FATHER’S DAY BRUNCH: EGGS BENEDICT & BLOODY MARYS

June 18, 2009

dad

There’s a self-consciousness that comes with grief, the consciousness that the people around you:

a) have never experienced anything like what you’re going through,

b) are utterly at a loss for what to do to comfort/support you,

c) wish you would just “get better” already,

d) are terrified by the thought of death and hate you reminding them that their loved ones will die.

Sometimes I feel like “that girl who talks about her dead father all the time.”

In the filing cabinet of my brain and heart, food and my father are inextricably linked. One of the great ironies of it all is that losing my father, an unabashed epicure, sent me straight into the kitchen, where I got really good at cooking all kinds of things I wish I could make for him now.

For example, Eggs Benedict and an excellently spiced Bloody Mary—robust, made with love, fit for a king. It’s the brunch I’d make for my dad if I could.

Pray tell, what are you feeding your father (or husband, partner, uncle, grandpa, etc) on Sunday? Are you cooking at home or taking him out? Does your family have a Father’s Day culinary tradition? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Wishing all Dads a very happy Father’s Day, with lots of love from BJG.

EGGS BENEDICT (BLUE JEAN GOURMET STYLE)

EB--decorated, close-up

There are lots of variations on theme of EB; this is just how I happen to like mine.  I really don’t think you can go wrong if you stick to the basic premise of  layering toothsome pork product & gooey egg on top of crusty bread and slathering the whole thing in hollandaise.

A word about hollandaise.  It’s really not as fussy as everyone makes it out to be–at least, it has not been a culinary-pain-in-the-butt for me.  I’ve heard tell that you can make hollandaise in a blender, and if you have done so with success and think it’s way easier than my method, please do share.  I’ve made mine several times the old-fashioned way with great success, so if you’ve been afraid to try the stuff, I urge you to give it a whirl.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

spinach (either a package of frozen, chopped or a big bunch of fresh)

English muffins (traditional) or another bread product

Canadian bacon (substitute thick-cut ham or many slices of thin-cut ham)

poached eggs*

eggs, butter, water, fresh lemon juice (for the hollandaise)

salt & pepper, hot sauce (optional)

TO MAKE HOLLANDAISE:

2 egg yolks

juice from 1/2 a lemon

6 T butter, cut into cubes

salt & pepper

Combine the egg yolks with lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Whisk to combine over low heat; the yolks should thicken quickly.  Toss in the butter cubes and continue whisking until the butter has melted.

hollandaise step 2

hollandaise step 3

hollandaise fin

The mixture will become a bit lighter in color, which is a good indication that you’ve got things well-emulsified.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

TO ASSEMBLE:

The trickiest part about making this breakfast is the timing.  You basically want to save the hollandaise for last, because it does best when served very soon after it’s made–it’s a little bit diva like that (na-na-na-a-diva-is-a-female-version…okay, yeah I’m going to have that song in my head now.)

My plan of action is usually this:

1) cook spinach, season with salt & pepper, set aside

2) brown Canadian bacon in a skillet, keep warm in a low oven

3) toast English muffins, add to the low oven

4) poach eggs* & turn out into a paper-towel-lined platter in, you guessed it!, a low oven

5) make hollandaise

6) stack ’em: English muffin half on bottom, top with Canadian bacon, then spinach, then a poached egg.  repeat.  pour on the Hollandaise with a generous hand!

* The internet is full of wisdom for how best to poach one’s eggs; I’ve done them the old-fashioned way, in a pot of vinegar-spiked water and I’ve done them the lazy way, in an egg poacher.  However you get your eggs poached is fine by me!

BEST BLOODY MARY MIX

bloody mary

ingredients:

1 large bottle spicy-hot V8

Juice of 2 limes

2 T. white vinegar

2 T. prepared horseradish

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. garlic powder

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

A generous glug of any of the following
olive juice, pickle juice, or juice from pickled jalapeños

Plenty of freshly-ground pepper

garnish: celery, spicy green olives, limes, celery salt

Combine all ingredients and store in a pitcher in the refrigerator. When you’re ready for drinks, first “salt” the rim of your glasses.  Rub the lip of each glass with a lime wedge; then, turn the glass upside down and onto a plate-full of celery salt.  Twist the glass to form a rim.

