I've wanted to do a brunch post for some time. I've done BFD (breakfast for dinner) posts, but never an actual breakfast in the actual morning.
Luckily my fellow morning food enthusiast and surname sister Lindsey Stevens was willing to come over in the wee hours of last Saturday morning (11 AM) to be my latest judge.
Thinking up stuff to cook for a breakfast blog is hard, mostly becauze I've been making myself versions of eggs, omelets, pancakes, and the like since I was about 10 years old. Growing up, breakfast for dinner was in the regular rotation at the Stephens house (and cheese grits - not this Cream of Wheat crap that everyone in the North eats - was always heaped on my plate).
But then I remembered that I've never poached an egg.
And, even after the blog has come and gone, I still have not poached an egg. Read on.
FEARLESS FACTOR: 5, at the time. Lindsey is a great guest, and I figured, how hard can poaching eggs be?
I decided to do a Southwestern twist on Eggs Benedict, substituting a cheese quesadilla for the English muffin, chorizo for the Canadian bacon, and making my own "Lime Hollandaise sauce," which in no way resembled actual Hollandaise sauce.
1-2 eggs per person
corn tortillas (2 per person)
Quesadilla Cheese (or pepperjack)
Chorizo sausage - I used one sausage (or you could substitute breakfast sausage or just use ham)
1 tomato, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh cilantro (I was forced to buy the stuff in the tube - BIG mistake)
Light sour cream, about 1/2 c.
1 small can Salsa Verde
Pickled mild jalapenos, minced
Slices of fresh avocado for garnishing
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, pan spray, or a small amount of butter for frying the tortillas
In a large pan over medium heat, remove the Chorizo from its casing and brown it, chopping up with a spoon or spatula as you go. Drain on a paper towel and keep warm until ready to serve.
Combine the Salsa Verde, sour cream, tomatoes, lime juice, and minced jalapenos in a saucepan and boil until thicker and reduced by half, and until the tomatoes have mostly broken down.
Grate the cheese for the quesadillas. Put about a tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place one corn tortilla in the pan, and sprinkle with the cheese. Place another tortilla on top and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another minute. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 4 triangles.
[This is where I am supposed to describe to you how I poached an egg with absolutely no knowledge of the technique and it came out perfectly. That's not quite how it unfolded. Turns out, poaching an egg requires more than just water and stubborn determination.]
What I actually ended up doing was frying the eggs, which is my personal favorite way to prepare them. Here are a few pics from my attempt:
Halve the avocados and slice them into thin wedges. If you're using cilantro to garnish, give it a chop. Place the quesadilla triangles on a place, top with some of the chorizo, then the eggs, then the sauce, and finally the avocado and cilantro garnish. Serve immediately.
Since I was forced to use the icky cilantro in a tube (surely some "innovation" of the processed food era), I at least tried to make an artful green swoosh on the plate. It came out more unappetizing than artful, unfortunately.
I also cut up some peaches for a nice fresh side dish.
Whew! That was a close one. The thing about doing this blog with no recipes is, well, the no recipes thing. Things like adding white vinegar to simmering water while poaching are things one could not possibly know without Google's help. Apparently, egg poaching takes some practice, but the thing I love about eggs is how quickly they cook - they're my go-to impatient-for-breakfast food.
[These are approximations since I unwisely waited over a week to do my post].
LINDSEY: I really like the corn tortilla, and the sauce is really good.
ROSS: I also think the corn tortilla was a good choice, and I really like the cheese. [It was literally called "Quesadilla Cheese." I found it among the more ethnic selection of cheeses at Jewel.]
MY VOTE ON MY DISH: 6 stars. Minus 3 for giving up and minus one for a somewhat sloppy presentation. But overall, the flavors were good. I think in the future I'd serve this in a bowl. I'd also leave the sour cream out of the sauce so I could enjoy it as a condiment without feeling guilty. I think this also would've been good with the chorizo inside the quesadilla rather than just floating on top. Come to think of it, I'd prefer this meal with no meat at all, just some nice sauteed onions and peppers.
It's safe to say we were all pretty worn out on this particular morning, so we vegged on the sofa, plugged the laptop into the TV, and went YouTubing.
The perfect Saturday morning.