Saturday breakfasts are sorta my thang now. Sundays are usually donut days, and weekdays are quick toast and egg or oatmeal days. Saturday mornings, despite the pancake debacle, have become a special time of week for us. I usually wake up an hour before everyone and get things started without any interruption. It’s a glorious time – no screaming, no asking for anything, and total control of my kitchen.
I have attempted home fries many times in the past. I have usually been left with something of a mish-mash that resembles coarse mashed potatoes. Nothing about that is right. I recently attempted it again determined to get it right. And, huzzah – going into the repertoire. Under a farm fresh over-easy egg, it’s just heaven.
barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave until edges of potatoes begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes until the onions are golden brown. Transfer to small bowl.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn potatoes, pack down again, and continue to cook until well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring potatoes every few minutes, until crusty and golden on all sides, 9 to 12 minutes. Stir in onion, seasonings of your choice and salt and pepper to taste. Try not to mess with the potatoes too much because you don’t want to break them apart.
I have had my fair share of pancake fails. Miserable fails usually dealing with add ons (i.e. bananas) usually result in an awkward mess and some cursing. With a baby that slept in for once in a blue moon, I woke up with a spring in my step and walked over to the kitchen to start our Saturday morning right.
And, it cannot get more right than chocolate chip pancakes. Binks’ favorite breakfast food has now become one of mine. While I am partial to eggs benedicts whenever I get breakfast, I always steal a couple of bites of Binks’ chocolate chip pancakes. I deem it the breakfast dessert to my savory eggs.
Although this dish is perfectly sweet and satisfying as it is, top it with pure maple syrup and the only thing lacking would be crawling back in my warm bed to eat more pancakes.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
adapted from Allrecipes.com
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled.
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg and butter.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to thoroughly combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Heat lightly oiled pan over medium heat.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the pancake batter and cook until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve hot with or without syrup.
As my family spent the weekend telling stories and sharing memories a year later, nostalgia was on the menu. As children, my mother made cinnamon toast often on weekends. A cross between toast and a cookie, my sister and I looked forward to these mornings served with a cold glass of milk. My dad on the other hand, sat at the edge of the table, paying bills and having tea with his toast. He would listen to my sister and I entertain each other with ridiculous stories, and we would watch him meticulously write his checks and gather materials for our first outing of the weekend – the bank. Happening almost like clock work, the only variable was the breakfast and lately, I’ve had cinnamon toast on my mind.
While my mom used regular white bread, which is commonly used, I switched out for a loaf of wheat french bread that I had on hand. Again, I really am giving you a how-to as opposed to a real recipe, but this is one of my all-time favorite foods. Simple and easy to make, it’s perfect for anyone and everyone. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy a piece of bread laden with cinnamon and sugar?
- 8 slices of bread (if using French bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
- Spread butter on each slice of bread.
- Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar mix.
- Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes until it’s golden brown.
Filed under Bread, Breakfast
Lately, there has been quite a proliferation of breakfast options on this blog. With some rare exceptions and the typical eggs and toast, most of my breakfasts consist of sweet options – oatmeal, cereal and pancakes. I woke one more morning wanting savory French toast, and I was determined to make it happen.
And, I did.
Starting with a wonderful loaf of going-stale bakery bread, I put together a recipe that I know will make its way into my breakfast repertoire on special occasions. When, I have a breakfast/brunch menu consisting of the usual sweet options (scones, muffins, fruit etc.), I plan on using this recipe to balance and offer guests a surprising and delightful twist on a classic.
I also paired this with perfectly caramelized onions. I also thought about poaching an egg on top, but stuck to the onions. There are quite a bit of options here.
Parmesan French Toast
– Serves 4
- 1 cup half and half
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 8 (1/2 inch) slices of going-stale (about 2 day old) brioche or country bakery-style bread.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the half and half, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper.
- Soak the slices until fully absorbed. Take your time with this. You want the bread to be soaked.
- Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot, cook the bread on each side until golden brown.
- Serve warm with caramelized onions (recipe to follow).
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 2 large yellow or white onions, sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
- Using a thick-bottomed pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
- Stir occasionally to keep the onions from burning.
- After the onions have become a bit translucent, add the salt and sugar.
- Cook over medium heat until it’s caramelized.
- Watch your stove and the heat. If the onions are browning too fast, reduce the heat a bit.
- This process takes about 30 minutes. Do not rush it as it is completely worth the effort.
Try saying that name five times fast.
Let’s say this together – hiatus. This is the longest I have ever not blogged. Why? Many reasons. Mainly, it’s been a whirlwind around here. In addition to the craziness that happens with running a business, house, husband, baby, extended family and my own sanity, we had to put down our family dog of 18 years and, for the first time ever,had a judge dismiss one of the most important cases of my career. So between Monday through Friday, I was doing damage control upon damage control, while maintaining as much control as possible.
Then, Saturday morning came. And, per usual, I embarked on my pancake project. One may guess that I was setting myself up for failure. However, this Saturday, I put aside the worries and disasters of the week for our now-typical Saturday breakfasts.
