Amazing Breakfast Ideas
August 1, 2017 5:22 AM   Subscribe

It is my Smizmar's birthday in just over a week, and I want to blow his mind with the world's greatest breakfast. Can you help me with interesting and delicious ideas?

He has spoiled me breakfastally every birthday since 2007, with this year's being a spectacular Peruvian-themed feast of ceviche, salsa, crunchy corn, sweet potato puree, olives, inca kola and a breakfast cocktail. I would love to also create something themed, with the caveat that he is ovo-lacto-vege-pescetarian. Any food can be breakfast food, so no limits apart from no meat. Eggs always welcome (at every meal to be honest).

I'd like to do as much prep as possible the afternoon/evening before. Thank you!
posted by Carravanquelo to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
My household has fallen in love with shakshuka recently, and it is a seriously easy meal to make that delivers a lot of flavor. It's easy and quick enough that I don't think you would need to prep the night before, but I've made a big batch of the sauce and thrown it in the fridge for my wife to take portions of each morning. I like to use harissa instead of a chili (but if you're not into spicy food I think it's fine to leave out).
posted by noneuclidean at 5:28 AM on August 1, 2017 [7 favorites]

When I was in Japan with my sweetheart, we had some sensational traditional breakfasts.

Here's an article I found v quickly on preparing them, but its basically a spread of lots of little dishes, which include:

Main bits:
- Grilled fish, eg mackerel
- Steamed rice
- Miso soup with tofu and seaweed

Include any or all:
- Pickled vegetables
- Seaweed
- Natto if you're brave (no-one will judge you if you pass on the natto)
- Pickled ginger

For the little dishes in which to serve each thing, try thrift shops and also your local Chinese supermarket.
posted by greenish at 5:44 AM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Crepe theme? Many cuisines have their own versions, so you could mix and match. Mmm, Vietnamese crepes, crepes with egg and hen of the woods mushrooms, crepes with guava and sweet get the idea. You could prep the fillings the night before to save time.
posted by prewar lemonade at 5:48 AM on August 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Jewish deli: the absolute best bagels you can get (real, chewy, boiled-then-baked bagels, not that circle bread that masquerades as bagels), cream cheese, lox, red onion & tomato, challah French toast or matzo brei, +/or cheese blintzes topped with seasonal fresh fruit
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:41 AM on August 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

Mexican food* is my favorite thing to eat for breakfast. I'd make huevos rancheros, maybe a nice pozole, a couple of great fish tacos, and a paloma to drink. Pozole could easily be made ahead of time, and prep for tacos could largely be done the night before as well.

*I am a white idiot living in Florida who has never been to Mexico and has spent precious little time in the American Southwest, so forgive me for probably over-generalizing what constitutes "Mexican."
posted by saladin at 7:04 AM on August 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

I will also toss in a vote for shakshuka. It's the meal my family requests most when I'm visiting and tasked with playing chef.

My personal favorite luxurious breakfast, though, is Heston Blumenthal's recipe for scrambled eggs, served on toasted French bread with browned butter, sherry vinegar and smoked salmon. It takes flippin' forever but cooking your eggs slowly in a double boiler gives them such tiny curds that the finished product is downright decadently creamy, even omitting the milk and heavy cream (which I only just now realize I've accidentally done every time.)
posted by OMGTehAwsome at 7:14 AM on August 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Croissants with dark chocolate inside, gently warmed on top of the oven while you cook..

Baked strata (the eggs and cheese and milk and bread are all OK, right? I admit I get lost sometimes, and don't want to offend!) -- which is assembled the night before and popped into the oven when your alarm goes off

Blood orange segments and sliced strawberries and kiwi pieces, which can be cut up while the strata bakes.

Fruit juice, fresh-squeezed if possible


*kisses fingers* But no matter what you serve, I am sure that he will think that you are a wonderful person for planning a breakfast feast!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:29 AM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Chilaquiles dude. Easy but too, too good. With some fried or baked eggs, avocado, black beans, etc.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:20 AM on August 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Portuguese baked eggs! Can be prepped almost entirely the night before
and baked morning of.
posted by le_salvo at 9:24 AM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Savory oatmeal! Cook the (steel-cut) oats in a pressure cooker with already-caramelized onions. If you have an instant pot you can brown the oats in some butter in the saute mode first, too. Instead of water, use half water and half vegetable stock. While the oats are cooking, lightly fry up some kale, and poach a few eggs. (I add smoked ham or pulled pork too, but obviously not here). Combine once oats are complete, and add in a bit of brown sugar and some heavy cream.

