Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

This is a really great banana bread recipe from Nancy Silverton’s pastry book from La Brea Bakery. It’s really moist and flavorful. I substituted black walnuts for the pecans, and only toasted the regular walnuts. Black walnuts can be difficult to find but are well worth tracking down. If you’re from New England, you will recognize them as what makes that delightful and intoxicating turpentine- like smell when you run over them in the rain.

2/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup pecans (or black walnuts)
4 bananas, mashed (Nancy has you mashing 3 to make 1 1/4 cups and using one whole banana for garnish. We made a half- recipe with 2 bananas and used them all mashed in the bread.
2 extra- large eggs
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 1/4 t baking soda
2 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t kosher salt (i used sea salt)
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t freshly ground nutmeg
scant 1/4 t ground cloves
1 T poppy seeds (we used 1 T for our half- recipe. We love poppy seeds)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (we used coconut palm sugar, normally used in place of brown sugar but has no molasses flavor, so…)
1/4 cup plus 2 T light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 and toast the nuts until lightly brown (if you use black walnuts in place of the pecans, only toast the traditional, English walnuts), about 8-10 minutes. Cool, chop coarsely, set aside. Turn oven up to 350.

Whisk banana puree, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and poppy seeds. mix on med-low until softened. Add sugars and turn up speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping sides as necessary. Add the flour and banana mixture in parts starting with the flour, mixing enough to just combine. Remove paddle and mix in nuts by hand. Pour into prepared loaf pan (I greased liberally with coconut oil and then floured). If you saved the 4th banana, cut 2, 1/4″ strips from the banana, lengthwise. Place on top, slightly interlocking the arcs. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes. We did a half recipe, which turned out to be about 40 minutes. Test with skewer, it should be not gooey. Don’t over bake!

Allow to cool in pan slightly, then turn out onto cooling rack. SLice and eat with butter, immediately.


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Just in time for sunday brunch. Allow almost an hour to bake in a well- preheated 375 degree oven. You can make any size recipe, the basic formula is for 1 egg – 1/3 c milk, 1/3 c flour and a pinch of salt and a grating of nutmeg. So for a recipe that makes about 8: 4 eggs, 1 1/3 c milk, 1 1/3 c flour, 1/2 t salt, grating of nutmeg. Beat eggs and milk together. Add flour, salt and nutmeg. Beat until there are no lumps. Melt about 1/2+ stick of butter.* Brush cups liberally with melted butter and beat the remaining melted butter into the batter. Fill cups about 2/3 and place cups on a cookie sheet, staggered to allow for air circulation. If you are making a large recipe I would use the convection setting or up the temp to 380. Bake until they have risen and browned nicely. About the cups… you can find popover cups at tag sales or antique/thrift shops. They should be of a taller proportion so the egg batter can “crawl” up the sides and create the lightness, height, and volume they are known for. Pull them open and add more butter if you’re so inclined, or slather them with jam. Or eat them plain, as I do… Don’t forget the bacon and coffee…

I have another recipe for popovers, it’s basically the same recipe. This recipe gives you a formula to expand the recipe as you want, rather than making the fixed amount. The other post has nicer photos, however. https://lambaste.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/popovers/

* The original recipe calles for a lot more butter– they are good no matter how much butter you put in, although I wouldn’t get carried away in either extreme.

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a week ago last sunday i went to paul and anya’s to read the sunday paper and hang out, flora was at her dad’s house. anya, who is russian, made kasha; buckwheat that has been roasted and steamed like rice. she served it with butter and a fried egg and it was so amazing i knew it was going to be a regular thing at my house, too. i went to their recommended russian grocer and purchased some of the buckwheat, already toasted [brown]. she recommended the brand Galina, and who am i to mess with perfection. i made the fried egg, but also added some tomatoes, cubed avocado, and chopped parsley… in addition to the butter, salt, and pepper. add the sunday crossword and it’s the perfect morning…

this is a photo i took at the russian grocer of the smoked and cured fish. it was beautiful… the fish really were that gilded gold color…

