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Decadent Brunch; Let Cap'n Crunch steer late breakfast ship

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By Melanie Knight

The days you get to sleep in are few and far between, so why not skip that early breakfast and enjoy brunch instead? Put that box of breakfast cereal to another use by making Cap’n Crunch French Toast and Miss Leslie’s Ham Salad on Biscuits?

“Crunch-atize Me Cap’n!” is the new rebel yell of anyone who caught the comfort food segment of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” on Food Network. This episode featured a decadent double stack of French toast that had been dipped in Cap’n Crunch cereal before it was grilled in butter and topped with an avalanche of whipped cream and berries. Anyone who can capture the crunchy sweetness of a cartoon Saturday morning and serve it up on a plate is pure genius.Here is a look at the recipes.

Cap’n Crunch French ToastIngredients4 cups Cap’n Crunch original cereal (no Crunch Berries)10 slices Texas bread (thick sliced bread)4 eggs1/2 cup heavy cream1/2 cup sugar1 tablespoon vanilla1 teaspoon cinnamon10 tablespoons butterWhipped cream for topping1 pint strawberries1/2 pound seedless grapes

Directions– Place cereal in a casserole dish and crunch it into crumbs with the bottom of a glass.– Mix eggs, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together and place in a shallow dish. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Take 1 slice of bread, dip both sides in the egg mixture, then coat with the cereal crumbs. Cook each side 2-3 minutes until light brown. Repeat for the other nine slices of bread.– Stack pieces of toast on the center of the plate. Top with a generous portion of whipped cream, strawberries and grapes Makes 5 servings.

– Recipe by Melanie Knight (inspired by Baltimore’s Blue Moon Caf)

Miss Leslie’s Ham Salad on BiscuitsIngredients 2 tubes (six pieces each) of large bake-off biscuits1 pound cooked ham from the deli cut into 1/4-inch thick slices and diced3 ribs celery, from the heart, finely chopped1/2 cup salad olives with pimento, drained, chopped1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (wear gloves)4 scallions, finely chopped1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls of leaves)1/3 cup mayonnaise, just enough to bind salad3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard3 tablespoons dill pickle relishSalt and black pepper to taste

Directions– Prepare bake-off biscuits according to package directions, 8 to 10 minutes in the oven. Cool biscuits on wire rack.– Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl to make ham salad and adjust taste with seasonings.– Split cool biscuits and fill with ham salad (salad is even better on the second day). Makes six servings (2 biscuits each).

– Recipe by Rachel Ray (www.foodnetwork.com)