Posted in - Pork, Breakfast

Birchwood Cafe’s Savory Waffle

Asparagus, Cheddar and Quinoa Savory Waffle with a Fried Egg, Lemon Pepita Butter, Rhubarb Jalapeño Marmalade, & Bacon Lardons

Photo credit: Plate Magazine

Recipe adapted from Chef Marshall – Minnesota’s Birchwood Cafe’

Yields: 6-8 servings

Waffle Ingredients:

  • 1/2Lb asparagus
  • rice bran oil, as needed
  • 1/2C quinoa, uncooked
  • 1C brown rice flour
  • 1C quinoa flour
  • 1/2C potato starch
  • 1/4C arrowroot starch flour
  • 1T xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1T baking powder
  • 3C buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, large, lightly beaten
  • 1/2C cheddar cheese, shredded

Waffle Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut asparagus into 1/4-inch pieces and toss with just enough rice bran oil to coat. Spread out asparagus on a baking sheet and roast until nicely browned and crisp around edges, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small skillet set over medium heat, toast 1/4 cup quinoa, shaking pan occasionally, until light brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Cook remaining 1/4 cup quinoa in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain it.

In a large bowl, stir together rice flour, quinoa flour, potato starch, arrowroot, xanthan gum, toasted quinoa, salt and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons rice bran oil, buttermilk and eggs.

Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and stir until smooth. Batter will be thick. Stir in cooked quinoa, cheese and asparagus.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Heat up waffle iron and lightly brush cooking surface with rice bran oil.

When waffle iron is ready, pour in 1 cup batter. Cook until waffle is lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.

Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep it warm, uncovered, in oven until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining batter.

Lemon Pepita Butter

Yields: 1/2 pound

  • 1/2Lb butter, room temperature
  • 1/4C pepitas, toasted and chopped
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt, as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor and reserve refrigerated until needed.

Rhubarb Jalapeño Marmalade

Yields: 2 1/2 pints

  • 5C rhubarb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2C lime juice
  • 4 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • As needed salt
  • 6 1/2C sugar
  • 1 each pectin, box

Place rhubarb, lime juice and jalapeños in a large saucepan and set over high heat. Stir as it comes to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir in pinch of salt, sugar and pectin and bring to a fast boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam and pour into clean jars and seal. Process jars, following manufacturer’s directions, or reserve in refrigerator until needed.

Bacon Lardons

Yields: 8 servings

  • 1LB Slab or Thick Cut Bacon sliced into ½” strips and cut into batons

Preheat your heavy based frying pan until it sizzles when you add a drop of water

No need to season this meat as the cure will of done this for us.

Don’t overcrowd the cooking base, add the diced bacon and toss in the pan being careful.

Cook over high heat turning regularly until a rich, caramalization takes place then reduce heat to medium to continue cooking until golden and cooked through.

Note: The meat will become more firm as it cooks, gently press with your thumb, the more spring back you get the hotter the protein cells have expand which means the more well done your meat is.

Serve hot.

Sunny Side-Up Egg

  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1 T. olive oil (for 6-8 eggs)
  • large eggs
  • Toast, for serving, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat until slightly shimmering, about 5 minutes. Crack an egg into the skillet; repeat with the other eggs, adding it to the other side of the skillet. Cover with a tight lid and cook, uninterrupted, until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Slide the eggs out of the skillet onto the waffle.

Serve waffles with a dollop of pepita butter and marmalade, and a sunny-side up egg and bacon lardons.

Posted in - Pork, Breakfast

Savory Stuffed French Toast

Need a great Christmas Day brunch recipe?! This French Toast is perfect for that salty-sweet fix. The savory stuffed french toast is jam-packed with ham, swiss, scallions, and cooked in a slightly sweet custard.

Savory Stuffed French Toast

  • 1 loaf French bread, cut into 2-inch thick slices
  • 8 ounces ham
  • 4 ounces Swiss cheese
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for cooking
  • Maple syrup, for serving


Chop ham into small cubes. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add ham and cook until it’s browned in spots, just a few minutes.

Let ham cool slightly and then stir together with grated cheese and scallions.

Whisk together milk, eggs, and cinnamon with a pinch of salt in a square baking dish.

Cut your French bread into large 2-inch slices. Using a serrated steak knife, cut each piece of bread down the middle, being careful not to cut entirely through the bread. Use the knife and your fingers to make a pocket in the bread.

Stuff each piece of bread with the ham and cheese mixture. Try to be careful not to tear through the bread, but you can also use a heavy hand on the stuffing. The bread can hold it.

After you’ve stuffed all the pieces, heat a griddle over medium heat.

Dunk the pieces of bread, one at a time, in the milk and egg mixture. Leave it in for a few seconds on each side so it absorbs the mixture. Don’t leave them in so long that they get soggy though.

Melt butter on griddle and add stuffed french toast pieces. Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side until the toast is golden brown. Err on the side of cooking them for longer over lower heat. Also, be sure to stand the toast up on the two long ends for a few minutes also to really sear the French toast on all sides.

I like to cut each piece in half after it cooks to show off the stuffing and also make it easier to eat.

Serve stuffed french toast with syrup!

Posted in Breakfast

Savory Hearty Breakfast Muffins

Savory Hearty Breakfast Muffin

  • 9 eggs for the center of the muffins
  • 2 eggs for the muffin mix
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • 1½ cups plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter + a bit for greasing the muffin tins
  • 1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced finely ham
1 cup
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

For the eggs:

  1. The first step of this recipe is to soft boil your eggs. You may want to make a dozen in case to have some backups in case you break the yolks in a couple of them.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and then reduce the heat to a rolling boil.
  3. Put up to 4 (cold) eggs in the water carefully and cook them for 6 minutes.
  4. Once the 6 minutes are up, carefully remove the eggs and rinse them in cold water immediately (for about 60 seconds).
  5. Repeat this process until all your eggs are soft boiled.
  6. Once your eggs have cooled (from being run under the cold water), carefully remove the shells. This part requires some patience.
  7. Put all the eggs in the freezer for about 2 hours (until they are completely frozen through).
  8. While the eggs are freezing, make the muffin batter.

For the muffins:

  1. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, black pepper, cayenne, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine the chives, yogurt and butter.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.
  4. Finally add the cheese, ham, and red peppers.
  5. Once the eggs are completely frozen, preheat the oven to 425 (we need these muffins to cook quickly so that the eggs in the center don’t overcook).
  6. Grease a muffin tin with butter.
  7. Add the batter to the muffin tin- filling each hole only about halfway. Add a frozen egg into each muffin and then cover them with the rest of the batter.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are brown on top. This part also requires trust because you can’t stick the muffins with a toothpick to see if they are done.
  9. Remove the muffins from the tin immediately after they come out of the oven (so they stop cooking).
  10. Serve warm and with salt (the muffins shouldn’t need salt but adding a little sprinkle of salt on the egg in the middle makes these perfect!) 

Note: These muffins are best served warm but are also delicious cold. To reheat the muffins, you can microwave them for about 30 seconds. These muffins will keep really well for a few days in the fridge.