Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Good Morning, Bom Dia, Buon Giorno....

Most important. But favorite?

Growing up, breakfast was my least favorite meal of the day. "Cereal and eggs" was the answer to "What do we have?" which was the answer to "What do you want for breakfast?" Seriously, I didn't want anything for breakfast. I did not want to even think about food at that time of day. I wasn't hungry and didn't even want to think about food. I hated eggs and cereal was only good for the prize that was offered in the box. No, I'm afraid there was little that could have tempted my palate at that time of day.

I did say "little." Actually, if there were donuts or pancakes or waffles on the menu, I would be at the table in an instant! This was like getting dessert first thing of the day. Your day had to be good if it started out with dessert, no? For sausage and waffles, I would even have set and cleared the table! I still love all kinds of waffles from the wonderful yeast-raised ones with the crunchy coating of sugar that you find from the outside vendors in Brussels to the quick bread type that most of us are familiar with. (You may keep the frozen ones, thank you very much!)
The waffle recipe I am giving here comes from an old out-of-print cookbook called The Settlement Cookbook (The Way to a Man's Heart). I think I got the last edition some years ago when working in a bookstore in Westwood, an area in Los Angeles that is also home to UCLA.
I hope you'll try these and also keep an eye out in used bookstores for any editions of this book.

Sour Cream Waffles

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs separated
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons of butter, melted

Sift dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until stiff (but not dry). Set aside.
Beat egg yolks, add sour cream and mix with dry ingredients just enough to blend. Add melted butter and fold in egg whites. Bake in waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

Call them tortillas in Spain, frittatas in Italy or egg foo young in China, every culture has their own version of the omelet. And it seems to me that they originated as a vehicle for leftovers. I smidgen of this or that, a few eggs and a pan and you have an easy and inexpensive meal which is, at the same time, tasty. I think one of my favorite uses for leftover Calabrian spaghetti (or the recipe I have for something with that name) is in a frittata with some extra cheese thrown in.
Not the quintessential breakfast frittata. I think you may find this one a little more appropriate.

Potato Frittata

5 eggs
1 1/2 cups cold boiled or roast potatoes, cubed
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
1 onion, thinly sliced, sauteed until caramelized
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Beat eggs in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the oil.
Mix well.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Pour in egg mixture and lift sides of omelet as they become cooked. When the top is still a little undone, finish under broiler or turn over by placing a large plate over the top of the skillet, turning the skillet upside down, then sliding the omelet back into the skillet. You may need to add a little more oil to the skillet.

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