Breakfast: it’s what’s for dinner in the Vail Valley |

Breakfast: it’s what’s for dinner in the Vail Valley

Caramie Schnell and Sarah Mausolfcschnell@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado
HL breakfast for dinner 1 KA 02-22-09

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Two eggs over easy, two pieces of wheat toast and a healthy splurt of ketchup. This isnt breakfast for me, its dinner at least once a week. And not only is it quick were talking five minutes its cheap, filling and oddly comforting. It turns out Im not the only one obsessed with breakfast foods for dinner. My niece and nephew practically beg to eat pancakes and a gallon of syrup for dinner, my brother Jamie told me, and lately, to save a little dough, hes jumped on the breakfast-foods-for-dinner train, crafting quick egg fritattas for dinner with whatever is hiding in the fridge. Research on turns up six boards devoted to Breakfast for Dinner, with more than 100 replies from people around the country who are partial to breakfast for dinner.If Captain Crunch at 7 p.m. is wrong, I dont want to be right, wrote monkeyrotica.But not everyone goes the cereal route. Some people, like me, crave eggs after the sun goes down, rather than when it comes up.Read on for a handful of breakfast-for-dinner recipes from local chefs, as well as the hellishly good Eggs in Purgatory.

Courtesy of chowhound.comNot including salt and pepper, this recipe calls for only six ingredients that many people have on hand eggs, bread, butter, onion, garlic and canned tomatoes. The buttery, slightly spicy tomato sauce is a perfect complement to the eggs. Ingredients3 tablespoons unsalted butter1 onion, choppedCoarse salt1 garlic clove, minced1 (14.5-oz) can plum tomatoesFreshly ground black pepperCrushed red pepper4 large eggsFarm bread or semolina bread, for servingMelt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent and the edges are turning golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so, until fragrant. Chop or crush the tomatoes and add them, with their juice, to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain an active simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.Turn the heat back up to medium and crack the eggs into the tomato sauce, spacing them evenly. Season with salt and pepper. As the whites set, nudge them with a wooden spoon, letting the uncooked whites run into the sauce. Leave the yolks alone for now. Once the whites pillow up in the sauce, give everything a stir, to scramble the yolks in lightly.Slice the bread. Toast it if you care to, and put a slice or two each on two plates. Spoon the eggs and sauce over the bread and serve immediately. From Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day, by Roy FinamoreServes: 2

Courtesy of Juan Anon, executive chef of the French Press in Edwards and chef/co-owner of Angelinos in EagleA classic Monte Cristo sandwich pairs cooked chicken, turkey or ham with cheese (usually Swiss). The sandwich is dipped into beaten egg and grilled in butter until golden brown. Juan Anon, executive chef of the French Press in Edwards, gives us his version of this classic warm sandwich, which is reminiscent of a New York staple, bagels with lox. Its a warm sandwich, very soft to eat, and it fills you up, Anon said. This sandwich has lots of flavor, with smoked salmon, onions and capers. When you pan fry it with a little bit of butter, all of the flavors really come together.Anon recommends serving a mixed greens salad or fresh fruit on the side. Smoked salmon Monte CristoIngredients 4 eggs 1 cup cream cheese 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill4 slices Texas Toast 1 tomato, sliced1/4 cup red onion, small dice 8 ounces smoked salmon 2 teaspoons capers 2 teaspoon butter 2 tablespoon oil Salt and pepper to taste Combine cream cheese and dill, season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over the bread slices. Place smoked salmon, tomato, onions and capers on two of the bread slices. Beat two of the eggs in a small bowl with a little salt and pepper. Heat up a non-stick pan with a little oil and fry the eggs. Divide the egg mixture in two and place on each sandwich. Close the sandwich, pressing it so the ingredients stick to the cream cheese. Beat the other two eggs in a shallow bowl. Dip each side of the sandwich in the egg mixture. Using the same pan, add butter and pan fry the sandwich until golden brown on both sides. Serves: 2

