Breakfast In The Medieval Town of Tabor, South Bohemia

I love breakfast. Those of you who stop by here know this. My love for breakfast has contrasts though, from the late night greasy diner, to the spoiled hotel breakfast buffet. When people ask me what I miss about America I always tell them breakfast. Sorry to my brothers and sisters, mother and father, aunt and uncles, and grandparents. Yes you are all second to breakfast. But you are all number one when we are having breakfast together.

Now in Europe the search for a nice greedy American breakfast, without paying $30 to $50 at a hotel is certainly a challenging quest. In Venice I searched for two hours as the hotel only offered breads. When I finally found something with an egg it was on Bruschetta. In Munich while the pastry is superb, I did manage to find a few places that were decent, but they could not make what I really wanted. My favorite dish is a modified eggs Benedict. Toasted buttered bread, with ham, swiss, and a poached egg on top.

I tend to pick my hotels based on whether they serve a full breakfast when I am on vacation. On the isle of Capri our hotel boasted a full American breakfast buffet, but it turned out to be a continental. My wife seeing the life drain out of my body when I realized there were no eggs, meats, cheeses, potatoes, bacon, or sausages immediately knew she would have to go on a journey. A journey to find a proper breakfast. After an hour I found one place that made an omelette, wich was better than what the hotel offered.

If you stay at a European hotel that does a breakfast buffet the egg can be, and usually is incidental. They concentrate on a wonderful selection of meats, cheeses, hams, sausages, breads, and muffins but the egg seems to be the bastard of the bunch. Either scrambled or hard boiled. Whats the fun in that.

Sometimes you will find a place advertising an english breakfast wich consists of eggs, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans and eggs of your choice, but English breakfasts like the british food itself is quite bland, and they usually charge an arm and a leg for it.

So here I am on vacation, day two of eight-teen, in the Czech Republic’s South Bohemia. My wife says she booked a nice hotel. What do you think my first question was? You got it, and my wife assured me they do.

Our hotel was the Hotel Nautilus, located on the Medieval square in Tabor. Tabor was founded in the early 1400s and was central to the Hussite movement and Hussite wars. Although several castles were built upon the spot in the 1200s and 1300s, and remnants of these can still be seen. Below our some views of the square from our room’s window.

Lets get back to breakfast. My wife was right. The breakfast had all the fixin’s that one would expect. Fresh Pastries, muffins, bacon, sausages, hams, pates, scrambled and poached eggs. Of course there were plenty of items for those who are also health conscience, plus a fresh fruit yogurt presentation that was quite unique.

Now what I tend to do, since I cannot get a modified eggs Benedict is create my own at the table. I take some of the fresh baked local bread and toast it. Then smother it in butter. I top it with some of the pate that is available and place the ham, bacon, cheese, and eggs on top. As seen below. I did not see the poached eggs at first so I

used the scrambled, but of course when I went back for seconds I used the poached eggs instead.

If you have tasted hams, cheeses, meats and other items in europe you may have noticed a flavor difference. Most countries still do not pasteurize many of the food items like they do in the US, so they tend, in my opinion, to taste better. Items tend to be fresher, or made right on premises. The hotel Nautilus was no exception. Their breakfast was right on target and was a perfect start to my day.

Posted in Appetizers & Snacks, Bacon, Baked Goods, Bohemia, Bread & Grains, Breakfast, Breakfast Sandwich, Cheese, Coffee, Cooking, Cuisine, Czech Republic, Eating, Eggs, Food, Ham, Hotel Nautilus, Meat, Recipes, Restaurants, Rolls, Sandwiches, Sausage Links, Scrambled Eggs, Tabor, Toast, Travel | 8 Comments

Big Mac or Fresh Bread and a Cheese Plate?

Who does not love cheese. To me the perfect desert is a glass of red wine and a cheese plate. When I lived in New York City my favorite thing to do on my day off was to go to the markets at Grand Central Station. There I would pick 5 or six cheeses, grab a bottle, ok several, of Pinot noir. Later in the evening with a good movie I would enjoy my selections with my fiance.

Here in Europe while it is rare to find a good typical american breakfast, the selection of meats and cheeses available at breakfast can be quite delightful, and yes I have found some wonderful cheese markets where I can get fresh bread and indulge in the grander things in life.

What is your cheese story?

