Tag Archives: sharp cheddar

Food Bloggers Against Hunger: Cheesy Egg Muffin Sandwich

This past summer, with the help from Nicole of The Giving Table, bloggers joined together and dedicated their posts to fight for slave-free tomatoes.  After posting a Gluten-Free Tomato Tart last July, we were asked to participate in the Food Bloggers Against Hunger event.  Of course, we couldn’t wait to participate!

Nearly 1 in 4 children in America lives in households that struggle to put food on the table.  Millions of Americans who participate in the nation’s food stamp program are limited to an average of $4 per person, per day to supplement their food budget.  As a result, they struggle with hunger at some point during the year.  Rates of food insecurity are substantially higher than the national average among households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line, and among households with children headed by a single parent.  In Washington D.C., 30.7% of children experience limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods at some point during the year.

For a little homework, we watched A Place at the Table.  It’s a documentary that examines hunger in America by focusing on 3 families which struggle to put food on the table for their children.  It discusses how U.S. government subsidies favor products that require processing (e.g., soy beans, wheat, and especially corn) over fresh fruits and vegetables that can be consumed with little or no processing.  As a result, the most affordable food is often calorically dense, processed food, lacking nutritional value.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s food stamp program, is at risk for severe cuts that would impact millions of families and children who rely on school meals and food stamps to survive.  A number of anti-hunger organizations: Share Our Strength, Bread for the World, Feeding America, The Food and Research Action Center– are asking supporters to spread the word.

Our nations policies need to change in order for this problem to be solved.  Here are a few ways you can help and participate:

1) Send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation.  The more letters we send, the better.  Send this letter, it’ll take less than 30 seconds to fill out.

2) Go see A Place at the TableScreenings will be held in select cities through mid-June.  You can also view it on iTunes and Amazon.  Spread the word on what you have learned from the documentary.

3) Volunteer with Share Your Strength‘s Cooking Matters program.  The No Kid Hungry campaign educates and empowers low-income families to stretch their food budgets.

The documentary points out that many children and adults do not have access to low-cost, healthy breakfasts, and many go to school or work without eating anything.  With that in mind, Sam and I decided to post our favorite breakfast- it’s easy, fast, healthy, and low-cost.  Over 200 bloggers are participating in this event, check out what recipes others have posted.

I stopped by a local Safeway to pick up food for our breakfast, and to make sure we were on budget:

 Old Tyme English Muffins: $1.29 for 6; $0.22/English Muffin
 Lucerne Grade A Eggs: $2.49 for a dozen; $0.21/egg
 Lucerne Extra Sharp Cheddar: $4.39 for 16 oz; $0.27/ounce
 Green Onions: $1.39 for a bunch (approx. 8); $0.17/onion

Total Cost for one Cheesy Egg Muffin Sandwich: $0.87

 Total Calorie and Fat content per sandwich:
 Calories: 341*
 Fat: 17
*We used unsalted butter, but feel free to substitute with cooking spray.  We are assuming that everyone has one of these two items in their kitchen.

Cheesy Egg Muffin Sandwich

Cheesy Egg Muffin Sandwich
A Fifth Floor Kitchen blog
Servings: 2

2 English Muffins (preferably whole wheat)
2 eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 tsp butter or cooking spray
1-2 green onions, chopped
2 oz cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded

The trick with making omelets is to use a smaller pan, so that the omelet has enough depth to allow for folding over.  An 8-inch, non-stick pan is perfect for this.

While cooking the eggs, toast 2 English muffins in a toaster.

Crack two eggs into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and beat with a fork until well incorporated.  Coat the pan with butter or cooking spray, and put it over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot, pour in the scrambled egg mixture.  Sprinkle green onions on one half of the egg mixture, wait until it begins to firm up.  When the omelet is firmed up, and only slightly liquidy on top, add the cheese slices on top of the green onions.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold the omelet in half.  Turn the stove top off, wait for about a minute to allow the cheese to melt.  Then cut the omelet in half, and serve each half on an English Muffin.

