Warm up with a hearty breakfast

Breakfast long has been touted as the most important meal of the day. Early morning meals provide fuel for the day ahead. A bowl of cereal or a granola bar may make an ideal morning meal on hectic weekday mornings, but when time is not an issue, a delicious, hot breakfast can serve as a welcome change.

This recipe for “Cheddar Waffles With Pork Schnitzel, Country Ham and Sunny-Side-Up Egg” from “Fire in My Belly” (Andrews McMeel) by Kevin Gillespie makes for a hearty, flavorful way to begin your day.

Cheddar Waffles With Pork Schnitzel, Country Ham, and Sunny-Side-Up Egg

Feeds 4 hungry adults

1/2 cup canola oil for frying

4 trimmed slices pork loin, about 11/2 ounces


1 cup all-purpose flour

6 large eggs

1 cup finely ground panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons butter

4 thin slices country ham

Cheddar waffles (recipe follows)

Cheddar Waffles

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar

5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon melted butter, kept warm

2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. To make the waffles: Heat an electric Belgian-style waffle maker on the medium setting. Wait at least 10 minutes to make sure it’s nice and hot.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. In a third, deep bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar to the whites and continue beating until the whites form soft peaks when the mixer is lifted. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon just until no giant flour clumps remain; there will be some small lumps. Start whisking and slowly add the melted butter, whisking gently yet nonstop until incorporated. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter; you’ll have a few small clumps of whites remaining – that’s okay.

3. Generously coat the waffle maker with nonstick spray. Ladle about 1/2 cup batter onto the center of the waffle maker and sprinkle with a generous amount of the cheese. Close the top and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat until all waffles are cooked.

4. Pour 2 inches of oil into a large cast-iron skillet.

5. Place the pork loin slices between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently and evenly pound them to a 1/4-inch thickness. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel and season with salt. Bread the pork using flour, dredge in 2 of the eggs, and then the panko. Fry the pork in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the other. Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels. Transfer the pork schnitzel to the paper towels to drain.

6. In a small skillet over low heat, bring the maple syrup to a low simmer. Pull the pan from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter until melted. Set to the side but keep warm.

7. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Crack one egg into a small bowl and gently slide the egg into one side of the warmed skillet; repeat the process with the remaining eggs, each in its own section of the skillet. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the whites are fully cooked and opaque, about 4 minutes.

8. For each plate, set a waffle in the center and generously spoon some syrup over the waffle. Add a slice of schnitzel and spoon on a little more syrup. Top with a slice of ham, and crown with a sunny-side-up egg and, yes, a little more syrup.