Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

While Hurricane Sally was inching her way closer, I needed to bake something to get my mind off the storm. I decided to use some of the sourdough starter I brought with me and some of dad’s blueberries to make muffins.

I had originally done this recipe but my dad didn’t like the cornmeal in them so I went with a more traditional muffin. Using brown sugar deepens the flavor and I used a Mexican vanilla extract in this recipe as it has a cinnamon flavor that goes well with the blueberries. The cinnamon sugar on the top adds a nice crunch.

They may not be pretty but they are delicious.

My parent’s house took 16 inches of water and a foot of debris with the storm surge from Sally so I will be dealing with that for a while. As there is no power or water, I won’t be cooking unless it can be done on a propane grill or griddle at my brother-in-laws house.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sourdough starter
½ cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
cinnamon sugar for dusting

Butter a muffin tin.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

In a second bowl, beat together the starter, milk, egg, melted butter and brown sugar. Stir the wet ingredients with the dry, just until mixed. Fold in the blueberries just until blended.

Fill the cups of the buttered muffin tin; sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cinnamon sugar.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and letting cool completely.

I can’t believe Sally hit on the anniversary of Ivan. My folks had gotten 18 inches in that storm and had barely moved back in before I evacuated there for Katrina (and ended up living above their garage for more than a year).

Please keep all those in the paths of these storms in your hearts. Help if you can as we can’t forget Lake Charles and the aftermath of Hurricane Laura so many are facing as well as those other storms that are heading our way.

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers for me and my family. We are healthy and safe. The house may be uninhabitable but we are okay and will survive.

Sourdough Blueberry Pecan Coffee Cake

When I first moved to California in the mid-1990’s, I stayed with some folks in Palo Alto who were real fans of Hobee’s Restaurant and their blueberry coffee cake. We went there several times and, when I finally got my own place, they gave me a well worn brochure that included the recipe and it has been one of my go-to brunch recipes ever since (with the addition of pecans in the topping). Here is a link to the original recipe.

I needed to use some starter and I’ve found that in cake and other recipes that call for sour cream, you can substitute sourdough starter and you get a nice tang with a little added lift. I gave it a try with this one and it worked amazingly.

I used cake flour for a nice tender crumb but, if you only have all-purpose, drop the flour to 1 ½ cups.

To warm it up the next day, place it in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds (depending on how big a slice you have).

Sourdough Blueberry Pecan Coffee Cake

1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup fresh blueberries, tossed in 2 tablespoons corn starch

Topping

5 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×8 baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, resift flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt

In another mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs. Stir together sour cream and sourdough starter to loosen it up and then add to the sugar/eggs mixture. Mix to combine. Add in vanilla.

Add in the flour mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour half the batter in the buttered pan and scatter the berries over. Pour in the rest of the batter and smooth the top.

In a small bowl, mix topping sugar with the butter and cinnamon with a sturdy fork, until they are blended. Add in pecans and stir to combine. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a clean toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.

Cool slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.

Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes

Both Michelle and I love pancakes and I found a good recipe for using sourdough discard in the NY Times that just needed a little tinkering to make it perfect. I added blueberries to hers and chocolate chips to mine. As I liked hers better, that’s what I’m posting here.

The sourdough sponge creates light pancakes with good flavor. What a lovely way to start the day!

Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes

For the overnight sponge:
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

For the batter:
1 large egg
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup blueberries

Place the unfed sourdough starter in a large bowl and add the buttermilk, flour and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest overnight at room temperature.

When you are ready to cook, whisk the egg, melted butter and vanilla extract together in a small bowl, then add to the rested sponge. Whisk the salt and the baking soda into the batter and mix to combine.

Pour ⅓ cup batter onto a preheated, buttered griddle. Sprinkle on five or six blueberries. Flip the pancakes when the edges look dry and they are golden on the bottom. Brown the other side.

Serve immediately or hold in a 200 degree F oven until all the pancakes are made.

Eggs Poached in Grits

I’ve been craving creamy grits and runny yellow eggs and have hit on the perfect way to get them – poach the eggs in the grits as they finish cooking.

