Category Archives: 6. Breakfast–Overnighters

Asparagus and Prosciutto Strata (an overnight casserole dish)

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Asparagus Prociutto Stratta

I used black forest ham in this picture and it reacted a bit like bacon so it’s a bit crispy and very browned.  However, it was delicious, much more economical than prosciutto and still very tasty—always trying to be economical here in my kitchen. This dish was made in an aluminum pan for a friend who had just injured herself in a down hill ski accident.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Strata (an overnight casserole dish)

Serves 8

It’s always such a great pleasure to host a breakfast for a group of people and have them enjoy your cooking efforts with big smiles on their faces.  That’s part of what was so rewarding in having been an inn keeper at my B&B and now that I have the privilege of writing articles for our wonderful local Weekly Sun, they allow me to play inn keeper every now and then.  That’s what just recently happened at our January get together and this is one of the items which I prepared.  Of course I want to share this with my readers as well.

Here though, before you get to the recipe, are a few little known facts about the asparagus that might be of interest to you.  In France, Louis XIV had a special greenhouses built for growing it.  The finest texture and the strongest yet most delicate taste which is in the asparagus tips, were called, once again in France, “Les points d’amour (love tips)”. Leave it to the French to make a love connection to the asparagus tips.  They were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour.  Asparagus was pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 B.C.  Romans would even freeze this healthy vegetable high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus.  Emperor Augustus reserved the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. As well, asparagus is often grown in conjunction with tomatoes because: the tomato plant repels the asparagus beetle while the asparagus repels some harmful root nematodes that affect the tomato plants. So here’s a salute to that “Point D’Amour”.

Ingredients:

  1. One Lb. asparagus, tough stem ends snapped off and the remainder cut in 2 inch pieces.
  2. 1 loaf 3/4 lb. crusty artisan style bread, cut into 1 inch pieces.  I use a French bread loaf
  3. 3 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto cut into 1/2 –inch thick strips
  4. 1 ¼ C. shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  5. 1/2 C. chopped chives
  6. 1 Tblsp. grated lemon peel
  7. 6 eggs
  8. 3 ½ C. milk
  9. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  10. 1/2 Tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. In a medium pan bring about 2 quarts water to a boil; add asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes-till they are bright green and barely tender. Immerse them in cold water to stop them from cooking more.
  2. In a lightly oiled or sprayed 9 X 13 Pyrex or other oven proof dish spread half of the bread cubes.
  3. There will be 4 layers. Top the first layer of bread cubes with 1/2 of the following ingredients:
    1. Prosciutto or some sort of thin sliced ham–smoked or not
    2. Asparagus
    3. Chives
    4. Shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
  4. Now place the other half of the bread crumbs on top and layer again as above in #3.
  5. In a blender blend the eggs, milk, S&P and lemon peel and pour over the layered ingredients.
  6. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 and bake until center of strata is set and the top is lightly browned (40-50 minutes).
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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Summer Vegetable Strata

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Summer Vegetable Strata

4 servings

Summer is still here and so are the very fresh veggies in the markets and the Farmers Markets. So, here is a pretty healthy and dietetic dish made with egg beaters, skim milk, and low-fat mozzarella. It’s another easy one for the cook because it can be an overnight casserole.

Ingredients:

No-Stick cooking spray

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small zucchini, sliced

2 C. Italian bread cubes, (1 inch)

1/3 C. shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

1 C. (8 oz.) Egg Beaters

3/4 C. Skim Milk

1/4 Tsp. salt

1/4 Tsp. ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spray an 8 X 8-inch baking dish; set aside
  3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat.
  4. Add onions, zucchini and bell peppers; book about 6 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.  Add bread cubes; mix lightly.
  5. Spoon into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Beat Egg Beaters, milk, salt and pepper in a blender; pour over the bread mixture. Cover at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  7. Bake, uncovered, 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 4 squares to serve.

If you wish to substitute the non-fat ingredients for the “real” thing, that would be just fine.  1 C. of Egg Beaters is comparable to using 4 whole eggs. 

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Pear Clafouti or Pear Cobler—for a friend in need

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pears in a bowlJust what I love—getting an emergency email from a friend who needs a recipe-quick- please!!!

