Wednesday, September 22, 2010

weekend brunch party

Confession: I can't poach an egg.

Ehh, I guess that's not entirely true. But it's an art I have yet to master because every time I dare to attempt it, I'm so discouraged by the mangled, deformed mess of a result (the whites wildly dispersed throughout the water, lone detached yolks), I give up and end up going out to get a bagel or heading straight to a diner. And when you're jonesing for Eggs Benedict, a bagel just doesn't even begin to cut it.

Luckily, I've since found a loophole: 6 minute eggs (and they're pictured above). Which means this weekend, we can whip up a heck of a brunch--with no Jackson Pollock-esque eggs in sight.

"poached" eggs with smoked salmon and avocado
the most flavorful home fries on earth
prosciutto-wrapped peaches
Cremant de Bourgogne

Hollandaise is a bit too fussy a sauce for me to really want to get into on a Sunday morning but if that's your groove, go with it. I also happen to find the smoked salmon and avocado combination with a perfectly runny yolk to be absolutely luxurious on its own. And anytime I can cut out a stick (or more) of butter without sacrificing flavor, I'm down to party.

Nothing irks me more than lame home fries. They're potatoes: they need some help. And the help couldn't be easier. I use Idaho potatoes (I estimate about one per person) which I peel and cut up into 1-inch cubes. Into a pan (cast iron is best here) over medium heat with some butter and olive oil they go. Give them a toss every few minutes and season them generously with some salt and pepper. After about 7-8 minutes, add in plenty of chopped yellow onion, a clove or two of garlic, and a spoonful of chipotle in adobo (I add in a dash of chili powder and sometimes a squeeze of ketchup). Turn the heat down and allow them to continue to cook for another 7-8 minutes more or until the potatoes are brilliantly brown and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Taste for seasoning (they will need more salt). Smile. Done.

Soft boil the eggs (instructions here) right when your guest(s) arrive and throw the english muffins into the toaster. To plate, lay a few pieces of smoked salmon on both halves of the english muffins and then add a few slices of avocado. Top each half with a peeled soft boiled egg (they will slide around so it's best to cut them in half, just before serving, and allow the yolk to gorgeously ooze. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with a generous scoop of home fries and some prosciutto-wrapped peaches and then pop that Cremant de Bourgogne (a less expensive, yet equally lovely substitute for Champagne). It's time for brunch.


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