Saturday, November 13, 2010

A perfect late night snack and a winner in the CSN giveaway

First of all I want to thank each of you for the incredible response to my blog's 2nd birthday/anniversary. I am touched by your generosity and kindness in your well wishes. I also wish to thank CSN for hosting the fabulous giveaway.

We have a winner in the $75 giveaway from CSN and it is Lea Ann of Mangos Chili and Z. Congratulations. I know you’ll enjoy spending the $75 at CSN. I know I would. Please send me your email address to me at samhoffer (at) gmail (dot) com so CSN can contact you.

More congratulations are in order for Lea Ann. Her recipe for Scallop Sandwich appetizer is one of the winners of the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest and it is published in their gorgeous new book book – Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. Why don’t you run on over to Mangos Chili and Z to tell her congratulations. Look around while you are there. She is amazing photographer as well as a fabulous cook.

I have really enjoyed reading your comments on whether you have stools in your kitchen or not. It was divided pretty much 50 -50 on those of you who used stools like I do and those of you who don’t. Some of you like people to visit with you while you cook as I do and others don’t. Our winner Lea Ann left the following comment. “I love stools in the kitchen. My mom always had a couple when I was growing up. Usually my aunt and I would sit there and pester her while she cooked. :-)”

Speaking of visiting with people in the kitchen while you cook, my friend Susan of The Schnitzel and the Trout left a comment that brought back memories. Susan said, “I do not like anyone in my kitchen because I get so involved in conversation that I forget what I am doing.” Susan, you have no idea how right you are and it’s happened to me. Read on…..

Visiting with people while you cook almost turned into a disaster for me when I was the Mississippi finalist in the 40th National Chicken Cooking Contest. It was one of the big three contests and the oldest of its kind. In other words, the National Chicken Cooking Contest was a big deal and the cash prize in 2009 was $50,000. Sadly, because of economic conditions, the contest has been suspended.

As Mississippi’s contestant I was awarded an all expense paid trip to the competition where participants are introduced to the press and audience as the state winner. With a banner draped over your chest, you walked out feeling very much like "Miss America". Everyone had their very own kitchen. A flag was provided that each contestant could raise or lower, indicating whether they were available for conversation and questions while preparing their dish.

My dish was Chicken Breasts stuffed with Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Rosemary. Goat cheese in 1993 was a fairly exotic ingredient. Many people stopped by my booth with questions. As you know I like to visit in the kitchen, so I eagerly answered their questions until I glanced down at my watch and realized I had talked away valuable time and I was running out of time to prepare my dish twice - one for the judges to sample and the other for display. I quickly changed my flag and got to work. In other words, I realized that I might not finish on time which would ruin my chances to win. Thankfully I did finish, but Susan, you are so right. You can definitely get involved in conversation while cooking and forget what you’re doing and the results for me could have been disastrous.

I still love goat cheese and use it often. This sandwich would make a great late night after the theater snack or a lovely light lunch. Goat cheese has become increasingly popular. For this dish I can see flavoring the goat cheese with many combinations such as sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, assorted fresh herbs and garlic, black olive tapenade, or crushed pink peppercorns and herbs de Provence. The combinations for mild creamy goat cheese are almost endless.

Open-faced sandwiches with goat cheese and fried eggs
A perfect late night after the theater snack or a light lunch
Adapted from Cooking Light – serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup organic spring mix lettuce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices five grain bread or other hardy bread
4 large eggs
4 oz soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Toss the mixture with the organic baby lettuce mix and set aside.

Toast the bread until your desired degree of doneness.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook 2 minutes. Add one tablespoon of water, cover and cook an additional 2 minutes until whites are set and remove from the heat.

Spread the toast with equal portions of the goat cheese, then the dressed spring lettuce mix, and top with a fried egg. Sprinkle the eggs with chopped fresh thyme, a pinch of sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve a little extra sea salt alongside for those who like a bit more salt and crunch.


