Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ category

Eggs in toast

July 17, 2013

I expect there’s a traditional name for this dish, but for lack of anything better I call it eggs in toast. It’s a tasty, hearty breakfast. I like to serve these with tomato slices on the side. All you need is

Slices of good bread
1 egg per slice of bread

Use a biscuit cutter or tumbler to make a hole in each slice. Save the cutouts for fancy tea sandwiches or breadcrumbs.


Lightly butter one side of the bread and place butter-down in a frypan over medium heat. Cook until the bottom is toasted to your liking. Flip and, if you think it’s needed, add another half-teaspoon or so of butter to each hole. Break an egg into each hole and lightly salt.


Let the eggs partially set, then you have 2 choices. For the prettiest presentation, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny (a glass lid helps here). For a less pretty but just as tasty result, flip the slices and cook briefly.


Smoked salmon, caramelized onion, and potato torte

May 14, 2013

A lovely dish for a fancy breakfast or lunch. I like to serve it with tomato slices and toasted bagels with cream cheese.

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
large pinch each salt and sugar
1 large or 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into thin half-rings (about 2c)
2 TB butter or olive oil, divided
1/2c diced smoked salmon
6 large eggs
2 TB milk or cream

In a non-stick skillet, cook the onions, salt, and sugar in 1 TB of the butter or oil over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until nicely caramelized. This will take 30-40 minutes, they will reduce in volume by more than half and turn a lovely nut brown. You can do this ahead, even a day ahead. If you have done ahead and refrigerated them, bring to room temperature before proceeding.

In a 10 inch non-stick skillet, cook the potatoes slowly in the remaining 1 TB butter or oil, turning and shaking the pan now and then, until cooked completely through and slightly browned (use a thin-bladed knife to test them). Sprinkle a little salt over, then stir in the onions and salmon and distribute the solids evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Beat the eggs with milk or cream and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the potato mixture and cook over medium-low heat until the eggs are mostly set – they will still be running in the center. Now you have 2 choices. One is to tip the pan so the uncooked eggs run out to the edges, then cover for a few minutes until they are set. The other is to run briefly under a preheated broiler.

You can serve right from the pan or invert onto a plate for a nice presentation – the bottom (now the top) should have attained a lovely brown shade.

Buckwheat-blueberry pancakes

April 30, 2011

This is my wife’s recipe – they are truly excellent! This serves 4 and can be cut in half for 2.

3/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c buckwheat flour
2 TB sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 c buttermilk
2 TB vegetable oil
2 large eggs, separated
about 1-1/2 c fresh blueberries

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in buttermilk, oil, and egg yolks until blended.  Beat the egg whites until they form peaks, then fold into the batter. For each pancake, drop 1/4 to 1/3c of batter onto a heated, greased skillet and spread to a 4-5 inch circle. Sprinkle 2 TB blueberries on each pancake. Turn when the top is covered with small bubbles and the bottom is browned, then cook another minute or so until the second side is browned.

Best buttermilk biscuits

April 25, 2011

My wife developed this recipe over the years. Outstanding biscuits! Don’t expect this or any biscuit recipe to be perfect the first time you make it. It takes a little experience to get to know the right feel of the dough.

2 c flour (low gluten such as White Lily)
1 TB baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
3/4 c buttermilk
1 TB butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450° (conventional) or 415° (convection). Convection gives the most even cooking.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Cut in the 6 TB of butter until mixture resembles corn meal. Add buttermilk, stirring until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead well at least 30 seconds. Roll to 1/2″ thickness. Cut into 2 to 3 inch rounds. Place on non-stick baking sheet or greased regular baking sheet so that each biscuit is almost touching its neighbors. Knead remaining scraps together into a ball, roll out, and cut more biscuits. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush with melted butter. Let sit 5-10 minutes on baking sheet before baking. Bake 12-15 minutes in regular oven or 7-1/2 to 8 minutes in convection oven. They will double or triple in height and become lightly browned on top.


1) White Lily brand all purpose flour works the best. Do NOT use White Lily Self Rising Flour.
2) The dough is very sticky and soft when you first start kneading. Keep kneading on a well-floured surface until you can roll it out.
3) Kneading the biscuit dough for at least
1/2 minute improves the texture of the biscuits.

Chèvre (goat cheese) and caramelized onion omelets

April 22, 2011

This combination was suggested to me by the owner of Celebrity Dairy, our local source for terrific goat cheese.

