Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Claus has come and gone...Now what's for breakfast?

Christmas morning.  It was years before our son beat us up in the morning.  No seriously.  We would wake up about 8 o’clock and he would still be snoozing; so we’d do a “pile on” to get him going.  But once he was up…look out.  He was all over Christmas.  We would take our time, opening and sharing presents; drinking coffee, that turned into drinking a little champagne or sparkling wine and then making something for breakfast.  Quiche was one of our favorites, French toast another.  A rasher of bacon or some sausage; orange juice to mix with that champagne and then settle into a day of checking out and playing with our new goodies and cooking Christmas dinner.  Whether you are enjoying a family tradition your already have, or are looking for a new idea for Christmas morning; here are a few of my favorites.
I made this stuffed French toast recipe up for my client to use one of their newest products; Perugina Panettone.  Panettone is a traditional Italian cake, usually enjoyed during the Christmas season.   It really make a delicious french toast on it’s own, but is even better when stuffed.

Stuffed Panettone French Toast

Stuffed Panettone French Toast
Ingredients
  • 1 panettone traditional Italian cake
  • 6 tablespoons mascarpone, or as needed (or desired)
  • 6 tablespoons apricot jam, or as needed
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cream, (it’s important to use cream, not milk, or the cake will get too soggy and it will be hard to keep it together when you turn it)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar for serving; optional

Directions
  1. Using a sharp serrated knife, thinly slice off two of the ends of the cake (save for another use); you should now have what resembles a loaf. Slice the cake into 8 even slices, about 1/3 inch thick.
  2. Lay on a clean work surface. spread mascarpone on one side of 4 pieces, and apricot jam on the other 4, fold together to form a “sandwich”.
  3. In a large shallow bowl beat the eggs until well mixed; add the cream and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined.
  4. Heat the oil and butter together in a large skilled or griddle over medium heat; when hot, dip each “sandwich” on both sides into the egg mixture; put on the hot griddle (do not dip the sandwich until ready to cook them; do in batches if necessary); cook until browned, then carefully turn and cook the other side. Serve whole, or cut in half, sprinkled with powdered sugar, if desired.
  5. LindySez: While I think mascarpone is the best choice, you could substitute softened cream cheese if desired.
  6. Variation: Use either orange marmalade or peach jam in place of the apricot jam.
Or how about a classic quiche?  You can make the crust the day before, have all of the cheese grated, eggs and cream mixed and then just put it together and pop it in the oven.  This one has bacon in it; try that or even some spinach.  Defrost a box of frozen chopped spinach, still one of the best bargains in the grocery store; squeeze it dry and put it into the shell with the cheese; pour the egg mixture over and voila.

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients
1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 slices of thick bacon, fried crisp and chopped (or chop first and then crisp) drained
  • 8 ounces gruyere, emmenthal, or other good Swiss cheese, grated (I use a 1/2 combo of gruyere and emmenthal)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Whether you make your own crust or not, we want to first blind bake it. (If you made your own, put it into the freezer for about 30 minutes, if you bought one, it’s probably already frozen, so leave it so.) Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line your crust with aluminum foil and pie weights or beans to keep it from puffing up; and bake in the bottom third of the oven for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and remove the foil and weights; return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the bottom is just golden. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and milk. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  3. Decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  4. Toss together the cheese and chopped bacon; layer into the bottom of the cooled shell. Pour the egg/cream mixture over.
  5. Place in the oven and bake, 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife, when inserted into the center, comes out clean (if the edges become too dark, place strips of aluminum foil over the edges.
  6. Allow to stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Here’s another family fav.  It’s an oldie, but a goodie.

Chili Rellano  Casserole

Ingredients
  • 1 large can roasted whole green chilies (such as Ortega), drained and split open
  • 1 pound shredded jack cheese
  • 1 pound shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 (12 – ounce) can evaporated milk, (you can use reduced fat)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Layer the chilies and the cheese in a casserole dish. Mix together the milk and eggs, beat well; pour over chilies and cheese. Bake 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot or warm.
Like with the quiche, this casserole can be assembled the day before.  Shred the cheese and layer it with the chilies.  Mix together the eggs and milk (keep in a separate container) and in the morning; heat the oven, pour the egg/milk mixture over the cheese in the casserole dish, pop it in the oven and go back to enjoying your Christmas morning until it’s done.
And of course, let’s not forget Super Simple Scones.  And in honor of the season, how about using some dried cranberries, pecans and grating in some orange zest?

Super Simple Scones

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup HEAVY cream, plus more for brushing
  • About 1/2 cup dried fruit, such as dried blueberries, apricots (cut into small pieces), or dried cranberries, or other fruits of your choice
  • About 1/4 cup toasted nuts (I like sliced almonds, but pecans or walnuts work too) or to taste

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking pan.
  2. Sift together, in a medium bowl, the flour, baking powder and salt, stir in the sugar. Add the fruits and nuts. Stir with a fork to combine.
  3. Add the cream; stir just until a dough forms.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball; turn out onto a lightly floured counter or work surface, and fold and kneed about 6 or 7 times…then pat out into about a 10 inch round about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a knife or pastry cutter into 8 wedges. Place them on the prepared sheet; brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with some sugar; place in the oven (rack in the middle of the oven); and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until nice and browned.
No matter if you choose one of these, my favorites, or one of your own favorites…

LindySez - “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good Cheers.”


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