Breakfast and Brunch

McQuaid’s Breakfast Burritos
There are many variations on this popular recipe, which is a basic breakfast wrapped in your favorite tortilla. We make these for the freezer and microwave for breakfast-on-the-go. Since it’s McQuaid’s favorite breakfast, it appears in many of China’s mysteries. Saves time in the mornings!

2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, cooked according to package instructions
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 pound breakfast sausage
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 can (4.5 ounces) green chiles or jalapeños (optional)
salt and black pepper,\ to taste
1 16-ounce can refried beans
3/4 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
8 tortillas, 10-inch (burrito) size, flour, whole wheat, corn/flour

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

In a large skillet, heat oil, add garlic and onions, and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking it apart it as it cooks. Drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Remove sausage to a bowl.

Mix eggs and milk. Add to the heated skillet and cook, whisking, until the mixture begins to set. Add chiles, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until semi-set but still soft, about 3-5 minutes; set aside.

To assemble. Slightly warm tortillas to make them easy to roll. Spread refried beans in a 2” strip across each tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons salsa, then potatoes, sausage-onion, eggs, cheeses, and tomatoes. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up, burrito-style.

To serve immediately. Place on baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 12-15 minutes.

To freeze. Tightly wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and bag all together in large plastic bag. Freeze. For quick breakfasts, remove from freezer and thaw in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, heat in microwave.

China’s Ginger-Peachy Breakfast Smoothie
A quick, easy, tasty, and healthy breakfast.

2 ripe peaches, pits removed and sliced
1 ripe banana, sliced (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup yogurt (peach or vanilla)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
5 ice cubes, if using a fresh banana

Add ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and taste. Add more ginger if you want a more gingery flavor. Blend again. Serve immediately.

Cass Wilde’s Quiche with Thyme and Lavender
Quiche is an always-popular item on the Thyme for Tea menu. At your house, it will serve 8 for brunch—perfect with a salad and drink.

One 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
1 1/4 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced fine
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat oven to 350°F. To avoid puffing, you can prick the pastry or line the shell with parchment paper and put in 1/2 inch or so of dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove weights and parchment, reduce heat to 325°F, and bake for about 8 minutes more, or until the bottom is dry. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese over the bottom of the crust and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove and cool.

In a large skillet, heat the butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring. Drain and cool. In a large bowl combine the eggs, evaporated milk, lavender, 1 cup grated cheese, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the mushrooms and pour into the crust. Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes, or until the top is just set. Serve warm or cold.

A Dilly of a Spanish Frittata
The word frittata derives from the Italian friggere and means something like fried. Originally, frittata was a generic term for skillet-cooked eggs and referred to anything from the traditional omelet to the Spanish tortilla de patatas, or potato omelet. In Spain, you’ll find cafés serving it as a tapa (appetizer) or for brunch or supper. For brunch, serve this herbed frittata with sausage, bacon, or ham, whole-grain toast, and a bowl of fresh fruit.

1 cup yogurt, plain
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, chives, parsley, rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped (about 1/2″ chunks) cooked potatoes (frozen hashbrowns okay, but thaw first)
2 cups coarsely chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard, arugula), uncooked
Garnish: 2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped, mixed with 2-3 tablespoons minced herbs

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, herbs, garlic, and lemon juice. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and salt. Add half of the yogurt mixture and stir to partially incorporate. (Reserve remaining mixture to serve as a drizzle sauce.)

Heat oil in a 10″ cast-iron or oven-safe nonstick skillet. Add green onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden, about 3 minutes. Add greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens wilt. Add egg-yogurt mixture and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until edges begin to set, 5–7 minutes.

Put the skillet in the pre-heated oven and bake frittata until puffed and set, 18–20 minutes. Loosen with a spatula and slide onto a cutting board. Cut into 4 wedges. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and serve with reserved yogurt sauce.