Tag Archives: Breakfast Recipes
Post by Alison Hein.
Caution! Your secrets are not safe with me. I have been known to sneak into restaurant kitchens and accost people in grocery stores in the quest to uncover their families’ culinary treasures.
I finagled this delightful Easter Bread recipe from a trusting soul encountered while getting a mani / pedi. It was quite impressive how my new friend remembered the ingredients and quantities. I silently recited the instructions over and over until my nails dried, then raced home to jot them down.
This method of bread-baking intrigued me. Normally, one would let the yeast activate, unmolested, while readying the remaining ingredients. I worried that the bread would not rise properly with too much disturbance of the yeast. This recipe also calls for no second rise of the dough, another surprise. Nevertheless, after fiddling with the methods and metrics (my silent recitations may have been flawed), I managed to produce a lovely golden braided ring. Lightly sweet and dense with a hint of vanilla, this stolen Easter Bread is pure pleasure when warm and daubed with butter.
Jazz it up by tucking a few colored eggs into the center of your circle – a lush adornment for your holiday table, or your breakfast tray.
4¼ cups flour
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add two cups of flour to food processor. Sprinkle yeast on top of flour. Put milk, butter, sugar and salt into heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat until just melted. Pour milk mixture into food processor and pulse a few times. Add two eggs, vanilla and remaining 2¼ cups of flour to food processor. Pulse until dough starts to ball and pulls away from sides.
Turn dough out onto floured board, and separate into three equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a long rope, about 30 inches long. Loosely braid dough ropes into a circle, and place in a circular pan (I use a 10-inch diameter cake pan). Allow to rise in a warm place, covered, for about one hour, until almost doubled in size. Beat remaining egg and lightly brush over top of risen dough. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes until golden on top. Tuck a few colored eggs in the center of the ring, if you like. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Post by Alison Hein.
Last night we had friends over for a Puerto Rican feast – salty fried codfish fritters (bacalaiítos), spicy pastelillos de carne (meat turnovers), smoky black beans with chorizo (habichuelas negras con chorizo) and slow-cooked garlicky pork shoulder (pernil). Island flavors are a shockingly addictive blend of Spanish, African, Taino and Arawak products and seasonings. If you’re not familiar with this cuisine, I strongly recommend you get out there for a little taste of “Cocina Criolla”.
This morning, I found just the right ingredients for some Latin-flavored breakfast pastelillos, or spicy Puerto Rican half-moon shaped turnovers. I fried up some chorizo, then stirred in a bit of frothy green recaito, a mix of fresh pungent herbs, garlic, peppers and onions. Some eggs and a few more seasonings, and I was ready to fill and bake my pastelillos.
Thirty minutes later, we were savoring the steamy flavors of Cocina Criolla and a little taste of la Isla del Encanto.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 fresh chorizo sausage
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes, with juice (canned tomatoes work well)
2 tablespoons recaíto* (http://mixerupper.com/2012/08/17/recaito/)
2 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon milk or cream
8 pastelillo or empanada wrappers (or use puff pastry, rolled out ¼ inch thick, cut into 8 5-inch diameter circles)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in heavy pan over medium heat. Remove sausage casing from chorizo, and break into small pieces. Add chorizo to heated pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in diced tomatoes and recaíto. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat remaining olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Break 3 eggs into small bowl and whisk well with milk or cream. Add eggs to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Remove eggs from heat when still a little soft. Stir into chorizo mixture.
Lay pastelillo wrappers out on flat surface, and place about 1½ tablespoons of chorizo-egg mixture in the center of each circle. Beat remaining egg, and brush around eggs of each wrapper. Fold each circle in half to form a half-moon shape, gently pressing edges together. Seal edges of each pastelillo by gently folding dough over in ¼-inch increments, or sealing with the tines of a fork. Place filled pastelillos on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, until dough is golden and crispy. Serve fresh from the oven with a little hot sauce on the side, if you like.
Makes 8 pastelillos.
* If you can’t find the ingredients to make recaíto, substitute with: 1 minced garlic clove; 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro; 2 teaspoons finely diced yellow onion; and 2 teaspoons finely diced Cubanelle, Bell or Chili pepper.
Post by Alison Hein
For the first time in my life, I have ended up on the right side of a flight cancellation. My husband, Kevin, and I usually get stranded in a busy airport, or never even leave home. Now, because of winter storm Nemo, we are trapped in paradise – the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Martin. We love this amazing place, and can never soak up enough sunshine before returning home. A four-day delay feels like the snow day to end all snow days!
We were fortunate with our accommodations as well. The aptly named Casa del Sol was available, and our gracious hostess kindly extended our stay. Veronique provides little surprises for us before our arrival in St. Martin. This visit was no different, with some rich Arabica beans tucked next to the espresso maker, an overflowing bowl of lush, tropical fruit, and an icy chilled bottle of champagne in the fridge.
What better way to spend my exta time than experimenting with new recipes? (Last time we were in St. Martin I made Piña Colada French Toast . Poking around the charming Provençal kitchen, I was delighted to find a copy of the colorful, island recipe-packed Creole Recipes and Cocktails from the Caribbean.
Flipping through the little cookbook, Exotic Fruit Crumble popped out. The name was perfect, and we also had mangoes and bananas in our fruit bowl. I skipped the coconut (Kevin doesn’t like it) and added some vanilla rum (hey, we’re in the Caribbean). A few other little changes, converting everything from grams to US measures, and my little tropical crumble was ready for baking. After the dish baked for 40 minutes in a hot oven, Kevin and I were enjoying an exotic, Caribbean delight.
