Breakfast Baked Apples

Here’s a way to really enhance and turn that morning oatmeal for two into something special. Take two large Granny Smith apples and turn them into apple-bowls. The Granny Smiths are a great baking apple. With their bright green skin and creamy white flesh, Granny Smith apples are crispy, pleasantly tart and are available year-round. Their distinctive tartness pairs well with the cinnamon, sugar and butter needed for a classic baked apple recipe. They hold their shape very well when cooked, resulting in a professional-looking dessert.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup of cooked oatmeal
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Raisins
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup or honey

Yeah, I know there are no amounts for most of the ingredients, it’s because they are all measured ‘to taste’.

First, make the oatmeal, where its those steel cut oats or instant oatmeal, whichever you prefer. Add the cinnamon, sugar, raisins ‘to taste’. This will be the stuffing mixture for our apples. Now, core the apples, cut them in half, and hollow out about a third of the center forming a ‘bowl’ in the middle of the apple half. I like to take the apples removed from the hole and adding it back to the oatmeal mixture.

Take a scoop and divide the mixture into the four apple bowls and drizzle some maple syrup, or honey, over the mixture. Top each with about ¼ tsp of butter.

Place them into a baking dish and pop into a 375 degree oven for about ten to fifteen minutes.

baked-apple-87064592m

Parrot Bay Fruit Salad

With the fourth of July here already, it’s time to think of eating out doors. I know I’ve covered lots of salads and picnic foods here on this blog, but I don’t recall doing much in the way of fruit salads. So, because the where is hot, there’s sales on fruit, and the rum supply is ample… let’s get some things tossed together and put on ice.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ of a pineapple
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 2 kiwi
  • 1 mango
  • 3 tablespoons Parrot Bay coconut rum

Peel, halve, and core your pineapple. Dice up half of it and toss it in the bowl. Peel and slice up the kiwi fruits, and peel, pit and cut up as best you can that mango. I say this which the experience that dicing these stone fruits can be very dicey indeed. Peeling and slicing your bananas is simplicity itself in comparison, so go and do that now…. Tossing the slices in the bowl.

Now for something creative. Cut the top and bottom off the oranges just deep enough to expose the inner fruit. Following the curve of the fruit cut the skin and pith off the orange in panels. Holding the orange over the bowl cut between the membranes to free the citrus segments. Let them fall into the bowl as they are cut free. By hand, squeeze all the juice from the remaining membrane over the fruit, then discard. Repeat with the other orange.

Now, splash this collection of fruits with the coconut rum, about three tablespoons or so, and let this sit in the fridge for a ½ hour or so letting all the flavors meld.

Serve this with a light topping of whipped cream if you like that, or, chiffonade of fresh mint leaves for a slightly different sensation.

fruit-salad

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

I was talking to my Mom the other day, and some how it came up about freezing milk. And then I thought that buttermilk freezes and thaws rather well and being that it does, why is it that I’m not enjoying buttermilk pancakes as often as I like. I was in the city the other day and got a really nice price on blueberries, so… this morning I’m off to make some buttermilk pancakes for brunch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 21/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix. This is really something best done by hand and not with one of those electric mixers because if you if you mix this batter too much you get these rather flat and heavy pancakes. You don’t want to beat all of the air out of the batter.

Heat some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and sprinkle the top with some of the blueberries. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Drizzle, yes drizzle not drown these with some REAL maple syrup and enjoy with some tennis or Grand Prix racing live from Monaco and a mimosa.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes

Blueberry_Buttermilk_Pancakes_2-580

Eggs in a Skillet Long Island Style

Now that we know the difference between a frittata and an omelet, lets make a more Long Island style frittata. Frittatas, like omelet can contain just about anything you could want to put in there. For this ‘Long Island’ variant we’ll use fresh local scallions for the vegetable and lump crab meat. Just before transferring the frittata from the stove to the broiler, sprinkle the top with some fresh thyme.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • ¼ pound of crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting so that we can set the top of the frittata.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, scallions, crab, pepper, and salt.

Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Let this cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with thyme.

Place pan into the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

frittata

Eggs in a Skillet Italian Style 2

Now that we know the difference between a frittata and an omelet, lets make a more Italian variation of the frittata. We’ll swap that asparagus for some tomatoes and swap the ham with some Italian pancetta. Just before transferring the frittata from the stove to the broiler, sprinkle the top with some oregano. The fresher the better!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1-ounce Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • ¼ pound of sliced pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting so that we can set the top of the frittata.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt.

Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add pancetta and tomatoes to pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Let this cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with oregano.

