Monday, March 21, 2011

Top Ten Breafast Trends

The Food Channel named the Top Ten Breakfast Trends in 2011 and I happen to agree with most of them.

Besides the fact that breakfast is my favorite meal, I am always searching for a new recipe I can also enjoy at dinner. I am one of those people who appreciates breakfast any time of the day and sometimes have a real taste for something as simple as bacon and eggs.

Bon Appetit!

1.Oatmeal in Overdrive—oatmeal is becoming a real mainstream staple.

I’ve got to admit that I HATE OATMEAL but I LOVE this recipe. Why is it a winner? It has the texture of bread pudding which is my favorite dessert! Honestly, it tastes just like it bread pudding and nothing like oatmeal. In fact, I had my choice of a lot of things to snack on today and I chose this and threw a few mixed nuts on top.

This recipe comes from my sister Krissy and it has become one of my favorites.

I halved the recipe and then baked it in a little loaf pan and it came out perfect after 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Baked Oatmeal

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in dried cranberries. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

2. Chocolate for Breakfast—with its healthful benefits, chocolate is being promoted as a breakfast product.

Me – I could eat chocolate morning, noon and night so this was no new revelation.

This is a favorite of mine – just like a grilled cheese sandwich except with chocolate instead of the cheese. I happen to prefer it with the strawberries.

Chocolate Breakfast Sandwich

Italian baguette
Unsalted butter, softened
Thin chocolate squares
Sliced banana or strawberries or blackberries

Heat a griddle or a small skillet over medium heat.

Slice the bread into 1/4-inch thick slices. Take 2 slices and butter 1 side of each slice. Put the bread, buttered side down, onto the griddle. Place a square of chocolate on top of 1 slice and top it with some sliced fruit. Cover with the other slice of bread, buttered side up, and grill on both sides until the chocolate is melted.

Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

3. Fast Foods Battle Over Breakfast—the breakfast menu has become the key battleground in the quick service restaurant category

When you find a healthy one that’s really good, let me know. I don’t think that any of the fast food chains have it right yet so I’m sticking with my mainstay – yogurt, blueberries and my homemade granola.

4. Haute Coffee Comes Home—to save money, caffeine-seekers are opting to brew their own coffee at home

What? I don’t know anyone that brews gourmet coffee at home except on the weekends. Starbucks will always have regulars because people just don’t have time to sit around in the morning and drink coffee.

5. Ethnic Invasion—global influences start to creep into the morning meal.

I’ll eat anything at any time if I am hungry for it. Like the other day when I had Chicken Gumbo and cornbread for breakfast.

One of my favorite ethnic breakfast recipes happens to be Huevos Rancheros. This recipe is not as hot as the stuff I use to eat in Guadalajara so make sure you have a bottle of hot sauce at the table if you’re missing it.

The recipe is so simple and great for feeding a multitude of people. You can make basted or scrambled eggs. I always change it up by putting different ingredients on the top.

Huevos Rancheros

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas (homemade if you are feeling ambitious)
3 tablespoons canola oil
10 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Sauce Rancheros (see recipe below)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Diced avocado, sour cream, green onions, and chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush tortillas on both sides with 2 tablespoons canola oil; lay on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp and brown around edges, 7 to 10 minutes.

Cook eggs. Place tortillas on plates; top with eggs, sauce rancheros, and Monterey Jack. Garnish with avocado, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

Sauce Rancheros

1 can whole tomatoes with juice
1 chopped jalapeno chile, (seeds and ribs removed for less heat)
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon canola oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a blender, puree tomatoes with juice, jalapeno, onion, and garlic.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add puree; cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Beverage Choice Choke—breakfast drink menus keep expanding beyond plain coffee and O.J.

One of my favorite places in the world is the Café La Parroquia on the Malecon at Valentin Gomez Farias 34 in Veracruz, Mexico.

The Café con Leche made a believer out of me that I actually do love coffee…with lots of hot, steamed milk.

With the sound of the Marimba bands in the background, Veracruz’s Café con Leche has a rhythm all its own.

