FUSION BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS MEXICAN-ITALIAN

FUSION BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS MEXICAN-ITALIAN adapted from NORMAL COOKING
These are wonderfully flavorful – Italian on the inside and Mexican on the outside – fusion at its best!

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3 green onions, halved and sliced thin
2 ounces sun dried tomatoes
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
2 cups half-and-half
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
4 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
Salsa, for serving
Sour cream, for serving

  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a skillet over medium high heat, brown sausage and then drain fat.
  • In a large bowl, stir together browned sausage, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and half of the bacon pieces.
  • Place 1/8 of the mixture down the center of a tortilla.
  • Roll up and place seem side down in baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
  • In another large bowl beat eggs, flour and salt.
  • Mix in half-and-half.
  • Pour over the tortillas in the pan. You can cover the dish overnight and place in the fridge OR bake immediately.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Uncover dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the bacon bits over cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover dish and bake 10 minutes longer or until set and cheese is melted.

PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE KOLACHES

Kolaches originate from Czech and Slovak pastries. The “KOLO” portion of the name literally means circle in Old Slavic. Kolaches were first brought to the United States by Czech immigrants who settled in Texas. Most Czechs have a definite opinion that Kolaches should only ever be filled with NON-meat fillings, despite the popularity of many Texans filling them with sausage.

Try substituting the pineapple for cherries, peaches, apricots or lemon curd!  The sky is the limit with the flavor combination.  These can be made savory also by using an herbed cream cheese and omitting the sugar!  If you use an herbed cream cheese you only need half as much ricotta cheese.

PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE KOLACHES – yields 16 kolaches

DOUGH
1 cup WHOLE milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 LARGE egg
2 LARGE egg yolks
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • Grease large bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the milk and melted butter until smooth.
  • Add whole egg and egg yolks. (Butter may clump and that’s okay!)
  • In your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  • Add milk mixture and knead 2 minutes on low speed until dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Increase speed to medium and knead 8-10 minutes until dough pulls from sides of bowl, but is still stuck on the bottom.
  • Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with cheesecloth or saran.
  • Place bowl on middle shelf in oven.
  • Pour 3cups of boiling water into a loaf pan and place on lower shelf in oven.
  • Close oven door and let rise 1 hour until doubled in size.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  • Punch down dough and transfer to lightly floured surface.
  • Divide dough into quarters and then each quarter into quarters until you have 16 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and place 8 on each baking sheet evenly spaced apart.
  • Cover each tray with saran.
  • Replace the water in the loaf pan with fresh boiling water and move to the bottom of the oven.
  • Place baking sheets on oven shelves.
  • Close oven doors and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

CHEESE FILLING
6 ounces softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup WHOLE milk ricotta cheese

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add sugar, flour and lemon zest, beating until smooth.
  • Add ricotta, beating JUST until combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate until needed.

STREUSEL
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces COLD

  • Combine flour, sugar and butter using your hands until it resembles wet sand.
  • Cover and refrigerate until needed.

FRUIT FILLING optional in place of cream cheese filling
10 ounces of frozen fruit – pineapple, cherries, apricots blueberries…
5 tablespoons sugar and
4 teaspoons cornstarch

  • Combine ingredients in a small saucepan cooking and stirring constantly until bubbling and thickens – about 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

  • Remove baking sheets and loaf an of water from oven. Discard water.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour the bottom of a 1/3 OR 1/2 cup metal measuring cup.
  • Using the measuring cup press evenly down to make a deep indentation in each dough ball.

1 LARGE egg
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1 small can crushed pineapple drained WELL

  • Whisk together until smooth.
  • Brush each dough ball with milk and egg wash mixture.
  • Fill each kolache with 2 tablespoons of filling and spread evenly from side to side.
  • Top with a spoon full of pineapple
  • Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping around the edges. Avoid the filling as possible.
  • Bake 25 minutes until golden brown. Rotate baking sheets halfway through.
  • Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

GLAZE (optional, but recommended)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.
  • When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip into the glaze; if you like, flip them so the tops they’re completely covered.
  • Put on racks to let the glaze harden.

