Monday, February 20, 2012

Brunch! Eggs Benedict, Home Fries, and The Best Bloody Mary

I love brunch.  Its an excuse to eat decadent stuff early in the day.  And to enjoy a cocktail early in the day, but that's not really the point here (I swear).  I love going out to brunch, but all the good places in my city are super crowded at brunch time and don't take reservations.  And I hate waiting.  My brunch-mates hate waiting, too, because I get super grumpy when I'm hungry (true story).  So making brunch at home is a good option and then you can save money and wear your PJs and "forget" to put makeup on.  And then you can play on Pinterest afterwards.

This past weekend we had Lauren and Brian over so we could make brunch while the boys brewed beer in the back yard.  You know, when I type that out, it doesn't really seem fair.  Like, the womenfolk slaving away in the kitchen while the menfolk make gallons and gallons of beer and talk loudly about how hungry they are.  But I guess it is sort of fair, because we like to cook and brewing beer doesn't sound like that much fun anyway.

I had been dying to make Bloody Marys at home ever since I got back from Austin, TX where we had a team dinner at Casino El Camino.  The website doesn't mention how amazing the Bloody Marys are, but they should.  Rumor has it that they put coffee in the mix.  And they put like a whole ham sandwich (sans the bread) on a skewer in there.  It had bacon!  And fresh mozzarella!  Yum.

Aside from Bloody Marys, eggs Benedict and home fries were on the menu.  The recipe for the eggs Benedict is coming in a later post, because Lauren made it and I wasn't really paying attention to the steps.  Stay tuned for that - it was amazing!

Enjoy!






The Best Bloody Mary
Source: Inspired by Casino El Camino
(Makes 1)

2 oz. Effen Cucumber Flavored Vodka (OMG you must use this, its awesome)
4 oz. Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix (I know its cheating, but this stuff is good.  It MUST be Zing Zang if you use a mix)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1-2 tsp. (depending on your taste) hot sauce
several grinds fresh black pepper

Garnishes:
pickle spears (I know it sounds weird, but do it.  Its amazing)
fresh mozzarella (the little balls work best)
olives
celery
salami or ham chunks

Mix all ingredients in a tall glass with ice.  Stir, and top with black pepper.  Garnish with pickles, cucumbers, and the cheese, olives, and ham on a toothpick or cocktail spear.  Drink.  Die.


Home Fries
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes (I used 3 potatoes for 4 people and we had leftovers)
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 onion, finely chopped

1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder

smoked paprika
bit of cayenne

Arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until edges of potatoes begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large regular or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and and poblano and cook until softened and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn potatoes, pack down again, and continue to cook until well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring potatoes every few minutes, until crusty and golden on all sides, 9 to 12 minutes. Stir in onion, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste.



Kicked Up Eggs Benedict
Made by the Lovely Lauren
Source: partly her own, partly adapted from The Joy of Cooking
4 Croissants cut in half (we used the smaller, rounder ones)
8 slices of Canadian bacon
1 cup Béarnaise sauce (ingredients and recipe to follow)
8 large eggs

For the Béarnaise Sauce: (adapted from Joy of cooking)
3 Tblsp dry white wine
3 Tblsp white wine vinegar
3 stalks fresh tarragon, leaves removed,chopped and set aside for later (should be about 4-6tbsp of chopped leaves)
8 peppercorns, lightly crushed
(you can also add one shallot but we didn't have it so she left it out and it still tasted great!)
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp cold water
10 tablespoons butter, melted

In a small sauce pan add vinegar, wine, tarragon stems, and peppercorns reduce by 2/3 on medium low heat. This is where you would add the shallots if you choose to. Once reduced, set aside and cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.

In the top of a double boiler (or glass/steel bowl if you do not have a double boiler) add eggs and water and whisk until the eggs are light and fluffy. Put whole top boiler/bowl over bottom of double boiler with simmering water and whisk eggs consistently until eggs star to harden (about 3 to five minutes).

Once eggs have began to harden take off double boiler and slowly whisk in butter until smooth. Then mix in tarragon leaves and about 1/2 of the reserved liquid a pinch of salt. Taste, if it needs to be a little tangier add more reserved liquid, salt, & pepper to taste.  I use about 3/4 of the reserved liquid when you add too much it will taste too vinegary.

Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.

 
For the poached eggs and sandwich assembly:
In a 4 quart pot, bring a large pot of water to a boil. 

Meanwhile, under a low boiler, cook the Canadian bacon. Once done toast the croissant halves. Put two croissant half on each plate and top with one piece of Canadian bacon.

Once the water is boiling add a Tblsp of white vinegar. Create a whirlpool in the water with a large spoon or ladle and crack and egg in the center of the whirlpool.  Around the outside of the pot continue to create the whirlpool around the egg. The swirling allows the egg whites to coagulate around the yolk.  Once the egg whites have fully coagulated around the yolk the egg is done (it should be about 2-4 minutes, over cooking the egg will cause the yolk to cook which you don't want for the Benny). 

Keep the pot at a boil and create a new whirlpool before adding each egg.

As each egg is done finish the rest of the Benny by adding an egg on top of the bacon.  Once all the plates are done top each Benny with a portion of the Béarnaise sauce. Decorate each plate with a swirl of siracha!

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhh how I love eggs benedict! Glad you included the recipe!

    ReplyDelete