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!

CHICKEN CHILE CORN CUSTARDS

CHICKEN CHILE CORN CUSTARDS
2 medium fresh poblano or Anaheim chile peppers, roasted
1 small sweet red pepper, roasted
2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
5 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups Green Giant white corn niblets, drained
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 can green chiles, drained well
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425˚.
  • Grease 6 six ounce ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in a 13×9 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl combine eggs and cream.
  • Fold in peppers, corn, chicken, cheese, bread crumbs, chives, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  • Pour mixture evenly into ramekins.
  • Place baking dish on center rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Add 1 inch of boiling water to the baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove ramekins from water and serve on plates.

KITCHEN SINK FRITTATA

I LOVE egg dishes like omelets and quiches, but especially frittatas with their blend of savory sautéed vegetable fillings and fluffy eggs! Frittatas are EXTREMELY versatile and are good warm and cold, kind of like pizza.

One of the keys to a GREAT fritters is to saute’ your vegetables first. This will remove excess moisture so it is NOT released during baking which would make your frittata tough and watery.

MY FAVORITE FRITTATA formula serves 6-8
1 LARGE bunch green onions, sliced thin (a small diced shallot is good also)
10-12 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
2 carrots, cleaned and diced small (zuchinni is a good substitute)
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes (optional)
1/2-3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (optional)
1/2 pound bacon, diced and cooked crisp (shredded chicken, pork or sausage are good choices also)
12 eggs
1/4 cup WHOLE milk
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup grated Gruyere, Swiss, Provolone, Pepper Jack or Cheddar (whatever your favorite is)
1/4 cup basil pieces (thyme, cilantro or rosemary work great too depending on your flavor combos)
3 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven 450°.
  • In a 10 inch cast iron (or ovenproof skillet) melt butter.
  • Add carrots and sauce 5-8 minutes until soft.
  • Add corn and onions next, cooking 2 minutes more.
  • Add mushrooms and tomatoes next, cooking 3-5 minutes more until moisture is removed from veggies.
  • Cook off all moisture.

 

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together all the eggs until well blended.
  • Add milk and whisk again until well combined.
  • Add basil or whatever herb you’re using along with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour egg mixture over veggies and cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring with a spatula to create large waves – eggs should be just about cooked through on the bottom and a bit wet on top still.
  • Sprinkle with your cheese choice and press gently into eggs.
    Transfer to oven and cook 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

BASIC OMELETTE RECIPE


BASIC OMELETTE serves 1
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon butter
1/3-1/2 cup filling of your choice (bacon, diced ham, crumbled cooked sausage, onions, shallots, mushrooms, diced peppers, shredded cheddar or swiss cheese, etc…)

  • Prepare all your filling ingredients before you begin cooking as the eggs will cook fairly fast.
  • Whisk together eggs, water, salt and pepper in small bowl until WELL blended.
  • Heat a 6 to 8-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  • Add butter and TILT pan to coat entire bottom.
  • Pour in egg mixture. Your mixture should set almost immediately at edges.
  • Gently push cooked portions from edges toward the center with a spatula so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface. Continue cooking, tilting the pan and gently moving cooked portions as needed until the surface thickens and there is no visible liquid remaining.
  • Layer your filling on one side of the omelet.
  • Fold omelet in half with turner.
  • With a quick flip of the wrist, turn pan and INVERT or SLIDE omelet onto plate.
  • Serve immediately.

TIE-DYE EASTER EGGS

Using ordinary materials (vinegar, food coloring and whipping cream) you probably already have on hand to decorate gorgeous Easter eggs is so easy and fun too! You will want to wear gloves so as not to dye your fingers.

TIE-DYE EASTER EGGS
INGREDIENTS
Bowl of Vinegar
Whipped cream
Food coloring
Hard-boiled eggs

  • Boils eggs and cool to room temperature.
  • In a bowl large enough to hold all the eggs (or work in batches) place the eggs in the bowl and cover with vinegar for 20 minutes. The vinegar allows the dye to adhere to the egg shell better.
  • Dry the eggs and set aside.
  • In a large baking dish fill it with a thick layer (about 1 inch deep) of the whipping cream.
  • Generously dot the cream with various colors of food dye coating most of the surface fairly close together.
  • Drag a skewer or chopstick through the cream to create a tie-dye design, kind of like you’re making a marbled cake.
  • Place a layer of paper towels on a cookie sheet and set aside.
  • Put on gloves to protect your hands from the dye.
  • Gently place an egg on the surface of the whipped cream.
  • Slowly roll the egg over the surface to coat the shell.
  • Place the egg on the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining eggs. DO NOT WIPE ANYTHING OFF!
  • Let dry 20 minutes.
  • Fill a large bowl with water. The water will remove the excess cream leaving the design on the egg.
  • Gently submerge the egg and then GENTLY dry with paper toweling. DO NOT RUB HARD as you might rub off the design.
  • Store eggs in refrigerator.

NOTE: This can be done substituting shaving cream for whipped cream, but then they are for decoration only and NOT edible!!

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BEET PICKLED DEVILED EGGS

A few years ago I saw an article on Chinese Tea eggs. They were so beautiful and intrigued me enough that I wanted to make some. Well I never quite got around to it, but then hubby asked for some deviled eggs and my brain went into overdrive. I decided to create the same affect with pickled beets.


PICKLED DEVILED EGGS
1 dozen eggs, hard boiled
1 jar pickled beets
1/8 + cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Sweet Hungarian paprika

  • Boil eggs as normal. Rinse under cool water.
  • Drain beets, retaining juice.
  • Gently crack eggs all over.
  • In a medium skillet heat water and beet juice together.
  • Add eggs and simmer 20 minutes, gently rolling eggs periodically.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Remove eggs from pan and drain on paper towels.
  • Remove shells.
  • Slice open eggs and scoop out yolks.
  • Mash yolks with salt and pepper.
  • Add mayonnaise, vinegar and horseradish and blend well.
  • Fill eggs.
  • Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

I save the pickled beets to use with 1000 Island dressing on my Crab salad.