Tag Archives: Breakfast Recipes
Post by: Alison Hein.
Ever try using a giant, meaty Portobello mushroom as a base for your breakfast eggs? Well, you should! Portobellos are large and stuffable. Their dense texture and earthy flavor make them filling and satisfying – a particularly nice ingredient for a vegetarian meal.
In this recipe, I recommend acquiring a Portobello with its stem intact. You can finely dice the stem and sauté it along with a bit of delicate shallot, and tangy sun-dried tomato. Scramble some eggs, add chopped spinach and melted cheddar. Voila! An entire meal stuffed into a mushroom.
Don’t concern yourself about whether it’s Portobello, portabella, or portobella – they’re all the same thing – an overgrown relative of the common button mushroom, and the perfect base for your breakfast in bed.
NOTE: If you’re interested in reading up on the history of these tasty giants, take a look at the info on Foodtimeline.org
1 large Portobello mushroom, with stem attached
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomato
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup cooked chopped spinach, warmed
1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Clean and trim Portobello mushroom. Remove stem by pushing firmly to one side, then the other. Chop stem into a fine dice and set aside.
Brush the outside of the Portobello with a little olive oil. Place in an ovenproof dish and bake until cooked through but firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add diced mushroom stem, shallot and sun-dried tomato. Sautee until softened but not browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add beaten eggs to pan. Continue to cook on low, gently folding and lifting egg mixture until cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the Portobello, spread cooked spinach on top of the baked mushroom. Top with egg mixture and cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted, less than one minute. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 stuffed mushroom.
Post by Alison Hein.
At a recent McCafferty Family Reunion, we had the pleasure of having creative and talented Chef Michael Panza prepare a few meals for us. When asked if he would be willing to help with a breakfast post, Chef Michael readily complied, creating his spicy, southern-style take on biscuits and gravy.
Chef Michael started preparing the night before, when he slow-cooked some extra barbecued beef brisket during our Friday night barbecue. Then, on Saturday morning, he used the smoky brisket as a base for the rich and creamy gravy. To balance out the dish, he decided to spice up some humble biscuits with some fiery jalapeños and a touch of garlic. A little extra kick from some sharp cheddar filled out the biscuits and turned them a deep golden hue.
Hot, tangy biscuits, covered with rich, smoky gravy and colored with sliced green onions were a sight to behold. We all tucked into our meal, relishing the southern, spicy and special flavors; relishing the gift of Chef Michael’s breakfast.
Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits
1 jalapeño pepper (or about 1 tablespoon chopped)
2 cups white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
⅓ cup butter, plus an additional 2 tablespoons for butter biscuit tops
1¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Wash, trim and seed jalapeño pepper. Dice finely and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease baking sheet and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt in large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and mix with flour, using your hands, a pastry cutter, or two forks, until mixture resembles coarse sand. Pour buttermilk all at once into flour mixture, and stir until just mixed. Lightly stir in jalapeño pepper and cheddar cheese.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat, and continue to cook until lightly browned. Set aside.
Drop batter onto prepared baking sheet using a greased ¼-cup measure. Bake until crispy and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush with browned butter.
Makes approximately 8 biscuits.
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ yellow onion, diced
1 pound cooked beef brisket, chopped into ¼-inch pieces (or substitute corned beef or sausage)
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds, for garnish
Add vegetable oil to a medium, heavy pan and heat over high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, until onion is softened. Add chopped brisket, and stir on high for another minute or two. Pour in heavy cream, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer gravy for about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix corn starch with water to make a slurry. Pour corn starch slurry into gravy, whisking constantly, until gravy is thickened. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, arrange biscuits on plates and top with brisket gravy. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.
Makes about 3 cups of gravy.
Post by Alison Hein.
We had some friends over for a barbecue last week, so I bought some pistachio nuts for people to pick on while dinner was being grilled. The pistachios were already roasted, salted and shelled – my kind of nut! Sadly, they weren’t very good. The flavor was there, but the nuts were mushy. Almost as if they needed more roasting. Thinking about roasting, then re-roasting the pistachios made me think of biscotti – the traditional Italian twice-baked cookie. Could a twice-roasted pistachio be revitalized in a twice-baked cookie?
Biscotti, literally “twice-baked” in Latin, were first made centuries ago, and are said to have been a staple food of the Roman Legions. Very dry bread products can be stored and last a long time – good for travel and war. Antonio Mattei, a pastry chef from Prato, “rediscovered” biscotti in the latter part of the nineteenth century. His variation, now considered the traditional biscotti recipe, is still made today. Ingredients include only flour, sugar, eggs, almonds and pine nuts.
