Curious Cook: Brunch it out

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A couple of Sundays ago, a friend of mine came over to my new place and we decided to explore my new neighborhood (downtown in the best little city on the planet). We stopped in at a restaurant/coffee house for a couple of lattes and decided to grab a quick bite.

It turned out to be the best new dish I’ve had in years — plus they make an ambrosial latte.

It was a crepe filled with crispy bacon and hoop cheese that was placed on the flat top and gently grilled until the insides were a crispy, cheesy symphony.

Then they topped it with two eggs and a generous lashing of lemony, creamy hollandaise. Their eggs were perfectly cooked for us both; mine were runny and the yolks of my friend’s were just set.

Below I’ve given you recipes to recreate this amazing dish.

The crepes are the recipe of my culinary hero Alton Brown. The Hollandaise is the recipe of the godfather of American cuisine, Craig Claiborne, and a favorite recipe of mine. The poached egg technique takes all the angst out of poached eggs and is ridiculously easy. I suggest that when you find the correct time for your desired poached egg doneness, do it like that every single time. Mine is 35 seconds.

If you like brunch, you’re gonna love this.

I promise.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

Crepes

Recipe from Alton Brown

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons melted butter

Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture. *Sweet Variation Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.

Microwave poached eggs

1 egg

1/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)

Fill microwave-safe mug or small bowl with 1/3 cup water and a splash of vinegar, if you’d like. The vinegar is optional, but it will help the egg coalesce a bit better.

Gently crack an egg into the mug or bowl, making sure it’s covered in water. Prick the egg yolk with a toothpick to prevent any explosions.

Cover your mug or bowl with a small microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 30 seconds. The egg white should be set but the yolk still runny. If the egg white is still runny, keep microwaving in 10 second increments until you’re satisfied with the level of doneness. It’s worth noting that, unlike poaching eggs on the stovetop, the microwave tends to cook the yolk faster than the white. If you like your white a little softer, you might want to take your egg out earlier.

Remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Craig Claiborne’s Blender Hollandaise

Makes 4 servings.

1/2 cup butter

2 egg yolks from large eggs

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt

Cayenne

Heat butter to bubbling; do not brown. Into container of an electric blender, put egg yolks, lemon juice, one-quarter teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne. Flick motor quickly on and off twice at high speed. Remove cover, turn motor on high and add butter gradually, until mixture thickens. If too thick, add cold water. Serve with vegetables, fish or eggs.

So, I’ve got raw egg yolks in the sauce. And if you are a child, pregnant, or have a compromised immune system, just steer clear.

To get the butter nice and bubbly, shoot for 200°(F). An egg yolk is considered cooked enough to be safe at 145. The hot butter and the friction from blending should put the yolks clearly in the “safe” category.

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