Tag Archives: breakfast

Egg and Cheese Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich

While my dear husband was still deep asleep, (probably replaying the Barcelona win over Manchester United in the Championship League match in his dreams) I got up very early on Sunday morning. I couldn’t help it. The sun’s rays managed to peep in through our heavy curtains all before 5 am and it forced me out of bed.

That’s all right because I love Sunday mornings. I love breakfast. I love Sunday morning breakfasts. And on this Sunday, a savory southern inspired Sunday breakfast was calling.

The most delicious biscuits I have ever tasted were in Nashville, TN. Last summer, I visited my friend Julie, in her hometown a.k.a. Cashville for the very first time. I couldn’t wait to indulge in some good ol’ Southern food. As soon as we arrived, we made plans for dinner. We went to the Loveless Cafe. It used to be both a motel and café, but in recent years it was reconstructed to function solely as a restaurant because of the high demand of satisfied customers, both local and from out-of-town. From what I heard, there is always a line of diners waiting outside to eat at the Loveless Cafe. And for a very good reason, they make the most deliciously, moist, fluffy and buttery ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT biscuits and accompanied by a side of homemade jam! Did I mention that it was all-you-can-eat biscuits???!!! In addition to the satisfyingly tasty biscuits, the rest of their Southern dishes are worth the wait and the calories.

Loveless Cafe's all-you-can-eat biscuits!

I have been endlessly searching the internet for their biscuit recipe, but no luck. While I was there, I did take a peek at their cafe’s cookbook, but it didn’t include the biscuits. In my opinion, it seemed fruitless to purchase the book without that coveted recipe, which I learned, has long been kept a secret. It’s a bit selfish, don’t you think?

So, on this morning I was dreaming of biscuits, made with buttermilk of course! Sadly, I had to settle for this recipe, which I can’t remember where I got it from. It was tucked away in my tattered notebook of recipes that I have collected over the years. It doesn’t match the quality of biscuits served at the Loveless Cafe, but I don’t think I’ll ever come across anything that ever will. But for now, on this Sunday morning, these baked treats did serve us well. Their buttery scent drifted upwards from the oven, which did stir my dear husband out of bed and down the stairs to our dining table, where awaiting him was an egg and cheese buttermilk biscuit with his usual cup of coffee.

Biscuit Sandwiches with Oven Roasted Potatoes

Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together.
Using your fingers, add the butter to the flour mixture.
It should resemble a coarse breadcrumb like meal.
Then with a wooden spoon, stir in the buttermilk.
Mix well and shape into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, place the ball of flour
and gently knead the dough about 10 times.
Flatten the dough out and stamp out biscuits about
2 1/2 inches high.
Gather the rest of the dough and repeat until you
can get as many biscuits out of the dough.
Arrange biscuits on a baking tray.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.

Egg & Cheese Biscuits

Use the recipe above to make the biscuits.
Cut biscuit in half.
Butter the inside of the top biscuit.
Add a slice of swiss cheese to the bottom of the biscuit.
Heat from the biscuit, should melt the cheese.
Add some scrambled or fried egg.
If you want to add some meat, add some ham or chorizo.
I’m veggie, so I added a slice of tofu ham.
Sandwich back together the ends of both biscuits and enjoy!

Oven Roasted Potatoes (throw these in the oven before prepping the biscuit batter)

10-15 baby potatoes, cut in half
salt, pepper and paprika
1/4 cup of olive oil

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Put the potatoes in a roasting pan.
Pour the olive oil over the potatoes.
Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Toss the potatoes in the seasoned olive oil
and make sure all the potatoes are evenly coated.
Bake for 1/2 hour.

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Breakfast is My Turkish Delight (Teşekkürler K & T)

During our trips to Turkey, we happily took part in a daily delightful morning ritual… going out for breakfast! This first meal of the day happens to be my favorite. Besides waking up hungry and wanting to nourish my belly, breakfast has such comforting memories for me. Certain dishes can draw me back to the kitchen of my childhood. I can picture my Mama hovered over the stove with her frying pan in one hand and the spatula in another, dishing out fried eggs to her three impatient children seated around the table. (Suddenly, a picture of baby birds chirping in a nest with Mama bird standing above them with a worm clasped between her beak, enters my mind. Yeah… we kinda looked like that. Peep, peep, peep.)

My "Turkish delight" photo courtesy of Kathryn Tomasetti

For me, dining out for breakfast in Istanbul was like waking up on Christmas morning and heading for the stockings. I just knew there would be something exciting waiting for me. In Turkey, it seems that breakfast is so popular, that many establishments specialize in it and only serve dishes around this morning meal.  A hearty plate of various cheeses, olives, cured meats, tomatoes, cucumbers, slices of hard-boiled eggs, jams, bee hive honey and creamy butter were the typical ingredients that decorated this platter, along with a cozy basket of bread. If that was not enough, you could also add an omelette, boreki (stuffed spinach/cheese pastry) or a bowl of spiced red lentil soup. This breakfast cornucopia came with such an abundance of food that it invited everyone to partake in a mid-morning communal feast.

On my latest visit to Istanbul, I was completely knocked out by a restaurant that concentrates solely on breakfast food. The Van Cafe kahvalti, located in the Cihandir neighborhood (photo above was taken there) provided all the delicious edible material I just listed and more! It was there that I became acquainted with “Tahini Peznak,” a tasty spread that stirred my curious palate. A combination of tahini paste and grape molasses which, in this part of the world, has been enjoyed for centuries. The creamy texture of the sesame mixed with the sweetness of the grapes and then spread across a slice of freshly baked bread was divine! Just imagine good old peanut butter and grape jelly, but a thousand and one nights better (and healthier for you too!)

Day after day, I indulged in this sweet pairing. On my final morning in town, I visited the Van Cafe and shared one last Turkish breakfast with a dear friend. We sat outside on tables that lined the sidewalks surrounded by other breakfast goers. Moments after the waiter took our orders, a huge storm appeared and buckets of rain came thrashing all around us. Luckily, we were sitting under a huge and sturdy canvas umbrella which managed to keep us dry. The rain remained throughout our insouciant breakfast. We believed the ill weather would cease by the end of our meal, but instead it continued to pour. We had no other choice, but to face the rain and get drenched. However, I couldn’t return to Prague without a container of my new-found sweetness. With two hours left in the city, a new fixation for grape molasses, and despite the heavy rainfall, I trekked my way to the nearest supermarket. Soaked, I traveled up and down the aisles of the Carrefour grocery store until I found my jar of uzem pekmezi. It was stacked right next to its familiar partner- tahini.

Lately, this sweet and nutty duo has made many regular morning and mid-afternoon appearances on our table. And since discovering it, I have also been obsessed with finding a way to use it in other baked goods. Cookies, shortbread, cakes? How about a snack bar with an oatmeal base that could hold the creamy syrupy tahini peznak and allow its flavors to penetrate through to your taste buds?

Tahini Peznak Pistachio Cranberry Oatmeal Bars– let me know what you think!

Tahini Peznak Pistachio Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bottom Layer Base:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup oats
1/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt

In a medium bowl:
Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. It will look a bit crumbly.
Grease a 8×8 square pan.
Bake the base for 10-12 minutes.

Tahini Peznak Top Layer

1/3 cup tahini
1/2 cup grape molasses a.k.a. Uzem Pekmezi
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. flour

In a medium bowl:

Combine all the ingredients together.
Then pour over the oatmeal base.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.

When cool, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

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