We can’t make this sauce at the Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast without someone asking for the recipe. It’s so easy yet so elegant. It’s delicious on just about any fruit! I especially enjoy a dollop on a bowl of fresh berries. –like the unbelievably sweet strawberries we have been getting from Full Sun Farm.
In a food processor mix:
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (not Greek)
1 Tbsp sugar
1Tbsp vanilla extract
zest of half an orange
I recommend tasting to make sure it meets with your approval, if not, add a little more of whatever you think it needs. I prefer the sauce thick, but you can thin it by adding more yogurt. I’ve tried different Ricotta chesses but have had the most success with Breakstone whole milk. This recipe serves 8.
It seems like I do a lot of blogging about food but what can I say, I have a passion for food, especially fresh from the farm food. Last week I had many guests with certain dietary needs. Rather than make a bunch of ingredient substitutions or several different breakfasts, I decided to be bold and make one breakfast that would make everyone happy. And when I saw the beautiful variety of potatoes my friend and go-to local organic farmer, Alex Brown from Full Sun Farm had at market…my mind screamed a veggie hash with an egg or not on top.
I grabbed a hand full each of gorgeous Green Mountain, German Butterball, Papa Cacho and Russian Banana Fingerlings, some yellow onions, Red Rosa di Milano onions, red peppers, fresh basil and divine Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Unfortunately, Alex did not have any kale so I had to visit our local grocery store for some baby kale, assorted mushrooms and avocados. I also picked up some seeded bread from City Bakery for toast. I have found that not everyone is a fan of mushrooms, so I always check and if there is an objection, I just move some of the sautéed onions to a separate pan continue with the recipe omitting the mushroom step.
Honestly, I couldn’t wait to make breakfast the next morning. There are some meals you just get really excited about and this one is by far one of my very favorites. It also gets raving reviews from my guests. I am including the recipe and some pictures with this blog. Here at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast we are happy to share all our recipes with our guests. Keep in mind, I have done my best to estimate the measurements, but really I just eye it.
Although I had 8 folks for this breakfast last week, I have reduced the recipe to 4 servings.
2 1/2 lbs assorted small potatoes cubed
1 red pepper diced
2 small onions sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
Several sprigs of chopped thyme
8 oz or more assorted mushrooms
1 bunch baby kale or any green leafy vegetable (stem removed)
4 eggs (or not for vegan recipe)
2 avocados, sliced
Veggie Hash with Egg Breakfast
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and cube potatoes and place on large rimmed baking sheet. Generously drizzle potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, turning half way through. While potatoes are baking, sauté onions, red pepper, garlic and thyme in a little olive oil. Once onions are soft add the mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked through add kale and cook for just a couple of minutes or until kale is lightly wilted. Remove from heat. Toss potatoes and veggies together. Add a fried, poached or scrambled egg to the top for those wanting the protein. Garnish with avocado and tomato.
It’s that time of year again when my garden and our local tailgates are overwhelmed with tomatoes. These last few weeks we have had a glorious production of cherokee purple, sun gold cherry and plum tomatoes. Since we have been eating them in salads, as a salad, in fresh tomato sauce and any number of other ways, I decided to experiment with oven roasting them. I drizzled approximately 2 Tbsp of olive oil onto a rimmed baking pan. I then tossed in some fresh thyme and oregano. I halved a variety of tomatoes in similar size and placed them on the baking pan in a single layer. I roasted them in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. They just need to be soft and wilty. I placed them in mason jars and refrigerated. They will keep this way for about a week and can be frozen.
Tomatoes prepared this way are divine! The best way to devour these sweet and lovely treats is on good crusty bread. My husband likes his bread grilled with a little olive oil. Crumble on some good goat cheese, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a piece of heaven.
Unfortunately, this is not really breakfast fare and I was determined to use these tomatoes in a dish at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast. My own favorite breakfast always includes eggs and tomatoes so a frittata seemed the best way to highlight the intense flavor of these tomatoes. Of course good local crusty bread could also be served with this meal. If you can’t roast your own, your local specialty grocer should have them and if necessary you could substitute sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. You will need a deep 10 inch oven safe saute pan. I prefer cast iron but any oven ready pan will do.
I decided to create an oven roasted tomato, smoked mozzarella and basil frittata. I served this to guests (guinea pigs) last week who could not stop raving about how good it tasted or how pretty the plate looked. So this morning I decided to make it again and take pictures as I prepared it. I also took pictures of the guests but promised not to show them. One guest suggested I take a picture of his empty plate as he scarfed down the last bite….thus the last photo. My thoughts were that I’d write a blog and include the recipe with photos. As I loaded the pictures onto my computer I realized I could turn the photos into a video. Please understand if you watch the video …it has no sound and was published and edited by an amateur. ..me.
The great thing about frittatas is they are easy and quick to make. More importantly you can put almost anything in them. I used smoked mozzarella because I thought it would marry well with the tomatoes and it melts incredibly well. It has that gooey effect and does not completely disappear. Another good cheese would be goat cheese. We have the most amazing local cheese farms in and around Asheville. I am particularly fond of Three Graces Dairy and Spinning Spider Creamery. Next I am going to make a frittata with chives and goat cheese, from one of these farms. My kids want me to make a ham and swiss without the tomatoes ….we’ll see.
I could eat tomatoes everyday this time of year. To me the saddest part of summer ending is the end of fresh tomatoes from my garden. Please come visit our Asheville Inn and let us feed you well. For more information call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com.
