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Mustard Greens and Hollandaise Stack

It is funny what you cook when you have no one around to please but yourself. On rare occasions, when the stars align properly, men gather and scheme and pack and plan and take their daughters on camping excursions known in these parts as Indian Princess outings. Some of these are sanctioned and some are splinter groups of radicals who engage in fireworks, pig roasts, and fly fishing. I’m guessing a finger or two of scotch might be involved after the “princesses” have retired.

I digress. Ford and I were given the run of the house because the princesses were convening at a far away kingdom (ranch).  And for lunch, all Ford wanted (or mostly ever wants) is a PB&J. We had all just made a run to the Coppell Farmers Market where I had secured a bag of fresh Southern Curl Mustard Greens and a basket of tomatoes. The gears in my head were cranking from the moment we returned to the car. Farm fresh produce and morning air will do that to one, you know.

This is a single serving preparation. You can make it for a group easily. I scaled back the recipe for hollandaise as much as I could and still have the blender function but it was still easily enough for 3 servings. And here is the simple truth about my hollandaise. This is “blender hollandaise.” Yes, it is. It requires practically no effort or skill and it whips up in the blender in about one minute. There is no shallot reduction or endless whisking. It is unapologetically untraditional. And, I love it. I place a high value on my time. I place a ridiculously high value on my reduced-kid-population-time. And I was in the mood to eat and not necessarily cook…so blender hollandaise won the day. I must tell you that it is creamy and wonderful and lovely. If you need to whip up the real thing, you have my blessing and my admiration. I understand the need to do things the “right” way. I’m simply not thus afflicted (most of the time). The basis for this recipe is a House & Garden recipe from 1962 that I found on epicurious.com.

Also, I’m learning that greens are a personal thing. You need to cook them until they are at a state of doneness that appeals to you. I like them with a little bite to them. I like a little more firmness. But you may not. So keep cooking until you are happy. Also, if you are having a craving for greens, and they are truly bountiful at the markets right now, you might like to peruse my recipes for kale, collard greens, and spinach. Mustard greens have a very distinct flavor. Tart is not the right word. But the ones that I bought had a kind of tartness and an interesting floral flavor that I thought was really great. But you could easily substitute kale or collards here, though for collards you would have to lengthen the cooking time.

Recipe for Mustard Greens and Hollandaise Stack: (one serving)

Ingredients:

For the stacked toast:
2 slices thick cut smoked bacon
1 slice of thick crusty white bread
1 egg
1 big handful of mustard greens, cut into chunks
¼ of a medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic (optional)

For the hollandaise:
2 egg yolks (whites discarded or used elsewhere)
1 Tablespoon cream
1 stick of butter
½ tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
Dash of cayenne, salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, reserving the bacon drippings. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. In the skillet with the drippings, sauté the onion on medium low for about 4 minutes until nicely softened. Add the greens to the pan and stir them and turn them until they are coated with the drippings. Continue to cook on medium low until the greens are well wilted and softened to your liking (for me this was about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove the greens from the heat. When cool enough to handle, chop the greens a few times so that the bites are more manageable.

2. Simultaneously, you will toast the bread and prepare the hollandaise sauce. Begin by melting the stick of butter in a small saucepan until bubbly and hot, but not browned. Separate the yolks of two eggs and add them to the blender. Add the cream. Season the yolks and cream with a dash of cayenne, salt and pepper. Turn on the blender to whip up the yolks for about 30 seconds. Put the bread in the toaster now.

3. Have your lemon juice ready to go. With the blender running, take the little saucepan of butter and steadily pour it through the feed hole of the blender lid in a thin stream. Add the lemon juice after you have added approximately half of the butter and then add the remaining butter. By the time you have added the last of the butter, the sauce should be thickened and ready to use.  Hollandaise should not sit long before use so do time this properly.

4. Fry the egg.

5. To build the stack, place the toast on a plate. Pile on the greens. Lay on the bacon. Slather with hollandaise. Top with a sunny side up egg. Season with salt and pepper. Go sit down with the paper and make a pig of yourself. Then go see your cardiologist.

The toast is made with a day-old slice of crusty no-knead refrigerator bread. I served this with slices of tomatoes fresh from the Coppell Farmers Market. That made me feel better about all the butter. Do note that there are undercooked eggs all over this recipe and that you are taking your life into your own hands when you follow me down this evil path. If you would like to follow me further down the runny egg path, Croque Madame, Eggs in Cocotte and Ruffled Egg Cups are not to be missed.

Visit the post I did last year on the Coppell Farmers Market if you would like more information. It is one of the best in the region.

 

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