Archive for Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Breakfast of champions

Cookbook duo jump-starts the day with tangy dishes

May 15, 2002

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— Breakfast is usually considered one of the most important meals of the day.

Meet its challenge by keeping close at hand a copy of the new book "A Real American Breakfast" by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (Morrow, $34.95).

Oregon Salmon Hash is more sophisticated than the term "hash" might
suggest. It&squot;s made of sauteed potato chunks, plus onion,
half-and-half, Dijon mustard, salmon, chives and dill. The recipe
is from "A Real American Breakfast" by Cheryl Alters Jamison and
Bill Jamison, who recommend serving it with sour cream and a
sprinkling of capers.

Oregon Salmon Hash is more sophisticated than the term "hash" might suggest. It's made of sauteed potato chunks, plus onion, half-and-half, Dijon mustard, salmon, chives and dill. The recipe is from "A Real American Breakfast" by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, who recommend serving it with sour cream and a sprinkling of capers.

This is the eighth cookbook written by the award-winning husband and wife team, widely respected authorities on American cooking.

"Our goal with this book is to encourage people to put variety, flavor and fun back into breakfast," Cheryl said, speaking by phone from the Jamisons' Santa Fe, N.M., home.

Complimented on their explicitly written recipes, she explained: "When we write cookbooks, we try to appeal to a broad audience. We try to make sure to include enough information for the more experienced cook as well as for some that may have less experience."

This substantial book is packed with ingredient and technique tips, historical quotes and notes, in addition to the 275 recipes for traditional breakfast classics, regional favorites and ethnic-inspired dishes.

The book includes items that are easy enough for everyday family fare, as well as recipes suited to weekend cooking and entertaining.

Successive chapters cover pancakes, waffles and special toasts; morning meats; "On the Waterfront"; "Heavenly Hashes"; stratas and other morning casseroles; home-crafted cereals; and potatoes, tomatoes, grits, greens and beans.

Chunky Ranch-Style Home Fries



2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper or additional green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, optional
Minced fresh chives or parsley, optional

Warm the butter in a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the potatoes, and when coated with a bit of butter, season them with salt and pepper and cover the skillet. Cook for 20 minutes, during which you should hear only a faint cooking sound.

Saturday Summer Strata is made from hearty bread cut into slices,
layered with cubes of cheese, pesto, prosciutto and tomatoes,
soaked with an egg-milk mixture. Its intriguing combination of
flavors would make it perfect for a brunch for week-end guests.

Saturday Summer Strata is made from hearty bread cut into slices, layered with cubes of cheese, pesto, prosciutto and tomatoes, soaked with an egg-milk mixture. Its intriguing combination of flavors would make it perfect for a brunch for week-end guests.

Uncover the potatoes and cook for 30 minutes longer, turning them at 10-minute intervals and patting them back down. When you turn them the first time, stir in the onion, bell peppers and chili powder, if desired. As the potatoes soften, pat them down more lightly, bringing as much of their surface in contact with the skillet as possible without mashing them.

Cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes longer, turning them at 5-minute intervals. During the last 10 minutes, bring the heat up to medium and, if you wish, add more salt and pepper. The home fries are ready when the potato cubes are richly browned and clearly crisp with tender, melting centers. Plate them up immediately, scatter with chives if you wish and serve.

Makes 2 generous servings as a main dish, 4 as a side dish.




Saturday Summer Strata



One 1- to 1 1/4-pound loaf country or sourdough bread, crusts removed if thick
1/2 pound cream cheese or St. Andre cheese (rind removed), cut into small cubes or bits
1/2 pound fresh or other mozzarella, cut into small pieces or grated
3/4 cup prepared pesto
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 pound (about 3 medium) red-ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly milled black pepper to taste

Oil or butter a deep 9- to 10-inch baking dish.

Slice the bread about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange 2 to 3 equal alternating layers of the bread, cheeses, pesto, prosciutto and tomatoes in the baking dish. Cut or tear bread slices, if needed, to make snug layers.

Whisk the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate the strata for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Chunky Ranch-Style Home Fries calls for few ingredients, mostly
kitchen staples. Serve the fries with scrambled eggs or other eggs,
and a tossed green salad or sliced tomatoes, for an easy, tasty
meal.

Chunky Ranch-Style Home Fries calls for few ingredients, mostly kitchen staples. Serve the fries with scrambled eggs or other eggs, and a tossed green salad or sliced tomatoes, for an easy, tasty meal.

Remove the strata from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before you plan to bake it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata for 50 to 55 minutes, until puffed, golden brown and lightly set in the center. Serve hot.

Makes 6 or more servings.




Oregon Salmon Hash



2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound Yukon Gold or waxy red potatoes, peeled if you wish, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 medium onion, preferably red or yellow, diced
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
3/4 to 1 pound hot-smoked salmon, not cold-smoked nova or lox, flaked
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
Sour cream, optional
Capers or caperberries, optional

Warm the butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes, stirring them well to coat with the fat. Cover and cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, during which time you should hear only a faint cooking noise.

Uncover and turn the potatoes. Raise the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes longer, until uniformly soft with some crisp brown spots. Add the onion and pat the mixture down. Cook until the onion is soft and the mixture begins to stick in a few spots and brown on the bottom, 5 minutes longer. Scrape up from the bottom, then add the half-and-half, mustard, salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high. Continue cooking until the liquid evaporates and the mixture begins to crisp and brown again, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Scrape up from the bottom and pat back down another time or two. Add the salmon and herbs and cook for a couple minutes longer, until heated through.

Serve hot, topped if you wish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of capers.

Makes 4 servings.

All recipes from "A Real American Breakfast" by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (William, $34.95).

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