What is a “Base Dish”?

 Dinner last night is breakfast this morning: The Morning After Meal.

I like to cook in a style I call “Base”.  This means it’s a base for any meal.  I make something flavorful but not too specific, so I can add a few ingredients the next day to transform it into something else.  Mostly everything in my kitchen is a Mediterranean influence, so the spices are of the same origin.  Roasted brussel sprouts are added to cooked grains or a green salad the next day.  You only added garlic when you cooked them, so now add lemon, herbs or vinaigrette.  Now you’ve maximized time in the kitchen, you’re still eating something homemade and spending money wisely.  
Let’s get specific: I made balsamic glazed carrots and salmon en papelle (see previous blog posts) for dinner.  I had a little left over and a few more mushrooms in the fridge.  Also, last night Eddie and I had a great baguette and brie.  We wrapped the remainder of the baguette in plastic to keep it fresh.  Now, I know some people feel weird about leftovers, but if you make something different and very tasty, who cares when you cooked it?  So with all these items already made, I hit the kitchen.
Dinner last night is breakfast this morning: The Morning After Meal.
½ teaspoon butter divided
3 eggs (1 whole and 2 whites)
3 balsamic glazed carrots
2 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon grated hard cheese (such as Parmesano Reggiano or aged Gouda)
½ teaspoon herbs (thyme, basil or parsley)
½ shallot, sliced
2 slices of baguette toasted and a smear of brie
In a small bowl, beat eggs with herbs, salt and pepper.

In a skillet, melt and slightly brown ¼ teaspoon of butter. Sauté carrots and mushrooms for 4-6 minutes.  Set aside on a plate.  Melt ¼ teaspoon of butter in pan, making sure it isn’t too hot (if it starts to brown butter too quickly, remove from heat for a minute).  Once pan is replaced on the heat source, sauté shallot for 1 minute, until it begins to soften, then add egg mixture and ½ of the cheese.  Scramble to desired doneness, plate with carrots and mushrooms, and top with remainder of cheese.  Serve with baguette and coffee.

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