Category Archives: Breakfast

Ham with Redeye Gravy – Arkansas

Ham with redeye gravy is one of those regional specialties that probably came about in an effort to use up every bit of leftover food. It’s made with coffee which gives it a very distinctive taste. If you love coffee with your morning coffee, this will get your motor running.

Ham with Redeye Gravy - Arkansas

Food historians are not sure where the name came from. Some say it was because when the gravy cooled somewhat, the fat separated from the other liquid and formed a circle that looked like a red eye. Others attribute the name to former President Andrew Jackson who asked his hungover cook to make some gravy to go with his grits that was as red as the cook’s eyes.

Purists say that redeye gravy should only be made with ham drippings, coffee and a little sugar to counter the bitter of the coffee. But in our taste tests we decided that that version was too thin and runny and opted for a version thickened with a bit of flour.

Little Rock Central High School played a central role in the civil rights movement as nine African-American teenagers bravely battled angry crowds to attend school after the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. Still in use today, the high school can be toured by reservation.

Ham with Redeye Gravy

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 ham steaks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup strong coffee or espresso
  • ¼ cup milk or cream
  • Pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste (optional)
  • Ham
  • 3-4 fried eggs (for serving)
  • Buttermilk biscuits or grits (for serving)

Instructions

In a saucepan over medium heat, add ham. Cook until fat is rendered and ham is browned. Remove ham and set aside. Add butter to dripping in saucepan. When melted, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add 1 tablespoon flour and whisk with onion mixture for about one minute. Add coffee and continue whisking. Add milk or cream. Keep on heat until desired consistency is reached. Season with pepper and sugar. Serve over ham and with fried eggs, along with buttermilk biscuits or grits.

 

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Buckwheat Cakes – West Virginia

For the past 74 years, Preston County has been holding its Annual Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood, West Virginia. During the later years of the Depression, buckwheat was grown in the county as an

Buckwheat cakes - West Virginia

insurance crop because its growing season was short and the quality was good.

Buckwheat is actually not a cereal grain but rather a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. High in fiber and gluten free, buckwheat is also rich in flavonoids, and a good source of magnesium.

Buckwheat cakes have a delicate nut-like flavor and are darker than regular pancakes. This simplified version of buckwheat cakes makes a delicious breakfast, or brinner (breakfast for dinner) if you are so inclined.

This year the Preston County Buckwheat Festival takes place September 29-October 2, 2016.

Buckwheat Cakes

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or sub GF flour of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (two flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda). In a smaller bowl, mix together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla until combined. Add buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The batter may have some lumps. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more buttermilk.

With a skillet heated over medium-high heat, add a bit of vegetable oil to the pan. Swirl so the oil coats the bottom of pan. Pour ¼ cup pancake batter into pan. Cook until bubbles form on top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more. Continue until all batter is used, adding more vegetable oil when necessary.

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping – Indiana

If you’ve never had a persimmon you’ve been missing out. Their flavor is often described as a cross between a guava, an apricot and an avocado. Southeastern Indiana has an abundance of wild

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping - Indiana

persimmon trees and if you are lucky enough to live nearby, the delicate fruit will be showing up in farmers markets and farm stands in the next few weeks. Nutritionally, persimmons are a great source of dietary fiber, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. We did a little experimenting and used our family zucchini bread recipe but replaced the zucck with persimmons. It worked beautifully and the pecan topping lends a bit of crunchy sweetness.

Mitchell, Indiana, hosts a Persimmon Festival each year with arts and crafts, a persimmon pudding contest, entertainment and the crowning of Persimmon Festival Queen.

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Muffins:

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 -3 very ripe persimmons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 Instructions

To make topping, in a small mixing bowl combine melted butter, flour, sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and ground ginger). Whisk a bit until fully mixed. Set aside.

Remove stems from the persimmons then slice into eighths. Remove any seeds. Working in 2 batches, place persimmon sections in the bowl of a Foley food mill. Process until 1 cup of pulp is extracted and only the skin remains.

To the pulp add sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated. Add dry ingredients and stir just until batter is mixed, being careful not to overmix.