Don’t they just look delicious?

I think this would be the perfect hangover cure but, even without overindulging, they are very, very good.

Eggs Poached in Grits

1 ½ cups milk
½ cup water
dash salt
1 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons grits (NOT Instant)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 eggs

Bring the milk, water, salt and butter to a boil. Whisk in the grits and continue to stir to get rid of any lumps. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Stir well before adding in the cheddar cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese is melted and fully incorporated.

Crack the 4 eggs into the grits and replace the cover. Poach for 6-10 minutes depending on how well done you want the yolks.

Gently remove grits and eggs to serve.

Overnight Breakfast Casserole for Two

I had a plumber scheduled to arrive first thing in the morning. As I just wanted to roll out of bed right before they arrive, I set up a breakfast casserole the night before so all we needed to do is preheat the oven and pop it in for a while.

I used 4 corn muffins that I made earlier in the week (recipe HERE) but sandwich bread works just as well.

We ended up not putting it in until lunchtime (as I felt guilty eating while the plumber worked) and the added time of the soak wasn’t an issue. The texture was great and the flavor delicious.

We reheated the leftovers the next day and it was still delicious.

Overnight Breakfast Casserole for Two

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon salt and pepper
½ teaspoon dry mustard (I like Colemans Dry Mustard Powder)
4 cornbread muffins, crumbled or 4-5 slices of sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup cubed ham

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and mustard. Layer bread, ham and cheese alternately in bottom of shallow casserole dish. Pour egg mixture over all and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

Overnight Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

When I think of having cinnamon rolls in the morning, I find myself dreaming of Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. You’ve got to wait for satisfaction, though. I gotta say the flavor of the rolls is great after the long, slow rise.

I do have a couple of quibbles, though. There are no pecans in the original and he makes way more than I usually want to make at any given time. Therefore, here is the fixed and halved recipe.

Before frosting

The recipe should have made about 6 large buns. Not paying attention, I was cutting each section in half and before I knew it, I had 8 rolls plus two ends that I merged together to get a final bun. Still plenty of cinnamon pecan rolls for a family.

I also added Grand Marnier to the icing for a hint of orange and to cut the sweet.

Rewarm the next day in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

Overnight Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Dough
2 large egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1 1/8 teaspoon yeast
1 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Icing
2 ounces cream cheese
1 ½ tablespoons milk
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier liquor

In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 1 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; mix until moistened and combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Add another cup of the flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the filling ingredients of brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 8×8-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 12 by 6-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge. Gently press the filling into the dough.

Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 8 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in a cold oven with the light on. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven had come to temperature, place the pan of rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the Grand Marnier until combined. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

We came back from our weekend away to a very brown and spotted banana that had been left on the counter when we headed out of town. It looked especially forlorn next to the new bananas we had picked up on the way home.

One banana isn’t enough for making bread or pudding but it is a perfect amount for making a small batch of pancakes. The recipe below is perfect for 2 or three people as it makes 8 pancakes. You can easily double the recipe if you have more diners (and more over ripe bananas). Freeze any leftovers and rewarm in a toaster oven.

The riper the banana, the sweeter the pancakes will be. We hardly needed any maple syrup as our banana was so ripe!

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼  teaspoon salt
3/4 cups milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana, mashed
½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate morsels

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.

Place the milk in another bowl and add the egg, oil, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then scrape down the sides to make sure all the flour is incorporated and whisk again. There will be some lumps, just no really large ones. Try to avoid overworking the batter.

Heat a griddle or skillet to medium hot and spread some butter on it. Using a 1/3 cup measure, pour a serving of batter over the buttered area of the griddle. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the pancake. Flip once the top bubbles start to pop and the edges look dry. Cook until the other side is golden brown. Repeat until all pancakes are made. Keep cooked pancakes warm in a 200 degree F oven while fixing the rest.

Serve with maple syrup.

