Tag Archives: brunch

How to Brunch Like Big Food Bucket List’s John Catucci

Is there really any better meal than brunch? Think about it. Not only does it give you the chance to sleep in a bit, but it’s the one time of day where a boozy mimosa or Caesar is perfectly acceptable, mixing salty, fatty foods like sausage and bacon with sweet French toast or pancakes is the norm, and there’s a never-ending pot of coffee or tea ready for the taking.

The brunch crowd is taking over food tourism by storm and it’s no wonder: people are being more fun and creative with their offerings, taking brunch plates everywhere to new and delicious heights.

See more: From Brunch to Date Night: Bucket List Restaurants for Every Occasion

So what does Big Bucket Food List host John Catucci look for in a hot brunch spot? A place that takes the time to elevate their dishes by actually making certain staples, like bacon or bread, in-house.

“If I have the morning off and I’m going to go for brunch, I will seek out those places,” he says. “Anybody can put eggs on a plate with toast… but if they’re curing their own bacon and baking their own bread or donuts I will seek them out.”

Catucci certainly had the opportunity to do exactly that on Big Food Bucket List, when he highlighted delicious brunch spots across North America. One of his absolute favourites was right here in Canada, at Calgary’s Monki Breakfastclub & Bistro.

There, the chefs get creative with things like an array of eggs benedict plates, which are served with either classic or prosecco hollandaise (yup, prosecco!) and can be ordered to enjoy on a waffle instead of an English muffin.


Monki Bistro’s Brisket Benedict with Prosecco Hollandaise

“They put like a beet-root sauce in there so that the hollandaise was pink. It was so much fun,” Catucci says. “And then they use brisket instead of back bacon on their eggs benedict. That was a real fun sort of change.”

Another gem that Catucci tried from Monki’s was a seriously sweet rendition of French toast—the Hazelnut Chocolate French Toast, which comes stuffed with a banana and Frangelico cream mixture that we just want to eat with a spoon. As if that weren’t sinful enough, the entire concoction is then pan-fried in an egg-wash, slathered with a hazelnut chocolate sauce, and made to look like a perfectly decorated cake.


Monki Bistro’s Chocolate Hazelnut French Toast

It’s hard to imagine forking your way through that dish in just one seating, but the plate is also far from the most stacked Catucci saw on the series. Over in Earltown, NS he also sampled the Wild About Blueberry Pancakes at Sugar Moon Farm, which have been voted best in the country. Considering the buttermilk pancakes come piled with blueberries and a maple whipped cream made from in-house maple syrup, we can see why. Served with a side of smoked bacon, there’s really nothing else we need in our lives.


Sugar Moon’s Wild About Blueberries Pancakes

Then there are the brunch places that totally twist traditional brunch dishes, like chicken and waffles, in a whole new way. Like in Boston, where Saltie Girl makes good use of its proximity to the water with a Fried Lobster & Waffles dish that we’d dive into for days. Who wouldn’t, with that light but golden brown batter on delicate chunks of lobster and a perfectly turned waffle? Add in some of the restaurant’s signature spicy maple syrup and this is a dish you dream of for days after consuming it.


Saltie Girl’s Fried Lobster and Waffles

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about brunch without also bringing up one of the most creative food cities in the world—New Orleans. Sure, the destination may be known for some of the best fried chicken and creole-spiced anything around, but Catucci also sought out mouth-watering brunch dishes at Brennan’s, a spot that’s so popular it’s dubbed a “New Orleans tradition.” Breakfast there is so much so their jam that they even offer two-course breakfast dishes.

So what did Catucci flock to on the menu? A dish called Eggs Cardinal, which may be a cardinal sin to enjoy so much. If you’re a fan of eggs benedict, this thing is next-level as it uses a crispy shrimp boudin (a type of sausage) as the base. It’s made using a mixture that includes shrimp, peppers, creole spice, and onion before it’s smoked, covered in panko and fried. They then place a perfectly poached egg on top and douse the thing in hollandaise sauce, giving you the most perfect mix of salty, crispy, creamy, and saucy brunch possible.


Brennan’s Eggs Cardinal

It’s probably a good thing we can’t eat it every day, because we totally would. Wouldn’t you?

Ah, the #BrunchLife.

Watch Big Food Bucket List Fridays at 9 PM and 9:30 PM ET.

Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

You can never go wrong when serving your guests a hearty, veggie-packed breakfast casserole topped with melted, gooey goat cheese. Stratas are usually reserved for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Easter brunches, simply because they easily feed a crowd and can be fully prepped ahead of time; so no fuss, no muss when entertaining guests. Make this the day before and pop it into the oven when it’s go-time. What makes this strata even more special is that it’s made with sourdough bread, an artisan-style loaf that is easy to digest and adds incredible texture and bite.

Make-Ahead Vegetable Strata With Sourdough Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, sliced into thin circles
1 ½ cups chopped kale or baby kale
1 ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
6 eggs
1 ½ cups dairy-free milk
4 cups sourdough loaf cut into 1 inch cubes
4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Place a skillet on medium heat, coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and add the onions. Stir occasionally and allow them to cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the cherry tomatoes and zucchini and let them cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the kale, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir until the kale begins to wilt.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and dairy-free milk.
5. In a large casserole dish (9×13), coat the bottom with a little olive oil, spread ½ the bread on the bottom, top with ½ of the veggies, then layer the rest of the bread and veggies on top.

6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over and crumble the goat cheese on top, nestling some pieces underneath the bread cubes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. It can be left in the fridge for up to one day.
8. When you’re ready to bake, heat your oven to 350°F, place the uncovered strata in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it starts to bubble up and crisp.

This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata & Sourdough Bread

Still salivating? Here are 25 more crowd-pleasing brunch recipes and 15 sheet pan breakfast bakes that promise to please!

How to Make 5-Ingredient Cinnamon Buns in Just 5 Easy Steps

This is my great-aunt’s method of making cinnamon buns, which is so easy that even kids can help. When I was young, it was always my job to grease the pan with butter before the buns went into the oven. Added bonus: with just five ingredients and five steps, it is so easy!

