Spicy Breakfast Stew.

from paleomg, anything we can put a fried egg on top of is a popular choice around these parts. this was pretty easy and pretty tasty; had enough for probably 4 servings. i would consider doubling it to have enough for a week…

4 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped
2 links chorizo, chopped (~8 oz, and loose instead of link is fine here)
1 onion, diced
1 can diced tomato
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp chili powder

heat oil, saute garlic and onions until translucent. add the chorizo and cook it. Then add diced tomato, paste, stock, and chili powder. Bring a to a simmer, then reduce heat to low until you’re ready to eat. Add the bacon just before serving; serve topped with a delicious pair of fried eggs (or poached if you’re feeling fancy).

this was very tasty, and we’ll have it again, I’m sure.

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

About a month ago we made these rolls – and by we, I mean David. They were delicious. I want to make them again during the week of Thanksgiving. About half way through the recipe, there is a place to stop and start again the next day. These are really good, but they take a lot of time…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 16 to 18 buns

Dough
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, to be divided
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk, warmed (but not over 116 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from 1 .25-ounce or 7 gram envelope yeast)
3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/4 cup (packed) (50 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cups (160 grams) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1 large egg
Oil for coating rising bowl

Filling
3/4 cup (packed, 145 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (5 grams) ground cinnamon

Glaze
4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk or buttermilk
2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
Few drops vanilla extract (optional)

Make your dough: Melt your butter, and hey, if you’re melting it in a little saucepan, you might as well brown it for extra flavor. Once the butter has melted, keep cooking it over medium heat for a few additional minutes. It will become hissy and sizzle a lot, then take on a nutty flavor as golden bits form at the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Combine your warmed milk and yeast in a small bowl and set aside. After five to seven minutes, it should be a bit foamy. If it’s not, you might have some bad yeast and should start again with a newer packet.

In the bottom of the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, sugars, salt and spices. Add just 1/4 cup (or two-thirds of; leave the rest for assembly) of your melted/browned butter and stir to combine. Add yeast-milk mixture, pumpkin and egg and mix combined. Switch mixer to a dough hook and run it for 5 minutes on low.

Scrape mixture into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 1 hour in a draft-free place; it should just about double.

While it is rising, line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans (8-inch round should work too, as does an 8-inch square) with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan and the paper.

Assemble buns: Scoop dough onto a very well floured surface and flour the top of it well. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to an approximately 16×11-inch rectangle. Brush reserved melted/browned butter over dough. Stir together remaining filling ingredients and sprinkle mixture evenly over dough. Starting on a longer side, roll the dough into a tight spiral. It’s going to make a mess because the dough is crazy soft and some stuff spills off the ends; don’t sweat it. It will all be delicious in the end.

Here’s how to cut cinnamon rolls without squishing their pretty spirals: With a sharp serrated knife, using absolutely no pressure whatsoever (only the weight of the blade should land on the dough) gently saw your log with a back-forth motion into approximately 1-inch sections. When a soft dough like this is rolled, it tends to grow longer, which means that you’ll have the option to either make more buns (say, 18 instead of 16) or just cut them a little larger (in generous inches).

Divide buns between two prepared pans. You can sprinkle any sugar that fell off onto the counter over them. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes.

If you’re doing this ahead of time, you can now put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, leave them out for an hour to warm up and finish rising.

15 minutes before you’re ready to bake them, heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, you can make the glaze. Beat your cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle in milk until you get the consistency you’re looking for, either thick enough to ice or thin enough to drizzle.

Finish your buns: Remove the plastic and bake buns for 25 minutes, until puffed and golden and the aroma brings all the boys to your yard is like a snickerdoodle. Transfer pans to wire cooling racks and drizzle/schmear with cream cheese glaze, then have at them.

Coffee Almond Crunch Cake

David and I have recently become a bit obsessed with Gordon Ramsay. There are episodes of Kitchen Nightmares (U.K) on Netflix and we have been watching some almost everyday. After watching the show so much, we decided that we needed to check out a cookbook and see if Gordon knows what he is talking about. And of course, we tried dessert first.

Coffee Almond Crunch Cake

Cake:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten (we used large eggs)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 heaped cup ground almonds (we used almond meal from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup cooled espresso or strong black coffee (we used espresso)
2/3 cup self-rising flour*
1/2 tsp. baking powder
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Crunch Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F). Butter the bottom and sides of a deep 8-inch diameter cake pan with a removable bottom. For the crunch topping, mix the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the almond extract and mix well. Fold in the ground almonds, followed by half the espresso. Sift in the flour and baking powder together and fold this through the mixture. Finally, fold in the remaining espresso.

Spread the batter in the cake pan and level with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the crunch topping evenly over the top, then continue baking until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 20-30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before unmolding onto a wire rack. When completely cooled, dust with confectioners’ sugar, then cut into slices to serve.

*Self-rising flour includes some additional baking powder and salt. We didn’t have any on hand, so we just made our own. To one cup of flour add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. baking powder. Keep in mind that the recipe calls for only 2/3 cup of self-rising flour.