Cafe con Leche

Warm 1 cup of cold press coffee on stove top till hot but do not boil. Place in cup.

Put 1 cup of milk (preferably whole milk) on stove top and stir constantly until warm and almost boiling. (If you have a cappuccino maker or steam wand, use that instead).

Mix equal parts coffee and milk together and serve immediately. Add sugar if desired.

I sometimes add a little piece of dark chocolate for a treat.

7. Hot Pizza in the A.M.—pizza is predicted to be one of the hottest menu items for breakfast.

I loved this Potato and Egg pizza I had at Davanti Enoteco in Little Italy. I think about eating pizza for breakfast all the time now.

Here is a basic recipe that you can build on and I really liked this with fresh, mixed herbs, ricotta and eggs.

Don’t forget to make your own crust - it is totally worth it.

Breakfast Pizza

Thin homemade pizza crust
White pizza sauce (see recipe below)
4-ounces of whole milk ricotta
Several handfuls of herbs (fresh herbs – makes all the difference between a good pizza and a GREAT one!)
1-2-3 eggs per pizza depending on the size and appetite.
Salt and pepper
Any other toppings you would like

Make the dough and separate into individual balls. Mist with spray oil, cover, and leave overnight. If you're going to cook it the next morning there is no need to refrigerate.

Heat the oven as high as it will go - hopefully at least 500°. Shake out each ball of dough and lay it on a sheet of parchment. Top with everything except the eggs. Put in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until it just begins to brown.

Crack the eggs into a cup and slip them onto the pizza. Shake on a little salt and pepper and put back into the oven for another 5 minutes or until the yolk is just set and golden.

White Parsley Pizza Sauce
makes 3/4 cup, enough for 3 10" pizzas

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Whisk the ricotta and cream together until blended. Fry the minced garlic in a little olive oil until golden, then add the parsley and cook just until wilted and soft. Add to ricotta and season with salt and pepper.

8. Breakfast Ingredients All Day Long—breakfast ingredients work their way into other parts of the daily menu

Sometimes don’t you just crave bacon and eggs for dinner? I can eat them anytime.

Here is a celebrated recipe if you want breakfast for dinner courtesy of Pastis restaurant in New York City. It was published in Martha Stewart and I loved the range of textures in this dish. It was delicious!

Frisee Salad with Poached Egg
Serves 4

4 heads frisee, inner white part only, washed well and spun dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-ounce slab of bacon, cut into 1/2-by-1-inch pieces
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 large eggs

Place frisee in a large bowl. Set aside. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside in a small bowl. Add shallots to skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar. Raise heat, and simmer for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining tablespoon oil, and swirl to combine. Set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Break one egg at a time into water. Poach for about two minutes for a runny yolk or longer if desired.

While the eggs are poaching, pour warm dressing over frisee. Sprinkle with parsley and reserved bacon. Toss to combine. Divide frisee evenly among 4 plates. With a slotted spoon, one at a time, remove eggs from water. Pat dry on a clean kitchen towel. Top each plate of frisee with an egg. Serve immediately.

9. The Breakfast Two-Step—a pattern of people fueling up with caffeine and protein in a two-stage process

Here is the Eggs Beneficial Breakfast Sandwich which was published in Men’s Health and contains 5 of the Power Foods you should eat every day.

Eggs Beneficial Breakfast Sandwich

1 large whole egg
3 large egg whites
1 tsp ground flaxseed
2 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
1 slice Canadian bacon
1 tomato, sliced, or 1 green bell pepper, sliced

Scramble the whole egg and egg whites in a bowl.

Add the flaxseed to the mixture.

Fry it in a nonstick skillet treated with vegetable-oil spray and dump it onto the toast.

Add the bacon and tomato, pepper, or other vegetables of your choice.

Makes 1 serving.

Also recommended to wash it all down with orange juice, and make it the high-pulp, high fiber kind.

10. Eggs Crack the Top Ten—eggs to hatch a big comeback this year

…and I say – about time!

Bon Appetit!