Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Breakfast Issue

The first meal is always the most important meal of the day. Sometimes, however, it can be the most boring. The New York Times Food section knows it and today's section is all about breakfast. There are how tos, recipes, and even a report on America's breakfast capitol , Los Angeles. Home chefs will love it, foodies will adore this salute to our most necessary meal.

Everyone has weighed in on the subject.There are some great how tos, especially concerning eggs. Julia Moskin gave us this , and it's an eye opener. Surprisingly many people don't even know how to scramble eggs , let alone discern the time between  hard boiling and soft boiling them. She gives the perfect recipe for eggs sunnyside  up too. It's letting the eggs sit a while from their stay in the fridge along with properly heating up the skillet. What goes with any eggs? Toast and the perfect cup of cofffee. The toast  article comes from Emily Weinstein and it is an eye opener.. we shouldn't be using  those sliced loaves from our local supermarket. Go to the bakery and get the loaves with sturdy crust and fine crumb (the interior texture). These will give you the perfect morning crunch. Those afraid that fresh, bread made with no preservatives won;t last, not to worry. Ms Weinstein suggests slicing and individually wrapping them in sandwich bags  . They're then put into the freezer. This method works well with bagels too. A perfect , delicious cup of coffee would top this off. Oliver Strand gives us this in his piece. It starts with fresh grinding the beans at home for a richer aroma and flavor. It does require buying a pricy grinder. and exact measuring. Foodies will go for this , not caring about the price of an electric grinder or the labor intensive work that comes with it.

On the trendy side there is Melissa Clark and David Tanis.Ms Clark has a good yogurt recipe in her A Good Appetite column. Yogurt is an excellent dish for breakfast, especially if it's mixed with fruit and honey. This recipe is good on it's own and it's an easy one for any home chef. Best of all - there's no yogurt machine involved. It's just  two quarts of whole milk,  a 1/4 cup of  heavy cream and three to four tablespoons of plain whole milk with live and active yogurt. Its then cooked in a hot pot and then allowing the mixture ferment in a warm area. Ms. Clark even recommends swaddling the pan with a hot heating pad or in an oven. Any warm spot will do. David Tanis gives an entirely different spin with oatmeal. His is a savory  (!) one that includes spinach, garlic  and a Bulgarian yogurt topping. Don't be surprised by this Hipsters are using all sorts of ingredients these days, from bacon to hot sauce -which Mr Tanis also uses. It would make a cool Sunday brunch plate giving guests plenty to talk about. It's  probably served in LA, this country's breakfast haven, Regular contributor Jeff Gordonier got to visit the city and experience its' AM culture. Chefs have gone wild with creating innovative morning starters such as the kimchi fried rice , adobo fried rice and mushroom toast at the famed Republique. The quirkily named Eggslut features cheeseburgers with a sunnyside up egg or the egg slut itself, a coddled egg on top of a potato puree. Moon Juice give Los Angelenos, power boosting different elixers from chef Amanda Chantel Bacon. Many chefs  add an egg to almost anything , from braised ribs like at the Post and beam to grilled kale and Jon  & Vinny's.

Breakfast can be a fun time. The ingredients are simple yet can be made a variety of ways for an exciting start to the day. Try a different AM route for your first meal. It'll make you more alive for the rest of the day.

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