Baked Bacon and Basil Eggs

Still can’t get enough basil in my system this summer.  I also love eggs, and hello, who doesn’t adore bacon?  This recipe was made just for little ‘ol me, so if you’d like to make more, simply double, etc., the ingredients to suit your fancy.  Also, in full disclosure, I prefer my egg yolk not cooked all the way through, but with the current brouhaha over eggs (even though I use fresh locally raised eggs), I erred on the side of caution with this dish.

Baked Bacon and Basil Eggs

1 fresh egg
1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled
¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or half/half)
Salt/Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 3750°.  Lightly grease (olive oil) one ramekin and layer bread crumbs, basil, and bacon.  Gently crack egg over bacon and pour cream on top of egg.  Add cheese and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until egg is set to your liking.  Salt and pepper to taste.

BLT Made Better

OMG-who’d have thought a BLT could be improved?  I’ve been trying to eat buy less bread but have been craving a BLT.  Well, this is my dream, um recipe: BLT Made Better.  I’m still in my basil phase, and what’s left of my tomatoes aren’t really making it to the ripe stage; hence this jewel.  I’d like to think this is healthier than a standard BLT, because hey, I did saute in only a smidgen of olive oil–that’s healthy, no?  I mean, look–it has three different kinds of tomatoes on it!  Okay, I know it doesn’t have healthy lettuce, but a basil aioli isn’t exactly the ugliest girl at the prom!

It looks like a lot of ingredients and bowls, but I actually had the kitchen cleaned up before the tomatoes were finished frying.  That way nothing, and I mean nothing, could come between me and my slices of heaven….

BLT Made Better (makes 2)

4 slices of bacon
1 green tomato, sliced into ¼” rounds
¼ cup cornmeal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chiffonade basil
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
1 red or yellow tomato, sliced into ¼” rounds

Cut bacon in half cross-wise (you will have 8 slices).  Fry or nuke until crisp.  Set aside.

Mix cornmeal and flour (you can season if you’d like) in shallow bowl.  In small bowl, beat egg.  Mix panko, seasoned salt and ground pepper in separate shallow bowl.

Dredge green tomato slices in cornmeal/flour, dip both sides in egg, and then dredge in panko mixture.

In small bowl, mix mayo, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and dash of salt.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in shallow fry pan over medium-low heat.  Saute green tomatoes on both sides until golden brown.

Assemble as follows:  green tomato slice, fresh tomato slice, 2 slices bacon, dollop of mayo mixture, fresh tomato slice, 2 slices bacon, dollop of mayo mixture, top with green tomato slice.  Eat with gusto and plenty of napkins!

Cinnamon Basil Shortbread Cookies

A friend sent me a recipe last week for lemon shortbread cookies that sounded incredibly decadent, but a little time-consuming for a self-imposed ADD cook.   Plus, while I adore lemon, the last few days I’ve had this vision in my head utilizing my cinnamon basil, which has been begging me to actually quit having only visions and to let it do its job.

Last night I had a EUREKA! moment.  When I say last night, I pretty much mean this morning.  I am not lying when I say that I think I have come up with the World’s fastest, easiest, delicious shortbread recipe.  I started it at 11:45 pm and by 12:07 am the entire kitchen was cleaned up and I was curled up on the couch reading.  I’m not lying.  Seriously.  And get this: these cookies rock.  They actually don’t just rock, they rock and roll.  I feel bad Better Half is not here to try these delectable, delicate morsels of yumminess.  I’m not sure what made me realize that everything could just be thrown into the food processor and mixed together in less than a minute, but I make my pie crust that way, so it made sense to me.  The additional of cornmeal was just a lark.  An 1/8 cup is not a lot, but it definitely adds another dimension to the shortbread, but it’s a pretty yellow color which looks good against the green flecks of the basil.

I’m taking them to a friend’s house for lunch where yet another friend (a self-confessed “Basil Wh*^e”–his words, not mine!) will be joining us, and I’m hoping these cookies will win over both these healthy, skinny people!  In fact, I think I will drop by another friend’s house on my way; she’s an excellent cook and sometimes unfortunately for me, brutally honest.  I’m not worried; I think I have a winner here.

Try these, and tell me if you don’t think these are the World’s Easiest and Best Shortbread Cookies Ever!

Cinnamon Basil Shortbread Cookies

2 cups all-purpose (I use unbleached) flour

1/8 cup fine ground cornmeal

10 fresh cinnamon-basil leaves (+/-, depend. on your need for cinnamon basil)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon basil flowers, opt.

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1 egg

Place first nine ingredients (everything but egg) into food processor and pulse until mixture resembles sand (see below pic).  Add egg and pulse, scraping sides of bowl if necessary, until egg is incorporated into mixture.  Form dough into a log about 2” in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut dough into 1/4″ slices and bake 7-10 minutes until bottom only of cookie is light golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.  Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies.

Flecks of cinnamon basil in sandy dough mixture

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