Oven Roasted Tomato, Smoke Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Frittata
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted tomatoes in oil
2 shallots sliced thin or small yellow onion
½ cup cubed smoked mozzarella
7 eggs beaten
¾ cup milk
Handful fresh basil chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Heat oil and butter. Add shallots and sauté until soft and golden. Mix egg, milk, basil and pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Pour egg mixture over shallots. Sprinkle in cheese and tomatoes. Cook over medium for approximately 5 minutes or until sides look set. Put in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until firm. Let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.
The WNC Chefs Challenge competitions are underway Tuesday nights at Pack’s Tavern in downtown Asheville. The Asheville area’s coolest culinary competition is back going strong. Fourteen of the areas top chefs square off in weekly match-ups that determine who triumphs as Best Chef in WNC.
At each challenge, the two chef teams prepare six dishes – three from each team. Earlier in the day the chefs are given a “secret ingredient” that has to be featured in each culinary creation. The diners are not told which team prepared each dish and score the dishes using the same guidelines as a professional food critic. At the end of the evening the scores are tallied and the winning team moves on to the next round.
Want to judge for yourself ? Call Pack’s Tavern at 225-6944 to reserve your space. Tickets are $49 per person and do not include beverages, tax or gratuity. For additional information speak with Stacy at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast.
Asheville, North Carolina continues to live up to it’s title of Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City. Asheville is a vegetarian, gluten free and vegan diner’s dream. Starting in downtown Asheville and heading north along a 2 mile stretch of road, locals affectionately refer to as the Merrimon Shuffle, you will find two exclusively vegetarian restaurants; the Laughing Seed and Rosetta’s, Posana, a gluten free restaurant, Plant, a vegan restaurant and VegHeads, a vegetarian drive thru. Only in Asheville. Along the way you will also go by Greenlife Grocery store which features everything from “simple vegetarian to “raw” cuisine in a mostly local food approach. And this is just the Merrimon Shuffle. You will find many more food co-ops, grocers and other restaurants that fulfill the needs of any dining desires.
Asheville has built itself into quite the vegetarian-friendly city, and continues to add more animal-free dining options. The Laughing Seed, a perennial favorite and well-known to visitors and locals alike calls itself a global fusion vegetarian restaurant and offers an eclectic vegetarian menu. This Asheville tradition also serves organic, seasonal, farm-to-table, vegetarian cuisine with an international flair.
Global fusion is very much alive at the Laughing Seed. Right now, you can experience the deep, slow cooked tastes of Thailand as well as the simple, but intensely satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Sunflower seed pesto and cashew nut ricotta form a deliciously satisfying filling for their raw Spinach Pesto Manicotti. Their sushi offering changes nightly, along with their pasta special and authentic Indian thali plate. And nothing says “comfort food” more that their classic Harmony Bowl, Tempeh Reuben, or Tico Burrito
The new kid on the block, Plant, another farm-to-table concept brought to Asheville by the partnership of Jason Sellars (the former chef at The Laughing Seed) and Leslie Armstrong and and Alan Berger (former owners of the best independent video store in the city — Rosebud. Plant has only been open a short time, but is already drawing a sophisticated crowd who appreciates the quality of the food, prepared from fresh local ingredients. The farm-to-table concept is strong in Asheville and continues to grow, benefiting our local farmers and the restaurant clientele.
Plant, also a completely vegan restaurant, describes itself as “A restaurant with roots; sophisticated scratch-made food from the earth.” Nothing is served that is an animal or a by-product of any animal. This can be quite unnerving to the uninitiated, but trust us — your taste buds will revel in the new experience. Our favorites were the Mushroom Risotto, the smoked Portabello and the truffle fries (of course). We do hear that the Reuben and the Peppercorn encrusted Seitan are out of this world.
As a locally-owned independent business, Plant is committed to a deep concern for the environment, our individual and collective health, and ethical and compassionate lifestyles. Success for them means that their guests feel rewarded for choosing the compassionate and exciting dining experience that Plant offers.
If you are looking for an epicurean adventure that is sure not to disappoint — shuffle up to 165 Merrimon Avenue (a short trip from this Asheville Inn.
This summer’s Stuffed French Toast was such a hit at breakfast and requested by so many guests, we decided to launch “how to” video. Now, I am no Ina Garten or Giada De Laurentiis so cut me some slack. I went a little overboard with the powered sugar at the end..so my daughter has told me. And the door bell rang during the shoot so my griddle got a little too hot….but all in all it was fun. So much so, we decided to do a video about Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast, which will be launching very soon..so stay tuned.
Back in the kitchen, we’ve moved past Summer’s peaches and are into what Autumn has to offer. To embrace the change of season, I have prepared this recipe with a mixture of apple butter whipped cream cheese and some delicious local Hendersonville apples. Truth be known, I did not pick the apples myself, but you can do just that at a number of farms right now. Well, if you are not hungry after watching me prepare this scrumptious breakfast, I need to reconsider my cooking show aspirations.
Let’s eat! Asheville is renowned for its local food scene and we have enjoyed our share of tasty dishes at more than one restaurant in our first six months. As innkeepers, we are often asked for recommendations which are too numerous for one blog, but when discussing restaurants in Asheville, why not start with one i...
Appalachian Trail for One Day Let's face it, aren't we all a little enamored with the Appalachian Trail? This romantic notion of walking from Georgia to Maine holds some mystical power over us all. And if you are lucky enough to live nearby the trail in Asheville, you can put down the Jon Krakauer book, lace up your boots, and give i...
All Things Ale Trail In the brief time that we have been innkeepers here in Asheville, we've had the opportunity to frequent any number of local breweries and to experience the city's reputation as the "Denver of the East." With over 20 breweries in Buncombe County alone, it's hard to even know where to start. One of the gre...