Souffleed Omelet with Canadian Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

May 28th, 2014

Souffleed Omelet 1

This is an easy breakfast dish and very impressive when it comes out of the oven.  Photographing it is another story as it deflates rather quickly.  But, when cut into and served, it is creamy and luscious.  I love the texture of the eggs and the bits of ham and herbs.

Souffleed Omelet 2V

I have so much basil this year that I am putting it in everything.  It holds its own with eggs.  But you could use other herbs.  This souffle is one of those dishes that is easily adaptable.  Substitute sausage or cooked vegetables for the Canadian bacon, parsley or tarragon for the basil, or cheddar cheese for the Gruyere topping.  It doesn’t matter.  The magic still happens and it comes out of the oven puffy and golden.  I liked this so much that I made it two Sundays in a row.

Souffleed Omelet 4

This time I used a combination of fresh tarragon and basil.  David wants to try it with sausage and cheddar next time.  But I am also thinking about that leftover zucchini and corn.  I am sure all of you could come up with some wonderful combinations.  This is a keeper.

SOUFFLEED OMELET WITH CANADIAN BACON AND GRUYERE CHEESE  (Adapted from Gourmet)

6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
3 tablespoons flour
8 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces freshly grated Gruyere cheese

In a flameproof 1 1/2 quart baking dish cook the bacon in the butter over moderately low heat for 5 minutes, or until it is golden, stir the mixture to coat the sides of the dish with the butter, and remove it from the heat.  In a bowl whisk together the cream the flour, the eggs, the basil and the salt and pour the mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle the mixture with the Gruyere cheese and bake it in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the omelet is puffed and golden.  Serves 4 to 6.

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Triple Cinnamon Scones

May 1st, 2014

Triple Cinnamon Scones 2

 

I love the King Arthur Flour Company.  Not only do they have some of the best flour available, but they also have some of the best baking ingredients and tools to turn out some of the best baked good you will ever taste.  While visiting our family over Easter, Kristen served us these Triple Cinnamon Scones.  I fell in love with them.  They are the best scones I have ever eaten.  She got the recipe and several of the ingredients from King Arthur.

Triple Cinnamon Scones V

I immediately placed an order online for their cinnamon chips and their baker’s cinnamon filling mix; because, you see, these cinnamon scones are indeed a triple blast of cinnamon.  The cinnamon chips, the cinnamon filling and the cinnamon glaze make them sooo delicious – no dry scones here.

Triple Cinnamon Scones 1 close

You can just see the layers of flavor.  Because of that there are a few steps involved in their preparation, but it is totally worth it.  The recipe has some great tips to make successful scones.   One tip is to put the prepared scones in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.  Another suggestion I have, is to use a very sharp knife to cut the scone shapes.  That way they will not become lopsided while baking.  Make a clean cut without pulling at the batter.  Also, I made only about half of the glaze and just drizzled the tops of the scones instead of slathering the whole thing in glaze.

Triple Cinnamon Scones All

 

A platter of warm scones is the perfect breakfast for a crowd.  I plan on making them (and perfecting my skills) all summer while we have visitors.  I may even make them in advance and freeze a few batches.  My next scone recipe will be an Orange scone using the Candied Orange Peel that I got from King Arthur.

Triple Cinnamon Scones 4By the way, the pretty plate and cup and saucer were a gift from a special blogging friend, Mary, from A Breath of Fresh Air.  Thank you Mary.  The pretty luncheon napkin is one from a set that belonged to my Mother.  She used them for special luncheons with friends when I was just a child.  I treasure them.

TRIPLE CINNAMON SCONES

scones

  • 3/4 cup half and half or evaporated milk
  • 1 cup cinnamon Flav-R-Bites or cinnamon chips
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pats
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

filling

  • 3/4 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling*
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • *Or substitute 5 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling mix and water.

glaze

  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 tablespoons water

1) Combine the Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites with the half and half or milk in a small bowl. Let the mixture rest for about 20 minutes.

2) While the cinnamon mixture is resting, get started putting together the rest of the ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

4) Add the eggs and vanilla to the cinnamon-milk mixture, stirring to combine.

5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

6) Scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Pat/roll it into a rough 9″ square, a scant 3/4″ thick. Make sure the surface underneath the dough is very well floured. If necessary, use a giant spatula (or the biggest spatula you have) to lift the square, and sprinkle more flour underneath.

7) Spread the filling over the dough. Fold one edge into the center and over the filling, as though you were folding a letter. Fold the remaining edge over the center to complete the three-fold. You’ll now have a rectangle that’s stretched to about 4″ x 12″. Gently pat/roll it to lengthen it into a 3″ x 18″ rectangle; it’ll be between 3/4″ and 1″ thick.

