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by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

Happy July! Hopefully, your summer is going well. It’s nice to have time to celebrate with friends, to kick back, to relax, and to enjoy new cuisines. Summer offers the perfect time to taste all of what the food world has to offer.

In regards to experimenting with garden crops, this recipe integrates seasonal crops with the flavors and desired temperatures of summer: Salads! Easy to make, cold (good for resisting July temperatures), and good for a crowd (giving you more time to go on summer adventures), salads are the ultimate summer dish. However, it can seem salads only appear as uncreative sides, made up of a few shreds of carrot, some pale iceberg leaves, and a sad tomato. How can a salad be creative and filling? What does a salad consist of when made as the main dish?

A salad consists of two parts: a base and the toppings. The base can include greens and other ingredients. The greens used in a salad should be appropriate for the dressing. For example, using salad greens in this salad is a great way to incorporate color and can hold the thin dressing. Whereas, a salad with a heavier dressing (like a creamy ranch) uses thicker and stronger greens, such as romaine or iceberg lettuce.

The ingredients in the base (the extras added to the greens of the salad) should incorporate color and texture. For example, candied pecans add a sweet crunch to this salad, while the shredded carrot and strawberries add natural sweetness and color. The ingredients of the base should also either mirror the flavors of the dressing or contrast well with the dressing (i.e. Contrasting salty onion rings with a creamy and slightly sweet creamy parmesan dressing). The ingredients also do most of the nutritive heavy-lifting: they can provide protein (think chicken breast, salmon, or edamame), fats (nuts and cheeses), and carbohydrates (croutons or crouton variants, such as wonton strips).

The other part, the toppings, is where a chef can get creative. Deliberate placing of ingredients on a salad adds a layer of elegance that messy placement cannot provide. In other words: Have fun with creating the image of the top of the salad: it is your canvas.

Hopefully, this salad will help you cool down and enjoy summer, tastefully!

Balsamic Vinagrette Salad

For the Base
  • 1 bag spring lettuce mix
  • ¼ head of iceberg lettuce
  • ½ carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 6 strawberries
For the Candied Pecans
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
For the Croutons
  • ¼ loaf bread (can be any kind; crusty French bread works best)
  • olive oil and Italian seasoning mix (2 tbsp. oil to 1 tsp. Italian seasoning; you can use more seasoning if desired)
For the Dressing
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. raspberry sauce
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch each: crushed fennel, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, salt, pepper

Tools Needed

Medium pan, spatula, medium baking sheet w/ edges, small bowl, tongs, serrated knife, cutting board, parchment paper, measuring utensils (dry and liquid), several cutting boards, grater, chef’s knife, paring knife, large bowl (for mixing greens with other ingredients and dressing), tongs, large plate.

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 3500. Line a medium sheet pan with parchment paper. On a cutting board, cut the stale bread in half with a serrated knife. Cut halves into thin strips. Stack thin strips and cut horizontally to make the bread into thin cubes.
  2. Put cut bread into the small bowl. In a separate bowl, make oil and seasoning mix. Pour into bowl containing cut bread; toss with tongs to evenly distribute oil. Once evenly tossed, put on a baking sheet and evenly distribute uncooked croutons. Make sure not to crowd the pan, as that will lead to undercooked croutons.
  3. Place in oven; cook for 10 minutes (or until golden brown and crispy). Once done, take out and let cool.
  4. Make the candied pecans: Place pan on medium heat. Once hot, add ½ of the sugar.
  5. Cook 3-4 min (or until melted), add pecans. Take the pan off the heat.
  6. Stir the pecans, making sure to evenly coat all the pecans. Once coated, remove from the pan and onto parchment paper or a ceramic plate. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and let cool. Once cooled, break up candied pecans
  7. Make the dressing: Combine oil, vinegar, raspberry sauce, and seasonings and whisk together. (This will temporarily combine them. Due to the heavy oil concentration, it may not mix very quickly. Putting the mixture in a leak-proof container and shaking well ensures the mixture will be evenly mixed.)
  8. Prep the fruits and vegetables: Wash the lettuce. Remove outer leaves. On a new cutting board, cut lettuce with a chef’s knife into long strips. Put in a large bowl.
  9. Add spring greens to the large bowl; shred by hand.
  10. Wash carrot and peel exterior. Grate into a small bowl.
  11. On a clean cutting board, hull and slice strawberries into fourths. Set aside.
  12. Assemble the salad: Add half of the sliced strawberries, croutons (only if the salad will immediately be consumed after creation; otherwise, the croutons will get soggy), and candied pecans, respectively.
  13. Add enough dressing to coat. Toss salad base with tongs until dressing evenly coats all ingredients.
  14. Pour onto a large plate. Top with the other half of the ingredients creatively. Serve.


