Archive for ‘Breakfast’

August 25, 2013

Greens, Eggs and Ham

IMG_2014

The shift from summer to fall is one of the most beautiful times to be outside, but it can also be a tricky time if you’re cooking in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s what the weather looks like on any given day: It’s sunny! It’s hot! It’s not hot! It’s overcast! Light showers! Thunder! Lightning! Sun’s back!

What do you cook when you can’t match the mood to the warmth of summer or the cool call of autumn?

The long answer is something that walks the line between “light and refreshing” and “warms your stomach as well as your heart.” The short answer is this Dr. Seuss inspired recipe!

The flavors of crunchy, pan-seared Brussels sprouts and asparagus pair perfectly with the rich, earthy mushrooms. The ham adds notes of meat and salt, while the poached eggs provides body and creaminess to the dish. Served with a slice of fresh bread to sop up all the leftover goodness? Perfection.

To top it all off, this recipe actually rates reasonably high on the healthiness scale too. It’s the perfect between-season brunch!

read more »

June 8, 2013

Chorizo and Yam Hash

Chorizo Yam Hash

You know what the best thing about brunch is?

Trick question, everything about brunch is amazing. It’s the perfect combination of flavor, flair, comfort and sociability. Brunch can be light and airy or decadent enough for two meals – which it just so happens to be, so you don’t even need to feel guilty when you eat that chicken fried steak or eggs benedict.

But still, brunch has a fatal flaw: it’s best served lazy.

That’s fine if you want to drag yourself out of bed and stroll over to your favorite brunch spot, but what if you want to indulge in the comfort of your own home? Many brunch dishes are as complicated as they are luxurious, making a lazy mid-morning meal almost impossible.

Fear not, this Chorizo and Yam Hash recipe is the solution to your brunch conundrum. It’s low on ingredients, short on instructions, but packed full of meaty chorizo, sweet and savory yams, and sharp manchego goodness – perfect for a lazy at-home brunch!

read more »

March 25, 2013

Revisited: Eggs St. Patrick

Composite

Two years ago I started my own St. Patrick’s Day tradition – Egg’s St. Patrick. Here’s a flashback:

The hollandaise sauce is creamy and rich. The poached eggs are tender with silky, rich yolks. The corned beef is hearty, pleasantly spiced and rich. If you haven’t caught the pattern yet, pretty much everything about this dish is rich except the English muffins, and when you get down to it their sole purpose is sop up all the hollandaise, egg yolk and corned beef juice that you can’t get with a fork.

Although it’s a play on Eggs Benedict – typically a breakfast dish – this is perfectly suited for any time of day. And in true St. Paddy’s day spirit, no matter what time of day it is, it should be accompanied by Guinness.

At the time I couldn’t think of any way it could be better. But with age comes wisdom, and this year’s version was different enough that it merited a new, revised recipe.

Adding Guinness to the sauteed corned beef builds on the stout framework (see what I did there?) of the dish. It imbues it with dark and roasty undertones that add a subtle bite to counteract the natural richness of the hollandaise. Similarly, the caramelized cabbage cuts through the heaviness with notes of sweetness and earthiness.

Seriously, make this next St. Patrick’s Day. Or, you know, this weekend.

read more »

June 30, 2012

Eggs Benedict with Mushroom and Brussels Sprout

You have been mislead your entire life. Brussels sprouts are delicious.

Don’t boil them, don’t leave the ends on. Chop them up, season them with a little salt and pepper, and saute them in a little butter and you will be astonished at how delicious they are.

And they’re particularly delicious in this recipe. They develop a faint caramelization that melds hints of sweetness with the natural flavors of roughage. When paired with the umami notes of seared mushrooms, the two form an alliance of earthy flavor. Combined with rich hollandaise, a runny poached egg and an English muffin to clean your plate of all the leftover goodness, you can’t go wrong.

This recipe is vegetarian, but if you’re feeling carnivorous it would be perfectly suited to the addition of nice, crispy bacon. Serve it up with some hash browns or country friend potatoes and bask in scrumptious glory.

