Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Next?

This is getting out of hand. I am not creative enough to keep up. Every week, Maiya ups the brunch stakes. Every week, she pulls out something so completely fabulous that I spend the next seven days digging through my brain-bound food catalogue, trying to come up with something equally stunning and impressive. I thought I was doing pretty well.

Take my last brunch, for example. I made a fennel and carrot salad (on a mandoline, no fingers sliced open, thankyouverymuch) substituting oranges for tangerines and arugula for watercress, apple sausage patties (so-so), slow-scrambled eggs, a la Gordon Ramsey (beware of YouTube link), a giant German pancake, and no-knead bread.

While the German pancake looked all kinds of impressive and sophisticated, I quickly realized that the Germans went and pulled a misnomer. It’s really way more breakfast soufflĂ© that pancake. Yes, it’s topped with lemon juice and powdered sugar but it still tastes like pouffy eggs with tang and sweetness, not like a doughy, gorgeously carbohydrate-laden pancake. It was quite pretty though, and crunchy on the bottom from the healthy (or desperately unhealthy, as the case may be) dosing of butter.

German pancake (aka breakfast souffle)

The slow scrambled eggs were the silkiest I have had, with no texture besides that of a bright orange, silky custard, no eggy curds to mess up the experience. The bread was, well… fresh baked bread and that can hardly ever be bad, and the salad was fresh and crunchy.

So you can see why I was feeling confident in my brunch abilities. And then I went to Maiya’s house. Do you know what she did? You will never guess. It was crazy. I was stupefied beyond words and pictures. I had to resort to video to do the process justice!

Perfect poached eggs

Maiya in action, dipping poached eggs in more egg and panko bread crumbs (something deeply un-Kosher about bathing poached eggs in beaten eggs. A bit of boiling a kid in mother's milk, if you ask me. Yum).

Draining deep-fried eggs

The woman made deep-fried poached eggs and served them on top of creamed spinach and fried ham. Really. She did. But being Maiya and being completely awesome, she swapped out the fried ham for fried Spam, which I had never had before but thoroughly enjoyed in all of its salty glory. Oh but that’s not all. There was also a salad with goat cheese and a pomegranate vinaigrette, and black pepper and cheddar bread from Hi-Rise Bakery. And mimosas. And I didn’t eat for the rest of the day (which I suppose is the whole point of Sunday brunch).**

The deep fried eggs were insane. Just insane. Crunchy on the outside with perfectly set whites and liquid yolks which spilled all over the already rich and creamy spinach, making my eyes cross in brunchy bliss. Oh but I left something out - the ginormous pan-sized hash brown with herbs and Parmesan, so handy in soaking up the yolk overflow.

Oozing deep-fried poached eggs and Parmesan hash brown

How am I supposed to follow that one, people?? I have no idea. Help me.

** Ok, so that's kind of a big fat lie. What I should have said is that I had no business eating again on Sunday but instead made fajitas, fresh flour tortillas, and guacamole with the supervisor. And it was all so good.


Mai said...

Lovely Anna, thank you for that way-over-the-top post. It was so fun having you over - as always!

Seriously, you freaking made BREAD and fluffy german egg poof and like 20 other things! I'm too retarded to use an oven.

I haven't eaten since Sunday. Maybe I can hold out you cook something amazing next week.

aimee said...

Deep fried poached eggs!! Fuck me, that's madness and a half that is. They look amazing and I want them. Alas, I cannot make poached eggs. I just can't. I've tried so many times and the results are always equally hopeless. Can I put in a request for a poached egg masterclass post? Failing that, where can I find me a friend like Maiya?

Remember the time I almost 'switched teams' because a boy made me the most amazing brunch ever? That's what you should make.

Anna said...

Maiya - Yeah, over the top post. Not at all like deep-frying poached eggs!! Oh, I mean EEEeeeggs. German egg pouf. Hee.

Aimee, you're brilliant. He made huevos rancheros, right? I just learned how to make my own flour tortillas. I can totally do that. That'll wow her, right?? I feel like nothing short of team-switching amazingness will do.

I will try writing something up about poaching eggs but believe it or not, that was my first go at it. First successful go, anyway. When I attempted it without Maiya's supervision, the word disaster didn't quite cover the result.

aimee said...

Huevos rancheros, YES! I wasn't sure if it was to be a surprise or not, nice work with the memory games :) He made warm salsa with chorizo and heaps of corriander (cilantro, whatever). Damn, it was good.

With homemade tortillas and perhaps a few margaritas on the side she'll be wowed for sure. That's team-switching awesomeness right there. I'm salivating. Excuse me.

JC said...

Holy shit, deep-fried eggs? Be still my Texan heart. And hash browns are a personal favorite. Your German pancake also looks pretty damn awesome!

And um, I'm not the one you want brunch suggestions from.

JC said...

And oh yeah, that is great about the handmade tortillas. I must learn how to do that (it doesn't seem too difficult). Handmade is the best way to go with tortillas, not that I have them very often. You have to search to find them, even here.

And hey, what about breaking out some of those Hatch chiles? Do you still have some? Would be great with handmade flour tortillas.

Lissa said...

anna? maia? is there anyway i can get those recipes so the rest of us can try the wonderfulness that is a deep fried poached egg (and especially the creamy spinach/ham stuff underneath). I am truly drooling right now... You are both amazing!

Anna said...

I have to say, you guys are amazing. Yes, I do still have Hatch chiles frozen away, and chorizo with eggs is the best thing that's ever happened to breakfast. Ok, so the preliminary brunch menu is: corn muffins with cheese and chiles (like the cornbread that JC made - sorry, can't find the permalink to the entry), scrambled eggs with chorizo, fresh flour tortillas, fresh salsa and guacamole. Oooh and a hibiscus-tequila cocktail. It's never too early in the morning for a cocktail, right? :)

JC said...

I'm honored to have played a small role in the menu of the next brunch! I can't wait to read the report. Damn those tortillas still sound so good to me. I think flour tortillas are one of my favorite foods.

aimee said...

It's never too early; the cocktail tips the menu over into bloody brilliance! Besides which it's more plant than alcohol anyway, right? Right.

Mai said...

so: the weirdest thing, right? yesterday i'm telling my friend leonard about making deep fried poached eggs (lissa, recipe here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/236721 - use panko and spam) and he's like, 'oh, i had some deep fried poached eggs at petit robert last week. they made them with panko.' it's either a weird coincidence, or he told me about it and it never registered on a conscious level, but came out in my brunch menu...

Anna, tell Aimee that I have a recent opening for a new food-crazy friend - one that uses hilarious phrases like 'madness and a half'!

Hillary said...

Haha wow! If it were up to me, I'd say you've upped the competition! So don't be too discouraged, you can handle it my friend.

aimee said...

Anna, tell Mai I'm not sure I meet her criteria, but that I would be delighted to fill her opening.

If you could then snicker a bit, that would be monkeyfunkin' awesome.

JC said...


Anna, make sure you capture that on film too. kthxbai

Anonymous said...


Do you know of any brunch 101 classes
in Boston area? I realised I've got to take one!


Anna said...

Aimee, you crack me up. If I were drinking chocolate milk, it would be coming out of my nose right about now.

JC - camera in hand. Will capture at next possible opportunity and forward on to you :)

Helloooo Mehdi, Will look in to cooking classes. Don't know off the top of my head. Coming from a brunch novice, I can tell you that the trick to a successful brunch is starting to drink early!

amanda said...

i love it! deep fried poached eggs. you, my friend, are a culinary genius! albeit a heartattack on a plate, it looks simply scrumptious!