  1. So I take it you DID get that chicken finished in time!? Phew! I can just imagine. This does sound like an awesome snack absolutely anytime...and congrats to LeaAnn :D

  2. This looks like a dish I could easily get into. Congrats to Lea Ann.

  3. Hooray for your winner, Sam! Such a neat prize. And speaking of winning, I have enjoyed reading the cookbook I won from you SO much. I am planning a blog post with that and with some dishes I won. Plan on doing it in December, so I didn't want you to think I had forgotten you. I want to show you my appreciation by cooking something WONDERFUL! LOL!

    Hope all is well there. I wish you were here today. We have GLORIOUS weather... blue, blue, blue skies, no humidity, sunny, warm, but not hot. Perfect! The only thing that would make it more perfect is if you were in Florida. I'm hoping we will have a chance to meet this year.

    Off to the pirate convention. Yes, I am going to try and get some pictures of pirates. They are having a convention here this weekend. LOL! I got some of the pirate parade earlier, and everyone looked like they were having such fun. Some of the "pirates" from Tampa were over to participate in this one. They have reinactors over on the field, and I'd like to see what they do. OH, and they have a tablescape contest! LOL! You know I want to be in that, so I think I'm going to go to the pirate university, get some clothes, and start a crew of my motley friends and me! ;-)




  4. Oh that looks delicious.

    Congratulations to the winner!

  5. What a gorgeous looking snack! (Sitting at my keyboard suddenly hungry...) And I agree, this would also be a lovely lunch. Congratulations to the winner and thank you for posting such a beautiful recipe.

  6. What an interesting post! That egg sandwich looks wonderful and We love to have an evening meal with eggs; thank you for ading to my list.

  7. I'm not a real goats cheese lover but I think it would go lovely atop toast and a nice oozy egg to balance out the flavour.
    Loved this post ~ I'm definitely not a stool in the kitchen cook!! I need all my concentration to get things right, but I really admire cooks who can multi-task, that is cook and talk!!

  8. Congrats to the winner! Your egg and goat cheese looks and sounds wonderful Sam!

  9. OHMYGOSH! I'm tickled as pink as a peppercorn! :-) Thank you, thank you, thank you! Yes, visiting can be hazardous and especially when there is a glass wine involved. I love this recipe for this open faced sandwich and am going to make it very soon. Love the idea of the flavored goat cheese! Again, thanks so much for a great give-a-way.

  10. We love eggs..that's a pretty mouthwatering photo:) Congratulations on your winner:)

  11. First, congratulations to your winner! Second, congratulations to you on your national cooking contest experience. I think I would have been a wreck!

    I wish I shared your love of goat cheese. I don't know what's wrong with me! I would loe everything else about your delicious open-faced sandwich.

  12. That looks delicious and I'm sure it is. Congrats on all counts to Lea Ann.

  13. Wow, that's a snack! Congrats to the winner.



  14. That a new way of frying eggs to me -- I thought they were poached from the picture -- will have to give that a try.

  15. Yay! Congrats to your winner. What a wonderful post. This looks like a perfect snack anytime of day. I love the exoticness of goat cheese! It makes everything ...just right!

  16. I am inordinately fond of eggs, Sam. These look wonderful and I'll wager they taste as good as they look. I hope all is well. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  17. wow lovely sandwich and fab snap wow what a large prize money amount
    love your blog keep on blogging Sam your lovely hugs


  18. YUM! I love eggs like this- I have to make some tomorrow now that I saw your beautiful pic!

    Congrats to the winner!

  19. I often have an egg on toast for breakfast - bet it is better with the goat cheese and greens. I agree that cooking and talking can sometimes be detrimental to the end results, so I try to do all of the complicated dishes ahead of time and then I can just make a salad or something simple while I am visiting with guests. Congrats to Lee Ann and Thanks to you for having such a great giveaway.