 Subject: Pear Tart
>>
>>
>>> Hi,  I am at my friends house for dinner and we were remembering a pear
>>> desert we used to make like peach cobbler but healthy with pears.  Do you
>>> ever make anything like that ?? Maybe pear,almond?  Thanks, J
>>
Answer from Margot
>> This is not exactly a tart, but it’s delicious.  It’s a Clafouti—a
>> French peasant dish using the left over fruit from their orchards.
>>
>> 1 1/2 lbs pears (I leave the skin on and slice thin)
>> 1/4 C. sweet white wine such as madeira
>> 3 large eggs
>> 1 C. whole milk
>> 1/2 C. granulated sugar
>> 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
>> 3 Tblsp. unsalted butter, melted
>> 1 Tblsp. almond extract (or 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond)
>> 1/8 tsp. salt
>> Powdered sugar for dusting
>>
>> 1. Preheat oven to 325.  Butter or pam spray a shallow 2-quart baking
>> dish.
>> 2. Place sliced pears into a bowl.  Add wine and mix gently.  Let stand 5
>> minutes
>> 3.  In a blender, combine eggs, milk, sugar, flour, melted butter, almond,
>> and salt.  Whirl till smooth. With a slotted spoon, transfer fruit to
>> buttered baking dish.  Pour remaining wine and juices into egg mixture and
>> whirl again to blend.  Pour egg mixture over fruit.
>> 4.  Bake calfouti in upper third of the preheated oven until puffed and
>> set to the touch in the center–55 to 65 minutes.
>> 5.  Serve warm (it will settle slightly as it cools). Sprinkle powdered
>> sugar over the top before serving.
>> 6.  Ice cream or creamy yogurt or sweet creme fraiche over it makes it
>> extra yummy
>> 7.  You can also add some raisins or currants with pears when soaking in
>> the wine. And you can add some slivered almonds on top at the end.
>>
>> Bon Appetit!!!!
>>
>> Here’s a Cobbler recipe I just got on-line that you might try:
>>
>> 1/2 Cup butter
>> 1 C. flour
>> 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
>> 1 C whole milk
>> 1 C sugar
>> 1/2 to 1 tsp tsp almond (or vanila) extract
>> 2 C. sliced pears (or can be peaches)
>>
>> Preheat oven to 350
>>
>> Place butter in 13 X 9 inch baking dish.  Place dish in oven to melt
>> butter. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.  Stir in milk,
>> almond or vanila extract and sugar to form batter.  Revmove baking dish
>> from oven and pour batter into it.  Spoon pears (peaches) and any juices
>> evenly over batter. Bake until batter rises and brown on top–about 30
>> minutes.
>>
>> YUM!!!!
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> >>

Blueberry-Pecan Cake for a Happy Father’s Day

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Blueberry-Pecan Cake

Just in time this recipe is coming to you for a Father’s day treat. The establishment of Father’s Day has an interesting convoluted history.  In 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father, William Jackson Smart, was a Civil War Veteran, told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday as mothers did. Her father was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, WA. And she was in great admiration of him. She originally wanted it on her father’s birthday, June 5, however because there wasn’t enough time for the pastors to arrange their sermons, the holiday was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The holiday never really caught on however, in 1913 a bill was introduced in Congress for the national recognition of Father’s Day.  Congress resisted because they felt that the holiday would become too commercialized. President Coolidge recommended it in 1924, but once again is was defeated by Congress.  In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years and pointed out that it wasn’t fair to celebrate only one parent—the mother. So finally, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers and designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.  However, the day wasn’t made a permanent national holiday till 6 years later when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.  Whew!!!!  Finally!!!!

A Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers everywhere.

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray

2 tsp. all-purpose flour

5 Tblsp. butter

3/4 C. granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2/3 C. low-fat buttermilk

2 tsp. grated orange rind

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 ½  tsp.vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4  tsp. baking soda

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries (you can use as little as 1 C)

1/3 C. finely chopped pecans (but you also can use walnuts)

2 Tblsp. sifted powdered sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Coat a 9-inch round spring form pan with cooking spray and dust the pan with 2 tsp. flour
  2. Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and micro on high 1 minute or until butter is melted
  3. Add granulated sugar, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Add eggs, stir well.
  5. Stir in buttermilk and next 6 ingredients (buttermilk through baking soda); stir well
  6. Lightly spoon 1 ½ C. flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Add flour to mixture, stirring just until blended. (Do not over stir.)
  7. Stir in blueberries and pecans/walnuts.
  8. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  9. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into wedges.
  12. Bon Appetit

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Quick-Quick-Quick Skillet Cake

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QUICK—QUICK—-QUICK  SKILLET CAKE (and easy as well)

Here’s an iron skillet cake that I love.  It’s so easy to make and so good to eat.  I use either walnuts or almonds for the topping.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla for a walnut topping or almond extract if using an almond topping

2 large eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

  1. Butter a 9-inch iron skillet and sprinkle some flour over it all.
  2. In a medium size bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Add the butter and whisk until satiny.  Stir in the flour mixture; whisk until smooth.  Spread batter in the skillet and top with the walnuts or almonds.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  4. If you wish, drizzle some raspberry jam over it. I do and it makes it extra yummy and pretty.
  5. Serve slightly warm or at room temp.  I tie a pretty napkin or scarf around the handle.
  6. Ice cream goes great with this.

Bon Appetit!!!!

