June 7th, 2016
August 21st, 2014
I have cobbled together a picture of a breakfast casserole that I served to company. My life has been rather cobbled together lately. From selling our Florida house, to pulling a u-haul back to North Carolina, to a major get together with friends, the one thing I did not need was to get sick. But sick I was. I developed a hacking cough, headache, fever and laryngitis. David dragged me to the Doctor last Wednesday. All I could croak out were the words “I can’t afford to be sick. I have 16 people coming tomorrow for 4 or 5 days.” I am so impressed with our Nurse Practitioner. She prescribed an antibiotic and words of wisdom. She said be sure your friends have clean sheets and towels, but forget about the rest of the house. No one will notice or care about a bit of dust or a less that neat house. So true. Everyone pitched in and we had a wonderful time.
The occasion that brought us all together was the annual Lake Lure Lakefront Home Owners Association annual dinner and meeting. David and I were in charge of the entertainment. We booked our good friends from Florida who have a doo wop group called Malt Shoppe Memories. They perform all over Florida and are also known in our area from previous visits.
The concert was held on the beach and a fun time was had by all.
The hotel even arranged to serve S’mores on the beach.
The party was held on Saturday night. On Sunday evening the group performed on the top of our boathouse and people were encouraged to come by boat to sit back and enjoy the concert. The acoustics on the water and between the mountains are something special.
It was great to have so much help in the kitchen. We did a pot luck on Sunday and everyone contributed wonderful dishes.
I made this casserole on Saturday afternoon when I was feeling better. I tucked it into the refrigerator and baked it on Sunday morning. It couldn’t be easier. What you see here are the leftovers. It is a special breakfast casserole because it uses croissants instead of bread (thus the buttery description) and because it comes from The New York Times. All of their recipes are first rate. I will be adding this to my permanent recipe file. The sausage, Gruyere cheese, sage and green onions just add to the goodness.
BUTTERY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
- 1 pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
- 1 bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
- ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, salt and pepper.
- Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.
March 25th, 2011
Do you occasionally buy convenience items like refrigerated crescent roll dough? There are many things you can do with it besides rolling the triangles into crescent rolls. I do like this take on a different way to handle crescent roll dough. Instead of separating the dough into triangles stop at the rectangles, pat the seams closed and you have the perfect size for a slice of prepackaged prosciutto. It fits like a glove. Then all you have to do is roll it up and slice the log into two pieces.
Viola! An easy roll up for breakfast. To guild the lily, brush a mixture of grainy mustard and honey on the rolls before you bake them. This made a great change from our usual Canadian bacon and English muffin breakfast. Although homemade is best, an occasional easy option is nice to have on hand.
PROSCIUTTO BREAKFAST ROLLS ( Katie Brown )
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 (8-ounce) packages refrigerated crescent-roll dough
8 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons country-style or grainy Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray heavy large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Open 1 package of rolls. Unroll crescent dough and separate into 4 rectangles ( do not separate dough into triangles; press perforations together). Top each dough rectangle with 1 slice prosciutto. Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough rectangles jellyroll style. Cut each crosswise in half. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with second package of crescent rolls. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Whisk honey and mustard in small bowl to blend. Brush tops of rolls with honey mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly.
May 6th, 2010
I’ve packed my pots and pans, my Cuisinart and my Kitchen Aid. I will see you back in my Lake Lure kitchen some time next week with lots of new recipes and thoughts on cooking, eating and living. I may even offer tips on simplifying and getting rid of clutter.
For an interesting and funny read while I regroup, I have to send you to a couple of blogs that I found recently. First, you have to read my blog post about making chocolate croissants here. Checking my stats the other day, I saw a lot of hits on that post from a blog that I had never seen before. Michelle has a blog called Diary of a Late Bloomer. She is writing a daily blog about living curiously and attended a writing workshop where she met up with a guy named Todd who is also writing about his life. It seems that the two of them share a birthday and an interest in blogging and decided to do a virtual experiment. Each of them would cook the same thing in their kitchens at the same time, They would text each other during the process to see how each was doing and post about it. The challenge was to cook a chick dish and a guy’s dish. Michelle chose the chocolate croissants that were featured in the movie It’s Complicated. She hit on my post and blogged hysterically about her experience in making croissants. Todd’s 606 Diaries gives the “he said” version to Michelle’s “she said” version and is just as funny. Who could not like a guy who puts yeast dough in the dryer to rise. His choice for the upcoming guy’s dish was dishwasher lasagne and you can check out their later posts for that result. But the croissant post made my day. I hope it does the same for you. By the way, I have a wonderful husband, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, but I own a mutt named Daisy and not a Cavelier King Charles Spaniel. Also Zen is not in my vocabulary. Thanks Michelle and Todd. You are both talented and very funny bloggers.
I have had a passion for chocolate croissants ever since I saw the movie It’s Complicated. In the blogging community there has been much talk about this movie. The design bloggers are thrilled with the house because it is another beautiful set design by Nancy Meyers and her group of professionals. These are the same people who brought you the beautiful Hamptons house in Something’s Got to Give. I am also a fan of the design aesthetic and find myself looking at the details of interiors of houses in my favorite movies. What is so great about It’s Complicated is that there is so much eye candy that pleases both cooks and designers. Just take a look at Meryl Streep’s kitchen in the movie. She is planning on having her architect, played by Steve Martin, redesign it.
Would you trash this kitchen? I wouldn’t. It is charming and quirky and suits her family well. There is even a dent in the refrigerator door that you can see when you watch the movie. The story behind that is that when the refrigerator was deliverd to the set, they discovered the dent and wanted to send it back, but brilliant minds intervened and said “Why shouldn’t she have a dent in her refrigerator? She raised three kids. Real people have dents.”
But to get to the heart of this post, I have to tell you that my favorite scene in the movie was when Meryl Streep took Steve Martin to her bakery after hours and fixed him chocolate croissants.
Here they are eating Croque Monsieurs. I do not have a picture of the chocolate croissants, but the scene was evocative. It was late at night and they were hungry. They were “really” hungry. She offered him anything on her bakery menu and he chose chocolate croissants. The scene of her cutting and stuffing the croissants with chocolate was nirvana. Their enjoyment was even better. I became obsessed. But I haven’t had time to make croissants from scratch until now.
Life has been “complicated” and with the trip back to Lake Lure there have been other priorities. But yesterday morning I decided that it was time to tackle them. The recipe that I used was in From Julia Child’s Kitchen.
It is a lenghthy recipe that goes on for pages and I don’t want to repeat it all here. There is a very similar recipe on the web at All Recipes
which will get you the same results. To make them chocolate croissants just add 1/2 ounce of shaved chocolate to each one before rolling up.
Croissants are nothing more than a yeast dough that incorporates layers of butter. The butter is layered in by a folding process. The below picture shows the dough ready for its third turn. The butter is already between two layers of dough.
The top third is folded to the middle.
Then the bottom third is folded over it; like folding a letter.
It is then turned a quarter turn, rolled and folded again. There are many steps along the way when you can put it in the refrigerator and forget it. After the fourth turn and fold you can weigh it down and put it in the refrigerator for up to two days.
The final step is cutting the triangles of dough, sprinkling them with chocolate and rolling them up. They are ready for the final rise and baking, or you can freeze them. I chose to freeze six and bake the other six.
Although the process took me two days, there was very little real hands on time required. Now that I have done it, I will definitely be making chocolate croissants again. Who knows, maybe I can open a bakery like this one.
No, actually I don’t think I am up to that. And maybe making croissants from scratch is too complicated. But I certainly hope my garden looks like this.