Crustless Bacon & Cheese Quiche

With a change in jobs and a new addition to our family, the last few months have been busy to say the least. I have to confess that my passion for cooking these last few months has been stifled and ordering take out has become more frequent. As we ring in the new year I don’t expect to become any less busy, but I do hope to get back to my passion of cooking and sharing more with you.

When I started Erik Eats a year ago, I told myself that if my mom and a few other family members would read my food blog, it would be a success. Well, I have been more than surprised in this last year by the number of you that have visited my blog, over 1,000 people per month! One of my first posts included a video on how to make restaurant quality pizza at home. To my sheer amazement that one video on YouTube has been viewed over 20,000 times, incredible!

Today I bring you a dish that is easy to make and just perfect for sharing on New Years day for breakfast. Bacon & Cheese Crustless Quiche. What’s even better is that you can make the quiche in advance, and just heat it up in the oven in minutes. While great for breakfast you could eat the quiche at any meal, hot or even cold. Prep is simple and can be done in 10 minute or less. You can serve them hot out of the oven, reheated the next day or freeze them to have on hand.

What you need –

The instructions are for one quiche, but you will have enough eggs & bacon to make 3. (A dozen eggs and precooked bacon usually comes with 12 strips) purchase some additional cheese and pie tins and you could make all three. You could always freeze the remaining 2 in ziplock freezer bags or feed a big group. One quiche will serve 3 – 4 people.

8″ Store bought aluminum pie tin
Precooked bacon – 4 slices diced
4 large Eggs
1 cup of whole Milk
1 8oz Package Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Black Pepper
Nutmeg
Cooking Spray
Sliced Tomatoes (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Spay your pie tin with cooking spray.

In a food processor add the 4 eggs. (I crack mine into a bowl first incase any shell decides to jump in). Add a cup of milk and a pinch of black pepper. Blend together for about 20 seconds. This will make the quiche light and airy. Next add the whole package of cheese, blend again for about 5 seconds. Then add the chopped bacon and blend very briefly. You just want to mix it in, if you over blend, the bacon will become chopped to finely. Next pour the entire mixture into your pie tin. If adding sliced tomato lay them over the top. Lightly sprinkle with nutmeg and pop it into the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until the top becomes golden brown and the center is no longer runny. Once they are done let them rest for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

*I don’t add any salt, the bacon and cheese makes them plenty salty. If made ahead (or defrosted from the freezer) to reheat place them in the oven for 8 minutes at 375 degrees fahrenheit. From my family to yours, Happy New Year!


“The Family Recipe” Meaty Pasta Sauce

When I met my wife’s family over twelve years ago and tried their sauce recipe, I knew that I was marrying into the right family. It’s the best tomato based pasta sauce that I have ever eaten. It’s thick, rich and meaty. The ingredients are basic, its seasoned to perfection and cooked slowly. I fell in love with this dish years ago, its contributed to my joy of cooking and my appetite for pasta dishes.

This is one of those dishes that you start on a Saturday morning and the sweet aroma permeates the house all day long while it simmers on the stove. You can make large batches and freeze it or turn it into other meals like… Well I’m not going to tell you since that would be giving away next weeks post. To me and my family this sauce is comfort food, it brings back great memories of family meals of the past. I hope you will find that this recipe transforms your family as it has mine.

“The Family Recipe” 
What you will need

3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion Chopped
6 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
1.25 Lbs Ground Beef (90/10)
1 6oz Can of Tomato Paste
1 28oz Can of Tomato Sauce
1 28oz Can of Whole Tomatoes
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Tbs Oregano
3 or 4 Leaves Fresh Basil Julienned (Sliced in strips)
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 Lb Dried Pasta (I like Spaghetti or Rotini)

In a thick bottomed pot add your olive oil and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot add your chopped onion and cook for 3 minutes. Move the onions to one side of the pot and add your garlic. Let the garlic cook for 1 – 2 minutes, but don’t let it brown (or it will become biter). Mix the onions and garlic togethers. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper, add the oregano and mix together. Move your onions to one side and add the ground beef to the pot. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper. Break the ground beef apart with a wooden spoon and cook until browned. It is okay to mix the onions and garlic in with the ground beef. Once the ground beef is browned, add the tomatoes, sauce and paste. Mix and let the sauce simmer for 2o minutes over low heat. With a potato masher crush the whole tomatoes. Mash them until the sauce becomes smooth. Add the fresh basil. Simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 hours, mixing with a wooden spoon every 30 minutes to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta and enjoy what my family has enjoyed for half a century.