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Easy Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients:

Flour for dusting
Ready-made dough, homemade or store-bought
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup soft butter + more for greasing
1-2 Tbsp cinnamon

Equipment:

Rolling Pin
Pastry Brush
Sharp Knife
Tea Towel

Directions:

1. On a floured work surface, using rolling pin, roll out dough to about ½-inch thickness, forming a rectangle.

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2. Mix together brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until very soft, but not melted. Using pastry brush, brush dough with brown sugar mixture. Gently roll up dough, jelly roll–style, ending with seam side down.

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3. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1-inch thick slices.

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4. Place, cut side down, in a well greased 13×9-inch baking dish. (Aunt Lucy would hand me an empty butter foil to scoop up soft butter with and smear inside the pan.) Cover with a tea towel; let rise until doubled in size, about 25 to 30 minutes.

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5. Bake in 350°F oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Carefully turn buns out onto parchment or waxed paper. They should come out as one piece with gooey cinnamon-sugar sauce resting on top.

Published February 23, 2017, Updated February 8, 2019

A Heavenly Blueberry and Bacon Breakfast Casserole Made With Croissants

Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and a healthy serving of bacon on the side has to be one of the most celebrated breakfasts of all time. When you find yourself with stale croissants, do yourself a favour before tossing them: make this super simple (and reliably delicious!) casserole dish that’s a riff on the quintessential breakfast. With maple syrup, wild blueberries and bacon, it ticks all the boxes of our favourite Canadian ingredients… and the buttery croissant base takes it to the next level. Your weekend brunch game just got a whole lot sweeter.

Blueberry, Maple and Bacon Croissant Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1-¼ cups milk
⅓ cup 35% cream
⅔ cup maple syrup, divided
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp kosher salt, divided
8 cups lightly packed stale croissants, cubed or roughly torn into 1-inch pieces
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2-½ cups frozen wild blueberries, divided
1 Tbsp flour

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2L casserole dish; set aside.
2. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream, ⅓ cup maple syrup, vanilla and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl.
3. Add the croissant bread and bacon, and toss to combine.
4. Toss 1 cup blueberries with flour in a small bowl. Add it to the croissant mixture, tossing gently to combine.
5. Spoon into prepared casserole dish and bake until golden and set, about 45 to 50 minutes.  

6. Meanwhile, add remaining blueberries, maple syrup and salt to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes.
7. Drizzle the sweet, syrupy blueberry sauce over each individual casserole serving. Bon appétit!

Looking for more comforting breakfast inspiration? Here are 10 Must-Eat Canadian Breakfast Sandwiches and 25 Easy Breakfast Casserole Recipes.

How to Make the Perfect Egg-in-a-Hole

Egg-in-a-hole, also known as ‘egg-in-the-basket’ or a ‘hole-in-one,’ is not only a delicious way to eat an egg with toast, it’s also really fun. You can substitute the bread with a bagel or waffle and try different toppings like Cheddar cheese, green onions or chopped parsley. Here, I made egg in a hole two ways — with white bread and bagels — both topped with lots of feta, red chilis and a sprinkling of dill.

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Egg-in-a-Hole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
2 thick slices bread or 1-2 bagels
1 Tbsp butter
2 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
½ red chili, finely sliced (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped dill

Directions:
1. Make a hole in your bread using a 2” round cutter or the rim of a small glass.

Related: Egg-cellent Omelette Recipes

2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place butter in the pan. Once melted, add bread and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Flip the toast over and crack the egg into the middle of the hole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover pan with a lid. Let cook until egg is set, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with feta, red chilis and dill.

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Published December 3, 2015, Updated December 1, 2018

Potato Latke Eggs Benedict is Our New Brunch Favourite

Eggs Benedict is a weekend brunch recipe that will dirty more than a few dishes – but the results are well worth it. This version uses classic latkes as the base, instead of the more common English muffin, and skips the ham for rich smoked salmon. A buttery, bright and oh-so-easy Hollandaise, along with perfect poached eggs, completes this delicious Benny variation. The steps are plentiful, though very simple, so this recipe is absolutely doable for a special holiday breakfast or brunch with family and friends.

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Latke Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4

Ingredients:

Easy Blender Hollandaise
2 egg yolks, egg whites reserved for latkes
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp water
200 g (about 1 cup) salted butter, melted, still warm
Kosher salt, to taste

Potato Latkes
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled
1 small yellow onion, peeled
2 egg whites (reserved from hollandaise), whisked
3 Tbsp matzo meal or potato starch
2 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp baking powder
High-temperature vegetable oil, for frying

Poached Eggs
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
8 large eggs

To Assemble
2 Tbsp fresh dill fronds or minced chives
400 g smoked salmon
Lemon wedges

Latkes-eggs-Benedict-ingredients

Directions:    

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
2. Preheat oven to 200ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Bring the smoked salmon out of the refrigerator to take the chill off.
4. In a medium bowl or blender, add egg yolks, lemon juice and water.
5. With an immersion (stick) blender or regular blender running, add melted butter in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
6. To keep warm, transfer mixture to a smaller bowl to fit into a large bowl, and fill a larger bowl with just-boiled water (do not allow any to get into the hollandaise). Stir the hollandaise a few times when you’re ready to serve. Alternatively, transfer hollandaise to a thermal container (just make sure it doesn’t smell like coffee!).
7. Using the finest shredding attachment on your food processor, process potatoes and onions (or grate both with a box grater). Transfer mixture to a fine mesh sieve, lined with cheesecloth, set over a large bowl. Squeeze cheesecloth to remove excess starch and water from the potatoes and onion. Then transfer potatoes and onion to a large bowl.