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making granola is really easy, you just have to be in the kitchen constantly for a couple of hours to stir. i like to add lots of nuts and seeds because they are such a great source of good fats. i will put some of the nutritional information at the end of the recipe.
you can really use whatever you want in terms of nuts and seeds and fruit; just be sure to add the fruit in the last 10 minutes or so, otherwise they may burn and get hard.
this recipe makes a lot; you can cut it in half. i have a huge glass jar i like to fill.

mix together in a *very* large roasting pan: 64 oz rolled oats, 1 cup pepitas, 1 cup walnuts, 2 cups pecans, 2 cups  [about 8 oz] sliced almonds, 3 cups unsweetened flaked coconut, 2 cups chia seeds, and 2 cups of flax seeds.

in a large, glass, microwavable measuring cup [or saucepan] mix 1 and 1/3 cups canola oil with 1 and 2/3 cups honey. heat in the microwave [or on the stove] until the mixture is warm; this makes the honey more liquid and easier to mix. with a whisk, emulsify the oil with the honey. add 2 T sea salt [optional] and any flavorings that you might want like cinnamon [to taste], and vanilla or almond extract.

pour the emulsified honey and oil into the oat mixture in thirds, mixing well with your hands each time. you can make this granola with less honey and oil, but when you use small seeds it helps the small seeds stick to the other ingredients and not sink to the bottom. if you like your granola with large clusters, you can add half of the mixture in the beginning and the second half about 2/3 through the cooking time. add fruit when the granola is almost fully toasted. you can add dried cherries, raisins, pieces of date, chopped candied ginger, etc.

roast in a preheated 340 degree oven, stirring at first every 10 minutes or so. as it toasts, you will need to stir it more frequently. add fruit near the end.

nutritional information for the seeds:

flax seed [1 T]: protein: 2 g, omega -3: 1800 mg, fat: 4 g, fiber: 3 g, total carbs: 3.5 g,
calcium: 4%, iron: 3%.

chia seeds [1 T]: protein: 3 g, omega -3: 2282 mg, omega -6: 752 mg, fat: 5 g,
fiber: 5 g, total carbs: 5 g, calcium: 6%, iron: 4%.

pepitas [1/4 cup]: protein: 7 g, fat: 13 g, fiber: 1 g, total carbs: 5 g, calcium: 2%,
vit A: 2%, iron: 25%.

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flora loves frittatas, and we have these cute little pans that make a great single serving. i have another frittata recipe on lambaste, it was one of my first posts. they are similar, some things i make different all the time. both recipes work fine.

you can add cooked vegetables, fresh tomatoes, ham, cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, spoons- full of ricotta, goat cheese, chunks of brie, and fresh herbs… anything really, as long as you like it with eggs. today we just grated some cheddar cheese and used dry thyme.

preheat oven to 425 degrees. beat eggs with a little milk or half and half, about 1 t per egg. season with salt and pepper and add the dried or fresh herbs. heat an ovenproof skillet that can also be put on a burner. add butter and swirl to coat edges. add eggs then go around the edge of the pan once, pulling the cooked edges into the center with the back or a fork [gently, don’t scratch the pan]. turn off the heat, and add grated cheese and other ingredients [put the cheese on last], and put dish on a rack in the top third of the oven. when the eggs are nearly set, turn on the broiler and broil until the top is a nice brown. watch it carefully so you don’t burn it.

cut into wedges [or serve in the pan if individual size].

