Baked Banana Chocolate French Toast is a hit for all ages

Kitchen Wit and Wisdom: It’s time to make it ahead for Christmas

Cathi Litzenberger shares some delicious breakfast treats that can be made in advance, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your Christmas Day

‘Tis the last Sunday before Christmas morning and as per my usual habit I have make-ahead breakfast ideas for you to try.

The first is a lovely strata call H.A.M. and is sure to feed a crowd. The second is a perfect idea for a small group and this recipe can be halved if necessary. The third is a tortilla recipe for everyone who likes a little spice in their lives. Very tasty! And the last recipe is something every child or adult who loves bananas and chocolate will love; add some whipping cream and this breakfast will soon disappear.

Meanwhile, I wish all of my readers a very merry Christmas and all the blessings the new year can bring you.

H.A.M Breakfast Strata

(Ham, asparagus & mushroom)

2 tbsp. (30 mL) butter

1/2  onion, diced

1  (8 oz/227 g) package sliced mushrooms

1/2 bunch asparagus, tough stems removed, chopped

Salt and pepper

8  eggs

3-1/2 cups (875 mL) whole milk

2 tsp. (10 mL) dry mustard

1 (175 g) package Smoked Uncured Black Forest Ham, cut into thin strips

10  slices 16-grain bread, cut into cubes

1 cup (250 mL) grated Cheddar or Swiss cheese

Lightly coat a 9X13 (3.5 L. rectangle baking dish with butter.) Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high. Add onion, mushrooms and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms are brown and soft.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add sautéed vegetables and ham. Gently stir in bread cubes. Pour mixture into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Place strata on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until set in the middle. Sprinkle with cheese and bake additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Egg and Bacon Bread Baskets

12 slices 100% Whole Wheat Bread

4 eggs

1/4 cup Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil Caesar Vinaigrette Dressing

1/2 cup Touch of Philadelphia Shredded Creamy Herb & Garlic Cheese

2 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 400 F. Use rolling pin to flatten each bread slice to 5-inch square. Cut out centres with 3-1/2-inch round cookie cutter.  Discard trimmings or reserve for another use. Press 1 bread circle onto bottom and up side of each of 12 muffin pan cups sprayed with cooking spray.

Whisk eggs and dressing in medium bowl until blended. Add cheese, bacon and onions; pour into bread shells. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until filling in centre of each cup is set.  Serve warm.

Tortilla-crusted Jalapeno Corn Quiche

3  soft corn tortillas

2 tsp. (10 mL) canola oil

1/2  onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1 cup (250 mL) milk

1/2 cup (125 mL) cottage cheese

3  eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) corn niblets, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained

1/2 cup (125 mL) grated white Cheddar cheese

2 tbsp. (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp. (2 mL) chili powder

1/2 tsp. (2 mL) ground cumin

1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp. (1 mL) pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

Place one tortilla in the bottom of a 9” (23 cm) pie plate. Cut remaining tortillas in half and overlap to mostly cover the sides of the pie plate.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno and red pepper.

Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until soft.  Transfer to a large bowl. Add milk, cottage cheese and eggs. Mix well. Stir in corn, cheese, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into the tortilla-lined pie plate and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F (180 C) and bake 30-35 minutes or until egg mixture has set.

Baked Banana Chocolate French Toast

3 eggs

2/3 cup (150 mL) milk

1 tbsp. (15 mL) vanilla

1/2 tsp.  cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) chocolate hazelnut spread

8 slices thick sliced Italian style Bread

2 ripe bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a shallow dish. Spread chocolate hazelnut spread over 4 slices of bread and top with bananas and remaining bread slices to make sandwiches. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture to coat well. Place on a greased rimmed baking sheet, pouring any remaining egg mixture over each sandwich.

Bake in preheated oven, turning once, for about 25 minutes or until golden.

Tips: If nuts are an issue; replace chocolate hazelnut spread with an equal amount of softened cream cheese, and the bananas with sliced strawberries.

French toast can also be cooked in a buttered non-stick skillet. Cook in batches until golden, about 6 minutes per side.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.

 

 

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