Breakfast- Ham Spinach Gruyere Cheese Bread Pudding

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Ham Spinach Gruyere Bread Pudding in individual ramekins.  Can also be made in a 9X13 Pyrex dish.

Ham Spinach Gruyere Bread Pudding in individual ramekins. Can also be made in a 9X13 Pyrex dish.

¼ C butter
1 large onion, peeled and diced (or 3 leeks)
6 oz package fresh spinach ripped into course pieces
½ loaf of challah bread cut into ½ inch cubes
2 C chopped cooked ham
4 oz of shredded Gruyere cheese, about 2 cups
3 oz of fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp fresh thyme stripped off stems
5 large eggs
2 C heavy whipping cream
½ C milk
¼ C Dijon mustard

Ham Spinach Bread Pudding

Ham Spinach Bread Pudding

This can be made in a 9X13 Pyrex casserole dish, or 8 individual 8 oz circular ramekins. The 9X13 is easier, the ramekins make for a beautiful presentation. Once you take the ramekins out of the oven, let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then run a thin spatula around the edges and slide the pudding out onto a plate. Stick a sprig of thyme in it and garnish with sautéed sweet red peppers.

In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 15 minutes.  (The original recipe called for leeks.  They are a pleasant taste, but I always have onions around the house, and leeks are more expensive and can be a pain to wash.  As you are slicing them up you run into a ring of dirt and have to put them all in a sieve and wash the grit away.) Add spinach to the onions and cook another couple of minutes until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool down so you can handle it.  Chop up the ham. Grate both cheeses in a bowl and mix. Strip the thyme off the stems and mix in with the cheese. Beat eggs, whipping cream, milk and mustard together.

Spray your baking dish(es).  Spread half of your bread in the bottom of your Pyrex casserole dish or the bottom of the ramekins. Using half the ham, spread a layer on top of the bread. Follow with a layer of half the spinach mix, and half the cheese mix. Pour half the egg mixture on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients layering the bread, ham, spinach and cheese. If using ramekins, be careful pouring on the top layer of egg mixture that it doesn’t run over the top and down the sides, pour slowly.

At this point cover, and put in the fridge overnight. The next morning take out and let set out 30- to 60 minutes before putting in a 375F degree oven. Baked loosely covered in foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake the last 15 to 30 minutes till light brown on top. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Gracehill Bed and Breakfast  865-448-3070

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Breakfast- Chicken Crepes Mornay

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Many of my breakfast entrees can easily be used as a dinner main course.  This is one of them.  It is also my favorite new main course dish of 2013!

Crepe Batter: 

Chicken Crepes Mornay

Chicken Crepes Mornay

1 C flour
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 ½ C milk
Spray oil or butter

Chicken Filling:

2 Tbsp butter
1 bunch green onions or med to large onion chopped up
6 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Couple of ounces of spinach (optional)
½ tsp of salt
2 lbs. chicken, figure about 4 oz. of chicken per crepe. (Either buy boneless breasts and cook in a little water on the stove top or buy one of those cooked chickens from the store and pick it clean.  Let the hot chicken breasts cool in the fridge and then slice very thin.)

Mornay Sauce:

4 Tbsp of butter
4 Tbsp of flour
2 C milk
¼ tsp pepper
1 C Swiss cheese shredded
1/3 C fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

¾ C light cream (half and half)


2 Tbsp chopped up fresh parsley
2 Tbsp butter
½ C seasoned bread crumbs

Cranberry Relish:

1 C sugar
1 C orange juice
1 bag of fresh cranberries.  (I buy many bags when in season, and freeze them whole.)

Beat flour, salt, eggs and milk together to form the crepe batter and let rest for an hour or longer.  I usually let the milk and eggs come to room temperature before mixing, or you can microwave the milk to about 70 degrees.

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet.  Add onion and saute till limp.  Add mushrooms and stir till cooked.  Add chicken, sliced very thin rather than chopped, salt, and stir.

Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a 4 quart pot.  Add flour and stir until smooth.  Slowly pour the milk into your “roux” and stir rapidly until no lumps.  Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil and thicken. Add remaining salt and pepper.  Stir in grated Swiss cheese and fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese. Heat until melted then add one cup of the sauce to the chicken mushroom mixture and stir.  Add ¾ cups half and half to the remaining sauce and stir until smooth.

To make your crepes heat a 7” crepe pan over medium high heat.  Spray pan and put about a ¼ cup of crepe batter in pan and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.  When light brown, flip over and brown other side.  I then flip them out onto a piece of parchment paper or on a granite counter top and get another crepe cooking.  While waiting for the next crepe, place about a ½ cup of the chicken mixture down the middle of the crepe.  Roll and place in a sprayed 9X13 pan.  Mixture should make about 8 crepes.  When done with the crepes and chicken mixture, spread remaining cheese sauce on top of the 9X13.

