Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Food

December 20, 2011

Enjoy a special breakfast with family this holiday season

ASHLAND — Many families enjoy a special breakfast during the holidays. Some have their standard dishes, others are looking to try new things.

The makers of Thomas English Muffins have a few ideas.

COUNTRY EGGS

BENEDICT MUFFINS

2 Thomas'® Original English Muffins, split and toasted

8 oz bulk breakfast sausage meat

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1½ cups milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large eggs

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 12 minutes. Serves 4.

Cook sausage in a medium skillet over moderate heat, stirring and breaking up pork with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle sausage with flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Keep sausage gravy warm, covered over very low heat.|Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over moderate heat, until hot and break eggs into skillet, keeping them in one layer. Cook eggs over moderately low heat, until white on underside is set, about 2 minutes. Flip eggs and continue to cook until whites are set but yolk is still runny, about 30 seconds more.|Place muffins cut side up on serving plates and top each with one egg, ¼ of gravy and serve immediately.|Sausage gravy yields about 1 1⁄3 cups.

FLORENTINE BAGELS

2 Thomas'® Plain Bagels, split and toasted

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

1½ cups milk, heated

4 large eggs

1⁄2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

2 Thomas’ Plain Bagels, split and toasted

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 9 minutes. Serves 4.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over moderate heat and whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk in a stream, until smooth. Simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 3 minutes and reduced to 1¼ cups. Keep warm, covered, off heat.|Fill a medium skillet halfway with water and bring to a boil. Break eggs into separate teacups and pour into water. Cover skillet and remove from heat. Let eggs sit for about 4 minutes until whites are set.|Place bagels on serving plates and top each with 1⁄4 of spinach, using a slotted spoon top with a poached egg and 1⁄4 of sauce. Serve immediately.

PEANUT BUTTER APPLE MUFFINS

4 Thomas'® Honey Wheat English Muffins, split and toasted

3⁄4 cup peanut butter

1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced

Dark corn syrup

Spread peanut butter on each muffin half. Top with apple slices; brush with corn syrup. Broil 6 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly.

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This is an easy, “master” muffin recipe that requires a few common ingredients and you can adjust to your taste.

MORNING MUFFINS

11⁄2 cups flour

1⁄2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 cup oil

1⁄2 cup milk

1 egg

3⁄4 to 1 cup optional ingredients

Mix dry ingredients. Mix together oil, then milk, then egg. beat with fork and mix into dry ingredients. Add an optional item (see list below).

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Makes 4 jumbo or 6 to 8 regular size muffins.

OPTIONAL: blueberries, raisins, chocolate chips, chopped apple, peaches, banana, oranges, pineapple, nuts, dates, or half and half of two.

TIP: You can fill up the muffin cups half way and put a dollop of jam or preserves in the center, then top with the rest of the batter to make a jelly-filled muffin.

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This breakfast cassrole has a little bit of everything. I don’t know where it came from, so readers, if you have seen it before, please let me know where.

MOTHER’S DAY

 BREAKFAST IN BED

3 cups half and half

10 large eggs

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne

1⁄4 teaspoon paprika

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

8 cups 1-inch cubed Italian bread, from a 14- to 16-ounce loaf

Nonstick spray for pan

3 tablespoons butter

8 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces

1 small onion, chopped, about 1 cup

1 pound spinach, cleaned

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1⁄2 pound grated Gruyere cheese, about 2 cups

1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt, cayenne, paprika, black pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl or container. Add the cubed bread, cover, and set aside for at least one hour at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 12-inch skillet generously with the nonstick cooking spray. Add the butter and melt it over medium-high heat.

Add the Canadian bacon, onion, and spinach and cook for two minutes, add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Remove half of the mixture from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium.

Using a large spoon, add half of the bread mixture to the pan. Sprinkle half of the cheeses over the bread, then top with the remaining half of the spinach mixture. Spoon the remaining bread on top and finish with the remaining cheese.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, 25 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, run a rubber spatula around the sides and bottom of the pan to loosen the edges from the pan. Tilt the pan, give it a slight shake, and allow the breakfast bake to slide onto a serving plate. Alternatively, slice directly in the pan and serve.

EMERILL’S HEALTHY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets (about 1 head, 18 oz)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup small diced ham (5 oz)

2½ ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

4 cups 1-inch diced whole wheat English muffins

4 large eggs

6 egg whites

1½ cups skim milk

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese

Blanch the broccoli florets in a pot of boiling salted water until bright green and slightly tender, about 1 minute. Transfer to an ice-bath and let cool. Drain well and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the onions and a couple of pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add the broccoli, cooled onions, ham, cheddar cheese and English muffins. Gently toss together to combine and pour into a 11.5 x 8-inch glass baking dish; spread the mixture out evenly.

Using the same bowl, add the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, paprika and black pepper. Whisk to mix well and pour over the broccoli mixture. Cover with foil and store in the refrigerator overnight, up to 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Return to the oven and continue cooking until golden brown, puffed, and cooked through, about 30 minutes more.

Place on a cooling rack and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

SOURCE: Emeril Lagasse, copyright MSLO, Inc.

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send e-mail to lward@dailyindependent.com.



 

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