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Wellness in the Morning
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Recipes for a quick and healthy or slow and soul-food start to the day

Here’s something to try: Wake up early on a Sunday morning if only to savor the feeling of having nothing to do. Then, turn nothing into breakfast.


“Growing up in Waldo County, our refrigerator always had Ducktrap smoked salmon in it. We loved it on a bagel,” says chef, food photographer, and cookbook author Derek Bissonnette. Pulling from his childhood memories for this edition of Your Local Dish, Bissonnette created a bagel recipe for slow mornings when you have the time for made-from-scratch. In fact, this recipe requires some overnight prep, so be sure to read the instructions before committing. 


Although a bit time consuming, Bissonnette says this recipe is pretty simple, and allows you to get creative with your toppings (smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and thin slices of red onion are the chef’s personal favorite). In this recipe Bissonnette chose to include a fresh dill cream cheese because it is an excellent complement to the aforementioned flavors. 


When your slow morning comes with a sweet tooth, give the fluffy Japanese pancakes a try. “These fluffy pancakes are trending this year. They are simply a pancake batter where the egg whites are whipped and folded into the batter, like a souffle,” says Bissonnette.


For those mornings that allow no time spent on breakfast aside from what a blender can do with a few ingredients, Bissonnette recommends keeping it light and healthy with a smoothie. “Wyman’s carries a wonderful mix of frozen berries from Maine. I prefer to use frozen; it helps chill the smoothie. Save the extras to garnish your cheesecake or have with your morning cereal. I also like to add a scoop of protein powder to my smoothie to fill me up in the morning.”


Last but not least, Bissonnette shares a carrot and turmeric juice that was made for him by a friend while they were dieting. “I wanted to share it with you, as it is delicious, but also great for your body,” with ingredients like turmeric, which is said to help arthritis with its antioxidants and has antiinflammatory effects helping arthritis; carrots, rich in fiber and a great source of Vitamins A and K; apples, a great sweetener, low on the glycemic index, and rich in nutrients; and limes, which contain folate and calcium and are higher in vitamin C than lemons.


Spring Berry Smoothie


Serves 2


3 cups mixed berries (frozen or fresh)          

6 oranges, juiced                                   

1 cup Greek yogurt                                       

¼ cup fresh mint leaves                                

  

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency (for a thinner consistency, add more orange juice). Pour into pre-frozen glasses.

 

The Fluffiest Japanese Pancakes


Serves 4–6


1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder  

1 teaspoon salt  

1 ¼ cups whole milk

5 tablespoons butter

2 egg yolks

5 egg whites

4 tablespoons granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350℉.


Mix together the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolk, and melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until combined and few lumps are present.


In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites. Whip until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar. Once combined, whip on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.


Fold the egg whites into the batter in 3 parts (with the goal being to trap as much air as possible). In a shallow-edged skillet, place a 3-inch ring mold and spray with pan coating. Heat the pan to medium-high heat and scoop in 4–6 ounces of batter. Reduce heat to low and allow the pancakes to cook for 7 minutes. Place the skillet with the pancake batter in the oven for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, gently flip the rings with the batter, and cook the other side on the stove for 7 minutes. (If you prefer to skip the ring mold, you can eliminate the oven step. Simply pour the batter into a more natural, flat shape in your pan on the stove, cooking each side for about 7 minutes.)


Using tongs, gently remove the hot ring mold and serve with Maine maple blueberry syrup and crème chantilly.


Maine Maple Blueberry Syrup


½ cup Maine maple syrup

½ cup Maine blueberries

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine all the ingredients and place in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and cool. Before serving, return to a simmer.


Crème Chantilly 


1 cup heavy cream 

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine all the ingredients in a stand-up mixer. Whip until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to serve with pancakes.


Carrot and Turmeric Juice 


Serves 2

 

12 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped                        

2 limes, juiced                                                              

2 teaspoons turmeric (fresh or dried)                                            

2 apples, roughly chopped                                            

1 cup sparkling water                                                          

 

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate for 1 hour. Pour into chilled glasses. 

Made-from-Scratch Bagels with Fresh Dill Cream Cheese 

Yields 4 bagels


For the bagels:

¾ cup water                                                                       

2 ¾ cups bread flour (divided)                                                                

¾ teaspoon instant yeast                                                               

1 tablespoon sugar                                                                         

2 tablespoons molasses                                                                     

2 ½ teaspoons salt                                                                              

 

For the poaching liquid:

1 gallon water                                                                          

2 tablespoons molasses                                                                                 

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda     


Recommended garnish:

Ducktrap smoked salmon

Dill

Capers

Thinly sliced red onion                                                         

 

To make the bagel dough, in a stand-up mixer, combine ¾ cup water, 1 cup of bread flour, and instant yeast. Mix for 5 minutes or until combined. Remove mixing bowl from mixer; cover and leave in a warm area for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.


Return bowl to mixer, then slowly add the remaining flour plus the sugar, molasses, and salt. Mix for 20 minutes. The dough will be pretty firm, so if your mixer is struggling, remove the dough from the bowl once combined and knead by hand until the dough is nice and smooth. Remove from bowl, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.


Return the dough to your work surface, portion into 4 pieces, and roll into balls. Holding the dough in your palm, use your other hand’s thumb and pointer finger to pinch down in the center of the ball, breaking through the dough until your fingers meet. Keeping your fingers pinched together, roll the dough around your fingers to make a nice bagel shape. Once shaped, place on a parchment-lined baking tray and refrigerate overnight (or 8–12 hours).


The next day, remove the bagels from the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F.


Make your poaching liquid by bringing 1 gallon of water, the molasses, and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large heavy-bottom pan. Place bagels in the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Carefully remove the poached bagels. 


After poaching, I added some “everything bagel” flavoring to my bagels. To add this or any other topping, lay one side of each bagel on your topping mix, then press down gently to make sure the toppings adhere and coat well. Place the bagels topping side up on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and place on cooling rack. Once cooled, slather with dill cream cheese and serve immediately with your garnishes of choice, or store for up to 7 days.

 

Dill Cream Cheese

 

8 ounces cream cheese                                                                         

1 cup fresh dill (leaves removed and roughly chopped)                   

½ teaspoon salt                                                                                          

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper                                                             

 

Soften the cream cheese in a stand-up mixer. Once soft and creamy, add the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.


Born in Hartford, Connecticut and raised in Maine, Derek showed a passion for food from an early age. Beginning with a small bakery in Maine, formal training at The Culinary Institute of America, then Pastry Chef at The White Barn Inn in 1999 under the tutelage of Jonathan Cartwright, Executive Sous Chef and then appointed Executive Chef... Derek has been a long-time part of the culinary world in Maine and beyond. He joined the Edible Maine team to pursue a career outside of the kitchen while still maintaining a connection to food.

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