8. To the potatoes and onion mixture, stir in whisked egg whites, followed by matzo meal or potato starch, salt and baking powder.
9. Fill a large skillet with ½ inch of oil. Heat to medium-high. Do not allow oil to smoke. The potato mixture should sizzle immediately when added to the pan; if it doesn’t, wait until the oil comes up to temperature. Fun alternative: try adding the uncooked latke mixture to your waffle iron instead of a skillet, for a fuss-free, extra-crunchy base.
10. Working in batches, without crowding the pan, scoop ¼ cup of potato mixture into hot oil and carefully flatten with a spatula. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you finish the latkes. If you have leftover latkes from another meal, just reheat in oven at 200ºF.
11. To simmering water, add vinegar. One at a time, working quickly, crack eggs into a small bowl and gently add to simmering water. Poach for 3 to 5 minutes, until whites are set but yolks are still runny. Remove from water using a slotted spoon and place on a warmed plate.
12. On plates, add stacks of latkes, and then top with slices of smoked salmon, poached eggs and spoonfuls of Hollandaise. Garnish with dill or chives and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Looking for more holiday brunch inspiration? Here are 30 Boxing Day brunch recipes.

How to Make the Perfect Croissant Croque Madame

This is going to be the fanciest ham and cheese sandwich you will ever have. Leave it to the French to take something so simple and humble and top it with tons of cheese and toast it until golden brown. And to top it off, let’s put a fried egg on it. Typically made on basic white bread, I’ve taken this dish even further and made it on a croissant. There’s one thing that will happen after having this: you’ll never be able to go back to a regular ham and cheese sandwich.

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Croissant Croque Madame

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Béchamel
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
½ tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup grated Gruyére
¼ cup grated Parmesan

Sandwich
6 croissants
Grainy mustard or Dijon
400 g black forest ham
⅔ cup grated Gruyére
⅓ cup grated Parmesan
Salt
Fresh black pepper
6 fried eggs
Chopped chives, garnish
Maldon salt, garnish

Directions:

1. Heat the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sized saucepot. Once the butter is completely melted and begins to bubble, add the flour and whisk until combined. Switch to a heat-proof rubber spatula and continue stirring until the mixture is a light golden colour and smells slightly nutty. Be sure to scrape all around the sides and bottom to ensure nothing is sticking or burning.

2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk into the pot. Switch back to the rubber spatula and cook, constantly stirring and scraping the sides and bottom, until thick and bubbly. About 6-8 minutes.

3. Turn the heat off and stir in the salt, black pepper, nutmeg, Gruyére and Parmesan until cheese has melted. Set aside to cool.

Related: Creative Ways to Use Croissants, From French Toast to Bread Pudding

4. Pre-heat the oven to broil and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Slice the croissants open and spread a generous amount of mustard on each half. Lay the ham on the top halves of the croissants and top with the bottom halves. This will give the béchamel a nice flat surface to sit on. Transfer the sandwiches onto a sheet pan.

5. Top each sandwich with lots of béchamel spreading it to the edges of the croissant. This will prevent the edges of the croissant from burning in the oven. Combine the Gruyére and Parmesan and top each sandwich with the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

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6. Place sandwiches under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until cheese and béchamel are melted and bubbly.

7. Remove from the oven, plate each sandwich with a fried egg, garnish with chopped chives, fresh black pepper and Maldon salt.

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Published November 5, 2015, Updated October 29, 2018

Eggs Benedict Casserole

Crowd-Pleasing Overnight Eggs Benedict Casserole

Thanksgiving weekend can be one of the most hectic times, especially with a house full of visitors. Make your life easier with a simple, make-ahead breakfast casserole. Enjoy everyone’s favourite brunch dish with no need to poach, toast or fry. Just wake up and bake. The rich, buttery hollandaise sauce whips up in a snap and is drizzled over a dish filled with soft baked eggs, toasty English muffins and smoky Canadian bacon. It’s a dish that delivers bold flavour and gives you that extra time with your family and friends.

Eggs Benedict Casserole

Eggs Benedict Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

Casserole
6 English muffins, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 slices of Canadian bacon, sliced into 1-inch strips
10 large eggs
½ cup milk
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
⅔ cup melted butter
¼ chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped chives

Directions:

1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place English muffin cubes and bacon slices into the baking dish. Whisk eggs with milk and onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into baking dish covering the bacon and bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove plastic wrap from dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake casserole for 30 minutes.

Related: Best Brunch Recipes to Feed a Crowd

3. Remove foil and bake until eggs are set and and top is beginning to turn golden, about 15 minutes.

4. While casserole is baking, make the hollandaise sauce. Place egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a heat-proof glass bowl and whisk to combine.

5. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water to form a double boiler. Slowly pour in a few tablespoons of melted butter while whisking vigorously. Continue to whisk while gradually adding melted butter. If mixture looks like it is about to split, whisk in a few drops of ice water and then proceed adding butter.

6. Drizzle hollandaise sauce over casserole and garnish with chopped parsley and chives. Serve immediately.

Published October 3, 2016, Updated September 11, 2018

How to Make the Perfect the Omelet (It’s Oh-So Easy!)

The omelet is a basic dish every home cook — especially broke students — should be able to master. Eggs are inexpensive and an excellent source of protein and takes minutes to cook. Omelets are also perfect for any leftover scraps you have in the fridge whether it’s that last cube of cheese, broccoli floret or the lone slice of ham. We’ve been conditioned to only eat eggs during brunch, but omelets make for quick and easy (and budget-friendly) dinners. When I first got into cooking, my omelets would always run into one of two problems: the omelet tore and fell apart when I tried to fold it in half or I added too many toppings and the whole thing became more of a weird egg stir-fry. Here are some tips to avoid those problems.

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The Perfect Omelet

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
1 Tbsp oil or small pat of butter
3 toppings of choice (peppers, mushrooms, ham, onions, tomatoes, etc.), ⅓ cup each
Salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1: Have Your Mise en Place Ready

A ‘mise en place’ is a French term for having everything in its place. As you can see, I diced the onions and mushrooms, grated the cheese, beat the eggs, poured out the oil and had my seasonings ready. You don’t want to be still chopping mushrooms while the eggs are cooking away (in addition to risking burning the eggs, once they cook up and solidify the mushrooms won’t stick to the omelet).