by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

Finally, it’s June! The temperatures have stabilized (heavy jackets and pants are a thing of the past), school has let out, and summer begins! But that’s not the only reason we’ve been waiting for June. It’s time to roll out the delicious summer dishes! Dinner tables are no longer weighed down by soups and stews laden with hearty vegetables; instead, light and airy summer dishes grace dinnertime with crisp vegetables and delicious handhelds.

This being a summer article, it would be expected that I write about the traditional types of handheld foods: burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and the like. But the handheld I’m writing about today isn’t necessarily an all-American sandwich. Today, I’m writing about spanakopita!

Spanakopita is a Greek handheld that is essentially phyllo-dough stuffed with feta cheese and spinach. While it doesn’t seem to be something that pleases a crowd, it has great potential to outdo the average burger on the grill.

What makes it so great? Many things: it’s vegetarian friendly, it is easy to grab from any tray (due to the pastry shell), it can be served as a side dish or an appetizer, and it adds elegance to any cookout. Plus, you no longer need to depend on Greek restaurants to make this delicious food; you can easily buy cheap phyllo dough and harvest spinach from your garden.

Though this process is time-intensive, spanakopita brings elegance and culture to the table.  The technique is simple. The hardest thing is managing the paper-thin phyllo dough, which is fragile (but adds delicious crispiness to the dish). Don’t fret if you rip a sheet! Solutions are offered in the notes. I have ripped countless sheets accidentally when making this for the first time. To avoid ripping, make sure the phyllo dough is completely thawed out if frozen, and handle the layers very gently. It is also essential to cover unused sheets of phyllo dough with paper towels to ensure the thin sheets don’t dry out and become stiff.

Despite all that goes into making spanakopita, the payoff to this delicious handheld is worth it. Elegance, culture, and deliciousness are all wrapped in a sleek triangle of crisp, delicate layers of phyllo dough. Enjoy!

Spanakopita

Ingredients

2 ½ tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. spinach, washed and drained

1 bunch scallions, chopped (use both white and green parts) (regular onions work also)

½ tbsp. parsley

½ tsp. salt and pepper

¼ lb. feta cheese, crumbled

½ c. (1 stick) lightly salted butter, melted

½ lb. phyllo dough sheets

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Start a medium pan on medium-low heat. Chop scallions and rinse spinach.

Once the pan is hot, oil the pan and add scallions. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until the scallions are soft. Take out of the pan and set aside.

Add spinach and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Place on a bed of paper towels and squeeze out liquid. Let cool for 2-3 minutes.

In the bowl, combine scallions, feta, spinach, salt, pepper, and parsley and mix well. Place in fridge.

Melt butter.

On a clean workspace (this can include on a sheet pan or on a counter), unroll phyllo dough gently. Cut into 3×11-inch strips and stack. Cover whatever stacks that aren’t being used with a wet paper towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry out (the wet paper towels may need replacing as you work the phyllo dough).

Gently peel apart layers of phyllo.

Gently lay down a sheet of phyllo on the open work surface. Brush with butter.

Add another layer of phyllo dough on top of the first, so it covers the first sheet, and brush with butter.

Lay a final layer of phyllo dough on top of the first two sheets.

Get out spanakopita filling from the refrigerator. Spoon a small amount 1 inch away from the left edge of the pastry.

Fold the dough over the filling so that it creates a triangle. Brush the rest of the sheet with butter and continue folding so that the spanakopita resembles a triangle (Food Network likens the folding to that of folding a flag).