To mix a drink, combine 3 parts mix to 1 part vodka or gin over ice.  Garnish with a tall stalk of celery and a toothpick speared with an olive & lime wedge.

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13 Comments »

  1. I’m going to be home this weekend for a wedding, so I’ll actually be at my parents’ for Father’s Day, a rare occurance. Of course that means I have about a million ideas for what to make him, and only a few hours to do anything in before I have to get back to New York. Probably going with Key Lime Pie. Old standby, sure favorite. Sounds like a winner. 🙂

    Comment by Johanna from PrettyGirls — June 19, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  2. Hi Shashajee,
    I am sitting here at work & crying. Thank you for paying tribute to your Papa. He would be so proud of you – all independent & so focused.
    What can I say, our life is never going to be the same.
    Lumee you – mama

    Comment by Veena Mehra — June 19, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  3. Who wouldn’t love eggs benedict and a Bloody Mary? My honey isn’t a daddy yet but I’m planning on pleasing him with these on Sunday!

    Comment by Cookie — June 19, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

  4. I always make my hollandiase in a blender, or food processor, it really is simple and fool-proof (even I can do it) http://bit.ly/u4Nw9

    Comment by Craig — June 20, 2009 @ 5:11 am

  5. Johanna-have a great wedding weekend & a great Father’s Day with your parents! thanks for stopping by.

    Cookie–I’m with you, and I love that you’re planning to spoil your honey with brunch this weekend. I hope he enjoys; by the way, I caught that “yet” in “isn’t a daddy yet!”

    Craig–thanks for visiting & for your hollandaise suggestion–I will definitely try the food processor method next time I make EB. if the results are comparable, I’m in favor of the easy way!

    Comment by bluejeangourmet — June 20, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  6. Dad’s not much of a brunch guy, and he and I don’t share many food faves, but I think I’ve figured out a compromise this year that just might work. I’m grilling some local spicy sausages and serving my uncle’s baked beans (yes, I got the recipe out of him yesterday) and a blue cheese coleslaw from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook (with way less dressing and more blue cheese…yum). And I’m baking a sugar-free blueberry crisp right this second (because that way it can be cold for me and warm for him). We’ll see if this gets the usual “pretty good” comment, which used to drive my mom crazy until we figured out that it was really a sign of great appreciation.

    Comment by courtney — June 20, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

  7. Court–that sounds “pretty good” to me, yum. also, you *must* share Uncle Bubba’s baked beans recipe–those things are legendary!

    Comment by bluejeangourmet — June 20, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  8. What a wonderful man to have inspired you in such a beautiful way!! I don’t know you, but it sounds as if he’s smiling down on you now!
    My kids made dad blueberry scones and an overstuffed omelet! It was a delicious day and I savored every moment.

    Comment by LoveFeast — June 22, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  9. LoveFeast–thank you so much, I appreciate your kind thoughts. Looks like your kids (with some help from you!) spoiled their dad heartily. The scones look fantastic–I will be trying that recipe!

    Comment by bluejeangourmet — June 23, 2009 @ 7:41 am

  10. Oh how I hear you on the first part of your post. My dad died when I was almost 12 & we just had a very tough Father’s Day w/ Brian’s dad. We’re thankful for our time together, but it’s so hard when you think it may be our last. Anyway…we fixed wings on the grill, broccoli/cheese/rice casserole & homemade ice cream. Your EB sounds great! I had lobster EB in Vegas in May & it was heavenly – maybe one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Brian also now specializes in breakfast sandwiches, which are essentially lower fat/calorie Egg McMuffins. They are soooooooooo good (like your EB w/o the hollandaise).

    Comment by Tricia — June 25, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

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