Posted in American Cheese, Appetizers & Snacks, Baked Goods, Balkan Cheese, Bleu Cheese, Bread & Grains, Breakfast, Buffalo Mozzarella, Burgers, Cheddar Cheese, Cheese, Chesseburger, Cooking, Cream Cheese, Cuisine, Dessert, Dinner, Eating, Ementhaler Cheese, Feta, Food, Gorgonzola, Gruyère, Jalapeno Cheese, Manchango Cheese, Mozzarella, Parmesean, Pecorino Romano, Processed Cheddar, Provolone, Quotes, Recipes, Ricotta Cheese, Romano Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Whited Cheddar Cheese | 6 Comments

A Three Egg Fromelette w/ Sausage, Sun Dried Tomatoes, & Parmesean

So what do you do when you dream of having a nice greedy three egg omelette for breakfast on a Saturday morning, one for you and one for your wife, or visa versa, and you only have three eggs? You make a Fromelette :) That’s a frittata and omelette combined into one special breakfast dish. It has all the look of an omelette with the texture of a frittata, and helps that lack of egg problem your having disappear.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Minced Garlic in oil
  • Minced Onion in oil
  • Minced Basil is water
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 8 slices of leek in 1/8 inch cuts
  • 1 link of sausage (your pleasure) sliced into four pieces lengthwise and diced
  • 6 slices of turkey sandwich meat
  • 1 slice of swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup of diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbl of butter
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

So in a shallow saute pan I place my butter, chopped onion, sausage, leek, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook on medium high heat.

The Eggs just as for a frittata are beaten with the addition of milk to incorporate more air into the egg so they rise when placed in your pan. But before I did that I added to the eggs in a mixing bowl, milk, the minced garlic, onion, and basil. Then with a mixing blender on high speed I beat the eggs until I had a good amount of air incorporated into the egg milk mixture.

In the saute pan stir the ingredients and just before you pour your egg mixture into your pan place the turkey slices face down so they cover the surface of your pan but lay on top of the other ingredients. Then gently pour your egg mixture over top of the turkey slices in your pan, take the one slice of swiss cheese, break into smaller pieces and evenly place into the pan on top of the egg mixture. Then take your parmesan and evenly sprinkle over the top of the ingredients in your pan. Cover and let cook.  Because this will be a bit fatter and fluffier than a traditional omelette you may need to place a spatula under each area of the fromelette in your pan, lift slightly, and tilt pan so that excess egg runs into the hot surfaces you expose.

Now go out and cook your first Fromelette you will not be disappointed, nor will you be hungry afterwards. At least not before lunch :)

Posted in Basil, Breakfast, Butter, Cheese, Cooking, Cuisine, Eating, Eggs, Food, Frittata, Fromelette, Garlic, Herbs & Spices, Leeks, Meat, Omelette, Onions, Parmesean, Recipes, Sausage Links, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Swiss Cheese, Turkey, Vegetables | 10 Comments

Bubble and Squeak (via Things we make)

Here is a little something I found that was quite unusual over at “Things We Make.” When I think of getting rid of left overs I always think frittata, but this person thinks “Bubble and squeak.” It seems like a delicious way of getting rid of left overs as well, especially after a big holiday dinner or festive event. Check them out.

We hope you all had a good Christmas and are relaxing in this strange lull before New Year. Bubble and Squeak isn’t pretty, but it’s got to be done. It’s something that I avoided as a kid, but I now see as an essential part of Boxing Day and a great way to empty the fridge of the Christmas dinner leftovers. I mentioned that Bubble and Squeak was a Christmas favourite of mine in the Brussel Sprout Tree post and someone asked what it was, so here, … Read More

via Things we make

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Chicken Wings With Spicy Basque Ketchup (via Trissalicious)

Here is an adapted recipe from “Trissalicious.” I have had some good opportunity to try some great fresh made ketchup and relishes in Europe that really would blow you away. So when I came across this little number I had to pass it along.

This, my friends, is going to be a very short post. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed the lack of any online presence lately… and there’s certainly a reason for my silence. First, my parents are around for another few weeks – and family always takes priority so I am trying to squeeze in as much time as I can with them while th … Read More

via Trissalicious

Posted in Cooking, Cuisine, Eating, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Photos…Vintage Canning Jars (via Not Dabbling In Normal)

Here is an interesting post about canning jars with some great photos to boot. Check them out.

