26 October 2012

Savory & Sweet Breakfast: Ricotta & Almond Pancakes with Caramelized Grapes in Port & Balsamic Vinegar and A Plate of Sautéed Savory Breakfast


It's late Thursday night and I am hastening this post in time for the weekend.  I even leapt through all my other planned blog posts just to share this one with you.  Let me tell you why.  I had been fixated with big breakfasts lately.  My mind starts whirring very late at night, every night, thinking of the contents of my fridge & cupboards and what I can put together the following morning.  Lately, it's me, myself and I whipping up breakfasts in the silence of the mornings. It's a luxury, I'm telling you and I am truly enjoying my "me" time.


In the previous post, I shared with you the Dutch Baby Pancake with Caramelized Plums in Brandy, Cinnamon & Lemon Zest.  It was one of those wonderful mornings with the dutch baby pancake between me and the television.  But after something sweet, I yearned for something salty I am done like that.   I have this need of alternating tastes. 


And this breakfast menu exploded in my mind one night and the following morning, I immediately went to work in the kitchen as soon as I closed the door to bid my husband and kids goodbye for the day.  It was me, myself and I conquering breakfast again in the kitchen. 


This had been a big breakfast and it took me time to wrap everything up and finally sit down to enjoy it.  So allot some time for preparation.  I tried to make the cooking steps in the recipes as efficient and organized as I could, learning from my own experience of putting together everything with the aim of keeping everything warm until I sit down.  The one that takes the longest is the boiling of the potatoes so do that ahead.  With all the things I was doing in the kitchen, I did one mistake.  The egg stayed a minute longer in the water and it cooked through and through.  If you like runny yolks like me, it's a disappointment, especially when you don't have spare eggs to repeat it.  Sigh. 

You can also prepare some of these the night before, like the caramelized grapes, the pancake batter and the sautéed mushrooms.  If you want the savory plate composition to stay warm altogether until you serve them on the table, use oven-proof plates that you can pop in the oven when you finish preparing everything.  Just don't include the poached egg. 

Buon appetito!  

Next breakfast will be Pain Perdu with Cheese & Chives



Ricotta & Almond Pancakes with Caramelized Grapes in Port & Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients:
Serves 2 - 3

For the Pancakes:
  • 75 g. ricotta
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (if you don't have this, just replace with regular flour)
  • 1 cup almond milk (use regular milk of you don't have almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted + a knob for cooking the pancakes

For the Caramelized Grapes:
  • 200 g. grapes, halved & seeded
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup port
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic
  • 1 teaspoon butter
For the Garnish (optional):
  • ricotta
  • almond shavings
  • fresh mint leaves
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, mix flours, sugar, salt, butter & milk.  When smooth, add ricotta.  Mix until smooth.  Place in the fridge while you prepare the grapes.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix sugar & balsamic vinegar.  Let it thicken a bit.  Add butter when the mixture thickens.  Add grapes.  Cook together for about 3 minutes.  Pour port and let alcohol evaporate.  When it's slightly thick, pour in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. Put a knob of butter in a non-stick skillet and swirl it to distribute it well.  Take away excess butter.  
  4. Ladle pancake mixture and cook both sides of the pancakes one at a time, until you finish the mixture.
  5. Serve with the caramelized grapes on top.  Garnish with fresh mint leaves & almond shavings. Add some ricotta on the side.


A Plate of Sautéed Savory Breakfast

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 2 medium tomatoes, round slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 medium hotdogs
  • 50 g. pancetta affumicata, diced
  • 100 g. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 2 big potatoes
  • fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water.  When soft, peel and dice.  Transfer to a hot saucepan with extra virgil olive oil with high flame.  Toss the potatoes to avoid burning.  Toast all sides.  Season with salt & pepper & sprinkle with parsley.  Set aside.
  2. Sauté garlic & pancetta affumicata in a small saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.  When they are toasted, add mushrooms.  Sauté until cooked through.  Season with salt & pepper & sprinkle with parsley.  Set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan where you cooked the mushrooms, sauté the hotdogs on one side of the saucepan until cooked through.  On the other side of the pan, sauté tomatoes for just a minute on each side.  You don't want them to become soggy.
  4. To poach the eggs, this is my method:  Put a plastic or saran wrap (that's much bigger than the mouth of a ramekin or a small bowl) on the rim.  Spray very lightly with cooking spray or brush it very lightly with oil.  Push it down carefully with your fingers.  Break an egg inside it.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Get the ends of the plastic wrap and twist the ends so that the egg will not seep out.   Put the wrapped egg in a pot of hot water (simmering, not boiling) between 3 - 5 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs.  Take away the package from the water and slowly peel away the plastic wrap.  Transfer egg on the serving plate.
  5. Put everything in a plate and serve immediately.   
  6. You can also prepare this in advance and warm the plates with the contents in a warm oven before serving (except for the eggs).







15 comments:

  1. Rowena, this looks like a fabulous brunch and I will have to roll away from bing over stuffed for sure. Those photos are beautiful!

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    1. Haha! It was really filling, this brunch. Thanks Suzanne!

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  2. Wow, I wish someone could make me breakfast like this once and for all! Double wow, because you are in that stage when you have time on your own - that's my dream! Hahaha! But I'm going back to full-time job in January (maternity leave in over)...sob sob sob...Anyway, this breakfast is awe-inspiring!

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    1. Make the most of your remaining leave Jen! For people like us, along time is really precious and it's really nice. :-)

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  3. You know what, I will call it win-win situation since you get to enjoy "me" time while your family is having feast!!!! Your dish not only looks so fancy but you decorate and present so beautifully that it's hard to believe this is "everyday just a normal day" meal, Weng. I really think you should go into professional food photographer and/or chef career!!

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    1. That's so nice of you Nami! You really make my heart swell with your supportive words. Thank you!

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  4. Wow, such a pretty looking breakfast. I cann't agree more with Nami. You should get into a chef career. Awesome pictures.

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    1. Vijitha I like cooking a lot but I am more passionate about food photography so I really appreciate your support & Nami's. Thanks!

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  5. Wow, great pictures. And I'm totally addicted to ricotta. Love the recipe!

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  6. Your photos are always great but these are superb!

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    1. I'm very flattered Suzanne, thank you!

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  7. Beautiful photos of one great looking breakfast meal-I think you've included all my favorite tastes here ;-)

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    1. Patty, mine too! We should eat breakfast together!

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  8. Love these pancakes! Pinning to try them!

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