As for how much of everything to use, a general guideline is to use three large eggs and then up to three toppings at ⅓ cup each or ½ cup if you’re only using two toppings. Loading your omelet with too much stuff would result in the egg ripping and becoming more of a scramble.

Omelet_Step1

Step 2: Get the Oil Hot Enough

Put the skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Then pour in the oil or butter and wait again till the butter melts (and starts foaming) and the oil becomes shiny and coats the pan.

If the oil is still cold when you pour the egg in, you get this gross-looking oily egg mixture where the oil floats on top of the egg, which defeats the purpose of the oil making the egg not stick to the pan.

Step 3: Cook the Tougher Fixin’s First

First sauté the toppings that require more cooking time than the eggs such as bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon and broccoli. I’ve had many hotel omelets when I’d bite into the eggs and taste raw mushrooms in the centre. Don’t do that.

Omelet_Step3

Step 4: Pour in the Eggs

Spread the sautéed toppings evenly across the skillet. Gently pour the beaten eggs into the hot skillet, making sure that it envelops all the toppings and there aren’t any gaps in the omelet.

Related: Creative Ways to Cook Eggs

Step 5: Be Patient

Don’t poke the omelet with the spatula just yet. Let the omelet cook and solidify for about 30 seconds so that it won’t fall apart when you fold it.

Gently nudge the edges of the omelet towards the centre with a spatula, making sure the eggs aren’t stuck to the pan. You can tilt the pan and give it a light swirl with the wrist to allow the uncooked eggs from the middle of the pan to flow to the edges. The centre of the omelet should still be a bit runny.

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Step 6: Add the Delicate Stuff

Sprinkle in the toppings that don’t require as much cooking time such as finely grated cheese, herbs, or chopped tomatoes.

Omelet_Step6

Step 7: Fold 

This is the critical part. Try to get as much of the spatula under one half of the omelet before you do a quick flip (it’s all in the wrist). You also can use your other hand to tilt the pan towards the spatula.

Omelet_Step7

Step 8: Shimmy 

Gently slide the folded omelet on to a plate. Garnish with additional herbs or cheese if you like. Serve immediately.

Omelet_Step8

Published September 29, 2014, Updated September 11, 2018

Breakfast Skillet With Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

If you live in Toronto, you know that grabbing brunch can sometimes be a three-hour endeavour and it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere with more than four people. If you do, you know you’ll be waiting. And after a full night of drinks, you’re body does not want to wait to be nourished. Hanger kicks in. Through my frustration, I decided that I should be making more brunches at home. Those are the times when I concoct my one-pot breakfast skillet. It’s always a mashup of what I’ve got in the fridge or pantry, with the addition of some eggs.

This recipe is one of my favourites. Sautéed mushrooms and wilted, garlicky spinach are the perfect (and quickest) accompaniments to eggs with a runny yolk. Yes, there are a ton of other great ingredients that can be used as well, like potatoes, corn, beans, zucchini, chorizo… the list goes on. But this is what I just happened to have in my fridge one day and now I continue to go back to this.

Breakfast skilled served onto two plates

Breakfast Skillet With Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

350 g cremini and/or baby bella mushrooms, sliced 1/3” thick
3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2-3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
100 g baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
6-8 eggs
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Toasted sourdough grain bread or bread of choice

Directions:
1. Over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid.

2. In batches, sauté the mushrooms. Make sure not to crowd the pan so the mushrooms crisp up evenly.

3. Sauté for 4 minutes, flipping the mushrooms halfway through and seasoning with salt and fresh black pepper, to taste.

4. Add more butter and olive oil as needed for the second batch of mushrooms. Remove from the pan as well after seasoning.

Related: The Best Ways to Prepare Eggs Around the World, From France to Japan

5. Add a bit more olive oil and butter to the pan and toss in the spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.

6. Add the mushrooms back into the pan and create pockets for the eggs. Crack an egg into each pocket and cover immediately with the lid.

7. Let the eggs cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes. Do not lift that lid! This ensures the egg whites cook from the top as well as the bottom. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.

8. Crumble goat cheese over top and serve with toasted bread.

Breakfast skillet in pan

A Saskatoon Musician’s Easy Saskatoon Berry Jam Recipe

There is an especially fun dynamic between the two women standing in the kitchen. Musicians Alexis Normand and Allyson Reigh are two-thirds of the popular Western Canadian band, Rosie and the Riveters. The trio is made up of equally talented singers, instrumentalists and songwriters.

Being a triple threat is a feat in and of itself, of course, but being able to cook on top of that trio of skills would make Normand the quadruple threat of the talented bunch. “She’s always cooking while we’re on tour, it doesn’t matter what city we’re playing in,” says Normand’s bandmate, Reigh, as she measures sugar for the Saskatoon berry jam they’re about to make. “She’s one amazing cook.”

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It’s clear that Normand is the foodie of the group. Growing up in Saskatoon, her grandmother was an avid cook and passed down a love of the kitchen to her mother, which she has also come to embrace whether she’s at home or on the road. Her speciality? Making big batches of Saskatoon berry jam that she cans, labels and brings on tour. Family, friends and fans alike have come to love the edible keepsake that pays homage to her prairie roots.

“It’s a really hot item, people love it,” says Normand as she adds the Saskatoon berries to the pot. “It’s funny, though, because they aren’t as ‘Saskatchewan’ as you would think. I learned that after travelling across the country, that you can find Saskatoon berries in abundance [in BC and Alberta too], but there, they’re called Saskatoons. That’s where I’m from and making this jam this is a family tradition!”

Alexis-Allyson-tea-and-toast

Like most jam recipes, Normand’s family recipe for Saskatoon berry jam only calls for a few ingredients: berries (fresh or frozen, though frozen is the most easily obtained year-round), sugar and a bit of water. You can feel free to add some lemon zest or a few drops of vanilla if you’d like, but good quality Saskatoons don’t need much to make a lasting impression. “There’s always something to be said about giving someone an item that’s homemade. It’s someone’s time that they’re gifting you, really. That’s the really nice thing about it,” she says.