Eggs Benedict with Mushroom and Brussels Sprouts

  • 7 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 7 Brussels sprouts, finely chopped
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • pepper, to taste

 

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a steady simmer. Take three eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Combine the yolks, lemon juice and cayenne in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together until thickened.
  2. Place the stainless steel bowl on top of the pot, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the the volume has increased by half. Remove from the heat.
  3. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow it to cook until it just begins to brown. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the mushrooms and add them to the skillet, tossing until evenly coated with butter. Cook until one side of the mushrooms are seared, approximately 3 minutes, then toss and repeat for the other side. Reduce the heat to medium, add the Brussels sprouts and saute for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add enough water to fill the pot, add the vinegar and bring it to a soft boil. Poach the four remaining eggs so the yolks are still slightly runny.
  5. Lightly toast the English muffin. To serve, dish the mushroom and Brussels sprout saute over each English muffin half followed by a poached egg. Top with a couple spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce and garnish with a sprinkle of pepper.


June 20, 2012

French Toast with Caramelized Bananas and Hazelnut

Back during my stint at the Crepe Cafe, we had one of the most delicious desserts you could imagine. Before they would teach me to how to make it I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, a non-compete clause and several other contracts I’d never heard of, but finally I was inducted into the chosen ones and learned the secrets.

I can’t give away too much, but it involved crepes, chocolate, whipped creme, and these delicious caramelized bananas. It was such a decadent dish that I would eat it only occasionally, and only when I had nothing else to do the remainder of the day

Make no mistake – this recipe is still probably the richest I’ve ever posted to this blog. Each soft, sweet, banana-y bite will probably cut a minute or two off your lifespan. But hey, a life without caramelized banana french toast isn’t a life worth living. The french toast is chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside with hints of vanilla, while sauce is heavenly fugue of banana, butter and sugar. It’s richer than the Kennedy family, but just as charming.

This french toast probably isn’t the best choice before a busy day at work or an action-packed Saturday. But if you have a nice Sunday morning where you don’t need to move and can bask all day in the afterglow, you can’t go wrong here.

French Toast with Caramelized Bananas and Hazelnut

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-6 slices of stale french bread, 3/4 in thick
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

 

  1. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, sugar and vanilla extract. Soak each slice of french bread in the egg batter for 1-2 minutes, then set aside.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium with a small pat of butter. Sear each side of the french for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown but not burned.
  3. Turn the skillet to medium-high. Add the butter and wait until it just begins to brown. Add the sugar evenly, then quickly add the sliced banana and toss vigorously. Continue to cook, tossing frequently, for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. To serve, top the slices of french toast with caramelized bananas and sprinkle hazelnuts over the top.
March 16, 2012

Eggs St. Patrick

I like to talk a lot about balance when I discuss the food that I cook, because I generally believe the best dishes are those that marry disparate flavors together in a harmonious fashion. This is not one of those dishes.

This is a rich, decadent recipe. You will feel lethargic after you eat it. You will also feel glorious, but the lethargy is pretty much unavoidable.

The hollandaise sauce is creamy and rich. The poached eggs are tender with silky, rich yolks. The corned beef is hearty, pleasantly spiced and rich. If you haven’t caught the pattern yet, pretty much everything about this dish is rich except the English muffins, and when you get down to it their sole purpose is sop up all the hollandaise, egg yolk and corned beef jus that you can’t get with a fork.

Although it’s a play on Eggs Benedict – typically a breakfast dish – this is perfectly suited for any time of day. And in true St. Paddy’s day spirit, no matter what time of day it is, it should be accompanied by Guinness.

