Comfort food. It seems we all have favorite food that just makes us go “Mmm, Mmm”. I have many. I just can’t help it. I have an intimate relationship with food:) There’s not much I don’t like, and a lot of foods I simply love. Breakfast food is one of them. A good breakfast just gives me a feeling of contentment and warmth all over. I find breakfast foods appropriate any time of day: breakfast [or course], lunch or dinner. Back in my younger days, hitting an all night diner at 3:00 am was not unheard of after a late night on the town. These days I’m home earlier and subsequently up earlier too. However, I’ve never been one to eat the minute I roll out of bed. A hearty, filling late brunch is more my speed. Plus, brunch typically means no lunch, which means I’m only cooking up two meals that day! Cheating…yes. But hey, it’s the weekend after all, I need a break sometimes. This past Saturday was one of those “two meal days”. I tried a new recipe, which was delish. The best part…most of the preparation was the night before. This was by no means a formal brunch. It was a simple, gather the family around the dining room table type of meal. It was the last weekend of Mandy’s [our daughter] visit home, Travis [our son] was out of bed before noon [it was Saturday after all!], and my Mom came over to see both grandchildren under the same roof for once! Our menu consisted of the Eggs Benedict Strata, crispy hash-brown potatoes, a fruit salad [blackberries from our garden, sweet watermelon and Michigan grown cantaloupe] and slices of Zucchini Blueberry bread from my Blueberry Bonanza post. Well balanced and delicious!
Eggs Benedict Strata
12 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped
6 English muffins, split and torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice [the juice of about 1 lemon]
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup butter, melted
1. Place half of the Canadian bacon in a greased 3-qt. or 13×9-in. baking dish; top with English muffin pieces and with remaining bacon.
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and onion powder; pour over top. Gently “squish” down with your hands. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Remove strata from refrigerator 30-60 minutes prior to baking.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle top with paprika.
5. Bake, covered for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and the edges are slightly browned.
6. Meanwhile [during last 10 minutes of baking time] on top of a double boiler or a bowl over simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, cream, lemon juice, mustard and paprika until well blended. Whisking continuously, cook just until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and the temperature reaches 160°F.
7. Reduce heat to very low. Slowly drizzle in the warm melted butter while whisking constantly. Serve immediately with strata. Makes approximately 1-2/3 cups sauce.