Add batter into lined muffin tins, filling about three quarters full. Distribute pecan topping equally over all muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

New Mexico Green Chile Breakfast Skillet

We’ve talked before about how the chile pepper is the official state vegetable of New Mexico. The Aztecs cultivated these peppers centuries ago but Spanish settlers brought the chile pepper to the region from Mexico.

New Mexico Green Chile Breakfast Skillet

Green chile sauce is usually made with Hatch peppers which are grown in the Hatch Valley. If you can’t find fresh Hatch peppers, don’t fret. We subbed in Anaheim peppers, but poblano or even cubanelle peppers will also work. This sauce tops a savory breakfast skillet that is bursting with flavor. If you are vegan or vegetarian, use soy chorizo and /or leave out the eggs.

Hatch, New Mexico, is the self-proclaimed chile capital of the world and hosts a Chile Festival September 3-4, 2016.

New Mexico Green Chili Breakfast Skillet

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Green Chile Sauce:

  • 2-3 green peppers (Hatch preferred, but we used Anaheim)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt

For Breakfast Skillet:

  • 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound baby potatoes, cubed
  • 6 ounces chorizo
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 -3 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • Half an avocado, diced
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

To make green chili sauce: Cut peppers in half. Flatten peppers with the heel of your hand. Roast under the broiler on a baking tray lined with foil, about 10 minutes until the skin is blistered brown. Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, place in a paper bag. Fold down the top of the bag and let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag. Remove stems, skin and seeds. Chop the peppers to ¼ inch dice. Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Saute garlic and onion until onion is translucent. Blend in flour. Add water gradually, whisking to break up any clumps. Add peppers. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Set aside (Can be made a day ahead).

To make breakfast skillet: In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once heated, add diced potatoes. Cook until potatoes are browned, about 15 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add chopped tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are bubbling. Add chorizo to skillet. Cook until heated through, breaking up any clumps. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add diced potatoes back to skillet, then chorizo/tomato mixture. Make a well in the mixture and crack eggs into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and cook eggs until yolk just begins to firm up, approximately 10 minutes. Uncover, top with cheese, avocado and green chili sauce. Season with hot sauce if desired.

Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia – Michigan

Hi folks! We’re back after a fabulous vacation in Scandinavia. The food was terrific! More on that next week. First we have to talk about sour cherries. We’ve talked before about how Michigan is the top producer of sour cherries. The sour cherry season is just a few

Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia - Michigan

short weeks, so you really have to hustle to take advantage of this delicate but delicious fruit. Living close to Michigan, we’ve been indulging for a week now with sour cherries in our morning yogurt, sour cherries on top of salad and this fabulous focaccia recipe topped with sour cherries from Martha Stewart. Don’t be put off by the amount of time it takes, most of that time is hands off when the dough is resting. The finished product is delightfully crisp and chewy, and the sour cherries and dusting of sugar add a hint of sweetness. Don’t fret if you can’t find sour cherries, just use bing cherries instead.

Sour cherry and rosemary focaccia - Michigan

Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. Bicycles reign supreme on this vehicle-free island where Somewhere in Time was filmed. Golf or horseback ride, tour Fort Mackinac or the Grand Hotel, and don’t pass up the many fudge shops throughout town.

Martha Stewart’s Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

Instructions

Combine flour, water and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until tripled, about 2 hours. Add salt, then switch to a dough hook. Beat on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds longer. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface (it will be very runny and sticky). Fold dough into thirds as best you can, patting as you go so the dough deflates. Return dough to well floured mixing bowl. Cover and let stand for one hour or until doubled. Repeat folding process. Cover again and let stand for one hour or until doubled.

Take a large baking sheet (preferably 13 x 17) and add 1/3 cup olive oil. Using your fingers, make sure the oil covers the entire baking sheet. Turn dough onto the baking sheet, spreading it out evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes, and continue to press out the dough until it fills the entire baking sheet. Drizzle dough with 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Add cherries, then rosemary. Dust with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until focaccia is golden brown.

