Tag Archives: Breakfast Recipes
Post by Alison Hein.
Ever since I perused my mother’s old cookbooks and cooked up a thick, savory Wicklow Pancake last week, I’ve had Irish food on my mind: thoughts of Irish food + Irish whiskey = Irish Whiskey Cake! Anything but savory, this boozy cake is a real palate pleaser.
Use a high quality, unsalted Irish butter, and a generous hand when pouring out the whiskey. This is no cake for the faint-hearted – the deep, smooth feel of Jameson (or other Irish whiskey) lingers on the tongue, and the finished texture has the quality of flowing amber.
You will need to use a bit of sugar, and a significant citrus flavor for balance. Here I’ve used a whole lemon, but an orange would be just as nice, leading the palate in a slightly different direction. If you like candied rind or fruit, feel free to toss some in the batter before baking. Or, decorate your cake with some thin-sliced lemon or orange.
Let the finished cake rest a bit before removing from the pan. When ready, invert it onto a pretty serving plate and dust it with powdered sugar. Then, brew some strong Irish tea, and please your palate with this sweet and boozy breakfast in bed.
1 stick butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup milk
¼ cup Irish whiskey
1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
Juice and rind of 1 lemon (approximately 1 teaspoon grated rind, 3 tablespoons juice)
1 teaspoon lemon oil (optional)
Powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top of cake
Preheat oven to 325°. Generously grease a tube pan and set aside.
Add butter and sugar to a large bowl, and cream together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until batter is light and smooth. Pour milk into small bowl and stir in Irish whiskey. Mix flour and baking soda together. Alternately add whiskey mixture and flour mixture into batter, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Stir in lemon juice, grated rind, and lemon oil if using.
Spoon batter into tube pan, smoothing surface with spatula. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan and invert onto serving plate. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
Makes 1 cake, 16 to 20 slices.
Post by Alison Hein.
Sometimes, when I’m looking for inspiration, I turn to my mother’s collection of old cookbooks. There is something meditative about leafing through a pile of worn and tattered recipe collections that provides a lot more satisfaction than a Google search. Maybe because I’m not sure of what I’m looking for. 🙂
One of my favorite of these little books is The Art of Irish Cooking by Monica Sheridan. Peppered with quotes, tips and sayings, the writing is as engaging as the recipes. Irish food is often underappreciated, but I admire its creative adaptations of local, fresh ingredients.
Almost stark in its simplicity, the Wicklow Pancake is a crisp and savory carrier for a medley of fresh green herbs. More omelet or frittata than pancake, and sometimes called an Irish Omelet, this dish is alleged to be a specialty of County Wicklow (just south of Dublin) which first appeared around the turn of the 20th century. Use day old bread to make your own fresh breadcrumbs for authenticity and a more pancake-like texture. Be sure to use a generous hand when seasoning, and place a large pat of butter on top of the pancake before serving. It can be a little tricky to flip this thick concoction. Go easy on yourself if you’re having trouble, and turn the half-cooked pancake into a second heated and buttered pan. Then slice it up into quarters (farls in Irish) and strew with some additional fresh thyme leaves for a savory breakfast in bed that I hope you find inspiring.
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
1 cup plain, fresh breadcrumbs (use day old bread to make your own)
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional herbs for garnish (optional)
Melt half the butter in a heavy 6-inch pan over medium low heat.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the milk, breadcrumbs, parsley, chives and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
When the butter is hot, pour the egg / breadcrumb mixture into the pan, evening out to cover the bottom. Continue to cook over medium low to low heat until eggs begin to set and bottom is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip the pancake and cook on the other side until firm and browned, another 5 or 6 minutes. Cut in quarters and top each with a dab of remaining butter. Garnish with additional fresh herbs, if you like.
Makes 2 servings.
Recipe adapted from The Art of Irish Cooking by Monica Sheridan
Post by Alison Hein.
My sister and I share a favorite childhood memory – we are at quaint Lake Edenwald where our grandparents have a funky but beloved log cabin. All of our cousins are there. We splash in the shallow area of the lake, until one by one, our Grandpa methodically teaches each of us to swim, in order of age. The challenge? To make it to the old splintery raft through the deepest, darkest water to the far side of the lake. Our boy cousins roughhouse, chasing and splashing, until we are spent. We paddle to shore, finally squish our toes down into the spongy lake bottom, then run to our mother. She’s laughing and smiling, waiting for us. She hands us each a tiny, personal-sized and precious box of Nabisco Ginger Snaps. We collapse on our towels and blissfully gorge on the well-earned treats.