 

 

Clafouti Aux Baie for May 30th Weekly Sun Edition

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clafouti aux baiesClafouti aux Baie (berries in French)

I bet that you thought that Memorial Day was over.  Well, it’s not.  Today is the real deal.  In order to make a 3 day holiday of it, this holiday was changed to the last Monday of May.  So, I am still thinking red, white and blue.  France also is a red, white and blue nation, so I thought that a French dish could be appropriate for today.  The clafouti is an excellent and easy dish to make.  It actually looks elegant when dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.  I’m not sure that elegance was in mind when the clafouti was originated. It started out as an ancient rustic peasant French pudding made in late spring and featuring typically stone fruits. It was served for desert, but it can also work as a nice breakfast dish. You can make it with various fruits and with many slightly different ingredients.  I serve mine warm with French vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 C. granulated sugar

3 Tblsp. honey

2 Tblsp. Kirch (cherry liqueur but you can also use orange liqueur or juice)

1 Tsp. vanilla

Dash of salt

1 ½ C. whole milk yogurt

1 C. Flour

3 Cups mixed berries—or if you wish, of just one kind of berries

2 tsp. sifted confectioner’s sugar

For garnish, save some berries

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F

  1. In a large bowl beat together the egg whites, eggs, sugar, honey, Kirsch, vanilla and salt with an electric beater.
  2. Stir in the yogurt till smooth
  3. Add flour and beat until combined and smooth
  4. Arrange the berries on the bottom of a buttered or non-stick sprayed 10-inch ceramic quiche dish.  Pour the batter over the berries.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center seems set when shaken slightly.
  6. Cool for 30 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve the clafouti warm.  Just before serving sprinkle with the sifted confectioner’s sugar and garnish with the left over saved berries.

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com or to visit her blog for more recipes including these: http://blog.TempInnKeeper.com

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Triple Berry Bread Pudding and other sweet pudding variations

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In 1946, right after WWII, I was visiting in England and bread was one of the few main staples that the English still had to eat. They actually had had too much of it and were sick of it. Memories can be long, so, usually my English bed and breakfast guests didn’t like this dish—but I do. People usually think of bread pudding as something not being very gourmet when actually it can be extremely gourmet and delectable.  Bread pudding began as a humble dessert because the main ingredient was “left over stale bread”; however, the variations can be so numerous that it can become very decadent indeed. Additionally, bread pudding depending on its ingredients, can be served for any meal of the day.  Regardless of which bread you decide to use, white French, croissant, Challa, Brioche, English muffin, usually, the staler the bread, the final product will be more tasteful.  As to the custard base, half and half probably offers the perfect balance to texture. Heating the half-and-half before mixing it into the eggs and sugar will assure you of a final base that is perfectly combined.  Be sure to whisk it slowly into the eggs so as to not “scramble” the eggs.  Finally, soaking the bread pudding the day before baking makes it better and the easier for an innkeeper.  So, here are a few of the sweet type combos you can think about: chocolate/banana; pumpkin; gingerbread; rum/raisin; lemon-coconut;apricot-almond;berry;mocha; and double ginger.

The following recipe will serve 12.

Triple-Berry Bread Pudding

 

You will need the following:

9 X 13 inch baking dish

2-3 qt. saucepan

whisk

 

Make the custard:

Ingredients:

7 large egg yolks

3 large eggs

1 C. granulated sugar

6 C. half and half

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Bread:

10 C. 1 inch day old brioche bread cubes

Berries:

3 ½ C. fresh or frozen berries such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. If frozen, defrost before adding the pudding and drain most of the liquid.  It’s best with the fresh berries.

Instructions:

Whisk the yolks and eggs and vanilla.  Slowly whisk in the sugar and salt until totally blended.  Slightly heat the half and half and slowly whisk into the egg mixture.

Place the bread cubes in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and pour the custard on top making sure that the bread is submerged.  Let cool at room temp about an hour; cover with plastic wrap; and refrigerate for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. .

Preheat oven to 325.

Before baking, gently fold in the berries. Cover the pudding loosely with foil and bake at 325 for 70 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until no liquid custard is visible when you poke a small hole in the center with a paring knife, 20 to 40 minutes more depending on the custard or add-ins. So total baking time can be 90 to 110 minutes.

Let the pudding cool on a rack.  Serve warm at room temp with a dollop of whipped cream or a good yogurt.

I serve this with a side of the thick kind of Canadian bacon slices that I have sautéed in a frying pan with fresh rosemary.  I also serve more berries in a bowl.

Below are some optional add on options for the custard:

1 ½ tsp. almond;

2 C. chopped bittersweet chocolate to the hot ½ and ½ till chocolate is melted;

2 tsp. instant espresso to hot ½ and ½;

½ C. chopped fresh ginger in ½ & ½ —let steep in half and half for 10 minutes before adding to yolks;

fine grated zest of 3 lemons to ½ and ½ and whisk juice from the lemons (about ½ C.) into the custard;

whisk 1 ¼ C. pure canned pumpkin, tsp. ground Cinnamon; and ¼ tsp nutmeg into custard;

increase sugar to ¼ C. and add 1/3 C. dark rum to custard.

Optional Add-ins:

Choose one or two

3 ripe thinly sliced bananas

1 ½ C. toasted shredded coconut

3 ½ C. fresh or frozen mixed berries

1 ½ C. toasted coarsely chopped pecans

1 C. chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1 C. dried apricots, soaked in very hot water for 30 minutes and drained thoroughly

1 C. golden rains, soaked is above for apricots

½ C. chopped crystallized ginger