A few weeks ago our grandson came to visit us for the weekend. It was one of his usual visits; being an hour from Huntsville and SHSU, we love it when he drops in for a few days. Well, yes, he does bring his laundry, but also his big contagious smile and lots of affectionate hugs.
These past few years at school (he is a senior now) he has become very health conscious. He follows the Mediterranean diet very closely and is very athletic. According to him, his breakfast usually consists of a healthy morning smoothie. He says it is quick and easy as he is usually in a rush to get to class. He then confessed that he tends to get bored with breakfast meals. Eggs and cereal are about as creative as he gets when he does make breakfast. So, I’m offering up a couple of alternative sunrise specials for him to try at our house and duplicate when he gets back to school. “Please Join Our Table” as we enjoy more than a shake this morning with our grandson and you!
My Overnight Breakfast Oatmeal
2 cups old-fashioned rolled or steel-cut oats (not instant)
1 cup canned evaporated coconut milk (available at Trader Joes, H-E-B Whole Foods or Amazon)
1 cup whole-milk yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup (toasted optional) shredded coconut
2-3 tablespoons (toasted optional) slivered or sliced almonds
1-2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or macadamia nuts
Granulated sugar for topping
Dash of grated nutmeg or cinnamon
In a large bowl combine oats, coconut milk, yogurt, brown sugar, nutmeg and honey. Mix well, cover and place in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. Remove from fridge; fold in coconut, almonds and walnuts. Pour evenly into 4 oven-safe ramekins or bowls. Place in a 350 degree-preheated oven for 10 minutes. Carefully top each with a generous teaspoonful of granulated sugar, topping it with grated nutmeg or cinnamon. Switch oven to broil and place ramekins 2-3 inches under the broiler. Broil 5 minutes or until sugar caramelizes and it turns a golden caramel color. You’ve now turned it into a breakfast brulée.
Many of you don’t know that one of my previous positions was as the general manager of the Camelot Dining Club in Baton Rouge, La., a beautiful 33-year-old club overlooking the Mississippi river. We had a complimentary breakfast buffet every weekday morning for the members. This was one of my favorite morning dishes our chef made for the buffet.
Camelot Club Sausage and Grits Breakfast Casserole
1 pound andouille link sausage or smoked sausage of your choice, cut into 1/4-inch disks
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 cup whole milk
1 cup stone-ground yellow grits
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream or 1/2 and 1/2 milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
Garnishes: chopped chives or green onion tops, shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with a vegetable cooking spray. In a medium saucepan cook sausage over medium-high heat, turning and stirring until brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. In same pan, bring the broth and milk to a boil and gradually stir in grits, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese until smooth, remove from heat. Mix the eggs and cream together in a small bowl; gradually add about 1 cup of the grits mixture to the egg mixture. Now slowly add this mixture into the grits. Pour the grits mixture into prepared pan. Top with the sausage. Bake about 40-50 minutes or until set. Serve in bowls and top with garnishes.
I can’t offer a breakfast column without including my favorite breakfast meat, chorizo…
Yummy Breakfast Chorizo Tacos
8 ounces fresh Mexican-style chorizo sausage, casing removed (want it healthier? I found turkey chorizo at H-E-B)
6 ounces frozen hash brown potatoes, defrosted
5 large eggs
1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream or strained whole-milk yogurt
Pico de gallo, home-made or store-bought
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
8 flour tortillas
1-2 jalapenos, chopped or sliced
Tabasco for passing
The best or home-made flour or corn tortillas you can find
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chorizo until cooked through, breaking up with back of wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate. In the same skillet over medium-high heat add the potatoes and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until slightly browned for 4- 6 minutes. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into the same skillet with the chorizo, breaking up and mixing the eggs. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the eggs are medium done, 2-4 minutes. Toast the tortillas in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer to a platter, topping each tortilla evenly with the cheese. Put 1/4 cup of the egg and chorizo mixture in each tortilla and top with 1 tablespoon of pico de gallo and cilantro. Fold each tortilla in half and serve with sour cream, chopped jalapenos and hot sauce.