  20. What a great snack, it looks delicious! Congrats to the winner!

  21. Yes...a perfect snack, at any time!

  22. What is there about a perfectly cooked nestled egg amid cheese, bread and greens that is always perfect?

    Last week I was baking and singing to a soundtrack and counting out 1/4 cups of flour.... and uh oh ...lost count. (Then you pray.)

    Congrats to Lee Ann!

  23. Another egg dish to add to our "supper" menu! Or lunch, brunch, midnight snack (no, we don't do that). I just received two Le Creuset coquettes from a friend and think they'll be the perfect vehicle for eggs a la any way!!


  24. Many people ask me as a foodie what my favorite food is. My answer is always: A soft runny egg on toast. With goat's cheese this treat can only be better!!

  25. Thatnlooks like a more than perfect snack! Congrats to your winner:)

  26. Congratulations to Lea Ann.

    Congratulations to Sam for a two year anniversary.

  27. Sam -What a wonderful snack! Yes after the theater or busy party day - perfect for the coming days filled with cocktail parties. Do you mind if I ask what silver pattern that is - it is beautiful (reminds me of strasbourg)! Hope you have a great Monday - Lara

  28. Congrats, Sam, on your 2nd anniversary! This eggs on toast is my go to meal for when I'm not in the mood to cook but need to eat. I love it.

  29. First, congrats to Lea Ann!
    And second...what fun to have taken part in a cooking competition. How did you end up doing??
    Every Thanksgiving a (grown) niece would come into the kitchen to talk just when I was in the crunch of making gravy and organizing dishes. (She doesn't cook) I could have screamed...happened every single year. So I can imagine how annoying that would have been.
    And last....I loved this easy-to-do recipe for a quickie dinner, Sam!

  30. A lovely snack--I especially like the cute little dish of salt for sprinkling!

  31. Sam - more and more, I'm drawn to the simplicity and goodness of dishes like this. It's really beautiful. Hard to imagine a day when goat cheese was considered exotic!

  32. Congrats to the winner!

    This dish looks unbelievably good!
    I imagine the crusty bread with the creamy goat cheese and warm egg is just heaven to bite in to!

  33. I tend to lean towards goat cheese also when it comes down to selections of this type of food.
    I find it digests easier also.

    Great snack for sure!

    Congrats to Lea Ann...spend it well ;)

    Ciao for now,

  34. Oh my goodness, is this sandwich are fantastic! Love the use of goat cheese and the runny yolk makes it even more delicious! Congrats to the winner!

  35. Yummy sandwich! I like the combo of goat cheese & fried egg, I would eat that for my breakfast right now for sure!

  36. This is a lovely snack. Fantastic combination of goat cheese and the perfectly fried egg on top.

  37. Congratulations on your 2nd blog anniversary! Nice giveaways to celebrate:) I love an egg poached this way and you've photographed it beautifully:)

  38. Congrats To Lea Ann! I will be heading over to congratulate her.

    I do have stools in my kitchen, and yes I can talk away valuable time especially, when we are drinking wine or enjoying a cocktail too :-) The hub in my house appears to be the kitchen. No matter how I try to lure people away into another room, they come right back to the kitchen. I am thinking that's a good thing.

    Awesome post.

  39. Oh, Sam, this looks wonderful! I adore goat cheese. We have a farm near here (I can see it from our terrace) where they raise goats and make cheese. I love to buy the cheese from the person who fed and milked the goats!

    Thanks for posting this!

  40. Sam,
    Congratulations upon the two year anniversary. This open faced sandwich looks so good. I would love to try out the recipe.

  41. Congratulations to the winners!

    Sam, this looks so good. I wish I had a serving right now.

    And, the pumpkin soup sounds perfect for next week.

  42. This is the perfect late night snack! Goat cheese and eggs - mmmm!

  43. Congrats to your winner! I love eggs as a snack. They are my favorite food!

  44. Heartfelt congratulations to the winner!
    Do you think we will be able to see what she selected?
    (Curious cat, I know!) ;-)

    Your wonderful midnight snack has me lusting for it ever since I first saw it. One of these days ....


Thank you for stopping by.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.