Take 2 Tbsp of butter and melt it in a frying pan.  Add the bread crumbs and mix thoroughly.  Cut up the parsley and add it to the bread crumbs.  Sprinkle the whole mixture on top of the cheese sauce.

At this point, you can bake it in a 350F degree oven for 20-30 minutes until bubbly, or cover and place in the fridge overnight and bake off the next day.  If in the fridge, let set out a half hour ahead of baking time and it will then take 30+ minutes to get warm and bubbly in the oven.

When you are lifting these out of the 9X13, you really don’t need to cut them, just put a spatula or two under and lift up.

I like to put about a ¼ cup of cranberry relish on top.  In a 2 quart pot on medium heat mix 1 cup orange juice and 1 cup sugar till dissolved, then add one bag of cranberries and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook on the stove till the cranberry’s pop about 20 minutes.  Remove and store in the fridge until needed.     865-48-3070

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Bread- Popovers

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C milk
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

The above will make about 9 popovers in a “regular” size popover pan, or 12 in a “small” popover pan.  You can see the difference in the pans on the below.  You can easily double this recipe.  The first few times I made popovers they turned out fine.  THEN, the next several times they were crummy (dense little pitiful things) so I stopped trying.  A friend, who was fortunate enough to have them when they were good, was coming to visit and really, really wanted popovers, so I practiced on him the whole time he was here.  I also did a fair amount of reading from different cookbooks and online.  The funny thing is, the above recipe didn’t change, but how you made them did.

Ideally, let your eggs come to room temperature by sitting out overnight or for several hours.  Your milk should be about room temp also. If you don’t have time to let your milk come to room temp, put the 1 cup of milk in the microwave for about a minute, or less, and test with a thermometer to get it around 70 degrees or slightly warm when you stick your finger in it.  Beat your eggs together and then add the milk and beat just until mixed.

Two Sizes of Popover Pans

Two Sizes of Popover Pans

Melt the butter.  Add about 1-½ tablespoons of the unsalted butter in the batter along with ½ teaspoon of salt, and sift in 1 cup of all-purpose flour.  Beat with beaters then let set out on the counter for at least 30 minutes or up until 3 hours!

Put your empty popover pan in the oven and preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Take the pan out of the oven fast and shut the oven door.  Spray 9 cups of a 12-cup popover pan with nonstick cooking spray and measure ½ tsp of the reserved melted butter into each cup. It should sizzle on the bottom. (Any left over butter, dump in the batter and mix it in.) Divide batter between 9 cups and bake for 15 minute.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 7 more minutes.  Under no circumstances open the oven door while they are baking.  When the timer goes off remove them from the oven and immediately poke with a sharp knife to allow the steam to come out and then invert to a wire rack.  Serve immediately with butter, jam, apple, pumpkin or honey butter etc.

When poking them with the knife, to release the steam, you are keeping them from collapsing in on them selves.  Some people at that point would put them back into the oven for a couple of minutes, I don’t.

I’ve made them both with eggs sitting out for several hours, and not, and usually by putting them in the warm butter and milk and letting the batter set out for a while they’ll get to the temp you want.  One book really got into discussing different types of flour and I made two batches once, one with better-for-bread flour and one with all-purpose flour.  Everything was exactly the same.  Filled six cups with all-purpose flour batter and six with better-for-bread flour batter and I could not tell the difference, so I wouldn’t bother buying the special flour unless you already have it on hand, and if so feel free to use it.  You are letting the batter set to stretch the gluten.  Many books say don’t over beat the batter, use a whisk and stop just when combined.  Again, one book talked about stretching the gluten and made a good argument for mixing up that batter well.  I use electric beaters and mix until it is well mixed and don’t worry about over beating.

One morning I decided to use my convention oven and set it to 425 degrees.  When I put the melted butter in the cup before the batter it didn’t sizzle.  They took forever to rise, but the last 10 minutes they did what they were supposed to do.  So in a pinch I’d use the convention oven again, but if you don’t have to, save yourself the agony of watching them and just use the regular oven.

So what do I think is key?  Having the milk and maybe eggs at room temp and then letting the batter sit for a while.  It is also important to have your pan very hot before pouring the batter in, and don’t open the oven door while baking or you will let all the steam out and that is what pops them up.  I like honey butter the best.  Mix a half a stick of soft butter and a half a cup of honey together.  Mmmm.   865-448-3070


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Side Dish- Deviled Eggs and Hard Boiled Eggs

Posted by on Jul 15, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

18 Large Eggs
1/4 C plus 1 Tbsp of Mayo
1/4 C plus 1Tbsp of Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp Lemon Pepper

Garnish with black olives, or green olives and a little sprinkle of paprika.