“To ‘put by’ is an old deep-country way of saying to ‘save something you don’t have to use now, against the time when you’ll need it.’ “Putting food by is the antidote for running scared.” -Janet Greene (Putting Food By) Most of my canning jars I have were passed down to my by my grandmother’s, so every time I use them I think about all of the women in my family that canned before me. Most of them are the regular old canning jars, but I have a do … Read More

via Not Dabbling In Normal

Posted in Canning Jars, Cooking, Cuisine, Dinner, Eating, Food, Photography, Recipes | Leave a comment

Todays Quote on Wild Strawberries

“Are wild strawberries really wild? Will they scratch an adult, will they snap at a child? Should you pet them, or let them run free where they roam? Could they ever relax in a steam-heated home? Can they be trained to not growl at the guests? Will a litterbox work or would they make a mess? Can we make them a Cowberry, herding the cows, or maybe a Muleberry pulling the plows, or maybe a Huntberry chasing the grouse, or maybe a Watchberry guarding the house, and though they may curl up at your feet oh so sweetly can you ever feel that you trust them completely? Or should we make a pet out of something less scary, like the Domestic Prune or the Imported Cherry, Anyhow, you’ve been warned and I will not be blamed if your Wild Strawberries cannot be tamed.”
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
Posted in Cooking, Cuisine, Dessert, Eating, Food, Fruit, Quotes, Strawberries | 4 Comments

Pork, Red Wine, and Wild Mushroom Bolognese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 50 g of dried wild mushrooms
  • 8 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 small cans of whole peeled tomatoes with juice
  • 1lb of spaghetti
  • 4 tbl of butter
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 2 tbl of minced basil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbl of minced onion in oil
  • 1 cup of the leafy end of a leek diced
  • 4 boneless pork cutlets, sliced into 1/2 inch strips and then each strip cut in half.
  • 1 Italian Sausage cut into four pieces lengthwise and then diced
  • 10 Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half. ( I just had to get rid of them)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

First I am going to take the dried wild mushrooms and with a meat tenderizer pound them a bit to break a bit and crush a bit. Place the dried mushrooms in a shallow bowl and add 1/2 cup of red wine and a half a cup of chicken stock and let soak for a couple of hours. Afterwards strain the mushrooms, but save the liquid for later.

In a sauce pan place your butter and melt on medium high heat. Add your mushrooms, garlic, basil, onion, and sausage. Cook until sausage is half done and then add your pork.

At anytime if your pan begins to dry out add a bit of your wine and chicken stock mixture.

While the pork is cooking add your cherry tomatoes and green leafy part of your leek. Stir in and incorporate, add your chili flakes, the rest of  your wine and chicken stock and let reduce by half.

Once reduced add your whole peeled tomatoes along with any excess juice. I like to crush the tomatoes between my fingers so make sure your fingers are clean. Add your pepper and salt and continue to cook until the sauce reduces enough so that it coats your spatula without running off. Of course during this whole process don’t forget to boil your water and cook your pasta. Plate and sprinkle some parmesan cheese over top, as much as you like of course :)

Posted in Basil, Black Pepper, Boletus, Butter, Button Mushrooms, Cheese, Chicken Stock, Cooking, Cuisine, Dinner, Eating, Food, Garlic, Herbs & Spices, Italian, Leeks, Meat, Mushrooms, Onions, Parmesean, Pasta, Plum Tomatoes, Pork, Pork Cutlets, Recipes, Red Pepper Flakes, Red Sauce, Red Wine, Sauces & Marinades, Sausage Links, Spaghetti, Stock, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Whole-Peeled-Tomatoes, Wild Mushroom Sauce, Wild Mushrooms, Wine | 4 Comments

Chicken & Carmelized Onion Sandwich W/ Gruyère & Sicilian Pesto

 

Tired of ham and cheese sandwiches? This will light your pants on fire and have you begging for another one……..please Sir! It’s the second thing I do that my wife begs for, and I’m not telling you what the first thing is. Ok, it’s actually my chicken parm.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of a semi dark loaf or whatever you prefer.
  • 8oz of chicken breast sliced lengthwise in three pieces then cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 medium onion cut into 1/4 inch rings
  • 2 tbl of Sicilian pesto
  • 2 slices of Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tbl butter

In a frying pan melt your butter on medium high heat. Place your onions in the pan and cook stirring only occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the stuck bits and pieces. As the pan begins to dry out add half your chicken stock and stir scraping the pan.

