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Eagle County: Perfect breakfast in bed

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
HL breakfast in bed Larkspur 1 KA 05-05-08
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” On Mother’s Day last year, Jenny Strehler’s children presented her with breakfast in bed.

She dined on “French toast and orange juice and I think there were strawberries involved.” Dandelions in a little glass decorated the tray.

Strehler, an Avon resident who had been living in Seattle at the time, appreciated the gesture but admitted it left a mess. “The whole kitchen was totally destroyed,” she recalled. “It was a mixed blessing, but it was pretty cute.”

Mom would be happy with burnt toast and spilled milk for breakfast on Mother’s Day. If you really want to make her smile, though, spoil her with these dishes from local chefs ” and don’t forget to clean up.

Dads and kids can whip up this quiche recipe from Larkspur in Vail the night before Mother’s Day. “Moms love quiche and it’s something that can be made a day ahead so there’s no stress the day of,” Larkspur Executive Chef Mike Regrut said. His grandmother’s pie crust cradles this clasic Quiche Lorraine. Bacon, leeks, onion, thyme and custard make up the batter. For garnish, Regrut used local greens with red wine vinagrette dressing.

Quiche Lorraine

Courtesy of Mike Regrut, executive chef at Larkspur in Vail

One pie, serves 6

Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

8 ounces cold diced unsalted butter

1/2 ice water

For the crust: In Kitchen Aid mixer, blend one cup flour and salt. Fold in cold butter until all butter is incorporated into the flour. Fold in the rest of the flour. Mix until the dough just comes together. Add water. The dough should feel smooth and not sticky. Rest the dough for at least one hour prior to use. Bake the tart shell for 25 to 30 minutes.

Quiche batter:

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

6 eggs

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 cup diced onions

4 leeks, diced, whites only

1 pound bacon

For the batter: Cut bacon into lardons (half-inch pieces). Cook in a saute pan. When crispy, remove lardons from the fat, saving the bacon fat. Cook leeks and onions in the bacon fat. When the onions are translucent, add the chopped thyme. Remove all the cooked vegetables and dry on a paper towel. Place bacon, vegetables and grated cheese in baked tart shell. Top with custard (milk, eggs, and heavy cream). Bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours at 325 degrees F or until the top of the quiche is browned and the custard is set when the pan is jiggled.

When mom spots this fancy-looking breakfast tart from Blue Plate Bistro in Avon, she’ll suspect you hired a personal chef. Don’t worry, though. This tart is so easy to make, children as young as 5 years old can help with the preparation.

“It’s just an easy way for kids to make something for mom to say thank you,” Blue Plate owner Adam Roustom said. Cooks can find the puff pastry base at local supermarkets, he said. He adorns the puff pastry with eggs, bacon, Swiss cheese, tomatoes and arugula, but you can tailor the toppings to suit mom’s taste.

Courtesy of Adam and Elli Roustom, owners of Blue Plate Bistro in Avon

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 sheet puff pastry dough, 5-by-6 inch

4 fresh eggs

1 egg yolk (for egg wash)

1⁄4 cup cold water (for egg wash)

2 strips of bacon cooked ahead of time

4 slices of swiss cheese

8 cherry or grape tomatoes

2 cups arugula

Salt and pepper

About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation: First step is to dock the entire rectangle up to a 1⁄2 inch from the edge. Docking means to poke holes into the dough with a fork in order to keep the center from rising. By refraining from docking the last 1⁄2 inch of the edges, you can create sides to hold everything in your tart. If the center does rise, just push it down with your fingers when cool. This is something that can be done the night before in case mom is an early riser and usually gets up before the rest of the house hold (usually the case).

Place tart shell in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10 to15 minutes, or until the tart shell starts to get a light golden brown color. Keep in mind, you do not want to get too much color since we will bake this tart shell a second time. Remove the tart shell and let cool on a cookie rack so condensation does not make it soggy. If you do prepare it the night before, make sure you place tarts in an air-tight Tupper ware container after cooling properly.

At this point, we are ready to build everything and serve mom a breakfast in bed that she deserves. Make sure all the other breakfast items are ready at this point, the coffee or tea, the grapefruit or the granola that you will be serving alongside the breakfast tart.

Brush the edges of puff pastry with egg wash (one egg yolk mixed with a 1⁄4 cup water) to give the pastry a beautiful color. Place a slice of Swiss cheese then a bed of arugula on each tart and sprinkle with a little olive oil along with salt and pepper. Crack one egg into each tart while trying to keep the yolk to one side of the tart and season them with salt and pepper. Place one half strip of bacon on the opposite side of tart, then add your tomatoes in between eggs and bacon. Arrange everything in a manner pleasing to the eye. Bake the tarts for another 15 to 20 minutes to cook everything to the temperature that you wish. Upon removing the tart from oven finish by garnishing with a couple of arugula leaves and a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil.

Ryan Thompson, owner of Westside Cafe and Market in West Vail, offers this French toast recipe. “It’s super sweet and unique like all moms are,” he said. Thompson first encountered Captain Crunch French toast in San Diego, where his roommate made it. Captain Crunch cereal gives the dish a sweet crunch while sliced ciabatta bread adds a fancy look. Thompson suggests serving it with applewood smoked bacon, a side of fruit ” “and a rose, of course.”

Captain Crunch French Toast

Courtesy of the Westside Cafe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups orange juice

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

8 large eggs

Dash of salt

Two 10-inch baguette loaves

2 cups Captain Crunch cereal, finely ground

Preparation: To make the batter, whisk together the first seven ingredients (through salt). Heat an oiled saute pan to medium. Then slice each baguette diagonally into eight pieces (1 1/2 inches thick per slice). Dip the sliced baguette into the iquid batter, then into the finely ground cereal until the slice is covered. Place the piece of baguette into the pan, cooking 4 minutes on each side. Serve with maple syrup.

(Source: “Vail Cooks…for you!” For more information about the book, call the Vail Chamber and Business Association at 970-477-0075)

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.


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