment and set aside. 

On a lightly floured surface, working with one dough disc at a time and dusting with additional flour as needed to prevent it from sticking, roll it out until it’s just under 1/4” thick (3/16” is ideal but I don’t mean to freak you out with such an odd measurement). Cut out 10 3” squares, re-rolling scraps, and arrange them on the baking sheets at least 1” apart. Top each with a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter, 2 chocolate rectangles, about a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff, and 3 mini marshmallows. I recommend adding the marshmallow fluff by piping it out of a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off. It makes this process cleaner and allows you to make a little border that will hold in your mini marshmallows. (See the gif above as a reference.) And you can eyeball the tablespoon measurement, it doesn’t need to be exact. 

Roll out the remaining dough disc along with any scraps from the first disc and cut out 3 1/2” squares, re-rolling scraps as needed. Brush the edges of the bottom squares with a thin layer of egg wash and top with a larger square. Pinch the edges to seal well and crimp with a fork to ensure that they’re sealed. Trim the edges if desired so that they line up cleanly. Poke a few holes in the top with a fork and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 16 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. 

Top the tarts with glaze and sprinkles and enjoy! These will keep for a couple of days at room temperature.
 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brettshirt from of a kindsprinkles from supernatural!

cucumber cocktail pops with honey and za'atar

Happy #popsicleweek, friends!! Yay! This week always makes me feel so confident that I am doing the correct summer thing. I am such a bad summer-er, with my fear of mosquitos and dreams of snowstorms and hotdish season, but this week I will stay in the climate controlled indoors and engage in the colorful frozen treats on sticks that are one of summer’s true gems. I am so excited to peruse all of my friends’ recipes this week and also look back on pops of years past, like pistachio pudding pops, coconut rainbow pops, and bloody mary pops.

This year’s popsicle week contribution is inspired in part by my new-ish daily green juice routine, which has made me feel all kinds of good and bright (and most importantly less guilty about my other new-ish daily routine of macaroni and cheese for lunch), and in part by the Gin Motek at Bar Bolonat, which features gin, honey, and za’atar. I like this cocktail because it’s the opposite of those cloyingly sweet cocktails that are the reason I avoid cocktails most of the time. It’s light, fresh, balanced, and zinged up with earthy savory za’atar. 

This is the the type of treat you want on a golden summer evening, after—or even alongside—a supper of fattoush and lemony smashed potatoes, or something like that. 

They have a crisp Persian cucumber base that I’ve enhanced with just a few great things: za’atar sent from my friend Inbal in Tel Aviv, just enough honey from Eggbro’s bees to prevent this pop from tasting like a salad, and gin distilled from local Minnesota grown single vintage organic yellow corn. Prairie Organic Gin is not the gin you sipped at dive bars in college, and avoiding it for post-college years of your life because it reminded you of such (like I did) relies on about as much logic as avoiding summer tomatoes because you’ve only ever had tomatoes in the winter. Which is to say that this gin is a good smooth gin, one where you can taste the sage, juniper, and spices. It’s great and it comes in a pretty bottle, which I will never complain about. I am fairly new to Prairie Organic but once I started mentioning it to people around here, it quickly became clear that all of my friends with extremely good taste are fans. So I now count myself fan and love that these pops get a lot of their specialness from this Minnesota gin. 

*Clinks two pops together* Cheers to #popsicleweek, friends! 

Cucumber Cocktail Pops with Honey and Za’atar

Makes 8

1 pound persian cucumbers, coarsely chopped

1/4 c Prairie Organic Gin

1/4 c honey

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp za’atar, plus more for topping

Combine cucumbers, gin, honey, lemon, and za’atar in a high speed blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into 8 dixie cups or pop molds and sprinkle each with a small pinch of za’atar. (I prefer dixie cups since it makes them easier to unmold, you just rip them off, and also I can literally never find my popsicle mold.) Freeze for 20 minutes and then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze for 6 hours or until frozen solid. Rip off dixie cups and enjoy.

-yeh!

Thank you so much to Prairie Organic Spirits for sponsoring this post! This recipe is only intended for those of legal drinking age (21+) and should not be shared or distributed to any underaged persons. Please enjoy responsibly! 

Photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen