Author Archives: admin

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Fiddlehead, Bacon and Gouda Omelette

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It’s Memorial Day weekend, and in Maine, there’s a very small culinary window that falls during this time: Fiddlehead season. For the flatlanders — those “from away” — fiddleheads are new sprouts of a plant called the Ostrich fern, and when harvested, look like what their name implies… the head of a violin.

They’re quite tasty, too. Flavor-wise, they fall somewhere between asparagus and spinach. When we’ve made them in the past, we’ve usually just steamed or sauteed them with a little bacon, salt, and pepper. But this weekend, Kelly came up with this pretty simple recipe idea, and we were very pleasantly surprised at how well it came out.

Ingredients:

  • Fiddleheads, cleaned. (A half pound or so. Enough to chop up and put in an omelette.)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 or 4 strips of bacon
  • A few pieces of gouda cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

1) Saute the fiddleheads in the olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes, until tender. Set aside. (Note: Cook thoroughly. Fiddleheads should never be eaten raw.)

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2) Cook bacon. Set aside. Be careful. Bacon should never be cooked while naked.

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3) Slice some of the gouda. Set aside. (Notice how I didn’t say, “Cut the cheese?”)

IMG_08864) Chop bacon and fiddleheads.

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5) Scramble your eggs and cook them as you would any other less-impressive omelette. Add bacon, fiddleheads and gouda. Season to taste.

IMG_0889[1]6) Fold over (Always the hardest step in omelette preparation). Wait till cheese melts (Also may be a challenge). Then enjoy!

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In true Stay Home and Eat form, this recipe came out way better than anything we could have ordered out. If you decide to try it, let us know how it came out. And hurry. Fiddlehead season is pretty short!

 


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Bean-Hole Baked Beans

Here’s an authentic Maine recipe for baked beans, in which we buried a pot of beans in a “bean-hole” among hot coals, and allowed them to bake in the ground overnight.  This was the first time we’ve ever tried making them, and we were very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, and how good they came out.  Brett’s parents came up from NY State to visit for the weekend, so they had a chance to taste the bean-hole-y goodness, also.

The Bean-Hole

We dug a hole (away from the house and other combustibles) about 2 1/2 feet deep, and about 3 feet across.  We then lined the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the hole with stones.  The size of the hole depends, obviously, on the size of the bean pot you plan to use.  Just make sure there’s enough room for the bean pot to fit comfortably in the hole, along with a good bed of hot coals.  We used a cast iron 5-quart Dutch Oven, which held 2 pounds of beans.

The Bean Recipe

2 pounds of beans (We used Jacob’s Cattle beans for this one.  Soldier, Great Northern, Navy, and Yellow Eye all work real well, also)

1/2 pound of butter, OR 12 oz. of salt pork

3 Tbsp. Minced onion

2 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 1/4 cup molasses

Enough boiling water to cover the beans.

Preparation & Cooking

Soak the beans in water for 8 hours, or overnight.

Build a wood fire in the bean hole, letting it burn until the bottom of the bean hole is covered with a bed of hot coals.  Should take about 2 hours.  (Optional: Add some charcoal briquettes if you’d like to “help it along.”)

Combine the beans with the other ingredients in a large cast-iron pot or Dutch Oven, and add enough boiling water to cover.  (We also covered the top of the pot with foil, to keep any dirt from spilling in during the process.)

When the bottom of the bean hole is sufficiently full of hot coals, shovel some of the coals out of the hole, and reserve in a (metal) wheelbarrow.  Nestle the bean pot in the bean hole among the remaining coals, and pull the coals around the sides.  Dump the reserved coals from the wheelbarrow over the top of the bean pot, then cover with dirt, and allow to cook overnight.

The heated rocks and hot coals will allow the beans to cook slowly in the ground, and covering everything with dirt will help the beans to retain moisture during cooking.

And that’s it!  Next morning, uncover, and take the bean pot out of the hole.

Enjoy!  If you decide to try ’em, we’d love to hear how they came out!

As always, comments and questions are welcome below, or by e-mailing us at stayhomeandeat@gmail.com

*Oven Baking

Prepare the beans as above, and bake in a conventional oven for 6 hours at 350 degrees.  During oven baking, some evaporation may occur, so periodically add enough water to keep beans covered.


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Manhattan Cocktail

As Woody Allen said, “Man cannot live on bread alone.  Frequently, there must be a beverage…”  Stories vary on the origin of the Manhattan, but the one thing that virtually all of them agree upon is that the drink WAS invented in the city that bears its name.  Easy, delicious, classic!

MANHATTAN

6 parts bourbon whisky

3 parts sweet vermouth

A couple dashes Angostura bitters

Maraschino cherry juice/liqueur (to taste)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Stir or shake briskly.  Strain into two chilled cocktail glasses.  Garnish with maraschino cherry.  Serves two.

Like martinis, varying the amounts of vermouth, bitters, and maraschino juice can alter the flavor of the drink significantly.  Less vermouth = dry, more vermouth = sweet…  You’ll have to experiment to get it the way you like it.  (The experimentation is the best part of the process!)

As always, enjoy (responsibly, please)!

Brett & Kelly


  • 1

Pan Seared Tuna Steak with Spinach & Lentil Salad

This is another one of those restaurant dishes we’ve always loved, and always wanted to see if we could re-create at home.  Turns out it’s really easy, really tasty, and really pretty good for you, too…

Our tuna steaks ran us 9.99 a pound, which may seem steep, but one pound of fish is PLENTY for this dish, and it serves two with room for leftovers.  But when you consider that at the restaurant, this dish runs $19 a plate, the savings become pretty evident.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb tuna steak

4 Tbsp sesame seeds

1 bag of baby spinach leaves (5 oz bag)

Juice from ½ a lemon

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup lentils, cooked

Salt & pepper, to taste

To prepare lentils, boil for 20 mins, until al dente (firm to the bite).  Set aside.

Add spinach to a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and all but 1 Tbsp of olive oil until thoroughly blended.  Pour over spinach, and gently toss to coat.

Heat a skillet or non-stick frying pan.  Lightly brush both sides of each tuna steak with remaining oil.  Sprinkle sesame seeds over tuna steaks to coat.  Add tuna steaks to hot pan, searing for 90 seconds on each side for rare… (A little longer to get it a little closer to medium).

Remove from heat and let rest on a cutting board.  Add bed of spinach to a plate, and sprinkle lentils over the greens.  Slice tuna steaks and lay over bed of spinach.  Salt and pepper to taste.  (Serves 2-4)

As always, use the video to help you along, and comment below, or e-mail us to let us know how you made out, at stayhomeandeat@yahoo.com

Enjoy!

Brett & Kelly


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Oven-Roasted Beet Salad

This is a very easy, very inexpensive Beet Salad recipe we adapted from a dish served at one of our favorite local restaurants, Perrihouse in Bangor, Maine.  As with all our restaurant-inspired recipes, this is just our interpretation of the original, and not actually “their” recipe.

Ingredients

5 oz. Mixed Field Greens (“Bag Salad” is fine!)

One 8 oz. can sliced beets

Lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing (to taste)

Bleu cheese crumbles

Sliced almonds or chopped hazelnuts (optional)

Cracked black pepper

Simply divide field greens and arrange on two plates.  Layer the sliced beets over the field greens, and sprinkle each plate with crumbled bleu cheese.  Dress with balsamic vinaigrette to taste, and add almonds or hazelnuts to finish.  Season with cracked pepper, and dig in!  (Serves Two)

As always, comments are most welcome.  Let us know how you made out!

Enjoy,

Brett & Kelly


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“Number 12” Pizza

So named because that’s what it rates on a scale of 1 to 10, “Number 12” Pizza is a favorite recipe of ours, and an absolute can’t-miss for everyone we’ve ever served it for.  Whenever the kids would bring home a new boyfriend or girlfriend to meet us for the first time, this was (and still is) the requested “First Meal.”  It blows away anything the take-out places make, and it’s way less expensive.  Here’s how we make it:

For the crust, we use a bread machine, but if you don’t have one, you can go with whatever’s easy for you.  The pizza places will sometimes sell you an uncooked dough, so if you have a favorite place, ask ‘em.

The Bread Machine Recipe (Makes 2lb dough, enough for 2 pies)

4 Cups Bread Flour

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/3 Cups water

1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

Combine all ingredients in bread machine, set it to “Pizza” or “Dough” setting, and start ‘er up.

When cycle is complete, remove dough, punch down, cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.  Preheat over to 425 degrees.

After 10 minutes, remove plastic, and divide dough in half, and either make 2 pizzas, or freeze one of the halves for use later.

With your hands or a rolling pin, flatten dough to about 18 inches in diameter, and transfer to an oiled pizza pan.  Build up edge of dough.  Poke holes all over the dough.  This’ll keep it from getting those huge air bubbles as it cooks.  Bake the dough by itself for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.  THIS IS CRUCIAL TO GET A PERFECT CRISPY CRUST!

Remove dough from oven, and add toppings.  Cheese, seasonings, sausage, onion, mushrooms… Use whatever you like here.  For sauce, we’ve tried a bunch, and we’ve found Casa Visco makes one we really enjoy.  Once your pizza is topped, return to the oven for another 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

And that’s it!  Take it out, slice it up, and share!  We’re sure you’ll love it.  Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know how you made out!

And you can always shoot us a note at stayhomeandeat@yahoo.com

Enjoy!

Brett & Kelly


  • 5

Introducing Stay Home and Eat

Category : Uncategorized

For the most part, we’re a couple who’s a lot like you.  Both employed, middle-class, homeowners, two kids, dog, the whole deal.  We’re both big fans of many kinds of cuisine.  We both like to cook, and we both also enjoy eating out.  And until recently, we’ve probably spent a little more than we should on restaurant food, too.

After a recent job change for Kelly, our household income took a bit of a hit, which required us to take a second look at those extraneous expenditures like the weekly (and sometimes twice-a-week) trip to our favorite restaurant(s).

We were at first a little disappointed with the notion that we’d no longer be able to indulge in our accustomed fashion, but something very interesting has been happening:  We’re actually [gasp!] enjoying staying home and eating!   It’s something fun that we both enjoy and can do together, we can exercise a little creativity, and it doesn’t involve a remote control.  And best of all, we’re realizing just how easy it is to recreate some of our favorite restaurant dishes, and save some money in the process.

And that’s the impetus behind us starting this blog – to share some of our favorite dishes, and show you how much fun you can have with your significant other, while saving money that we, like many others, can ill-afford to part with these days.

We’ve provided videos of these recipes, as well as a more detailed written piece to accompany each one.  We encourage you to try whichever of these dishes strike your fancy, and we hope you’ll share your experiences, your feedback, and your own recipes as well.

Enjoy!

Brett & Kelly Slater