Invented in 1762 by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, today I find this “best thing since sliced bread” a wonderful way to showcase all things local. Start with fresh baked bread. Sandwich in seasonal produce, proteins and product and you’ll find this great hands-on meal, perfect for lunch, dinner and breakfast dining, too!
This Idea Started with a Story…
Follow me at my @heidibillotto Instagram feed, and you’ll see that, for the past month or so, I’ve been running weekend sandwich stories. (ICYMI, you can catch up with them all in my Instagram Sandwich Story highlight reel, located just under my Instagram profile)
The inspiration first came from seasonal product at area farmers markets and all the wonderful local bakeries now in the Queen City.
Then, I started working on some condiment and sauce recipes that feature Miso Masters Miso. They fit in perfectly as spreads and sauces for my sandwiches.
A Breakfast Sammie You Are Going to Love
When it came time for my September Cooking Segment on Charlotte Today, I thought I would take the sandwich theme and my Miso Masters sauces to the next level.
On Tuesday Sept 10, I’ll be in the Charlotte Today kitchen making the most fabulous French Toast breakfast sandwich. On my ingredient list: local bread, local muscadines, local sausage, local cheese; and of course, local eggs and milk. The cherry on the top of this sweet and savory plate is a miso-maple drizzle you can also craft with local honey.
Think Outside the Bowl
Betcha didn’t know that miso isn’t just for soup anymore. We’ll dive into Miso more in the follow up post. But truth is, the uses are only limited by your imagination. To give you some ideas, I use several varieties of Miso Masters miso for pesto, barbecue sauce and a cheese spread. Each sauce or spread will be a condiment for sandwiches to come in a follow up post later this week.
And, you can bake with it too! Nothing like a white miso chocolate chip cookie, or a sweet mellow miso butterscotch sauce!
If you want to see more…
I’ll be cooking with Miso Masters miso all this week. In addition to working on recipes for this post, on Friday, Sept 13, I’m delighted to be appearing in Asheville, NC. I’ll be representing Miso Masters on the Chow Chow Festival GotToBeNC cooking stage. You’ll find me talking miso, as Chef Thomas Card from the Counting House in Durham NC, creates a delicious miso marinated salmon. It’s going to be a blast – hope to see you there, but first….
Lets get back to breakfast
Here is the recipe for my Sweet and Savory French Toast. You can follow along if you watch the Charlotte Today cooking segment. It airs live on WCNC-TV sometime today, Sept 10, between 11 and noon. You can also live stream the broadcast here.
In case you miss it, I’ll embed the breakfast sandwich video plus more photos, in a second sandwich post to follow. Look for more recipes and more fun later this week.
Miso Maple Sweet and Savory Breakfast Sammie
Recipe by Charlotte Culinary Expert Heidi Billotto
1 lb. local sausage, lightly browned. I used hot Italian Sausage from A Way of Life Farm in Bostic NC . Also in Rutherford County, by the way. In Charlotte, find, Sarah Jane and Jamie Davis and their organic pasture raised pork, every Saturday at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market.
2 cups seeded and sliced local muscadine or scuppernong grapes. Available though the end of September and maybe longer at local farmers’ markets around town.
1 container Uno Alla Volta ricotta cheese. Available at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market, the Davidson farmers’ market and the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ market on Saturdays. Or, nearly every day of the week at one of the three locations of Pasta & Provisions in Charlotte.
For the French Toast
1 cup Hickory Hill Farms whole milk. Available at Whole Foods and EarthFare
3 local farm eggs. The eggs I am using today came from Coddle Creek Farms in Mooresville, NC. Available at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market, on Saturdays. During the week, find eggs at the Mint Street location of Pasta & Provisions, as well as at the Coddle Creek Farms farm store in Mooresville.
1/4 tsp. Outer Banks Sea Salt. You can order directly from my friend salt maker Amy Gaw at OuterBanks SeaSalt.
4 Tbsp. Uno Alla Volta Butter
For the Miso Maple sauce:
½ cup Miso Masters Organic Sweet White Miso (available at Whole Foods and EarthFare)
1 cup organic Maple Syrup. (Or, keep it local by substituting local honey. My go-to’s are: Dancing Bee Honey in Monroe NC. Available around town and on Saturdays from Jeff and Robin at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market. And, Cloister Honey, produced in Charlotte NC by Randall and Joanne. Check this list of where-to-buy locations on the Cloister Honey website.
For the Sandwich
Select your favorite locally baked bread. Slit Verdant Bread’s English Muffins or Dukes Bread dinner rolls in half lengthwise. OR, cut the Community Matters Cafe Challah bread into slightly thick slices.
Mix a bit of the Miso Masters Mellow White Miso with the UAV ricotta. Spread a generous amount of the creamy rich mix on one side of each slice of bread
Combine the sliced grapes and browned ground sausage. Stuff each ricotta lined sandwich pocket with the sausage and grape mix.
Press together lightly to close.
Whisk together the milk, eggs, and salt. Dip bread into the egg and milk mixture, allow to soak for a bit on each side; and then place in a sauté pan with hot melted butter to brown on both sides.
Make the miso and maple syrup ahead of time. Or, keep the French toast sweet and savory sammies warm in oven until the sauce is done. Then, you are ready to serve.
To make the Miso-Maple Sauce, simply combine the sweet white miso and the maple syrup together in a large bowl. Whisk together to combine. Then, gently warm the syrup over low heat to serve. To make a creamier version of the syrup stir in a bit of Uno Alla Volta Yogurt-style cheese.
Drizzle over the warm stuffed sammies and enjoy this wonderful way to eat local!
Thanks to my friends at Miso Masters Miso for making this post possible.
The company’s production facility is based in Rutherfordton NC.
Interestingly enough, Rutherford County, is also home to Blue Ridge Distilling Co. They are the makers of Defiant Whiskey, but that’s a drink local story for another day. But, what this pairing of local food and drink have in common is that both companies settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains because of the climate and the mountain water.
For Miso Masters, the climate of the NC foothills is most similar to the region of Japan, where Miso was first crafted, nearly 2000 years ago. Today Miso Masters is crafted, aged and packaged in Rutherfordton, NC. With offices in Asheville, NC, Miso Masters has the distinction of being the largest producer of organic miso in the world. The company sells 9 different varieties and produces over 700,000 pounds of miso each year!
You will love them all! Look for Miso Masters Miso locally in the refrigerated cases at locations of Whole Foods and EarthFare.