HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Marmalade French Toast Casserole with Walnuts and Orange Flavored Syrup


        
Ina Garten's French Toast -- jumping off point
for our casserole
I’m always on the lookout for a great breakfast casserole for a crowd. This is because a couple of times a year I am called upon to help out at a Church breakfast.  I am a particular fan of recipes that call for refrigerating the dish overnight.   The next morning all you do is stick the thing in the oven while you set the table and get out the juice and coffee.  On “Chopped”, the television show where chef contestants are confronted with basket of ingredients and asked to whip up a meal out of them, Andrew and I always get a laugh at how many end up making French Toast as their dessert course.  Of course they never call it that.  It’s always Pain Perdu, which isn’t wrong because that’s what the French call French Toast.  The best version of French Toast I’ve ever tasted is Ina Garten’s.  What makes hers so memorable are two things that I’ve incorporated into today’s recipe.  She uses orange zest and the bread she prefers is Brioche.  Now it seems to me that if you use Brioche, you could easily pass off your French Toast as Pain Perdu and get away with it a lot more cleanly than if you’ve used Pepperidge Farm White Bread.  But Ina is a lot more down to earth than any contestant I’ve ever witnessed on Chopped.  So she calls it French Toast.  And so will I.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Salmon with Mustard Sauce and a Cannellini Bean Ragu

  

Salmon is a true workhorse in the world of seafood.  It is on menus everywhere and seems to come from an endless number of places around the world.  On my most recent visit to the market to pick up the fish to make this dish, I saw no less than 5 different salmon offerings ranging in price from 19.99 lb. for Norwegian Wild-Caught Salmon to Farm-Raised Fish from Chile at 7.99 a lb.  In between, there was Canadian Wild Caught and Farm Raised and Pacific Salmon of undermined origin.  Salmon is, of course, a marvel of nutrition containing those all-important Omega 3 Fatty Acids.   If somehow you’ve missed the news, these particular Fatty Acids lower your risk of heart disease.  But that isn’t half of what they do according to WebMD.com.  They can curb stiffness and the pain of arthritis in the joints.  Countries where they are consumed at high levels have lower levels of depression.  They aid in Baby Development, improve lung function among Asthmatics, reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Syndrome, improving children’s mental skills like thinking, remembering and learning and finally, there is even research that suggests Omega 3s protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  If you haven’t immediately run out and bought a giant piece of salmon, caveat emptor: Farm raised salmon is not the fount of Omega 3s that Wild Salmon is.  So when you buy salmon, try to buy wild caught if your budget will allow.