For each omelet:

2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 TB caramelized onions (recipe here)
1 TB crumbled chèvre
1 TB butter

Heat a 6″ skillet over medium high heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted and the foam has subsided, swirl to coat the entire bottom of the pan and add the eggs. After about 10 seconds, use a spatula to lift the edge of the partially cooked eggs and tip the pan to let some of the still liquid eggs run under the set part. Do this 3 or 4 times around the circumference of the pan. Spread the cheese and onions in a line across the eggs, stopping about 1/2 inch from each edge. Slip your spatula under one edge of the eggs and flip half the omelet over onto the other half, encasing the filling. Cook for another 10 seconds or so, flip over for a final 5 seconds, and serve.

The cooking time for an omelet is variable and takes a little bit of experience to get right.

Scrambled eggs with lox and onions

April 22, 2011

One of my favorites. Perfect with a toasted bagel and a big cup of coffee. This recipe serves 2. The flavor will be much better if you use local, farmers’ market eggs.

1/3 c chopped onion
1/3 c chopped lox
1 TB butter
4 large eggs
2 TB milk or, even better, heavy cream
salt, pepper

In a non-stick skillet, saute the onions in the butter over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the milk or cream and a pinch of salt (use less salt than you usually would because the lox are salty). Reduce heat to low and add eggs to the pan. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are almost done. Add lox and a grinding of pepper and stir. Serve when eggs are still soft and creamy.

Sausage gravy

April 21, 2011

Any cuisine that will put marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes is in serious trouble, but even so southern cooking does have some wonderful dishes. One of my favorites is sausage gravy, served for breakfast over freshly baked buttermilk biscuits. You probably will not want lunch after this! The recipe serves 4 generously, or 8 as part of a larger breakfast. It may be halved.

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1/3 c minced onion
6 TB flour
3-4 c hot milk
Black pepper, freshly ground–a lot, maybe 1 TB
1 TB butter (optional)
Big pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
Salt as needed

Sauté the sausage and onion together, breaking up the sausage into small bits, until the onion is clear and the sausage is cooked. If there is a lot of fat that has rendered, remove all but 3-4 TB. If you want the butter flavor, add it now. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage and onions and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Stir in 3c of the milk, half the black pepper, and the red pepper (if you are using it), and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add additional milk as needed to get the desired consistency. Add remaining black pepper and salt to taste and simmer for another minute to meld the flavors.

Best waffles

April 21, 2011

If you can plan ahead, these are the best waffles by far. There are many variations, but the important thing is using yeast and letting the batter sit overnight.

2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 c milk

Mix the above ingredients, cover, and let sit overnight on the counter or in the fridge if your kitchen is much over 70 degrees. The next morning stir in:

1 beaten egg
6 TB melted butter

Make waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions. I recommend using the highest temperature setting to get a nice crisp exterior. Unfortunately some waffle irons do not get hot enough to do this.

Traditional scones

April 21, 2011

Please save me from the cantaloupe-size commercial scones that are laden with chocolate chips and god-knows-what-else. Save me also from the scones that use milk in place of cream. The traditional plain scone is a real treat and, with a food processor, easy and fast enough to make fresh for breakfast. If you are feeling daring, it would not be untoward to throw in half a cup of dried currants. This makes 6 to 8 scones.

2c cake flour (low gluten flour, I use White Lily all purpose flour)
5 TB butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 TB sugar, divided
1/2c heavy cream or maybe a bit more, plus an extra TB or 2 for brushing
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 450f. Place rack in lower-middle position.

In your food processor, pulse the dry ingredients to blend, using 2 TB of the sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the egg and cream and pulse to get a sticky and slightly crumbly dough. You may need to add another TB or two of cream depending on your flour. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead once or twice, just enough to gather the dough together. Pat out the dough to 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass, dipped in flour to prevent sticking, cut dough into 2 inch rounds (more or less) and place on a baking sheet (either non-stick or lined with parchment paper). Gather remaining dough and form by hand into similar shapes. Brush tops of scones with cream and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Now you have a choice. You can put the scones in the oven right away or you can let them sit for 10-15 min first. Letting them sit results in a slightly lighter and airier scone, but the difference is subtle.

Bake for 9-12 minutes until nicely browned. Serve warm with clotted cream or butter and your best jam and marmelade.

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