I was fortunate enough to meet the lovely Julie a couple of years ago and sample her crazy incredible pies in person while visiting Portland. Needless to say, I became an instant fan. She invited me to be a tester for this book. I made quite a few recipes during testing with great results. When I do these challenges, I try and make something I haven't made before.
I tackled brunch. First I made the Homemade Breakfast Sausages (pg.50). The sausages are so flavorful. They are nice and salty, just the way I love my breakfast sausages. I love the steamed method of cooking sausages. It is pretty fool-proof.
Next, I made the English Muffins (pg.60). I didn't have muffin rings, so I had Fred get all primal cave man and make me some out of a bean can. It was a little scary using these sharp edged "weapons". But they worked out pretty well. The muffins were made with whole grain and ap flour. The puffed up nicely. In the rings it was kind of hard to judge doneness, but they came out just fine. The muffins didn't have the nooks and crannies I love in an english muffin, but they were a good base for the main event.
The Breakfast Benedicts Florentine (pg. 48) were the main event. Layered with the Homemade Breakfast Sausages, sliced tomatoes, spinach and topped with the Garlic Dill Sauce (pg. 161) this was a decadent brunch treat. The tomatoes and the spinach tamed down the salt in the sausage ever so slightly. The bright lemon in the rich, creamy sauce made my mouth water. Preparation was an all morning event. But you could easily make some or all of the components ahead of time and whip this up for a quick impressive brunch. I made a simple fresh carrot juice and served them with fresh sliced strawberries. It was a great Sunday treat.
Make sure to come back tomorrow. The Candle 79 Cookbook from the legendary New York restaurant will be featured and of course there will be a giveaway!