Recipe 12 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
Another Saturday another breakfast! This is recipe number 2 so far that has called for a cheese cloth. And my kitchen still does not have one :) I’m being 50% rebellious on not buying one, 25% fugile since buying one feels like such a luxury kitchen item right now, and the other 25% of me is being practical realizing paper towels still totally do the trick so far. This was another one of those breakfasts I felt super proud of when it was all done and pretty in the dish. I made my own Hollandaise sauce, you guys!! I love Hollandaise….and Egg Benedict becauae of it….so this was a big deal. I have to say I may still like the Knorrs package mix a little better in flavor, but I was surprised how uncomplicated it was to make it myself. So, that’s my recipe moment of glory. My recipe moment of shame came from the familiar land called “Not-reading-the-recipe-before-going-to-the-store.” It’s a familiar place I’ve been stuck in before which is why I can’t promote myself from novice cook. A non-novice cook, in my active perfectionist imagination, has their act together and always has the perfect ingredients purchased before cooking or baking anything. That’s probably never going to happen in my world. Activator & Achiever over here if we’re talking strengths quest. That means I like to get stuff started and I like to get stuff done and that also means my perfectionist is broken because my achiever cares more about things being done then perfect! So, her recipe calls for greens…loud and clear in the recipe title and 1st on her ingredient list. Some where I read that and transcribed that onto my grocery list as, “mixed green salad.” So, that picture you see up there of lettuce in a pot and carrots in a colander is my realization project. Picking out carrots from a bag of mixed green salad is not necessary ladies and gentlemen. Not necessary at all. Ooof. And you can see by the finished project that I gave up (achiever in me again) and didn’t get them all. Not to mention I definitely didn’t get the right amount of greens from the bag. She calls for 1.25 lbs (570 grams) of mixed greens like chard and spinach. The final recipe is meant for 4 generous portions or 8 modest portions and I definitely only ended up with enough greens for a measly 2. That was great for just my husband and I so at least you know what to do if you’re wanting to really cut down the recipe. I also could have left the carrots in for more flavor and nutrition but I wanted to keep the recipe similar the first time through while I learned it. I don’t always follow that rule :) The hollandaise recipe was a really tasty one I would do again if I wanted to use it with other breakfast dishes. She does a helpful job of explaining the gradual building of the sauce. It starts with cubed butter melted almost completely before pulling it off heat or out of the microwave (if you’re going for quicker) and then it is stirred until the last few pieces finish melting in. The point is to keep it from getting too hot and as Deb says , “loose moisture.” It ends up gradually being poured into the blender over top of the egg yolks, salt, and lemon juice. But poured doesn’t mean one long pour. She talks you through how to gradually add in the butter to the blended egg and lemon juice mixture…from drops, to spoonfuls, and finally a long thin drizzle until it’s all mixed in. It’s comes together nicely following those instructions, but I can see it going really wrong if the temperature of the butter is off or if you pour the butter in too quickly. I could also see butter that’s too hot causing the egg to start cooking and breaking the sauce because of it. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but I don’t put it past me in the future if I’m in a rush. The greens get cooked in with your half and half and onions before being put in your dishes, topped with eggs and baked in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 min. For double eggs like I did she suggests 15 to 18 min. She tells you to Cut the English muffins into fingers place them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven while your eggs are baking. These were kind of fun and I could see them being a good toddler food when my daughter gets to that stage. They made a perfect side for the egg dish and were great for dipping and scooping and getting all the yummy into your mouth. I would say this is probably another more time consuming breakfast. But she does all these “do ahead” tips with each recipe. The do ahead tip for this recipe says that the wilted and wrung out greens can be kept in the fridge for 2 days in a covered container. Getting that step out of the way ahead of time would actually make this breakfast go pretty quickly. My husband really liked this one. We don’t usually do greens for breakfast so that was a nice healthy addition for us on a Saturday morning. We’re both trying to get more fish and vegetables into our diet for overall health so this is a great way to sneak it into a tasty breakfast. Sadly, I’m not gonna post th ingredients and details of this recipe because, I want to advocate for buying this recipe book yourself. But hopefully this review is an encouragement to do just that. Another blogger (Delicious Chip) reviewed it as well. You can hear from her by clicking here. I’m really enjoying all these breakfast recipes. Even when we get into the salad chapter, which is next, I think I might still try new recipes on Saturday mornings. It’s been a lot of fun for me and a good little tradition to make for us as a family. Remember, we’re still newly married in this house and establishing those traditions! Happy cooking friends and a Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating with friends and family this week. May the time gathered around tables with good food be nourishment to your hearts and encouragement to your souls as you pause to give thanks together. I’m thankful for you readers and the fun I have sharing this hobby with you.