Unlike the traditional version, my recipe includes butter, baking powder, and of course, pistachio nuts. Your version, if you feel like experimenting, can include anything from lemon peel to chocolate chips.
It took some time to make the biscotti, baking them twice with a cool down period in between. The end result? A crisp, sweetish cookie with a hint of pistachio flavor and a satisfying nutty crunch. Eureka! Yet another biscotti rediscovery and an accidental poem:
Brew some coffee,
Steep some tea,
Then feel free
To dip your (breakfast in bed) biscotti!
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pistachio nuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly each time. Mix in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and pistachio nuts. Dough should be thick and moldable.
Wet or flour hands, split dough in half, and shape into two long, mounded loaves (approximately 8 inches long by 3½ inches wide). Place loaves on prepared baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer to wire racks and let cool at least 15 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, slice loaves into roughly ¾-inch slices. Place slices cut-side down on parchment paper and bake for another 30 minutes or so, turning biscotti once during baking, until golden brown. Remove to wire rack and cool.
Makes about 20 to 25 biscotti.
Post by Alison Hein.
Here are the two most difficult steps of baking a quiche: 1) making pastry dough; and 2) waiting for the quiche to be done while trying to ignore the tantalizing aromas emanating from the oven.
The first step is easily overcome by purchasing a pre-made pie shell, or making your own in advance (try this easy recipe for pie crust) and placing in the freezer until ready to use. For the second step, sadly, there is no known solution…
Quiches of all varieties are enticing, but I’m particularly fond of Quiche Lorraine – salty, smoky slab bacon baked with sultry Swiss cheeses. Slab bacon is quite easy to find these days. I picked some up at my local grocer, but you can just as easily ask your butcher for some. As far as the cheese goes, I recommend Gruyere or Swiss, but what I really like to do is blend the two together for even greater intensity.
Hope you have enough patience to bake and wait for this tantalizing breakfast in bed!
1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
4 to 6 ounces slab bacon
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 cup half and half
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°. Place pie crust into glass or ceramic pie dish. Cover bottom with parchment paper and set pie weights (or dried beans) on top of paper. Bake for about 10 t0 12 minutes, just to set. Remove from oven, discard paper, and set aside.
Chop bacon into small cubes. Cook in a heavy pan over medium heat until lightly cooked and fat is rendered, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels for a few minutes. Spread cooked bacon evenly in bottom of pie crust. Layer cheese evenly on top of bacon.
Break eggs into large bowl. Add cream and whisk until frothy, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture on top of bacon and cheese, filling to the top so that just the pie crust rim remains visible.
Place quiche on a baking tray and then in oven. Bake for around 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and quiche is puffed up and golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, with fresh fruit or a salad on the side.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Post by: Alison Hein
In Iva’s native Albania, this satisfying, savory breakfast is known simply as “bread and eggs”. Well, give this recipe a whirl and you’ll find out it’s anything but simple. Thick slices of Italian bread or French baguette are cut on a jaunty diagonal, then saturated in pure beaten egg. Iva likes to sometimes add a little zing with some fresh or dried oregano. The egg-soaked bread slices are then fried to a golden crisp in rich extra virgin olive oil, and served with a generous scoop of tangy, brined feta cheese.
Iva advises serving “bread and eggs” with a sweet melon salad. “You must also add grapes,” she says. “The sweet fruit is a wonderful balance to the rich, savory bread and zesty feta.”
Thank you for the wonderful idea, Iva!
Now I’m off to make myself a savory treat and my first ever Albanian breakfast in bed!
Savory French Toast
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon fresh (or ¼ teaspoon dried) oregano (optional)
8 slices fresh or day old Italian or French bread, cut on the diagonal
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ to 1 cup feta cheese
In large, shallow dish, whisk eggs until thick. Add salt and mix well. Stir in oregano, if using. Dip bread slices into the egg mixture, turning once to completely saturate. Don’t over soak or the soft bread will fall apart.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add bread slices and cook over medium to medium-low heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add more olive oil as needed. Remove from pan and serve warm with feta cheese and melon salad.
Makes 4 servings.
1 cup red seedless grapes
1 cup chopped cantaloupe
1 cup chopped honeydew melon
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Drizzle of honey
Wash and chop all fruit. Use a melon baller, if you like, for a nice presentation. Add all fruit to a large bowl. Toss with mint leaves. Drizzle with a bit of honey, if you like.
Makes 4 servings.