Related: PB&J Recipes That Will Change Your Life

One big misconception about making jam at home is that you need to make a dozen jars and can them. Normand does make big batches before she goes on tour, but her small-batch recipe is just as good, and easily lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge. “Nothing about this process is hard, but when I was younger I was under the impression that it was challenging. I think people just need to try it once,” says Normand. “You cook down the ingredients, you put it in jars, cool it down and it tastes delicious! It doesn’t get any better or easier than that, does it?”

saskatoon-jam-complete

Simple Saskatoon Berry Jam Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 Cups

Ingredients:

4 cups Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ tsp grated lemon zest (optional)
¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:

1. Place ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.

2. Reduce to medium heat and let cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Transfer to a heat-safe container and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Cover and place in refrigerator to use as desired. Will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

Easy Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts You’ll Absolutely Love

One of the best parts about being a kid is eating copious amounts of sugar-filled breakfast foods. Chowing down on six bowls of cereal used to be a perfectly acceptable option. Nowadays, we opt for healthier morning meals, but once in awhile we get nostalgic for the early morning sugar rush from our childhood. So I’ve decided sugar is totally OK in the morning if you just take a little time to bake something from scratch. Enter: homemade pop tarts. Mini pies with icing that you can eat with one hand. These easy-to-make blueberry-filled, lemon-iced pastries are a perfect treat in the AM. The best part is that you can feel like a kid again, without actually being one!

homemade-pop-tarts-3

Blueberry Pop Tarts With Lemon Glaze

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 12 pop tarts

Ingredients:

Dough
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg (plus 1 egg to seal tarts)
2 Tbsp ice water

Filling
¾ cup blueberry jam (or any kind of jam or fruit)
½ cup blueberries

Icing
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Lemon zest for garnish

Directions:

1. Begin by making the dough. In a food processor combine flour, salt and sugar. If you don’t have a food processor you can do this by hand. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and water and pulse until dough starts to come together. Be careful not to over work the dough.

2. Remove from processor and shape dough into two rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Related: Our Carbiest Breakfast Recipes, From Croissants to Pancakes

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and roll into a large rectangle that is roughly 6 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces.

5. Place 6 squares on one of the prepared baking sheets. Place 1 Tbsp of blueberry jam on the center of each square. Top with 3 or 4 blueberries. Roll out other piece of dough and cut into 8 equal-sized squares as above.

homemade-pop-tarts-6

6. Beat 1 egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, brush around sides of each square. Place another square on top to form your pop tart. Use a fork to seal the edges. Poke a few holes in the top of the dough to let steam escape. brush egg wash on top of tarts.

7. Place the baking sheets in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pop tarts to a cooling rack, let cool completely before icing.

9. To make icing, whisk lemon juice with icing sugar. If you want a thinner icing add a bit more lemon juice. Place a dollop of icing on each pop tart and sprinkle with lemon zest.

homemade-pop-tarts-2

Published July 21, 2016, Updated July 16, 2018

This Maple Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich is Your Ultimate Canada Day Dessert (or Breakfast)

These red and white ice cream waffle sandwiches make for a scrumptious Canada Day dessert or decadent brunch. They’re best eaten right away, but you can stretch the time before they melt a little bit by freezing them after assembling. If you’d prefer to enjoy them hand-held, just skip the whipped cream and maple garnish, and dig right in!

maple-nut-wafflewiches-2

Maple-Nut Wafflewich Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes: 6 sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream (35 %)
3 cups maple walnut or vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup maple syrup

Maple-Nut Crunch
1 Tbsp pasteurized egg whites
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Waffles
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp each baking powder and granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
4 tsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp red food colouring

maple-nut-wafflewiches-1

Directions:
Maple-Nut Crunch
1. In large bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Add pecans and sugar, tossing to coat.
2. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
3. Bake in 225°F, stirring every 15 minutes, until crisp and coated, about 45 minutes. Let cool. (Tip: Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.)

Waffles
1. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.
2. In separate bowl, whisk egg, milk, sour cream and butter. Add to flour mixture, stir just until blended. Using food colouring, tint batter red.
3. Spray electric waffle iron with cooking spray. Heat iron to medium heat. Spoon amount of batter directed by manufacturer onto grids of waffle iron. Close lid quickly. (Do not open until waffle is done.)
4. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, lift waffle off grid with fork. Repeat with remaining batter. Let cool.
5. Meanwhile, whip cream to stiff peaks.
6. Place 2 scoops of ice cream onto 6 of the waffles. Top with remaining waffles, pressing to push ice cream to edges. Roll edges in maple-nut crunch. (Tip: Freeze for up to 1 hour.)
7. Transfer each sandwich to a dessert plate. Top each sandwich with a dollop of whipped cream and remaining maple-nut crunch. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Avocado toast with eggs and tomatoes on white plate

How to Become a Morning Person (and What Your Diet Has to Do With It)

Anyone who (willingly) wakes up at 5AM every morning is something of a superhuman. Or at the very least, the early riser we all strive to one day become. Marlie Cohen, a Toronto-based certified personal trainer, holistic health coach and the face behind lifestyle blog Kale & Krunches, is that person. But just like mastering a gruelling spin class – becoming a morning person takes dedication. Read on for the fitness expert’s top 10 tips to make waking up early easier than you ever thought possible.

1. Morning Movement

“My morning routine starts with some form of meditation or movement to get the blood flowing,” says Marlie, whether taking a few deep breaths and stretching at home or stepping out for an early 6AM workout. She also makes a habit of journaling every morning – jotting down three things she’s grateful for as a form of positive affirmation to start the day.

2. Better Breakfast

Whether you’re hungry right when you wake up, or not until after your AM workout, always nourish your body with a wholesome morning meal. For Marlie, that means eggs, avocado and toast for breakfast – the perfect combination of carbs, fat and protein. This balance of macronutrients will increase energy levels and ensure you’re satiated until lunch.

