Bacon Archives - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Focaccia with Bacon, Cheddar and ‘Eggs in Wells’

May 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Breads, Breakfast, Lunch, Rainbow, Vegetables, Yeastspotting | 46 Comments
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There’s a new bread challenge in town.  It’s called the Bread Baking Society (Twitter handle @Breaking_Bread – hashtag #BreakingBread), - founded by Lora from Cake Duchess and Shulie from  Food Wanderings.  This month the bread they asked everyone to bake is focaccia and of course, I wanted to take part. Thankfully I got it in on the last day, last minute, of the month.  Once again, there was humidity, but not as bad as last week.  But, no braiding or shaping of focaccia – just dimpling (awww) – so humidity foiled.  Ha!


Of course, there was free creative reign, so the variety of focaccias linked up, sweet and savory, is pretty amazing, from sweet potato to southern charm.

I made a Focaccia McMuffin.  I call it that because it’s composed of bacon, eggs and cheddar encased in dough (the Mcmuffin part).  What makes it kind of cool is, the eggs are in focaccia wells.  I scrunched up 6 large pieces of tin foil into 3-inch balls, coated each one generously with olive oil, then stuck them into the cheese and bacon filled dough before rising.  When fully risen, I pressed them down again, and baked the focaccia for 20 or so minutes, then removed the tin foil balls –  giving me perfect wells to crack 6 eggs into.  I put the focaccia back in the oven for 8 to 10 more minutes, and voila, six  perfectly cooked eggs in six bacon – cheese bread squares (when cut), per person.

Of course I had to make it pretty, so before baking the focaccia, I topped it with some roasted red peppers, arugula, more bacon – plus a few drizzles of olive oil.  When done, the eggs were seasoned with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives.

Finally, I used Nick Malgieri’s focaccia dough in this recipe, which Lora also used. But, due to the damn humidity, I had to add an extra cup of flour because the dough continued to suck up flour while basking in the free sauna the weather provided.  I also took down the salt because of the bacon..bacon = salty.  I’m sure Nick wouldn’t mind..he’s a pretty awesome pastry chef and guy, and he left a comment on THIS post back in 2010…thanks to Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie, alerting him to the post.  Cool, huh?

I was pretty stoked since I’m such a fan girl when it comes to my favorite chefs.  As you can see, I wrote a novel in response to his comment and it kind of makes me cringe. But, I won’t delete it because it was a genuine moment, and genuine moments can be embarrassing at times.

Bacon, Cheddar and 'Eggs in Wells' Foccaccia

So, uh, make this focaccia if you can.  Yes, it’s unusual, and yes, many Italians would probably gasp in horror at the site of it, but it’s really fun and delicious (this is all filler text since there used to be a story here.)

More filler.  Not much to say. *twiddling thumbs*.

 

Bacon, Cheddar and ‘Eggs in Wells’ Focaccia
Basic focaccia recipe adapted from How to Bake, by Nick Malgieri, with my revisions
Copyright (c) Nick Malgieri 1995, All Rights Reserved
6 individual servings

1 1/3 cups warm tap water (about 110 degrees)
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( I ended up using 1 more cup due to humidity)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
6 to 8 oz cheddar cheese, cubed
10 slices cooked bacon, chopped

Topping
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus 6 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese for the egg wells (1 tablespoon per well)
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced (optional, or add your favorite vegetable(s)*
arugula leaves (optional, or use your favorite greens)*
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium or large eggs
chopped chives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

*If you don’t want to add greens or veggies of any sort, top with extra bacon and cheese.  Herbs would be nice too.

101/2 x 151/2-inch jelly roll and parchment paper

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a small bowl,water sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Add the 3 tablespoons olive oil and stir.

2. In large bowl, combine the flour and 1  1/2 teaspoons of salt; whisk together or mix together on low speed in your mixer.

3. Stir the yeast, water and olive oil into the flour and salt until you have a dry dough.  Slowly add the 1 1/3 cup of water while mixing, until you have a soft, but slightly raggedy dough.  You may or may not use all the water.

4.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

5.  When dough has doubled, fold it onto itself, then flatten it on a floured board.  Scatter the cheddar cheese cubes and 2 pieces of chopped bacon all over the flattened dough.  Fold it over a few times, adding flour as needed.  Use a bench scraper because you will run into stickiness.  Keep folding and kneading until the bacon and cheese is disseminated throughout the dough evenly. If bacon and/or cheese pops out during kneading, just shove it back in.   Let rest, covered for 5 to 10 minutes to relax the gluten.