8) Cut the rectangle into six 3″ squares. Transfer the squares to a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Now you have a choice. For large scones, cut each square in half diagonally to make a triangle; you’ll have 12 scones. For medium scones, cut each square in half diagonally again, making four triangular scones from each square. Gently separate the scones (if you like scones with crunchy edges), leaving about 1″ between them. For softer scones, separate the scones just enough to break contact between them.

9) You may also choose to make scone strips, or tiny squares. Cut each 3″ square into three 1″ x 3″ rectangles, for a total of 18 scone strips. Gently separate the strips, leaving about 1/2″ between them. Or cut each 3″ square into nine 1″ squares, to make 54 bite-sized mini scones.

10) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

11) Bake the scones for 16 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the scones to cool right on the pan.

11) Make the glaze by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and water. If the sugar seems particularly lumpy, sift it first, for an extra-smooth glaze.

12) Now you’re going to coat each scone with glaze. You can dip each one individually, which is quite time-consuming. Or line a baking sheet (with sides) with parchment, and pour about half the glaze atop the parchment. Set the scones atop the glaze, swirling them around a bit to coat their bottoms. Then drizzle the remaining glaze over the top. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over each scone, to coat it entirely. The glaze is very thin, so this is easily done.

13) Transfer the scones to a rack set over parchment, to catch any drips. As you pick each scone up, run its sides over the glaze in the bottom of the pan, both to use up some of the extra glaze, and to make sure all sides are coated. Allow the glaze to set before serving the scones.

Yield: one dozen triangles, 5″ x 3″; 2 dozen triangles, 2 1/2″ x 3″; 18 strips, 4″ x 1 1/2″; or 54 mini (1 1/2″) squares.

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Tuscan Spinach Torta Rustica

April 18th, 2014

Tuscan Torta

 

There are many foods that we associate with Easter; ham, eggs and chocolate bunnies to name a few.  In Italy this Spinach Torta is made around Easter time to celebrate the season.  There are many versions of the dish.  Some are made with a yeast crust and a lattice top.  Some top the dish with pine nuts, instead of the almonds that I used.  I added ham to my version.  To me this would make a perfect brunch dish to celebrate Easter.

Tuscan Torta 2V

 

The torta is an Italian version of a quiche.  The flavor additions include Mozzarella and Parmesan instead of Swiss or Gruyere, Italian seasonings instead of a hint of nutmeg and a pine nut or almond topping.  The spinach, eggs, roasted red peppers and cream round out the dish.  Since I was in a hurry I used a store bought pie crust, but you could certainly make your own or leave it out completely.  I actually made another version of this torta a few years ago that is also great to make ahead of time for a brunch party.  Here is the link.

Tuscan Torta 3 This makes me wish for a trip to the Amalfi Coast.  Since that is not possible, David and I will be attending The East Tennessee Italian Fest blogger party at Big Dude’s Almost Heaven South on Saturday June 7th.  For details see Larry’s post here if you are interested in joining us.  I am linking this dish to Tasty Tuesdays at the Comfort of Home.

TUSCAN SPINACH TORTA RUSTICA

1 Refrigerated Pie Crust or Homemade 1 crust pie pastry
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 9 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Fit pie crust into 10-inch tart pan or 9-inch pie plate.  Blind bake in oven for 5 minutes.  Remove foil or parchment paper lined bean weights.  Paint bottom of pie crust with mustard.  Return pie crust to oven and bake for 5 more minutes.  Remove, set aside and reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add ham and onions and cook until onions are soft and ham is slightly browned.  Add red peppers, spinach and seasonings and cook a few minutes to meld flavors.

Beat eggs in large bowl.  Add cream and shredded cheeses.  Add the spinach mixture from the skillet and stir to combine well.  Place in prepared pie crust.  Sprinkle almonds over the top.  Place tart pan in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until custard is set.

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Boston Cream Pancakes

October 5th, 2013

 


Do any of you remember Long Johns?  No, not the underwear version.  I am talking about the doughnuts. When I was young, my Father would always go to the local bakery on Sunday mornings and come home with a bag of doughnuts.  There would be cinnamon twists, elephant ears, round jelly filled doughnuts and, my favorite, long johns.

Long Johns are a cake-like doughnut with a pastry cream filling and chocolate ganache smeared on top.  I adored them.  Recently I got a request from a family member who was going to be here for the Labor Day Weekend.  He asked if I would please, please make a recipe for Boston Cream Pancakes that he had seen online on the Country Cleaver website.  The pancakes are based on the Boston cream pie which was created by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856.

