Week of Breakfasts


baby-in-pan

And here we are at the end of my Week of Breakfasts. For today I decided on a Dutch Baby. The name creeps me out, but I’ve heard they are really good, so I gave it a go.

To make a dutch baby you shoudl get:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2/3 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

confectioner’s sugar

lemon wedges

Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 450F and generously grease a 10 inch oven-proof skillet.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, add the eggs and milk and whisk until combined. Pour in the belted butter and stir into the mix. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake for 15- 18 minutes. The dish is ready when it is really puffed and golden in color. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, dusted with the sugar. Squeeze some lemon juice over and if you like, have some preserves on the side.

baby-w-lemon

This has by far been the easiest project of the week. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and tastes incredible. A mix between a pancake and a clafouti I’d say. The texture is lightly custard-like and the lemon juice adds a nice tang. For something impressive looking but really simple to kick off the weekend, this is just the ticket. Can’t wait to make it again. Maybe next time I’ll add a little bit of chopped chocolate into the mix.

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 4 people.

baby-with-preserve

huevos-rancheros

It would have been wrong for me to do my week of breakfasts without making huevos rancheros. I am, after all, hanging out in New Mexico, just north of the border of the birthplace (I believe?) of this hearty breakfast. There are several recipes for huevos rancheros, so I could not really figure out if there was an exact authentic one. I guess you can wing it a bit to your own liking.

What I like about this recipe is that it suggests using roasted green chile, which is very New Mexican. I’ve never enjoyed green chile before my first visit here and I’ve instantly fallen in love with it. I knew red chile, but now green. Red chili is fine, but green is fantastic!

For huevos rancheros with an NM twist you need to hoard for the sauce:

1 tablespoon oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup chopped and roasted green chile

2 cups canned, crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1- 2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground

salt to taste

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I omitted this fav ingredient of mine as I forgot to pick it up- blah me)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

The rest:

8 corn tortillas

8 eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 ounces Monterey Jack, or mild Cheddar, grated (I read somewhere that for authentic HR it needs to be Monterey Jack)

Sour cream, creme freche or chopped cilantro (optional)

To make this excellent breakfast, start with the sauce:

Warm the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and onion over medium. Cook until limp. Add all the other ingredients except for the cilantro and lime juice. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened. Add the cilantro (if using) and lime juice just before removing from heat. The sauce can be made the previous night and reheated before serving.

Next, heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a medium skillet, dip the tortillas in the oil, cook for a couple of seconds until soft, drain and arrange 2on a plate, overlapping.

Pour most of the oil from the skillet, but leave some to coat the surface. Warm over medium heat, add butter (1-2 teaspoons) and when foam subsides pour in the eggs, 2-4 at a time, cook for a minute while spooning over the butter, add salt and pepper to taste and turn down the heat, continue cooking until the eggs are to your liking.

Top the tortillas with eggs, sprinkle some cheese over each egg and top with portions of the sauce. Serve immediately, having each guest garnish with cream or cilantro if they wish.

huevos-rancheros-and-runny-egg

I made the sauce last night, refrigerated it and just heated it up again this morning. I was not sure about adding the cumin to the sauce, I’m used to it being added to Indian dishes. Alexander tasted it though and said it tastes just right. I have not seen it being added in any other recipes for this dish, but I will certainly keep on making use of it. It added a really nice additional flavor to the spicy tomato-ness of the sauce.

I’ve also never been a big fan of runny eggs, but I’ve come to the realization that it goes really well with Mexican and New Mexican dishes as it melds together all the other flavors and ingredients. This recipe is a keeper and I cannot wait to make it for my own family!

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 4 people.

pancakes-and-compote2

This is the first time I’ve used blue corn in cooking. It’s been an important ingredient in Southwest cooking for centuries, but I only found out about it after Alexander introduced me to the beautiful blue corn tortillas so popular here. Pinon, or pine nuts, are another locally grown food and this recipe blends the two in an interesting pancake. The recipe suggested making an apricot-pinon compote and since this is a week of trying new things I decided to give it a go as well.

If making the the compote, do that first and keep it covered and warm while preparing the pancakes. You can also prepare it the previous night and reheat it in the morning.

