Friendly Brunch

Daddy used to work at Johns Hopkins hospital here in Baltimore. He still keeps in touch of some of his friends from there. He has one friend who recently left Hopkins and is thinking about joining the company Daddy works for now. Daddy invited him and his wife for breakfast this morning. We’ve done breakfast with them before and we usually alternate who provides food. Today was our turn. We had delicious bacon, chives and blue cheese drop biscuits, egg nests and fruit salad. Daddy says Mommy upped the ante for the other lady. I’m not sure what that means, but I know breakfast was yummy.

(Sorry the pictures aren’t great quality this time around… the battery in Mommy’s camera died so these are phone pictures.)

The biscuit recipe was adapted from one on http://smittenkitchen.com/

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 oz crumbled blue cheese (one container of crumbles)
handful of chives, chopped
1 cup milk with a splash of vinegar added (to make it buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter (your hands are the best tool for this, but if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, use a pastry cutter, a fork or two knives) until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add crumbled bacon, chopped chives and blue cheese. Gently stir into flour mixture.

Add milk and stir (again, hands are best) just until combined – don’t overwork this, lumps will work themselves out in the oven, I promise.

Butter a baking sheet or use parchment paper or silicon liner. Drop dough (once again, your hands work well, or use a large table spoon) into 12 mounds on to baking sheet. Bake about 18 minutes – until the golden brown hue of your preference.

Can you believe we forgot to take a picture of the golden brown and delicious product? And, of course, we ate them all!

These are best served warm and while we had them with breakfast today, we have had them with dinner before too. When we had them with dinner there was no bacon or chives, so you can change-up the add-ins as you like. And if for some crazy reason you don’t like blue cheese, most semi-soft to hard cheeses would work just fine. Grated cheddar with bacon and chives would be tasty and my mouth is watering thinking about adding grated parmesan and pancetta.

The egg nests are easy too, but need to be made right before serving (the biscuits could be made ahead, frozen and then popped in the oven while still frozen – just add a few minutes to the baking time.)

If you saw the post about soft-boiled eggs, this idea came about in much the same way – multiple food blogs talking about it all at the same time…

Eggs (you could make this for one, if you want)

1 oz of shredded cheese (any hard cheese would work, we used cheddar today) per egg

salt, to taste (this really depends on the cheese you use)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (or just leave it on after baking your biscuits!)

Separate the eggs. This morning we made five eggs since there were five of us, including me – of course I got my own egg! But you can make as few or as many as you want. But be careful when you separate the eggs – don’t break the yoke. It is best to separate one egg at a time into two small bowls and then pour the white into your mixing bowl. If your yolk breaks and gets into the white set that egg aside for another use and start again.

Using an electric mixer – you could use your whisk and elbow grease, Mommy says you won’t need to do any arm exercises at the gym if you do this by hand – beat the eggs whites until stiff peaks form. Even with an electric mixer this may take a few minutes. If there is even a trace of yolk or any fat in your bowl you can beat forever and it probably won’t work.

Gently fold in the shredded cheese.

Make mounds (one for each egg) on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a spoon to create a small divot in each mound (like a nest.)

Bake about 5 minutes. Merengue will start to brown, but you don’t want to overcook because they’re going back in the oven again.

Place the yolk of the egg into the divot in your nest.

Return to oven for another 3-5 minutes (depending on how firmly cooked you want your egg yolk to be.)

 

Mommy added a little extra chopped chives for garnish. She didn’t use any salt because the cheddar was enough, but if you use something like Swiss with a little less salt in it, you can add salt to the egg whites before beating them.

And of course, we had a fruit salad to round it all out – it included blueberries. And my new favorite – strawberries!

 

 

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