A Delicious Birthday Dinner

Over the weekend our friend B* had a birthday, and we decided to treat him to a delicious dinner.  I’ll give Sam all of the credit- this was all done by him! 

Filet Mignon with Bourbon Sauce, Cheesy Shrimp ‘n Grits, and Oven Roasted Broccolini

Oven Roasted Broccolini

This is definitely the easiest part of the meal, but delicious nonetheless.  Roasting (rather than steaming) maintains the crunch, while adding wonderful flavors of caramelization.  Incidentally, substituting with asparagus, brussel sprouts, or baby red potatoes is a scrumptious alternative.

2 bunches of broccolini (regular broccoli works fine too)
Extra virgin olive oil
Bacon Salt®

On a cookie sheet, coat the broccolini (use your hands here) in olive oil and season liberally with the bacon salt.  Add to a preheated, 400° oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Once the broccolini florets begin to brown, remove from the oven and set aside.

Shrimp ‘n Grits

A southern classic!  The deep flavor and richness of this one is certain to impress.

1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb smoked bacon (we bought ours at the Farmer’s Mkt)
½ lb shredded sharp cheddar (we recommend a higher-end cheese, not just the yellow block cheese; ours was from Cowgirl Creamery)
1 cup of dry grits  (instant grits are sacrilege)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, diced (don’t even think about discarding the seeds!)
1 quart whole milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

In a large pot, bring the milk and butter to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a large pan cook the bacon until crispy, then set aside on a paper towel to dry.  Roughly chop once cool.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan.

Next, add the onion and peppers to the hot bacon fat and cook until the onions are translucent.  Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the milk.  Add the grits and chopped bacon to the simmering milk as well, whisking occasionally.

Coat the shrimp in salt and pepper and add to the bacon grease for about 4 minutes, or until pink.  Remove them from the grease and stir into the grit mixture.

Once the grits are thick, stir in the cheddar cheese, and season with salt and cracked black pepper.  You can also add more butter if you like.

Filet Mignon with Bourbon Sauce

Filet mignon; that heavenly cut of beef you’ve probably only eaten in restaurants.  Believe it or not, it is surprisingly easy to cook and will rival anything you can find at an expensive steakhouse.  One note: now is not the time to go cheap!  Splurge and get the best, grass-fed, organic meat you can find.  It really does matter.

1 filet per person
2 cups Bourbon
Butter
Salt
Pepper
1/2 cup of half-and-half

A half-hour before you plan to cook, season the filets liberally with salt and pepper, and allow them to come to room temperature.

In a very hot skillet, cook the filets for 3 minutes on all sides.  Then add the skillet to a preheated 400° oven for about 6-10 minutes, depending on how rare you like it.  I like to put a slice of butter on top just before I add to the oven.  When done, remove the pan from the oven and set the filets aside on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest.

Bourbon Sauce

First off, let me state that this step involves igniting alcohol vapor and can thus be very dangerous.  Read and familiarize these steps before you begin.  If you’re uncomfortable with dealing with an open flame, substitute the bourbon with a dry, red wine (Chianti works well), which will not ignite.

After you’ve removed your now perfect filets, put your skillet on the cook top and turn your burner off.  Add 2 cups of good bourbon to the hot skillet.  Cover the skillet about ¾ of the way with a pan lid or cookie sheet.  Using a long match, set the alcohol vapor ablaze.  Adjust the pan lid or cookie sheet such that the flame is allowed to burn but that it is not too high.  Turn your burner back on to low.

After about 10 minutes, the alcohol will burn off and the fire will extinguish itself.  If you’re using wine instead, just allow it to reduce by about half, no ignition necessary.

Next, add half-and-half, 1 tablespoon of butter, and a little salt and pepper (about 1 tsp of each) to the bourbon.  Reduce the sauce by about half, whisking occasionally.  When done, plate your finished meal and coat each filet with the rich sauce.

Bon appétit!