Rise 'n Shine

As summer begins and school's out and people are enjoying downtime and vacations, it seems like a perfect time to enjoy lazy weekends and luxurious breakfasts and brunches. Part of making your morning meal an event is giving it something special, the same way you might a special dinner party. This month, I offer one of my favorite morning show-stoppers.

Breakfast Strudels are perfect for several reasons. First, the flaky crust is something unexpected. Sure, you expect eggs and sausage at the breakfast table, but wrap them in layers of flaky pastry and you transform your meal. Second, it can actually be prepared in advance and baked just before serving. That makes it a perfect entertaining dish because you don't have to fuss while your guests are around. Instead, prepare in advance, preheat the oven and visit with your guests while it bakes. Morning entertaining was never so easy or so elegant!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Breakfast Strudels

Filling:
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 T. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 lb. bulk pork sausages
  • 5 large beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh parsley
Pastry:
  • 5 frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
Topping:
  • 1 T. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Blend in the flour, cook over medium heat until smooth and bubbly, about 1 minute. Gradually add the milk; cook until the mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute. Add the Swiss and parmesan cheeses, salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Stir the mixture until the cheeses are melted. Set aside. In a medium skillet, brown the sausage and drain. Stir in the eggs and thyme. Cook over medium heat until the eggs are just set. Stir in the cheese sauce and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Cool completely.

Unroll the phyllo sheets: cover with plastic wrap or a moist towel. Brush one phyllo sheet with some melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Fold it in half lengthwise and brush again with butter. Place 1/2 cup of the filling on the bottom of the short side of the phyllo, leaving a one inch edge on the bottom and sides. Turn up the edge. Fold in the sides. Roll up. Place the seam side down on an ungreased cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Brush the strudel with the melted butter; sprinkle with the topping. Repeat this procedure with the remaining phyllo sheets, filling, and topping. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until the strudels are crisp and lightly browned.

Note: The strudels can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated a day ahead, then baked as directed.

  • Yields: 5 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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