Get Crunchy: Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola – Vermont

If you’ve never made homemade granola, we’re here to tell you it’s the simplest thing ever. Besides that, you have the added bonus of being able to control the ingredients, especially the sugar.  This Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola - Vermont

recipe uses Vermont’s most famous and favorite product – maple syrup. We’ve told you before how Vermont leads the states in producing maple syrup and how maple is the official flavor of the Green Mountain State.

We’ve been making this granola recipe for years and it’s a big hit whenever we have company. We are partial to pecans and dried cherries but you can use whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer – almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries – it’s all good.

If a visit to the Vermont is in your future, check out the Open House Weekend, April 2-3, 2016, when sugarhouses across the state give tours, demos and samples.

Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola

  • Servings: 15-20
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 ½ cups pecans or other nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup dried cherries

Instructions

In a large bowl, place oats, nuts, chia seeds (if using), turbinado sugar and salt. Stir until combined. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and water. Heat until boiling. Add maple syrup mixture to the oat mixture. Stir to combine.

Place granola on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees, stirring granola every 15 minutes until it reaches desired shade of brown (approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how dark you like it). Let cool. Add dried cherries. Granola will keep 2 to 3 weeks if sealed tightly.

 

Getouttaheye: Bagels – New York

Schmeared with cream cheese, toasted with a bit of butter, covered with lox, made into a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese … who doesn’t love a bagel? Smooth and glossy on the outside, chewy

NYC Bagel

and  delectable on the inside, bagels are one food that has made the jump from ethnic to ubiquitous in the span of about 100 years.

Folklore has it that the bagel was created after Polish King John III Sobieski saved Austria from invading Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. A baker made a roll in the shape of a stirrup (called a beugel) to commemorate the victory. Others maintain that the bagel was given to women in Krakow during this same period as a gift after having a baby.

What is clear is that Eastern European Jews brought the bagel to New York at the turn of the century. In 1907, bagel bakers unionized, forming the International Beigel Bakers’ Union, thereby monopolizing and controlling their handmade product. In the 1950s, Murray Lender figured out that he could mass produce bagels, freeze them and deliver them to grocery stores. And with that bold move, bagels became mainstream.

We personally have made it our mission to try bagels all over the country but in our opinion, it’s pretty hard to beat a New York bagel (some attribute it to the fantastic NYC water). If you live in a part of the country where bagels are not so great, try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed.

A couple of pointers: Just use your finger to make the hole in the

NYC bagels - how to shape

bagel. Twirl the dough around your index finger. It’s fun!

Also, bagels get their unique texture from both boiling and baking. The bath the bagels take is not long. For a chewier version that is

 

DSC_1538 label

more like NYC bagels, boil for 2 minutes in each side. If you want a softer bagel, reduce to one minute on each side.

For a unique look at the working class immigrant in the early half of the 20th century, visit the fantastic Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. The museum has many tours and offerings, you can visit multiple times and not see the same thing.

NYC Bagels

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (plus or minus ¼ cup more)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour or high gluten flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Egg white from one large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Caraway seeds (optional)
  • Coarse salt (optional)
  • Poppy seeds (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

 Instructions

In a small bowl, add ½ cup of warm water, sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed to form a moist and firm dough.

On a floured work surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Work in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Twirl the dough around on your finger, stretching the opening to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil for 2 minutes, and then flip them over for another 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain before placing onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining batches.

Combine the egg white and tablespoon of water. Brush tops and sides of bagels with egg wash. Top bagels with caraway seeds, coarse salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees, or until bagels are a golden caramel color. Let sit for 30 minutes so the interior continues to bake.

 

Guest Post: Atole

Hello lovely readers of StateEats! I’m Chrissy, known to most as Chrissy, to others CB, my family Lulubelle and to my readers, The Hungary Buddha. I’m so happy to be guest posting for Kat and Kloh. As they’ve been cooking their way around the U.S., I’ve been cooking my way around the world, and it was not lost on either of us that there is a ton of overlap between the two ideas. After all, our country is indeed a nation of immigrants, and there are little reminders of the old world from whence they came in every bite we take.

Kat asked me to share a recipe for atole, and I’m more than happy to do so because it’s breakfast! And I love breakfast! Plus, it’s perfect for this time of the year when the weather is oh so cold and frightful.

