Nothing beats a hearty breakfast

May 28, 2014 

The experts tell us breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it should be a healthy meal that fills the tank and gets you ready for whatever rigors you might face.

The reality of it for many of us, however, is breakfast is too often a rushed cup of coffee and something grabbed on the way out the door. It's a pity, isn't it?

Traditional breakfast foods, such as smoked bacon, farm fresh eggs, country style ham, biscuits, omelets, creamy grits and buttered toast, are some of the foods many of us crave most often.

No matter when you find the time to make breakfast for the family and yourself, use the best quality ingredients you can find. Farm fresh eggs, good quality ham or bacon, fresh, crusty bread from a local bakery and a good quality cheese.

Gather the family into the kitchen, provide a stool for everyone, get the Bradenton Herald and make a pot of coffee. Talk about the day to come, while you make a simple, but delicious breakfast.

BREAKFAST SANDWICH

This recipe is for one serving, so multiply by the number of people you want to serve. One is more than enough per person.

2 eggs at room temperature

1 fresh crusty bun or roll

1-2 slices smoked ham cut to fit roll

1-2 slices cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Butter as needed

Add a little butter to a sauté pan and sauté the ham until it starts to take on some color. Set aside but keep warm. Lightly whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Melt a tab of butter in a non-stick pan over medium high flame, then pour in the eggs. Allow to cook almost through, then carefully flip it to cook the other side. If you just can't manage the flip, run it under a hot broiler. Toast the bread, then slide on the eggs, add the ham and then top with the cheese. The eggs, ham and bread need to be hot so that the cheese melts. Serve at once.

SHRIMP OMELET

3-4 farm fresh eggs

1 good splash cream

6 large shrimp

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (substitute Monterey Jack if you must)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Butter as needed

Directions for classic omelet recipe according to "Larousse Gastronomique."

Beat the eggs lightly, add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. A tablespoon of milk or cream may be added. Heat butter in a very clean non-stick pan, raise the heat and pour in the eggs. Stir with a fork, drawing the eggs to the center of the pan as soon as they begin to thicken. When the omelet is done, slide off the pan onto a warm plate, and fold it in three. Rub the top with a bit of butter if you like.

Season the shrimp with black pepper. Add butter to a sauté pan and heat to high, very quickly cook the shrimp, about 45 seconds on a side at most, then remove and set aside. Follow the directions above for the omelet, but just before the omelet is done add the shrimp, cheese, and green onions. Carefully slide onto a plate and fold the omelet closed. Try a drop or two of Valentina hot sauce if you like.

COUNTRY HAM [SoftReturn]AND BISCUITS

6 slices country ham

2- 1/2 cups self-rising flour (White Lilly is best)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar)

3/4 to 1 cup butter milk

3 tablespoons butter shortening

1- 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese

Fry the ham in a pan along with a little oil for about 2 minutes on a side, remove and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine the flour, shortening and cream cheese and incorporate very well, use your hands. Add cheese to the flour and then add buttermilk a little at a time. The dough should be slightly sticky but not overly so. Dust a cutting board with flour and place the dough on the board. Knead the dough three to four times and pat out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter and mix leftover dough back into a ball and flatten to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with biscuit cutter again until all of the dough is cut. Place the cut biscuits in a cast iron pan that has been greased with butter and bake in a 450-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until tops are slightly browned and the center is set. Slice open the biscuits and add a slice of ham. Serve hot along with your favorite homemade jam.

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