What do you want for dinner? How about breakfast?

Breakfast is the best meal of the day, no matter when you eat it.

Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?  All the goodness of a hearty start to the day, mixing sweet and savory, at a time when most people have the coherency of mind and the time to make it worthwhile.  If you are anything like me, you wake up in the morning scurrying around to get yourself and others set for the day, and the best you can do for a hot breakfast is something that came out of the toaster oven.  So what I’ve got this week I’ve got a couple breakfast ideas that are great for dinners, or weekend brunches.  They’re savory, sweet, and never lacking when it comes to being filling.

When in France, a person doesn’t order French toast.  They don’t even call it toast there.  They call it le pain perdu, which means “lost bread.”  They take the bread from the day before, slice it up, bathe it in batter and fry it, so that it can be used up before going completely stale.  In a sense, when you eat French toast in the traditional style, you’re really completing a rescue/makeover mission.  Eating French toast makes you a hero, in a small way.

The French toast I bring you this week isn’t your standard fare.  This is the stuff to make if you want to impress your house guests.  The eggy heartiness of the Challah bread brings out the best of the batter, and using cream instead of milk adds an extra richness.  I threw in the pumpkin pie spice not only because I’ve still got plenty leftover from Thanksgiving, but also because it pairs great with maple syrup and the hot fruit relish I threw together for added sweetness.

French toast taken up a notch

French toast

  • 1 loaf Challah, cut in one-inch slices
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 gala apple, diced
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat.  In a wide bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, vanilla and 1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice.  Because the bread is sliced so thick, when you dunk it into the batter, make sure to leave it sit for an extra minute, to make sure it soaks all the way through. (Mine came out a little dry the first time.)  Arrange in skillet, turning when evening browned.

After a few slices have gotten done, in a small skillet, combine your apples, raisins, and 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice.  Stir oven medium heat until it begins to brown, then add the orange juice.  Stir until glazed, serve warm over French toast.

This next one was inspired by our Saturday brunch, colliding with something I saw on The Chew (there’s lots of great ideas on that show.)  My husband loves hash and eggs, so I threw this together to put with a fried egg or two.  This could easily be made with Christmas dinner leftovers.

The key here is easy.  If your sweet potatoes and chicken (or turkey or ham would work well, too) are already cooked, that just cuts out steps for you.  Throw it all in a skillet, then top with a fried egg.  Nothing to it.  Half the fun is knowing it only looks like you slaved over a meal.

I really wanted to call this one Hoo Hash, in honor of my nephew’s favorite Christmas special, but I don’t want to worry about licensing issues.  That’s what I still call it at home.  I like this recipe because it really mingles savory and sweet, though next time I might add a bit more garlic – I’ll let you make that call for yourselves.  This may also work over rice with a bit of heat added in, if you want to take this to a dinner place instead of breakfast or brunch.

Savory, sweet, delicious.

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 gala apples, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. Sage
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup red wine
  • 4 eggs

In a large skillet, heat the oil, then cook the chicken before adding the sweet potato, carrot and garlic.  Stir until soft, then add the apple, onion, sage, thyme, and nutmeg.   Continue to stir until the onions are transluscent.  Deglaze pan with the red wine, then turn to low heat.

In a smaller skillet, fry eggs to your desired doneness, then serve on top of hash.  Enjoy.

Tip of the week: According to Food Network, the best way to send holiday cookies without them breaking is to put a layer of bubble wrap between each layer.  The holidays get more cheerful when someone doesn’t receive a box of crumbs.

One thought on “What do you want for dinner? How about breakfast?

  • December 13, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Love that French toast idea. I’ll have to try it!

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