Tag Archives: Recipes
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.
Post by Alison Hein.
Go dust off your waffle iron and whip up some morning magic! These lightly sweet, chocolatey treats take only a little effort, and are sure to delight both young and not so young. A touch of cocoa powder in the batter is enough to provide a hint of decadence – great for brunch or special occasions.
Make sure your waffle iron is well-heated before you begin. Each waffle will take about 5 minutes to cook. If you’re planning a big breakfast shindig, preheat your oven to low and then turn it off. Pile each waffle onto an ovenproof plate as they finish, cover them with a light tea towel, and keep them warm until you’re done cooking.
No need to waffle on this one – all it takes is a little alchemy to produce a bewitching breakfast in bed.
2 cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream
Combine flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl, add milk, eggs and vanilla and beat until frothy. Pour oil into liquid mixture and stir well. Using a wooden spoon or hand mixer, gradually add liquid mixture to dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Stir in sour cream.
Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and heat to high. Pour ½ cup to ¾ cup batter into center of iron, making sure you have enough batter to evenly spread across the surface of your waffle iron. Cook until waffle is deep brown and crisp, and pulls away easily from iron, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with melted butter and maple syrup or chocolate sauce. Top with fruit, if you like.
Makes 4 to 5 waffles.
Post by Alison Hein.
I’ve recently begun experimenting with almond milk in my cooking and baking. Almond milk has a creamy texture and mildly sweet, nutty taste. It is dairy-free, contains no cholesterol, and is low in calories. Besides that, it is delicious! I completely understand why it is now so popular and available.
I’m entranced by the simplicity of this pancake recipe. The almond milk is sweet and rich enough that there is no need for sweetener or shortening. The texture, somewhat thicker than usual pancake batter, takes a little getting used to. But the end result is well worth the learning curve. Not as many bubbles appear (you’ll need to peek at the bottom of the pancakes while cooking), and the almond cakes will not brown as much when cooked.
I’ve been using my old cast iron pan for frying, which is so well-seasoned that I don’t need to use any shortening at all. Amazingly, I don’t feel the need for butter – a splash of maple syrup or chopped, fresh fruit seems just right.
Use almond, buckwheat or rice flour if you are looking for a gluten-free pancake option. Or, toast some almond slivers in advance for a nice, crunchy topping.
You’ll soon come to see why almond milk was a staple in medieval kitchens, and why it is a wonderful choice for breakfast in bed!
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
Cooking spray, butter, or vegetable oil, for frying
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Whisk in the egg, then the almond milk, until batter is thick and smooth.
Heat a pan or griddle on the stove over medium to medium low heat. Splash a few drops of water on the pan to test the heat. The pan is ready when the water drops sizzle immediately. Add cooking spray or a small amount of butter or oil. (If you have a well-seasoned cast iron pan, you may be able to completely dispense with any type of shortening.)
Ladle about 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan for each pancake, and spread out a little in the pan. Cook until small bubbles appear throughout the pancake, about 1 minute. Flip once with spatula and continue cooking until lightly golden, another minute or so. Serve hot with real maple syrup or chopped, fresh fruit.
Makes about 8 3-inch pancakes.