I Are Sophisticated

So-phis-ti-ca-tion. [suh-fis-ti-key-shuhn]. The art of becoming less naïve and more refined. The quality of refinement—displaying good taste, wisdom and subtlety rather than crudeness, stupidity and vulgarity. To become more worldly through cultivation or experience. To….

Ah, who am I kidding? I got nunna dat. I’m about as sophisticated as a Pop Tart. And just as square. Like a lot of you I sometimes pretend, but eventually I get found out. Like the time that I ordered the Trout Almandine special, and once the waiter placed it in front of me I asked him where they hide the tartar sauce. Sophistication always looks good, but sometimes it’s a lot of hard work. Take Beef Wellington. I’ve made this dish twice. It’s a half-day event. And each time that I served it to my sophisticated friends, they went bat-shit crazy. Couldn’t get enough, they said. I on the other hand, couldn’t wait to go out and get a Quarter Pounder with cheese.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the finer things, it’s just that sometimes all of the extra hard work and cost just doesn’t seem worth it. I wanna be sophisticated, I just don’t wanna work too hard at it. Anyway, I recently had the need to provide a high-end breakfast for a special ‘friend’ that unexpectedly spent the night. A couple of eggs over easy and some Jimmie Deans just wasn’t gonna cut it. I needed sophisticated but do-able. And I just happened to have the perfect recipe. I call it, “The Morning After” breakfast. It also works for Mother’s Day and special occasions. Throw back a couple of Mimosas while you scarf it down and you’ve got the perfect start to your day. And if there’s an MMA bout on cable, it’s like Christmas morning!

The beauty of this dish is that it doesn’t require any special knife stills. If you can hack up some vegetables and walk away with all of your fingers still attached, you can make this dish. The hardest part is getting the eggs into a bowl without breaking the yolk.

Morning After Eggs

½ cup of heavy cream
2 stalks of celery, including their leaves
1 shallot including its skin

3 cloves of garlic
½ red onion including its skin
6 to 8 peppercorns
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
2 extra large or jumbo eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter for greasing the bowls
Crusty sourdough bread

This is so easy you can do it with a screaming hangover. Er, so I’ve been told.

Get two-oven proof bowls and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop up the shallot, onion and celery and add that to a small saucepan along with the salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, garlic cloves, thyme sprig and cream. Gently bring that up to a simmer for about 10 minutes. (Watch that it doesn’t boil. It’ll expand and crawl out of that pan before you know it!) Remove it from the heat and let it steep for 15 minutes.

Butter the bowls and crack an egg into each without breaking their yolks. Strain the cream into a separate bowl and discard the solids. Then, spoon the cream over each egg but be careful to let the yolk show on top of the cream.

Put the bowls on a baking pan and place into your oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Keep checking to see that the whites are setting but that the yolks are still soft. Then, open the door to your oven and turn it up to broil. Watch it cook until the tops begin to brown and bubble. Remove the bowls and place them on the counter to cool. The eggs will continue to cook, so I always remove them a little early.

Toast up a couple of slices of bread and brush them with the olive oil. Dot each bowl with 4 to 5 dollops of olive oil and serve. If you really want to go decadent, use truffle infused olive oil. Talk about rich and sensual!

Dats it! Finish the champagne, take the phone off the hook and spend the rest of the morning doing something sophisticated. What, I gotta draw ya a picture?

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