(Big thanks to http://www.cooksillustrated.com/ for hooking us up with these winning dishes)
BILBO'S BREAKFAST BAKED APPLES
4 large apples , large, (about 2 pounds), one strip of peel from stem end removed, rinsed, dried, and cored (see illustration below)
1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
1 cup apple cider (preferably unfiltered) or enough to come 1/2 inch up side of pan 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place apples in 9-inch Pyrex pie pan or 8-inch-square baking pan. Mix cinnamon and sugar, adding more cinnamon if desired, then sprinkle over and inside apple cavities. Mix cider and vanilla extract, and pour in pan.
2. Bake apples, basting every 15 minutes, until tender when pierced with thin, sharp knife or cake tester, 45 to 55 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, or skins will split, causing apples to lose their shape. Serve warm. (Can be cooled to room temperature, covered, and refrigerated for 2 days. Reheat before serving.)
SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH BACON, ONION, AND PEPPER JACK CHEESE
12 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons half-and-half
4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion , chopped medium (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1.5 ounces Pepper Jack cheese or Monterey Jack, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley leaves (optional)
1. Crack eggs into medium bowl; add salt, pepper, and half-and-half. Beat with dinner fork until thoroughly combined.
2. Cook bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate; discard all but 2 teaspoons bacon fat. Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes; transfer onion to second plate.
3. Thoroughly wipe out skillet with paper towels, add butter, and set over medium heat. When butter foams, swirl to coat bottom and sides of skillet, then pour in eggs. With heatproof rubber spatula, stir eggs constantly, slowly pushing them from side to side, scraping along bottom of skillet and then around sides, and lifting and folding eggs as they form curds. Do not over-scramble, as curds formed will be too small. Cook eggs until large curds form but eggs are still very moist, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, gently fold in onion, cheese, and half of bacon until evenly distributed; if eggs are still underdone, return skillet to medium heat for no longer than 30 seconds. Divide eggs among individual plates, sprinkle with remaining bacon and parsley, and serve immediately
Makes 4 1/2 cups, enough for 4 servings. Published May 1, 2002.
1 medium banana (ripe, about 4 ounces), peeled and cut crosswise into eight pieces
3.5 cups watermelon , cantaloupe, or honeydew 1- to 2-inch cubes
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup white cranberry juice or apple juice
pinch table salt
3-6 teaspoons granulated sugar
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 ice cubes (about 1 1/2 ounces total)
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; arrange banana and melon in single layer on baking sheet. Freeze fruit until very cold, but not frozen, about 10 minutes. In blender, puree cold fruit, milk, juice, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and ice until uniformly smooth, 10 to 15 seconds. Taste for sugar and lemon; if desired, add more sugar or lemon and blend until combined, about 2 seconds longer. Serve immediately.