I made them for breakfast one morning during the Labor Day weekend but never got a picture because they were devoured so quickly.  All I could think of when I ate them were those wonderful long johns that I had eaten as a child.  The fluffy pancakes, the smooth pastry cream and the decadent chocolate ganache all conspired to bring the flood of memories back.  I tucked the leftover ganache and pastry cream in the freezer because I knew that they would be making a repeat performance in my kitchen.

We had them for breakfast again on this beautiful Saturday morning, a day after my birthday. They were a welcome indulgence.  Sometimes you just have to eat like you are a kid again and stop worrying about calories, fat and sugar and how old you really are.  The pancakes themselves are an easy combination of yellow cake mix and Bisquick.  They are light and fluffy.  The pastry cream can be made way in advance and the chocolate ganache is easy.  I would recommend these pancakes to you for any special occasion, whether it be for a birthday or just because  it is a sunny day.  Indulge!

BOSTON CREAM PANCAKES (Country Cleaver Website)

ingredients:

Pancakes: Makes about 12 pancakes
1 cup Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup Dry Pancake Mix such as Bisquick
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
2 whole Eggs

Pastry Cream:
1/3 cup Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 cup Milk
1 cup Half-n-Half
1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped (or 2 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract)
1 Tbsp Butter

Chocolate Ganache:
8 oz. Chocolate
1 cup Heavy Cream

directions:

Directions:

Pastry Cream: Make up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate until 1 hour prior to use.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, heavy cream and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Temper the eggs by whisking in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk slowly.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove any curdled bits and remove husk of vanilla bean. Cover strained pastry cream with plastic wrap, and press the plastic wrap on top of the pastry cream to make sure it doesn’t form a skin. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve

Chocolate Ganache:

In small saucepan, heat heavy cream. Stir in chocolate and whisk until melted and the two are completely combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pancakes:

In large bowl, whisk together pancake mix and cake mix. Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Heat a large griddle or large pan over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan or griddle and allow to cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Gingerly flip pancake over and continue to cook until the other side has turned golden brown – about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from griddle/pan and allow to cool.

To assemble – stack pancakes and layer with prepared pastry cream between each pancake. Pour chocolate ganache over the top and promptly devour.

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Breakfast is Ready

December 3rd, 2012

 

December and the holidays are upon us.  We need all the help we can get this month.  My thoughts are on baking cookies, buying presents, entertaining and trying to cram it all into a three to four week period.  I actually relish the festive atmosphere of the month.  Our family will be visiting us in Florida for the holidays for the first time and we have our long standing New Year’s celebration with dear friends to look forward to.  What could be better?  But it does require a little planning.

Let’s consider breakfast for company.  We all have that breakfast casserole that can be assembled and placed in the refrigerator overnight.  Just put it in the oven in the morning and breakfast is on the table within an hour.  Most of those casseroles are based on bread, whether it is sour dough, challah, croissants or French.  I love all of them.  But I was looking for something a little less dense.  I should say lighter.  Since the inspiration for this recipe came from Cooking Light that would be the case.

 

 

In place of the bread this recipe has baby spinach, mushrooms, center cut bacon, fresh basil, and just the right amount of hash brown potatoes.  The eggy goodness and Swiss cheese is the same, so it is a casserole that everyone would enjoy.  Everything but the eggs and milk  can be assembled the night before, so in the morning it is almost as easy to get in the oven as the traditional breakfast casserole.

 

 

I had fun with my small star cutter.  I opened a jar of roasted red peppers and cut stars out of the peppers and placed them on the top of the casserole before I put it in the oven.  I can see getting even more creative with this for Christmas.  This recipe is open to creativity.  You can replace the bacon with sausage or add any seasoning or ingredients that appeal to you.  Holiday goodness made easy.

 

EGGS AND HASH BROWN CASSEROLE (Cooking Light)

8 center-cut bacon slices
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
8 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom caps
3 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded hash brown potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes)
1/4 cup Chicken stock
5 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup low-fat milk
6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan;  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to drippings in pan; saute for 6 minutes.  Add potatoes and stock; cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add spinach, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.  Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.  Stir in crumbled bacon and cheese.  Place mushroom mixture in an 11 x 7- inch broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Uncover dish.  Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, milk, and eggs in a medium bowl.  Pour egg mixture over mushroom mixture. Add any cut out decorations from a jar of roasted red peppers to the top.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 28 minutes.

Preheat broiler to high; remove dish while broiler preheats.  Broil 3 minutes or until top is browned and just set.  Let stand 5 minutes.

Note:   I did not have to broil the casserole because it browned nicely; though it took a little longer in the oven to set the center.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.