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a wet paper towel. Repeat until filling runs out.

Take off wet paper towels and brush with butter. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Tools Needed

Knife • cutting board • medium pan • plate w/ a bed of paper towels • medium bowl • 1 large sheet pan • parchment paper • wet paper towels • pastry brush • small bowl • spoon • spatula

Notes:

It’s okay if the pastry sheet rips; you can still use both parts. Sandwich the broken layer between two unbroken layers to utilize the sheets.

The phyllo dough is incredibly fragile. If frozen, make sure the dough is completely defrosted before using.

Have too many unusable/ ripped phyllo sheets? Make crackers! Simply use the same layering technique mentioned above (layer, brush with butter, layer) except with smaller squares and more sheets. Season however you like (everything bagel seasoning is a popular flavor), both between layers and on top. Bake until golden brown.

*With credit to Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Food Network.

Studentby Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

Happy April, everyone! What a great month: spring is coming, planting season is close, and Easter brings bunnies and joy to kids everywhere. Though Easter dinner is the meal reserved for rich and delicious foods that take great time and care to make, today’s recipe will provide a surprisingly easy and delicious breakfast for after-church service: Cinnamon rolls!

Before you argue that cinnamon rolls take lots of time, labor, and skill to make, I have to share my experience with cinnamon rolls. At first I thought it would be extremely hard and take forever to make. But what cut down on time was the way I made it: first, I made the dough the day before I was going to cook the cinnamon rolls. The next day, I rolled, made, and baked the cinnamon rolls. This drastically cut down on time and made the whole process a lot easier. I would suggest doing the same if you want to make these fresh for Easter breakfast: make the dough, filling, and icing the day before Easter. Roll out and make the cinnamon rolls before church (if you plan on going) and let the cinnamon rolls do the second rise while you are out. Once you get home, bake, let cool, add frosting, and enjoy! But, feel free to do the entire process the day before, thaw the cinnamon rolls for breakfast and add icing. It’ll be less fresh, but still delicious.

For all you people saying “I can’t bake with yeast because it’s too difficult!,” don’t worry. It’s actually a lot easier than it seems. The trouble really lies with the temperature of the liquid when added to the yeast and the rising of the dough. Generally, liquid added to yeast should be lukewarm (the liquid shouldn’t be freezing, but shouldn’t be hot either). A good temperature range is about 100-1100F. As for the rising dough, it’s important to be patient and let it rise. For this recipe, there is no need to punch it down or knead it extra. That will lead to over-kneading, which will make the dough dense and chewy. If you keep these things in mind, the yeast will do its job well in the cinnamon rolls.

Though it might be easier to simply buy cinnamon rolls at the store or pop a Pillsbury doughboy canister, I promise this recipe will be worth your trouble. The freshness of all the elements (the dough, filling, and icing) will make these cinnamon rolls the best you’ve ever tasted. No gross preservatives will hold back the delicious potential of these tasty pastries.

I hope this recipe will help you to have a happy and delicious Easter!

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

¾ c. warm milk

2 ¼ tsp. Quick rise/active yeast

¼ c. granulated sugar

1 egg and 1 yolk (save the egg yolk for later)

¼ c. unsalted butter, melted (but not too hot so as not to cook the raw egg)

3 c. bread flour (I used all purpose flour; either type works)

¾ tsp. Salt

extra flour for rolling

Filling

2/3 c. brown sugar

1 ½ tbsp. ground cinnamon

¼ c. unsalted butter, softened

Icing

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened

¾ c. powdered sugar

½ tsp. Vanilla extract

Instructions

Warm the milk to 110 degrees and melt butter. Combine dry ingredients (except for the yeast) together (flour, sugar, salt). Once milk is done, add yeast and milk together. Mix around a bit and let sit for about 5 min. Once done, add warm butter (make sure butter is not above 100 degrees) and eggs to liquid mixture (save egg white for later). Add the entire mixture to the dough and mix with a bread hook on low speed until all ingredients are mixed. Mix again at medium speed until the dough cleans the bowl and forms a ball, about 8 minutes. Make sure the dough isn’t too sticky (add flour if so) or too dry (add more milk).

Let it rise: If cooking the same day, cover with a wet paper towel and let rise in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hrs. or until doubled in size. If making the next day, cover with a wet paper towel and place in the refrigerator until ready to use the next day.

Make the filling: Soften the butter (put butter in the microwave on defrost. The butter should move when pressed but should not be melted). Mix cinnamon with brown sugar, then add to butter, beating with a mixer. Stop to scrape down the bowl and beaters, then mix again until no butter chunks are left. Once done, put in the refrigerator.

Make the frosting: Soften cream cheese and butter. Beat both with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Refrigerate.

Once dough has risen, pour the dough out onto a well-floured surface. (I used a large sheet pan so that cleanup would be easier. A clean open counter works as well). Flour the top of the dough and the roller. Roll into a rectangle, with a thickness resembling pie crust.

Spread the filling evenly all over the dough, covering 3 sides (making sure to leave a 1-in. space at the top with the longest length).

Start to roll: Roll the dough, folding the longest side over. Roll tightly until you get to the 1-in. edge. Brush with egg whites and finish folding. This should make a long log-like shape.

With the knife/ bench scraper, cut into 1-in. segments. Grease pan(s) and space 2 in. apart. Let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm room.

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Once risen, cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook again until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Once done, allow it to cool. Once completely cooled, add cream cheese and spread evenly. Serve and enjoy!

With credit to Ambitious Kitchen’s The Best Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat recipe.

Tools Needed

Large bowl (big enough to hold the size of the initially mixed dough when doubled in size), mixer with bread hook (if you have neither, mixing by hand works just as well), dry measuring utensils, medium bowl, several (at least 4) microwave-proof bowls, medium bowl for filling, medium bowl for icing, mixer, beaters (should not be whisk-like so as not to incorporate air), roller, bench scraper or knife (for cutting cinnamon rolls), 1-2 pans, aluminum foil, spatula.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

Well, February has come. Winter makes going outside miserable unless you have more than five layers on. Even though the feast of Christmas seems far away, rich food can still make an appearance on your table, thanks to a very special holiday: Valentine’s Day! Today’s dish will warm you up and provide a rich, delicious flavor. No need to break out the fondue pot or go to an overpriced restaurant to get that perfect meal with a loved one. Ladies and gentlemen, today I will be writing about a delicious classic that has the ability to warm any soul and make your Valentine’s Day feast easier (and tastier): French onion soup!

Before you bemoan the overpowering onions or bad flavor, let me clear up some confusion on the soup. Generally, the flavor of the onions should not be overpowering. The onions also should not be burnt. That is a common mistake that ruins many a soup. Instead, the onions need to caramelize. Caramelizing happens when the natural sugars of a food (ex. onions) cook and caramelize, often turning the food brown (not black) and giving the food a nutty flavor. This is the main flavor base of the soup, so it’s important not to overcook the onions in this stage.

Next, is the bread and cheese. The bread (called the crouton) should generally be a crusty bread (such as a baguette) and should be toasted (usually under the broiler for a short time) before going into the soup. Otherwise, you will be left with very soggy bread. I made that mistake when attempting to make the soup on my own, and the result was neither pretty nor tasty. The cheese can be pretty much anything you desire; however, provolone or Gruyere will pair the best with the rich flavors of the soup.

In general, the soup will be layered like this: soup, toasted bread, and cheese. Once layered, all will go into the broiler (in an oven-proof ceramic bowl or cup) and will come out when the cheese bubbles and develops a bit of color.

Finally, the cooking wine! Most French onion soups are made with red wine. I used a Merlot, but any red wine will work. The wine will be used to deglaze the onions, removing the brown bits full of flavor from the pan and unlocking a lot of flavor. The wine will cook out, so the soup is safe for everyone to eat. Make sure not to use too much, though; it’s hard to counteract the strong flavor. A dixie cup (or 3 tablespoons) should be enough, but feel free to add more or less based on preference.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! May this soup warm up you and your loved ones and provide rich flavors for your tables!

Classic French Onion Soup

Ingredients

1 red and 1 white medium-large onion, refrigerated (the different types of onions will enhance the flavor)

4 tbsp. Butter

  1 large clove garlic, minced

  3-4 tbsp. red wine

  1 c. beef broth

 ½ c. water (optional)

  1 sprig fresh thyme

  1 sprig fresh oregano

  1 tsp black pepper

  1-2 slices cheese (provolone and Gruyere work best)

  1-2 large pieces of a crusty bread (like a baguette)

      Fresh chives, chopped (optional)

Tools Needed

• Cutting board

• Damp cloth or towel (for underneath cutting board to ensure the board doesn’t slide around)

• Heat-proof spatula

• Oven-proof bowl or large cup

Instructions

1. Heat the pot on medium-low heat. Add butter and allow to melt (don’t burn).

2. Cut up the onions (with the chef’s knife): Remove the skin and first layer of the onion, then cut the root and stem and place in a small bowl. Cut in lengthwise from stem to root. Place the flat side of the half on the cutting board. Cut thin, lengthwise slices of the onion. Place finished pieces in a large bowl.

3. Once butter is melted, put the onions in the pot. Stir to coat onions in butter and turn the heat down a bit. Stir occasionally, stirring off brown bits that form. Keep in mind brown bits are natural and provide flavor.

4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cut bread slice(s) with the serrated knife to fit the bowl/cup (I used 2 small slices of bread to fit the size of the bowl).

5. Grease the pan and put slices of bread on it. Once the oven is up to temperature, place bread in. Do not close the oven door (it will make the oven too hot), and only allow bread to toast 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool once done.

6. Stir onions and place lid on pot; allow to cook. This process may take a bit. Heat may be turned up, but nothing above medium heat.

7. Once brown (but not black), add in cooking wine. Wine should smoke when added. Allow to cook.

8. Add beef broth, pepper, and leaves of fresh thyme and oregano. Taste test the broth and add in water if the flavor is too rich. Bring to simmer.

9. Make sure the oven is still at 500 degrees. Add soup to an oven-proof bowl. Add bread to the surface of the soup, and top with cheese. Place bowl on top of the sheet pan and put in oven, making sure to leave the oven door cracked open once bowl is in the oven. Allow to cook until cheese bubbles and has a bit of color.

10. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh chives if desired. Allow to cool and serve.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great holiday. Now, before you lament over the loss of christmas (and the delicious foods you’ve consumed), rejoice! January (and the rest of the winter months) are a great time for delicious warm and hearty dishes that warm the soul. Dishes like chili, soup, and casseroles will melt your heart in these cold times and make you rethink those January blues. The dish I will introduce is one such hearty dish: Braised Chicken.

Though it may seem like a complicated process, braised chicken is a great dish because of how easy it is to make. Just do the dry cooking (cooking done on the skillet or stovetop), add stock, and throw it in the oven to forget about (until the timer rings, of course). There are three parts to braised chicken that make this dish flavorful and delicious: The process of searing, deglazing, and cooking the chicken in stock. Searing (which means cooking the meat on both sides quickly, often on a skillet) provides a flavor-base for the vegetables. Deglazing (the process of adding liquid to the cooked vegetables and scraping off browned bits) helps to unlock the flavor of both the vegetables and the brown bits that stick to the pan (the most flavorful part). Finally, cooking the chicken in the stock ensures that the chicken doesn’t dry out over the long cooking time and gives flavor to the chicken. Keep in mind that this dish involves both cooking on the stovetop and cooking in the oven.

I hope this dish can keep you warm in these cold January days!

Braised Chicken

Ingredients

4-5 bone-in chicken pieces (preferably chicken drumsticks)

1-2 stocks celery, chopped

1-2 large carrots, chopped

2 small onions, chopped

1 large potato, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I used instant stock powder, nothing fancy)

3 tsp. Olive oil (plus 4 tbsp. more for cooking)

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1 sprig thyme

2 tbsp. tomato puree

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. flour

 ¾ cup white wine

Tools Needed

– Large oven-proof pan

– 2 medium-sized bowls (one for holding raw chicken, 

     one for holding seared chicken)

– Heat-resistant spatula

– Fork

– 2 pairs of tongs

– Measuring cup (liquid)

– Several small bowls for holding chopped veggies

Instructions

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Chop veggies beforehand. Once finished, place in small bowls. In a separate bowl, place in 3-4 pieces bone-in chicken. Add salt, black pepper, paprika, and olive oil. Mix together by hand. Heat an oven-proof pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Place chicken in with first pair of tongs and allow to cook 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip to the other side and cook another 4-5 minutes. Discard the first pair of tongs. When finished, place chicken in clean bowl with second pair of tongs. Set aside.

Add in carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and potatoes, stirring occasionally. Cook until golden brown.

Add in butter, stir. Add in flour, stir. Add in tomato puree. This will make a thick roux with the vegetables. Add wine and stir.

Add in chicken or vegetable stock, scraping off browned bits. Place chicken back in pan, making sure not to let the chicken overlap or crowd the pan.

Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2 hours. Stir after 1 hour. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. You can check if the chicken is done by placing a food thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken (though not near a bone) and ensuring that the temperature is 165 degrees or higher. Serve and enjoy!

Can be served with a toasted baguette, warm biscuits with honey butter, or salad.

(With credit to Chef Lynch on his French style Braised Chicken video)

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Program at CTC

“The Story of Many Eggs”

I’m a Culinary Arts student at CTC in Frederick. Sadly, since my class cannot go into school, us novice chefs must take to our own home kitchens, armed with new knowledge and fire extinguishers. The first thing our class has learned about is eggs. To say I’m egged out is an understatement. Before this unit, I was a pretty big egg fan, but I wasn’t aware of how extremely versatile eggs are. For example, a chef’s hat has 22 folds because that is how many ways an egg can be made. My brain has been thoroughly scrambled with the sheer amount of hard-boiled facts that I’ve learned about eggs (pardon the puns, I couldn’t help myself!). This online course is free for everyone on Rouxbe.com, and I’ve learned so much about eggs that my family can hardly bear all the egg-related foods I’ve made. By the way, the egg course provides the usual egg cooking methods (poached, boiled, fried, scrambled), as well as international recipes. One such recipe is Shakshuka, a North African dish consisting of a thick tomato base and eggs on top. It might seem difficult and too exotic to make, but it is one of the easiest (and delicious) dinners I’ve ever made. It’s extremely versatile and can suit anyone’s preference. Enjoy the egg-cellent recipe below!

Easy Shakshuka (Serves 4)

Ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) with a depth of at least 2 in. (relatively shallow)

2 tbs. oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 fresh garlic cloves, minced (canned minced onion works too, but fresh garlic enhances flavor)

1 large bell pepper, chopped (can be green, orange, or red and can be omitted if not preferred)

1 zucchini, chopped (can also be omitted based on preference)

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. paprika

1 shake red pepper flakes

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

2 shakes harissa or cayenne (omit if spiciness is not preferred)

6 cups chopped tomatoes (or canned crushed tomatoes)

½ cup tomato sauce (can use tomato sauce and ½ cup water)

1 cup ground beef or sausage (or fake beef crumbles, rice, or

     quinoa for other dietary adaptations)

4 eggs (pre-cracked into separate bowls)

Garnishes (optional):

Fresh parsley

Toasted Pine nuts

Crispy Shallots

Toasted and crushed sesame seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Start by heating a pan over medium-high heat. If finishing in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Add garlic, onions, other vegetables, and spices to the pan. Turn heat to medium and stir occasionally to evenly cook veggies. Cook until onions are translucent. Add in the ground beef/ sausage (or other adaptations) to the pan. Make sure meat is pre-cooked. Stir in cubed tomatoes and tomato sauce into the mixture. Stirring occasionally, let simmer until boiling, about 10-15 minutes. At this point, the sauce should be thick. Turn off heat. Make 4 indents with a spoon on the surface of the sauce (not too deep, but deep enough to contain eggs). Pour in eggs, 1 egg per indent.

If finishing on the stovetop, cover and let cook. Doneness of eggs depends on preference, but egg white should be firm despite desired doneness. (The longer eggs cook = the harder the doneness).

If finishing in the oven, cover and cook in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Garnish and serve. Can be served with pita, naan, or challah bread.