David: It was delicious. It was not too sweet, but you could definitely taste the almond and the espresso. Instant winner.
Carla: It was great. It would be good as a dessert or for breakfast. Easy to put together, which is always a plus. I would definitely make this recipe again.

Granola (October 13, 2010)

I made this granola the other day so that I could have an unprocessed cold breakfast cereal. It isn’t as “local” as the recipe indicates that it could be, but I will indicate the modifications that I made.

1/2 cup Melted pastured Butter (such as Straus) or melted Coconut Oil or a combination (I used the butter I already had. It was probably  Kroger butter, but it might have been Land O Lakes)
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated Nutmeg
Zest of 1 Orange (left this out)
4 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Organic Coconut Flakes (I left this out)
1 cup Coarsely chopped Walnuts
1 cup Coarsely ground or chopped Almonds
1/3 cup Raw, local Honey (I used honey I already had. I am pretty sure it wasn’t raw.)
1 cup Unsweetened dried Cherries, Raisins, chopped dried Apricots or a combination (I used raisin, because they were the only dried fruit that I had that did not have processing.)

Mix everything except the honey and dried fruit thoroughly together in a large bowl.  Spread it in a thin layer on a large baking sheet, and bake at 350° F until evenly browned, 20-25 minutes.

You’ll want to stir it once or twice, and keep a close eye on those coconut flakes.  Remove from the oven, and drizzle the honey over all while it is still warm.  Stir to evenly coat the ingredients.

When the granola is cool, place back in the large bowl, and stir in the dried fruit.  Pack into a couple of Mason jars, lids on tight, and keep in the fridge or freezer to protect those essential fatty acids until serving time.

Note: You can omit the oats and use 3 cups of large coconut flakes if you want to make a paleo-friendly, lower-carb version.  Or try quinoa flakes instead for a gluten-free start to your day.  Or skip the sweetener, fat and baking altogether to make muesli, best prepared by soaking in yogurt overnight before serving.

I thought it was a good granola. I would make it again, for sure. I kind of hate that it uses so much butter, but I am not sure that I could get away with using something else as a fat that would taste as good and not be processed to some extent. Still a delicious and filling way to start the day. A

Baked Eggs and Potatoes (November 22, 2009)

A great weekend breakfast is a continually search for David and me. Today we found that we had potatoes, eggs, and bacon and wanted to make a good breakfast. I searched around a bit online and found this on the Food Network.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 large eggs
1 cup extra-sharp farmhouse cheddar, shredded (about 4 ounces) (we used romano cheese)

We also used 6 strips of turkey bacon.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until tender and brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper, and remove from the heat.

Push the potatoes aside to make 4 evenly spaced shallow nests and break 2 eggs into each. Bake until the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and continue baking until it just melts, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately.

We also added some cooked bacon to the potatoes before we added the eggs. We halved this recipe, partly because of the number of ingredients we had on hand.

Carla: This was a good breakfast. It might have cooked a bit too long, but it still turned out okay. I should have added a bit more salt and pepper to the eggs, but the recipe was good. A
David: I thought it was great. I feel like we could use more ingredients and different ingredients. I think we could have used more potatoes. I would give it an A.

Skillet Scones (November 7, 2009)

via martha stewart; the breakfast recipes in there all look insanely good.

basically, we bought some pumpkin butter a week or so back, and i don’t want it to go to waste. so i made skillet scones, because they seemed easiest. here we go:

2 cups all purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1.75 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp instant dry milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten

1) combine the first 6 in a bowl; work the pieces of butter in. and the water and egg and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

2) on lightly floured surface, pat dough into an 8-inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

3) heat cast-iron skillet over medium low heat, dust with flour. arrange wedges in skillet and cook, uncovered, until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.

mine were pretty well-done, as our stove tends to be very hot no matter what we do. but the recipe worked well, and the scones were cooked through and quite tasty, esp. with the pumpkin butter. if we had a bigger skillet, i would’ve liked to make more, since these went pretty quick.

mm.

Crunchy Granola (January 28, 2009)

Another Mark Bittman recipe:

Into this base of rolled oats you can stir just about any dry ingredient imaginable: other grains, like flakes of rye or wheat; dried fruit; spices, from cinnamon to vanilla to nutmeg to cardamom; orange zest, crystallized ginger, peanut butter, even chocolate chips. And of course, any nut or seed you can think of: I favor a combination of cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pecans.

  • 6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
  • 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit, optiona

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, salt and sweetener. Place on a sheet pan and put in oven. Bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.

2. Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

Carla: I tried this as soon as it was done, and I have to admit that I was not overwhelmed by the flavor. It was okayy. As the days have passed since I tried this, however, it has gotten better and I am really starting to like it. I think that if I have a better maple syrup (instead of store brand) that it might be better. I would also try unsalted nuts. B+

David: It’s okay. Maybe a little oat heavy. I might like more nuts (peanuts). Overall, I still think it’s positive. A strong B+.