As those of you who follow our blog know, we alternate savory and sweet main dishes when serving our guests their four-course breakfasts at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. This month’s recipe is a great, hearty dish that would make a fabulous Christmas morning treat, or even for a New Year’s Day brunch. This savory French Toast is a twist on bacon and eggs with a touch of a unique French Toast added.
- 8 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, about 4 ounces
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (8-12 slices)
- 8 3/4-inch-thick slices country white bread
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1-2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Put a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, in the oven and preheat to 250°. Whisk 4 eggs, the milk, 1/4 cup cheese, the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a baking dish; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, flipping, until crisp, 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, reserve the drippings in the skillet.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bread to the egg mixture and let soak, turning once, about 1 minute. Add 4 of the bread slices to the skillet and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip again and cook until the cheese melts, about 1 more minute. Transfer to the baking sheet to keep warm and repeat with the remaining bread and cheese.
- Heat the skillet with the pancetta drippings over medium heat. Crack the remaining eggs into the skillet and cook until the whites are set, about 3 minutes.
- Divide the French toast among the plates and top with the fried eggs. Toss the arugula in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add to the plates. Plate the pancetta. Drizzle eggs with the balsamic vinegar.
A yummy, savory breakfast that hits all of the right notes–crunchy, salty, gooey and just plain yummy! Do you want to impress your Thanksgiving house guests or a special someone on New Year’s morning or Valentine’s Day with a new dish? What about on Easter morning when you have neighbors and friends over for brunch? Try our loaded potato-Parmesan Waffles with Eggs and you will be the star of the gathering.
- 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large shallot, grated
- 4 fried eggs
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips and cooked
- chopped parsley
- Peel and grate potatoes; squeeze dry in a clean dish towel.
- In a bowl, mix potatoes with cheese, butter and shallot; season with salt and pepper.
- Coat waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using a quarter of the potato mixture for each waffle, cook over high until golden and crispy, about 6-8 minutes.
- Top with an egg, bacon and parsley. Season to taste.
- I used a large box grater for grating the potatoes, but you could use frozen hash brown potatoes.
- The shallot was grated using a fine microplane.
- We always cook our bacon in the oven using a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet. This allows it to cook through, stay flat and the fat drips onto the pan. Spray the wire rack with Pam or a similar product. We put a paper towel in the bottom of the cookie sheet to absorb most of the bacon fat.
- We placed the egg into a cookie cutter to make a fried egg shaped like a star for a fun presentation.
Asian Pear Salad. Have you heard of Asian Pears? Have you tried an Asian Pear? As you know by now The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast serves a fruit course each morning and when serving a savory entrée we sometimes serve a salad. This month’s recipe is just one of those salads. Pictured above is the Asian Pear Salad served with Canadian bacon and our wamlet (an omelet made in our Belgium waffle maker.
But first, let me tell you about the Asian Pear. It is also known as the “apple pear” as it is crunchy, juicy and round like an apple, but it has an unmistakable pear flavor. Even when ripe they’re crunchy so hold up well in a salad or when baking. Originally from East Asia, they are now grown in California, Oregon, and Washington in the United States.
When purchasing an Asian Pear choose one that is the most fragrant and with little to no brown spots. When ripe they are hard and do not soften (unlike a traditional pear.) They are ready to eat when purchased. You can store them for up to a week at room temperature or up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Now let’s get cooking!
- 3/4 cups pecan halves, cut into thirds lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small head radicchio, cored, leaves separated and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 3 oz. frisée, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 1 medium Asian Pear, quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise ( about 1 cup)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees.
Put the pecans on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and pale golden on the cut sides, 6-8 minutes. Add the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss with 2 heatproof spatulas until the butter is melted and absorbed by the nuts. Set the nuts aside (they can be added to the salad warm or at room temperature.)
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oils until well combined.
Combine the radicchio, frisée and pear in a large bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Add the nuts, toss and serve.
It’s September again and you know what that means in Lynchburg and Central Virginia? Apples are found in abundance at farm stands, in the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg and in the local grocery stores. It’s one of the times of year we can buy local fruits in our grocery stores. This months recipe is one we serve as a fruit dish during September and October at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast. I have also made this as a dessert for a family dinner or when having friends over for just coffee and dessert. Anyway, you serve it, it is delicious!
- 1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh or Empire apples
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
- For the filling, peel, core and cut the apples into 8 wedges, which are then cut into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the crostata dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to partially enclose the dough and apples, pleating it to make a circle.
- Bake the crostata for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- You can use a blender to make the crumb topping, just watch carefully not to pulse it too finely.
- We serve this with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream when serving as a dessert.
The breakfast bake is an easy recipe that involves only one pan (baking sheet) for a complete breakfast. This makes clean up real easy. Follow the directions below. Everything is cooked in the oven, including the egg! It makes the ideal breakfast when you have a bunch of people over for breakfast. The egg holds everything together. Enjoy the breakfast bake. Above we used diced potatoes. You could use hashbrown potatoes instead.
- 8 slices of thick cut bacon
- 2 medium red potatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 6 eggs
- 18 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 475°.
- Place diced potatoes, olive oil and garlic in a plastic bag. Shake until fully coated. Pour potatoes onto one side of a large rimmed baking sheet (they should be bunched together on about 1/4 of the pan.)
- Fill the other side of the same baking sheet with bacon. Bake in oven 10-12 minutes until bacon is fully cooked.
- Place bacon and potatoes onto a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Discard grease from baking sheet, but do not wipe clean. There should be a thin layer of grease remaining.
- Line the same baking sheet with the asparagus and tomatoes. Top gently with eggs and bake for 6-7 minutes or just until the whites are set.
- Spread the potatoes and bacon back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- Once out of the oven sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper.
Serve and enjoy. Serves 6.
A smoothie is a great way to get some needed nutrients at breakfast, lunch or as a snack during the day. At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we oftentimes serve a “smoothie shot” as our first course when serving a sweet breakfast entreé. Guests love them and it’s a nice way to begin your breakfast.
- 1 cup chopped ripe strawberries (about 5 large)
- 1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
- 1 cup chopped peach
- 1 cup raspberry sorbet
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Place the strawberries, watermelon, peach, sorbet and orange juice in a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add more orange juice if you like it a little less thick. Serve immediately in tall glasses with straws.
Makes 2 servings.
**we serve our smoothies in shot glasses, so we dilute the mixture a bit to make it easier to get out of a small glass.
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