Ode to Breakfast

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Saveur magazine's editor-in-chief James Oseland celebrates delicious breakfast dishes from around the world.

Cornflake-Crusted Brioche French Toast
The recipe for this crunchy french toast is based on the one used at the Lafayette restaurant in the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C.
Serves 4

  • 1 loaf brioche bread (about 1 lb)
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Maple syrup

1. Slice brioche loaf into eight 1-inch thick slices with a serrated knife. Using a 3" round cookie cutter, cut each slice into a circle and set aside. (Reserve bread scraps for bread crumbs.)

2. In a shallow dish, whisk together half and half, sugar, cinnamon, salt, orange zest, and eggs. Put cornflakes into another shallow dish. Working with 1 circle of brioche at a time, dip in the egg mixture, allowing brioche to soak for 10 seconds on each side, then coat in the cornflakes. Transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat until just foaming. Transfer four slices of brioche to the pan and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Divide the French toast between two serving plates. Wipe out skillet, add remaining butter, and repeat process. Dust the French toast with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve with berries and sliced fruit, if you like.

This muesli is a flavorful take on the original raw-cereal mixture developed in Switzerland by Maximilian Bircher-Benner in the early 20th century.
Serves 6 - 8

  • 1 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 halved vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup toasted, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons wheat germ
  • 3 Tablespoons wheat bran
  • 2 Tablespoons flaxseed
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 15 pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  • 2 granny smith apples, cored and grated
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and roughly chopped

1. Combine oats, half and half, and vanilla in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine orange juice and raisins. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight to let oats and raisins soften.

2. Put pecans and almonds into a food processor and pulse to chop coarsely. Transfer nuts to a large bowl along with 6 tablespoons of the coconut, the sunflower seeds, wheat germ, wheat bran, flaxseed and salt. Add the oat mixture along with the orange juice and raisins and stir in the yogurt, honey, prunes, apples, and kiwis until combined. Divide the muesli between bowls and garnish with the remaining coconut.

Fava Bean Stew (Ful Medames)
The recipe for this popular Egyptian morning dish is based on one that appears in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
Serves 4 - 6

  • 2 cups small brown Egyptian fava beans
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

1. In a large bowl, cover the fava beans with 6 cups water and refrigerate overnight.

2. Drain fava beans and transfer to a 2-quart saucepan along with the garlic, cumin, chile flakes, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the liquid has thickened, about 2 1/2 hours.

3. Mash about one-third of the beans against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to help thicken the stew. Season with salt. Drizzle extra water into stew if it becomes too thick.

4. Divide the stew between 4–6 bowls. Garnish each with some of the cilantro, parsley, scallions, tomatoes, and lemons. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with flatbread, if you like.

Prairie Oyster
This old-school cocktail is meant to be slugged back in a single gulp and was long believed to be a cure-all for everything from hangovers to stomach aches. This version is based on one that appears in the Standard Bartender's Guide.
Serves 1

1 oz brandy
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp Tabasco
1 egg

1. Combine brandy, vinegar, worcestershire and tabasco in an old-fashioned or rocks glass. Stir to combine; carefully crack an egg into the center of glass.

Music break: Coisa No1 by Badem Powell with Jimmy Pratt