When the pan dries out again add the rest of your chicken stock and reduce in half, then  add your chicken. When the chicken is done add your cheese and melt within the chicken and onions, almost like a Philly cheese steak. On your slices of toasted bread place 1 tbl of the Sicilian pesto on one side of the bread leaving the top without pesto.

Place your chicken, onion, and cheese mixture on top of the pesto, cover with the top and shove bit by bit and bite by bite into your mouth. HEAVENLY! :)

Posted in Bread & Grains, Butter, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Cooking, Cuisine, Dinner, Eating, Food, Italian, Italian Cuisine, Meat, Onions, Recipes, Rhye Bread, Sandwiches, Sicilian Pesto, Spreads, Stock, Vegetables, Yellow Onions | 14 Comments

Broken Omelette

There is an old saying that goes something like this;

“Take comfort in knowing that anyone who can make an omelette most likely can do nothing else.”  Author Unknown (I just Forget)

I do not recall the author at this time. I suppose I should be thankful that I have never been able to make an omelete. I tend to call my omelette a “scrambled omelette” since they are more scrambled than not but there are  traces of an omlette in the texture, in some places anyway.

I have a new pan so I thought I would try my luck at an omelette once again. What I achieved was more of a broken omelette, but it was my best effort ever. I am still a long way from being the omelette chef at a hotel buffet, but oh well.

Hope you have better luck.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • 3 slices of english bacon sliced
  • 10 slices of leek 1/8 inch thick and rings pushed out
  • 1/4 of Spring onion, green leafy end diced
  • 1/4 cup of kernel corn
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 slices of sliced ementhal cheese
  • 2 tbl of butter
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 1/2 tbl of dried basil
  • 1 tbl of chopped garlic in oil
  • Sprinkle of parmesan

Place your butter in your skillet and heat on medium high heat. When butter melts add all ingredients except the eggs, basil, and cheese. Cook until onions are soft and then add eggs to skillet. Tear your cheese into strips and place on one half of the omelette. When the omelette is almost done flip the side without cheese over to the side with cheese. Garnish with your basil leaves and sprinkle your parmesan over top.

Hopefully yours looks prettier than mine, but if not it will still be delicious.

Posted in Basil, Breakfast, Butter, Cheese, Cooking, Cuisine, Eating, Eggs, Ementhaler Cheese, English Bacon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Food, Garlic, Herbs & Spices, Kernal Corn, Leeks, Meat, Olive Oil, Omelette, Onions, Parmesean, Recipes, Scallions, Vegetables, Yellow Onions | 9 Comments

Four Cheese Florentine Pasta With Chicken

Looking for a pasta with a cheese sauce but do not want it smothered in cheese. Then this is the perfect plate for you. There is no way for me to say this is a light dish, but it certainly comes off light if you’re used to cheese sauces that typically smother the pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of Spaghetti
  • 1 Medium Onion diced
  • 8 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
  • 3 Tbl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of chopped Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 Tbl of Dried Basil
  • 1 Chicken Breast 6-8 oz
  • 200ml of Chefs Cheese Sauce (This is an item I buy in the store. It is a blend of cream, corn starch, Emmenthal cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Pomano, gorgonzola, and salt)
  • Pinch of Grated Parmesean

The trick here is to mix your cheese sauce with a reduced chicken stock just enough so that the cheese sauce clings to the pasta without making the bottom of your plate soupy.

First add 1 tbl of olive oil to your pot of water and bring to a boil. In a saute pan add the rest of your oil, garlic, and onion and cook until onions start to turn translucent. Add the chicken and basil and continue cooking. As the pan begins to dry out put your chicken stock into the pan and reduce in half. When reduced add the cheese sauce and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain your pasta and then pour contents of saute pan over the pasta and toss. Plate and sprinkle a little grated parmesean over the top and dig in!

