6.14.2012

Foodie Rhi-flection: I ♥ Breakfast for Dinner! (+ 'how-to')


As much as I love food and putting together a great meal... I can be really bleh about it when dinner time rolls around.

My husband and I grew up in families that were the culinary polar opposites of one another. While he was noshing on McDonald's we were slurping down stir-fry. When we were served kasha and yogurt for breakfast he was enjoying Fruity Pebbles. Are you noticing a trend yet? My grandmothers were noted for their Smurf shaped pancakes and vegetarian diets. One of his served squirrel to my mother-in-law. lol Needless to say bringing our ways of eating together was one of the more challenging parts of getting married.

Over the years though, I've grown an appreciation for Southern style Sweet Tea and certain convenience foods, while he's found that fruit, vegetables, shellfish, and even curries are pretty darned tasty. If there's one thing that I love to do most on date-night it's going out for dinner so we can enjoy a peaceful sit-down meal together.

Everyday dinners are something else entirely. Am I right? We're often eating separately or while at the computer or while attempting to get the tot to eat her meal. It's always a rush and with the longer days I've been forgetting how late it really is. Which means scrambling to figure out a decent meal at the last minute.

One of my favorite dinner solutions is breakfast for dinner. While it's not my personal favorite, Eggs Benedict, is one of the hubs' top breakfast choices. While certainly not as fancy when made at home it can still be really yummy and is very quickly made.

I can't really call my 'How-To' a recipe because it's made with the simplest collection of items that we usually have around the house. The only one we usually have to pick up beforehand are the English Muffins.

I find that one English Muffin, 2 Eggs, and 4 slices of Ham (lunchmeat) are perfect for adults and tweens-teens. One package of sauce mix (you will also need butter for this) is enough for our family to have leftovers.

All you need are the following ingredients (+ the butter for the sauce):
Eggs
English Muffins
Hollandaise Sauce packet (or make your own!)
Ham (leftovers work great but I use thin lunchmeat since we always have it on hand)
Paprika (for garnish, or you can use fresh chives)


For my version I prefer the 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins from Franz Bakery, Knorr Hollandaise Sauce, and usually use Land O'Frost Premium Brown Sugar Ham unless we have leftover ham from another meal.


My friend was teasing me the other night as we were saying our good-byes on the phone because I told her I was going to go make this dish. She was like 'you know how to poach eggs?'. I have to thank my stepdad for teaching me a lot of the cooking skills I learned in high school 'cause I learned that one at 15. It's been my favorite way to eat an egg since I was a toddler. Fortunately, if you don't know how it's easier than you'd think. While my method is less pretty I found a video that is the perfect egg poaching teacher to share with you...





To make Eggs Benedict I do the following...

Set out plates for each person on a counter.

Begin splitting and toasting English Muffins. Depending on your method/size of toaster/# being served you can keep this process going as you work on the rest. As each set finishes set them out middles-up on each plate.

Begin melting butter on medium-low heat (for Hollandaise Sauce) in a small saucepan on backburner. Measure and set aside water for sauce. Keep an eye on butter. Follow sauce packet instructions once butter is melted.

Fill pan for Poached Eggs with water, add vinegar, begin heating.

Grab Ham and Eggs from the fridge. If desired, place Ham slices on a plate and warm them in the microwave. Place Ham slices over each English Muffin, depending on type of ham used you may want to pile it on fancy or in one thick slice.

Poach Eggs and gently remove them from water with slotted spoon. Let excess water drip (or you could try the paper towel method from the video) and gently place one Egg on top of each Ham-topped English Muffin.

Using a ladle or large spoon slowly pour desired amount of finished Hollandaise Sauce over each Egg and Ham topped English Muffin half. Sprinkle with Paprika* or fresh chives if desired.

* To create the Paprika hearts as shown in my photos cut a thick piece of card stock (I used a promotional postcard from a local restaurant) with a heart or other desired shape. Carefully hold the cut out over the finished Eggs Benedict making sure the card stock does NOT touch the food! Shake the Paprika over the heart shaped hole until desired amount of Paprika is met. Ta-da! Insta-cute touch.

Side dishes are up to you but I prefer fresh fruit. Halved strawberries (with a little sprinkle of sugar if desired), halved grapes (because we have a toddler), and blueberries make a nice side dish that is very quick and looks great! Hashbrowns or grapefruit halves are nice too.


As a healthier alternative you can also skip the English Muffins, using pre-prepared salad instead. A Half & Half (Spinach and spring mix) salad mix works especially well. Dice the Ham and sprinkle it over each plate of salad. Poach the Eggs and place them on each salad, drizzling with the Hollandaise sauce and a few shakes of Paprika.

Yep, breakfast-for-dinner is a must-try for busy moms. If you want to try something other than pancakes or fried eggs and bacon give my Eggs Benedict a try!



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