Sunday, May 26, 2013

California Eggs Benedict


The first food I learned to make, using a kitchen appliance other than the microwave, was chocolate chip cookies. My family has a ridiculous sweet tooth, and weakness to anything chocolate, and thus, if I wanted more than just one helping of desserts and sweets, I learned early on that I would have to make them myself. So in about fifth grade I taught myself the recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip bag, and for the next four years I knew that recipe by heart. 

There was a silent agreement in our household that, if you brought home chocolate chips, I would make cookies. Unfortunately, learning how to bake cookies didn't quite solve the problem of lack of sweets in my house, because they would always be gone by morning. I would end up filling up on cookie dough, and wait to eat the actually cookies until the next day (aka breakfast), but they would have all been devoured during midnight snack time. My family never liked talking about their cookie addiction, and thus I lived most of my childhood without cookies (but I did consume amble amounts of dough). 

The next food I learned to make, other than pasta and scrambled eggs, was hollandaise sauce. When the family was all together, my dad would sometimes make eggs benedict with smoked salmon on Sundays. I would prepare the sauce, allowing my dad to finish off everything else. The way my dad taught me to make hollandaise sauce was very similar to how he taught me to drive; going on the freeway my the first day, and me freaking out at 40mph in a 65mph zone. I was instructed to add egg yolks and butter in a small sauce pan at low heat, but not to let it curdle. Of course, I had no idea what curdle meant, but I learned very quickly.

There were times when I really started to question my dad's cooking logic, as everything is always changing, and I have never once seen him use a recipe, but, in the end, there is always something amazing to eat. I mean, I really can't complain about growing up with eggs benedict with smoked salmon. However, I have no problem complaining about how he is always eating all my cookies. The funny thing is, my cooking habits are very similar to his, and I always end up making decisions on a whim.


Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1
Ingredients:

  • English muffin
  • 2 pieces of ham (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 thick slices of tomato
  • Small handful of spinach and arugula 
  • Dijon mustard
  • Lemon wedge
  • Olive oil & balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

This is really quite simple. While you poach the eggs, toast the english muffins and warm the ham (remove ham for a vegetarian option). Spread mustard on the english muffins and top with ham. Next add the spinach, arugula and tomatoes. Finally place the hot eggs on top, drizzle oil and vinegar on top, and garnish with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. Next time I would consider adding a side of avocado and maybe a little basil mixed in with the greens.



On a side note, I started a new batch of hard cider last week! Today I will rack the cider, removing all the dead yeast and sediment, and start secondary fermentation (hopefully). The apple juice started at a dark brown color last sunday. The juice was loaded with sugar, and has the possibility of having at least an 8% alcohol content. I am currently working on label designs, since I am going to make the effort to bottle and store this batch, instead of drinking it all right away like the last batch.


A peak inside my hutch: port glasses and spiced peach jam.


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