Brunch-at-Home: Simple & Cheap

Do you find yourself wanting to go out for brunch or breakfast on the weekends because it’s too much of a hassle to prepare after a busy, work week? How about a classic Bloody Mary at home with Eggs Benedict – made EASY? I’m certain those two items were EXACTLY what you were thinking of when I was describing easy because of a busy work week, surely not a bowl of cereal, toasted bagel, or instant-toaster waffles!

When people hear Eggs Benedict, they automatically assume hours in the kitchen, fancy ingredients, difficulty level past where they want to be; yet, it’s actually super easy, and you will most likely have all of the ingredients. The staple of any Eggs Benedict is the hollandaise sauce.  If you’ve never heard of it, don’t be intimidated, because even McDonald’s has it slapped on their egg/bacon/cheese bagel (it’s either still on the menu or was for a limited time – I go very rarely, so not sure!)

So, if you stay tuned, you’ll get to read my blog on make-ahead meals made cheap because of shared ingredients, and these two are no exception.  You can share the same ingredient in your Bloody Mary and in your hollandaise sauce, making it a money-saving brunch-at-home! Yes, please.

First up. Hollandaise sauce.

1. Melt 1 stick of unsalted butter. (Healthier meals also coming to the blog).

2. Wisk together 4 egg yolks + 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a metal mixing bowl until it doubles in volume, either by hand or hand mixer. It will have an appearance similar to instant vanilla pudding!

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3. Put the metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) and slowly drizzle in the unsalted butter, whisking until it doubles in volume.

4. Remove from heat and now season with cayenne, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, etc.

Done! That’s it.  3 ingredients with whatever seasoning you already own, and we’ll borrow some of the lemon for the Bloody Mary.

Next up.  Bloody Mary (before you start poaching your eggs for the Benedict). Easy recipe to remember that’s in 2’s and 4’s.

1. 4 oz. of tomato juice of choice for every 2 oz. of unflavored, quality vodka.  (I doubled this for two adults, so 8oz. of tomato juice + 4oz. of vodka)

2. Squeeze in the juice from 2 lemon wedges, but I eyeballed this and did it to taste.

3. 4 teaspoons of prepared horseradish

4. 4 dashes of worchestershire

5. 4 dashes of hot sauce. I combined our fave Pittsburgh sauce image with plain ole’ Tabasco.

CUSTOMIZATION: A pinch of celery seed, celery salt, Old Bay Seasoning, Smoked Paprika, your fave bbq sauce, black pepper, etc.

If you want to put in a little more work, then you can take the lemon wedge around the rim of your glass and combine kosher or sea salt with cayenne or smoked paprika or Old Bay Seasoning or pepper (I did all to get the max amount of flavor but it’s not needed).  TIP: In any recipe calling for paprika, I use smoked paprika in lieu of sweet.  It ups the anty on any recipe – especially that traditional, summer, boring macaroni or potato salad!imageGarnish with lemon wedge, olives, celery stalk, a strip of bacon or shrimp if you’d like but not doing so will still get you an excellent Bloody Mary with ingredients you already have!

Back to eggs Benny: For poaching eggs, my boyfriend and I followed Alton Brown because he’s the science behind cooking, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/perfect-poached-eggs-recipe.html . White Vinegar is required, but this is cheap buying in bulk and a shared ingredient in a lot of my homemade cleaning supplies (different blog post ahead).

Finish with canadian bacon on top of a toasted english muffin cut in half.  These items we normally have for quick breakfast sandwiches.  The poached egg goes next, then hollandaise after. Most garnish with parsley, but I found I liked using my chives from my spiral herb garden instead. The delicate, onion-y flavor cut through the richness of the hollandaise.

Leave a comment and let me know how your brunch-at-home went! image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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