The amount of ingredients above is not etched in stone.  Once you cut the egg in half and plop the cooked yolks into a food processor, add a 1/4 cup of the mayo and sour cream.  Add a little less than a tablespoon of the mustard and start off with a 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon pepper.  Pulse the mixer until smooth then taste the mixture.  Keep adding a little more of the above ingredients until it tastes the way you want.  There is salt in the lemon pepper so add any extra salt very sparingly.  You are looking for a texture that is neither too soft or too firm to pipe out of a pastry bag for the effect you have above.

TIP:  The trick to deviled eggs is how you hard boil the eggs to begin with and I think I have tried just about any tip anyone has ever suggested.

One of my favorite chefs says to place eggs in a sauce pan and cover with cold water to at least a 1/2″ over the tops of all the eggs.  Bring to boil, then place the lid on and boil for 5 minutes.  Then remove from heat and let sit 15 minutes and then place in cold water and let come to room temp before peeling.  I imagine she says to cover after it comes to a boil, so you are paying attention and will start timing it after the boiling starts.  Another trained chef from our B&B association says to place them in cold salt water, cover, bring to a boil, turn off heat, and let sit for 15 minutes before placing in cold water.

Here is my version.  Place eggs in cold water with at least a 1/2″ of water over the top.  I could tell little difference if I used salt in the water or not, if you do, use about a teaspoon or less.  What is important is the age of the eggs.  Most of you use store bought eggs, and this should work particularly if you have the eggs for a week or two.  I use eggs from my very favorite egg lady, Dawn and her son Jake.  This method even worked with very fresh eggs as long at they were at least a week old.  Those that were 36 hours old, would not peel regardless of which method or combination of methods I tried.

Deviled Eggs Recipe

Deviled Eggs Recipe

Whether you cover the pan or not, bring to a boil, then turn off heat, COVER the pan and let sit 15 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to pick them out of the hot water after 15 minutes, and place them in a bowl that has cold tap water in it with SEVERAL HANDFULS OF ICE.  After about 15 minutes they are ready to peel.  The ice water makes them shrink away from the shell a little bit.  Tap the fat end of the egg to crack first.  There is usually an air bubble at that end.  You can always put a strainer in the sink and peel them under running water with the shells dropping into the strainer instead of down your drain if you need a little help.  Cooking them this length of time has always cooked them, but not  so long that the yolks start turning green.  Good luck!   865-448-3070

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Bread- Corn Bread

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

Best Corn I've Ever Tasted

Best Corn I’ve Ever Tasted

Preheat oven to 400°.

4- 8.5 oz Boxes of Jiffy Mix
4  Large Eggs
1 C  ½ & ½ or Buttermilk
1- 10 oz Can Rotel (original or mild) Diced Tomatoes &
Green Chilies Well Drained
1- 8.5 oz  Can Creamed Corn
16 oz Cottage Cheese

My friends at Sweet Berries Bed and Breakfast in Maryville, TN came to a pot luck once with the best corn bread I had ever tasted, and this is the recipe.   I was never much of a fan of corn bread till I tasted this. It usually goes in a sprayed 9X13 pan, however you can put the batter in sprayed muffin tins and they will just plop out without having to use muffin papers.

Break the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the buttermilk or ½ & ½ and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 seconds.  Add the Rotel tomatoes, creamed corn and cottage cheese.  Beat briefly for 5 seconds.  Add the 4 boxes of cornbread mix.  Either mix in by hand, or less than 10 seconds with the electric mixer.  You don’t want to over beat and the batter will be lumpy.  Pour into a well greased 9X13 pan, or if using muffin tins, pour even with the top of the tin.  Bake for about 45 minutes in a 400° oven.  Check after 35 minutes with a toothpick, particularly the muffins.  Don’t over bake.  It is okay if the toothpick has a few crumbs on it.  The cornbread is very moist and freezes well.   865-448-3070

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Pancakes- Corn Cakes

Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

Corn Cakes

Corn Cakes

2 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
3 Tbsp melted butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup yellow or white cornmeal
1- 8oz package fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp salt
1tsp fresh ground pepper

1. Pulse the first 4 ingredients in a food processor 3 to 4 times or just until the corn is coarsely chopped.

2. Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in corn mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened.

3.  Spoon 1/8 cup batter for each cake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or large non stick skillet to form 2-inch cakes.  Don’t spread or flatten cakes.  Cook cakes 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.  Turn and cook other side 2 to 3 minutes.

I have made this before using canned corn, and they were tasty also.   865-448-3070

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