Sunday, February 17, 2013

Half-Homemade Breakfast

I've never watched Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking on Food Network (though I have heard Anthony Bourdain slam both the show's host and its concept), so I don't know for sure, but I imagine what it promotes is something like what I did for breakfast this morning.

Waking up earlier than is my wont on a Sunday morning, I was hungry for breakfast, but we didn't have on hand the things I consider essential to a proper breakfast: To wit, either bacon or sausage, if not both. So I decided to improvise.

I did have on hand frozen toaster waffles, which I normally use as a quick snack, rather than as a breakfast dish. A quick inventory also turned up packaged Black Forest ham lunch meat... and we pretty much always have eggs, butter, and milk in stock.

Remembering this recipe (from the goat-farming, Amazing Race winning Beekman Boys' website) for Lazy Scrambled Eggs, I hatched what Bourdain would no doubt consider an evil scheme: I would make a phoney-baloney, semi-homemade goof on Eggs Benedict.

The whole point of the "lazy" scrambled eggs is that it's a slow cooking method, so I got that started first: Three eggs broken straight into a "cold" pan, along with a tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of milk, then put over low heat. Break the yolks, give it a quick stir (but don't worry about thoroughly mixing things), and wait.

Part of what makes this method "lazy" is that there's no whisk or mixing bowl to clean, but really, two fewer items in the dishwasher strikes me as a fairly trivial advantage. The real point of this slow-cooking method is that it prevents overcooking, and results in smooth, soft eggs with some bits of discernibly separate white and yolk... which is to say, it makes scrambled eggs that are a plausible substitute for poached or 3-minute eggs.

While the eggs were (slowly) cooking, I popped a (round) waffle into the toaster, and lightly cooked 3 or 4 slices of the ham in a separate skillet. When everything was done, I put the ham on top of the waffle, topped it with some (also store-bought) shredded cheddar cheese, covered that with the hot eggs, and sprinkled a little additional cheese on top.

No great display of culinary skill, obviously, but very yummy. I have a more-completely-homemade version of this dish in mind, for a day when I've planned ahead a bit more. Watch this space....

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