Pioneering chef Margaret Fox shares her favorite breakfast recipes

CHARITY FERREIRA,  – November 23, 2004

Margaret Fox learned to make French toast at age 9 and never looked back. As the original chef-owner of Mendocino’s Cafe Beaujolais, she turned breakfast into the California coastal town’s most popular meal. After 25 years in the business, she no longer owns the restaurant ― she’s now the culinary director for Harvest Market in nearby Fort Bragg ― but she still loves morning food.

Making breakfast at home for her family and friends brings back what Fox ― a self-proclaimed morning person ― most loved about the restaurant: getting up early, fllling the place with delicious aromas, and feeding others. Capture the feeling of a cozy weekend morning with some of her favorite breakfast dishes.

Handling and shaping the dough

  • To knead dough, pull back edge over the top and push in with the heels of your hands. Rotate and repeat.
  • To prevent dough from sticking while rolling, coat both work surface and rolling pin with flour.
  • For a clean cut, use a very sharp knife. If rolls get bent out of shape, reshape as you set in pan.

The secret to berry pancakes

  • Drop berries onto pancakes as they cook on the first side, instead of mixing the berries into the batter (where they will bleed color).
  • Know when to flip. The pancakes are ready when bubbles form on top and the edges look dry.

Perfect waffles, every time

  • To prevent sticking, brush even nonstick waffle irons with oil or melted butter after heating. And pour the batter from a glass measure ― rather than ladling it from a bowl ― to prevent dripping. Wait until the iron is very hot, then pour batter into the center of each square ― about 1/2 cup per 4-inch square.
  • Resist peeking too soon. Lifting the lid while the batter is still wet in the middle will pull the waffle apart. Cook until the iron stops steaming; Belgian waffles can take up to 9 minutes, traditional ones 2 to 5. Gently pull edges of waffle away from iron with the tines of a fork, if necessary.

A ribbon of cream cheese lies beneath sweet blueberries and sliced almonds.

Pumpkin purée gives these lightly spiced pancakes their custardy texture and golden color.

Fruit sauces make a sweet-tart complement to crisp waffles or a tender baked pancake.

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