CHICKEN BACON APPLE STRATA/BREAD PUDDING

This recipe is perfect for the FULL family weekend where you want to spend more time with the family than in the kitchen. This can be made well in advance and just be popped into the oven when needed. It’s the perfect recipe for either brunch OR supper! I adjusted the flavors from the original to our liking, but ALSO think that next time I will cut the bread into chucks and do it more like a bread pudding.

CHICKEN BACON APPLE STRATA
3/4 pound bacon, chopped
8 slices thick sandwich bread
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
FRESH ground salt and pepper
3/4 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper toweling.
  • Spray a 10 inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Arrange 4 slices of bread in the baking dish, cutting bread as necessary to form a single layer.
  • Arrange half the apples over the bread layer followed by the bacon pieces and cheddar cheese.
  • Top with chicken pieces in an even layer.
  • Top with remaining apples followed by the remaining.
  • Top with remaining bread slices.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs, horseradish, salt and pepper. Pour over bread tops, pressing to submerge the bread into the egg mixture.
  • Cover with saran and refrigerate at LEAST 8 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • When ready to bake, top with the melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 45-60 minutes until strata is puffed and golden brown.

EVERY SUNDAY PANCAKES

There is just nothing better than homemade, fluffy pancakes doused in butter and PURE maple syrup for a Sunday morning.

EVERY SUNDAY PANCAKES yields +/- 12 pancakes depending on size
1 ½ cups cake flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 LARGE eggs
¼ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a LARGE mixing bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk buttermilk and eggs together.
  • Add vanilla and butter, whisking until blended.
  • Whisk milk mixture into the dry ingredients JUST until moistened.
  • Allow batter to stand 10 minutes!!!  This step is a MUST for fluffy pancakes!
  • Melt butter on medium hot grill.

  • Lightly grease griddle.
  • Ladle ¼ cup of batter onto hot griddle, cooking until bubbles begin to pop. DO NOT flip pancakes before seeing air bubbles.
  • Flip and cook until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.

overnight CINNAMON ROLL FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

CINNAMON ROLL FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
TOAST
12 slices thick BRIOCHE bread
2 cups whole milk
6 LARGE eggs
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon

  • Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
  • Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon.
  • Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over bread cubes and toss.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar.
  • Pour evenly over bread cubes and toss to coat.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Arrange an even layer in the baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with saran and chill overnight.

TOPPING
1/4 + 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Uncover casserole.
  • Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle over casserole.
  • Drizzle melted butter over casserole.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes until browned and baked though in the center.

ICING
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons whole milk
2+ cups powdered sugar

  • Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons milk, blending until smooth.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar until well incorporated.
  • Add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a pourable desired consistency.
  • Pour over slightly cooled french toast casserole and serve.

BANANA LEMON BLUEBERRY* FRENCH TOAST

BANANA LEMON BLUEBERRY* FRENCH TOAST
1 16 ounce loaf DAY OLD sourdough, french or brioche bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 LARGE roasted bananas (OPTIONAL) see note
1 1/2 cup WILD small blueberries*
6 LARGE eggs
4 large egg whites
2 cups milk
1/3 cup PURE maple syrup
ZEST and juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Powdered sugar, butter and maple syrup for serving

  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spread a layer of the roasted bananas on the bottom of the baking dish

 

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
  • Fold in the bread pieces.
  • Pour mixture into baking dish evenly.
  • Sprinkle blueberries over bread pieces.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with saran and refrigerate over night.

 

  • Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let sit out while you preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes until golden brown and center is set.
  • Serve dusted with powdered sugar or butter and maple syrup.

NOTE:*

  • You can substitute the blueberries for just about ANY other berry, peaches or even apples making this recipe just as delicious!
  • Let the bread cubes sit out on the counter overnight. The dryer they are, the more custard they will absorb. You want them to be crispy like croutons.
  • This can be frozen, but I really don’t recommend it – it always seems soggy to me.
  • This is a GREAT way to use up bananas if you need to, but the recipe works wonderfully even without them.

CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE – serves 6
I found this make ahead casserole that lets you spend your weekend with your loved ones instead of slaving in the kitchen over at Marilyn’s Treats. I’ve made a few changes to adjust to our taste palette, but it still tastes like it was made in a 5 star restaurant.  AND THIS IS SO GOOD ALL BY ITSELF THAT YOU CAN SKIP THE SABAYON SAUCE IF YOU WANT TO MAKE IT EVEN SIMPLER.

FRENCH TOAST
½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
1 pound bread French, challah, or croissants, torn into 1 inch cubes
8 large eggs
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
sprinkle of nutmeg
sprinkle of cinnamon
FRESH sliced fruit, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, mandarin oranges

  • In a small saucepan cook the butter, brown sugar and honey over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until smooth and tawny colored.
  • Pour the mixture in an even layer into a 13×9 baking dish.
  • Add all the bread on top of sugar mixture and press lightly so the bread compresses, but don’t squish more than about ¼ of the air out.
  In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, almond extract and salt until combined well and pour evenly over the bread.

  • Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • Cover the casserole with cling wrap and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bring casserole to room temperature.
  • Bake casserole, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. The simplest method to check for doneness is with a digital thermometer. The casserole is ready when the internal temperature is 160.
  • Serve hot French toast immediately with FRESH fruit, butter, Sabayon sauce, favorite syrup or whipped cream.

SABAYON SAUCE – is a French name for the traditional Italian custard sauce originally known as Zabaione
6 large yolks
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 tablespoon of Marsala wine or Coconut or Pineapple Rum (see notes)
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest optional
1/2 cup whipped cream or 4 tablespoons whipped Mascarpone cheese **optional

  • First, fill a large bowl with water and ice and set this aside.
  • Set up a double boiler on your stove top and make sure that the bowl that is sitting on top is not touching the hot water below in the pot.
  • Add the yolks to the bowl and turn the heat on medium high and start whisking. The yolks will slowly get warmer, so keep on whisking and add a little sugar at a time until it is all incorporated. Continue to whip until the sSbayon is very pale and registers 160°F on your thermometer. Make sure you continue whisking so as not to cook the yolks. Cook at this temperature for a few minutes and then carefully remove the bowl from the double boiler and set it into the larger bowl that you have set aside that is half filled with ice water. Continue to whip until completely cool and ribbons form as it falls from the whisk.
  • Add the Marsala wine or liquor of your choice, zest and the vanilla.
  • Fold in the whipped cream and serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • It looks the prettiest when the pieces are served upside down.  You can also invert the entire casserole onto a slightly larger platter or cookie sheet for serving a large group.
  • Traditionally, Sabayon is made with Marsala wine, but you can use whatever you like. Many people use rum, brandy, cognac, grand marnier etc… Whatever you use, just make sure that the flavor of the liquor will compliment the fruit you are using. I like a pineapple rum with strawberries. 😀 This batch was made with Marsala, blueberries and oranges.
  • Using the whipped cream in the Sabayon sauce lightens it up just before serving.

TEX MEX BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

The beauty of this recipe for Thanksgiving day is that it can be prepared the day before and can be baked the next morning while you watch the parade.

TEX MEX BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 small can diced green chiles, drained
10 LARGE eggs
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup Cotija cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded hash browns
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salsa

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet oven medium-high heat and brown ground beef and ground pork to a small crumble.
  • Using a slotted spoon transfer meat to a large mixing bowl.
  • In the same skillet reheat the grease and add the onion and jalapeno, sauteing until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain WELL and add to the mixing bowl.
  • Toss the shredded hash browns and sprinkle with a generous sprinkle of FRESH ground sea salt.
  • In another bowl whisk together the eggs, cream cheese, half and half, and 1/2 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Pour over meat mixture and gently toss to coat.
  • Top with cheddar cheese.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and eggs are set.
  • Serve with Salsa.

PUMPKIN RAISIN SPICE CINNAMON ROLLS

CINNAMON PUMPKIN RAISIN SPICE ROLLS

DOUGH
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons fine sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 LARGE egg

  • In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt. Heat until warm and butter is melted.
  • Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until blended.
  • Using hand mixer on low speed add egg until combined. Increase speed and beat 3 minutes until well blended, scrap down sides as necessary.
  • Fold in remaining flour JUST until dough is no longer sticky.
  • Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Turn dough ball to coat with the grease.
  • Cover with a cheesecloth and let rise in a warm place an hour or so until double in size.

