I don’t know about you, but breakfast (especially on the weekends) is my favorite meal of the day. So we’re doing breakfast in this week’s podcast.
We’ll be talking to an egg farmer and a coffee roaster, followed by two fantastic recipes…one that combines eggs and hash browns with peppers and artichokes, and another for a piping hot cereal that will warm you all the way down to your toes.
But first thing’s first…
Your Morning Cup of Coffee
If you just can’t start your day without a cup of coffee, you’re not alone…In 2000, the National Coffee Association found that 54% of Americans drink coffee everyday. And those people drink an average of 3 cups per day!
We talked with a local coffee-roaster to help decode fair-trade vs. organic and other common questions people have about coffee and also collected some interesting facts about caffeine (and why many of us can’t seem to live without it). Read more »
A Great Way To Start The Day
For most folks, starting the day isn’t easy, especially days when the weather isn’t cooperating. Breaking the prior evening’s fast should be comforting and soothing – in a word – wholesome.
A good way to start this is, of course, to gather your ingredients from nearby: eggs from a friend down the road, bacon smoked and peppered locally, fresh ham and wild leeks for omelets. It brings a whole new meaning to “Green Eggs and Ham!”
You don’t need a huge space to grow a breakfast garden, and it’ll give you immense pleasure. Fill it with fresh chives, mint, dill and other herbs that make simple scrambled eggs into something amazing.
Keep It Simple!
It is possible to be “over-creative” in the morning, so I usually shy away from things that might be challenging to a tender stomach in the early hours of the day. Keep it simple with tried and true combinations, but with a twist.
The ingredients may not change much, but the way you put them together surely can. Hot cereals can get fun toppings, French toast can be turned into a casserole, eggs can be put on pizza. Your imagination is your only limitation.
A big part of doing a good breakfast or brunch in a restaurant is planning. Chefs love brunch food, but hate doing brunch. Saturday and Sunday mornings always come too soon after busy Friday and Saturday night dinner service!
A smart chef, or home cook for that matter, can get everything done in advance so breakfast comes to the table easily. The more you can have ready ahead of time, the more fun you can have preparing. I like to crack eggs for omelets, squeeze juices, make batters and par-cook meats so I have a minimum of motion in the morning.
Whether breakfast is for 2 or 10 or 200, with the proper planning this meal can be a wonderful way to set the tone for the rest of the day.
Woodstone Oven Eggs with Local Sausage and Parmesan
This can be done in one large baking dish or six individual ones, depending on whether it is a formal or a family affair.
- 1 pound local Italian-style sausage (optional)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon each: rosemary and thyme, chopped
- 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- ½ yellow pepper, roughly chopped
- ½ red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 can artichoke bottoms, diced
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 4 red skin potatoes, quartered and cooked just tender
- 4 yukon gold potatoes, quartered and cooked just tender
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 12 farm-fresh eggs
- ½ cup cheese of choice, grated (a mixture of parmesan and gruyère is nice)
- Brown the sausage. Drain off extra fat. Add the garlic, herbs, and chili flakes. Add the peppers, artichokes and tomato juice and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sausage reaches the desired consistency.
- Add potatoes and heat through. Season to taste.
- Divide ragout into baking dish(es) in equal amounts. Top with grated cheese and place potatoes cut in half around the edges.
- Top with two fresh cracked eggs and finish in oven until egg whites are firm yet the yolks are slightly runny.
- Garnish with roughly chopped Italian parsley.
Cream of Wheat with Local Honey, Peaches, and Biscotti
Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU
- 2 cups milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sweet seasons spice blend (see below)
- 1/3 cup cream of wheat
- 2 tablespoons local honey
- ¼ cup raisins, white
- 4 peaches, sliced
- 1 almond biscotti, crumbled
- optional: a touch of cream and some toasted almonds or fresh berries
- Pour milk into heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add salt and spice blend and slowly pour in the Cream of Wheat, whisking all the time to prevent lumping, and add the raisins.
- Bring back to a boil, remove from heat, and cover.
- Let stand for a few minutes and serve in warm bowls topped with the sliced peaches.
- Pass around a bowl of crumbled biscotti and a small pitcher of cream
Sweet Seasons Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 stick cinnamon (1/2″)
- 1/2 teaspoon annatto seed
- 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate powder
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 pieces star anise
- 2 pieces cloves
- 1 piece mace
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
- 2 bay leaves
Grind fine in a spice blender. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Next week, in honor of Super Bowl Sunday, we’re helping you plan the perfect green Super Bowl party with a delicious chili recipe and a vegetarian garden burger.
We’ll also talk with an expert about local and organic beers to pair with your party foods and Earth Eats’ News Correspondent Megan Meyer takes a look at greenwashing in Super Bowl commercials.
Until next week, give these tasty breakfast recipes a try and let us know what you think. Leave a comment or drop us an e-mail: eartheats @ gmail.com