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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Up at the crack of dawn, I spent this Sunday morning firing up the smoker for Turkey #1 (see last year’s smoked turkey).  After all that, I wasn’t just hungry, but Tony Robbins Hungry.  I needed a solid and hearty breakfast and I had a bunch of chard that needed to get used up today; this created a dish borne from necessity, and yet, it was everything I could have asked for in a Sunday breakfast.

Sausage & Chard Sauté with Eggs

Serves 4

  • 1 pound pork or turkey breakfast sausage (we used pork, of course)
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced small
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 bunch chard, stems removed and chopped separately, leaves cut into 1″ ribbons
  • 1/4 cup chicken or beef stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Eggs (we served 2 per person, but the amount will depend on your own appetite)
  1. In a large skillet on medium heat, start to brown and crumble sausage.
  2. When sausage starts to brown and give off fat, add onions and bell pepper, cook until onions translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chard stems and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Deglaze pan with the stock, scraping up any browned bits in the pan.
  5. Add chard leaves and cover pan with a lid, turn heat down to low, letting chard wilt.
  6. Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender; during this time, start to cook your eggs–I did mine basted, but you go on and cook your eggs however you like them.
  7. Season the chard sauté with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with the sauté topped with eggs.

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Yes.  Oh, yes.

See, Thursday afternoons are when the CSA boxes show up, so Wednesday and Thursday are my biggest “what can I make to clear space?” days.  I still had my collard greens, getting a mite wilty, but still good, that needed to be cooked off.  I looked to the internet for inspiration, and I found it at The Kitchn.  Considering today was a holiday and I had Kiddo already stashed away with Grandma, I had the time to indulge in some seriously awesome breakfasting.

I used grits instead of polenta and tossed in a bit of chevre to, you know, make it only tastier. The collards got a bit of garlic, but there was plenty of bacon (of course).

I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I’m doing this for breakfast again this weekend–it’s just that good.  Head on over to The Kitchn for the recipe.  Trust me, you’ll become a believer in greens for breakfast.

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Scene:  My kitchen, Sunday, 8:12 AM.  Germany kicking the snot out of England plays in the background.

I’m rummaging through the fridge, noting we’re down on just about anything worth eating on a Sunday morning… a few pieces of bacon, only two eggs, no potatoes…

“Choo, I have an idea for breakfast.”

“Yes?”

“How about bacon waffles?”

Choo’s eyes light up like I just announced I discovered the secret to life itself as he nods, reverently.

Crispy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, cornmeal, and just a bit of brown sugar to add a hint of sweetness:  this created one heck of a waffle.  You know how I know it was good?  Kiddo ate three of them.

A few notes:  I list melted butter as an ingredient, but, you know, if you wanted to use some of the bacon fat leftover from cooking, I promise I’m not going to say a word.  I’ll just say it was worth the substitution.  Also, if you’d prefer to use buttermilk rather than the yogurt/milk combination that I used (which only came about by my not having any buttermilk in the house and having yogurt that needed to be consumed), you would have my approval.  Not like you need it, but I’m sure you feel better by having it.

The Bacon, Cheddar & Cornmeal Waffle

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (or bacon fat)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crispy and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, yogurt and milk; add to dry ingredients and stir until ingredients are blended, with no dry streaks.
  3. Fold in bacon and cheese, and let batter rest for 15 minutes before cooking.
  4. Cook in waffle iron as per manufacturer’s instructions.

This made 13 4 x 4 waffles, and the great thing is that waffles freeze well, so don’t fret about leftovers–make your Monday morning a little brighter by having some of these for breakfast!

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Kiddo is obsessed with waffles.  Every morning, it’s pretty much the same thing:

Mama, wake up.

[grumblegrumblesnort] Ok.

Want waffles and Spongebob.

Wouldn’t you want some oatmeal and CNN?

No, waffles and Spongebob.

How about Rice Krispies and Good Day L.A.?

Waffles.  Spongebob.

Eggs?  Fox News?

WAFFLESANDSPONGEBOB, MAMA! And chocolate milk, please.

Part of the problem was that I sadly lacked a waffle iron, so we were forced to buy frozen waffles.  It felt rather silly to spend about $4 a week on something I knew I could make easily, and in large batches that I could freeze.  They’d certainly be of better quality, and if I bought a mid-range waffle iron (about $30, I figured), it would pay for itself in 3 months.

Over the weekend, we finally broke down and bought a waffle maker.  My first batch of waffles were the standard recipe that came in the box, and with me switching out half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat, I think they turned out rather fine.  Of course, now I’ve been having flashes of ideas of what I could throw together in a bowl and turn into a waffle.

This morning, the last of the frozen waffles were consumed.  Now, it was time to stock the freezer with homemade goodness!

Banana Pecan Waffles

1 cup pecan halves

1/4 cup flax seeds

1 cup All Purpose flour

1 cup Whole Wheat flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

3 medium bananas, very ripe

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 stick butter, melted and cooled

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1. Toast pecans in either a 325° oven for about 10 minutes, or in a skillet on medium heat, tossing frequently, for about 3.  Set aside and let cool completely.

2. Put cooled pecans and flax seeds in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about the texture and size of uncooked couscous.

waffles1

Lesson Learned, Part I:  Flax seeds don’t break up very easily in the food processor.  I didn’t want to buy the whole bag of flax meal (I never get through it all before it gets old), so I bought a small amount of seeds from the bulk department, thinking I could just break them up in the processor.  HA!  Also, yes, I’ve said Kiddo doesn’t like nuts, but it’s a texture thing–I figured if they’re chopped so small that he wouldn’t notice them, he wouldn’t mind–I mean, he eats peanut butter like a fiend.

3.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cardamom (yes, cardamom with bananas, why don’t you trust me on this?), nutmeg, and the nuts and seeds.

waffle2

4.  Return the work bowl back to the Cuisinart, and add the bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract; pulse together until they are smooth.

5.  Pour the banana-egg mixture  into the dry mixture, followed by the melted butter and buttermilk.  Fold the batter until all the flour is incorporated and there are no dry streaks.

6.  On a pre-heated waffle maker, pour approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the batter (depending on size of your waffle irons) onto each square, and cook as per the machine’s instructions.

waffles3

Lesson Learned, Part II:  In fact, this was a lesson that I think will work out in my favor;  with the ratios I used, these waffles turned out soft.  I don’t think this is particularly a bad thing, considering that the main reason why I’m doing these is to freeze for future use.  The extra moisture will come in handy when they’re cooking a second time in the toaster.

Since these were to be frozen, they were laid out on a wire cooling rack until completely cool.

waffles4

Once cooled, they were stacked with slips of parchment paper (or wax, if you prefer) so they don’t perform some Vulcan-Waffle Mind Meld in the freezer.  Trying to pull waffles apart at 6:15 AM is not high on my list of pleasurable morning activities.

waffles5

Store in a freezer ziploc bag or tightly wrapped in saran. This recipe made 20 4″ square waffles.

waffles6

Oh, you know I went there.  And it was good.

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