Summer is flying by, and everyone I know is scrambling to knock those bucket-list items off. Go to the beach, picnic at the park, swim at the pool, host a backyard barbecue and eat all the ice cream. (Items not featured on the bucket list that I have accomplished: get eaten alive by mosquitoes, receive a sunburn and sweat profusely at all times.) For me though, it’s all about enjoying and making the most out of that beautiful summer produce. Have I made enough pies? Have I eaten a more-than-healthy share of tomatoes? Has corn on the cob been featured as a side dish at every meal? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
Strawberries are a summer staple in my fridge, so I decided to bake them into a delicious breakfast treat that is a true crowd-pleaser. These are perfect for a summer brunch. Check out the full recipe on sheknows.com!
This recipe is not easy. Or quick. Or even remotely healthy. It is, however, incredibly decadent and delicious. And if you’re in need of a classy brunch fix, don’t bother waiting in line at the local overpriced joint, make this recipe instead. Full disclosure though, there was a lot of yelling and cursing involved during preparation… Poaching eggs is a delicate operation and making hollandaise sauce requires patience and attention. It is damn good though and well worth the anxiety. Friends, pour yourself a glass of champagne topped off with some fresh squeezed orange juice and get your butt in the kitchen, these eggs benedict aren’t going to make themselves!
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp water
6 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of cayenne
pinch of salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 English muffins
1 cup fresh spinach
To make hollandaise sauce: Put the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly until light and frothy and slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Return to heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick. Add lemon juice and cayenne, taste and adjust seasoning.
To poach eggs: Bring an inch of water to a boil in a small skillet, add teaspoon of salt and vinegar, and lower the heat so it barely bubbles. Crack the eggs in a bowl and gently slip them into the water. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Assembly: Saute spinach in a little olive oil until wilted. Toast English muffins. Top each muffin with a little spinach, a piece of smoked salmon, an egg, and a spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This recipe was not all sunshine and rainbows, as you can probably imagine. My beautiful silky hollandaise sauce started to separate at one point and I freaked out. After some quick googling, I read that placing an ice cube in the sauce and whisking furiously can often do the trick. And it worked!
Frittata is one of those dishes that tastes great, presents beautifully and is a cinch to make. Kind of like creme brûlée or coq au vin. Frittata is lighter than quiche and just as tasty. You can use any combo of veggies and cheese like asparagus and cheddar, mushroom, onion and swiss or tomato, basil and mozzarella. Perfect for brunch, this dish pairs well with bottomless mimosas or bloody marys.
Spinach, Red Pepper and Feta Frittata
Based on this recipe from Williams-Sonoma
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced thin
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add red pepper and sauté for 8-10 minutes until soft. Meanwhile crack 10 eggs and whisk until frothy. Add feta and salt and pepper to taste. But don’t actually taste–salmonella alert. Add spinach to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes until it is wilted. Add eggs and stir everything around lightly. Cook for about 5 minutes and then stick the pan straight under the broiler for a minute or two until it is golden brown on top.
Happy New Year everyone! How’s that hangover doing?! Sorry, I’ll keep my voice down. After you brew some coffee and swallow that fistful of Advil, you should really consider eating some breakfast. In college, Sunday mornings (and by mornings I obviously mean 1pm) were a time of self reflection, regret and carb loading. French toast sticks, grilled cheese, bagels, pizza, anything extremely carby usually put some zing back into my lifeless body. But, breakfast foods were really the winning ticket to not feeling like death the rest of the day. Hash brown potatoes, pancakes and scrambled eggs. Food of the Gods, really. Cooking the eggs slowly over low heat makes them so exceptionally diner-licious, the crispy, oniony potatoes are insanely addicting, and fluffy pancakes drizzled with real maple syrup round out this decadent blue plate special.
Hash Brown Potatoes
1/2 lb fingerling potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
salt and pepper
2 green onions chopped
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a nice big frying pan. Add potatoes and onions and sprinkle with plenty of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Let the potatoes and onions cook for at least 5 minutes before flipping with your spatula. Occasionally toss potatoes. These will cook in about 20 minutes. I added more salt to taste as the taters were cooking. Potatoes tend to need a lot of seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.
Low and Slow Scrambled Eggs
salt and pepper
Spray frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Whisk your eggs up and add a good amount of salt and pepper. Pour into the pan and lower heat. Gently fold eggs over with spatula until your comfortable with their doneness.
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
Mix all ingredients together. Heat frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add about 1/4 cup of pancake batter for each pancake. Cook for about 3 minutes until batter begins to bubble on top. Feel free to add any fruit you like on top like blueberries, banana slices, strawberries, chocolate chips (fine, not a fruit but so delicious). Flip and cook for another minute or so until brown. You can keep the pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven on a cookie sheet until your full breakfast is ready!