Does Breakfast have to be so boring?

Image

More times than not, I find myself running through a list of ho-hum possibilities of what I could have for breakfast.  Often a second cup of creamy rich coffee wins out because I simply cannot get excited about anything I think of. I don’t like the skipping breakfast habit and it definitiely contributes to me be starving by lunch time and not being mindful of what I eat in a frenzied state of hunger.

Fortunately for me, I recently found a fantastic blog while searching European blogs.  What Should I Eat For Breakfast is a site I found that inspired me to make my breakfast this morning.

Back in October I was reading one of her posts and  saw a picture of a delicious looking little meal, Polenta with Poached Egg, Salmon and Pesto. Mmmmmm, I love polenta.  I have been meaning to make this breakfast for weeks now.

Fast forward to this past weekend when my daughter told me about a great restaurant called Mole that she had breakfast at in Victoria.  She described her breakfast and it sounded very similar to the one I saw on the What Should I Eat for Breakfast site.  Again I thought, I have to try making that.  So this morning here I am asking myself the same question as I prepare to drink my second cup of coffee.  What can I have for breakfast?

Alas, today is the day.  We just happen to have some leftover polenta from last night so I decided to see what I can create with what I find in my fridge.

The following is the result of my beautiful breakfast.

First of all, I love eating out of beautiful bowls and dishes.  Instead of my utilitarian white plate, I pulled out a beautiful little bowl that my daughter gave me for Christmas one year.  I think it is actually a tea or latte bowl but it is the perfect size and pattern for how I am feeling today.  The cheery pattern and festive colour connect with my state of mind on this frosty November morning.

Next, I rummage through the fridge and although I don’t have smoked salmon I do find Chorizo sausage and some garlic cloves and hot peppers, soaking in olive oil. Add to that organic eggs and a little bit of pesto I made in August and I am set.

I started by slicing off two pieces of chorizo and cutting 2 garlic cloves and a ring of hot red pepper up.  I put them in a hot cast iron frying pan and allowed the sausage to brown and ooze some of the fatty flavour onto the garlic and pepper.  Next, I removed that from the heat and placed the polenta in the little bowl. I heated it up in the microwave and then dropped a dollop of pesto on top.

Meanwhile I had put the water on for the poached egg and I now carefully slid one egg into the water. As the egg poached, I placed the chorizo, garlic and pepper atop the polenta and pesto.  As soon as the egg was poached to my liking I removed it from the water, drained it on paper towel and carefully placed it on top of everything, resting it against the side of the bowl.

Before I tasted it I set it on the counter in front of me admired it.  The presentation was so satisfying and it made me want to sit in the sunshine of the dining room and savour this creation while I thought about my daughters and how they both contributed to me sitting, savouring a wonderful breakfast.

Image

Waste Not Want Not

Waste not, want not.  How many times did we hear that when we were growing up?  I don’t know about you but I heard it fairly often.  Today I am back from over two weeks of travel and so it is time to deal with a few things left from our Canadian Thanksgiving.  I hosted dinner this year and was fortunate to have friends supply the turkey from their farm.  What I wasn’t expecting was the same friends to bring me an additional gift.  Upon their arrival, with a sheepish look on his face my friend held up a double plastic bag lump and said, “after our conversation the other day about not wasting food and using what you have to create nutritious, delicious food I just couldn’t give this to the dogs.”  I wondered what he was talking about.

It turns out that he had spent the day deboning turkeys so that he could freeze some turkeys in pieces rather than whole birds.  I have had one of the BBQ turkey breasts at his house and believe me they are to die for.  Huge succulent breasts that supply enough white meat for several meals.  Yum.

Anyway, the big lump turned out to be a turkey carcass that he was going to feed to the dogs but he thought better of it because of a conversation we had where I was bemusing about how easy it is to eat economically but well.  One of the things I mentioned, was never throwing out vegetable peels and bits or bones left over after a meal.  So there he was gifting me a turkey carcass and because I was leaving the next day I did not have time to deal with the carcass so I froze it.  Today I took the carcass from the freezer to use for making turkey stock.

I got a tip from a friend about roasting bones before you boil them and so for the last several years I have been doing that.  The roasted bones give so much more flavour to the soup stock and also create a beautiful brown coloured stock.  Why would I make soup stock you might ask?  Well, not just for soups. remember my son hates soup.  No, I use soup stock when I make risotto, when I make polenta, for flavour when I cook rice and in several other recipes such as short ribs and stews.  I freeze the stock in 2-4 cup portions and my freezer is never without a supply.  I have not bought soup stock in a very long time and it used to be a staple item on my grocery list.  I like to have vegetable stock, poultry stock, beef stock and fish stock in my freezer at all time so that I am prepared for any recipe I might want to make.

I thought I would show you how I make turkey stock and then give you a few links to recipes that use stock.

How to Make Turkey Stock

0Place the turkey carcass or bones in a roasting pan and sprinkle with a little herbs of provence and salt and pepper.  Put into a 375 degree oven and roast until golden brown.

0  When the carcass is browned remove from the oven.       0 Place in stock pot and cover bones with water.  Simmer for one to two hours.

0 Strain the bones out from the liquid.   0

0 Place a lid on the stock and chill overnight.

Skim any fat that has set on the top of your stock off and discard.

Pour stock through a fine sieve and then freeze in desired amounts.

Here are a few links to recipes that use stock.

Basic Risotto      http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/rice-recipes/a-basic-risotto-recipe

Polenta                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Creamy-Soft-Polenta-with-Meat-Ragu-241043

101 Soups             http://www.canadianliving.com/food/menus_and_collections/101_soup_recipes.php