Daughter Miriam gave me a pile of Meyer lemons and I made my lemon curd with them. Wife Jan’s response was, “This is good, but what would really be great is tangerine curd.” Off to the store I went.
Category Archives: Breakfast
The May/June issue of Cook’s Illustrated had an article about Dutch babies. In modern recipes, this is a spectacular large pancake with a crisp edge and a custardy center. I pared down the original recipe to make enough for three hungry people and added a few twists of my own. I have made this dish several times, but I have yet to get the ideal Dutch baby—the flaring edges should be fairly evenly raised all around the pancake—mine tended to end up lopsided. Still the flavor and texture are exceptional. Dutch babies are frequently topped with lemon and powdered sugar or fruit compote.
My wife Jan had a hunger for oat muffins/cookies. She sent me a recipe and I disagreed with almost everything about it—too much flour, oil, and sugar, not enough oats or cinnamon. While I very loosely based this on that recipe, I changed almost everything.
Wife Jan asked for oat muffins for breakfast, while I was up to my elbows in flour making hand pies, I said I would do it. Normally, I would make banana oat muffins with pecans and blueberries, but when I checked my supplies I found I had neither bananas nor pecans. However I did have plenty of pistachios and apricots—and a new variation of the recipe was born.
Since I learned to make pancakes from scratch, I no longer have any commercial pancake mix in the house. I had adapted a Martha Stewart pancake recipe—less sugar for diabetics—and I went on to adapt a waffle recipe—which turned out to be almost exactly Martha Stewart’s recipe (again lower sugar). This time I thought I would make a radical change—no milk.
I had been planning to make cheese fondue for a Sunday dinner when Daughter Miriam begged off at the last minute. While I had not yet grated the cheese, I was left with a whole loaf of French bread cut into little cubes. I needed to think of something to do with these, if I was not going to dip them into melted cheese sauce. I could make salad croutons, a cheese strada, or bread pudding. Wife Jan is very fond of bread pudding.
Note: While none of us children copied down her recipe, this close to what my mother Claudia would have made as I was growing up.
Karl’s Bread Pudding
1 cup half and half cream
2 Tbs. butter, melted
2 Tbs. Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. nutmeg, fresh grated
½ tsp. kosher salt
Pinch cloves, ground
1 loaf French bread, cubed
½ cup currents
1. Put the eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk them lightly.
2. Whisk in the cream and melted butter into the eggs.
Tip: The butter will most likely congeal into little lumps, but do not be concerned with this.
3. Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and cloves.
4. Whisk to mix the ingredients.
5. Add the bread cubes and currents.
6. Fold the bread and fruit into the wet ingredients.
Note: This mixture will be really wet. This is as it should be.
7. Pour the pudding mix into a Pam-ed, or buttered, casserole dish that is large enough to take all of the pudding.
Tip: You want at least a quarter of an inch between the top of the pudding and the lip of the casserole. Otherwise, it might spill over onto your oven as it bakes. I always bake with a large baking tray on the lower rack to catch any drips. It is easier to clean a baking tray than a whole oven.
8. Let the pudding stand for ten to 15 minutes.
Tip: This rest allows the bread and almond meal to absorb some of the excess liquid.
Note: My mother would usually prepare the dish to this point the night before and let it soak, covered, overnight.
9. Cover the casserole with the lid—if it has one—or with aluminum foil.
10. Preheat the oven to 350° F
11. Put the bread pudding in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Tip: Until the center no longer jiggles loosely, but it is still not completely set.
12. Remove the foil and switch the oven to broil—still at 350° F.
13. Broil for another 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
14. Let the pudding cool for ten minutes and scoop out to serve warm or chill completely and serve as slices.
Wife Jan is going off to Burning Man again. Last year she broke her arm, I hope she comes back in one piece this year. As usual, I am making instant meals for her group. Last year, I made three camp meals—saag pilau, za’atar orzo, and pancakes. This year I added two more—mashed potatoes and tabbouleh. My pancake recipe went over very well with the Burners last year, but I simply cannot leave well-enough alone—I had to add something extra this year, pecans.
Since I discovered a decent canned version of Hollandaise sauce, I have been making Eggs Benedict at least once a week. While I love the version that is sold in most restaurants, I am constantly tinkering with the recipe. Today, my wife Jan wanted pancakes for breakfast, but I wanted eggs Benedict—and a new variation was born.
Since I discovered a decent canned version of Hollandaise sauce, I have been making Eggs Benedict at least once a week. As I was posting my latest variation of this famous dish I wanted to link to my posting of the recipe, I discovered that I had never posted the recipe. I cannot really call it “Karl’s” recipe, because this is what you will get from many restaurants for about $10.
Since I discovered a decent canned version of Hollandaise sauce, I have been making Eggs Benedict at least once a week. To keep myself interested, I have also make several variations—1, 2 and 3. This morning my wife had picked up some bagels for breakfast. While normally this would result in lox, cream cheese, and a bagel, I wondered if I could add an egg and Hollandaise? While the thicker half bagel was a bit harder to cut up—than an English muffin—it worked quite well.