Perfect Summer Pasta

I could eat pasta anytime, any day. I’m a pasta junkie. The good news for me and other pasta junkies is that pasta, and their accompanying sauces are really versatile. There is a combination for every season. A rich meaty bolognese (see here) is great on a cold winters night. With the summer upon us, I’ve got the perfect pasta recipe to share with you. I’ve been making this dish for years, to the joy of family and friends. Made with ripe cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, garlic and olive oil, this dish bursts with flavor. The tomatoes and garlic marinate in the olive oil, making a deliciously light summer sauce.

Inspired by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

Perfect Summer Pasta
1lbs Angle Hair Pasta
2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes
5 – 6 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
15 – 20 Basil Leaves, Julienned
1/4 Cup of Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Rinse, then slice all of the cherry tomatoes in half. I used a variety of both red and yellow cherry tomatoes. In a bowl top the sliced tomatoes with 1 tsp of kosher salt. This is really important, because the salt pulls the water and flavor out of the tomatoes. This helps to make the sauce extra flavorful.

Add to the bowl, the sweet basil, red chili flakes, and garlic. Pour the olive oil into the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit for 2 – 4 hours. This allows time for all of the flavors to come together.

The rest is easy. Boil your water and cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Angel Hair pasta usually cooks really fast, in just 3 – 4 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked and strained pour the tomato and olive oil sauce over the top along with the parmesan cheese, toss together. Plate, and top with a little extra parmesan cheese. If you friends and family are like mine, they will be clamoring for seconds, so make plenty.


Now that’s a “Good Dog!” Food Truck

What do you get when you combine a Dachshund, a trained chef, a 1991 diesel bus and boyfriend that grew up in the restaurant industry? You get a food truck cranking out gourmet hot dogs that will make your taste buds dance. Good Dog Food Truck established in early 2011 has all of the ingredients to grow a following of fans and keep them coming back for more.

Molly and Danny owners of Good Dog have been in the food industry for several years and have a passion for serving great quality food. Molly, a trained chef has worked in upscale restaurants here in Houston for the last five years. Restaurants including Reef, you might remember seeing the Executive Chef Bryan, Caswell on the Next Iron Chef.

The concept for the food truck was born out of the idea of making all of their condiments from scratch, including homemade ketchup’s, relish and mustard. Molly jokes that the only thing that they don’t make from scratch is the cheese, which they just might make in the future. The hot dogs and buns are sourced locally here in Texas. To find the perfect hot dog Molly and Danny traveled the state of Texas trying many different dogs. The dog that they chose is quite a “Good Dog!” You can see spices in the hot dog and the taste is much better than a hot dog purchased from your local grocery store. Combine those great hot dogs with condiments made from scratch and fresh combinations like homemade dill pickles, cream cheese and pickled onions… Great taste and a party in your mouth.

They are really going all out to produce great gourmet food served from their truck. Instead of using Phase (artificial butter) to grill their hot dog buns they are using real butter and taking the time to clarify the butter (so that it doesn’t burn on the hot grill). In my experience its the simple basics that if are done right, takes food from good to great. What I saw behind the scenes, was that Good Dog is doing the little things right that make a big difference in terms of taste.

You can find Good Dog Food Truck by following them on Facebook or Twitter, they post a weekly schedule and update their locations daily. You can also visit their website at Gooddogfoodtruck.com ~ Make sure to watch the behind the scenes video above.


Really Quick Naan Pizza

Naan Pizza is perfect as an easy mid week dinner or a quick throw it together lunch. Kate and I on occasion order a pizza and a salad to be delivered. This Naan Pizza can be thrown together faster than you can order for delivery.

It’s easy and starts with grilling the Naan on a panini press (or in a frying pan if you don’t have a panini press). Once your Naan is hot and grilled your ready to top your Naan Pizza and broil it for just a few quick minutes to melt the cheese and warm your toppings. It’s that easy!

Heat the Naan on a Panini Press

Top with your favorite toppings

Pepperoni & Provolone Cheese – Sprinkle with Oregano

Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and begins to turn golden brown

Presto, you’re ready to eat – Could you order delivery that fast?

For sauce you can follow the recipe below or use your favorite jared sauce (you can cheat I won’t tell. Plus it’s faster).

Pizza Sauce –

1 15 oz can of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
1/2 Can of Hunt’s Tomato Paste (The small 6 oz can)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Oregano

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. If you have time let the sauce sit for at least half an hour to let the flavors combine.