I therapeutically mixed the ingredients with hopes of nothing more than avoiding another failure. The pancake stars aligned and we have another winner. Starting with a solid recipe for a base and adding ingredients purposely yielded a beautifully light and flavorful pancake.
I absolutely adore cardamom and drink it often with my regular cup of chai. I was inspired to the same flavor and combined it with the refreshing juice of clementines. The pair work wonderfully together and the proportions of each allow you to enjoy the flavor of both without being overpowered by one.
Cardamom Clementine Pancakes
adapted from Barefoot Contessa
– Makes about 10-12 pancakes
- 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
- 3 tbsp turbinado sugar (you can use regular sugar)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup almond milk (you can use cow’s milk)
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of one clementine
- zest of one clementine
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, almond milk, eggs, vanilla extract, clementine juice and zest.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- In a non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
- Ladle 1/4 cup worth of batter onto the skillet. Cook each pancake 3 minutes on each side.
I love French toast. Remember? Love it.
I love bread pudding. Remember? Loves it.
Now, French toast + bread pudding = this.
This = french toast casserole.
Math is good.
Math is delicious.
This was by far the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time. The cinnamon-y nutty topping is the best part. Perfectly eggy. Not mushy. Perfectly spiced. With a splash of the boozy. Meant to be shared. Your family and/or friends would love you for it.
French Toast Casserole
adapted from Paula Deen
- 1 lb day-old challah bread
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
Praline Topping Ingredients
- 1 stick of butter (1/4 lb)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts – only b/c that’s what I had on hand. Next time, I’ll try pecans
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Slice challah bread into 1 inch slices. Arrange slices into a buttered 9 x 13 flat baking dish in two rows. I overlapped the slices a bit.
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, Grand Marnier, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Make sure it’s all combined. Pour mixture over the bread slices to evenly cover all the bread slices. I had to spoon some of the mix over the bread after pouring to ensure even coverage.
- Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 350F. Take off the foil.
- Prepare the praline topping by mixing all the praline topping ingredients and blending well.
- Spread the praline topping over the bread evenly and bake for 40 minutes, until the bread puffs up and gets golden brown.
- Serve warm.
Note: I don’t think you need maple syrup as it is sufficiently sweet on its own. However, if you want to, use hot maple syrup.
Have you heard of dosa? Certain Indian restaurants, offering Kerala or South Indian food typically offer masala dosa as a part of the menu. Masala dosa is just a dosa (cooked thinner) and then filled with potatoes. Yum!
Dosa (and idly – both made from the same batter, just cooked differently) is a staple in the Kerala cuisine. It is served as breakfast food, usually served with sambar and/or chutney. I, on the other hand, love to eat it whenever. During the beginning of my pregnancy when nausea was at its peak, dosa was all I craved. Now, while nursing, I still love the stuff as it’s comforting and packed full of nutrients.
Now, if a dough mixed with lentils wasn’t healthy enough, my mom upped the ante as always. She found chia and hemp seeds in my fridge and went to town.
If you have never had or heard of dosa before, the only thing I can compare it to is injera. Light, airy and spongy. All three of those are good things with regard to dosa. I promise.
Oh and the coconut chutney, I could drink the stuff. And I do. I have issues.
- 1 cup parboiled rice
- 1/2 cup skinned black lentils (urad dal)
- 1/4 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In one bowl, after washing the rice, soak the rice with water. Add enough water to the bowl of rice to where you have water at least an inch above the rice.
- In another bowl, soak the lentils and fenugreek with water. Add enough water to the bowl of lentils and fenugreek to where you have water at least an inch above the rice.
- Let both bowls soak overnight. (At least 6 hours.)
- In a blender, grind the lentil mixture until smooth. Once smooth (like a smoothie), move to a large bowl.
- In the blender, grind the rice mixture until smooth. Add the rice mixture to the lentil mixture.
- Stir the mixtures in the bowl until combined.
- Cover and let sit overnight on your counter so that it ferments. When it’s cold in Dallas, I place the covered bowl in the oven with the light on. It keeps it just warm enough to ferment.
- The next day, add salt to the mixture and mix again so incorporated. The batter should be runny (slightly runnier than pancake batter). If it’s too thick, just add water, a tablespoon at a time until it’s a runny consistency.
- Heat a flat pan over medium heat.
- Take a paper towel, soak with oil and rub on pan.
- Take about 1/4 cup worth of the batter (I use my ladle) and spoon onto the middle of the pan and swirl the batter out making it thinner. It should be thickness of a thicker crepe.
- Once the bottom of the dosa becomes golden brown, flip over to cook the other side. You will notice air bubbles on the top of the dosa before the flip.
- Cook the other side until golden brown and serve hot.
- fresh grated coconut, 1/2 cup
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
- cayenne powder, 1/2 tsp
- 1 red dry chili (optional), broken up into pieces
- few (2-3) curry leaves (if you can’t find it, don’t worry about it – best with it but go on without it)
- 1/2 salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup water, added in increments
- Blend the coconut, shallots, and cayenne pepper with water until reaches a smooth pancake batter consistency. You may not use the whole 1/4 cup.
- Over a small frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Sputter the mustard seeds (be careful, it pops).
- Add red dry chili and curry leaves. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the coconut/onion mix and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Serve with dosa.