Challah French Toast

January 2, 2011

This recipe from Ina Garten proves that not all French Toast is created equal. This is the type of scrumptious breakfast treat that I thought could only be had at a restaurant; so, imagine my surprise when I discovered that I could make it at home. Though, one should wonder why that surprises me when I’ve gone so far as to make past from scratch, but I digress. This recipe creates a fabulous French Toast that crisps on the outside while remaining light and fluffy on the inside. Make is next weekend for your family, my boys love it.


Ingredients:

French Toast:

  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Half & Half or Milk
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 large loaf Challah or Brioche bread
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Vegetable Oil

To serve:

  • Pure maple syrup
  • Good raspberry preserves (optional)
  • Sifted confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250.
  2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it’s all cooked.
  4. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners’ sugar.

I was planning our “Breakfast for Dinner” menu, and knew that I would want something along with the Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles I was already planning to make. Jim that this was unnecessary, but I ignored him like I tend to do when planning menus. Shhh, don’t tell. I had saved this recipe from Chaos in the Kitchen and thought it would be the perfect choice, as it was a savory compliment to the waffles, and frittatas reheat well, so I could plan on having the leftovers for lunch in the coming week. When I told Jim about it, he all but turned up his nose, but knew that verbally expressing his opinion was useless, as I was still going to make it, despite his protests.

I love how easily this came together, and that you can make it ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. The only change I made to the original recipe was increasing the amount of eggs from 4 to 6. I found that when I added the originally called for amount of eggs, it just didn’t seem like enough, so I added more. It’s cooking, not rocket science, so, unless you’re baking, go with your gut, I’m glad I did.

When the night of “Breakfast for Dinner” finally rolled around, Jim, as always, tried everything I made, as he is finally starting to understand that in my mind his love for me is equated by his trying of my food. As I knew he would, he loved the waffles, and to the surprise of both of us, he very much enjoyed the frittata, and even went back for seconds. I guess he loves me after all.


Ingredients:

  • ½ lb Breakfast Sausage, cooked
  • 2 cups Broccoli Florets, cooked fresh or thawed frozen
  • ¼ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9 inch deep dish pie plate and preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Layer broccoli, sausage and cheese in pie plate.
  3. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whip together eggs, egg whites, and milk with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour egg mixture over ingredients in the pie plate.
  5. Place pie plate in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until completely set and browned on top.
  6. Cool slightly, slice into wedges and serve.
  7. Reheat in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds per slice.

 

Servings – 10

WW Points – 4 pts per slice

Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles

August 22, 2010

As many of you following along know, I try to keep my recipes relatively healthy, that being said, man cannot live on vegetables alone. Specifically, the man known as my husband cannot live without bacon, and when I mentioned to him that I had found a recipe for bacon waffles on Chef Mommy’s blog, to say he was interested would be an understatement. So, I planned a “Breakfast for Dinner” night and put these on the menu along with a Sausage and Broccoli Frittata, fresh fruit, and mimosas.

We absolutely loved these, and I’m not a big waffle person. I get it from my mom, but I am more of a savory breakfast person than a sweet. I think that’s why I like these, as they weren’t overly sweet, and give you a salty bite every once in awhile. I adjusted the recipe ever so slightly, and will be skipping the step of coating the bacon with brown sugar when we make these next time. Jim thought it made the bacon too sweet, and when mixed in with the waffles, it got a little lost, and I can’t say that I disagree.

I have heard rumors that there are people out there who don’t eat bacon, or any other meat for that matter, and I do want to note that this waffle recipe, even without the bacon, is absolutely delicious. Be sure to pass those boxed mixes by and mix this up next time you want a delicious breakfast, or dinner, treat.

One final note, this recipe made 8 waffles in my VillaWare Uno 7 ½” Belgian Waffle Maker, feel free to cut the recipe in half if you don’t need/want that many, but remember that they reheat perfectly in the toaster.


Ingredients:

  • 10 slices of Bacon
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups Buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Lay the bacon a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon is really crispy. Dry on paper towels and serve. Place them on a cutting board to cool before chopping. Once cool, chop the bacon into bite size bits and set aside.
  3. Set up your waffle iron on a level, clean surface and turn on to preheat.
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold. Once almost fully incorporated, add the bacon bites. Stir. Try not to over mix the batter or the waffles will become tough. It’s OK if a few lumps remain in the batter.
  5. Cook according to your waffle machine instructions.
  6. Serve with maple syrup and strawberries.

