As families try to get back into their school year routines, there will be many cool autumn nights when the comfort and speed of warm breakfast foods would be just the thing to finish the day. But having breakfast for dinner doesn't mean the meal can't have a savory side.
When we think of one-pot dinners, we generally gravitate to stir-fries and casseroles. But a baked pancake is a fine choice, too, particularly when you add sausage and apples.
For this weeknight recipe, I started with a basic Dutch baby, a common baked pancake. But I spiked the pancake with crumbled breakfast sausage and chopped apples, a delicious and filling combination that blends savory and sweet flavors. For a leaner take, you could substitute chicken sausage. Just be sure to go for a flavor that will work with the apples and cinnamon.
Because salty sausage loves the sweet accent of sugar, this pancake gets drizzled with maple syrup just before serving. But if you'd rather ditch the sweet, you could sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan or even cheddar cheese and return it to the oven for another minute.
SAUSAGE AND APPLE DUTCH BABY
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound loose breakfast-style pork sausage meat
3 medium apples, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon sugar
Maple Syrup, to serve
Heat the oven to 400 F.
In a blender, combine the eggs, flour, milk, yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Blend until very smooth, then set aside. Alternatively, the batter can be made in a bowl using a whisk.
Coat a large cast-iron or oven-safe non-stick skillet with cooking spray, then heat it over medium-high. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat, until just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and core 2 of the apples, then cut them into 1/2-inch chunks. Add the cut apples and onion to the skillet, then saute until they are just tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Spread the sausage-apple mixture evenly over the bottom of the skillet and remove the pan from the heat.
Core the remaining apple then cut it crosswise into very thin slices. A mandoline is best for this, but a food processor or careful knife work is fine, too.
Pour the batter evenly over the sausage-apple mixture. Tilt the pan as needed to ensure it spreads evenly in the pan. Arrange the apple slices over the top of the batter; it's fine if they overlap. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar, then bake for 20 minutes
To serve, slice into wedges and drizzle with maple syrup.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 150 calories from fat (39 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 145 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 25 g sugar; 17 g protein; 460 mg sodium.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org