Courtesy of Mike Dennis, co-owner of the Westside CafeEggs Benedict may be a breakfast staple at the Westside Cafe in West Vail, but owner Mike Dennis said it can double as dinner.I think its a pretty sophisticated group of flavors, Dennis said. And its just comfort food that people relate to no matter the time of day.While most eggs Benedict recipes call for a dollop of hollandaise sauce, this one uses barnaise. The main difference between the sauces is the Tarragon in the barnaise, Dennis said. Known for its anise-like flavor, the herb is popular in French cooking.I think that the flavor that the tarragon imparts makes (the dish) more individual, Dennis said.Classic eggs BenedictIngredientsWater as needed1/2 cup distilled vinegar, divided 12 large eggs1 tablespoon unsalted butter12 slices black forest ham6 plain English muffins, splitBarnaise sauce (recipe follows)1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives or finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leavesPour enough water into two large skillets to reach a depth of about 3 inches, and divide the vinegar between them. Bring both skillets to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Crack an egg into a cup and carefully slide it into the hot poaching liquid. Quickly repeat with all the eggs. Poach the eggs, turning them occasionally with a spoon, until the whites are firm, or to the desired degree of doneness, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and transfer to a kitchen towel. Lightly dab the eggs with the towel to remove any excess water.While the eggs are poaching, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the black forest ham and cook until heated through, about a minute on each side. To serve, toast the English muffin halves and divide them among six warmed plates. Top each half with a slice of Canadian bacon, and set an egg on top. Spoon the barnaise sauce over the eggs and garnish with the chives. Serve immediately. Serves: 6Barnaise Sauce 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter1 teaspoon tarragon reduction (see recipe)2 large egg yolks2 Tablespoons cold water1 Tablespoon strained, freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed 1 teaspoon kosher saltFreshly ground white pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepperIn a medium pan, completely melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes. Skim and discard the white foam that rises to the surface of the butter. Carefully ladle or pour the clear golden butter into a container with a pouring spout. Take care not to add the milky solids and watery liquid at the bottom of the saucepan. Set the butter aside in a warm spot.Pour enough water into a medium saucepan to reach a depth of about 2 inches. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks, tarragon reduction and the cold water. Whisk until the yolks are light and frothy. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly and vigorously until the yolks are thickened and light, about 3 to 4 minutes. (If the eggs begin to scramble, or the mixture is cooking very quickly or gets too hot, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk to cool). Remove the eggs from the heat and whisk for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set the bowl over the hot water. Slowly drizzle the butter into the eggs while whisking constantly. Whisk in the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce is very thick, add a few drops of warm water to adjust the consistency so it is creamy and light.) Serve immediately or keep the barnaise sauce in a small bowl set over warm but not hot water for about 30 minutes or in a warmed thermos for about an hour.Yields about 1 1/2 cupsTarragon reduction1/2 cup shallots minced1 cup white wine1 cup white vinegar1 Tablespoon fresh chopped tarragonCombine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook until reduced by half.Yields about 1 cup.

Courtesy of Kristi Allio, co-owner of The Bookworm of EdwardsOften confined to breakfast or dessert, crepes can be tailored to dinner. Try this Green Eggs and Ham recipe from The Bookworm of Edwards. Stuffed with a fried egg, ham, spinach and gruyere cheese, the crepe makes for a filling dinner.Its hearty, Bookworm co-owner Kristi Allio said. The ham is a little salty so you get that savory-ness.If you dont have a crepe griddle, dont sweat. You can make the crepe in an omelet or non-stick pan, Allio said. Use a spatula to flip the crepe and remember they cook fast. You want the crepe to be paper thin and lacy, not thick like a pancake, Allio said. After one bite of this crepe, youll be as psyched about Green Eggs and Ham as a Dr. Seuss character.Green Eggs and Ham crepeCrepes 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour3 tablespoons sugar1 teaspoon salt4 eggs1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil3 cups whole milkFilling8 eggs1 pound deli ham1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese (may substitute cheddar)1 cup baby spinachSalt & pepper to tastePreheat oven to warm. Combine all crepe batter ingredients except milk into large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in milk until completely incorporated with no or few lumps. Set aside.Preheat non-stick fry pan (10 to 15 inches would be best). Oil pan. Pour 1/2 cup of crepe batter into pan while turning the pan to coat evenly. The crepes will cook relatively quickly. Loosen the crepe around the edges and flip when the batter is opaque and the air bubbles are no longer present. Cook other side for about 1 minute. Transfer crepe to dinner plate. All crepes may be stacked on top of one another. Repeat process for each of eight crepes. Warm ham in skillet. Cook eggs to desired doneness. Return each crepe individually to the fry pan. Fold crepe in half. Fill each crepe with 3 tablespoons of cheese, 2 ounces of ham, one small handful of spinach and one egg. Season with salt and pepper. When cheese has melted and all ingredients are warmed, fold the crepe into a triangle by bringing each point of the half circle to the center of the crepe. Place each finished crepe on a cookie sheet and place in warm oven while preparing the others.Makes eight 4-ounce crepesHigh Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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