6.  While the dough is resting, oil the jelly roll pan, then cut a piece of parchment to fit.  The oil will keep the parchment paper down.  Flatten the ball of dough onto the parchment lined pan and spread it as best you can until it almost reaches all four corners.  If it resists, let it rest a few minutes, then start pushing and spreading again.  Tuck in any cheese or bacon that pops out.

7.  Make 6 tin foil balls..about 3 to 4-inches each, and coat each one with olive or any oil, generously (I used spray olive oil) Press each tin foil ball into dough, deep..two on each row, equally apart.

8.  Cover pan with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

9.  Prehaet oven to 425 degrees F.  Once risen, press the foil balls down again (they rise with the dough), then dimple focaccia and drizzle with olive oil.  Top with remaining chopped bacon, pepper strips, and arugula.

10. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven..keeping oven at 425F, and pull out foil balls.  Sprinkle a 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese in each well. Crack each egg, one at a time, into a ramekin or small bowl, then slowly and carefully pour each egg into a well, until all six are filled.

11.  Place pan back in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until the whites are cooked and the yolks are still jiggly, like a sunny-side up egg.

12.  Remove pan from oven, sprinkle all over with remaining shredded cheddar cheese (the heat will melt it), and salt and pepper each egg.  Sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired. Serve immediately, cutting the focaccia into 6 squares, each containing an egg.  Gently reheat leftovers, as not to overcook the egg.

I’m submitting this focaccia to Yeastspotting, hosted by the talented Susan of Wild Yeast.

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Potato Rosti with Bacon, Brie, Scallions and a Quick and Easy Brown Butter Applesauce

February 15, 2012 at 2:44 am | Posted in Breakfast, Daring Cooks, Dinner, Gluten Free, Pork, Vegetables | 44 Comments
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Happy Valentines Day, err, Eve, everyone!  I had this post scheduled to go up at 5pm last night.  Apparently I didn’t use GMT, so it’s now the 15th.  Well, it’s still Valentine’s Day on the West Coast! I hope you all had an amazing day and are now getting your lips kissed off – or eating chocolate.

For this month’s Daring Cooks Challenge, we were asked to make fried patties of some sort, and one of the recipes offered to us was potato rosti, which is sort of a mix between a giant potato latke and hash browns.  I added bacon lardons, scallions and brie to mine.  It was suggested that the use of a cast iron skillet was ideal, and I have three; an 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch, all well-seasoned, or so I thought.

Once the underside of my rosti was cooked, some careful inspection revealed there was no way I was flipping this baby over without it falling apart. SO, I stuck it under the broiler to finish it and brown the top.  We cut slices out of the pan, and it came out well, but it still would have broken into pieces had I tried to flip it.

I topped some slices with a sunny side up egg with roasted red bell pepper hearts (cutting the egg into a heart shape proved difficult since the white was so delicate and thin in some areas, but I did my best, and I think it still resembles somewhat of a heart ??).  For the rest of the rosti, I made a super quick brown butter chunky applesauce to top it, which was absolutely wonderful.

Potato Rosti with Bacon, Brie, Scallions and a Quick and Easy Brown Butter Applesauce

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax (my pal) & Lis (one of my wifeypoos) and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties.

With all that said, you have got to try my quick brown butter pan apple sauce, whether or not you make the rosti.  It came to me on a whim and I nailed it in one shot, which isn’t usually the case, so I’m a proud mama..sort of.

Potato Rosti Napoleon?  I sandwiched three slices of rosti with some extra brie and put it in the oven for a few minutes, then topped it with a quick pan brown butter apple sauce. A glorious tasting mess!

If you have a few minutes, please check out some of the unique, creative and delicious patties my fellow Daring Cooks came up with, by clicking on the links to their blogs, HERE.  For a bounty of recipes for all kinds of patties, from the challenge, click HERE.

Rest in Peace Whitney Houston.  The tragic loss of a beautiful woman with the voice of angel.

Potato Rosti with Brie, Bacon and Scallions
Servings: makes two large rosti
Adapted from a family recipe from the Daring Kitchen, with my additions
2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons feshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cornstarch, or use all-purpose flour
1 lb slab bacon without the rind, or thick cut bacon
7 oz wheel of Brie or any other good melting cheese you like.  Great with cheddar!
! bunch scallions, sliced, dark ends saved for garnish
3 tablespoons oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Dice bacon into cubes and fry until fat is rendered and it’s a deep rust color. Strain off bacon grease and save for another use. Set aside on a paper towel in a bowl.

