My favorite meal of the day is breakfast! Most days, I don’t really have time to leisurely prepare a big breakfast and the thought of eating a grand meal at the first of the day is not that appealing to me. Instead, I reach for a protein shake and then the day is off to a good start.
Most often we enjoy a hearty breakfast for the evening meal rather than for the first meal of the day.
By having breakfast for supper, I can be a bit more flexible with what I choose to serve. In addition to scrambled eggs, I may serve a salad and dessert -- French toast makes a perfect dessert for an evening breakfast.
Today I’ll share with you some recipes for hearty breakfast fare. These recipes all score home runs with my family and friends. Praline Bacon Skewers are suitable anytime of day and also double as a favorite party food for your next event. But who needs an excuse to eat bacon?
I first enjoyed Praline Bacon in New Orleans (my husband’s hometown) and was blown away. Thick-sliced, applewood-smoked bacon is my favorite to use in this recipe. The bacon is half-cooked in the oven before being smeared with a wee bit of corn syrup (which acts as glue) and then coated lightly in a brown sugar and pecan mixture, and sprinkled with a slight amount of ground cayenne pepper. When returned to the oven, the bacon finishes cooking while being glazed at the same time. It’s just too easy to taste this good!
In a recent cooking class at Robinson Home, we had two Praline Bacon Skewers remaining after everyone had been served. A class student offered me $20 for those two pieces of bacon. Yes, they really are that good. But no I did not accept her offer.
Timing is everything, right? It’s hard to get everything to come out ready to eat at the same time -- especially breakfast.
My recipe for Creamy Scrambled Eggs allows a bit of flexibility because the Boursin (a garlic and herb cheese spread) helps keep the scrambled eggs from turning to rubber, even if they have to stand around a bit before being served. Plus, the Boursin flavors the eggs exceptionally well, as herbs are a natural partner in egg dishes.
Whipping Cream Drop Biscuits is my solution for those folks who have a difficult time making biscuits. Some folks, even some Southerners (you know who you are!) have struggled for years, some for decades, to make light and fluffy biscuits. This is a delicious and foolproof recipe for everyone -- even for the “biscuit challenged.”
You see most struggles concerning biscuit making center around the fact that the baker overworks the biscuit dough and/or the baker’s hands are too hot to work with the biscuit dough. This recipe requires no kneading or gathering and re-rolling the dough, and there is very little handling of the dough. Biscuit problems solved!
Triple-Strawberry Stuffed French Toast is so good it can even double as a dessert. The slightly sweet filling of strawberry cream cheese is blended with (my favorite!) Italian mascarpone cheese. After being drenched in an egg custard mixture, the stuffed French toast is pan-fried in butter.
But wait, that’s not all. Fresh, sliced strawberries are mixed with strawberry jam and spooned over the top of the prepared French toast, then topped with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.
If serving this French toast for dessert, I suggest topping it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. How decadent is that?
Enjoy the beginning of summer and a leisurely meal of these breakfast favorites -- any time of the day.
Praline Bacon Skewers
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 pound thick-sliced, applewood-smoked bacon
2-3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Ground cayenne pepper, optional
Makes about 12 skewers.
Position the oven rack to the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the brown sugar and pecans, set aside.
Place the bacon on a rimmed cookie sheet (I use a half-sheet pan). Bake the bacon for about 12-15 minutes, until half-way cooked. Transfer the partially cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined surface to drain and cool a bit. Blot the bacon with the paper towels.
Discard bacon dripping in the baking pan (or reserve for another use, as any self-respecting Southerner already knows). Take a single piece of bacon and fold in half, lengthwise. Thread onto a skewer.
Using your fingers, rub a scant amount of corn syrup on both sides of the bacon. Press the bacon in the brown sugar-pecan mixture. Shake off excess. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bacon in a likewise manner. Place coated bacon skewers side-by-side, allowing a bit of space between. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8 minutes or so. (If you prefer crisper bacon, bake it a bit longer.)
Remove pan from oven and place on a cooing rack. Let candied pecan coating set-up for a few minutes before transferring from the pan to a serving platter.
Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Boursin
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large eggs, beaten well
1 (6-ounce) container Boursin (garlic and herb cheese spread), room temperature
Sea salt or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil, swirling to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Do not let the butter brown.
Add the beaten eggs to the skillet. Let the eggs stand until partially set on the bottom before stirring with a heat-resistant, flexible spatula. Let stand again, without stirring until further set. Repeat, cooking until desired degree of doneness.
Remove skillet from heat and add Boursin. Stir gently into the scrambled eggs.
Whipping Cream Drop Biscuits
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Makes 12 biscuits.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the first four ingredients. Add the cream and stir just until well blended.
Drop dough into a dozen equal-size mounds onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, allowing about 2 inches of space between. Bake in the center of the oven until the biscuit tops are light golden brown and the bottoms of biscuits are golden brown.
Triple-Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
8 ounces mascarpone (Italian cream cheese), softened
8 ounces spreadable cream cheese with strawberries, softened
1 cup strawberry jam
1 pound fresh strawberries, capped and sliced thin
1 loaf challah (egg bread), thinly sliced
1 cup half-and-half
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup clarified butter
To make filling: Blend together the mascarpone and strawberry cream cheese.
To make topping: Place the strawberry jam in a bowl and stir well to break up the gel. Stir in the fresh strawberries. Set aside.
To make French toast: Spread filling on half of the bread slices. Top with remaining slices and press together. Arrange in single layer in a shallow pan. Whisk half-and-half and next five ingredients. Pour over stuffed bread. Soak briefly on both sides. Fry slices in clarified butter until golden brown, turning once. Transfer to warm serving platter. Cover. Repeat with remaining stuffed French Toast.
To serve: Top the pan-fried French toast with the strawberry topping. Sprinkle with sifted confectioners’ sugar.