Welcome to the Speckled Hen Inn


SHI wins WBBA Cook-off, Get the winning recipe

Bed and breakfasts make special morning meals

Mary Bergin
For the Wiusconsin State Journal

February 6, 2009

Wisconsin Breakfast Panini with Cranberry/Cherry Chutney

Wisconsin Breakfast Panini with Cranberry/Cherry Chutney

The Wisconsin Breakfast Panini, with cranberries, cherries, apple, bacon and Swiss cheese, won the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association’s first recipe contest. – Mary Bergin

Bob and Pat Fischbeck serve breakfast by candlelight. That’s one way to set a great mood.

The owners of Speckled Hen Inn, a bed and breakfast on 50 acres on Madison’s far east side, like providing surprises.

“We use familiar ingredients in unusual ways,” says Pat. One example: curry-cumin popovers, filled with scrambled eggs, plus a hash of sausage, sweet potatoes and apples.

Bed and breakfast operators seem motivated to use their kitchens as breakfast laboratories, creating top o’ the morning entrees that are inventive as well as tasty.

A Speckled Hen recipe for Wisconsin Breakfast Panini recently won the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association’s first recipe contest, which required inclusion of cranberries. The panini — said a three-judge panel, including me — is a hit because of taste, attractiveness and your ability to grab it and go (but why pass up that gorgeous candlelight?).

An added bonus: Everything in the Speckled Hen recipe can be a “made in Wisconsin” ingredient. This includes the spice blend, which comes from Wauwatosa-based Penzeys Spices.

The innkeepers’ association is busily compiling recipes for its seventh cookbook, to be released in summer by Big Earth Publishing. More than 100 members are contributing.

Wisconsin Breakfast Panini

Makes 4 sandwiches

  • 8 slices Italian bread
  • 8 thin slices baby Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices apple wood smoked bacon (cooked until crisp)
  • 1 large, red, crisp apple (cored, thinly sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons cranberry-cherry chutney (recipe below)
  • Melted butter, for grilling
  • Cranberry-Cherry Chutney
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped, dried Door County cherries
  • 1 teaspoon Penzeys Baking Spice (a blend of cinnamon, cassia, anise seed, allspice, mace and cardamom)
  • 1 peeled and cored apple (diced)

Assemble sandwiches by stacking ingredients in this order: 1 slice bread, 1 slice cheese, 2 slices bacon, apple slices, second slice cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon chutney on final slice of bread, and place it chutney-side down on the sandwich.

Repeat the process for the other 3 sandwiches. Brush outer side of bread slices with melted butter. Place in panini press or heavy skillet; grill until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Cut sandwiches in half or in quarters. Serve warm, with additional chutney, if desired.

For the chutney: Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan. Adding remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the apple is tender and cranberries have popped. Cool and refrigerate.

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