Category Archives: Breakfast

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Swiss Muesli With Oats, Mango, Flax and Quinoa

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Yes, I know, another muesli recipe — I couldn’t resist.  This was so easy, quick and delicious to make I wanted to share the recipe.  I was lucky it was a beautiful day with nice light so it photographed very well too!

We had gotten some really nice mangos the day before while touring around the Asian market.  For some reason the mango at our Asian market are always so much nicer than at our local grocery store.  When putting together my muesli for breakfast the mangos were a clear choice!  Typically I would have done an apple but not with those mangos about.  I decided to add the quinoa for a few reasons.  First, it was there, and second, I have been doing a lot of exercise lately so why not add quinoa?  Quinoa is an awesome ancient grain (technically a seed I suppose), which contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Throw in some flax seed, some toasted almonds and garnish with some grapes . . .  you have a fantastic and healthy breakfast!

Swiss Muesli with Oats, Mango, Flax, and Quinoa

Makes about 1.5 quarts

Ingredients

2 cups quick oats

½ cups cooked quinoa

3 cups skim milk

2 tablespoons agave nectar

½ tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon flax seed

1 ripe mango, diced

4 tablespoons sliced, toasted, almonds

20 grapes, sliced in half

  1. In a container large enough to hold all the ingredients add the milk and cinnamon, then whisk to dissolved the cinnamon and work out any lumps.  Add agave nectar.
  2. Add oats, cooked quinoa, flax and the mango.
  3. Allow to sit anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours before eating.  If it sits longer you may need to add a splash of skim milk to loosen it up.  Sometimes I make enough where I have some in the refrigerator for the next day.  This does change the texture as the oats absorb more of the milk, however if you thin it out with a bit of skim milk it’s still delicious and fresh.
  4. I like to add the almonds and some sliced grapes on top when dishing up.  You can even reserve a bit of the mango for the top too!

Thyme to get busy,

Jason

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Swiss Muesli with Grapes, Dates, Almons and Pecans

 

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For those who have not had the chance to try homemade Swiss Muesli it’s definitely something you should do.  First introduced to the Swiss by a doctor who was making it for his patients at his hospital, Muesli is easy to make, delicious, healthy and easily adapted to ingredients you have on hand.

I was first shown how to make Muesli by a Chef I worked for, Christian Schmidt. Christian is from Germany, a fantastic Chef, and I worked for him for 9 years (in 3 states).  We worked at the Ritz – Carlton in Michigan, the Mandarin Oriental in Miami and Opened the Mandarin Oriental New York together.  I credit Chef Christian for getting me ready for my first Executive Chef Post at the Mandarin Oriental in New York when he moved on to another hotel.  We all need someone to help us along!

I did not realize how authentic the recipe was until years later.  I had an Austrian general manager, Nils Stolzlechner, and we were doing menu tastings for breakfast.  A former Executive Chef in Austria, I could tell when I was presenting the Muesli (that one was very similar to this recipe but with apples, dried cherries and honey) he was skeptical.  One bite later he looked at me and asked, “Who taught you to make this?”  From that point he was in the kitchen every day for breakfast, taking my Muesli base and adding what he wanted in it for the day, sometimes berries, sometimes extra yogurt, different nuts or seeds.  That’s part of the beauty of Muesli, very adaptable.

Swiss Muesli

Makes 1.5 quarts

Ingredients

2 cups quick oats

2 3/4 cups skim milk

½ tablespoon cinnamon

1/3 cup of grapes (sliced in half)

2 tablespoons agave nectar

3 tablespoons chopped dates

3 tablespoons chopped almonds

20 pecan halves

  1. In container large enough to hold all the ingredients add the milk and cinnamon, then whisk well to dissolve the cinnamon.  Add the agave nectar, whisk to dissolve.
  2. Add the oats and dates, mix.
  3. At this point I typically allow the muesli to sit for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the oats to absorb some of the milk.  As the muesli sits it absorbs the milk more and more.  It’s a matter of personal taste.  Some people make it hours in advance and if need thin with a bit more skim milk.
  4. I like to sprinkle the nuts on top rather than mix it in.

Thyme to go,

Jason

 

Gravlax for the New Year

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Happy New Year let’s cure some salmon!

I for one can’t believe that 2013 is behind us. I hope all of you had an amazing year and can remember 2013 fondly.  In 2014, I wish you happiness, prosperity, friendship and great times with family, and a year of great food!

I want to start the year off with a classic.  Gravlax are a traditional Scandinavian dish that makes a fantastic treat at breakfast or an elegant appetizer later in the day.  In our family this one is a breakfast classic.  My oldest son and wife consider this to be the ultimate breakfast food – “Lox and Bagels”.

At one time, smoking and curing were among the only ways to preserve the food without refrigerators and freezers.  What caning was to preserving the harvest of vegetables and fruits, smoking and curing was to preserve the precious catch.  Some of the finest things you will have the pleasure of tasting were developed through the process of preserving meats – What would the world be without genoa salami, Iberico ham, Prosciutto de Parma, Spanish chorizo, or duck confit?

I digress, the point of this post is specifically cured salmon, perhaps the purest and cleanest tasting expression of the fish.  Smoked salmon is great, but lox are simpler, fresher tasting and luckily easier to make.  I uses the best salmon possible.  In this case I used a wild sockeye salmon which has a beautiful red color and great fresh flavor.  Do be careful of previously frozen fish because although it may still taste great, the texture will be affected.  Make sure fresh awesome fish is your priority.

Happy New Year and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

Gravlax

Serves 3 for breakfast or 8 to 10 for reception

 

Ingredients

1 to 1 ¼ pound fresh salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup salt

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

15 to 20 sprigs of dill

1.       Mix together the salt, sugar, coriander, and white pepper.

2.       In a non-reactive container spread approximately ¼ of the mixture out to the approximate length of the salmon fillet.  Put half the dill down as well.

3.       Lay the salmon fillet on top.  Spread the cure on top of the fish.  On thicker parts of the fish use more of the cure and a little less on thinner parts.

4.       Lay the sprigs of dill across the fish, cover and leave at room temperature for two hours.

5.       Put another dish on top to press the cure into the fish.  If you are using a glass 9 by 13 dish then another of the same dish is ideal to set on top.  It does not need to be very heavy just a light weight to press it down.  Then put in in the refrigerator.

6.       If the salmon is a inch thick or less allow to cure in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.  If the fish is over an inch thick you will need to go 36 hours.

7.       When the curing time is over rinse the fish off under cold running water and dry with a paper towel.

8.       You can now use the Gravlax!  For breakfast slice thin and put on toasted bagels with cream cheese, capers, diced tomato, and if you like paper thin slices of red onion.

 

It is worth noting that slicing paper thin perfect slices is a bit of an art.  Do not be dismayed!  A thin sharp knife works best.  There are long thin knives made for this purpose if you want to invest, however these are not necessary.  I have seen many a fine slice of gravlax done with a sharp chefs knife.

 

Have a good thyme,

 

Jason

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