For the compote you will need:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/3 cup pine nuts

1 cup chopped fresh or dried apricots

1 to 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 drop almond extract

Prepare:

Warm the buter in a small skillet over medium heat and add the pine nuts. Saute until lightly toasted for about 2 minutes, taking care not to burn them. In a saucepan, combine the apricots, corn syrup, cinnamon and almond extract together with a cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce to low and cook until the sauce is thick and spoonable. It should take about 10 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and keep it warm until ready to be served.

pancakes-and-compote11

For the pancakes you should get:

1 and 1/4 cup pine nuts

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup blue cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 and 1/4 cups milk

2 drops almond extract

Preparing it:

Place 3/4 cup of the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse briefly to ground. Be careful not to pulse until it turns into a butter. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse until it forms a coarse meal. Scrape down the sides and mix it up a little at times to make sure it all mixes well. Spoon this into a large bowl and stir in the melted butter until it disappears in the mixture. Add the wet ingredients and the remaining nuts and mix.

Warm a griddle or non-stick pan and cook the pancakes the usual way. When the pancakes are ready, serve them with the warm compote.

These pancakes turned out very well. The batter was more runny than what I’m used to, but the moment the batter hit the pan they set nicely. They were nice and fluffy with the whole pine nuts added a delightful texture. The compote was excellent. I ended up adding a quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence while I was cooking it as the compote had a slightly ‘dry’ flavor, the vanilla lifted all the flavors nicely and it made for a tasty accompaniment to the pancakes.

pancakes-with-bite

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 4 people.

oatmeal-pudding-and-ambrosia

I agree, that subject is way too long. It’s the middle of my Week of Breakfasts and I decided to go big. This was the first recipe that caught Alexander’s eye and sparked this little event. As a child I never cared for oatmeal breakfasts, I always found the texture gross and the whole business rather tasteless. This dislike grew by leaps and bounds in high school res where we got it for breakfast almost daily.

Luckily for oats Alexander recently restored my faith in it by preparing delicious bowls of warm oatmeal with pecans and fresh berries. I’m sure I would have been a much more agreeable youth if berries were as readily available in South Africa as they are here in the States. I am really enjoying have it with breakfast daily.

Today’s breakfast takes a while to prepare, but you can make the oats the night before (if using ramekins) and reheat it the next morning in a pan of gently simmering water. I will give the recipe for the oatmeal here and create a different entry for the ambrosia.

For the oatmeal pudding you need to take out:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup water

2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

And for the vanilla sauce:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

Butter four ramekins and set aside.

Toast the oats in a heavy saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the deepend a little in color and become fragrant.  Pour in the water, followed by the other ingredients for the oats.  Bring it to a boil, cover and lower heat to a bare simmer, cooking for another 5 minutes until it is soft and thick. Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins, cover with a single piece of foil and let it sit at room temperature until it firms in the ramekins, about 10-15 minutes.

While this is happening, prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and cooking over medium heat until it is reduced to about a 3/4 cup.

Next, run a knife around the inside of the ramekins, turn upside down on plates and give a light shake to release the pudding. Spoon the warm sauce over the each and serve, accompanied by the ambrosia. You can also just serve the pudding in the dish. I did not use ramekins, as I was not going to heat it up again, so I just used little glass dishes.

oatmeal-pudding-and-berries

Serving both dishes at ones did not turn out to be too much. The oatmeal pudding was rich and creamy with a delightful taste of ginger. Taking bites of the fresh ambrosia in between helped to balance the rich and creaminess of the oatmeal. It also tasted great taken with bites of pudding. A winner.

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 4 to 5 people.

berry-ambrosia1

I’ve never made ambrosia and I think I’ve probably never had it as well. I think. According to A Real American Breakfast, it is a Southern holiday dessert, but makes for a nice breakfast at any time of the year. The recipe used orange slices, but suggested strawberries too, so I decided to go with that. Because I did not have quite enough strawberries I rounded up the figure with some black berries.

For breakfast ambrosia you should find:

2 pounds berries, thickly sliced

confectioner’s sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup fresh orange juice

coconut water from a fresh coconut, brandy, orange curacao or sweet white wine (optional)

Preparing the ambrosia:

Arrange a layer of berries at the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle with some sugar and cover with a little coconut. Add another layer, using the black berries this time and also sprinkle some sugar and cover with coconut. Continue in alternating layers until there you’ve used all the berries. Pour some coconut water (or any of the alcoholic options) and the orange juice over the fruit, sprinkle with some sugar and cover with a generous layer of coconut. Refrigerate the ambrosia before serving, but not for too long, only about an hour.

I ended up halving the recipe and serving it in individual little glasses, showing off the layers of berries and coconut. It looked really pretty. A pleasant accompanied to breakfast and certainly something to keep in mind for a festive event.

berry-ambrosia2

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 6 people.

frittata-in-pan2

A frittata is a kind of open Italian omelet, usually prepared in a skillet. Making a frittata starts on the stove top and is completed in the oven. I made a kind of frittata before, using muffin pans for cooking them to make silly individual ones, but this time I was going to do things right.

As with omelets, you can add a variety of ingredients to a frittata, turning it from an easy breakfast to any other meal. It’s also a fun way and tasty way to clear out the fridge. The recipe I used was for a frittata with artichoke and spinach, but I adapted it a little to make it a simple one with green Swiss chard.

To make frittatas you should pick up:

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk or water

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 and 1/2 cups grated cheese (we used mild cheddar and mozzarella)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 pound fresh Swiss green chard, white parts removed, chopped and wilted in a little water, drained and patted dry

oven proof skillet

Preparing the frittata:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, hot sauce and cheese in a medium bowl until uniformly yellow. Pour the oil into a skillet to thinly cover the base and heat it over medium heat and arrange the spinach in the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach and stir gently in the pan. Continue heating the mixture until the bottom is set, lifting the edges so the uncooked egg can flow to the bottom. Cover the skillet and transfer to the oven. Bake for around 12-15 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven, slice into wedges and serve. If you like it can also be served chilled.

frittata-and-berries2

While preparing it (in between taking in the inaugural speech!), I decided to add about a tablespoon of dried garlic and a teaspoon of dry oregano for a bit more flavor. I was worried that the dish was going to be too cheesy, but the cheese medled wonderfully with the egg, giving the dish a rich flavor and a nice texture. Alexander suggested serving it with some fresh berries on the side, adding a little more color and some healthy freshness.

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 6 people.

pancakes-and-sauce31

We start out the week with something simple. Buttermilk pancakes accompanied by a sauce of blue, black and red berries. I used to always mess up pancakes really badly. The reason for this lies in the word pancake. In South Africa a pancake is more like a crepe, in North America it’s what we in SA call a flapjack. For years I would grab pancake recipes online, try to make large thin pancakes, only to burn it and completely ruin breakfast. I discovered my mistake one morning last year and since things have been going a lot better.

This breakfast recipe includes two steps, first I’ll prepare the berry sauce and then the pancakes, serving them together while both are still warm.

For the sauce gather:

3 cups blueberries

2-4 tablespoons sugar

fresh lemon juice to taste

And for the pancakes collect:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 large egg, separated

1 and 3/4- 2 cups buttermilk

To prepare the sauce, combine the berries, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, the sugar should be melted and the fruit soft. Taste, add more sugar if needed, making sure it is also melted before removing from the heat. Stir in a couple of drops of lemon juice to taste and set aside. The sauce should be kept warm.

For the pancakes, stir the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, scrape in the melted butter and stir until the butter disappears into the dry ingredients. Set aside. Beat the egg white until soft peaks appear and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk with 1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk until it becomes frothy. When ready, pour it in with the dry ingredients and butter mixture and combine well (but take care not to over mix). If the batter seems difficult to pour, add a little more buttermilk. Finally, fold the egg white into the batter.

pancakes-and-berry-sauce41

Heat a skillet, grease with some oil and cook the pancakes like you would any other pancake. When the pancakes are done, serve with the warm berry sauce.

I found the recipe extremely easy, even though it seems like there are more steps than usual. The batter was light and airy, resulting in nice fluffy pancakes. Adding the cornmeal gave it a nice crunch, without being overwhelmingly crunchy. The sauce was excellent. I ended up using only about 2 tablespoons of sugar and added a teeny bit of lemon juice to balance out the flavors. Using a variety of berries made for a slightly more colorful sauce and the black and red berries added a little more texture too. It’s the ideal recipe for a romantic surprise breakfast in bed.

pancakes-and-sauce2

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 4 people.

* Thanks like always to X for the pictures.