2. Cut white, papery rind off of brie (you can keep it onI prefer it off).  Dice into small cubes, or shred, if brie is cold and firm.

3. Slice white and light green parts on the diagonal.  Save dark green slices, also sliced on the diagonal, for garnish.

4. Grate the peeled potatoes with a box grater or a food processor shredding disk.5. Wrap the grated potato in a cloth and squeeze dry, you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid since it is full of potato starch. Return dried potato to bowl add the egg, brie, bacon, scallions, cornstarch, pepper, and salt. Mix until combined.

6. Preheat a frying pan (a well seasoned cast iron is best,  8 to 10-inch) until medium hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil wait until oil shimmers.

7. Place half of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spoon until you get a smooth flat surface. Lower heat to medium.

8. Fry for 8-10 minutes (check at 6 minutes) the first side, flip by sliding the rösti onto a plate then use another plate invert the rösti then slide it back into the pan, then fry the other side about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat to make another rosti.

Quick and Easy Brown Butter Cinnamon Apple Sauce
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick – 4 tablespoons - 2 oz)
4 large Granny Smith (or any tart apples), apples – peeled, cored and chopped into cubes.
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, entirely depending on how sweet you like it
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 good pinch kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a large saute pan, melt the butter on medium low heat.  Raise the heat to medium and cook the butter until the liquid beneath the milk solids that rise to the top is golden brown.

2.  Add the chopped apples to the browned butter and saute until the apples start to soften.  Sprinkle on the sugar and let the apples caramelize in the sugar, stirring until the apples are caramelized and soft  Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, vanilla bean or extract and kosher salt.

3.  Pour the apple mixture into a bowl, scraping out all the caramel goodness left in the pan. Mash with a fork for chunky apple sauce, or give it a whirl in the food processor (or use a blender or stick blender) for a smooth apple sauce.  When cool, place in an airtight container in the fridge – it should last about 2 weeks, or serve warm over potato rosti.


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Almost Sweet NOTHINGS – Eat the Bowl Part Two

April 30, 2011 at 10:13 am | Posted in Cakes, Cookies, Daring Bakers, Dessert, Puddings | 55 Comments
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So everything went horribly wrong – but then it went a little right, but not after much cursing, screaming, and a mess of epic proportions.  Then my knee acted up due to a big storm, delaying this entry even more.  I’m now three days late.  I think that’s a record for me.

That’s how I’m going to begin this entry because everything did go horribly wrong.  Ultimate FAIL, disaster.  I planned out this latest Daring Baker’s Challenge last week.  I tried to plan it out weeks before, but every time I came up with something, either someone else had done it, or after much thought, I decided it was A) Too much trouble since it might not work, B) Probably wouldn’t work, or C) Not cohesive.


The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

I’m not going to get into the details of what went horribly wrong with my first idea, since I plan on doing it again, within a few weeks, but I will tell you that I had everything ready to go except for two components, both forgotten about when it came time to put everything together for photographs.

I had the post written out, the photo area set up, and planned to have this up by 11:59 pm April 26th - one minute before the clock struck April 27th.  Then I would get a good night’s sleep, dreaming of my next entry.  All sounds great, huh?  Well, I never slept, because I ended up working on a completely different idea all night long – had to start from scratch using Plan B, and Plan B, although pretty, didn’t initially work out very well either.

This month is the sweet version of edible containers, and I almost didn’t have a container, just a stand, stump..whatever you’d want to call a small round of french toasted pound cake.  BUT, I persevered, and let my mousse stand tall in it’s own, edible container, although that really didn’t turn out how I wanted either.  Beats the stump container, though.

I can tell you what went wrong with Plan B.  When Plan A, which I loved, backfired on me at the very last second, I decided I would make little entremet like cakes, since our lovely hostess asked us to make an edible container to hold this yummy maple mousse recipe she provided.  Mousse cakes, love them, in case you didn’t know.  A joconde as my ‘container’, then maple mousse and whatever else struck me while preparing it.

So, i had some joconde left over from the Joconde Imprime/Entremet challenge last January, in the freezer.  I let it defrost, still calm and sure this was going to be a piece of cake..ha ha.  As the joconde defrosted, I made the mousse, candied some bacon  (part of this challenge was the option of pairing the mousse with candied bacon – I decided a little wouldn’t hurt, although I’m still not sold on meat in sweets), then thought long and hard about what else I wanted to add to these little towers of maple mousse.

