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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breakfast Polenta Bruschetta with Maple Caramel Syrup

Breakfast is great - wouldn't miss it unless I somehow ... accidentally ... overslept. Even then there's a good chance my lunch order would lean heavily towards sunny side up.

Boredom with eggs and bacon can seep onto your plate and cause soggy toast if you're not careful, so it's important to be creative. In today's breakfast recipe, simple scrambled eggs sit atop seared polenta which may not seem uber exciting (though gooey, cheese polenta can never be beat no matter what time of day served) it's the creation of the Breakfast Maple Caramel Syrup that brings the whole dish to life! Sweetness with a hint of maple and touch of spice; just a drizzle is enough to wake up the taste buds.

Instead of bacon try slim slices of dried salami, the chewy saltiness is an super match to the creamy polenta. My cheese choice here is a slightly spicy pepper jack which gives the eggs a lift; a creamy havarti or provolone could pair well too if you are adverse to heat.

Rise and shine readers, it's time to make a Fat and Happy breakfast. This one will have you turning off the alarm rather than hitting snooze.

Tip and Techniques:  Though I feel I don't need to say this, while I give you the option to purchase store-made polenta,,,, I highly suggest you don't! It's sooooo much better (and easy) to make your own!

Breakfast Polenta Bruschetta with Maple Caramel Sauce

Polenta (either pre-made and molded from scratch or store bought)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 slices hard salami, chopped
4 eggs
2 tsp water
salt and pepper
olive oil
Pepper Jack cheese

 Maple Caramel Sauce ingredients:

1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbls maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbls butter
pinch of cayenne
pinch of cumin

Start with the caramel sauce- slowly bring the apple juice, brown sugar and maple syrup to a soft boil, let boil for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, then turn the heat to low. Keep warm until ready to use.

Sear the polenta by placing the polenta slices on a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep the heat around medium high. Allow each side to form a slight crust on them and turn off the heat. Add a few slices of cheese on top and let melt.

Start the eggs while the cheese is melting by adding the onions and celery to a hot pan with a drizzle of oil, cook for just a minute; this dish needs a little crunch so take care to not over cook.

Quickly whip the eggs in a bowl with the water, salt and pepper using a fork or whisk. Pour the eggs into the hot onions and celery pan and let sizzle for just a minute. Sprinkle the salami over the eggs and use a rubber spatula to lightly scramble the eggs. This should only take a a minute or two to fully cook as the eggs should be somewhat moist rather than dry and crumbly.

Set the polenta on plates, top with the scrambled eggs and drizzle with the breakfast caramel sauce. Enjoy immediately.

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