Chef Richard Blais

Last week, local Top Chef darling Richard Blais hosted an event at his Midtown restaurant, The Spence, to let fans sample recipes from his new cookbook Try This At Home. While we’re particularly smitten with the muffin pizzas and fried chicken fried rice (Blais jazzes up the most basic of meals), we can’t wait to test out some of his breakfast recipes in our own kitchen. Below, we’re sharing two of our favorites with you. Sunday brunch, anyone?

1 cup steel-cut oats // 3 cups water // 1/4 cup golden raisins // 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar // 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar, plus extra for serving (optional) // pinch of kosher salt // 1 overripe banana, mashed // Parmesan cheese wedge for shaving (optional) 

Serves Four
1. Combine the oats and water in a medium bowl, cover, and let stand overnight at room temperature.

2. Put the raisins in a small bowl and pour the vinegar over them. Let stand while you cook the oatmeal.
3. Pour the oats and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and salt, reduce the ehat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occassionally, for about 20 mins. The oatmeal is done if it’s “squeaky” to the bite, not squishy. 
4. Fold in the mashed banana and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
5. To serve, divide the oatmeal among four bowls. Drain and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the vinegar soaked raisins over each bowl. With a vegetable peeler, shave 3 or 4 strips of Parmesan, if using, over each serving.

4 large eggs // 1 cup whole milk // 1 vanilla bean, spilt, seeds scraped out, and seeds pod reserved // 1 teaspoon kosher salt // 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend) // Four 2-inch-thick slices brioche // 12 cinnamon sticks // 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving // 2 dried hibiscus flowers, crushed (optional) // 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers (optional) // Pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving 

Serves Four
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and set aside. 
2. In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla seeds, salt and ras el hanout together.
3. Cut the crusts from the brioche slices and cut each slice crosswise into 3 strips. Insert a cinnamon stick into one end of each strip. Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture, letting it soak for at least 5 seconds on each side, and transfer to the cooling rack to drain.  
4. Heat a pancake griddle or eletric skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter, the vanilla pod, and hibiscus and lavender flower, if using, and cook until the butter is melted and bubbling. Add half of the soaked bread pieces and cook, turning once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer them to the rack-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you cook remaining bread. 
5. To serve, stack 3 skewers on each of four plates. Spread a little more butter on them, if desired, drizzle warm syrup over them, and serve. 

Book Image: Paula Forbes