Doesn't that look interesting? It's really good! And it was my dinner. Mine alone. Just for me. Do you know how challenging it can be to cook for one person? Totally not my thing but I was hungry and no one else was home. I looked at a bowl of lemons and wanted something with lemon. But I didn't have any meat defrosted. Egg popped into my mind and there my search began. A rather quick search with a quick solution. Just for me.
I'll tell you all about it in a minute. First, let's talk about challenges. I enjoy a good challenge. Maybe not stress that comes with some challenges, but the fun kind. The kind that makes you think outside your box and makes you grow, in a fun way (read food way). If I haven't done it before, I wanna try it. If I have done it, I wanna do it differently. That's where Marx Food's Iron Foodie 2010 comes in.
Marx Foods is the company where I got 2 pounds of incredibly yummy morel mushrooms from and some really fun palm leaf bowls and plates. Well, now they're hosting a challenge, complete with some ingredients. Secret ingredient. How cool is that?! You see...Marx Foods doesn't just sell mushrooms and biodegradable plates and bowls. They sell a whole line of gourmet ingredients. Sooo...in order to be considered as a participant in their Iron Foodie 2010 contest, I need to answer a few questions...one of which was just answered above regarding why I want to compete in the challenge. In case I didn't make myself clear....the cut and dry answer is....the shear fun of expanding my "box", growing and learning!
Have you ever dreamed of spending time with one particular person in the kitchen? It has crossed my mind several times over the years. I wish that I had lived closer to my grandmother, Elvie. I would've loved learning all that she knew about cooking. She could pull together a spread for the whole family and everyone was satisfied and full of good, home cooked food. Then I think how awesome it would be to laugh and play with butter in the kitchen with Paula Deen. She just looks like she has a great time playing with food, and of course eating it and sharing the love with those around her. But if I had to pick one person, I think I'd have to say, Julia Child. We could drink wine and make a huge mess and come out with a fabulous dish. I have a feeling I'd learn the most from her....I'd really have to pick her brain on all that she learned in France. I'd probably end up learning more than just food stuffs. She was a go getter and conqueror, not only in the kitchen, but in life.
I love french fries. (I mean...honestly....who doesn't? Well, besides my virtual twin sister, Joy) A little greasy....crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside. I particularly enjoy dipping them in ranch dressing. On occasion, well, on a lot of occasions, I finish my fries before anyone else does. If you value your fries, do not leave them unattended during my watch. You just might find yourself a few fries short of a serving. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to get burgers and fries on a Sunday afternoon for the family, only to arrive home with a bunch of half empty bags. I got away with blaming the burger joint employee's for being stingy with the fries a couple of times. Eventually....they caught on. I no longer am allowed to do the burger runs on my own.
(only 2 more...then we'll get to the recipe)
Thanksgiving Dinner! Now we're talking!!! When I think back to all the family meals we had together during my childhood....Thanksgiving is my favorite. We all got together, we all helped in some way (I usually had to set the table.....sigh) and we all ate like pigs. One of my aunts and I would fight over the crispy skin. Hands were often slapped (very often mine) for "testing" the food before it was served. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday with the perfect meal. You get all the good food and quality, memorable family time without the stress of buying presents.
We all have a food we cannot, will not, flat out refuse to eat. I can't stand eggplant. I have tried. It has even been secretly included in my meal, but not unnoticed. There are other foods I'm not fond of, such as beats, and brussel sprouts....but eggplant tops that list. Beats run a very close second. Fish....isn't by choice, it's an allergy thing. But if you want to see me gag, shiver and look completely ridiculous....make me eat an eggplant. Don't say I didn't warn you.
And, that's me. In one of my many nutshells. Now I just wait and see if I am chosen as one of the 25 contestants. (cross your fingers)
Back to my single serving dinner. I really enjoyed the lemon and basil combo with the egg, (of course cheese is always a welcome ingredient but it wasn't the king of this dish) all in a crispy baguette. Way simple to make with only a few ingredients needed. This dish is meant as a much larger meal, made with a foccacia, but I scaled it down, just for me. Giada really has some very wonderful recipes. If you want the original, full blown, feed several people reciep....click ---->HERE<----
This is a loose recipe....the quantities are adjustable and changeable. Do what sounds good for you.
Lemon, Basil and Egg in a Baguette
4" section of a baguette
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons or so of shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon or so of chopped fresh basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350' F
Hollow out the bread. Cut the bread up, or tear it, into bite sized pieces and set it aside. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Brush the inside of the baguette with the lemon oil.
Stick the bread in the oven to toast. If you are one of the lucky ones who happen to have a toaster oven...go for it!! I don't have one. Never have. First time I ever used one was when I started my current job, about 2 yrs ago. I left my bread in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes....I wanted it crispy.
While that's going on, in a small bowl, beat the egg, some of the cheese, and basil together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add most of the bread crumbs to the egg mixture. When your bread is toasted to your desire, fill it up with the bread/egg mixture. Top with more cheese
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, (roughly...I wasn't looking at the clock exactly) until the egg is cooked.
Good stuff, simple fresh flavors and ingredients that come together in a big way. And you know what? I didn't even miss not having any meat for dinner (thats a biggy for me....I like my meat). I think the whole wheat baguette that I used was earthy enough to almost make me think I was tasting meat. (weird, huh?) But if you'd like, you could totally add some bacon or sausage to this baby. Oooh...and maybe a handful of spinach. Ya....there definitely is room for personal growth with this dish.