"I could spend ages reading the news... I could spend days singing the blues"
-Lake Street Dive
Who doesn't love brunch? It's breakfast. It's lunch. It's an ode to coffee sipping and people watching. It's more deliberate than both its contributing parts of breakfast and lunch, more elaborate and (I'll just say it) someone else cooks it for you. If you're lucky. Cooking brunch for someone (unless you are a paid employee) is a fundamentally selfless act. But, it can be also be quite self-indulgent if you do it right.
First, find someone worthy of your inherent selflessness. Sit him down with the morning paper and present him with a thick-mugged cup of java tailored to his liking. Take in the late morning sun while choosing a bit of music you feel will help you with your task. Pour yourself a steaming hot cup of Colombian Supremo and take a deep cleansing breath. Now, get started!
What to cook? Hmm...If you asked a hundred people on the street (why is this street so crowded?) what is their favorite brunch dish, I would think the overwhelming majority would say "Eggs Benedict." I mean to say, until the day that we, as a nation, can collectively pronounce the word "chilaquiles", our Eggs Benny will no doubt reign supreme.
Without sounding ungrateful or elitist or just bored, it is my opinion that there is an ever-so-tiny-bit-of-room for improvement on this mainstay of our weekend menu.
First, the english muffin is cramping our style. We pose our forks and knives above our delicate poached eggs and as we slide the knife through the yellow yielding yolk we are rewarded with enough rich, flowing goodness to tempt any palate. Then it happens. The knife hits an over-toasted muffin and our once sumptuous experience is now a lumberjack competition. Sub-par.
Next, on the same note, and no offense to our Canadian brothers and sisters, but let's be honest...it's not bacon. Lose it. And finally, while green is always a welcome addition to our plates, wilted spinach (eggs florentine) could totally call in sick and I wouldn't tell the boss a thing.
Anyway, since they say if you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem, I set out to try my hand at improving upon it. I don't think I'll get anything thrown through my window for this, but here goes:
The muffin of ye olde Englande was replaced with freshly-grated russet potato hash browns. Crispy and flavorful, the hash browns add texture without adding labor. Asparagus puree seemed a great way to add color and nutrients. It's quite easy to make (blanch, shock, blend, season) and feels much better than wilted spinach on the palate. There are many ways to replace the Canadian bacon; my mystery ingredient was Alaskan King Crab legs. They are salty enough to compete with their predecessor while adding sweetness and maintaining tenderness. For the hollandaise, I kept it simple and on the lighter side. No one wants mayo on their poached eggs (I think). With the weekend upon us, I hope you will feel inspired to make brunch. Or if not, maybe someone will make it for you. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.