Big Bad Breakfast

By : | 0 Comments | On : April 26, 2017 | Category : Book Review

by John Currence

From the James Beard Award winner, Top Chef Masters contestant, and acclaimed author comes this fun, festive, and highly caffeinated ode to the joys and rituals of the Southern breakfast, with over 125 recipes inspired by the author’s popular restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi.

John Currence is one of the most celebrated and well-loved chefs in the South. Among his string of highly successful restaurants in Oxford, Mississippi, Big Bad Breakfast holds a special place in diners’ hearts: It is a gathering place where people from all walks come together to share the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Southerners know how to do breakfast right, and Currence has elevated it to an art form: dishes like Banana-Pecan Coffee Cake, Spicy Boudin and Poached Eggs, and Oyster Pot Pie are comforting, soulful, and packed with real Southern flavor. Big Bad Breakfast is full of delicious recipes that will make the day ahead that much better–not to mention stories of the wonderful characters who fill the restaurant every morning, and a meditation on why the Southern breakfast is one of America’s most valuable culinary contributions.

TSG Review

Some really amazing looking breakfast recipes and great pictures. No a fan of the swear words scattered throughout the descriptions and commentary but here’s hoping the tastiness of it all outweighs the sailor talk!

I followed all of these recipes exactly as written.

Creamed “Chipped” Mushrooms on Toast

Serves 2

Make This Recipe

The tastiest recipe I tried. A cool variation on Chipped Beef on Toast where he substitutes wild mushrooms for the beef. Really earthy and creamy. If I had to do it again might consider using a slice of sourdough toast instead of the wheat. If your gonna raise it up-raise it up!

Eggs Sardou

Serves 2

Really excited about this one but we couldn’t find canned artichoke bottoms here in the Midwest so we got fresh artichokes and steamed them to cut our own. A Louisiana variation on eggs Benedict, English muffin, artichoke bottom, creamed spinach, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. The hollandaise recipe was a bit odd adding ingredients out of order from what I learned years ago and I think that is why my sauce broke so very quickly. It still tasted good just looked sorta gross. Also, even though I dried the bottom of the eggs I couldn’t get it to sit on top of that pile of creamed spinach. The egg just kept sliding off.

 

Homemade Frosted Cornflakes

Serves 3

Seriously! This didn’t work at all! Instead of frosted cornflakes I got frosted tree rubber tree bark. The amount of boiling water wasn’t nearly enough to make the batter “a little thinner than pancake batter”. The two cups of water made it slightly damp. I had to add another 4 cups of boiling water to make this as thin as the recipe book says. Instead of one cookie sheet I had to use two and apparently should have used many more because this turned into a thick rubbery bark that you can’t even chew. Something in the recipe is not right.

 

Banana Pecan Coffee Cake

Makes one 8-inch square cake

Another poorly designed recipe. Everything was grand until I followed the cooking temp and time for the recipe. I double checked my oven thermometer and it was working properly. I was supposed to bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes until the topping was a golden brown, but after only 15 minutes I smelled something burning. The pecan topping was practically black! Had to turn the heat down to 325 from the 375 he had me at and I baked it for just another ten minutes. I am pretty sure the time was right but the temperature written in the book was a typo. It was probably supposed to say 325 degrees. Either way, burnt banana cake topping! The cake part came out alright, tasted like banana bread/cake.

 

Summary

Many of the recipes are for one or two people which I like to see. The recipe ideas and pictures in the book had my mouth watering but it turned out to be a huge letdown. The recipes were easy enough but I am convinced no one double checked the recipes or tested them before writing it down in the book. Following the recipes exactly lead to bad outcomes in three out of four of the recipes I made. If I left the coffee cake in as long as the recipe asked it would have turned into a charcoal briquette. As much as I liked the recipe ideas I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

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