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"Top Chef" Does Brunch!

Harold Dieterle is one of the best-known chefs in America.

Saturday's "Chef on a Shoestring" was the first winner of Bravo's reality cooking show "Top Chef."

Since then, he's opened his dream restaurant, Perilla, in New York City.

On The Early Show, he made a real New York specialty - a weekend brunch - on our $40 "shoestring" budget.

His menu: Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes; Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Buttermilk Biscuits; and Fresh Fruit and Yogurt.

FOOD FACTS

Buckwheat Flour: Buckwheat is loaded with nutrients, especially protein, and it has a nutty, earthy flavor. It's most commonly ground into a dark, gritty flour and used to make everything from pancakes to soba noodles. Eastern Europeans also like their buckwheat crushed into small groats, which they toast in oil and use to make side dishes and breakfast cereals.

Poached Eggs: The best eggs for poaching are the freshest eggs you can find. If eggs are more than a week old, the whites thin out. Whites of fresh eggs will gather compactly around the yolk, making a rounder, neater shape. Use cold eggs right out of the water tap. Adding vinegar helps the egg to hold its shape by causing the outer layer of the egg white to congeal faster. Without it, the eggs will become skeins of protein tangling up in the water.

Smoked Salmon: Smoked salmon is a preparation of salmon, typically a fillet that has been cured and then hot or cold smoked. Most smoked salmon is cold smoked, typically 80ºF. The cold smoking doesn't cook the fish, resulting in a delicate texture. Hot Smoking "cooks'" the salmon, making it less moist, and firmer, with a less delicate taste. It may be eaten like cold smoked salmon, or mixed with salads or pasta.

RECIPES:

FRESH FRUIT & YOGURT

INGREDIENTS:
32 Ounces Organic Vanilla Yogurt
1 Pint Fresh Blackberries
1 Pint Fresh Raspberries
1 Pint Seedless Red Globe Grapes
1 Golden Ripe Pineapple, sliced
1 Fiji Apple, sliced

METHOD:

Place one scoop of yogurt in the middle of a bowl. Gently wash all of the fresh fruit under cool water. Slice the pineapple and apple. Garnish the bowl with the fresh fruit and serve.

BUCKWHEAT BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1-1/2 Cups Buckwheat Flour
1-1/2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Teaspoons Sugar
2-1/2 Cups Milk
2 Eggs
1 Stick Butter
3 Ounces Melted Butter
1 Pint Blueberries

METHOD:

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Add the milk and eggs and mix until all of the ingredients are blended thoroughly.

Mix in one stick of melted butter and combine with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the blueberries to the batter and gently mix until they are distributed evenly throughout.

Heat griddle on medium/high and coat with two teaspoons of butter. Ladle out about 2 ounces of pancake batter and pour onto griddle. The recipe will yield about 8-10 pancakes.

Cook the pancake for two minutes or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook until both sides are golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Top with warm syrup and two pats of butter. Serve.

POACHED EGGS WITH SMOKED SALMON, RED ONION AND BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS: For Biscuits
1 Pound Flour
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground White Pepper
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Milk

METHOD: For Biscuits

Preheat oven to 350º

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, white pepper and baking powder. Add the butter, 1 egg, buttermilk and milk. Mix briefly; the mixture should have a chunky consistency.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the batter until it is about 1/2 inch thick and let rest for one hour.

With a cookie cutter, punch out eight biscuits, each about 2 inches in diameter.

Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and beat it. With a brush, coat the top of each biscuit and bake on a rectangle backing sheet lined with parchment paper at 350º for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

INGREDIENTS: For Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon
1 Red Onion, sliced thin
4 Slices Smoked Salmon (1/4 pound)
4 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon White Vinegar

METHOD: For Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon

In a shallow saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon white vinegar to a simmer.

With a large spoon "swirl" the water around in the saucepan to form a gentle whirlpool.

One by one crack the eggs and drop in the middle of the whirlpool.

For over-easy eggs let poach for about 2 minutes, for over-medium about 3 minutes, and for over-hard let poach for 4-5 minutes.

After desired amount of poaching time remove from the water.

TO PLATE:

Slice the biscuit in half and lay both sides face up on a plate.

Place the poached egg on the biscuit and top with the sliced red onion and 1 slice of the smoked salmon.

Serve.

How did Dieterle do with our $40 budget?

FIRST COURSE

Organic Yogurt $2.29
Blackberries $5.97
Raspberries $5.98
Grapes $2.49
Pineapple $3.89
Apple .50

SECOND COURSE

Buckwheat Flour $1.99
Milk .95
Blueberries $3.49
Butter $2.19
Syrup $1.79

THIRD COURSE

Buttermilk $1.29
Flour .99
Red Onion .55
Smoked Salmon $3.99
Eggs .95

FINAL COST: $39.30!