Posted in Baby Spinach, Basil, Cheese, Chicken, Chicken Stock, Cooking, Cuisine, Dinner, Eating, Ementhaler Cheese, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Food, Garlic, Gorgonzola, Herbs & Spices, Italian, Meat, Olive Oil, Onions, Parmesean, Pasta, Pecorino Romano, Recipes, Sauces & Marinades, Spaghetti, Stock, Vegetables | 4 Comments

Caprese Pasta With Bacon and Onion

 

Saw a nice pasta dish over at “Better When Broken,” that I just had to try, and of course would have to modify. The modification you ask? Well by taking the traditional Caprese salad ingredients of this dish and adding some bacon and onion.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Penne Pasta
  • 2 Tbl Chopped Garlic In Oil
  • 2 Tbl of Minced Basil
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes Slice lengthwise
  • 1/4 Cup of Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup of Fresh cut Buffalo Mozzarella
  • 14 Fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 8 Slice of English Bacon cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 onion sliced into 1/4 inch rings

In a pot of water add a tbl of your olive oil and bring to a boil. In a saute pan add a 1/4 cup of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add your onions, tomatoes, chopped garlic, and minced basil to the oil and cook uncovered. As the pan begins to dry out add your chicken stock  and bacon. Cook until onions are translucent and bacon is cooked.

When pasta is done strain and pour mixture of your saute pan over the pasta and toss. Add your fresh basil and fresh buffalo mozzarella on top of the pasta  and serve.

Posted in Bacon, Basil, Buffalo Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken Stock, Cooking, Cuisine, Dinner, Eating, Ementhaler Cheese, English Bacon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Food, Garlic, Herbs & Spices, Italian, Italian Cuisine, Italy, Meat, Olive Oil, Onions, Pasta, Penne, Recipes, Vegetables | 10 Comments

Osso Buco (via Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide)

Lately, peasant food is all the rage. Dishes that used to be inexpensive and called for ingredients most people would not use have begun to cost more than a steak. Consider Osso Buco. My wife wanted me to make the classic Italian poor man’s stew recently so I went to pick up some ox tail. (I know, you’re thinking doesn’t that call for ve … Read More

via Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Posted in Cooking, Cuisine, Dinner, Eating, Food, Italian, Meat, Ox Tail, Recipes, Rice, Risotto, Veal | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Moroccan Dreams, Chicken Tagine (via Kitchen Bitch)

I’ve been dreaming about going to Morocco for a few years now, but then again, I dream about traveling everywhere. But there’s something about the North African nation of Morocco that keeps it coming back to my daydreams. Maybe it’s my undying love for Humphrey Bogart and Casablanca. Or the ancient, glorious maze of streets that comprise Marrakesh and the vast desert beyond it that beckons visitors to hop on a camel and explore. Or maybe it’s the … Read More

via Kitchen Bitch

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Ham, Egg, & Cheese Stuffed Roll

 

Some of you may recall my other stuffed roll egg dish, ” Bacon and Eggs In A Roll,” Where I stuff  rolls with bacon and eggs pictured here to the right.

Quite delicious I might add. So my wife loves them and wanted me to make them again, but this time I changed it up a bit. Instead of bacon I used ham, instead of Rosemary I used Basil, Instead of Parmesan I used Emanthaler, I added a garlic dressing, and I melted the cheese on the tops covering the roll rather than leaving the tops lose.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Popeye seed rolls
  • 4 Slices of hap 1/8-1/4 inch thick, depending on your appetite.
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 pinches of dried basil
  • 4 Tbl of Creamy Garlic salad dressing
  • 4 Slices of Emmenthal cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees celsius. I used a double grill element 3 slots below the top grill element. Take your rolls and hollow them out. Take the excess bread and feed it to your new dog, wich I got on Saturday, or eat it yourself with some nice olive oil. My issue here was the rolls were to small to accomodate the ham inside so the ham was beneath the bread in a baking pan.

Place a tbl spoon each of your creamy garlic salad dressing in each hollowed out roll. Then Sprinkle dried basil on each one. Place in oven for 5-8 minutes or until the yolk begins to turn white and thicken. Remove from oven, place top of roll back on top of each roll and a slice of ementhaler over each top. Place back in oven until cheese is completely melted. Then just cut into and enjoy the golden rivers of heaven.

Posted in Baked Goods, Basil, Bread & Grains, Breakfast, Breakfast Sandwich, Cheese, Cooking, Cuisine, Eating, Eggs, Ementhaler Cheese, Food, Ham, Herbs & Spices, Meat, Recipes, Rolls | 10 Comments