Bacon, Tomato and Cheddar Bake with Eggs & Strawberry Almond Scones

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Bacon, Tomato and Cheddar Bake with Eggs
Maggie Norris
Yields:  8 servings

1 pound bakery white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (16 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
One 28-ounce can diced Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
Salt
8 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the bread is golden and lightly crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook until any liquid is evaporated, about 3
minutes.

Return the toasted bread cubes to the bowl. Add the contents of the skillet, along with the bacon, shredded cheeses, chives and broth. Stir until the bread is evenly moistened. Season with salt. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake the bread mixture in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is crispy, about 15 minutes longer. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 8 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve the breakfast bake right away with hot sauce.


Strawberry Almond Scones
Adapted from Breanne Varela
Yields: 16

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (also called Sugar in the Raw)

Topping:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flours with the granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk and carefully fold in the sliced strawberries.

Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop the dough into 16 mounds on the prepared baking sheets.

Brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the scones are golden and cooked through; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Let the scones cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with the buttermilk, almond extract and salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Drizzle the scones with the glaze, then top with the almonds, pressing to help them adhere. Let dry for 10 minutes, then serve.