I decided on a strawberry confit of a sort (I felt the addition of bacon afforded me that right – heh), -diced strawberries macerated with a little sugar, then combined with a bit of finely diced candied bacon, a grind or two of black pepper, and a bit of gelatin to stabilize it so it would remain suspended in the middle of the mousse, a surprise in the center!

This is the moment I first blew it.  A ‘What was she thinking?’ moment.  I could have sworn I had gelatin leaves and powder left.  I didn’t, I should have double-checked.  It was now 2 am, nothing open.  I saw a box of strawberry JELL-O. I felt this was genius in a pinch, just a little bit to set it up, completely forgetting all the red food color in a package of strawberry JELL-O.  Enough said, my inner cloud of strawberries and bits of bacon now looked like Leatherface stopped by for dessert.  Oh, and it didn’t ‘suspend’ in mid-mousse because of the clockwork red JELL-O blood-letting seepage into pound cake crumb labrynith.

Oh well, at least the flavors were there.  The contrast of slightly tart strawberries and bacon bits with this maple mousse, was sublime ( I tasted A LOT of the two together to make sure before layering), although some might find it odd, trust me on this one.

    Hershey’s chocolate syrup is NOT recommended as a substitute for joconde paste.  Stripes of fudge was my hope, until I tried to pull off the parchment paper.  One of my stupidest baking moments lol

Now that I had everything ready to go (it’s still early enough to finish and get a good night’s sleep, at this point) I returned to my defrosted joconde.  All I needed to do was cut some circles and strips to line the mousse rings – then pour the mousse – strawberry confit – mousse.  Whoohoo, sooo easy!!  The joconde is actually the biggest pain in the butt when using one for an entremet, the mousses and any other components are usually simple and fail proof.

I didn’t have to make it again because here it was..READY to go (Thank you, freezer!)!  I anxiously unwrapped it.  As I removed each sheet, it started to fall apart in my hands.  WTF??  Removed another piece more carefully, it felt very delicate, and not right – I’m suspecting freezer burn here – zip-not-lock-completely.  I placed it down verrry gently on a sheet pan, and started to cut – then gingerly lifted the cut piece up, insta-disintegration.  Soon I was whimpering into a sea of wet crumbs, chocolate and vanilla crumbs – not even a joconde paste stripe remaining or remotely recognizable.  Now what???  I need to think of something, quick!

Against my better judgement, especially since there was a lot of humidity in the air that day, I decided to make another joconde/imprime.  I would make a walnut sponge, and forget about the damn joconde paste!  Again, against my better judgement, and ‘What was she thinking?, NUMBER TWO, I hastily grabbed a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup from the fridge and went all Picasso on parchment paper - then chucked it in the freezer and made the sponge.  Yes, good chance this won’t work, but also just as good a chance it will.

Here’s a lesson learned -  it’s not a good idea to ‘try’ or experiment with something when you’re on a sort of deadline – better to stick with something tried and true.  You guessed it, didn’t work!  See photo! I should have avoided the Hershey’s syrup – who cares if I had an undecorated  ‘container’ of simple, walnut sponge?  Lesson learned, lesson learned, lesson learned – yeah, whatever.

I grabbed a frozen pound cake and cut out circles to fit in my mousse rings, then french toast battered and fried them up.

So, this was my container, a circle of french toasted pound cake.  That’s a stand – a stump.  Kind of sad, isn’t it?  Well, since I was already late, I decided to give one more container a try, a more tried and true one.  Hazelnut lace cookie bowls.  However, a little twist.  I added a tiny bit of chopped, partially cooked bacon to the lace cookie batter.  Voila.  Now I have an edible container, and it’s three days late.  Most Daring Bakers have probably moved on and won’t see it.  The reveal thread is rife with tumbleweeds.

If you want some more recipes for edible containers. and a recipe for vegan maple mousse, click HERE.  To see all the cool edible containers created by my fellow Daring Bakers, click on the links to their blog, HERE.

