I have never been one to shy away from making something new, but when it comes to baking I tend to stick with more of the tried and true; recipes that have been passed down from my parents or ones that I have made myself many times. That’s why making English Muffins was such an exciting adventure!
(Warning: this post may suffer from seemingly random thoughts and wandering. Stay with me.)
Last night The Hubs grilled a lovely, big piece of salmon for dinner. When I told him I had purchased some salmon and it would be great on the grill he didn’t look at it. Basing his coals and cooking estimate on the salmon I usually buy he miscalculated a bit. When he saw the big, thick piece of salmon I had purchased his initial grumbling and running (under his breath) commentary was that it was much bigger than he had thought and he hadn’t put enough coals in and it was going to take much longer than he had thought. His next concern was what I had paid for it. I assured him that not only was it sale, but it also pays (saves) to know your butcher. Not only did I get an incredible deal on the salmon, I should have cut it in half and frozen part of it, but it was too damn pretty!
As we were eating dinner and savoring the delicious grilled salmon (The Hubs and I and Daughter Number 4 were savoring. Daughter Number 3 was complaining about not liking fish, and we discovered later that one of our cats and our Chihuahua got the benefit of her dislike under the table) I was already planning on making some of the leftover grilled salmon my breakfast the following day.
I have loved salmon for breakfast since my trip to Banff, Alberta, Canada in 2010. Prior to that trip I had the rare occasion to eat lox, cream cheese, and bagels, but nothing more exciting than that. Banff is where I was introduced to salmon with poached eggs and hollandaise, salmon omelettes, and more; I digress.
When The Hubs asked what I was thinking about so quietly at the dinner table (yes, I was quiet) I told him I was planning my salmon breakfast. His eyes sparkled. “MY salmon breakfast?” he asked. I agreed that it would be OUR salmon breakfast. (Homage to Billy Madison)
I did not start thinking about breakfast as soon as I got up, but I did start thinking about it very shortly after. All during my workout I was thinking about what I was going to make with the salmon that would be simply amazing. I thought about crepe-eggs, a delightful fluffy egg/crepe served at “The Good Egg”. Of course there were the poached eggs with salmon I had eaten in Banff. Whatever I made there had to be a side of English muffins. Sadness hit when I realized I didn’t have English muffins. Happiness overcame when I decided to make my own.
Although I had never made English muffins before, that became as much a part of the breakfast (which I knew would be brunch) as the salmon. I quickly found a recipe and got started on the English muffins. As with many baking firsts, they English muffins took longer than I had anticipated. Our brunch would be lunch at the rate I was going. (Thank goodness I can work from home.) I was delighted at how the recipe for English muffins was coming along and could not wait to try them. Once I placed the first batch on my hot, oiled griddle I was ready to start the rest of my breakfast / lunch.
The salmon dish I decided on was Salmon Omelettes. Since I was already trying something new I didn’t want to ruin one thing by becoming overwhelmed. The omelette filling was simple. I melted butter in a sauté pan, added some green onion whites, minced garlic, and some flaked, grilled salmon. Once that was sautéing I added a knob of butter to my omelette pan to melt. I whipped three extra large eggs in a glass bowl until frothy. Once the butter started to bubble I added the eggs to the pan. (Here’s just a quick run-down of omelette (omelet to most Americans) making.)
Making an Omelette
Swirl the egg around the entire inside of the pan. Take a rubber spatula and carefully lift the edges away from the pan in a light swooping motion around the entirety of the pan. As you lift the edges continue to swirl the eggs lightly. When the edges are set, but still pull away from the pan add your filling ingredients to the still soft omelette, being careful to keep all of the filling on one side. The other side will be flipped over the fillings. To my omelette I added some cubed cream cheese, the salmon mixture, a bit of dill, and a small amount of grated cheddar. When the cheese melted I gently folded the unfilled side over the filling. After removing gently to a plate I topped with some chopped green onion.
During the cooking of the omelette I had turned the English muffins at the 10 minute mark. The timer went off after another 10 minutes and I removed the muffins onto a platter. I had more English muffins to add to the griddle, but I left some room. I added a small bit of butter to the griddle, split one of the already ‘baked’ English muffins and added it to the buttered griddle. After leaving it on to toast for a couple of minutes and I plated it with my omelette.
The Hubs was very complimentary of the presentation of the omelette. He was even more impressed after he tasted it. I asked how he liked the homemade English muffins, and he asked if I was kidding. I hadn’t tasted mine yet, so I was getting ready to pout a bit when he clarified his comment. He couldn’t believe they were homemade. We will never buy English muffins again. These were incredibly delicious.
I believe everyone should make friends with a butcher. Even if you don’t get a super deal like I did, you will get better cuts of meat than the average customer.
A few morsels to chew on…while planning your next foodventure!
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast (.25 oz)
- 1 cup warm water (110◦ F)
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise.
- Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass, or empty tuna can. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.
Heat greased griddle. Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side on medium heat. Keep baked muffins in a warm oven until all have been cooked. Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage. To use, split and toast. Great with butter, or cream cheese and jam.