Another option: dutch baby with freshly-made berry or peach compote, along with some scrambled eggs (cook slowly just with butter or olive oil, and then add *cream cheese* at the end) with fresh herbs on top.
posted by Jaclyn at 9:35 AM on August 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Another vote for Japanese breakfast, but as far as Mexican goes I would vote for migas over chilaquiles.
posted by rhizome at 10:48 AM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you've never made a Spanish Tortilla, now might be a great chance. This might not be fancy enough but can totally be prepared the night before and in fact I like it better at room temperature than warm. Once again I'm linking to Mark Bittman's recipe: minimalist column | recipe
posted by czytm at 11:20 AM on August 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

When I need to impress someone with a breakfast dish I always make Emeril's French toast/bread pudding/breakfast casserole thing and it's always a big hit. Do everything up through the "Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture, then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate" step the night before.
posted by waffleriot at 5:34 PM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

The night before, put a cup of oatmeal in a container. Add a cup of pear juice, a grated pear, a handful of roughly chopped almonds. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve the next day with artfully-swirled yoghurt or cream (or both), warmed through or cool. If you want to get fancy top with fanned caramelised pear slices (or just canned pears, sliced and then warmed through in brown sugar and butter) and a sprinkle of almonds. Serve as a starter.

For the main, split and toast an English muffin. Butter generously, top with smoked salmon, wilted spinach, a couple of poached eggs, a generous lug of warm hollandaise (out of a jar is fine) and a sprinkle of fresh parsley, dill, lemon zest and crispy fried shallots (from a jar also fine - try an Asian grocer). Serve with a very large, elaborately garnished Bloody Mary.

To finish, fresh brewed coffee and nudity.

Speaking of coffee and nudity, you might want to check out this article about James Bond's breakfasts for inspiration.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:33 PM on August 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

The probably all-time favourite in my household is breakfast nachos. Basically, you build nachos, but with (homemade) pre-roasted potato rounds rather than tortilla chips. The linked "recipe" has sausage in it, but you can leave that out just as you would with regular nachos and put whatever your heart desires on top. We usually put on guacamole, sour cream and hot sauce. They are crazy delicious.
posted by urbanlenny at 1:10 PM on August 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

(Migas are good but for decadence, dude... chilaquiles.)
posted by stoneandstar at 11:06 PM on August 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ful medames is delicious, and traditionally eaten for breakfast (with boiled eggs and flatbread).

In a more Eurocentric vein, pretty much everything I've tried from Smitten Kitchen has been excellent.

Since you mentioned ceviche: I adore tuna tartare. I don't bother with the caviar, and I also tend to pass on the green onions – but that's just because I don't like green onions. You can substitute anything crispy/crunchy for the wonton crisps – they're entirely about texture contrast. (Tortilla chips are a common alternative – consider buying raw corn tortillas and frying them that morning. Slice them into quarters with a pizza cutter, use a big pan so you can do many at once, don't forget to sprinkle 'em in the pan with kosher salt, and practice a bit beforehand.) Definitely get the highest-grade tuna you can find – if there's a sushi counter at your local grocery, look there. (And buy the night before – tuna spoils very quickly. Call the store to find out when the fish counter closes.) You can chop the vegetables and herbs the night before; the rest is just chopping and mixing. A simple blanched asparagus (perhaps topped with a poached egg and/or Hollandaise?) goes well with this.

On the Southern tip: fried green tomatoes, homemade cornbread (easy to make, if you have a cast-iron skillet), pinto beans (cook dried beans overnight in a slow cooker, if you have one – slow cookers are made for this), fried apples. Heaven.

Pears poached with white wine (go for an oaky, vanilla-y Chardonnay) and spices.

Fondant potatoes. They don't require much effort, but they do require a lot of time. Basically, you peel potatoes (Yukon Golds work well) and shape them into similarly sized cylinders. Then you brown them in good butter (use cultured / "European-style" butter if you can – Vermont Creamery, Kerrygold, or Presidente). Then, simmer in a small amount of stock (most recipes will call for chicken, but you can substitute vegetable – this stuff is great), with whole thyme sprigs, for like an hour. The outside will develop a delicate crust, and the interior will become impossibly creamy. Again, asparagus is a good partner here.

As noxious as he is, Gordon Ramsay's method for scrambled eggs is perfect. The crucial part is to keep the eggs moving – which produces a finer curd, which gives a soft and luxurious texture. The other crucial part is to transfer the eggs from the pot to the plate before they're fully cooked – the carryover heat will finish cooking them on the plate. Sprinkle them with minced chives.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:17 PM on August 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

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