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this morning i brought the baby in from the porch, fed it, and made english muffins.
i can’t remember for the life of me what inspired me, but oh my god they are good.
i guessed on the recipe, looking at a few different ones; i think the only change i would make is to add a bit more salt. i used 1 t and i should have used 1 1/2 t. you need to have baker’s rings to make english muffins.

first i made a sponge in the bowl of my mixer with 1 package of dry yeast, 1 T barley malt syrup, 2 cups of milk, 3 T canola oil, and 2 cups high- gluten bread flour. if i had whole wheat, i would have made a third whole wheat and the rest high- gluten bread flour. let the sponge rest for about an hour, until it’s puffy. the photo is not so appetizing, but you can kind of get a feel for the consistency.

add 2 more cups of flour, 1 1/2 t sea salt, and 2 cups of sourdough starter. if you have read previous posts, this is my “baby”; a starter i made using nancy silverton’s bread book. if you do not have a sourdough starter, i would recommend mixing 1 cup of water (about 78 degrees) and 1 cup of bread flour and leaving it out uncovered for a day.

mix with the paddle attachment until it’s stretchy and wet, but cleans the inside of the bowl. it will take a few minutes for the flour to absorb the water and will initially stick to the bowl. just be patient, you want a wet dough, it will give you better holes in your muffins; you know, to hold the butter!

sprinkle a marble slab or cutting board liberally with cornmeal. dump the dough into the middle, and spread it out with your hands until it has made a large disk about 3/4 ” thick. wet your hands so it does not stick. sprinkle with more cornmeal, then put a towel over it. let it rest until it’s puffy and flabby, about an hour and a half to two hours.

heat an iron skillet on medium- low heat and add a little bit of cornmeal in the bottom. brush the inside of your baker’s ring with melted butter, then cut out a piece of dough as if you were cutting out cookies. slide a metal spatula with a sharp edge or a bench scraper under the ring and dough. keep it tight and transfer to the skillet. try and keep dough from creeping out from under the ring. i scraped the excess off with my spatula. after you have as many as you can fit in the pan, spray the dough with water, then put a lid on the pan. allow the muffins to steam for about 5 minutes. you can check them, and add more water. they should puff up to about double in size and you should be able to tell that the dough is spongy and full of holes. i recommend brushing the inside of the lid with butter or oil, as sometimes when they rise they will hit the lid.

at this point i transferred them to a cast iron griddle [also with a bit of cornmeal] to continue the cooking so i could do another batch in the pan and make more in less time. when the muffins were nicely brown on one side, i turned them over. i gave them about three minutes on this side then removed the rings so i could do another batch.
factory work.

the griddle should not be too hot; you want the muffins to cook through without burning on the outside. you can also bake these in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, then flip them. i prefer using a skillet; the oven bakes them more evenly all over, like a roll, and the insides get dry. cooked on an iron skillet, the edges (and therefore inside) remain lighter as the top and bottom slightly brown. if you tried each method side- by- side you would observe a dramatic difference (although if you eat them right out of the oven simply slathered with butter the differences seem less significant).

it makes, well, a lot. about 18 or so. and don’t forget to split them with a FORK! don’t cut them.

[on the bay’s english muffin package it always said “fork split”. i always wondered if that meant you should split them with a fork, or they were already fork- split. i spent more mental energy on that then i care to admit. i almost wrote them a note. shouldda]

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this is normally a quick sour cream coffee cake that i make from joy of cooking, but i replaced the cup of sour cream with eggnog. the crumb was very moist, as the batter was a bit more wet, but it was really great for a quick coffee cake. this is so easy, even russell could make it…

beat well, 1 cup of eggnog with 2 eggs. sift together 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 2 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, and 1/4 t salt. add to egg mixture with 1 cup of sugar.
mix until just combined, over- mixing will make the cake tough. pour into a greased
9 x 9 pan. i used a 10″ cast iron skillet that i had put on a burner and melted about 2 T of butter and 1/2 T of vegetable oil in [brush butter and oil around entire inside of pan/skillet].

in a small bowl mix 1/2 stick of butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of salt, and chopped pecans. drop, unevenly, around the top of the cake batter. bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. invite your friends over so you don’t eat the whole damned thing. and send them home with the rest [minus one slice].

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