Oh hey there poor sad neglected food blog. We should probably catch up.
So much has happened since I’ve been here. First there was an engagement in December. Big news but, honestly, Brent and I are nearing 10 years together so it’s not like I didn’t see this coming. Though I did think he’d be his humorous self and wait til the decade mark. Still, the moment he asked when we were cutting down a Christmas tree was simply perfect.
Then mere days later, we got the news. THE news. Baby Darbymore is coming. It’s still rather surreal but here I am 19 weeks later and the bump is growing by the day. We’re crazy ecstatic but I’d be lying if I said I was glowing. Sure, I’ve reached the second trimester when everyone promised it’d get better. Thankfully it did but that was after two crappy months of acid reflux and gagging non stop. Perhaps actually throwing up would have been worse but carrying a bag in your pocket just in case is never fun. Nor is sneaking around to an empty aisle in the grocery store when the urge suddenly hits.
So needless to say, blogging and cooking other than my column was simply not happening. Having to eat tiny meals every two hours to keep the refux at bay just didn’t spark my insprition. There was a lot of toast people.
And while life has certainly changed, one thing I need to get back to is this. You see, when you get pregnant suddenly all anyone wants to talk to you about is the baby. It’s not a bad thing but I just NEED to talk about something else sometimes. And food is it. Hell, since feeling better I’ve had some pretty amazing dishes I’ll go on about to anyone who listens. There was an incredible gnocchi – the best gnocchi dish I’ve ever had – at Brooklyn Warehouse with celeriac, cauliflower, preserved lemon, and arugula walnut pesto. Then there was the polenta poutine with duck confit, blue cheese whiz and red wine jus at Gio. I could go on. So while I can’t promise this won’t turn into some sort of food blog mommy blog mash up, I do promise to keep the food coming. Because those cravings? They’re real.
In deciding what recipe to share to announce the big news, I figured I might as well make the same dish as the day we revealed the big news to friends, a maple sausage, fennel and potato skillet. We had everyone over for a brunch potluck – BEST IDEA EVER – as a sort of engagement party. I whipped up this skillet because I’m madly in love with all things cast iron then added the eggs when guests arrived. So with the sonogram on the fridge, we waited. And waited. Until no one noticed it. It was killing my sister so finally when everyone had arrived she broke the news. Excited is putting it lightly. Sometimes I think friends are more excited than I. But they weren’t just gagging into a bag.
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
- 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup shredded havarti
- 3-4 eggs
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425. Boil or microwave the potatoes until fork tender. Meanwhile, combine the ground pork, maple syrup, fennel seeds, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet (or baking dish) toss the potatoes and fennel with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Move the potatoes to one side then add the ground pork. Cook until no longer pink, frequently stirring to break apart large chunks. Stir to combine, adjusting the salt and pepper if necessary. Add the grated cheese and return to the oven just until melted. Crack desired number of eggs on top. Bake until whites are set and yolks still runny, about 7 minutes. Garnish with green onions.
- As usual, this recipe is totally adaptable. It makes use of economical ground pork but any sausage removed from the casing will work. No havarti? Gouda, aged cheddar or a smoked cheese works perfectly.