We had the pleasure of staying at the Asia Spa and Bed in Asheville NC. It is a cozy little B&B just six bedrooms, but all beautifully decorated and very, very comfortable. We went there to visit the River Arts district, a very large collection of galleries and working studios in Asheville, most are open to visitors, only how they ever get any work done is a mystery to me with all the visitors. Asia serves a breakfast every day and on our first day we had French Toast in a ramekin! Imagine my surprise, I’ve written a book about ramekin cooking and here’s some one actually doing it. I haven’t thought of French Toast in a ramekin. It was great, so I asked the manager, Nicolette, if I could use the recipe, she said yes, so here is my version. Like French Toast it’s very simple and this one you make the night before. Double or triple the mixture and make four or six… and feed an army! They are all done at once so no waiting. We told her she should write an Asia Spa cook book.
1/4 cup half and half
4 slices of bread, not Wonder bread
2 dashes of cinnamon
Two eight ounce ramekins (2 – 11oz. ones)
2 pats of butter
Peach or Apple sliced thin (optional)
In a small bowl beat the eggs well, then add the half and half and cinnamon. Cut the bread into quarter slices that will fit into the ramekin. Spray the ramekins with PAM. Dip the cut bread into the egg mix four times or so and put the slices in the ramekin with the bread standing up until it is full. Our friends like to put a thin slice of fruit between each slice of bread. Leave some of the crust showing as it will brown and create eye appeal. Place a small dab of butter and then a little cinnamon on top. Put them into the fridge and allow them to rest overnight.
Next day – Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.
Put the ramekins into the oven and bake for 30 min. or until they brown a little on top. Cut around the sides of the cup with a butter knife and using a fork and the butter knife on either side, carefully lift the toast out of the cup. Dust them with a little XXX sugar. Serve with some maple or other syrups on the side and some fresh fruit. At Asia we had a berry mix; blueberries, strawberries and black berries. Very yummie! PS they do freeze well, just defrost for about an hour and pop them into the toaster oven.
We usually have this dish as a side for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I thought it would make a good entrée as well, so I worked up this version. Small size, no meat, it makes a perfect light dish for summer with a salad. If you need a larger, casserole style for a big dinner, just double or triple the ingredients, skip the Filo dough and just put some bread crumbs on top to brown. We like to add some fresh cilantro to it, that brightens the taste and adds a little zing. Makes about three 8 oz. ramekins.
1 14 oz. can of whole Artichokes
1 Pkg. frozen Spinach
4 oz. Cream cheese
4 Tbs. of Butter, warmed
¼ cup of bread Crumbs
¼ cup chopped onion
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro leaves (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pkg. frozen filo dough
Cilantro or flat parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. and spray two or three ramekins with PAM
Defrost the spinach and cook it in the microwave until it is hot. Then put it into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Press the water out of the spinach. Rinse and drain the artichokes, cut off the stems if they have any. You want these to stand up in the cup. You can add the stems to the spinach mix, if you wish for flavor. Press the water out of the artichokes between paper towels.
Cream the spinach, onions, chopped cilantro, butter, bread crumbs and cream cheese together.
Place two sheets of Filo in each ramekin and let the sides droop over the top. Stand up enough of the artichokes in the ramekin to cover the bottom of each. Put a layer of of the spinach butter combination on top. Fold the filo dough over on top of the ramekin. Bake for 30 min. or until the top browns well. Pick the package out of the dish using two forks, plate it and I like to put a leaf of cilantro or flat parsley on top as a decoration, a slice of a small tomato works well too.
Serve with a salad and a good Pinot Grigo, Enjoy!
We love waffles in the morning. There is simply nothing better on a cold frosty morning and I can think of nothing else on Christmas morn. The waffles we love are totally home made. The frozen or mix kind just do not stand up to ours. So get yourself a waffle iron and try this recipe. It also makes great pancakes. We love it either way with blueberries or cooked pears. Use an electric mixer to beat it all together properly.
1 pkg. dry yeast (about a level Tbs.)
1 3/4 cups of warm milk and 1/4 cup warm water.
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1/4 Tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 Tsp. vanilla
Put the water in with the milk and if needed warm them in the microwave for a minute or so.
Beat the eggs, add the milk and water and the yeast. Continue beating until well mixed, a minute or so. Now add the flour, salt, sugar, vegetable oil and the corn meal. Mix very throughly, scraping the sides. Let it sit for an hour or so until it rises to about double its size.
Now oil and heat up your waffle iron and beat down the mixture a little. Pour a little into your waffle iron, ours takes about 1/3rd cup but it can vary depending on the size of your iron. We put the top down but we don’t latch it, that allows it to rise more than normal. Pop it out with a fork when done and serve them hot from the iron with some fruit and Sugar free Maple Syrup (Cary’s). These are great!
