Saturday morning my husband decided he wanted a big weekend breakfast. I had bought one of those long skinny loaves of French bread at the bakery. If you’ve been to Paris you’ve seen them in the baskets of bicycles or sticking out of back packs. I bought the bread to make bruschetta for the Sunday football game but there was plenty of it and it was just crying out for eggs benedict, he said.
I always said I was going to shop like the French, buying local and fresh every day. It is a lot easier to do that in Florida where the farm stands are stocked all year round and there’s just the two of us in our empty nest.
In my first novel, The Reverse Commute, the Best Boy makes eggs benedict.
Sunday they slept late, he made eggs benedict for brunch and they flew a kite at the beach on Plum Island. He brought a cooler with beers and chicken parmesan sandwiches. It was an unseasonably warm day for early March. She thought it had to be one of the most perfect days of her life thus far.
There are times, especially in the kitchen, when my husband is a best boy.
Best Boy’s Eggs Benedict
You can use a loaf of French bread, cut on an angle, lightly toasted, or the more traditional English Muffins.
We had some Seranno ham in the fridge or you can use prosciutto or any kind of ham you might have.
Marinated artichokes, again because it was in the pantry. I was skeptical about this. I would have preferred canned artichokes without the marinade but it ended up being delicious.
Eggs, over easy. I do love eggs Benedict in a restaurant when you get the eggs poached but at home we’re often too lazy .
Hollandaise sauce. My husband used the Quick Whole-Egg Hollandaise recipe from the Joy of Cooking. It’s paler than the classic sauce but just as good and you’re not left with that age-old problem, what the hell do I do with these yolks? We often use Knorrs, but we didn’t have that either and this really is just as easy and better for you. If egg sauce on top of eggs can be better for you. But it was the weekend, double the bacon as Father Quido Sarducci once said on Saturday Night Live. (And come to think of it, if you don’t have any ham in your fridge, use bacon.)
Recipe for Hollandaise
***This really should be Step One. You can keep this warm while you make the eggs and toast the bread. I write novels not cookbooks but my characters like to cook and eat. What can I say?)
In a bowl mix:
4-5 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 tblsp water
In a non-stick saucepan melt (over low heat) 6-7 tblsp butter. Add egg mixture slowly, stirring continuously until sauce has thickened. Do not overcook. Before serving add salt and pepper. Assemble your eggs benedict and drizzle the hollandaise on the top. We chose to sprinkle chili powder, too.
Come to think of it, Andy Radcliffe, in my second novel, Take Me Home, might serve these at his restaurant Whole Pie Pizzeria and call them, Bruschetta Breakfast Eggs.
Andy suggested they serve brunch on Sundays and close by two in the afternoon. Sunday night traffic was slow, a lot of weekenders headed back to the city by late afternoon. Most people were looking for Sunday brunch. The added bonus was, the change in schedule would free up time to start their weekend earlier. They’d have lazy Sunday afternoons through Wednesday off. “How do we do pizza for brunch?” Josie asked. “I’ll show you,” he said, making pizzas topped with bacon and eggs, sausage and eggs or ham and eggs. Bagel topping pizzas with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and capers. The variations were endless. He also made pastry style fruit pizzas, topped with whipped cream. They served Bloody Marys and mimosas. Josie mastered Greek and Italian egg drop soups. Their imaginations ran wild as they unleashed their creativity in the kitchen.
A great way to start a weekend.