Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Regional Breakfast Specialties!

We hear it again and again: "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Sure, but what are we supposed to cook and eat? On top of that, what do we have time to make as we watch the stove while simultaneously lacing up our shoes and buttoning our shirt?

What you're eating most mornings probably has a lot to do with where you live. From New York through Philadelphia, people love their egg & cheese on a roll. You can buy them in nearly every market, from carts on the street or make them at home. They're delicious, but often unavailable in other parts of the country. So, what are we talking about? Starting with a lightly toasted Kaiser roll or toast, you either scramble or fry an egg or two before topping it with a slice of American cheese. Some people add bacon or ham to the breakfast sandwich and by the Jersey Shore and in Philly, they love to add pork roll, the region's answer to Canadian bacon. The egg & cheese on a roll is a hearty breakfast that's sure to kick-start your day and push your metabolism into overdrive.

On a recent trip to New Orleans, we feasted on a breakfast of beignets and chicory coffee from Cafe du Monde. Beignets are light and fluffy fried doughnuts (without the hole) topped with plenty of powdered sugar. Chicory is a great additive to coffee- it's the root of the endive plant and adds a great rich and roasted flavor without adding caffeine.

In other parts of the south they enjoy biscuits & gravy- light buttermilk biscuits topped with a white gravy with plenty of ground bacon and black pepper. In the south they also opt for grits instead of breakfast potatoes. Grits are coarsely ground corn cooked for 15-20 minutes until soft. They're often topped with some butter, but we love the versions with cheddar cheese or red-eye gravy made from breakfast sausage or bacon.

To help you decide which regional American breakfast is best for you, we fired up the FoodPair search engine and found a handful of delicious dishes from across the Web.

Fried Egg and Sausage Ciabatta Breakfast Pizzas
This is a great take on the traditional northeastern breakfast sandwich.
Ingredients: olive oil, egg, scallion, Italian sausage, Monterrey Jack cheese, ciabatta

Buttermilk Beignets
Try your hand at the ultimate New Orleans breakfast treat!
Ingredients: sugar, buttermilk, salt, powdered sugar, baking soda, milk, peanut oil, active dry yeast, bread flour

Creamy Stone-Ground Grits
Stir up a taste of the South for your next breakfast.
Ingredients: butter, heavy cream, water, milk, kosher salt, grits

Country-Fried Ham with Redeye Gravy
It takes only three ingredients to make a great breakfast gravy.
Ingredients: ham, milk, coffee

Let's get cooking!

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