FILLING
2 1/2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup Craisins
1/3 cup golden raisins

  • In a mixing bowl combine the pumpkin and butter. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl combine the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll dough into a 12×10 rectangle.
  • Spread with pumpkin butter mixture.
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.
  • Sprinkle with craisins, golden raisins and walnuts.
  • Roll up tightly jelly roll style.
  • Pinch dough to seal edges.
  • Cut into 12 rolls.
  • Place rolls cut side down in prepared pan.
  • Cover with cheesecloth and let rise in a warm place for an hour until nearly double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake rolls 20-25 minutes and golden brown.

CARAMEL ICING
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Starbucks vanilla powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the brown sugar stirring to dissolve until it starts to bubble.
  • Add the cream, cooking for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar until well blended.
  • Add up to 2 more cups of powdered sugar to get to the consistency you want.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Ice the rolls with half the icing as soon as they come out of the oven. This allows the icing to ooze down into the rolls.
  • Cool 15 minutes and ice again.

SAUSAGE BRUNCH PIES

SAUSAGE BRUNCH PIES
1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound pork sausage
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/2 cup jack grated cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets; roll each into a 16×12-in. rectangle.
  • Using a floured cutter, cut twelve 4 inch circles from one sheet.
  • Press each round into the bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin tin.
  • Using a floured cutter, cut twelve 3-1/2-in. circles from remaining sheet. Set aside.
  • Mix sausage, green onions, pineapple pieces, apricots and spices lightly but thoroughly.
  • Place 1/4 cup mixture into each pastry cup.
  • Brush edges of smaller pastry circles with egg; place over pies, pressing edges to seal.
  • Brush with egg.
  • Cut slits in top for venting.
  • Bake until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in filling reads 160°, 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

NOTE: Dried cherries, dates, currants, or golden raisins for the apricots.

CROISSANT BERRY FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

This is a rich indulgent brunch recipe that is also super easy to prepare in advance for those special holiday mornings.

CROISSANT BERRY FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

15 mini BUTTER croissants
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup SUPERFINE sugar
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup currants
1/2 cup small WILD blueberries
6 LARGE eggs
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Slice each croissant length-wise, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  • Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.
  • Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the inside of each croissant.
  • Divide strawberry slices evenly between the croissants laying them onto the cream cheese and close the croissants.
  • Sprinkle with currants.
  • Layer the croissants into the dish, packing them tightly.
  • Sprinkle the blueberries throughout the dish.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
  • Pour egg mixture SLOWLY over the croissants, making sure to get some into every nook and cranny.
  • Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours or bake right away.
  • When ready to bake, COVER and bake for 30-35 minutes or until set.
  • Serve with more maple syrup and fresh fruit.
  • Enjoy!

HEAVENLY HASH

This is a VERY versatile recipe!! With using what is on hand I often trade out the flavor of soup (I used cream of Poblano today), the green onions (I had a shallot that needed using), the hash browns (I used tater tots) and the cheese (I used a combination of Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar and Mozzarella to use up 3 partial blocks). The only thing I think CANNOT be changed is the honeybaked ham and I usually have some i the freezer leftover from whatever previous holiday just occurred.  It adds such a unique flavor!

HEAVENLY HASH
2 pounds OreIda frozen diced hash brown potatoes
1 can cream of celery soup
2 + cups diced ham (HONEY BAKED HAM)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 bunch green onions, finely diced
1 3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese ( I use a combo of medium, sharp and Skellig Sweet)
1 cup crushed potato chips

  • Preheat 350°.
  • Spray large flat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together soup, sour cream and seasonings until smooth.
  • Fold in the ham and green onions.
  • Fold in 1 1/4 cups of the cheese.
  • Fold in hash browns.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish.*
  • Bake until top is slightly golden , about 1 hour.
  • Sprinkle with last cup of cheese and potato chips and bake additional 10 minutes.

NOTES:

  • Great for brunches and large groups.
  • We like a firmer casserole so I use a flatter baking dish to spread out the mixture.