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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Mandatory Items: To make a SAVORY edible container and fill it with something appropriate.

Variations allowed:

  • You may want to use one of the ideas provided here as described, or give them your own twists and your own recipes for the content.
  • Or, you can choose to create something totally new, from scratch.
  • As long as it is a container, it is edible, and has a content suitable for it, I want you all to have a lot of fun challenging your creativity!

Well, my faithful kittens, I feel like I am finally shaking off the late-winter malaise that’s been affecting my cooking. I read this challenge when it came out, gave a cheer, then promptly became distracted by the menu for my birthday party dinner. Then Jim sends me an email asking me to send the link to the Daring Kitchen website to someone, because “his wife cooks like [I] do.” Is this a compliment? Because I took it as one. And it reminded me to do the challenge post haste, since the posting date was fast approaching!

The challenge is to make an edible container, and we can take this dictum wherever our creativity leads! I loved the idea of toast cups that is put forth in the challenge intro: a slice of bread molded in to a bake-proof container, filled with an egg and baked to doneness. Well, I also had some Canadian bacon in the freezer, and some shredded low-fat 4 cheese blend, and a mad hankering for some guacamole, so I put them all together with the idea of a baked toast cup and made it happen.

It’s amazingly easy:

1. Take a slice of toast and cut the crusts off with a sharp knife. Place the bread in an oven-proof container sprayed lightly with non-stick spray to assist in removing the finished product.

2. If desired, place a slice of Canadian bacon, or some fried bacon, or a few sausage crumbles, or sliced ham, or sliced turkey, or whatever, on top of the bread.

3. Gently crack an egg over the meat. Now, the challenge host said be careful not to let your egg leak outside of your bread, but since it was inevitable in my case, I didn’t worry about it. This was part of the reason I used non-stick spray, so that any escaped egg wouldn’t gum up my removal process.

4. Place in a preheated oven and bake until the yolks and white reach desired doneness. I placed my individual vessels on a cookie sheet to aid placement in and removal from the oven.

And now, a word. The challenge directions recommend a 180-degree oven for this. I started out with the oven preheated to 180 degrees, but after a half hour of my egg not cooking, I began to gradually bump up the oven temperature. I finally settled at 300 degrees, when I started to get some really excellent browning action on the exposed toast corners, and some lovely setting of the whites and yolks.

5. Once the eggs are about as cooked as you’d like them to be, remove them from the oven and  layer 1/4 cup of shredded cheese over the eggs. Make an even layer, and once again, I didn’t worry about the potential of any cheese to run outside the toast container. No big deal, right? Pop vessels back in to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes for the cheese to melt.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool so that the contents retain their shapes when removed from the baking vessel. After a couple of minutes I tentatively reached in with a fork and made sure the cheesy, eggy stacks would release from the edges, and when I was satisfied, I left them to sit for another 5 minutes to cool.

7. Use two forks to gently airlift your cheesy, eggy, bacon toast cups on to a waiting plate! Garnish with a small spoonful of prepared guacamole and enjoy.

(Jim says: Since this took an hour and a half to bake, does that make it gourmet?)

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Baked Berry Oatmeal

“Survival Tip #02: Survive the holiday house guests with a big, easy breakfast.”

And it works! This goes really, really far as a breakfast for two — think breakfast for two followed by a week’s worth of breakfasts for one — but with some weekend house guests this is a perfect hot breakfast one day and still yields enough left over to be reheated the next morning for potluck breakfast. Definitely serve this with fat-free organic French vanilla yogurt, although the way I make it, the warmed strawberry jam is not entirely necessary.

The Fresh Market Baked Berry Oatmeal
from their 2010 Holiday Survival Guide
serves 6-8

2 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
1/2 c. steel-cut oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 c. applesauce*
1/4 c. cooking or vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. fresh or frozen strawberries**

strawberry jam, warmed
plain Greek-style yogurt***

*I got a package of applesauce cups and just dumped one in without measuring; it’s close enough.
**I got a frozen tub of sliced strawberries in sugar and thawed that in the refrigerator. I let them drain through a mesh strainer during the first 20 minutes that the oatmeal bakes, and then dump them in at the proper point with whatever liquid they still have; this is why I say the warmed strawberry jam isn’t strictly necessary the way I do it, because the sugar liquid from the strawberries does a neat job of substituting.
***Use the French vanilla. You can thank me later.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In one large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, steel-cut oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a second large or medium bowl, combine milk, egg, applesauce, oil, honey, and brown sugar. If you measure out the oil in a 1/4 cup measuring cup and then use the same measuring cup for the honey, the honey will slide right out without sticking! It’s a neat trick. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Pour in to a greased 2-quart souffle dish or casserole and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and fold in the strawberries. Return dish to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned. You may discover that owing to the addition of extra liquid with the strawberries, you have to go for an extra five minutes or so to get a uniform golden brown across the top and for the middle to firm up.

Spoon in to individual bowls or carry it to the table with a giant spoon so people can help themselves. Also set out a tub or dish of French vanilla yogurt and a second spoon; you may be skeptical, but it really makes the oatmeal just perfect.

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Maple Egg Biscuit Bake

I took a gamble and made this for Sunday morning breakfast when my in-laws were visiting. They usually like a good hearty, filling breakfast, especially on vacation, but with us living out at the furthest reach of the the furthest peninsula in town, any place serving breakfast is at least a fifteen to twenty minute drive — and I’m just not human at that point in the morning. So I thought that this easy brunch recipe would be a good substitute, with coffee and orange juice.

Maple Egg Biscuit Bake
serves 8

1 can ready to bake biscuits (10 biscuits)
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled*
8 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

*I used ready to eat, precooked bacon, which means about 10 strips of bacon. Microwave it for a minute to crisp it up, then crumble.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 2 or 3 quart baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with canned biscuits, evenly spaced. Cover biscuits with crumbled bacon.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt until eggs are thoroughly scrambled.

Pour egg mixture over the biscuits and bacon and bake 30-35 minutes, or until edges are browned and the center is set up. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

I loved the sweet, maple-enhanced scrambled eggs, and the crumbled bacon added a nice texture and savor, but I have to admit that I was not over the moon about the biscuits. I would definitely scramble the maple eggs for a breakfast, or, if I had the talent for it, excellent breakfast omelettes.

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