Pancakes with Self Rising Flour

My friends Charlotte and Thomas recently had a trip to Vermont and they brought me back some maple syrup. So, of course, I had to have pancakes for breakfast.

I used a recipe that uses self-rising flour, as I usually have some on hand for biscuit making. But the leaveners don’t last forever, so it does need to be used up and replaced regularly.

This is a recipe that is easy to scale up or down, depending on the numbers of folks expected to be eating. The batter can also be made and refrigerated overnight, so you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve warmed up the griddle.

Yummy!

Pancakes with Self Rising Flour

2 cups self rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chopped nuts or sliced fruit, optional

Stir together flour and sugar.

Beat eggs lightly then add milk and butter. Stir. Add in vanilla. Add liquid to the flour and beat until smooth.

Use 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion out the batter for the griddle. Pour out on a well oiled, hot griddle, sprinkling on the fruit or nuts while the first side cooks. Bake until edges look dry and bubbles on surface pop. Flip and cook through.

Batter can be refrigerated overnight. Remove from the fridge while griddle warms. Stir vigorously before using.

Scotched Eggs

Taking bulk breakfast sausage and using it to envelop eggs is my new favorite thing. They’ve got all sorts of goodness going for them – creamy eggs, lots of hearty sausage, lovely seasoning and a crunchy coating.

They can be made to the breadcrumb stage and stored for later cooking or cooked and the leftovers rewarmed in a mix of microwave and toaster oven (to recrisp them).

When making more than four at a time, I recommend placing them in a muffin tin to bake. Otherwise, they will be okay on a rimmed baking sheet.

I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard but any good stoneground mustard will work.

Scotched Eggs

6 eggs, divided
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
flour, for dredging
1 cup breadcrumbs

Place 4 eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes for slightly more than softboiled eggs or 9 minutes for hardboiled eggs. Run cold water over the cooked eggs and peel them, rinsing them again in cold water to stop the cooking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Use your hands to mix the sausage and the mustard. Divide the sausage into 4 equal pieces. Wet your hands, and then take up one portion of meat. Pat into a thin patty from your fingertips to palm. Roll the egg in flour and then set near your fingers and fold the sausage around it, pinching the ends to seal it completely in sausage. Continue until all are enrobed in sausage

Beat remaining two eggs in a shallow dish. Dredge sausage balls in flour, then in beaten eggs and then in breadcrumbs. For an added crunch, use a breakfast cereal like Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes instead of the bread crumbs.

Set on a rimmed baking sheet or in a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden.

 

Breakfast Skillet for Hungry Gals

I burned a huge pile of debris from Michelle’s yard on Saturday and was utterly wiped out afterwards. It isn’t June yet but Mississippi’s heat index was well into the 90’s. I woke up starving the next morning and decided to make a hearty meal for us to start the day.

I used Michelle’s 8 inch cast iron skillet. It gave us two hearty slices for breakfast plus two for eating the next day. If you have more people, double things and use a 12 inch skillet instead.

For the bulk sausage, I cut the tube in half and sliced one of the halves. I browned those sausage patties first and set them aside to serve with biscuits later in the week. I then browned the rest of the sausage.

I didn’t add salt to the recipe. The potatoes are cooked in salted water and the cheddar cheese and sausage are salty but definitely taste for seasoning.

Breakfast Skillet

1/2 lb bulk breakfast sausage
2 medium potatoes, diced (or 1 1/2 cup frozen hashbrowns)
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
5 large eggs
1/2 cup 2 % milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
On the stove top in a 8-inch cast iron, brown the sausage. Remove from the skillet to paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings in the pan. Meanwhile, place diced potatoes in a saucepan with cold water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the onion to the drippings and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Season with black pepper to taste.
Add the parboiled potatoes or shredded hash brown potatoes to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring periodically until lightly browned and heated through.
Spread the potato mixture evenly across the bottom of the skillet, then sprinkle the browned sausage over the top.
Whisk the eggs with the milk. Stir in 3/4 cups of the cheddar cheese. Pour on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the eggs have set. Put under the broiler for just a minute or two to brown the top.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.