For cheese – I like to use sliced provolone (Sargento is a good choice).

Don’t forget, Pizza and a salad is a solid combination.


Bobby’s Burger Palace

On a food adventure of the past I was having a difficult time finding two specific chili powders for a Bobby Flay recipe I was making. desperate times called for desperate measures. I was able to find the dried chili’s and picked up a $10 coffee grinder. A little grinding action and we were in business, we had chili de a’rbol powder and pasilla chili powder. Note to self! Don’t blow in the coffee grinder to clean the excess chili powder out! Lets just say chili powder in your eyes, burns like nothing you have felt before.

Bobby Flay, the King of the chili is a culinary genius. Known for his Southwestern style of cooking and upscale restaurants in New York City (Mesa Grill & Bar American) has “opened Bobby’s Burger Palace to fulfill a longtime dream.” For years Bobby Flay has been putting together unbelievable flavor combinations in his upscale restaurants, and now brings his talent and his innovative flavor combinations to a burger chain with five locations in the Northeast.

While in Philadelphia, PA I was really excited to be able to dine at Bobby’s Burger Palace. When it comes to burgers, I’m pretty picky. So many restaurants serve lousy burgers. That wasn’t the case at Bobby’s Burger Palace. I started out with a Pimento cheese burger, topped with pimento cheese, Cheyenne pepper and bacon. I also ordered a side order of fries which was served with a signature sauce… Classic Bobby Flay. The burger itself was the star as it should be, even with all of the other toppings. The meat was so juicy, perfectly cooked. I enjoyed my first burger so much that I decided to go with only a half of a milk shake for desert and split a second burger with a friend. The first burger was so good, that it just had to be 1 ½ burger kind of night! (The Second Burger was the Santa Fe Burger – topped with jalapenos, crunchy corn chips and queso).

The look and feel of Bobby’s Burger Palace was very comfortable and unique. I was surprised by the age range of the people sitting around me enjoying burgers. There were teenagers, adults with their young kids and even grandparents. The service as expected was top notch, fast and friendly. You order at a register as you enter the restaurant and are given a number to place at your table. Your meal is brought to you at your table and when you are done any plates are taken away promptly. If you are a fan of Bobby Flay and his food you won’t be disappointed in a trip to one of his Burger Palaces.

If you don’t live in the Northeast and just wish you could try his burgers, there is good news for you. Most of the burgers & shakes at Bobby’s Burger Palace are available in his cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Burgers Fries & Shakes. Stay tuned I’m making a few burgers from the cookbook tomorrow and will have a post up with recipes and details soon.


Famous 4th Street Delicatessen {Video}

I first heard of the Famous 4th street delicatessen on the Food Network several months ago. Alton Brown hosted a mini series on some of Americas best food. The 4th street delicatessen was awarded the honor for their Famous Chicken Soup.

When I first walked in, I was instantly transported back to the 1920’s… Minus the TV in the corner. The look and feel of the 4th street Deli was almost breathtaking. It was probably the closest I will get to riding in a time machine. Then I looked at the prices, they were certainly 2011 prices. The prices are a little high, but the portions are insanely large, so by sharing a meal the prices come back into a normal range.

Of course I had to order the Famous Chicken Soup! A delicious chicken soup served with a large matzo ball in the middle. This one bowl of soup will feed a small army, it’s giant. It’s more like a bathtub of soup than a bowl. It will feed at least 4 or 5 people. Don’t think that you could order this soup and finish it yourself (even if it is so good that it would make your Grandmother proud). You will need to bring a few friends along to share. (You might just want to bring your Grandmother too).

I also ordered a Ruben made with corn beef. The sandwich was also huge! I’m not kidding, it was about the size of my head. I was lucky to get half down after eating a few bowls of soup. The Ruben was the best I have ever eaten. The corn beef melted in my mouth, the rye bread was tasty and perfectly crispy.

The giant soup was incredible. The matzo ball was so flavorful and while the soup felt as if it was homemade by my Grandmother, the matzo ball kicked it up to the next level. I have certainly never had chicken soup this good out at a restaurant. My wife’s mother makes a mean chicken noodle soup from scratch, but the delicious matzo ball really made it different.

I was way too full for dessert, but the cases were stocked full of pastries and beautiful cakes that I would have loved to try, but just couldn’t. Even I have a limit to how much I can eat in one sitting. There is always next time.

Famous 4th Street deli – Another top spot in the great food town of Philly. This is one of those places that you need to add to your must visit list.

Note – 4th Street Delicatessen now has two locations. See their website for details.