Entries Tagged as 'weekend herb blogging'

Puttin’ On The Grits-Baked Cheese Grits With Rosemary


I’ve been in the mood for a startch “alternative” lately. My usual carbs are pasta and potatoes, but I’ve been in the mood for something different, like cous cous or polenta. I have neither at home. What I do have is plenty of grits.

I wanted to take simple and cheap grits, and make them into something beyond a bowl full of hot goodness for breakfast. As it turns out, something fancy-looking is equally easy to make. Here is a recipe for Baked Cheese Grits with Rosemary, which I paired with a Chicken “Cacciatore” concoction.

I would absolutely pair these grits with braised beef, lamb or veal. I think the dish would also be great for a special breakfast or brunch. The presentation is sophisticated, and the taste is savory with a creaminess that melts in the mouth. Oh, did I mention cheese? Lots of cheese? Yeah, that too.


Baked Cheese Grits with Rosemary

serves 6-8


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (packed) shredded cheese-I used Colby/Jack, but you can use anything that melts easily
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pot, bring water to a boil.  Slowly add grits while whisking constantly. Decrease heat to medium (simmer) and continue to whisk until slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cheese and rosemary, and stir to incorporate.

Combine milk and eggs in a small bowl and whisk together until just incorporated.  Slowly pour eggs and milk mixture into grits, stirring constantly.

Add a couple grinds of freshly ground pepper and more salt if needed.

Pour into a 8×10 (or similar in size) casserole/baking dish that has been buttered on bottom and sides.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until set and firm to the touch.

Sprinkle Parmesan on top, dot top with butter, and return to oven with broiler on. Broil top for a couple minutes until golden brown. Keep a close eye on it!

Allow grits to sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting/serving to allow the grits to set.


Coming up next….I’ll post that chicken recipe!

Braised Chicken Thighs With Morels And Ramps In A White Wine Cream Sauce


I was excited and a bit nervous when it came to using my $16 box of morel mushrooms, and $6 bunch of ramps on Sunday. At $21 for just the vegetables, I wanted to make those ingredients shine in a dish for dinner. I consulted a few of my cookbooks and riffed on a braised chicken dish from Molly Steven’s “All About Braising”, and while my chicken dish was cooking, I made a batch of ramp crepes to use with the leftover braise.


I found that my small container of 8 or so morels was more than adequate to add an earthy flavor to the braised chicken, while the ramps were mild and somewhat sweet in both the braise and the crepes. I think both dishes would work for entertaining guests, and the chicken filled crepes would make for a terrific brunch item-especially since everything can be made ahead of time.

For the ramp crepe recipe, head over to DC Foodies to check it out!


Braised Chicken Thighs with Morels and Ramps in a White Wine Cream Sauce

Serves 4-6


  • 8 chicken thighs with bone and skin
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8-10 morel mushrooms
  • bunch ramps, about a dozen, trimmed at each end and rough chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup half and half or light cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour for dredging


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a large dutch oven over high heat.

Generously salt and pepper chicken thighs on both sides. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter to heated dutch oven. When the oil begins to shimmer, add chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. Allow chicken to brown for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a platter.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter to the dutch oven. Add morels and ramps. Sautee for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sautee for an additional minute. Transfer vegetables to the chicken platter.

Increase heat to high and deglaze with white wine. Reduce to a strong simmer and allow wine to reduce by a third. Add chicke stock, thyme and marjoram. Return chicken and vegetables to  braising vessel.

Place dutch oven in lower third of the oven. Braise for 90 minutes.

Remove chicken from the dutch oven, skim fat as needed with a large spoon, and add cream. Serve chicken with sauce over top.

I suggest serving this dish over egg noodles or parsley potatoes.

This recipe is submitted for Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly blog event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, and is being hosted this week by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Weekend Herb Blogging #126- Bloggers Unite!


I can’t believe it was over 6 months ago that I contacted Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen (founder of WHB), offering to host WHB. My blog, The Houndstooth Gourmet, was just beginning and the interim has brought me much experience with cooking, baking, writing and photography. I feel as though I’ve learned so much, and have been inspired by other bloggers, writers and photographers, to set the bar higher and higher.

