Cooks Corner

Published 2:49 am Friday, May 6, 2005

By By Lisa Tindell
I apologize for last week's column being so short. I could blame it on technology, but someone once told me "it's not the computer's fault. It's operator error". I'll admit, I must have made a mistake.
At any rate, I hope you enjoyed the recipe for the breakfast frittata. It really is a good way to start a fast-paced day with a good meal. This week, I'll share recipes from the "lost in space" column that was to have appeared last week. (I hope I hit the right keys on my computer keyboard this week.)
A quick favorite that my son and husband both enjoy is easy and storable. I have ordered this before from a fast-food restaurant and discovered that I could probably make these at home pretty easily. I was right. When my son's friend, Connor, comes for a sleep-over, I try to make these for breakfast. They are easy, fast and kids really do love them. I even made them for a church breakfast we had once and they were a big hit. I hope you like them too!
I make the main ingredients ahead of time and assemble and re-heat in the microwave hurried mornings.
Breakfast Burrito
1 lb. bulk sausage
6 eggs, well beaten
Sliced cheese
Flour tortillas
Brown sausage, crumbling as you go and drain. Pour eggs into skillet and scramble until firm. On a flour tortilla, place one slice of cheese and top with a heaping tablespoon of crumbled sausage and scrambled eggs. Top with one or two teaspoons of your favorite salsa. Roll tortilla into burrito wrap. Place seam side down on a small micro-wave safe plate and microwave on high for about 40 seconds (to melt cheese). Store unused sausage and eggs separately in air-tight containers for up to five days in the refrigerator. If you plan to assemble the tortilla, leave off the salsa until just before serving. Adding salsa before storage makes the tortilla soggy.
Another good idea for make-ahead meals is an interesting breakfast pie. You could make this up on Sunday afternoon and have your weekday breakfast ready in a short time in the microwave.
Breakfast Pies
One pound breakfast sausage
One-fourth cup minced onion
One-fourth cup minced green bell pepper
1 (12 ounce) can refrigerated biscuit dough
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, combine sausage, onion and green pepper. Cook until sausage is evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Separate the dough into 10 individual biscuits. Flatten each biscuit out, then line the bottom and sides of 10 muffin cups. Evenly distribute sausage mixture between the cups. Mix together the eggs and milk, and divide between the cups. Sprinkle tops with shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is set.
I had the following dish once at a brunch and fell in love with it. It's not on the fast breakfast list, but it is in the make-ahead category that I love. I'm sure you have heard of it or maybe even had a taste at a brunch yourself. The breakfast casserole I had was a little salty , but generally pretty good. I decided one day to try and copy it for my family. I have served several times on Christmas morning. It's a make-ahead dish that you simply take out of the refrigerator and bake. It's so simple to make and all you need to serve with it is toast and some homemade jam, jelly or apple butter. MMM. MMM.
Breakfast Casserole
8 eggs, well beaten
3 cups cooked grits
1 lb. bulk sausage, crumbled, cooked and drained
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (or to taste)
Milk (as needed)
In a four-quart casserole dish combine, grits, sausage, and eggs until well blended. If mixture seems a little dry, add milk one-fourth cup at a time. You'll want the consistency to be like cornbread dressing. The eggs will cause the casserole to set, so you don't want it to be too dry prior to baking. Top the mixture with shredded cheese. I sometimes mix a little of the cheese into the casserole before topping it off. You may want to use a pepper jack cheese to give it a little kick. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve warm.
Savory Breakfast Muffins
4 slices bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
one-fourth teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon wheat germ (optional
One-half teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
One-third cup milk
1 cup canned cream-style corn
one-fourth cup butter, melted
one-fourth cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Place bacon in a skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, wheat germ and salt. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, corn, butter, oil and bacon. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients, just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25, until golden brown.
In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing recipes that will revolve around fresh fruits. With church homecomings, family reunions and the like close at hand, I'll be sharing some take-along ideas that you may find helpful and different at your covered-dish affair.
Until next week, happy cooking!

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