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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Farro Breakfast Bowl

Farro Breakfast Bowl (3)

Farro is an ancient grain from Rome. Its delicious nutty flavor, and slightly chewy texture, reminds me a lot of barley. Farro has been a long time coming. You just couldn’t get your hands on it anywhere! Now, it’s readily available in your local grocery store.

I’m showing two pictures here, one above, topped with an egg, and one below without. That’s where Steve and I have a strong difference of opinion. I’m not even sure if “opinion” is the even the right word. I’m no fan of the fried egg.  To be fair though, eggs are a big part of breakfast and Steve loves them, so that’s the reason for two pictures.

Anyway, this Farro breakfast bowl is easy to make while combining flavor, color, and texture. Here’s how this dish comes together.

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Let’s talk about Farro

 

I took a screenshot of this brand, because it’s the one I’m used for this dish. You know I love to take help from the grocery store, this cooks up in about 25 minutes, and includes some Porcini mushrooms. I’m SOLD!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: large saute pan, sauce pan with tight fitting lid.

Ingredients:
1 package of cooked Farro with Porcini mushrooms
1 pound, cooked bulk Italian sausage ( casings removed)
1 small can white shoepeg corn (rinsed and drained)
1 cup diced red bell pepper ( 1 med size pepper)
1 cup diced yellow bell pepper ( 1 med size pepper)
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Pistachios (optional)
7 ounces diced Feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped chives
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint
1 fried egg (optional, cooked to the temperature of your choosing)

Instuctions For Farro:
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Feel free to use either water or unsalted chicken stock for cooking the Farro. In place of the butter on the package, I use olive oil. Cook the sausage while the Farro is cooking.

Directions:
Start by cooking the Farro. While the Farro is cooking on very low heat, in a large non-stick saute pan on medium heat, start browning off the Italian sausage. I don’t add any oil to the pan because the sausage will release its own fat, plus it browns nicely. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage. Don’t worry about the sausage bits sticking to the pan because once the vegetables are added, they will release their water which will allow those bits to be released. Once the sausage is about 70% cooked, and there is no more pink color showing, add in the vegetables, Kosher salt and black pepper.  Continue stirring, and scraping as much of those brown bits off the bottom of the pan, that’s all flavor! Saute until the onions are translucent, all the vegetables have softened and the sausage is nicely browned and fully cooked.

In a large bowl, add the cooked Farro and shoepeg white corn. Using a slotted spoon, add the sausage and vegetable mixture. Next, add the pistachios (optional),  Parmesan cheese, diced feta cheese, and fresh herbs, then toss.

Finish by adding the Farro mixture into a serving bowl and top with a fried egg, or not. Serve hot!

 

 

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Chai Spiced Sugar

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I wanted to share this amazing Chai Spiced Sugar recipe.

A friend of mine, Keri Bassett, and fellow blogger has a wonderful website at www.shakentogetherlife.com. This recipe of hers is now a staple in my house. You can add this spice blend to just about anything. Cookies to your favorite drink, it really doesn’t matter, Keri’s, Chai Spiced Sugar will give you warm FUZZIES inside.

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or all spice)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions:
Stir together sugar and chai spice mix until well combined. Place in a airtight container and store in a dark cool place.

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Perfect Scrambled Eggs

 

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scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives

 

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scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives

There’s a technique believe it or not when making scrambled eggs. I’ve never been a fan of fried eggs, and even eating scrambled eggs was a chore. Any time my mom or grandmother made me eggs, they were always scrambled. I remember it always being a real chore managing to finish eating those that were on my plate. As I got older, and went out for breakfast, I’d order them along with bacon and potatoes. Again,  they were the one thing on my plate that I could never finish. I realized, that it wasn’t so much the taste but the texture of the eggs that seem to be the problem for me.

Years ago, Melissa and I visited  Disney’s Animal Kingdom and ate breakfast at their famous, Boma Flavors of Africa, breakfast buffet. There I had scrambled eggs. The were the most amazing scrambled eggs I’d ever had. The eggs were fluffy, but cooked through, and filled with goat cheese and chives. That’s when I made the decision to practice making scrambled eggs at home.

Beating the eggs for a longer amount of time and then cooking them low and slow is key to making the perfect scrambled eggs. The longer they’re over the heat will determine how you want your eggs to be cooked. Runny and soft of course will take less time than compared to dryer scrambled eggs. My video for this recipe is available on my YouTube channel.

Ingredients:
1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup of half and half (substitute heavy cream or whole milk is fine)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
1/4 cup of whipped cream cheese ( or goat cheese)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
First, place a non stick pan on med heat on the stove. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper together. Whisk, for at least 5 minutes, these ingredients together, allowing as much air as possible to be incorporated into the eggs. You want to see foam bubbles forming at the top of the egg mixture.

At this point, turn the dial on the stove down to medium-low. Continue whisking, letting the temperature of the burner adjust. Add the egg mixture to the pan. Using a rubber spatula, continue moving the eggs around in the pan until the eggs come together. Key is not to rush this process. Times may vary slightly, cooking on a med-low heat will take about 10 minutes with the constant movement of the eggs in the pan.

Once the eggs are to your liking, immediately turn the heat off but leave the eggs on the burner. This will ensure any and all liquid from the eggs will be evaporated. Next, fold in the cream cheese (or goat cheese) and chopped chives. Season with Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the eggs to a serving bowl. Best served hot!

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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My grandmother always added ricotta cheese to pancake batter. She didn’t necessarily always make them from scratch. She’d take help from the store when she could. I took this cue from her. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to make the batter yourself that’s awesome. I use help from the store whenever I can. Truth be told, there are some really great box mixes available now, they just need a little extra love added to them. I’ll show you my tricks in making the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes ever.

Directions:
Basically, the box mix calls for 1 cup of dry mix to 3/4’s cup of water. Starting with the wet ingredients, I’m adding in the zest of a lemon, 1 tablespoon of a pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup of ricotta. I mix those ingredients together really well until there are no lumps, and the water has a milky appearance. Next, slowly whisk in the dry mix just until the batter comes together. Set the bowl aside while preparing the non-stick pan.

On medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. I like to make a tester pancake first. You know how the first one never turns out right?… That’s why I do this. It also gets the pan evenly preheated. After the small tester pancake is complete, start with the actual pancakes you are going to be serving.

Lower the stove dial to medium-low. Then add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, swishing the butter all around the bottom. Immediately add in a small ladle of the batter, about 4″ in diameter. Once you see air bubbles all over the top of the pancake, it’s ready to flip. The times may vary slightly. You want the pancakes cooked completely on the inside, and on med-low heat, it may take a minute or two longer. Don’t rush the process, it will be worth it.

Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side and another 2-3 minutes on the second side, making both sides golden brown. Adding an additional 1 tablespoon of butter, to the pan, for each pancake you make. Repeat the process for the remainder of the batter.

Note: While making the remainder of the pancakes, place the pancakes on a baking sheet in a warm preheated oven, 200 degrees F. Also use a real maple syrup, it makes a big difference.

Yields: 4 silver dollar pancakes ( about 6″ in diameter)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-6 minutes per cake

Ingredients:
1 cup of pancake mix (box mix that only requires water)
3/4’s cup of water
zest of a lemon
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter

 

 

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