The three elements that made this breakfast come together the way that it did were leftover pita (from the night I made chicken and hummus), leftover olive tapenade (from the night I made 4-hour lamb; the recipe’s in that post), and leftover Gruyere (from that cauliflower gratin). The breakthrough moment was when I decided to fry the pita. I learned how to do this when Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook gave me their recipe for a beet salad at their restaurant Animal; instead of croutons, they fry pita. Turns out that’s a really wonderful thing to know how to do.
We had plans to eat Sunday brunch with Rebecca Lando of Working Class Foodies last week only we were a bit under-the-weather (um, hungover). Instead of canceling, I had an idea: what if I just invite Rebecca over at 11:45? This was at 10:30. So I had an hour and fifteen minutes to cook up an impressive breakfast before she’d arrive. Could I pull it off? I most certainly could. Here’s what I did.
Recently I’ve been on a Hulu Plus cooking show kick, binging on Lidia and Martha and the occasional Avec Eric with Eric Ripert. In fact, it was on one of Eric Ripert’s shows, where he cooks with Dan Barber (who’s now on Twitter, by the way), that I learned about pastured eggs. While touring Chef Ripert around Blue Hill Farm, Chef Barber says, “When buying eggs, you don’t want to look for free-range, necessarily…what you want to look for is pastured eggs.” Pastured meaning the chickens get to graze on grass and good stuff. I never thought I’d find pastured eggs at my supermarket, until…
Use what you got. That’s my best advice for cooking on weekend mornings. Make sure, on Friday, you’ve got eggs and coffee and some milk. After that, start your Saturday by raiding your fridge and putting together a breakfast that makes sense using as many disparate things that you can. Anyway, that’s my goal when I start my weekend and usually the breakfast that results is way better than one where I follow a recipe.
It’s almost the weekend and it’s time I got something off my chest. The Eggs Adam Roberts I’ve been linking to and talking up all these years as my main recipe legacy isn’t the Eggs Adam Roberts that I make for myself and Craig every weekend. That old Eggs Adam Roberts was a product of a different time, a more innocent age, an era of sour cream and milk whisked into the eggs before pouring them into the skillet. I haven’t used sour cream and milk in my Eggs Adam Roberts since the early aughts.
Elizabeth David has a famous book called An Omelette and a Glass of Wine that, I’m embarassed to say, I’ve never read. Still: I’m aware of it.
So aware, in fact, that last week when I came home from the gym, exhausted, I decided to put that title into action. I had eggs from the farmer’s market in the refrigerator. I had half a bottle of red wine leftover from the previous night’s dinner. I also had some celery and walnuts. Ok, Elzabeth David, let’s do this thing.
After I made those excellent carnitas tacos, I had lots of Mexican ingredients leftover. Jalapeños. Corn tortillas. Sour cream. Well that’s not a Mexican ingredient, but it would be if I called it Mexican crema. So let’s call it crema so my first paragraph makes sense.
This often happens after I make a big dinner: the next day, I find myself with all kinds of leftover ingredients and I want to turn those ingredients into breakfast. On this particular morning, the decision couldn’t have been easier: breakfast tacos.
When I lived in New York, I swore off brunch. “Brunch is for idiots!” I declared. “You wait forever, you spend a fortune, and for what? Food you can make just as good at home for way less money.”
That’s why there are so many entries on my Breakfast Recipes page: I mostly make brunch at home. But while in New York, this last time around, I ate two brunches so good, they put me in my place. I couldn’t make food THAT good at home.