Monday, November 20, 2017

Brunch is a Philosophy

Eggs benedict bacon eggsWhy is brunch so cool? At first, the small French side of my brain thought it was a way to up-sell a silly late breakfast to people who were too lazy to wake up in time. But then I realized, when I’m not working… I am one of those people. And yes! It’s so amazing to be able to just wake up at any time, especially super hungover from all the partying, and know that you can go to that restaurant, bar or cafeteria you love so much, and order a yummy “more than just breakfast" kinda dish.


We all love to hang out with our friends and sit at a good table and talk about the latest gossip to catch up. And brunch is the perfect time for that. There’s something about having a meal that combines the simple soft morning wake-up tastes with the more elaborate and savory ingredients of lunch, while sharing your hottest stories with friends, gossiping, bragging about your conquests, talking about dogs, making jokes, checking out if is a swell coming, and whatever else is on your mind.
And since brunch really has no rules, you can even get started by getting a little boozie around 10am 0r 11am with no one misjudging you! So either keep the party going, kill the hangover, or get the party started… brunch is the perfect excuse.

What makes brunch ultimately awesome is also the location!! You want to find a place that’s relaxed, has good vibes and provides you with some eye-candy. You can’t complain about a nice ocean view, a couple of sea grape trees and a backdrop full of kites. And that’s what we’ve got at Vacabar, at Kite Beach. It’s a place where I take one day a week and worship brunch!

brunch vacabar cabareteFor me brunch is cool because it’s like putting colors together. Every Sunday, I have my blank chalkboard and all those ingredients to create something tasty and beautiful. I love that in brunch I can bend the rules of normal recipes and turn a simple egg dish into a monster burger with lots of spices and caramelized onions. Or bring waffles with maple syrup and combine them with crispy bacon and rum passion fruit coulis. And through Vacabar I can share my recipes.

I’m not the only one who loves a no-rules brunch. Some people start off with a dessert as a starter, others order everything in one go. Some people see it as eating to save up time by skipping either lunch or breakfast, and others see it as a time killing thing to do. Either at home, or in a restaurant, it’s fun and you never do it alone. It feels like it’s an excuse to eat a lot and drink early in the morning, but all in all it’s what it is: It’s brunch! it’s breakfast and lunch, together…

Ok ok!!! I know I sound like I'm “brunch’s number one fan”. But honestly, I would never have thought that at the beginning of my career as a bar/restaurant owner that I would have started serving brunch at my bar one day. Yet here I am, letting go of my brunch feelings. I think they were locked up in me, and got woken up with a simple call, and out came amazing brunch skills I never knew I had! And don’t get me wrong… There is a part of me that thinks brunch might be a type of virus trend that is just spreading all over the world. But I like that though. And I am always excited to go visit a new place for brunch!!

So, see you next Sunday for brunch?
Or maybe stay home and try out one of my favorite brunch dishes!

brunch vacabar cabarete

Eggs Benedict. Here we go!

First of all, you will need to know how to make the Hollandaise sauce. My secret is once it’s prepared; I add a splash of Sriracha and a tea spoon of lime zest with fresh crushed pepper. Got it? If you don’t have Sriracha, use ….. a wake-up call!! What kind of human are you? Add it on your next shopping list, it’s the bomb hot sauce, nice and flavorsome and not too hot!

You’ll need a pot with hot water with a steel bowl that fits right on top, and a magical whisk to make it happen.

4 big egg yolks
1 table spoon of lime juice
1/2 cup of melted butter

ingredients egg lime salt pepper hot chili sause

1. Make sure your steel bowl is secured over the hot water, add the egg yolks and the lime juice and whisk vigorously. Make sure it’s not too hot or you’ll be making lime scrambled eggs.

2. Slowly add the melted butter in, as if you’re drizzling it in.

Eggs benedict
3. Whisk it until the texture becomes creamy, almost doubling in size.

Eggs benedict
4. Once that’s done, cover and set it aside. Don't forget to add the Sriracha and lime zest ;).

Now you need to choose the type of bread to use as a base. It’s normally done with English muffins, but here in Cabarete they are hard to get. Sometimes at La Pola in Sosua they surprise us with their presence.

But if you don't have them, don’t worry, use whatever rocks your boat. With brioche bread it’s really nice and gives this brunchie taste to the whole recipe (sweet and savory), or use small pretzel bread if you like, or even regular toast. So whatever bread you get, get it nicely toasted.

Eggs benedict bread

What to have with the eggs
Then you need to choose your special ingredient that’s going to combine the eggs with the bread and make it taste amazing! I always do bacon and avocado. My favorite. Other options are ham, fresh spinach, tomato and mozzarella, fresh tuna, crab cakes, sausages, a whole steak if you’d like to… Whatever works! In my case, cook bacon crispy, keep it aside on absorbent paper, and peel 1/4 of avocado and cut in slices and keep it aside.

Eggs benedict breadEggs benedict bacon

The eggs
Then you need to get your eggs ready. Start by boiling water with 1/8 cup of white vinegar in a sauce pan. Bring it to a soft boil. Break eggs separately in little bowls. If it’s your first time this will help. Use a spoon with holes to move the boiling water in a circular motion. Once the motion is on, gently throw your egg in the water, and then the other. The vinegar will help make sure that the egg will poach nicely. I move the water so that the egg has a nicer shape as it poaches. But you could just well just throw the egg in while the water is still. Cook on low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Eggs benedictEggs benedict

Meanwhile, make sure your bread is toasted, your bacon is put on top of the bread with your extra slices of avocado on a nice plate. With that spoon with holes, which is called a slotted spoon (new kitchen word for some of us today) gently take the egg out of the water as if it was a Baby Jesus. You want the egg to be perfectly cooked: runny on the inside and hard enough to hold it together while you place it on top of your toast with all the good stuff. Careful though, bacon can be a pokey bastard, and break your egg. That would be sad!! Especially if it’s your first time.

Eggs benedict baconEggs benedict bacon eggs

The final touch
Once all is put together, go to your happy home-made Hollandaise sauce, and whisk it one last time, if it got too thick as it cooled down, add a little drop of water while you reheat it smoothly. When ready, add the sauce on top of your preparation and make sure to sprinkle some color on it to make it look good. Best combination would be cayenne pepper, or smokey paprika.
You can serve those with sautéd potatoes, hash brownies, fruits or my favorite: grilled veggies.

Eggs benedict bacon eggs

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