Get the recipe for Avocado Toast With Poached Eggs

3. Drink Water First Thing

Before you do anything else, drink a glass of water once out of bed. “You’re super dehydrated when you wake up,” says Marlie. “Drinking water gets the metabolism going and hydrates your muscles to prepare for the day ahead.” Make sure you drink enough H2O throughout the day, too. Marlie advises drinking two to three litres per day, depending on how active you are and how much you sweat.

4. Coffee 2.0

Fact: brewing a fresh cuppa Joe at home makes early wake-ups slightly less daunting. But instead of loading it with cream and sugar, Marlie (pictured below) adds a secret superfood ingredient to her Nespresso coffee: cinnamon. “Not only does it taste really good, it helps control insulin resistance in the body and stabilizes blood sugar,” she says. Cinnamon can also aid in curbing sugar cravings throughout the day and releases caffeine into the body at a slower pace.

5. Stop Drinking Water

We’ve all been there: abruptly waking from a deep sleep thanks to a full bladder. The solution? Don’t drink water after supper. “During dinner, have a few glasses, but I would probably stop after that,” says Marlie. This will prevent being disturbed and waking up throughout the night.

6. Eat Foods High in Magnesium

“Magnesium naturally calms the body and controls your cortisol levels and stress hormones,” she says. Reach for foods high in the mineral, such as whole grains, spinach, green leafy vegetables, almonds and quinoa. Marlie’s favourite magnesium-rich meal is salmon (also high in the nutrient) with quinoa and a sautéed green vegetable like spinach or broccoli.

Get the recipe for Lynn Crawford’s Roast Salmon With Grapefruit and Quinoa Salad

7. Know When to Stop Eating

While some experts say to stop eating around 7PM, Marlie has a different theory: “It depends on your schedule,” she says, pointing to the fact that she often won’t finish teaching until nine at night. In other words, what you eat is more important than when you eat it. “Sugary or carb cravings at night are probably a signal from your body that you’re thirsty, didn’t eat enough throughout the day or you’re tired,” she says. “Nighttime snack cravings are really our body saying it’s time to go to bed.”

8. Opt for Natural Sleep Remedies

If finding your Zen proves difficult at night, turn to the power of essential oils: “I have a lavender spray that I’ll use on my pillows, and will also use the oil on the soles of my feet,” she says.

9. Have a Regular Wake-Up Time

“I think people might overlook the benefits of having a regular wake-up time,” says Marie. Even if your schedule changes day-to-day, she recommends setting your alarm for the same time each morning to establish a consistent daily practice and stabilize our circadian rhythm.

10. Ditch Your Phone

Perhaps the most important tip of all – keep technology out of the bedroom. “I always put my phone in a different room, so when my alarm goes off, it forces me out of bed,” she says. This also means you won’t be glued to your phone before switching off the lights, ultimately leading to a sweet, sound slumber.

Photo of Marlie Cohen courtesy of Marlie Cohen; photo of essential oils courtesy of Getty Images

Fiddlehead-tart-slided

Savour Spring With This Fresh Fiddlehead Tart

The first signs of bring a sigh of relief into the kitchen. No more cold cellar scrounging or heavy stews filled with root vegetables. The thawing earth brings the first bounty of fresh, wild food: maple syrup, wild leeks and fiddleheads. The fiddlehead is the small curled frond of a young fern with a delicious earthy flavour, similar to a green bean. Despite their relatively short growing and harvesting season, the possibilities with these green tendrils are nearly endless. They are delicious when simply steamed, or pan-fried in butter. In this recipe, we bake them into a delicious cheesy tart, perfect for your spring brunch.

Fiddlehead-tart-slice

Gruyere Fiddlehead Tart Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Pastry
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp or more cold water

Filling
2 Tbsp butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup fiddleheads, washed and trimmed
3 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

full-Fiddlehead-tart-on-plate

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. In a food processor mix flours, salt and sugar. Add in butter and pulse until butter is evenly dispersed into pea-size pieces. Add vinegar and pulse. Run the food processor as you add water a teaspoon at a time, through the spout on the top until dough comes together into a smooth ball.
3. On a floured surface, roll dough in a circle until about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.
4. Place rolled out dough into the tart pan and gently press into and up sides. Discard excess dough. Poke the surface of the dough with a fork. Place a piece of parchment over dough and place baking weights on top. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn golden, about 12 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and remove baking weights and parchment. Let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
6. Heat butter on a non-stick pan over medium. Sweat shallots until translucent and fragrant.
7. In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Using a steamer basket, steam fiddleheads for 10 minutes until bright green and tender.
8. In a large bowl beat eggs with milk. Add in cheeses, fiddleheads, shallots, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into tart shell.
9. Bake until mixture is set and turning golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Avocado Toast With Poached Eggs, Two Ways (One for Meat Lovers + One for Vegetarians!)

Breakfast for dinner just got a whole lot tastier. When I was a kid, there was nothing more exciting than the novelty of having pancakes for dinner. I still get a thrill out of indulging in the occasional meal swap, only now I do it in the form of avocado toast with poached eggs. I topped one with seasonal, peppery pea shoots and the other with salty prosciutto. But the real key here is to get a super-ripe avocado that slashes the need for any added butter and a soft-poached egg that oozes with the slightest pierce of a fork. It’s a simple meal, sure, but when stacked high with all these goodies, it feels quite fancy. And there’s absolutely nothing childish about that.

Avocado Toast With Poached Eggs and Prosciutto
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1

Avocado toast with poached eggs and meat

Ingredients:

½ avocado, mashed
2 slices bread, toasted
2 eggs, poached
4 slices prosciutto
4 leaves butter lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a pot of boiling water, add a Tbsp of vinegar and gently swirl the water in one direction. Carefully drop the eggs one at a time and poach for 2-4 minutes or until desired doneness.

2. Meanwhile cut the avocados in half, remove stones and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a fork and squeeze in fresh lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper.

