Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Conclusion of Breakfast Week

I hope everyone reading this week has enjoyed breakfast week as much as I have. It's been a great reminder for me that breakfast is much more than a bowl of cereal or a toaster waffle. It's also been a great reminder that breakfast doesn't just have to be for breakfast. In addition, I've dug a little deeper into breakfast dishes that freeze well, and I'm looking forward to putting those into practice for unexpected brunch company, or simply a Saturday morning breakfast without the work.

So first up this morning is a recipe I haven't tried, but I will tell looks amazing! In a rare moment this week, I watched the tail end of a Barefoot Contessa episode, and she made these amazing looking Herbed Baked Eggs. They looked decadent and delicious, and I knew I'd be sharing them here.

Herbed Baked Eggs
Recipe By :Ina Garten

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
6 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toasted French bread or brioche -- for serving

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)

Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.

This next recipe is something I never would have thought to try if someone hadn't brought some to my house. One of our friends brought cooked bacon one night to our weekly dinners, and I admit that at first I was puzzled by that plate of bacon. And then I tried it. It had been baked in brown sugar and was the most amazing bacon I'd ever eaten! So while I'm certain this isn't quite the recipe he used, this is the one I like, because it also adds a dose of heat to the sweet. By all means, leave the cayenne out of this recipe for Brown Sugar Pepper Bacon, but do try the bacon, you'll love it.

Brown Sugar Pepper Bacon
1 lb lean bacon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- (1/2 to 2)
1/4 teaspoon powdered chipotle pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay bacon on paper and sprinkle generously with optional black pepper, chipotle pepper and brown sugar.

Bake 10 minutes then drain fat from pan.

Bake 5 more minutes or until it's as crisp as you like.

So we've go eggs this morning, bacon, and I think we also need some potatoes, for a truly traditional breakfast plate. And I have to tell you, my absolute favorite way to eat potatoes in the morning is in the form of Hash Browns. And for me, it's the shredded kind that makes it's way to my plate. But have you ever been out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and had their hash brown casserole? Yeah, now that's some good stuff, and I happen to have a similar recipe which I call MOB Potatoes, simply because it makes enough to feed a mob.

MOB Potatoes
1 2 pound package frozen hash browns, thawed
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup*
1 pint reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup melted butter, divided
2 cups crushed corn flakes

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, soup, sour cream, onion, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Mix well. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine corn flakes and remaining melted butter. Mix well and sprinkle over the top of the hash brown mixture.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Makes about 12 good size servings.

* You can use other "cream of" soups if you desire. Celery and mushroom work particularly well.

And finally today, what would breakfast be without a beverage of some kind. Normally, I'm a coffee girl, occasionally accented by a cup of juice, but mostly, it's coffee. But this recipe is for something completely different. A few months back I received a box of Rice Dreams brand Horchata from my swap partner. It was incredible. A drink made from rice milk, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, and it was just delicious and refreshing. Perfect for any occasion. Sad for me, I haven't been able to find this pre-made Horchata anywhere around me, so I had to search out a recipe to make it myself. It takes some thinking ahead, but it's completely worth it.

1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups skinless almonds
1 inch cinnamon bark
8 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash and drain the rice.

Using a spice grinder (an electric coffee grinder works well too), grind the rice until fine; combine with the almonds and cinnamon bark.

Add 3 1/2 cups water and let sit overnight, covered.

Blend rice mixture until smooth using a blender.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water and continue blending.

Add sugar and vanilla extract.

Strain horchata into a bowl first using a metal strainer and then a double layer of cheesecloth; finish with up to an additional 2 cups of water until it achieves a milky consistency.

Serve cold or over ice.

Well, thanks for sticking around for Breakfast Week! It's been fun and I hope you've found lots of great ideas here at Tummy Treasure. I know I've had some great reminders, and I'm determined to concentrate my efforts on making breakfast more often.

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