Winter and early spring months do not provide many fresh fruits or vegetables that are made into yummy breakfast dishes. But who doesn’t like a warm piece of quiche on a cold morning filled with delicious bacon, melty cheese and good for you spinach? We serve this dish as a spinach quiche or as a frittata (without the pie crust–which makes it ideal for our gluten-free guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.) And we have served this dish as a lunch or dinner entré along side a fresh fruit or green salad. Check out the hints below to see how this dish can be a very flexible alternative to those picky eaters in your family by adding or deleting ingredients.
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed tightly
- 1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch glass pie plate
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender.
- Layer the spinach, bacon and cheese into the bottom of the pie crust.
- Pour the egg mixture on top of the spinach mixture.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until the egg mixture is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cut into 8 wedges and enjoy!
- We have made this into a frittata. Just eliminate the pie crust. It takes less time to cook as a frittata, watch it carefully.
- We have added artichokes, sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, Parmesan cheese or sausage bits to the egg mixture, either in addition to the ingredients listed above or in place of.
- Making a spinach quiche or frittata gives you the opportunity to go through your refrigerator and get rid of some of those vegetables before you have to throw them out.
- Here is the BEST TIP. When we make this as a frittata, we make them in silicone muffin cups. They are super easy to remove and if you have someone who can’t eat cheese you can leave it out of their fritatta. Likewise if you have a vegetarian leave out he meat in their breakfast. It is an easy answer when you are dealing with multiple dietary restrictions.
February is halfway over, Valentine’s Day is in 2 days, so we’re asking, why not prepare this delicious, decadent dessert for your sweetie? It’s got chocolate and caramel, so it can’t be all bad. Read the recipe carefully, don’t let the ingredients and many steps scare you. They really aren’t that hard to make. You will come out smelling like a rose!
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), melted, slightly cooled
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream, divided
Popovers and Assembly
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup sugar
Chocolate Mousse: Place chocolate and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Cook egg yolks, sugar and 1/2 cup cream in medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Pour over chocolate mixture and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool. Do ahead: mousse can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Popovers and Assembly: Preheat oven to 425 degreesº. Lightly butter 10 cups of standard 12-cup muffin tin or two 6-cup popover pans. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Bring cream, milk, salt and pepper to a simmer in a medium saucepan; whisking constantly, gradually add to eggs. Whisk in flour, then cheese (no lumps should remain).
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, fill remaining cups halfway with water, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until popovers are puffed, golden brown and crusty, 20-25 minutes longer. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
Just before serving, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring sugar and 3 Tbsp. water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, brushing down sides with a damp brush and swirling pan occasionally until mixture turns deep amber. Set the bottom of saucepan in ice water to stop the cooking process and firm caramel slightly (this will make it easier to work with when dipping popovers).
Working quickly and with 1 popover at a time, dip bottoms into caramel and set, caramel side down, on prepared baking sheet; let cool. (If caramel becomes too hard while dipping, reheat over medium-low heat to a workable consistency).
Once the caramel has set, mix mousse with a rubber spatula to loosen. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4″ pastry tip. Working 1 at a time, poke holes in tops of popovers with pastry tip and fill popovers with mousse.
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.
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