Maple Mousse Towers in Hazelnut Bacon Lace Cookie Bowls

Hazelnut Bacon Lace Cookie Bowls

makes 7-9 cookie bowls but you only need 4 for this recipe
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tablespoon finely chopped, partially cooked bacon

French Toasted Pound Cake Circles
4 3-inch circles cut from 4 1-inch slices of your favorite homemade pound cake,
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream (You can use half and half or milk)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
Maple syrup to brush cake circles

Maple Mousse
1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
4 large egg yolks
1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine (I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon since I was pouring to mold)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

Strawberry ‘Confit’ Filling
6 fresh strawberries, stemmed and diced finely
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely diced, candied bacon
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin, dissolved in 1 scant Tablespoon of cold water
freshly ground black pepper, about 1 or two grinds.

FOR THE HAZELNUT BACON LACE COOKIE BOWLS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the hazelnuts and flour. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir the dry ingredients into a pan. Transfer the batter to a bowl and stir occasionally until it thickens into a dough and is cool enough to handle, about 25 minutes.

2. With moistened hands, roll the dough into heaping tablespoon size balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets, 2 at a time, since they’re large and will spread quite a bit. Bake about 10-12 minutes, or until the active bubbling subsides. Place the baking sheet on rack and let cool until the cookies are firm enough to lift with a flexible metal spatula but are still malleable, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Using 2 small soup bowls measuring 4 1/2 to 5-inches across the tops – when set but still malleable, lift the cookies, one at a time, and place each in a bowl, nutty, bumpy side up. Gently press the bottom to flatten.  Let set, then remove and continue with rest of cookie bowls.  You should get about 7 – 9  bowls.  You need 4 bowls for this recipe.

FOR THE FRENCH TOASTED POUND CAKE CIRCLES;
1. In a medium bowl whisk egg, cream, spices. Soak pound cake circles in the mixture, making sure all sides are soaked. Let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Heat butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Transfer soaked pound cake circles to the skillet and fry until golden brown on each side.

FOR THE MAPLE MOUSSE:
1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).

3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.

4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.

5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.

6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.

7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream.

FOR THE STRAWBERRY CONFIT:
1. Place diced strawberries in a bowl with sugar, and let macerate for about 10-15 minutes. Melt softened gelatin in the microwave for 5 seconds, or place bowl in a saute pan of simmering water, to melt. Stir bacon and melted gelatin into strawberries, then a grind or two of black pepper. Let sit until strawberry liquid thickens, like egg white.

ASSEMBLE:
1.  Line 4 mousse rings with acetete or parchment paper, extending a few inches above the rims.

2.  Place one french toasted pound cake circle in the bottom of each mousse ring.  Brush each with maple syrup.

3.  Divide half of mousse equally between the four mousse rings.  Top each with a heaping tablespoon of strawberry confit, then pour the reamining  mousse on top, again equally in each mousse ring,  Place in fridge and let set for several hours to overnight,  Top with a drizzle of maple syrup, some candied bacon, and a piece of strawberry.


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Two Cups of Breakfast – Eat the Bowl Part One

April 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Daring Cooks, Vegetables | 62 Comments
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I’d like to preface this entry with an announcement.  I’ve just joined the social network world.  See the little birdie right underneath where it says Follow on the right?  I’m now on Twitter.  Will you follow me?  This way you’ll know about giveaways the minute I post them and you get to enjoy my quirky and deep thoughts on food, life, food, entertainment, food, grievances, food, whining, food ad nauseam.

Have you ever gone out to breakfast, ordered bacon/ham/sausage and eggs/omelet or pancakes/french toast, then after eating, craved the other?  I learned from this, and now whenever we go out for breakfast, I always order some egg preparation with a salty pork side, usually bacon, AND two pancakes or french toast.  This way, I’ve satisfied all spectrums of my tastebuds and I’m good to go (translation – pure, unadulterated, gluttony).

Have you ever dipped your bacon in maple syrup (what’s with all the questions in this entry?)?  I bet 95% of you have and love it.  I think it was this practice that led to candied bacon and bacon in desserts.  I’m not sure I can do bacon in desserts yet, as there’s something about meat in let’s say a cupcake or a donut, that still hasn’t quite settled in yet.  However, I’m still a dipper, and during those bacon and egg breakfasts, I always divvy up the bacon between both plates – one side for maple syrup dipping, one side for salty, savory egg yolk dipping.

Whole Wheat French Toast Cups with Brie, Bacon and Eggs
This month’s Daring Cooks challenge is to serve some kind of meal in an edible vessel.  Taco salad in a deep-fried tortilla shell, bread bowls to serve soup in, stuffed bell peppers,
oven-baked shredded parmesan cheese flats called frico’s (pronounced freak-O) . shaped into a bowl and filled with whatever suits your mood etc.  You get the gist, you can have your bowl and eat it too.