If you’ve never tried cooked mangoes, you’re in for a delightful discovery – flavors sweeten and meld with baking, become reminiscent of peach pie, yet still remain startlingly light and bright. So, if you can’t be trapped in paradise, pick up some luscious mangoes and ripe bananas, and make yourself an exotic breakfast in bed for two. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Exotic Fruit Crumble
1 tablespoon vanilla rum (or substitute vanilla)
½ cup flour
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Hold mango lengthwise, and with a sharp knife, slice through just to one side of the pit. Turn mango, and carefully slice through on the other side of the pit. Chop off the sides remaining around the pit. Score each sliced piece lenghtwise into several long, thin slices, but do not cut through the skin. Score again crosswise to create small cubes. Repeat with other mango section. Scoop scored pieces out with a spoon and place in small oven-proof dish. Skin and slice banana. Add to dish containing mango pieces. Pour vanilla rum over fruit and stir to mix. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl, mix together flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon until crumbly. Spread evenly over fruit mixture. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until topping is lightly browned and fruit is cooked through.
Serve hot with a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from Creole Recipes and Cocktails from the Caribbean, Volume 2
Post by Alison Hein
We recently invited my cousin Vin and his girlfriend Michele to our home for dinner. We are just getting to know Michele, yet she seems to know me pretty well. She gave me the perfect gift. It was wrapped in dark brown paper, tied up with a jaunty ribbon, and adorned with a silver star cookie cutter.
Inside the wrappings I found A Jug of Wine, a cookbook written by Morrison Wood in 1949. Well- thumbed and lovingly stained, the binding was bulging from personal recipes tucked inside – Fresh Tomato Pudding, Chrissie’s Oven-Fried Chicken and Zucchini Soup. Michele had no idea that some of my favorite cookbooks are garage sale finds with hand-written notes in the margins advising me to “use less sugar”, “stir longer than suggested”, or even “awful. Skip this.”
A Jug of Wine calls for wine in every recipe, but I figured, what the heck. The alcohol cooks out and just leaves the flavor, right? Hard-boiled eggs filled with a mixture of sweet Madeira-flavored mushrooms, tangy green onions and fresh parsley sounded intriguing. Morrison suggests placing the filled eggs on toast rounds, but I decided to use Michele’s cookie cutter for an amazing, star-studded breakfast in bed.
2 mushrooms (about ½ cup chopped)
½ green onion (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Madeira wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons butter
½ teaspoon breadcrumbs
4 thin slices of bread, toasted and cut into stars, rounds, or other shape
Place eggs in small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for one minute or so. Turn off heat, and let eggs remain in hot water for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Immerse in cold water and carefully peel eggs.
Slice eggs in half at the center, so yolk openings are round, rather than oblong. Carefully slice a little bit off the end of each egg half, just enough so the egg white can rest flat on a plate. Scoop out yolks, chop finely, and place in small bowl. Set yolk and prepared egg whites aside. Clean and finely chop mushrooms and onion. Add to chopped eggs. Add parsley, Madeira, salt and pepper to eggs as well, stirring in gently.
Melt 1½ teaspoons butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add egg mixture to pan and sauté over medium to medium-low until mushrooms and onion are soft, about 5 minutes. Stuff prepared egg whites with mushroom mixture, sprinkle them with breadcrumbs and dot with remaining butter. Place one stuffed egg on each toast round and put on baking tray. Broil 6 inches from heat until gently browned, about 30 seconds. Garnish with parsley and fresh fruit, if you like. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Eggs can also be served cold. Simply chill the eggs after stuffing and omit the breadcrumbs, butter and toast.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from Morrison Wood’s Mushroom Stuffed Eggs
Post by Alison Hein
Götterspeise – quite a mouthful, whether you’re saying it or eating it. “Food of the Gods” is so decadently delicious, it’s a decidedly rare indulgence. Here’s my story:
Location: Straubing, Germany, Uncle Franz and Aunt Irmgard’s kitchen
Time: Just after New Year’s, late evening, after a long day of over-eating and over-drinking
Cast: Tante Irmgard and me
Irmgard: “Have you ever tried Götterspeise?”
Irmgard: “Never mind. Watch me.”
Irmgard pulls out a few cookie tins and removes a variety of sugared, nut and cinnamon-filled delights. She breaks these into pieces and places them in a large bowl. She runs quickly to the other room for the brandy decanter, returns and sloshes a generous portion over the whole cookie mess.
Irmgard: “Good night.”
Me: “Huh? What about the Götterspeise?”
Irmgard: “That? We’re having it for breakfast!”
Morning arrives. Irmgard and I are back in the kitchen. Irmgard whips out a heavy pot and places it on the stove. She heats some milk, adds some eggs and some other ingredients to make pudding. Then she pours this on top of the brandy-soaked cookies. She scoops some Götterspeise into a couple of bowls, and tops them off with whipped cream. She hands me one.
Irmgard: “Guten Appetit!”
I dig deep into the Götterspeise. My spoon comes up a gooey mass of culinary dimensions – dense, brandied pastry; rich, golden pudding; sweet, airy cream. I close my eyes. I taste. I sigh. I understand the name. This is indeed Godly food.
Me: “Danke schön!”
Moral of the story: When having an indulgent breakfast in bed, be sure to eat decadently delicious food.
2 cups broken assorted Christmas cookies (substitute a mix of any firm, stale cookies)
1½ cups rum (substitute brandy or liqueur)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour (or 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
Place broken cookies into large glass dish. Pour rum evenly over cookies and let sit for at least one hour, or as long as overnight. When ready to prepare, give the cookie mixture a good stir, and divide evenly into two serving dishes (cocktail glasses work well for this).
Combine sugar and flour in a heavy saucepan. Add milk, and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk about one half of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return egg mixture to the saucepan. Bring again to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and salt.
Gently pour pudding mixture over cookies, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm.
If you like, whip heavy cream, sweeten, and place on top of Götterspeise when ready to serve.