This week, so many terrific recipes and photos have come to me. I have discovered new blogs and been amazed at the array of food I’ve seen. From early asparagus in France, to ridge gourd in Bangalore, India.

Here we go!


To the top of the list is another great entry which I missed (many entries went into my trash folder and didn’t get weeded out appropriately). Thanks Susan of Food Blogga, San Diego, California. Susan sends us Creamy Goat Cheese and Beet Green Pasta. One of the many wonderful things that I have discovered since going to my farmers markets year round is just how good the greens on top of the vegetables are! Turnip greens are my current favorite. I only wish that my farmers would  save the greens for me-lucky girl!

Warning-Mayjah food porn!!


I went to bed Sunday night perspiring a bit over whether or not I forgot someone in this terrific and well-attended WHB #126. Well, I did. In the spirt of “let the first be last and the last be first”, here’s Laurie’s entry from Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska. Mushroom Stifado & Mushroom, Pancetta and Feta Stifado  are inspired by “nature’s seasons and religious fasting periods”, according to Laurie. Check out her post and get more insight into the history and traditions behind these dishes.


Bee and Jai from Jugalbandi, Northwestern U.S., made Baked Strawberries with Lavender and Rosemary. The strawberries became syrupy after cooking, and they reserved a bit for making strawberry lemonade. Very clever and delicious.


Pepy, from The Art and Science of Food, Winnepeg, MB, Canada, brings us Chinese Greens and Shrimp with Oyster and Hoisin Sauce. Be sure to check out the post for in-depth informatin about the greens which were used. The photography is stunning!


Lisa from Food and Spice, London, Ontario, made an aromatic Indian-Style Baked Eggs Florentine. I love the combination of flavors in this dish; corriander, tumeric, cheddar and more! Be sure to link to her creamed spinach recipe-this is where the flavors are at.


Ricki, from Diet, Dessert and Dogs, Toronto, Ontario, Canada brings us Quinoa Salad with Buckwheat and Cranberries. Ricki’s beautiful writing tells of his first encounter with quinoa and initial efforts making this nutritious grain. For the uninitiated, this post is incredibly informative and will make a believer out of anyone. Plus, the photo captures the dish perfectly.


From Divya Vikram of Dil Se…, Los Angelo, California, we have Palak Tofu. Garam masala, cumin seeds and green chilies make this dish sound spicy with a bit of heat. I think this recipe would be a great stepping stone for me to try tofu finally!


Next, Kevin from Closet Cooking, Toronto, Canada has entered Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves). Kevin combines mint and dill, with ground beef and arborio rice to make a delicious stuffing for the grape leaves. The lemon sauce really puts it over the top for me!


Christine, of Christine Cooks, Trinidad, California bring us No Name Pan Sauteed Potatoes. Don’t let the name fool you; simply prepared perfectly browned potatoes garnshed with fresh parsley are absolutely delicious.


From our WHB founder, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, Salt Lake City, Utah, we have Cabbage and Blue Cheese Salad with Sunflower Seeds. Kalyn tells us that sunflower seeds are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, making this dish good and good for you.


Next, Srivalli from Cooking 4 All Seasons, India, brings us Ridge Gourd Stir-Fry. Not only does this recipe sound terrific with red chili powder, tumeric and corriander, but Srivalli’s can really tell a tale and you should not miss reading about the ridge gourd!


Purple carrots are so beautiful and in our next entry, Amy of Eggs on Sunday, Ithica,  NY roasts them simply with thyme. Check out Amy’s simple method for Roasted Carrots with Thyme, and get a little history lesson  about carrots to boot!

Erin of The Skinny Gourmet, Evanston, Illinois gives us a Basic Beans Recipe. Erin has found that the taste of fresh beans far exceeds canned bean, and they are actually quite easy to prepare. Once you feel confident cooking beans, you can add them to dishes from cuisines from around the globe. Check out her easy reipe featuring fresh Mexican oregano.


Our next entry is very interesting as it uses pine needles to flavor icing. Marija from Palachinka, Belgrade, Serbia made Orange Cupcakes with Green Pine Needles Frosting. Not only is the recipe easy to follow, but the cupcakes are photographed beautifully.


