Four Easy Ways to Make Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast is not just the most important meal of the day, it’s often the most delicious. But it isn’t usually served at the best time for a glass of wine, even though so many favorite morning foods pair nicely with it.
Our solution? Breakfast for dinner. With all the burgers and steaks seen at brunch, there’s no reason not to eat pancakes, grits and eggs later in the day. For the full breakfast-for-dinner effect, make dessert fruit bowls topped with Greek yogurt and granola.
And the familiar flavors take on new dimensions when paired with wine. If you do want to crack a bottle at the crack of dawn, we won’t judge. Great wine and food know no schedule.
Jump Straight to a Recipe
Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook (W. W. Norton, 2006), by Matt and Ted Lee
Natives of Charleston, South Carolina, brothers Matt and Ted Lee learned to cook in their childhood home at 83 East Bay Street, where this recipe gets its name. Tart tomatillos provide welcome acidity to this deeply flavorful dish.
- 1½ pounds extra-large, shell-on shrimp (26–30/pound), peeled and deveined, shells reserved
- 1½ cups stone-ground grits
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked (or green tomatoes)
- 4 ounces bacon, diced
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons flour
- Black pepper, to taste
Bring shrimp shells and 3 cups lightly salted water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1½ cups, about 20 minutes. Strain broth, and set aside. Add water or discard broth to ensure exact measure.
Combine grits, milk, 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until grits thicken, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring often, until grits are fluffy and creamy, about 30 minutes. Add water if grits become too stiff.
While grits cook, heat broiler and place tomatillos in roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Broil, turning occasionally, until blackened all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to blender and purée. Pass purée through coarse strainer or food mill, and set aside.
Place bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until bacon begins to brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeño, green pepper, onion and cayenne. Cook until vegetables soften, about 2 minutes.
Whisk 2 tablespoons shrimp broth with flour to create smooth paste. Add remaining broth to skillet, and reduce heat to medium. After 5 minutes, whisk in flour paste, followed by tomatillo purée. Cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens to gravy consistency, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook just until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Divide grits among 4 plates. Ladle shrimp and gravy on top. Serves 4.
Jean-Luc and Paul Aegerter 2016 Vieilles Vignes (Chablis). “The lemony quality of a good Chablis, or any clean, steel-aged Chardonnay, pairs well with shrimp and the note of smoky bacon in the dish,” write the Lee brothers.
This one, in addition to its orange zest notes, conveys a sense of honey that gives it body to match with the rich meal. A touch of minerality complements the shrimp, while bright acidity cleanses the palate between bacon-y bites.
Courtesy Gregory Collier, chef/owner, The Yolk, Rock Hill, SC
The Yolk is a popular breakfast-only spot with creative and classic versions of favorites. This dish is a cross between a traditional breakfast pancake and a latke, typically made with raw potato. Roasting the potatoes first gives the pancakes a fluffy, tender texture. Served with lox and all the trimmings, they make an elegant meal any time of day.
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, about ½ pound
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to coat
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Herbed caper cream cheese (recipe and directions below)
- 8 ounces smoked salmon (Nova or Scotch) or gravlax, thin-sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
- ½ small red onion, sliced paper thin (optional)
Heat oven to 400˚F. Use fork to poke holes in potatoes, the rub potatoes with oil and salt. Bake for 45 minutes. Halve lengthwise and discard skins. Mash coarsely with fork.
Whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Add milk and eggs, and whisk gently just until combined. It’s O.K. if there are lumps. Whisk in melted butter, and fold in potatoes. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
Ladle ¼ cup batter per pancake on hot, oiled griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Fry until brown and crisp, 2–3 minutes per side.
Spread each pancake with about 1 teaspoon herbed caper cream cheese. Top with salmon, and garnish with dill, capers and onion, if using. Serves 4.
Using fork, combine 8 ounces cream cheese, 3 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons chopped capers, 1 tablespoon caper brine, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper, and zest and juice of 1 lemon in bowl until very smooth. It should be the texture of mayonnaise. Add more milk, if necessary.
Stony Hill 2015 Chardonnay (Spring Mountain District). Smoked salmon and Chardonnay are beautiful together, especially alongside these buttery potato pancakes. This is an exotic, delicately layered wine, so good in its complexity and lightness. Bread and salted butter greet lemon zest and stone fruit, while a line of sophisticated acidity and stony mineral add intrigue.
Courtesy Kwame Onwuachi, chef/owner, Kith/Kin, Washington, D.C.
Kith/Kin draws from Onwuachi’s experiences living everywhere from Nigeria to New York City. This dish, however, is straight from his childhood. Slightly sweet, Jamaican coco bread makes the perfect sandwich bread. It’s available in any Caribbean market, but you can substitute Hawaiian bread or rolls.
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning paste
- 2 ounces breakfast sausage
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional
- 2 ounces pepper jack cheese, thinly sliced or grated
- 1 piece coco bread
- 1 handful arugula
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, ketchup, honey, sambal oelek and lemon juice. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.
Coat bacon with jerk paste, and place in pan over medium-high heat. Cook to desired doneness, and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Add sausage to pan. Cook, crumbling sausage, until done, about 5 minutes.
While meat cooks, whisk eggs and cream until fluffy. Melt butter in nonstick pan over medium heat, and add eggs. Cook just until set. Add salt, to taste. Top with cheese and turn off heat. Let rest on stovetop so cheese partially melts.
Toast bread on both sides. Spread half of sauce on the bottom bun and top with eggs, bacon, sausage and arugula, in that order. Spread remaining sauce on top bun, and serve. Serves 1.*
* If multiplying this recipe, cook the bacon in the oven. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and cook at 400˚F for 15 minutes.
Courtesy Carolynn Spence, executive chef, Shaker + Spear, Seattle
At Shaker + Spear, Spence serves refined comfort food that’s largely sourced from just around the block at Pike Place Market. The Dutch baby pancake is believed to have been invented in Seattle, inspired by the German pfannkuchen.
Spence serves this slightly sweet version, as well as a savory take cloaked in a sausage ragù. To make your own savory baby, eliminate the sugar and add any combination of sautéed vegetables, meat and/or cheese to the batter before baking. A cast-iron skillet is both practical and attractive, but any ovenproof skillet or high-sided glass dish, like a pie plate, will also work.
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup flour
- Pinch grated nutmeg, optional
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Powdered sugar and lemon wedges, for garnish
Whisk together first 8 ingredients very well, or combine in blender. Let rest at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to 24 hours. If refrigerating, return to room temperature before cooking.
Heat oven to 450˚F. Warm 9-inch cast-iron skillet in oven at least 15 minutes. Add butter to pan, and swirl quickly to coat. Pour batter in center of pan and quickly return to oven. Cook for 15 minutes, until pancake is golden brown and has risen high. Garnish with powdered sugar dusted atop and lemon wedges alongside. Serve immediately. Serves 2.
àMaurice 2016 Sparrow Estate Viognier (Walla Walla Valley). “This is round on the palate with a delightful acidity that yearns for food,” says Ryan Steele, general manager at Shaker + Spear. “The Dutch Baby pairs amazing with the ‘Sparrow,’ especially with lemon and powdered sugar. The acidity cuts through the sugar to highlight wildflower notes, while the wine’s roundness stands up to the density of the Dutch Baby.”
- 1Breakfast Shrimp & Grits
- 2Roasted Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon
- 3The Ultimate Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
- 4Dutch Baby Pancakes