Eggs St. Patrick

  • 5 eggs
  • 5/8 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of corned beef, cooked and shredded
  • 1 English muffin
  • 1 pinch of paprika

 

  1. Fill two pots with water and bring to a steady simmer. Take three eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.  Reserve one white, combine the yolks and melted butter in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together until thickened.
  2. Add the lemon juice and cayenne to the egg mixture.  Place the stainless steel bowl on top of the first pot, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water, and continue to whisk vigorously until the volume has increased by half. Remove from the heat.
  3. To the second pot add the vinegar and bring to a very light boil. Poach the two remaining eggs so the yolks are still slightly runny (see Smitten Kitchen’s how-to if you need instruction on how).
  4. Combine the reserved egg white with the corned beef and form into two patties. Sear quickly on each side, approximately 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
  5. Lightly toast the English muffin. To serve, place a corned beef patty atop each English muffin half followed by a poached egg. Top with a couple spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce and garnish with the pinch of paprika.
January 15, 2012

Deep Fried Waffle Salad

“You cook adventurous things? So like, a waffle salad or something?”

I do now. Culinary Challenge accepted.

The star ingredient in this dish, the deep fried waffle ‘croutons’, are absolutely delicious; delightfully crunchy on the outside with tender interiors. They’re sweet and doughy and buttery – honestly, they’d make a pretty perfect dish all by themselves.

But the challenge was a waffle salad, so I contrived a supporting cast to make the pairing of waffle and mixed greens less awkward. The balsamic vinegar, maple syrup reduction takes the place of dressing in this recipe, giving the dish tartness tempered with sugar. The walnuts provide texture and neutral notes to give context to the other flavors. Finally, the chèvre provides a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the other ingredients with it’s saltiness and creamy texture. All these different elements help bridge the gap between waffle and mixed greens.

So, does it work?

Considering that it’s a waffle salad – Yes. Yes it does. It tastes delicious, and the sweet elements of the dish actually pair well with the spiciness of the argula and other greens. The oddity of what you’re eating does interject at times, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.

Make this dish for brunch and blow someone’s mind.

Deep Fried Waffle Salad

  • 2 freezer waffles, lightly toasted (I recommend blueberry)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4-6 walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chèvre
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed greens
  1. Cut or tear the waffles into 1/2 inch squares. Break the egg into a wide bowl and beat until mixed together. On a plate, combine the flour and brown sugar and mix until evenly distributed. Add the oil to a cast iron pan and heat to medium-high.
  2. Add the waffle sections to the beaten egg and toss until evenly coated. Remove and dredge in the sugar-flour mixture until lightly coated. Drop each waffle section into hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  3. In a small pot or sauce pan, combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and corn starch. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce by half, roughly 6-8 minutes. The resulting mixture should have a syrupy viscosity.
  4. Pile the mixed greens on a small plate and top with the deep fried waffles, walnuts and chèvre. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top and serve.
August 24, 2011

Blueberry Almond Pancakes with Blueberry Anise Compote

Blueberries and Almonds? Sure. Blueberries and Anise? Could work.

The three combined? Impossible! Has Quinn gone mad with (blogging) power?

Not a chance – not yet anyway. Blueberry, almond and anise are very disparate flavors, but they come together wonderfully in this dish. The sweetness of the blueberries comes first, with the licorice notes following tagging along subtly. It then fades into the classic taste of pancakes along, made even better by the presence of nutty, butter almond flavors.

The texture of these pancakes are really what make it special though. The crunchiness added by the almonds plays perfectly with crust of the exterior of the pancake, while the inside remains fluffy and light.

The real surprise of this dish is that it is not, in fact, overly sugary. There is little added sugar in either the pancake or the compote, and the natural sugar of the blueberry is balanced with the other flavors.  If you’re looking for a unique pancake recipe that won’t leave you feeling guilty afterwards, this is your dish!

Blueberry Almond Pancakes with Blueberry Anise Compote

Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Compote

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract

 

  1. To make the compote, empty the blueberries and lemon juice into a food processor and blend on medium until liquefied, approximately 2 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a small saucepan to remove large chunks of skin.
  2. Add the water, sugar and anise extract to the blueberry liquid and heat on medium until it comes to a simmer, approximately 5 minutes. Reduce to lowest heat and allow to sit until pancakes are done.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix until evenly distributed. Add the egg, milk and butter and whisk until all ingredients in the batter are combined.
  4. Lightly coat a large nonstick pan with butter and heat to medium-low. Pour pancake mix into desired size and drop a handful of blueberries on top of it.
  5. Cook until golden brown on the first side, approximately 5-8 minutes, then flip. Repeat with the second side, although this should take about half as long.
  6. Stack pancakes onto a plate once they’re done cooking. To serve, pour compote over the pancakes and garnish with chopped almonds and blueberries.
August 6, 2011

Benedicto Italiano

Simply put, this dish is magnificent.