 

Servings – 8

WW Points – 12 pts per waffle

These are my answer to Panera’s Sausage and Potato Soufflés. While they are delicious, I knew I could recreate them at home for a lot less, and then also control what was, and was not, in them. These are a delicious brunch or weekend breakfast, as well as something to make on Sunday to enjoy on the go all week long. Reheat for 30 to 45 seconds in the microwave if enjoying as warm leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 potato
  • ½ lb Sausage, turkey or pork depending on preference
  • 6 Eggs, beaten
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup Cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 1 cup Spinach, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup Red Pepper, finely diced
  • 1 lb Package Puff Pastry, thawed according to package directions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Wash and cut potato into ½ inch cubes. Heat sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add potato into pan and brown for about 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Pour ½ cup water into pan, cover, and allow potatoes to finish cooking, about 5 minutes or until water is evaporated. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add sausage to pan to cook through. If using bulk sausage, break into bite sized pieces with a wooden spoon. If using links, cut into pieces once cooked through, and cool enough to handle. Set aside with potatoes.
  4. Wisk cream cheese and cheese into eggs. Don’t worry about the cream cheese blending in fully; you want to keep the little bits.
  5. Stir in milk, spinach, and red pepper into egg mixture. Add in potatoes and sausage, salt and pepper.
  6. Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Lay out a sheet of puff pastry and cut along folds, and then cut in half. You should have 6 rectangles. Press each piece into a muffin cup, pushing into bottom edges, and allowing corners to overhang. Repeat with second sheet.
  7. Fill cups with egg mixture being sure not to overfill. It works best to scoop in sausage and potato first, and then fill in to top with egg. Once all cups have been filled, fold excess pasty over each soufflé.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes. Allow to set and cool slightly for 5 minutes before taking out of muffin tin. They should pop out easily, but may need a little coaxing around the edges from any overflow. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but Jim loves cheesecake. It’s probably his favorite dessert, so when I saw these muffins on Homemade by Holman, I knew he’s be happy to see them on our weekend breakfast menu. They were very good, and gave all of the flavors they promised. I’ve updated the recipe below to reflect Homemade by Holman’s suggestions of additional vanilla in the muffin batter, adding cinnamon to the topping, , and cutting the amount of topping in half, as all were right on.



Ingredients:

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Streusel Topping:

  • ½ cup Flour
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • ¾ tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon

Muffins:

  • 1 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter until light and smooth – about two minutes. Add sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Set aside.

Streusel Topping:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add butter pieces and toss to coat. Using a pastry blender or two forks, mix in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 16 muffin cups with baking spray or butter and lightly flour.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream shortening and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Alternately add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour, beating on low speed until just incorporated after each addition. Use a scoop to transfer batter to prepared muffin tins, filling each about 1/2 full. Bake 10 minutes and remove pans from oven.
  3. Add a spoonful of cream cheese filling to each muffin, pressing lightly with the back of the spoon. Top with a spoonful of streusel topping, filling each muffin cup to the top. Bake an additional 14 minutes and remove. Cool about 15 minutes and use a knife to loosen slightly and continue cooling. Cool completely or serve slightly warm after about 30 minutes.

We love having a big traditional breakfast on the weekends, well, that or some yummy fresh baked goods, but usually it’s a savory egg based breakfast. I was planning on doing a lot of cooking over the weekend, and thought a make-ahead “big breakfast” would be a fun change. As always, I paged through my books and scrolled through my GR to see what those had to offer. Luckily for me, I found this recipe on Our Best Bites. Eggs, sausage, and chilies? Seemed like something that would be a hit with everyone, and less clean-up than usual for me.

I was impressed with this, as it’s not very often I don’t see something in a recipe that I want to tweak or adjust. I thought this was good as is. Saying that, I do have to let you know that I did, unintentionally, change it slightly. The original recipe calls for you to butter the bread before placing it, buttered side down, in the casserole dish. I forgot this part, but everything turned out, and came out of the casserole dish, perfectly, so I omitted the butter from the recipe below. I used some of the freshly baked French Bread I had made for our dinner, but the original recipe boasts using “cheap white bread”, so feel free to use up whatever you have in the house.

This recipe also works in an 8×8 version as well. Simply cut the ingredients in ½ and bake for 45 minutes. Though, feel free to plan for leftovers, as they reheat well in the microwave for a quick weekday breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Slices Bread
  • 4 cups Cheese, freshly grated (Colby is standard, but a mix of cheddar and pepperjack would work for an extra kick)
  • 12 oz. Pork Sausage, browned and drained
  • 8 oz. Canned Diced Green Chilies
  • 6 Eggs (You can use 3 egg whites and 3 whole eggs)
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dry Mustard

Directions:

  1. Place bread into a 9×13 casserole dish to cover the entire bottom without any gaps.
  2. Sprinkled cheese evenly over bread. Spread the browned sausage over cheese, and top with the green chiles.
  3. Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add milk and seasonings, and whisk well to combine.
  4. Slowly stir the egg mixture while you pour it evenly on top of the assembled casserole. You’ll want to keep stirring or else the spices will all gather in one spot and drop onto one single piece of casserole.
  5. Cover well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. In the morning preheat your oven to 350⁰. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the center is set and the outside edges are golden brown. It will be slightly puffed.
  7. It’s important to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it or it will just fall apart. It will settle as it cools, which is normal. Serve warm.
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