Breakfast for Dinner, for Brunch

I’ve taken a long hiatus, mainly because I got trapped in that thought loop where nothing I made or ate was blog-worthy, which in fact made it absolutely blog-worthy, which in turn made it… just never get written about. This post is actually about what I had for brunch, but it was so completely tasty that I’m going on record with it anyway.

Yesterday I finally opened up the March issue of Food and Wine. Since I was a Gourmet-reading teenager, I’ve enjoyed receiving at least one food-related periodical during most years of my life. This issue was full of “Gaaaaah!” moments and I found that my love of things foodish was waking up from some sort of winter’s nap. Perfect timing: it just so happened that I was expecting a brunch guest for today and I couldn’t not make the porridge recipe (link below). I ended up slicing the bananas differently (in thirds, then halved lengthwise) and using brown sugar sprinkled over plenty of (salted) butter to cook them. I also turned them so that both sides were a nice light brown. Added about two pinches more salt to the porridge. The almonds were a nice touch. Didn’t use cream, but it could be pleasant. I paired it with multiple cups of strong coffee and some unfortunately-mediocre bacon. Four thumbs up, between my guest and me (good enough that my bowl was half-eaten before I realized I had not taken a photo).


First meal of the year

fava beans w/ egg and bread

fava beans with egg and bread

This morning, I opened the can of fava beans in the cupboard, chopped enough garlic to ward off the Devil, and approximated the breakfast I fell in love with in the hotel restaurant where we stayed in San Francisco on our vacation. It was an ill timed trip—I was not well, then Kevin was sick, and a lot of things went wrong—but this Moroccan breakfast of cumin-scented, stewed fava beans with an egg poached on top, and a little stack of warm, quartered pita bread, was good, and right. I went back for it the second morning and said, “When I get home….” I bought the beans and there they sat, through another year of egg-and-toast.

I wanted to make some authentic hoppin’ John for today, with real red cowpeas and Carolina gold rice, like I read about on Serious Eats, but I couldn’t find the ingredients, and the version I’ve made for years, just isn’t that tasty. This dish became the substitute when, first meal of the day, I wanted something different that wasn’t all about my bread. I usually get really good bread from a local bakery, but they’re on vacation for the holidays, and I’m reduced to eating my own bread. First time baking in years, and I overproofed and neglected the dough, so the results are a little sour and squishy.

So it’s not what I usually eat, and no better, but it’s inspired by good intentions, it used what I had on hand, and it had everything it needed, everything I needed, on this very cold day. Perfection is the enemy of the good, especially at breakfast.