Place pan into the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

frittata

Eggs in a Skillet Italian Style

Yeah it’s a frittata, not an omelet. There are a couple of things that separate the omelet from the frittata. Frittatas are not folded like and omelet would be. Also, the ingredients are added to the beaten egg mixture, not folded in side, and the eggs are often beaten more than the omelet it incorporate more air, making frittatas fluffier than omelets. As to serving them, the frittata is usually cut into pie shaped slices where as omelets are often served whole. So let’s make a simple frittata.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1-ounce Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted asparagus
  • 1/2 cup chopped country ham
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting so that we can set the top of the frittata.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add asparagus and ham to pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Let this cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

frittata

Gingerbread Pancakes

I enjoy whipping up gingerbread pancakes on Christmas morning, or more often than not, Christmas brunch, but these pancakes are heart and hearth warming on any winter’s days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. light molasses
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, molasses, 2 Tbs. of the melted butter and the water. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just blended. There will probably be some small lumps it doesn’t need to be completely smoothed out. Why bother stressing over little things.

Now, on a hot griddle I ladle out the batter and let it cook for about three or four minutes (reducing the heat to just below ‘medium’), until it gets a good layer of bubbles on the surface. Flip the pancake and let it cook another minute or two. You can park these on a platter in a warm (200 degree) oven until you’ve gone through all the batter, the whip out the patter. Bring it to the tale and collect the accolades. Remember guests who do not give accolades get no seconds!

Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes

Scrambled Eggs ‘All the Way’

Continuing the brunch thoughts from Tuesday, because brunch is one of the best ways to spend a summer weekend, I thought I would share the secret to mixing eggs and fish. Its a simple scrambled eggs with lox. The ‘all the way’ part of this dish comes from the red onion added to the eggs and lox. Out here in New York, a ‘Bagel all the way’ is one served with cream cheese, lox, and a slice of onion.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 medium to large eggs
  • 4 ounces of smoked salmon
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • chopped chives for garnish

Beat eggs in a small bowl and set it aside. Melt the butter in nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add lox and onion; cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in egg mixture; increase heat to medium and scramble the eggs, stirring constantly, until nearly set, 3 to 4 minutes.

Now, remember, don’t cook the eggs all the way, nearly set. The eggs should finish their cooking after you’ve removed the pan from the heat. Otherwise the eggs will be over-cooked. Overcooked eggs will ring-out all their moisture after you plate them up. I’ve mentioned this before haven’t I?

To top off this dish, I serve it on top of a slightly toasted bagel and top the eggs with chopped chives.

scrambled eggs with lox

scrambled eggs with lox

Crabby Scrambled Eggs

A nice coastal brunch item combines leftover crab meat and eggs. I know, I know, who has leftovers, but it does occasionally happen… I’ve seen it on TV so it must be true. But, if you were making say, a crab salad, and you can reserve an couple of ounces, this is a nice morning-after treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 medium or large eggs
  • 2 ounces of crab meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • tablespoon of butter

Beat eggs and tarragon in a small bowl and set it aside. Sprinkle the crab meat with the cayenne pepper. Now, melt the butter in nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add crab; cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in egg mixture; increase heat to medium and scramble the eggs, stirring constantly, until nearly set, 3 to 4 minutes.

Now, remember, don’t cook the eggs all the way, nearly set. The eggs should finish their cooking after you’ve removed the pan from the heat. Otherwise the eggs will be over-cooked. Overcooked eggs will ring-out all their moisture after you plate them up.

crab scrambled eggs

crab scrambled eggs

 

Breakfast / Brunch Popovers

Here’s a variation on a theme. Popovers, you know them, you love then. They are quick and easy… and now from basic roll to something a little different. I start with the basic batter and add a touch of cinnamon to it. So, let’s put on a pot of tea and get busy…

Here’s what you’ll need for the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 teaspoon room temperature for pan
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here’s what you’ll need for the coating:

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter to brush on the popovers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a 6-cup popover pan with the 1 teaspoon of butter.

Place all of the ingredients into a blender for 30 seconds. You want to get a good batter going  it hould be similar in consistency to crepe batter. Divide the batter evenly between the cups of the popover pan, each should be about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the popovers to a cooling rack and pierce each in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape.

Now, mix one teaspoon of cinnamon in a jar with a quarter cut of sugar and shack well to combine. pour this into a shallow bowl. Brush a popover with the melted butter and then dredge it through the cinnamon sugar mixture, coat well.

These are a nice addition to a big breakfast or brunch, and they also go perfectly with afternoon tea.

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers