Clarifying Dirty Fried Eggs

Maybe I should stop writing in the morning, when I’m craving something for breakfast – eggs seems to be the theme around the kitchen these days. I promise, this will be my last conversation about eggs. Okay, that’s not true. For one thing, my favorite meal of the day is breakfast (even for dinner) and there’s always another recipe for eggs just lurking around the corner.

While we were on vacation recently in Florence (Oregon), I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast while staying at The Driftwood Shores. It was one of my favorites, Corned Beef Hash. This was the real deal – shredded Corned Beef grilled up with diced potatoes and onions, served with a couple of yummy eggs and toast points on the side.

As is the norm with me whenever I have a delicious meal at a restaurant, I wanted to have it again at home. While my corned beef hash was grilling up in the skillet, I set about the task of cooking up some dirty fried eggs to go with it. The skillet for the eggs was warming nicely on the stove. I reached inside the refrigerator for my jar of bacon renderings, when a light came on. Earlier in the week I had made up a batch of Clarified Butter for all the fish/seafood dishes we have been enjoying lately. There was still some of the butter remaining. Hum, I really didn’t want to pack up a jar of clarified butter for our big move. What would happen if I fried my eggs in a mixture of bacon grease and clarified butter? The results were oh so wonderful. Hubby insisted they were the best fried eggs I had ever cooked. (And after more than 30 years of marriage, that’s a lotta fried eggs). As for me, I’ve cooked up these eggs a few times since, just for me to enjoy for a weekday morning once the menfolk have got off to work. Since I’ve been busy packing, a light breakfast to start the day is perfect.

Clarified Dirty Fried Eggs
2 Tablespoons Bacon Drippings
2 Tablespoons Clarified Butter (or more)
6 Eggs
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Heat bacon drippings in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add enough clarified butter to the dripping to coat the bottom of the pan about 1/8 inch deep.

Crack eggs into the skillet one egg at a time, holding the egg in place with the shell until it begins to turn white. This will keep the egg from running all over the skillet. Once all the eggs are cooking and the outer edges are firm, use a wooden spoon or the back of a spatula to “splash” hot grease over the eggs until the whites are cooked through while the yolks are still runny. Season with salt and pepper.

These eggs are delicious with all your breakfast favorites such as Corned Beef Hash, Breakfast Potatoes with bacon or sausage, even pancakes. Or all on their own for a light yet satisfying morning meal.

Egg-Asparagus Milanese with an American Spin

My recent trip down Breakfast Memory Lane with Eggs Benedict got me to thinking about (and craving for) another wonderful egg recipe – Egg Asparagus Milanese. While these beautiful eggs combined with bright asparagus are well rooted in Italy, mine have just a kiss of my American-Southern influence. Like most cooks with either Southern roots or an Okie parent (a.k.a dear old Dad), I like my eggs fried “dirty” – that is to say fried in a skillet filled with bacon drippings. The little specks of browned bacon bits cause the eggs to freckle, hence the name “dirty”. (For more on the subject, see my recipe for Country Corned Beef Hash & “Dirty” Fried Eggs – another breakfast favorite).

In addition to the whole bacon-dripping method to fry up my eggs, I also added an onion ring to the mix. This does two things – gives the eggs a wonderful, round shape and brings another layer of texture and flavor to the party. While most recipes for Egg-Asparagus Milanese call for steamed asparagus, in our house we like to sear the tips. It’s simply a matter of personal tastes. Granted, steamed asparagus are delicious. Hubby and I both enjoy steamed asparagus as a side on their own or with a sauce. However; no amount of sauce would convince Kiddo that steamed asparagus are delicious. Searing the asparagus gives them a nice speckled look (in keeping with the whole dirty-egg thing) while bringing a nice smoky flavor to the vegetable.

With all that said, let’s take another look at Egg-Asparagus Milanese, a recipe originally shared back in May 2014. Hope you enjoy! And remember; your feedback is always welcome here at Rosemarie’s Kitchen.

Egg-Asparagus Milanese
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 Lemon, juice only
4 large rings of an onion
4 tablespoons bacon drippings*
4 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Panko crumbs

Cook The Asparagus:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and roll gently to coat in butter. Squeeze half a lemon over the asparagus. Cook until lightly charred, rotating pan as needed to cook asparagus on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan, keep warm until ready to serve.

Cook the Eggs:
While the asparagus is cooking, slice a large onion in half. From each half, slice two rings. Use the outermost rings to create 4 onion molds for the eggs, and set aside. Finely mince the shallots and set aside.

In the same pan that the asparagus was cooked in, brown the onion rings on one side over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Turn rings, add a little bacon drippings or oil to the center of each onion ring. Carefully break the eggs into the rings in the pan, and season with salt and pepper. (You can also break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl and pour into each ring). Cook until the whites and yolks are set, about 4 minutes. (If eggs aren’t quit set; cover with small lid to “steam” for a few minutes). Using a wide spatula, place 1 egg on each serving of asparagus. Keep warm.

Add the shallot and Panko to the pan and sauté until the crumbs are golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle over the eggs and serve immediately.

* Don’t have any bacon drippings? No problem. You can either cook up some smoky bacon to serve with this egg-asparagus combination or use oil instead.


For my original posting including the recipe for Popovers featured in the photograph, follow the link below:

Egg Asparagus Milanese & French Popovers

Eggs Benedict – An American Classic

This morning I noticed a new posting on my reader – a recipe for Eggs Benedict. That got me to thinking about my own recipe for Eggs Benedict, and the history behind this wonderful Breakfast/Brunch classic.

To begin with, in my ignorance of its history, I foolishly assumed that Eggs Benedict was born either in England (the English Muffin) or Canada (the bacon). It just goes to show that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. A great example would be Chicken Francese – An American Dish. While the name sounds French, the dish was originally created by an Italian chef in New York as a way of luring customers back to the Italian eateries in Brooklyn. The once popular neighborhood establishments were loosing their customers as French Bistros gained popularity among the masses. Chicken Francese sounded very French, and did the trick.

So what are the true origins of Eggs Benedict? Like so many dishes, it all depends upon who you listen to as there are several popular stories. Two in particular I find interesting. According to a Foodimentry Magazine publication in April 2012, a Wall Street broker, suffering from a hangover, ordered some buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs and a hooker of Hollandaise Sauce. He did so in 1894, at the famed Waldorf Hotel in New York. The chef, impressed by the combination,  later replaced an English Muffin for the toast and ham for the bacon, adding it to his breakfast and luncheon menus. Another popular theory dates Eggs Benedict to the 1860s, at the Delmonico’s Restaurant, the very first restaurant in the United States. Chef Charles Ranhofer is credited with creating the dish to satisfy Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, a regular patron of the restaurant. It seems Mrs. Benedict found nothing to her liking on the menu and had a discussion with Chef Ranhofer. He then came up with the dish, including the muffin and ham. Chef Ranhofer later published his recipe in his cookbook The Epicurean in 1894. What is most interesting about these two accounts in the common thread in that Chef Ranhofer was once a part of the staff at Delmonico. Whatever the tale might be, one thing is clear – Eggs Benedict is an American dish – born in New York.

Would you believe that I had never tasted, let alone cooked, Eggs Benedict until 2014. One of the reasons was that I still cannot properly poach an egg. (Thank goodness for a pan I bought that does it for me). The other reason is that I did not like the idea of an egg swirling about in water until it was somewhat cooked. I suspect the reason for my dislike for poached eggs has more to do with my inability to poach an egg in the first place. I end up creating this awful mess in a pan that is in no way appealing. I only wish that Eggs Benedict were portable as I would love to serve them to my extended family during one of our Brunch gatherings.

Eggs Benedict
Hollandaise Sauce
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch fine sea salt
1 pinch white pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

To make the sauce, in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, whisk the egg yolks, lemon and lime juice and water constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and continue whisking for about 1 minute more, but remove the pan from the heat as soon as the mixture thickens. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper and blend until smooth. Let cool for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly pour in the melted butter in a thin stream until incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and keep warm over very low heat.

Note: If you don’t want to go to all the bother of making the Hollandaise Sauce from scratch, Knorr’s makes a nice “instant” sauce mix.  Simply whisk the mix with 1 cup of milk and 1/2 a stick of butter over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add a little fresh squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne and that’s it. Keep warm until ready to use.  Although it’s not home-made, this will do nicely in a pinch.

Eggs Benedict
3 tablespoons butter
2 English muffins, split
4 slices baked ham, or Canadian Bacon each 1/4 inch thick and cut to fit English Muffins
4 large eggs

Split English Muffins and place in the toaster to lightly toast.  Once muffins are toasted, place on a baking sheet.  Spread a little butter on each muffin.  Cover with foil and hold in a warm oven until ready to assemble.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter. Add the ham and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Keep warm.

Fill an egg-poaching pan with 1/2 inch water, set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lightly brush the poaching cups with a little butter and crack an egg into each cup. Cover and cook until the whites are firm and the yolks are glazed over but still soft, about 3-4 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Place 1 muffin half on each of 4 warmed individual plates. Top each muffin half with a slice of ham, an egg and some of the sauce. Serve immediately.

This is wonderful with some breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit for a light yet satisfying start to a new day.

Buttermilk Blueberry Waffles

I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last shout-out! Wish I could say time flies when you are having fun . . . let’s just say this hasn’t been my best month.

Recently, I had a craving for some good, from-scratch waffles. (As Hubby sums up cooking from scratch – always tastes delicious but makes a huge mess. That’s only because he’s the one that cleans up after me.) My craving made for a good excuse to try a recipe from Add-A-Pinch. It’s funny, when I’m working with a new recipe for just about anything, I’ll play around a bit and come up with my own take on things. Pancakes, waffles and all things baked (muffins, cakes . . . you get the idea) I stick to the original recipe the first time around. Guess I don’t trust my own instincts when it comes to baked-goods.

This recipe will make a lot of waffles. Next time I make it for my little family of three, I’m going to cut it in half. The waffles come up crisp and oh so buttery-delicious, you might not want to add more butter.

Don’t forget to cook up some delicious maple sausage links. (Check out my Perfect Link Sausage Every TimeTo round out breakfast, serve with a few pints of fresh orange juice.

Oh, and one more little tip. If you want to keep waffles warm until you’ve cooked up enough for everyone, place a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place cooked waffles on the rack and hold in a warm oven. The rack will allow the air to circulate around the waffles, preventing them from getting too soft.

Buttermilk Blueberry Waffles
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup blueberries
4 cups buttermilk
4 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients –  flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Rinse blueberries and allow them to drain for a few minutes, then toss the blueberries into the flour mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries until nicely mixed and coated.

In another bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mix and stir together just until combined. Make sure everything is moist, no pockets of dry flour remaining.

Warm waffle iron, and cook to your iron’s instructions. Be careful not to over-fill iron, the batter will rise and spread out as it cooks.

Serve immediately with warm syrup and more butter if desired.

Autumn Morning Eggnog French Toast

Another reason to love the season . . .

Rosemarie's Kitchen

I love this time of the year – from now until New Year’s. It’s this magical time of the year when grocery stores stock and carry Eggnog. I have several recipes for making my own Eggnog, but why make it when it’s so convenient to simply reach for it in the dairy section? Maybe one of these years I’ll make it from scratch, but only at this time of the year. While I will have a cup of brandy-laced eggnog every now and again, it’s really for cooking that I love Eggnog. Eggnog elevates so many breakfast foods – waffles, pancakes, muffins, coffee cakes and this morning French Toast. I have two recipes for Eggnog French Toast. One is for days like today, crisp Autumn mornings that on their own aren’t all that magical, but add a little something made with Eggnog and they are transformed into mornings with a…

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Authentic Hueveros-Rancheros

Such bright, beautiful colors! Wonderful flavors. A little kick to spice up the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or so I’ve been told. Rarely do we have time for breakfast during the week. I wish I could tell you that we make up for it on the weekends, but the truth of the matter is MAYBE with a little luck, Sundays might include breakfast at home.

My Pops spend a great deal of his teenage years on the road, having left home after his mother passed away. Back then, traveling the roads often meant families who took in these wandering boys and put them to work alongside their own children. Dad did a lot of physical work – a lot of picking cotton and farming and ranching. He also has a lot of fond memories of the time he spent in Arizona, just north of the Arizona/Mexican border. He loves refried beans and tortillas. This beautiful dish is dedicated to my Pops and his youthful days on the road.

Authentic Huevos-Rancheros
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 cup refried beans with green chilies
1 teaspoon butter
4 eggs
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup salsa (optional)
1/2 Cup Cilantro, chopped (optional garnish)

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas one at a time until firm, but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain grease.

Meanwhile, combine the refried beans and butter in a microwave-safe dish. Cover, and cook in the microwave until heated through. When tortillas are done, fry eggs over easy in the skillet. Add more oil if the tortillas have absorbed it all.

Place tortillas onto plates, and spread a layer of beans on them. Top with cheese, a fried egg, crumbled bacon. If desired, garnish with salsa and chopped cilantro.

Quail Eggs and Country Sausage on an English Muffin

Have you ever wanted something but you don’t know what? I wanted breakfast, but nothing too heavy. Something not too filling, but more than a quick bowl of cereal. Something that wasn’t going to turn my kitchen up-side-down.

I was sort of in the mood for Eggs Benedict. The more I thought about poaching eggs and making a Hollandaise Sauce, the lazier I became. Besides, I reasoned with my lazy self, I don’t have any ham or Canadian Bacon. Now we do keep those frozen, fully cooked Country Sausage patties in the freezer. These large patties are great on so many levels. The perfect size for biscuit and scrambled egg sandwiches.  Whip up some blueberry pancakes from scratch, or Cinnamon Bread French Toast with a side of Country Sausage. The patties are already cooked, all I need do is warm them in a skillet until sizzling hot. No fuss, no muss.  When Kiddo was a teenager, frozen pancakes and fully cooked sausage that could be zapped in the microwave were great to have in the freezer. He could zap a quick breakfast without destroying the kitchen. It could all be done on a paper plate. Rinse his fork, and out the door he went. The more I thought about it, the more I was craving sizzling hot country sausage. Oh, and we still had some quail eggs in the refrigerator. Yeah, and English Muffins. Yeah, a Quail Egg, English Muffin and Country Sausage Patty. That sounded perfect. Light, quick, with only a plate and a skillet to wash at the end. My tummy was satisfied without disturbing my lazy mood . . . The perfect breakfast for two.

Quail Eggs and Country Sausage on an English Muffin
1 English Muffin, split
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Frozen Country Sausage Patties
2 Quail Eggs
Pinch Sea Salt
Pinch Black Pepper

Split English Muffin. Toast lightly. Spread 1 tablespoon butter on each muffin half, letting butter melt into all the little nooks and crannies.Keep warm until ready to serve.

While muffins toast, lightly fry sausage on one side until just thawed through. Using a small biscuit cutter or shot glass, cut a hole in the center of each sausage patty. Return patties to skillet and cook through.

Carefully cut through tops of two quail eggs. Empty each egg into small cup or shot glass. Season with salt and pepper.

When sausage is cooked through on one side, flip and place quail egg into center whole. When the quail egg is set (about 2 minutes) gently place the small “center”cut of the sausage over egg. The heat from the center cut will finish the egg.

Remove sausage patty/egg and place one patty on each butter-soaked muffin half. Serve and enjoy.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

As long as we’re on a breakfast roll here (no pun intended) – how ’bout one of those delightful overnight recipes for French Toast? This recipe will feed a crowd, which is great with the holidays looming just around the corner. As a casserole cooked breakfast dish, it travels nicely to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving morning when you are helping out in the kitchen or Christmas morning when the kids are opening up their stockings.

Be it family gathering for Thanksgiving or over the Christmas Holidays, this is a great start to the morning. It just pops with color, flavor and delight. In our house, Blueberries and Christmas Morning have always gone hand-in-hand.  Blueberry muffins; blueberry pancakes or blueberry waffles – you get the idea. What I really like about this particular blueberry breakfast is that most of the prep work is done the night before. Just make the syrup in the morning while the toast is baking. (I suppose you could cheat a little and buy blueberry syrup . . .)

Overnight Blueberry French Toast
French Toast Casserole
12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries
12 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.

While toast is baking, make syrup

 

Blueberry Syrup
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon butter

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes.

Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast.

 

 

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast

Have I mentioned that I adore Cannoli? I first fell in love with Cannoli while attending an Italian Festival at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. These were no ordinary Cannoli.  These were genuine God Father Cannoli, made by the same man who made the Cannoli for the 1972 film, The Godfather. Hey, if you are going to learn to make Cannoli, why not learn from a behind-the-scenes Cannoli maker? He had a little booth set up at the festival adorned with pictures from the film of him posing with some of the big name stars. An older Sicilian gentleman, he was a talker, sharing his experience with anyone willing to listen. Imagine the delight of my friend and I when he offered to teach us how to make his Cannoli! I used to joke that I learned to make Cannoli from the Godfather’s baker himself.Now the problem with having genuine Cannoli is that these delicious, deep fried shells stuffed with the most luscious of fillings became my yardstick by which all other Cannolis are measured. The key to good Cannoli is that the shells cannot be filled until just before serving. The shells need to be crisp. The filling well-chilled and then piped into the shell moments before you take your first bite.

While Cannoli are a dessert, the clever couple at Two Peas and their Pods have taken this wonderful concept, given it a French Twist and much to our delight have legitimized dessert for breakfast. I’ve taken their recipe and doubled it. It’s an easy recipe to adjust and oh so delicious! What’s that you say? Someone at your table won’t eat Cannoli? That’s okay, leave out the filling and fry up a couple of extra slices of egg-dipped French Bread.

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast
2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
8 slices French bread
4 tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar-for serving

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk the eggs and heavy cream together. Spread 4 slices of the bread with the ricotta mixture, about 1/2 cup per slice. Place the other slices of bread on top and gently press them together. Carefully dip both sides of each sandwich into the egg mixture until well coated.

On a flat griddle melt the butter on medium heat; about 325 degrees. Add the French toast sandwiches and cook until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal and transfer to plates. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

 

Duck Dynasty Cast Iron Biscuits

The weekend is coming! Yeah – the weekend is coming! I’m getting excited . . . come Sunday, it’s going to be a great Country Feast – with old fashion Skillet Biscuits and plenty of Fruit Preserves. Who knows, I might even have to break out a checkerboard  table-cloth!

For me, breakfast is a big deal. If I had it my way, the table would be lined with all sorts of things – big fat sausage links, spicy sausage patties and mounds of bacon. Fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and pancakes and waffles and let’s not forget fresh fruits. Oh, I’m getting excited just thinking about breakfast. I would eat breakfast for lunch and dinner, too. Variety – endless breakfast variety. My guys like breakfast; but don’t need much – some eggs, a little toast and maybe some bacon (Hubby could easily skip the bacon, so that would be just Kiddo and I). I could go on and on – can’t you tell? Yeah, I love breakfast.

My idea of breakfast

Duck Dynasty Cast Iron Biscuits
2 cups Biscuit Mix, plus small amount of additional mix
1 cup sour cream
½ Cup Sprite or 7-Up
½ stick butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a pie or pastry blender, mix Biscuit Mix with sour cream and Sprite or 7-Up to create the dough. DO NOT over-work, combine until just blended.

Sprinkle extra biscuit mix onto a pastry sheet or wax paper. Plop dough onto sheet and press down, shaping dough into 1/2 inch or so thick disk.

Use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Set aside until ready to bake. Reshape any remaining dough and cut into biscuits. You should get about 8 biscuits.

In a small iron skillet, melt butter. Dip cut biscuits in melted. Then arrange biscuits in a large cast iron skillet (at least 12″) or cookie sheet.

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with your favorite fruit preserves.