Sunday, November 1, 2009
We changed the clocks this morning to fall back an hour to end this year's Daylight Saving Time (DST). I think DST is outmoded, but decide for yourself by reading about it via the link to Wikipedia's entry.
All Saints' Day, which I know about either because I was raised Catholic (sort of) or because of all of my years watching Jeaopardy. Regardless, I know that it's the day after Halloween which is today, and that tomorrow is All Souls' Day. All Saints' Day is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics which means that Mass is required today for them. I decided to honor the saints by cooking a delicious breakfast. (Okay, I probably would have made one anyway, but then I'd lose the educational topical element of this post.)
As Gnome did his best to celebrate Halloween last night, I knew that a fatty, starchy, protein-rich breakfast was in order. And because I would marry cinnamon orange butter if I didn't already belong to another and if we were the same species, I wanted to have that. I made it before with the recipe linked to here for apple pancakes, but I knew that it would go well on French toast which is much less effort and would use up the last of a loaf of ciabatta bread. Instead of making my usual blend of egg, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and vanilla, which would have paired just as well, I'd already used part of an orange skin for zest for the butter so I used that instead of the nutmeg, sugar and vanilla, along with a splash of Gran Marnier, an orange liqueur.
Next, I made up a recipe loosely based on a restaurant version of a skillet breakfast. Using a small five- or six-inch wide sauce pan, I heated a quarter-inch of oil to smoking then turned it down a bit while I chopped up the last of our two, small potatoes into a quarter-inch dice. It's important to keep the dice as uniform as you can so that each is cooked the same. I fried those up in three batches, drained them on paper towels and sprinkled them with salt. While keeping an eye on them to watch that they didn't burn, I sliced up some more ciabatta for toast since Gnome doesn't like sweet stuff for breakfast, grated some sharp cheddar and quartered some grape tomatoes from the garden.
I turned on the broiler, set up the bread in the toaster to be put down when everything else was just about ready, and heated one large and one small skillet.
In the small skillet, I melted a little butter and cracked three eggs into the pan, then lowered the heat a little and covered the pan to sort of cook the eggs basted-style. I dipped the bread into the French toast batter quickly, removing any excess, then slipped each slice into the skillet to which I'd added a tablespoon of butter just seconds before so that it wouldn't burn. Once the eggs were set on top, I distributed the hashbrowned potatoes around the perimeter of the skillet then topped it all with the cheddar and tomatoes and popped it under the broiler.
With an array of hot sauces already set out on the table and hot coffee and orange juice ready to go, I toasted the bread and plated up. It was delicious, as I hope you can imagine.
I tried to locate a saint to feature today but couldn't locate a patron saint of breakfast or food. Today is the feast day of several saints, but each one that I read about died a grisly death, which I suppose is a popular criteria for martyrdom, and well, just wasn't a good tie-in for this post. Too bad there isn't a patron saint of hedonism.