3. Smear toast with avocado, and top with lettuce, tomatoes, prosciutto and the poached egg. Top with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

Avocado Toast With Poached Eggs and Pea Tenders

Avocado toast with poached eggs and veggies

Ingredients:

½ avocado, mashed
2 slices bread, toasted
2 eggs, poached
12-15 sprigs pea tenders, rinsed and dried
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a pot of boiling water, add a Tbsp of vinegar and gently swirl the water in one direction. Carefully drop the eggs one at a time and poach for 2-4 minutes or until desired doneness. Removed with slotted spoon and set to drain on paper towels.

2. Meanwhile cut the avocados in half, remove stones and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a fork and squeeze in fresh lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper.

3. Smear toast with avocado, and top with pea tenders and the poached egg. Top with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Published April 29, 2015, Updated April 19, 2018

paleo breakfast recipes without eggs

5 Eggless Paleo Breakfasts (Including an Epic Grain-Free Granola!)

A lot of people are ditching grains these days in favour of a paleo or keto-style diet, making a replacement for traditional carb-heavy breakfasts, like toast, bagels, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal. For this reason, grain-free breakfasts almost always consist of eggs: scrambled, poached, over-easy – you name it. But eating eggs every day can become tedious. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy and exciting egg-free options to get to know. Think outside of the egg carton with five healthy paleo breakfast ideas to spruce up your morning, without a yolk in sight.

Coconut Strawberry Chia Bowl

Blending coconut cream, chia seeds and strawberries is basically like eating (a super-healthy!) dessert for breakfast. When combined with a liquid or in this case, blended strawberries, the chia seeds thicken to resemble an indulgent pudding. This is a great paleo-friendly breakfast that will give your body the energy boost it needs in the morning.

Set Strawberries Coconut Cream

Get the recipe for Set Strawberries With Coconut Cream

Salad for Breakfast

Salad for breakfast has been embraced globally. Eating vegetables in the morning provides a boost of fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients – all components your body is craving to get up and go. Give salad for breakfast a chance and add a blast of freshness to your morning meal.

Cucumber Salad with Fresh Coconut

Get the recipe for Cucumber Salad With Fresh Coconut

Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls

Smoothies and smoothie bowls are quick to make, easy to take and very nutritious. Blend together kale, spinach, banana, berries, nuts and protein powder and you have a deeply nourishing morning meal. To assemble your own Instagram-worthy smoothie bowl, pour your blended creation in a cereal bowl and decorate with superfood ingredients like hemp seeds, bee pollen, blueberries and chia seeds (or the Paleo Granola recipe below). Before diving in, don’t forget to take a picture!

Hungry Buddha Smoothie Bowl

Get the recipe for Raspberry Smoothie Bowl

Dairy-Free Yogurt With Berries and Nuts

One of our favourite go-to paleo breakfasts happens to be the quickest and simplest: a bowl of dairy-free yogurt topped with blueberries, strawberries, almonds and walnuts. Of course, that’s the skeleton of the recipe – feel free to spruce it up with a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of cinnamon, raw cacao powder, pomegranate seeds and hemp seeds. For the yogurt base, if you’re eating paleo, dairy is out, though there are many tasty dairy-free yogurt options made from plant milks (usually coconut or almond milk) that can be found at your grocery store, many of which still provide belly-friendly probiotics.

Paleo Granola

Most granola is made with oats (a grain), but this paleo granola recipe replaces them with toasted coconut chips, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs and raisins for a grain-free, naturally sweetened, protein-packed breakfast.  

Paleo-GranolaFood Network 40854

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp coconut oil, very soft or melted
1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup, less or more for desired sweetness level
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut chips or pieces (not shredded)
½ cup raisins
¼ cup cacao nibs

Paleo Granola

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Scatter hazelnuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds on prepared baking sheet. Toss nut and seed mixture with coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned (watch closely to be careful not to burn the mixture).

3. Remove nut and seed mixture from oven. Mix in coconut chips, raisins and cacao nibs. Cool before serving, if desired.

Paleo Granola

4. Serve granola in a bowl with dairy-free milk of choice and fresh fruit.

5. For storing, cool granola completely and keep in airtight jar at room temperature for up to one month.

John Catucci: Where You Gotta Take Dad This Father’s Day

For over five seasons now, John Catucci has been sampling the best comfort foods all around the world. When it comes to special occasions like Father’s Day, the host of You Gotta Eat Here! can certainly offer a few tasty recommendations. We talked to the TV star to get his top three picks on where to take your pops for a memorable Father’s Day brunch.

For the Meat Lover

“First of all, if your dad wants to sleep in [on Father’s Day], let him!” says John. He recommends grabbing a table at Caplansky’s located in Toronto. The old-school Jewish deli serves all-day breakfasts and sandwiches, piled high with house-smoked meats.

“Just have a big ol’ honkin’ smoked meat sandwich with your pop. And if he gets mustard on his face, so what? It’s his day. Let him get dirty!”

For the Potato Lover

John Catucci says taking your dad to Holy Grill is a must. Stationed in the heart of Calgary, Holy Grill offers sandwiches, burgers and eggs Benedict. Dishes like the South Beach Benny are the holy grail of breakfast perfection.

“They have this smashed potato that’s so good,” John says. “They smash them and they fry them so they’re crispy on the edges and soft and pillow-y on the inside. It’s a great place to be in!”

For the Trendsetter

Emma’s Country Kitchen in Toronto, is a popular brunch destination offering all-day breakfast, homemade doughnuts and drool-worthy buttermilk biscuits. To really spoil your dad, John has the perfect idea.

“Because Emma’s is always so busy for brunch, go in and wait in line for him. Let your dad sleep in, and call him when the table is ready,” says John. “Let your dad shuffle his way inside in his slippers and robe.”

Visit the location map to plan your next Father’s Day brunch, lunch or dinner!

Chef’s Secret to Making the Fluffiest Pancakes Ever

A weekend breakfast staple, pancakes — hotcakes, flapjacks or whatever you like to call them — just might be the ultimate morning comfort food. As simple as they can be, it’s always refreshing to get some ideas from an expert on how to make them even better.

