Happy Valentine’s Day!

If Valentine’s Day isn’t a perfect excuse for brunch, I don’t know what is. Especially when you look outside and see the snow blowing, there’s nothing more appealing than staying in your PJs and cranking up that oven to roast some garlic potatoes. Today’s spread included eggs benedict with spinach and smoked salmon, garlic roast potatoes, and a simple fruit salad. Of course, coffee and OJ are also a must. Now, let the food coma begin…

These english muffins are really easy to prep the night before (knead, proof, and shape), then set in the fridge to rest overnight, all set to be freshly baked in the morning. This recipe takes about 4 minutes per side on the stovetop, and then transferred to the oven to finish baking.

Tested out a new trick with these potatoes that worked out great! Quickly parboil the chopped potatoes while you heat up the oven to 400F with a baking tray inside. Then give the tray a nice coating of olive oil and stick it back into the oven to get the oil nice and hot. Drain the potatoes, and shake em up in a colander to rough up the surface a little. You can also sprinkle on a light dusting of flour for an extra crispy skin. Then plop the potatoes onto the hot pan, and stir to coat with the hot oil. Here, I also added some chopped garlic, green onion, and cayenne. Then just bake until crisp and golden, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

I took these two mid-process photos and forgot to take another when they were actually done, but you can get a good idea of the final colour of the potatoes in the leading photo. They turned out nice and crisp on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside. I’d definitely try these again with some thyme or rosemary next time.

2015-02-14-Potatoes Prep and Mid

As everything is topped off with a hollandaise sauce, it only seems appropriate to finish up this post with an easy recipe. This will make about a cup of sauce, which is enough for 5-6 servings of 2 eggs each. It’s one of those things that’s really quite simple to make, but also quite easy to eff up. As long as you remember to whisk constantly and not let the eggs get too hot, all will be just fine!

Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste

Whisk yolks and lemon juice in a heat-proof bowl until thickened and doubled. Set atop a pot of simmering water and continue to whisk, warming up the eggs without making them into scrambled eggs. Make sure the bottom of the bowl has at least a couple inches clearance from the surface of the water. Once your eggs are warm, very gradually trickle in the butter, whisking vigorously to incorporate. Once all the butter is added and the sauce has thickened and doubled, take the bowl off the heat and add the cayenne, salt, and pepper. Should the sauce become too thick by the time you’re serving, simply whisk in a few drops of warm water and it’ll all come together nice and smooth.