Pam from Sidewalk Shoes, Tennessee brings us a recipe that makes we want to get into my kitchen and cook. Beef and Bean Chili Verde gets a ton of flavor and some kick from the addition of green salsa. I have never added green salsa to chili before, but I’m inspired to try her recipe out. Of course, I would add cheese and a bit of sour cream on top! The photo alone makes me want to put a sliding board on the edge of that bowl and hop right in.


I am officially jealous of our next blogger who lives in the cradle of amazing and innovative food-Barcelona, Spain. Gattina from Kitchen Unplugged made a stunning Strawberry Cream Cake which radiates reds and pinks. Gattina’s easy recipe makes this cake approachable to novice bakers like me, and she even offers alternatives to strawberris. Check it out!


Mochochocolata-Rita, Hong Kong combines two of my favorite things-bananas and chocolate. Grilled Choco Bananas is an easy and quick recipe which gilds the lily at the end with a dusting of chocolate powder. How good is that!


A Scientist in the Kitchen’s Gay, Phillipines, bring us a mouthful of Filipino food; Lumpiang Puse Ng Saging. Wow! This Filipino “fajita” is filled with garlic and annatto goodness, but even more delicious is the sound of the dipping sauce with vinegar, fish sauce and roasted peanuts among other things.


Salak is snake fruit. Did you know that? I sure didn’t and here’s one of the best things about hosting WHB-you get to discover so many new things! Anna from Morsels & Musings, Sydney, Australia. Anna tells us how she discovered salak, and also that it tastes like pears and pineapples with a bit of tang. Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing, Anna.


I hope everyone visits Swati at Chatkhor , Bangalore, India to see her Ridge Gourd in Poppy Seeds and Cashew Nut Gravy. Swati is new to food blogging and she’s really got talent. Her dish is spiced with red chili powder and corriander. Check out her recipe inspired by her aunt.


Genie, The Inadvertent Gardener  , Iowa City, brings inspiration to gardeners like me who have seen a fare share of failures. Genie brings to WHB her Sauteed Swiss Chard and Spinach. Simple garlic, salt and pepper allows the greens to shine in this dish.


Next, Jennifer from Like To Cook, Cesseras, France gives us a dish which I have been patiently waiting to make; Sparkling Springtime Asparagus Risotto. With early spring asparagus (the best in my opinion), Jennifer makes this imaginative risotto with sparkling wine and freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese. I’ll be making this in a few weeks when the first asparagus appears at my local farmers markets.


Next up is Katie from Thyme For Cooking, Vendee, France. Katie’s theme this week is green garlic and she share’s her recipe for Shrimp in Green Sauce. “Green garlic is simply garlic that is pulled, and eaten young,before the bulb splits off into cloves”, Katie explains.


A big WHB welcome to Sarah of 1 Tsp Love, Washington D.C. For her first entry, Sarah shares a tempting and creamy Pasta Carbonara, which is garnished with fresh parsely. Great job, Sarah. More, more!!


Our next entry comes from Pam, of The Backyard Pizzeria, Victoria, Australia. Pam shared a simple preparation for flat beans with an herbed lime sauce called Beans n’ limes. Garlic, chives, parsely and dill make this bean dish sound herbally delicious!


Haalo, from Cook Almost Anything At Least Once highlights bananas as the featured herb. Banana, Hazelnut and Chocolate Chip Bread balances sweet bananas with dark chocolate in an easy to follow, few ingredients recipe. Great photos too-check it out!

Georgetta, from Weak Weary Mom, Southwest U.S. brings us Avacado Oatmeal Scrub. They say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, when Georgetta gets an inedible avacado, she makes beauty products! Clever.


The next WHB entry comes to us from Jeanne of Cook Sister!, London, U.K. Another one of my favorites and still very popular this time of year is kale. Jeanne’s recipe adds whole grain mustard, which I have never thought to do-but the combination is one I will try soon. Sauteed Curly Kale with Wholegrain Mustard is easy and nutritious. Jeanne also gives a nice history of kale, with a little Latin lesson thrown in for good measure!


