December 17, 2008

This Fake Hollandaise Sauce Kicks Butt

Last weekend I had a brilliant idea: Falafels Benedict. Like Eggs Benedict, only with a thin, crispy falafel in place of the ham, on a warm pita bread bed rather than the English muffin.

I screwed up the Hollandaise sauce, though, which created an emergency situation, obviously. But of course I'm real fine in an emergency.

And really, it was pretty delicious. My falafel was a little too crumbly, and could have been thinner, but overall I think with some tweaking this assembly could be a keeper. The Hollandaise was really nice, the creme fraiche making it tangy and smooth.

Here's what I did:

1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
dash of Worcestershire sauce

Optional: if you haven't used all your lemons ruining your Hollandaise, add a teaspoon of fresh juice. Otherwise, the creme will give you the tang you need.

With a fork or small whisk, whip the yolk into the creme, then the butter, then the lemon juice and Worcestershire.

Warm the mixture in a small dish set over warm water, stirring frequently.


December 9, 2008

Christmas Morning Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole

Perfect for Christmas morning! This recipe calls for the assembled dish to be refrigerated overnight. In the morning you pop it in the oven for an hour, then take out the warm, hearty result. Known in my family by the anti-hyperbolic name of Breakfast Casserole, I really think it's essentially a stratta.

Allana Kellog put out a call on twitter for make-ahead breakfast dishes for Christmas morning, it justsohappened that I'd made this most perfect and spectacularly delicious dish this weekend for company. As a matter of fact, if I had eaten breakfast this morning after looking at my facebook page I would have had a picture to post here. Alas, that last leftover piece is warming my tummy as I write.

I can tell you without reservation that this recipe is foolproof, easy, and flavorful beyond belief. The ingredients are simple. Bread, eggs, cheese, milk, sausage, scallions, a little salt. But something magic happens in the process and the thing comes out tasting marvelously complex.

This recipe comes from my mother. She doesn't know where she got it.

Breakfast Casserole

16 oz day old bread, cubed
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups light cream or whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 pound sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
1 bunch scallions, chopped

Butter 9 -by 13-inch baking pan.

Place cubed bread in the pan.

Sprinkle with cheeses.

Combine wet ingredients, and pour over the bread and cheese.

Top with sausage and scallions.

Cover tightly and refrigerate over night.

In the morning, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover the casserole, and bake for an hour, or until golden brown.



I like to use a good, firm bread.

I really, really like to use a maple sausage in this dish! This weekend I used an andoullie, which I took out of it's casing, browned, then drizzled with a little real maple syrup. Yum!