Vail’s Simply Seasonal column: Holiday mornings call for special breakfasts
Busy schedules are intensified during the holiday season with mealtimes turning to grab-and-go snacks. If this describes you for the next couple of weeks, take time now to plan a leisurely breakfast or brunch for one of the upcoming holiday mornings. Whether you’re arising early to see what Santa brought or sleeping in for a well-deserved day off, plan a special morning meal to enjoy with family or friends to regroup from the hectic season.Cima’s Executive Chef, Mike Mayer, shares some quick ideas for special egg dishes. His “spicy, stacked steak and eggs” becomes a snap if you make your steak rub and salsa the night before. Grill the steak, scramble the eggs and assemble for a dazzling presentation.Lindsay Rhodes Crowder, also from Cima, is famous for her pumpkin cranberry pecan bread. She makes this crowd-pleaser several times during November and December. “It’s a great snack to have on hand, or to give as a gift. And for those mornings when there’s no time for a full breakfast, this is a go-to option.” Crowder, who lives in Leadville, says this recipe is adaptable for altitude changes and ingredient substitutions. “Try using part whole wheat flour for a healthier version,” she suggests.Great breakfasts and your favorite folks make happy holiday mornings!”Spicy, stacked steak and eggs”1 pound steak (cut of your choice)8 eggs1 recipe Steak Rub, below1 recipe Chunky Salsa, belowFresh parsley, choppedGenerously rub steak with spice rub and refrigerate one hour. Make salsa and set aside. In a small bowl, mix eggs with a fork to blend. Grill steak to desired doneness, let rest while you scramble eggs. Divide eggs amongst four plates, mounding in a circle. Top eggs with salsa. Slice steak and drape on top. Garnish with fresh parsley or salad greens. 4 servings.Steak rub2 teaspoon cardamom seeds1 piece clove 1 teaspoon dried chili flake2 teaspoon sesame seeds1 cinnamon stick, coarsely ground2 teaspoon cumin seeds2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds2 teaspoon ground maceCombine all in a skillet. Toast over medium heat, shaking pan, until fragrance is released. Allow to cool before using. Rub liberally on raw beef, pork, or chicken. Refrigerate at least one hour before grilling, roasting or broiling. Store any extra of the blend in a tightly closed container. Yield 1/2 cup.Chunky salsa2 cups roma tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup onion, chopped 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped 1 fresh Anaheim chile, roasted, peeled and chopped1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernals1 clove garlic, chopped Juice from 1 fresh limeChopped cilantro to taste salt and pepper to tasteMix all ingredients. Allow flavors to meld for one hour before serving. Makes 3 cups.Huevos rancheros 4 corn tortillas1/2 cup salsa rojo (or enchilada sauce)1/2 cup black beans1/4 cup queso fresco1/4 cup shredded white cheddar4 eggs1/2 cup pico de gallo (or salsa)1/4 cup guacamole1/4 cup sour creamFlash fry the tortillas in hot oil till just crisp. Set two on each serving plate. Top with black beans and enchilada sauce. Combine queso fresco and white cheddar and layer on top. Place under the broiler till cheese melts and starts to brown. Fry eggs to desired doneness and place on top. Garnish with pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole. Serve at once. Serves 2. (Can be easily multiplied for more servings.)Pumpkin cranberry pecan bread3 cups all-purpose flour5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice2 teaspoons baking soda1 1/2 teaspoons salt3 cups granulated sugar1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 4 eggs1 cup unsweetened apple sauce1/2 cup orange juice2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries3/4 cup chopped pecans Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pans. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, applesauce and orange juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes two loaves. Sue Barham is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Cima, now open in The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa. The newest restaurant concept from internationally acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval, Cima is a contemporary Latin kitchen, featuring bold, vibrant flavors with Latino roots, created with fresh ingredients and global cooking techniques. Visit http://www.richardsandoval.com.