Eve, of Inmolaraan, NY, NY, shares her vegan and gluten -free recipe for Hemp Seed Cookies. Hemp seeds, flax seeds and chickpea flour are intriguing ingredients for these “thumbprint” cookies.


Arfi from HomeMadeS, New Zealand shares a recipe for Tomatoes and Chilli Sauce. This sauce packs sweet heat with apples, cayenne pepper and paprika among other things. I think I’ve found a fantastic gift idea for the holidays. Thanks Arfi!


Finally, Susan of Farmgirl Fare, Missouri, U.S.A., got in just in time to join WHB #126. She shares Cream (or not) Of Artichoke Soup With Garlic, Onions & Garbonzo Beans. Susan gets a bit decadent and adds a bit of cream to her soup-she’s gone to the dark side. Welcome, Susan.

Well, that’s a wrap, folks. We had a great showing this week, so keep on Weekend Herb Blogging!



I’m Hosting Weekend Herb Blogging #126 March 24-March 30, 2008!


I’m really looking forward to hosting WHB this week. I can’t wait to see your submissions and discovering wonderful food bloggers from around the world.I’m happy that you are visiting The Houndstooth Gourmet. Enjoy your visit!

For the rules of WHB, see here at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

A High Spirited French Onion Soup – Weekend Herb Blogging* With Thyme


Having a cool Saturday to make a pot of french onion soup and watch college football is relaxing and enjoyable. This soup, embraced and enjoyed by many, comes in a myriad of variations on the same theme: lots of sauteed sliced onion, beefy broth, wine, a large crouton, and a mound of melted cheese. What tends to  differ are the type(s) of cheese(s) used to top the soup, and what wine or alcoholic beverage is added to the broth.

This recipe, adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Best of Taste cookbook, uses a combination of chicken and beef stock and adds a cocktail of spirits to the broth, providing a complex yet sweet note at the finish. It’s topped with gruyer cheese and adds pecorino romano cheese to the crouton, but you may use any melting cheese you’d like, such as Swiss, emmenthaler or a combination of cheeses (see below for addendum).


French Onion Soup

serves 6



 2 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

 2 1/2 lb. onions, peeled and sliced thin

3/4 c. dry white vermouth

3/4 c. dry white wine

3 c. chicken broth

3 c. beef broth

bunch fresh thyme, tied with cooking string

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c. dry sherry

2 c. gruyere cheese, shredded


6 slices baguette, slice 1 inch thick

olive oil for brushing

salt and pepper

6 T. grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (optional, or you could use Parmesan cheese if you have it on hand)



Peel onions and slice thinly (I used a mandoline to get the job done quickly. I still teared up a bit!). In a heavy bottomed pot add olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions and turn the heat down to low. Stir to coat all onions. Add a pinch of salt and allow to caramelize slowly over a period of approximately 2 hours. Stir every 10 minutes or so.

When onions are deep golden to light brown, transfer to another bowl. Increase heat to high and deglaze pan with vermouth and white wine. Scrape up any brown bits on bottom of pan and allow liquid to reduce by half. Return onions to pot and add chicken and beef broth. Add bay leaves and thyme. Partially cover pot and allow soup to simmer for 20 minutes. Add sherry and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and bundle of thyme. You’ll notice that many of the thyme leaves are now in the soup. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the croutons, turn on broiler and slice baguette. Place croutons on baking sheet. Oil each side with olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place croutons under broiler and brown on each side.

Leave broiler on and place one crouton into individual oven proof serving crocks. Add 1 tablespoon of grated pecorino on top of each crouton. Ladle onion soup over croutons to 1/4 below the rim. Add shredded gruyer to the top of each crock. Put crocks back on baking sheet and place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*Weekend Herb blogging is a weekly event sponsored by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen.This week it is being hosted by Kalyn herself!



Addendum- This soup tastes even better the second day! I reheated the soup and toasted a piece of sourdough loaf for the crouton. Then I topped it with some remaining gruyere and shredded cheddar and melted the cheeses under the broiler. I topped it with diced chives. Terrific and even more cheesy than last night. Anything goes!