Category Archives: Breakfast in Bed
Post by Alison Hein.
Preparing Eggs Benedict is not difficult; rather, it’s a little complicated. Too many things are happening at once. Should I worry about my muffins toasting or my eggs poaching? My bacon browning or my Hollandaise emulsifying? Well, the sad truth is, all these things must be tended if you want to have your muffins crisped, your eggs gooey, your bacon browned and your sauce hot, all at the same time.
This is the occasion to ensure your “mis en place” is well-executed. Assemble your ingredients, gather your pots and pans, perhaps enlist an assistant. Then toast, boil, brown and drizzle your way to a worry-free breakfast in bed.
2 English muffins
4 slices Canadian bacon
Hollandaise sauce (recipe below)
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Split muffins in half and place in toaster. Toast when other preparation is completed.
Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary.
While eggs are poaching, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook until warmed through and slightly browned.
To assemble, place two muffin halves on each of two plates. Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Then top each with a poached egg and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
4 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ cup (1 stick) butter, bubbling hot
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it is bubbling hot. While butter is heating, combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a food processor with a couple of quick pulses. With food processor on, slowly stream in the hot butter until Hollandaise emulsifies. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and pulse the Hollandaise one more time to combine.
Post by Alison Hein.
Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with it comes the unofficial start of summer. At this time of year, I’m always reminded of summers past. My memories are filled with sessions at sleep away camp, days at the lake near my grandparents’ cabin, and of course, trips to the U-pick farm to pick plump, ripe berries fresh from the field.
Coincidentally, my camera club season runs the same as a school year – starting in September and wrapping up in June. Thinking of summer, thinking of berries, thinking of my camera club, I thought – wouldn’t it be nice to bake a summery cake for one of the last meetings with my fellow shutterbugs?
I decided upon a simple cake, made a bit richer and smoother with a touch of sour cream. For the fresh berries, I selected an assortment of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Feel free to use whatever types of berries (or other fresh fruit) you like. If using strawberries, chop them into bite-sized pieces. And if you think the cake is scantily supplied with berries, don’t be tempted to add more than two cups or the cake will become too moist.
Sure enough, the cake was a big hit with my camera buddies, and the few pieces I held back became a summery breakfast in bed that my husband and I enjoyed the next morning.
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (1 dry pint) mixed berries
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Mix the milk, cider vinegar, and vanilla together in another small bowl. Add alternately with flour mixture to the egg batter, until well mixed. Fold in sour cream, then mixed berries.
Spread batter evenly in baking dish, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly across top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.
by: Alison Hein
I just returned from Texas after visiting with my sister in law Suzanne and her husband Randy. They have a beautiful ranch house set in the woods, surrounded by rolling hills and green oak trees. Suzanne’s kitchen is amazing, and each time I visit, I long to cook there. You may recall this lovely location for my great sugar burn experience while preparing a holiday flan a few years back.
With some brief moments of hesitance, I decided to return to the scene of the crime and whip up a nice breakfast. A quick search in the fridge yielded abundant selection, and I decided to prepare a nice, big frittata, loaded up heavy on the meat, Texas-style. Randy became my sous chef while Suzanne set a sparkling table.
Suzanne’s bright blue Le Creuset casserole dish was perfect for sautéing sausage, cooking vegetables, setting eggs, popping in the oven, and serving with style. A few torn basil leaves from Suzanne and Randy’s herb garden and a bottle of zesty hot sauce completed our impromptu breakfast in bed, Texas-style.
1 pound breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons high-heat olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 – 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, for garnish
Hot sauce, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°. Place a 10-inch ovenproof frying pan on stove over medium heat. Crumble sausage into pan and continue to cook until completely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside. Wipe out pan completely and return to the stovetop.
Pour olive oil into the pan and heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion to pan, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add spinach leaves by the handful until they are all wilted. Reduce heat to low.
Break eggs into a large bowl, and whisk until smooth and thickened. Add cooked breakfast sausage crumbles to the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the onion-mushroom-spinach mixture. Continue to cook, gently moving uncooked eggs back around the sides of the pan, until edges are lightly set, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Place frittata in oven to finish, baking for about 10 minutes, until lightly puffed up and golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top of the frittata with parmesan cheese. Place frying pan under broiler, about 5 inches from direct heat and broil until cheese is melted and very lightly browned, about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.
Makes 4 – 6 servings.
by Alison Hein
Read on if you think fondue for breakfast is a great idea!
Well, it’s not really fondue, but a couple of eggs baked between layers of gooey Swiss cheese doles out that same decadent, comfort food satisfaction. Treat yourself to a luscious little meal, or re-size the recipe for more servings, each baked in their own small ramekin.
I like to use Jarlsberg cheese, for its slightly sweet and nutty flavor, as well as for its wonderful melting ability. Of course, you may just as easily prepare Cheddar Eggs or Mozzarella Eggs (or provolone, or blue) or whatever strikes your fancy).
Be sure to serve this lavish little dish with some hearty toasted bread slices – perfect for dipping and as a contrapunkt to the rich, eggy sauce. A Wheaty Baguette, toasted and slathered with butter, tops off a luscious little breakfast in bed.
¼ cup Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons heavy cream, of half & half
Fresh curly parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a ramekin (or other small oven-proof dish) with cooking spray.
Cut a thin slice of Swiss cheese (about one tablespoon) and place it in the bottom of the ramekin. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into the dish. Dust the top of the eggs with salt and pepper. Pour cream over the eggs. Grate the remaining Swiss cheese and add to the top of the dish.
Bake the eggs for around 15 minutes, until cheese is melted, egg whites are fully cooked, and yolks are still soft. Cook eggs a little longer if you’d like the yolks to be cooked through. Garnish eggs with parsley and serve hot with buttered toast, if you like.
Makes 1 serving.