On any other day, I would be happy to write about a heavy
breakfast item. But at the moment, I am sitting and wishing I could instead be
walking off today’s lunch — a tasty regional spread of crab imperial, crab
cakes, barbecued oysters in homemade sauce, steamed clams in brown butter,
beer-battered soft shell crabs, Dijon-encrusted soft shells, corn pudding,
roasted squash and kale et al.
Was it delicious? You better believe it was.
Was it filling? Well, let me just say that the more my
fingers type about food, the less I want to think about it.
I guess that is one downfall of a job like mine. I have to
taste the wares of my students and must do so judiciously so as to not leave
Had it not been for the shellfish-laden, high-calorie
luncheon at high noon, I would be relishing in the overly flavored and rich
brunch food offered up as today’s sacrifice to the Gazette.
Yea, verily I love such hearty items, but not for breaking
the fast we have come to know as sleep. No, this morsel of richness and satiety
is the perfect brunch food, made more to nosh before a day of manly
lumberjacking or building.
The one saving grace in this dish that keeps it from going
over the top is the use of vegetable demi-glace in place of meat glace.
The sweetness of the demi helps the dish to maintain certain
lightness despite the rich nature of the beast, making it a good addition to a
sunny morning menu.
Yet, if the leaves are falling and the temperature has
dropped 30 degrees in two weeks (I, of course, am speaking from immediate
experience), then this dish is sturdy enough to survive the chill of morning. I
cannot speak for everyone, but our heat is not turned on yet, and as such our
abode is a bit brisk upon waking.
And that makes this our favorite time of year.
The combination of the cool air and warming, rich foods only
gets us prepared for the best three months of the year: October to December.
It is hard to believe that the leaves are about to begin changing
color, especially in the north and west, and they will soon litter the ground
in their messy manner. And then, before we know it, the air will bite our lungs
as we breathe it in and we will all too soon be complaining that we wish it
were summer once again.
Brunch has always been a favorite and fascinating meal to
serve. The meal that traditionally comes after breakfast but before lunch (yes,
I know that I’m being a touch elementary, but you will survive) is the perfect
platform for “anything goes” cooking.
That is why steaks are as plentiful on a brunch menu as are
French toast and Eggs Benedict.
Full-scale lunch specials are often tweaked and varied to
include an egg here or some cereal crust there, all to make them more akin to
the menu du jour. And when all is said and done, fried eggs on vegetable hash
will serve you well on your next brunch menu.
It served me well when I made it. Of course, there was no
lumberjacking or building afterwards, but it was good just the same. And so was
the afternoon of watching movies on the couch.
2 medium fresh eggs
Butter and olive oil, as needed to fry eggs
2 ounces sweet potato, large dice
1 ounces Yuca root, large dice (central core removed)
1 ounces Fingerling potato, quartered
1/2 tomatillo, quartered
1 ounces red onion, julienne
stock or white wine, as needed
vegetable Demi-Glace (reference food.com for a good homemade
1 sprig fresh thyme
diced ham (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh white bread (1 slice)
• Bring a pot of salt water to a boil and turn down to a
• Add sweet potato, yucca, potato, fingerling, tomatillo and
red onion, and cook until tender, maybe 3-4 minutes
• Remove from water and cool if you do not plan to use them
• In a frying pan, heat your choice of clarified butter,
olive oil or a combination of both until very hot
• Add the vegetables and cook to brown quickly, ensuring
that they do not burn
• When you have a nice crust on the vegetables, deglaze the
pan with a splash of stock or wine
• Immediately add the vegetable demi-glace and coat the
• Add the thyme and ham (optional) and cook for two more
minutes and then pull off the heat
• The hash will hold for about half an hour, so that gives
you plenty of time to fry your eggs
• To fry the eggs, heat some oil in a fry pan
• Crack your eggs into a bowl and pour them into the fry pan
from the bowl. This ensures that the eggs that make it into the pan are whole
and don’t have broken yolks
until at the temperature of your liking (sunny-side up is pictured, but unless
you are using pasteurized eggs, it is not advisable)