It starts with a toasty, chewy English muffin that soaks up all the extra sauce and yolk to make sure nothing slips away. The prosciutto on top of that is crisp, crunchy and salty. After that, the poached eggs are rich and creamy and the yolks run out onto the plate the minute a fork pierces them. Atop it all is a robust hollandaise with classic Italian flavors of fresh basil and sun-dried tomato.

Traditional Eggs Benedict is a great dish, but it often leans too strongly towards richness and decadence.  This Benedicto Italiano uses lighter prosciutto and cuts through the heaviness with tart sun-dried tomato and refreshing, aromatic basil. It’ll definitely leave you feeling full, but the flavors are explosive and perfectly balanced

In the end though, any attempt at describe this dish will fall short of the real deal.  The only way to know what I mean is to make it yourself!

Benedicto Italiano

  • 5 eggs
  • 5/8 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of cayenne
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated and diced
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 English muffin

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.  Fill two pots with water and bring to a steady simmer.
  2. Place the prosciutto on a foil covered baking sheet and slide into the oven to cook while making the sauce and poaching the eggs. The prosciutto should cook for approximately 10 minutes, so be sure to remove it on time if you don’t finish the next steps in time.
  3. Take three eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.  Combine the yolks and melted butter in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together until thickened.
  4. Add the lemon juice and cayenne to the egg mixture.  Place the stainless steel bowl on top of the first pot, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water, and continue to whisk vigorously until the volume has increased by half. Remove from the heat and add the basil and sun dried tomato, mixing thoroughly.
  5. To the second pot add the vinegar and bring to a very light boil. Poach the two remaining eggs so the yolks are still slightly runny (If you don’t know how to poach an egg, Smitten Kitchen has an excellent how-to here).
  6. Lightly toast the English muffin. To assemble the dish, place a prosciutto slice atop each English muffin half followed by a poached egg. Top with a couple spoonfuls of the tomato-basil hollandaise and garnish with a few basil ribbons.
July 14, 2011

Curry French Toast with Tamarind Syrup

French toast is one of the most fantastic foods one could ever dream up.  It has a golden, sweet crust and a soft chewy inside.  The different spices play off one another in the background as you sink your teeth in.  It’s not sugary enough to be an honest dessert but just enough so that you feel guilty eating it for breakfast. A little bit.

Of course you can only eat the same thing so many times before you yearn for new flavors.  Some people add whipped cream or top it with berries.  I prefer to dream a little bit bigger.

This curry french toast is a delightful new take on this breakfast classic.  For those of you who get nervous about oriental spices, don’t be afraid, the curry flavor in no way overpowers the dish. It simply adds a whole new dimension to the spice dynamic of the toast, along with a little kick.  The tamarind syrup has all the sweetness of classic maple syrup with a tangyness that perfectly compliments the toast.

Combined, these flavors create a unique new take on this culinary classic!

Curry French Toast with Tamarind Syrup

  • 2 slices of stale bread (brioche or sourdough recommended)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder (mild or hot)
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 dash allspice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate

 

  1. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, sugar, curry power, cinnamon and allspice in a shallow bowl and mix thoroughly. Soak the stale bread in the egg mixture until thoroughly coated, approximately two minutes each.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan to medium-low heat.  Lightly sprinkle a bit of extra sugar on each side of the bread and lay each in the pan.  Cook on each side until lightly browned, approximately three minutes a side.
  3. While the toast is cooking, heat the syrup in the microwave.  Mix in the tamarind concentrate.
  4. Serve the toast onto a plate and lightly drizzle with the tamarind syrup.
%d bloggers like this: