December 2011 COTM: 150 Best American Recipes: Breakfast and Brunch
Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapter about breakfast and brunch.
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Sesame Orange Granola, p.231
I'm pretty one-note when it comes to breakfast, so we eat granola several times a week. After I ran out of our last batch a few days ago, I decided to try this one, which is another variation of typical recipes. It calls for first toasting 1 c. shredded sweetened coconut. I had unsweetened flakes/curls, so I toasted that before proceeding. ( My usual recipe calls for mixing the coconut w/the oats and nuts and toasting them together, and after trying the pre-toasting, I don't see the necessity of that step, particularly if you are using shredded coconut.)
The surprising ingredient here is orange zest (two oranges' worth), and this is boiled w/ 1/2 c veg oil (I used a mild-flavored olive) and 1/3 c maple syrup. Meanwhile, you toss 4 c. rolled oats, 1 c. sliced almonds, 1 c. chopped cashews, 1/3 c. sesame seeds, 2 tsp cinnamon (I cut this to a scant 1 tsp as I hate when cinnamon overwhelms), 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg, and 1/3 c honey. (The recipe suggests mixing w/a paddle attachment on low speed in your stand mixer. Why? I just used a wooden spoon.) Then you mix in the warm zest/oil/syrup.
Spread granola on two baking sheets, and bake at 375, switching tray positions and stirring halfway through, until granola is "golden brown," about 15 min. (I let mine go for 20.)
After removing granola and letting it cool, put it in a lg. bowl and mix in the toasted coconut and 1 c. chopped dried fruit (I used a combo of cranberries, apricots, and dates). Transfer to airtight storage container.
Two things: the orange flavor from the zest did not come through; nor did I note much of a sesame flavor.
The granola is fine; we'll eat it (for a while, as this makes a lot). But the recipe is so much fussier than the one I usually use (which calls simply for dumping everything except the dried fruit into a bowl and baking--no pre-roasting; no heating of syrup and oil), that we like much better.
re: The Dairy Queen
Yes, TDQ, I had high hopes for thr orange zest, but its flavor got lost in the mix.
Here's my recipe:
3 c. rolled old-fashioned oats
1/4 c. oat bran
1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. unsalted sunflower seeds*
1/4 c. unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 c. unsalted pistachios
1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1/4 c. packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 - 3/4 c. maple syrup (or half maple syrup, half honey)
1/3 c. mild-flavored olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. golden raisns
1/4 c. dried cherries
Preheat oven to 325F. Combine all dry ingredients through gingerin lg. bowl and toss to mix. Stir together maple syrup, honey if using, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Drizzle over oat-nut mixture and stir to combine and coat mixture. Spread granola on two cookie sheets. (I line mine with silpat mats.) Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to discourage clumping, and rotating the sheets each time you stir. Remove cookie sheets from oven. Distribute the dried fruits among the two baking sheets and stir gently to mix.
Cool granola thoroughly and transfer to an airtight container, breaking clumps if necessary. Keeps, if well-sealed, for up to two months.
NOTE: use raw/untoasted nuts and seeds as they will toast in the baking process. Obviously, you can use any combination of nuts,seeds, and dried fruit you like. I've tried a number of combinations, always w/tasty (and healthy!) results.
Baked Eggs in Maple Toast Cups, pg. 243
Not quite sure how this happens, but somehow a few left-over pieces of bacon looking for a home are a fairly common occurrence around here. This recipe is a cute little way to put them to use.
Melt some butter into maple syrup. Remove crusts from slices of a dense white bread, and then flatten the slices with a rolling pin. Brush both sides of the bread with the maple/butter mix, line muffin cups with the bread (I used a pestle to get the bread to form into the muffin tins), add some crumbled bacon to the bread cup, drop an egg into the cup, bake at 400 for 5-10 minutes.
The flavors are simple, but pleasing, and this recipe has a couple of great things going for it: a home for lost bacon, and delightful presentation curb appeal for very little effort. A great way to dazzle over-night guests without much having to wake up with the birds.
I made Marion Cunningham's Buttermilk Pancakes this Sunday for my family. Everyone loved them! I will be using this recipe from now on even though my previous recipe was also a favorite....
The insides of the pancakes were deliciously fluffy and the outside formed a wonderful golden crust. They are super easy to assemble (almost as easy as a mix) so I was able to make two batches back to back. The only downside is that they book recommends against doubling or tripling since it gets difficult to properly incorporate the ingredients without making rubbery pancakes.
Highly recommended for anyone who would like to have a reliable and delicious pancake recipe in their repertoire.
Overnight Waffles. Don't have the book in front of me, but maybe these are called Amazing Overnight Waffles? Can't remember for sure, but I think they are pretty amazing in any case.
So, I must admit I have never made the regular baking soda kind of waffles-- didn't have a waffle maker because I typically don't like having a bunch of specialized equipment. But I have fond memories of my mom making waffles for me as a kid (from Bisquick mix, I'm pretty sure) and my kids devour frozen waffles so I decided to go ahead and get a waffle maker and let this be my inaugural waffle recipe.
This one is a winner! Now I must admit that part of me wonders if I am so impressed because my only recent comparison is the frozen ones, but these waffles are just delightful. They have a slightly savory, nutty flavor, undoubtedly from their slow overnight rise and they were just heavenly with butter and maple syrup. They also couldn't be much easier. You mix up the flour, yeast, salt and milk the night before and let it sit on the countertop overnight. In the morning you add melted butter and an egg and your are ready to go. I made these for my youngest daughter's first birthday yesterday and may well give them an encore for Xmas morning. Everyone loved them!
Having not considered what I would make for Christmas breakfast until it was too late to go to the grocery store I remember this recipe. Put it together last night after coming home from dinner with friend two hours away. Got up this morning and finished the batter and cooked the waffles. They were very good. I am not sure if they are amazing but the ease of preparation beats out any other recipe I have. I had some buttermilk that I needed to use so that is the one substitution I made. The second test will be how the excess (there are only two of us) waffles keep.
Amazing Overnight Waffles (pg. 240)
Had these this morning for breakfast, followed the recipe, but did use KA White Whole Wheat in place of the AP flour. Not much to add to the reports above, this is a very easy waffle recipe that works very well. Mr. QN, the real waffle aficionado in this house thought they could use more chew, but I liked the fluffier texture compared to our usual Belgian waffle recipe. And the ease of prep plus the fact that the recipe yield is much smaller were also pluses in my book.
Green Chile Cheese Puff, p. 249
As someone who cooks breakfast only rarely, I'm usually low on ideas when I have overnight guests. I'm glad to have discovered something that is quick and easy to prepare--and very tasty. Had I realized just how so, I'd have made it at least once during the last few weeks when we had a couple of sets of houseguests.
This morning, I halved the recipe (which worked absolutely fine--even half was a little too much for two of us). I also made a couple of ingredient changes, and I can imagine a lot of variations for this recipe, definitely a keeper.
You beat six eggs until they double in volume, about three minutes. Sift 1/4 c. AP flour w/ 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. baking powder. To the eggs, add the flour mixture, 2 T melted unsalted butter, 1 c. cottage cheese (I substituted ricotta), and about 2 c. grated monterey jack. (Although I was certain I had some, I didn't, so had to substitute an English white cheddar. I hated using such a nice eating cheese for this purpose, but had nothing else.) Beat well. Stir in about 12 oz. diced (roasted and peeled) poblanos. (I keep these in the freezer, which made things that much easier.) Pour mixture into a greased pie plate and bakein 350F oven until the eggs are puffed and golden on top, 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately, w/salsa if you like.
We had no salsa, but didn't miss it. I served it w/satsuma and grapefruit sections and some nice breakfast sausages from a local butcher.
We both really enjoyed this souffle-like dish; it is going into the breakfast rotation, and I'm looking forward to experimenting w/other ingredients.