I love breakfast food.

Early in my marriage I found out my husband likes breakfast food for breakfast, only. No matter how hard I try, there is nothing I can do to salvage this. No pancakes after 10 a.m., nary an egg after noon, just plain nothing. I’ve managed one way around this using out of the box breakfast foods.

This recipe delivers layers of flaky pastry, cream cheese, rich sausage, peppers, onions and a sunny side up egg in one deliciously easy-to-make package. Each component of this recipe is make-ahead worthy, and assembly can take place the day-of baking. For some reason this dish fits the bill for Mike and will be devoured at any time of the day. I think it is because puff pastry is the culinary salve in any recipe to be honest.

Puff pastry makes food it accompanies a notch fancier and quite a bit tastier! I want to share with you some common questions with answers on making sure your “puff” is the best it can be.

Puff Pastry Q & A:

Q1: Is puff pastry something I should make from scratch? Where do I find it in the grocery store?

A1: Absolutely not. Do not make this from scratch (been there, done that, don’t be a martyr). Look up the words “dough lamination” and you’ll see what I mean. Pre-made puff pastry dough is always found in the frozen aisles.

Q2: Why do I have to keep re-freezing the puff pastry?

A2: While preparing this recipe, you need to pop-your-puff back into the freezer so the thin buttery layers are well chilled when you are ready to put it in the oven. If the puff is warm, there won’t be as much “puff”, simply because those thin buttery layers will melt, instead of quickly burst with steam (think cold-hot) when that frozen puff hits the high heat in the oven, giving lift to the layers.

Q3: What do “scoring” and “docking” mean?

A3: “Scoring” means to cut into the puff pastry but not all the way through. In this case, it helps us make a border in this pastry. “Docking”, typically done with a fork, inhibits the puff pastry to adequately rise (in this part of the recipe we don’t want it to because we have to fill it).

Q4: What is the easiest kid friendly no-fail puff pastry recipe?

A4: Cut puff into strips, dip or brush them with egg wash or half and half and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Can also “twist” for fun. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or so, until puffed and golden.

Sunrise Galettes

By: Cristen foodandswine.com

Makes 8 galettes

Ingredients:

1 lb. pork breakfast sausage

1 large red bell pepper cut into half inch strips

1 large orange bell pepper cut into half inch strips

1 red onion cut into half inch strips

2 TBSP vegetable oil

½ tsp seasoned salt or regular salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 – 8 oz block regular cream cheese, at room temperature

1 small bunch green onions, chopped

1 box puff pastry

9 medium eggs, divided

2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, crumble sausage and cook until browned. Drain. Set aside.

On a sheet pan, combine bell pepper slices, onion slices, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat vegetables in oil and seasonings. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until tender, and vegetables are well browned on edges. Remove and set aside. Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and the chopped green onions. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Remove puff pastry from freezer. Let thaw a few minutes until it is soft enough to be rolled out. Roll to a 12 inch x 12 inch square. Cut into four equal squares. Gently trace a border within the puff pastry pieces one inch from the edge. Dock the inside of the square with a fork. Freeze for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.

Beat one egg in a small bowl. Remove pastry from freezer, brush each square with beaten egg. Add 1 TBSP cream cheese mixture to the middle of each square, within the lightly cut border, spread evenly. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sausage crumbles and an assortment of pepper and onion strips. Form a “well” in the middle of the sausage, peppers, and onions. Crack the remaining eggs into the wells.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until the egg is set. Or extra time for over hard eggs are desired.

Garnish with parsley. Serve warm. Makes 8 large servings.

Cristen Clark lives on an Iowa farm where her family raises corn, soybeans, pigs and cattle. She loves cooking and writing, and sharing contest winning recipes with people she knows. She can be reached at cristen@foodandswine.com or at foodandswine.com.