Yellow Door Bistro is a chef-driven European restaurant located inside Calgary’s Hotel Arts. There they cook up delicious fare from morning to night, but the restaurant is most renowned for its imaginative brunch creations. The most famous are the gourmet pancakes that start with the same base recipe, but change each month to incorporate new flavours and garnishes.

souffle-pancakes-plain

The secret to their perfectly light and fluffy pancakes, you ask? Executive chef, Quinn Staple takes a very unique approach to the batter preparation that’s similar to how one would prepare a soufflé. Eggs are an integral part of a classic pancake recipe, but Staple’s version separates the yolks and the whites. The simple act of whipping the whites on their own before being folded into the batter, makes for lighter, fluffier pancakes. Genius!

To get that soufflé-like height for your pancakes at home, Staple recommends using metal ring molds and brushing the inside with butter or oil. This will help the pancakes rise high. This step may take a few extra minutes, but trust the chef; it’s well worth it in the long run. Try it out for yourselves this weekend!

souffle-pancakes-ingredients

Soufflé Coconut Pancakes with Pineapple and Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

Pancake Batter:
1/2 cup egg yolks
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup egg whites

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 lb. butter, cubed
1/4 cup 35 % cream

Directions:

Pancake Batter:
1. Mix egg yolk, butter and coconut milk together. In a separate bowl mix sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix wet ingredients into dry.

souffle-pancakes-steps2

2. Use a whisk to whip egg whites until they turn white and form soft peaks (you can use a stand mixer for this stage as well).
3. Once the egg whites are incorporated, gently fold into batter.

souffle-pancakes-steps3

Note: Batter will keep in the fridge overnight, but for best results (i.e. for the fluffiest pancakes) use right away.

To Cook:
1. Grease ring molds and large pan with canola oil. Heat pan on medium-high heat.

souffle-pancakes-steps5

2. Place molds into pan, add two healthy spoonfuls of batter into each and allow to cook until batter has risen noticeably and bubbles have formed around its edges, approximately 3-4 minutes.

souffle-pancakes-steps6

3. Carefully remove the mold using tongs and gently flip pancakes over, reduce to medium heat and allow to cook for another 4 minutes.
Note: If not using ring molds, just portion batter into pan and once bubbles appear on the edges of the pancakes flip them and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Caramel Sauce:
1. Melt brown sugar and cream together and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and carefully and slowly whisk in the diced butter until emulsified.
3. Allow to cool before serving.

To Serve:
Once the pancakes are cooked stack as many pancakes are desired on a plate, top with caramel sauce, chopped pineapple, whipped cream and toasted coconut. Enjoy!

pancakes-pineapple-coconut-final

Optional Garnishes:

Coconut Chantilly:
2 cups 35% cream
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup icing sugar

1. Whisk all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks are formed.

Semi Dried Vanilla Pineapple:
1/4 pineapple cut into small wedges
1/2 scraped vanilla bean

1. Toss pineapple wedges with vanilla seeds and spread evenly on a parchment lined tray. Dry overnight in an oven with no heat. Next day reserve in an airtight container.

Watch this video to learn all about the delicious history of pancakes

Mom Deserves This Waffle Cake With Maple Whipped Cream

This dessert comes together with much less effort than a traditional layer cake, but is every bit as impressive. Maple-cinnamon syrup is brushed onto multigrain waffles that are layered with maple-sweetened whipped cream. A swirl of maple butter and a cinnamon drizzle provides the finishing touch to this sweet treat.

Make this maplelicious cake for your Mother’s Day brunch or lunch, or just to celebrate sugaring-off season in Eastern Canada. To save time, prepare the waffles up to a month in advance, then cool, place in re-sealable plastic bags and freeze.

Waffle-Cake-final-1

Ingredients:
1 recipe Multigrain Waffle batter
Vegetable oil
6 Tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp salted butter
2 1/2 cups 35% whipping cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup spreadable maple butter

Waffle-Cake-top-down-1

Directions:
1. Heat a round Belgian waffle maker and lightly brush with oil (I use a KitchenAid Waffle Baker). Place the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer in the freezer to chill.

2. Measure 1 1/2 cups of waffle batter into the centre of the waffle iron, close the top and cook for nearly 4 minutes, or until the waffle is golden. Remove the waffle and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have three large waffles. You should have just enough batter. Cool the waffles completely while you prepare the cinnamon syrup.

cinnamon syrup soak layer 1-1

3. In a small pot, combine 4 Tbsp of maple syrup and the cinnamon over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring slowly. Remove from heat and whisk in the salted butter until it is melted and the syrup is smooth and a little creamy. Cool to room temperature.

4. In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream to soft peaks. Turn off the mixer and add the remaining 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and the vanilla. Beat again until very stiff. You are now ready to assemble your cake.

building-the-layers-1

5. Place a waffle on a cake stand or platter and brush with about 1 Tbsp of the cinnamon syrup, letting it pool slightly in the pockets. Dollop about 1/3 of the whipped cream on and spread it around evenly. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of maple butter over the whipped cream. (If it is not runny enough, simply warm it slightly in the microwave.)

6. Place a second waffle on top of the decorated first and repeat the layers; syrup, whipped cream, maple butter. Place the final waffle on the cake. Brush lightly with cinnamon syrup and heap all the remaining whipped cream on top, piling it up at least 4-5 inches high. Drizzle the remainder of the maple butter on top of the whipped cream. At this point the cake can hold, refrigerated, for several hours before serving.

waffle-cake-top-layer-1

7. Generously drizzle the remainder of the cinnamon syrup all over the cake, letting it drip down the sides, then serve at once. To plate, use a bread knife cut the cake into wedges and serve.

Waffle-Cake-slice-served-1

Looking for more maple madness? Watch these videos for Maple-Nut Wafflewiches, Maple Cinnamon Rolls and Canadian Maple Pie Parfaits.

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