Atole

For some background, I grew up eating a hot, freshly prepared breakfast every weekday morning. #Spoiled. Once in a while we had cereal, but more often than not we had pancakes, french toast, quiche, cheesy toast, cream of wheat, crepes, wheatena…the list goes on. Atole, a warm cornmeal drink with central Mexican and central American origins, would have fit seamlessly in my childhood morning rotation and get me started on the right foot. Especially popular for breakfast, it is also consumed for special occasions, namely on el dia de los meuetos (Day of the Dead) or at Christmas time with chocolate (called champurrado). Because it’s made in the same manner as oatmeal or cream of wheat, it can be as thin or as thick as you like, making it either more drink-like or porridge-like.

I opted for the latter, and I boiled my atole to medium thickness. However, for a gluten-free breakfast on the go, opt for a thinner, more coffee-cup portable version.

Atole

To make the champurrado (chocolate atole), add 2 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate into the recipe below.

Atole

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  •  1 ¼ cup almond milk (or other dairy variety)
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Almonds, to garnish and add crunch (optional)

Instructions

Whisk the milk, water, masa, sugar and cinnamon in a medium saucepan until smooth.  Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir until it reaches desired thickness, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and serve in mugs or bowls.

Note: To make the champurrado (chocolate atole), add 2 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate into the recipe above.

 

 

In Celebration of the Cranberry: Cranberry Nut Bread – Massachusetts

Didja know National Cranberry Day is coming up on November 23? We’ve talked before about how the cranberry is the Bay State’s

Cranberry Nut Bread- Mass.

official state berry, thanks to some lobbying school children. We happen to adore the tart flavor of this lovely little fruit so we bring to you this family recipe that is sure to be a hit in your household too. If you’ve got company coming for Thanksgiving, this is an easy quick bread that you can make ahead of time. Perfect for that crazy Thursday morning when your mother-in-law is dashing about the house looking for her misplaced phone and your brother is wrestling with the kids, causing the dog to bark. Just make some coffee, slice it up, and breakfast is served.

Check out America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth, November 20-22, 2015, with a parade, the New England Food Festival, music and more.

 

Cranberry Nut Bread

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries, chopped in food processor

Instructions

 In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until combined. Add orange juice, zest, and egg; mix until combined. Add pecans and cranberries and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined, taking care not to overmix. Pour into two loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until golden brown.

Peace, Love and Spuds: Baked Eggs in Potato Cups – Idaho

Whether you bake, boil, mash, nuke or fry them, everyone loves potatoes. Idaho, sometimes called the Gem State, leads the states in potato production, with 14.2 billion pounds harvested in 2012.

Baked Eggs in Potato Cups - Idaho

Idaho’s rich volcanic soil and climate offer the ideal conditions for potatoes. Potatoes are a good choice for those who are gluten free. They are a good source of Vitamin C and an even greater source of potassium — even better than a banana.

This recipe is perfect for Sunday brunch and can easily be made vegetarian. We do not recommend using frozen hash browns as they will not brown up nicely. The only caution we note is to make sure you do not press too firmly against the bottom and sides of the pan when you are putting the grated potatoes in the muffin cups. If you do, the potatoes will stick to the pan.  😦  Spray or oil liberally, then use a light touch.

For kitschy fun and to take a picture with a giant potato in front (who could pass that up?), check out the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, ID.

Baked Eggs in Potato Cups

  • Servings: 12 cups
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 3 medium baking potatoes
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup Canadian bacon, chopped (can omit)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Instructions

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees until almost done, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool, then grate. The potatoes should crunch a bit when you grate them which means they are just underdone. Season well with salt and pepper.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray or well oil the muffin pan. Scoop grated potatoes into the holes and onto sides, pressing very lightly (or potato cups will stick in the pan). Spray again lightly with cooking spray. Cook until potatoes are golden brown, but make sure edges do not burn, about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, while cups are baking, combine beaten eggs, chopped red pepper, cheddar cheese and Canadian bacon if using. Remove muffin pan from oven and spoon egg mixture evenly into the potato cups. Sprinkle tops with the chives. Return to oven for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set.