Sauteed Pears (microwaved)
1 pear per two persons. Peal and core a pear. Slice it and place the slices into a microwaveable dish. Add a pat of butter, cinnamon and a dash of rum (or not) and microwave for 1-2 min. depending on how hard the pear is. Put this on your waffle with maple syrup, yumm!
T day is coming up so i’m reposting this. I’ve been out sick for the past couple of weeks, Flu, Cold, Infected Tooth, who knows? Any way I was in no mood to Blog so no Blog.
It’s the season so I decided to add a couple more of our Holiday favorites. Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce is not totally sugar free. It does have some orange juice in it and cranberries do have a little sugar in them. This is a whole berry sauce (not jellied). We used to make it with tons of sugar, now we use Splenda. One batch makes enough for about 6 people, so if it’s only you and one other, cut everything in half. Ideally you want to make this ahead of time so it has time to thicken in the fridge. The day before is good but at least 4-6 hours ahead.
2 12 oz. bags of fresh cranberries
1 good sized orange
1 cup of Splenda
2 cups of water
2 Tbs. of White Wine
1 Tbs. of Lime juice
Wash the cranberries in a strainer and drain. Put them in a medium pot with the two cups of water, the wine and lime juice. Make zest out of the orange skin using a zester. It’s a tool you can buy at the grocery store that cuts thin strips out of the peel, leaving the white pith on the orange.
Put the zest into the pot and squeeze the juice from the orange and add it to the pot. Add the cup of Splenda and stir it all together.
Cover and boil for about 5 min. or so. Then turn down the heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes. Let it cool on the stove and then in the fridge.
My book “Small Foods” available on Amazon, has lots more recipes, sorry no deserts or sauces, just Entrees and all of them ramekin sized. We will add the deserts section in the next book.
We took a couple of weeks off to go to Utah and see the canyons in Bryce and Zion National Parks with a couple of friends. They wanted to cook all of the meals or go out to eat, so I didn’t get a chance to try out any new recipes on them. So I’m including a recipe from the book. The canyons were beautiful, immense and impressive, if you haven’t been there you have to go. More on my photo site in a few days when I sort them all and get them up http://www.fishbourne.shutterfly.com
1/4 cup each coarsely chopped; Green Pepper, broccoli, Mushrooms and Onions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped ham or ham lunch meat
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Bisquick, pancake mix or flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash of ground Nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
We put all of the vegetables in a bowl and cook them in the microwave for a few minutes. Let them cool before continuing. You can also saute everything in a little olive oil if you wish.
In a medium bowl, beat the two eggs. Add the cheddar cheese, ham, milk and Bisquick. Add the cooled vegetables, (if they are hot they will cook the eggs), the nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix throughly.
Spray two ramekins with PAM and fill them with the mixture. You may have enough for 3-4 ramekins.
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Start checking them after 20 mins.
Run around the edges of the ramekin with a butter knife and they should just pop out when you turn them over on the plate, Flip them back over so the brown top shows. Should they stick in the cup, spoon them out and place the top on top. They will still taste delicious!
There are many variations of this dish you can try, crab, lobster, smoked salmon, sausage, bacon, swiss, mozzarella, etc. Be creative!
This is also another dish that makes excellent mini versions for an appetizer. Make two or three batches in mini muffin cups. Be careful, they may cook very quickly, so check them often. Enjoy!
I started writing Small Foods about two years ago. I’ve been cooking for about 15 years, maybe more.My wife worked in major ad agencies as a creative director. I worked in technical marketing. She went home when the work for the day was done. She would call to let me know approximately when she would get out. I left at about 5 PM with everybody else. She had an hour commute, mine was usually short. When I arrived home I would start the dinner. When she arrived, I would plate it up.
One evening, while making spinach pie, I thought about just how much of this pie went to waste. There were only two of us and it would only keep so long. So the next time I made it, I made it in two 7 oz. ramekins. It was perfect, just the right size for dinner with a salad and no left overs.
After I retired, I started cooking other foods in ramekins. And after adjusting for a small size (proportionaly you need more spices not less) they came out perfect as well. My wife commented that I should write a cook book. So I did. You can buy it on Amazon, just search for Small Foods by Bill Fishbourne. Here’s a spread below so you can see my photos and my wife’s super book design. You can double click on it to see it in high-res. Enjoy!
I intend doing a lot with this blog, more recipes, cooking videos, previews of my second book and even funny stories. Check back once in a while to see what’s going on. Or click on FOLLOW and be notified whenever we put up something new.