I’m not sure if Nabisco still makes those tiny boxes of cookies, but every year when the weather starts to warm, I get a hankering for a handful of chewy coin-sized snaps. These are a little larger and a little spicier than the originals. I like to use fresh-squeezed ginger juice for extra tang. If you don’t have a juicer, simply peel and grate a hunk of fresh ginger. Then squeeze the pieces over a clean bowl until the juice flows. Strain and use to create these lovely little snaps and a personal-sized, precious breakfast in bed.
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened, plus more for baking sheets
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsulphured dark molasses
1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup granulated sugar, for dusting cookie tops
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses and ginger juice and blend until creamy. In a second bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Add gradually into butter mixture, until thick dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° and grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Form rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Arrange the balls on the prepared sheet. Pour some granulated sugar into a small dish. Wrap the bottom of a small glass with plastic wrap. Press the bottom of the glass into the sugar, then press and turn the glass onto each ball of dough, flattening before baking.
Bake the cookies until they have set but still seem soft in the middle, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to wire racks.
Makes approximately 2½ dozen cookies
Post Alison Hein.
We invited our good friends Michael and Luis for dinner shortly before Easter. When Luis offered to come a little early and help me prepare, I agreed whole-heartedly. Little did he know I intended to trick him into making tie-dyed Easter eggs! (You can now buy these kits in your local grocery store.) Anyway, they turned out beautifully. Luis’ artistry made for an impressive display, and I even let him take a couple home.
After the holiday, a handful of these beautiful eggs still remained, and I longed to use them purposefully. My first inclination was for some type of deviled eggs, but then I remembered an old favorite from Anna Thomas – parsleyed eggs on the half-shell. Eggs, hard-boiled and scooped out, their innards mixed with parsley and butter, then returned to their shells and cooked to a crisp, golden finish. What inspiration! Now I could showcase my lovely tie-dyed eggshells, and pay homage to Anna Thomas, famed for her 1972 book The Vegetarian Epicure, sometimes called “the vegetarian Bible of the 1970s.”
Slicing through the shells and removing the cooked egg is difficult work, so take your time. Don’t worry if the first couple don’t work out so well – you’ll soon get the hang of it. And, even if you don’t feel like tie-dying your parsleyed eggs, I’m sure you will still enjoy the artistry of Anna’s recipe, and a beautiful vegetarian, epicurean breakfast in bed.
2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus additional for cooking
½ cup fresh parsley, washed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place eggs in a small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue to cook eggs for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Cool.
Using a sharp, serrated knife, carefully tap and score the eggshell in half lengthwise, then cut entire egg in half. Gently scoop out cooked yolks and white, retaining shell halves. Repeat with remaining eggs. Place cooked egg whites and yolks in blender or food processor. Add softened butter and parsley and blend to a smooth, thick paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Trim off any jagged edges, and fill shells with egg mixture, smoothing to a flat top.
When ready to serve, heat butter in heavy pan over medium low heat. Place egg halves in pan, stuffing side down, and cook over low heat until light brown and crisp on top and heated through, about ten minutes. Serve warm.
Makes 2 to 4 servings.
Post by Alison Hein.
Many of us cannot imagine facing the day without a tall cup of thick, strong coffee. It’s a ritual, a kick-start, and a requirement. But perhaps you can imagine infusing fluffy breakfast pancakes with the same deep, dark and mysterious flavors as your favorite cup of Joe.
Fiddling with this recipe is as easy as brewing up some hazelnut coffee, or vanilla, or mint… A dash of cocoa powder in the batter, or a sprinkle on top after griddling, and you’ve got café mocha. Instead of maple syrup, make a coffee-flavored simple syrup –simply swap out ½ cup of water for ½ cup of brewed coffee.
No need to beat the egg whites if you’re in a desperate hurry for your morning coffee pancakes – they will be slightly more dense but just as delicious. Don’t forget to freeze some for when you just can’t wait another minute to dive into what will soon become your favorite required ritual, a dark and mysterious breakfast in bed.
2½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, separated
4 ounces (one half stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus additional for cooking
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Gradually whisk in the cooled coffee, milk, vinegar and vanilla. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add melted butter to batter. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold them into the batter. The batter should be thick, smooth and creamy.
Place a pan or griddle on the stove over medium to medium low heat. Melt a small amount of butter in the pan for the first pancake. Ladle batter into pan and cook until small bubbles appear throughout pancake, about 1 minute. Flip once with spatula and continue cooking until golden brown, another minute or so. Adjust heat as necessary while cooking. Serve hot with real maple syrup.
Makes 10 to 12 4-inch pancakes.