Sunday, October 24, 2010

{Weekend Breakfast} Autumn Waffles with Kale and Egg Cups

Few mornings prove more fulfilling than ones spent with friends over fine food. New day. Time enjoyed at a pace of luxury. And appetites easily enchanted; fine food for breakfast is quite another thing altogether than fine food for dinner. {And may I say, much less intimidating and time consuming!}

Case in point: Kale & Egg Cups
I try to keep myself honest in the kitchen and, as often as possible, whip things up from what I already have on hand instead of taking another opportunity to buy more at the store. We had friends coming for breakfast, so I first took stock and then headed for the keyboard.

~ I had eggs galore thanks to Full of Life Farm. (Conveniently, their pastured eggs are available for purchase when I pick up milk at Champoeg Creamery)

~ I had milk and cream. (Conveniently also located at Champoeg Creamery. Of course.) And I had plenty of the basics. I'd already settled on waffles (see below), and we had all the toppings we could need (and then some!).

~ I had veggies coming out my ears...kale, leeks, onions, potatoes, celery...plenty to assure me at minimum a semi-impressive culinary amalgamation.

Roll on, Google search. Recipes. Blogs. Sucker me in with a few glamorous photos. I'm sold.

The inspiration for this dish came from Scarpetta Dolcetto's take on a Julia Child recipe. (Oh, it's a long, dark tunnel full of twists and turns whenever you follow my cooking notions back to their respective points of origin.)

I seem to have kale almost literally coming out my ears this year, so that dutifully stood in for the spinach, and it was easy enough to substitute a tad less onion in place of the 1/4 cup of shallots.

She mentioned in the recipe setting the ramekins in a cake pan or baking sheet. What she didn't mention, and I suspect, is that I should've filled the pan with water to help keep moisture in the oven while they were cooking. Oh well. Next time.A final tidbit ~ I proudly served these with a side of homemade ketchup. And they turned out splendid.

A Smattering of Notes about our Autumn Waffles:

A) The recipe I followed said "Serves 4 to 6" ~ I was cooking for four, but I might as well have doubled the amounts because as soon as I started spooning batter onto the hot waffle maker, I realized I'd soon come up short.

B) Coming up short sent me into a tizzy, and to recover from the tailspin of hostess panic, I quickly reached into the pantry to pull out my as-yet-unopened Organic Buckwheat Pancake mix that I'd ordered this fall from Azure. Two things:
B.1) Maybe if I'd been more ready for a new experience, I'd think differently, but I was sad to eventually take a bite of said buckwheat waffle and have the sensation of eating a cracker.
B.2) As it turned out, with the diverse toppings to accompany the four regular waffles, we didn't truly need the extra Buckwheat-to-the-rescue backups after all.

Okay three things:
B.3) Despite the cracker episode, I'm glad to have ventured again into new cooking territory, and I'll experiment again...sans guests. (Or maybe not. So watch out if you're the next ones invited for a meal!)

C) Returning to the original waffles ~ the recipe came from the lovely Deb at Smitten Kitchen: Rich Buttermilk Waffles. I had extra cultured buttermilk (quote unquote?) from my recent sour cream making foray (perhaps a post will surface about that adventure in upcoming weeks), and this recipe was perfect. My friend, Sara, made similar waffles for me at a recent breakfast {+ tea & company}, and I'm now fully won over by the beating of the egg whites.

D) Usually, I'm crazily snapping pictures of food in my kitchen, and my sweet husband puts up with it quite well. I thought I would draw the line, however, at bringing my camera to the breakfast table when we had company...and so, I have no photos to show of the waffle feast. I'll attempt a verbal substitute, and you'll simply need to fill in beautiful images from your imagination:

Autumn Waffles
(recipe above + toppings of choice)
~ Sliced pears (thank you, Amber, who gifted us with fall bounty from Mountain View Orchards in Hood River, OR)
~ Sliced bananas (nothing special, but since I don't buy them very often, a treat)
~ Honey (thanks to Andrea's lovely source for raw gold)
~ Lacto fermented Marionberry syrup (Berries thanks to Gardenripe CSA; Recipe page 111, Nourishing Traditions)
~ Maple Syrup
~ Cardamom apple butter
~ Fresh apples, simmered with cinnamon (thank you, Ted!)
De. li. cious.

Our friends brought Sterling Coffee (Ted was in heaven). Orange leaves glowed outside the window. Oregon rain fell. The warm candle burned through breakfast, and we ate our fill. And then...we attempted learning Pinochle. (I have mad bidding skills when it comes to eBay. Not so much card games, apparently. But I digress...)

The gist?
Hearty breakfasts ~ happy hearts.
And if I do say so, the whole thing gave any Portland $16 breakfast plate a fare and square run for the money...

~Bethany

3 comments:

bekarene said...

Fabulous!! My grandma taught me that beaten egg whites trick and once you know it, you can't ever go back! I am planning on pumpkin waffles, just as soon as I get some pumpkins roasted an pureed!!

Bethany said...

Oh my word....I love pumpkin. I've never tried pumpkin waffles before, but I should! They sound amazing...

Another recipe to try someday ~ the pecan praline waffles from Screen Door. (Maybe they even contained bacon??)

I'm tempted to make breakfast for dinner tonight :)

Linds said...

Eggs look great! I just made some baked eggs in little ramekins for the first time last week. We all loved them! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the tea suggestion!

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