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! is our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Welllll..I wouldn’t say my cups are the most creative, considering eggs baked in cups, especially muffin tins, have been done.do.death.  I bet just about every Mommy blog has at least one muffin tin egg recipe because kids adore compact, portable food.  How-ev-er, in the words of the oh mighty Emeril Lagasse, words I swore I’d never use on this blog, but it really fits the moment, I kicked it up a notch , or two or three notches, rather.

First off, I made two bowls.  The first, the eggs are cracked over a small wedge of brie in a french toast cup wrapped in partially cooked bacon, then baked.  The second, thinly sliced prosciutto holds a creamy leek and red bell pepper saute, which is topped with a little shredded fontina and an egg.  I got part of this idea from a Rachael Ray show several years ago, and tucked it away in my lobes.  Wow, ‘kick it up a notch’ and Rachael Ray in one entry.  Sans Chopped, I haven’t been into TFN for quite some time.

Creamy Vegetables, Cheese and Eggs in Prosciutto Cups.  Also called..Sunny Side Up 'Omelet' Cups!

Sweet and savory and savory! Take your pick, a creamy, filled, cheesy omelette flavor, plus a yolky texture.  AND then, oh, yes, THEN..a bite of crispy prosciutto OR a melty layer of brie topped with egg, nestled in a crisp french toast cup wrapped in bacon, a light drizzle of maple syrup on the edges – sweet and savory glee.

Creamy Vegetables, Cheese and Eggs in Prosciutto Cups.  Also called..Sunny Side Up 'Omelet' Cups!

Two whole breakfast offerings in two edible cups so  you never have to make separate dishes again, unless you just prefer it that way.  Most normal people do, but you have to try this, seriously.  Look at it this way, by combining a full breakfast in a standard size muffin cup, it’s much less than two whole dishes, so that’s less calories and fat, right?  I ate two of these – almost three, of both. Gluttony rears it’s ugly head again.

 

Wow, is it just me, or have I lost my chattiness?  I used to talk about more than the food.  I’m in a wordless pit right now..writer’s block of a sort..ARGHH.

Prosciutto Breakfast Cups
Idea from Rachael Ray, with my revisions

6 servings
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, light green and white parts cleaned and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, or half a large one, diced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup shredded fontina cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
12 very thin slices prosciutto or ham (try to use a less salty prosciutto like di parma or san daniele)
6 eggs
salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray the insides of a standard 6-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Line each cup with two slices of ham or prosciutto – .enough to cover bottom and sides of muffin well, folding if you have to.

2. In a medium-size skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the leekss and bell peppers to the pan – sauté 5-6 minutes, until very soft. Add the cream and cook until thick and reduced, about 5 minutes.  Season with kosher salt and pepper.

3.  Spoon a heaping tabslespoon of the  leek – bell pepper saute into the bottom of the prosciutto lined cup, then 1 tabslespoon of the cheese on top of it.  Press down a little to make room, then crack an egg into each well.

4.  Season the tops of the eggs with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet. Transfer sheet to the oven and bake 15 minutes, until the eggs are set, but still ‘yolky’.

5. Remove baking sheet with tin from the oven and allow the baked eggs to cool in the muffin cups for a couple of minutes before removing them from pan.

French Toast Breakfast Cups
6 servings
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
6 slices Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread (I now use this Oatmeal Bread recipe from Red Star Yeast - but any kind of whole wheat or whole grain bread is fine)
6 slices partially cooked bacon (2 minutes in microwave or 10 minutes in a 400 oven)
1 small wheel of brie, cut into 6 equal wedges (I cut off the rind)
6 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
maple syrup or honey

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray the inside of each cup of a 6-cup JUMBO muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Spray really well, as these can stick!

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture, then lightly press them into the cups of the muffin tin, squeezing in the middle to make a sort of heart shape to fit.

4. Place a wedge of brie in the bottom of the cup, pressing down lightly.  Wrap a slice of the partially cooked bacon around the middle, outside of the french toast, so some if it digs into the wet bread.  Crack an egg over each wedge of brie.

5.  Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon and toast are crispy and the egg is set.

6. Allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin before removing them. To serve, drizzle each toast cup lightly with maple syrup or honey, if desired.

This was so much fun, thank you Renata!  For some more savory edible container ideas and fillings, click HERE..  To see what my incredibly, creative and talented fellow Daring Cooks came up with, click on the links to their blogs, HERE.

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