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Pie — yes, that’s pie — for breakfast

By on October 25, 2017 in Columnist with 0 Comments

Bonnie OrrDaylight is arriving later each day, so rather than parading out to the garden in the morning, it is time for leisurely breakfasts.

Special breakfasts call out “family time is important.” As the holidays approach, design some special daybreak meals.

My favorite early morning meal is a pie or tart. It makes the house smell good enough to want to get-up and see what’s cooking! Or it can be assembled the night before and popped in the oven when everyone is on their second cup of coffee.

Breakfast pie is not as intimidating as it sounds. The crust can be as simple as laying some flour tortillas in a pie dish and arranging the filling on them.

The next level of complexity could be a half recipe of yeast-based pizza dough that needs to rise for 40 minutes — or you could splurge and make a regular butter-based pie crust.

Oh what the heck — purchase a pie crust from the freezer section of your favorite grocery store.

It may not be as good as what you can create, but the family breakfast is about companionship and love.

My favorite crust is made with potatoes that I can still dig from the garden the night before.

There are many ways to create a potato crust. Brush a pie dish with oil and line the dish with last night’s leftover mashed potatoes. The most beautiful potato crust is made with thinly sliced potatoes arranged in a scalloped pattern in the bottom of the pie dish. Use the food processor to slice three potatoes into thin, even slices.

The easiest method is to grate potatoes in cold water, drain and pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and press into a pie dish.

After each of these potato crusts are fitted into the pie plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper. it needs to be baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes because the raw potato takes more time to cook than most fillings. Pre-baking also crisps the potatoes, so the filling will not soak into the crust.

While the crust is cooking, feel free to be creative with the filling’s ingredients. Consider a meat such as cubed ham, precooked sliced bacon, chicken or sausage.

People in many countries enjoy various fish for breakfast. Fish pie is delicious. If your family is not up to a fishy early morning wake up sniff, use mild seafood such as shrimp, crab or salmon.

Fragrant, savory pies create the perfect family breakfast in November.

Breakfast pie

Serves 4-6

375 degrees

60 minutes/30 minutes baking

Here are the basics:

3 cups sliced, grated or mashed potatoes

Or crust of your choice

5 ounces of meat or fish

5 ounces grated cheese: Choose one or more types — Cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, Gruyere

2 oz. blue cheese

Salt/ pepper

Choose one of these to stick the filling together:

4 eggs lightly beaten

1 cup meat gravy or stock thickened with 2 tablespoons flour or 1 tablespoon corn starch

1 cup half and half thickened with 2 eggs.

Then depending on your morning palate, chop leeks, onions, peppers, well drained tomatoes, olives.

A suggested topping to sprinkle on the pie to brown and crisp:

Mix together

3 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Panettone

Maybe you want faster and easier?

In November the Italian Christmas bread, Panettone, is sold at the grocery stores. It is intended to be eaten as toast or just served at room temperature with butter.

But this bread makes the ultimate French toast. Slice the bread into one-inch rounds. Dip each slice in a mixture of milk and eggs. It takes about 2 eggs and 1 cup milk to soak 6 slices of Panettone. Fry each slice on a griddle that has been coated with butter.

Panettone makes a memorable breakfast.

Have a wonderful November day.

Bonnie Orr — the dirt diva — cooks and gardens in East Wenatchee.

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