Cooking w. Emma & Price: Brunch

Price Suddarth and Emma Love Suddarth with their dogs Op and Zuzu
Price Suddarth and Emma Love Suddarth with their dogs Op and Zuzu

COOKING WITH EMMA & PRICE

is a monthly PNB BLOG series featuring seasonal recipes by two of our very own dancers. I have grown to know this beautiful couple as the cookers of the company. Every weekend they are out at the Ballard Farmers’ Market picking the freshest ingredients and always finding the best recipes. I asked them to contribute a monthly entry to the PNB BLOG so you can get to know them better and see what dancers go to for fuel (and desserts!).

Here is the fourth of many exciting posts by Emma Love & Price Suddarth.

{See more recipes.}

 

 

 

 

BRUNCH.

 

I’m not sure if there’s a more alluring word in the English language for the Seattle food fanatic… Or one anywhere else for that matter.

This late morning-early afternoon meal, blending the delicious comforts of a big breakfast with the late waking requirements of lunch, has taken over the food scene far and wide.  Who wouldn’t want to sleep in and catch some extra zzzzzzs, then follow it up with sweet, maple-soaked pancakes, or savory, herbaceous egg dishes alongside their “morning” coffee?  I believe it’d be a challenge to find someone strongly opposed to it (except maybe my five-year-old nephew, who is rearing and ready for waffles at 7 am sharp).

Op. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.
Op. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.

Brunch just happens to be one of our favorite meals—both to go out to and to make at home.  There are innumerable popular brunch menus around Seattle—Portage Bay Café, Serious Biscuit, Toulouse Petit, Café Flora, 5 Spot, Bounty Kitchen, Revel, Morsel and Bean, Citizen.  The list is endless and the items are varied. 

Looking for sweet?  There’s oatmeal cobbler crusted French toast at Portage Bay.  Yep…. That’s a thing. 

Looking for savory?  There’s Dungeness crab and asparagus scramble at Toulouse. 

The restaurants are packed full every Saturday and Sunday—table after table filled with cheery families, awkward dates, business-y meetings, romantic outings, or laughing friends.  The ambiance is warm and friendly, only made sweeter by the overwhelming aroma of fresh coffee.  There’s one catch though, and they all share it in common.  Weekend brunch out might require a lengthy wait, so be prepared to pack your patience.

A possible fix?  Weekday versus weekend.  Brunch on a weekday feels how “brunch” seemingly ought to feel—slow paced.  The crowds are smaller, the restaurants are quieter, the mood is relaxed—it makes the “getting going for the day” easier.  While late brunch on a Monday, after a long weekend of performing, is a fairly regular occurrence for many at PNB, every six or so weeks would be a long time to go between such a wonderful “food experience.”  Sometimes it’s nice to have a quiet morning/afternoon at home, coffee mug in hand and sleeping dog at foot.  Subsequently, a regular brunch recipe has crept its way into our Sunday farmers’ market routine.

While waffles might top my list of favorite breakfasts, and French toast Price’s, there is one brunch we can agree on which also ranks high up there—egg “sandwiches” (open-faced totally counts).  Sounds broad.  They’re a blank slate, from which you can go almost any direction.  There’s the decadent that might pile them with fried chicken and gravy; there’s the classic that might stack them with bacon or sausage and little else; there’s the minimalist that might use solely avocado and a good tomato; there’s even the benedict/hollandaise route.  You can use a slice of toast, a croissant, an English muffin, a biscuit… the options are endless.  And what about the eggs?  Fried, poached, sunny-side up—however you like them will work.  I promise.  We’ve played with ours over the years, and, along with our farmers’ market discovery, discovered our personal favorite combination.

Shallots. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.
Shallots. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.

The egg is obviously a given.  Price is a master egg poacher (I swear it’s not the only reason I married him), and those jumbo farmers’ market fresh eggs just happen to be perfect for it.   Also, lucky for us, kale maintains a presence at the farmers’ market year-round.  And while heirloom tomatoes—a favorite—have their own specific season, we can always find some juicy tomato variety that will do the trick.  One more ingredient that we won’t do without?  The shallot.  It’s an incredibly versatile ingredient, and stays continuously stocked in our pantry.  They’re so delicate, yet so full of flavor—great raw in dressings or lightly sautéed to top many a dinner (salad, soup, pasta…).  They do make appearances at the farmers’ market from time to time; however, lucky for us, grocery stores keep them stocked year-round.

Biscuit. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.
Biscuit. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.

Ballard contains one more Sunday staple for us besides the market itself—Morsel and Bean.  Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits.  This tiny house-looking treasure has a line out the door (and more often than not around the corner) the minute it opens, rain or shine.  The staff has been there baking homemade buttermilk biscuits since 4 am, yet somehow still manage to be some of the friendliest, funniest, cheeriest folks around during the weekend rush.  I can distinctly remember a great conversation about the goonies one Sunday, filled with more laughs than I can say.  Lucky for us, they just happen to have a drive-through window that’s open part of the day.  While you can’t get everything on the menu there, it works for us, who just want to nab our biscuits and run home to pile them up with farmers’ market ingredients.  And the line is much, much shorter.  Did I mention how weekend brunches in Seattle require patience?

We are fortunate to have this spot to frequent, and if you have a local place to grab a few biscuits I would highly suggest it, but we’ve made these “breakfast sandwiches” with thick slices of toast, much simpler homemade biscuits (they may be their own post later…), or even blissfully easy English muffins.  They’ve always turned out tasty.  On top of that, they’ve continued to fuel my overwhelming desire for brunch…

Open-faced Biscuit Sandwich. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.
Open-faced Biscuit Sandwich. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.

Open-faced Biscuit Sandwich with Kale, Tomato, Shallot, and a Poached Egg

(serves 2-4)

INGREDIENTS:
  • biscuits—halved, slices of toast, English muffins—halved, etc.
  • smoked mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 1 large bunch kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 large shallots, halved and sliced into strips
  • 1 ½ tbs. white wine (or white cooking wine)
  • ¼  c. chicken broth (we use low sodium)
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • scant ½ c. apple cider vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • eggs
  • white distilled vinegar

 

DIRECTIONS:

For the kale:

  1. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan (we use a dutch oven) to medium.  Start with approximately 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil in the pan.
  2. Add sliced shallot and red pepper flakes and cook till browning, stirring on occasion.
  3. Deglaze pan with white wine.
  4. Once all the liquid is gone, add kale, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, about ½ c water, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Cover and let cook until kale has wilted and majority of liquid has been absorbed (about 15-20 minutes).
  6. Remove from heat, leave covered to keep it warm, and set aside.

For biscuits:

  1. Put sliced mozzarella on top of biscuits/toast/muffins and place in warmed oven till melted.
  2. Remove from oven, top each with a slice of tomato.

For the poached eggs:

  1. Fill tall-sided pan with 1-2 inches of water and a splash of white distilled vinegar.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Crack eggs individually into bowls for easier pouring.
  3. Once the water boils, remove from heat, gently pour eggs into the water, cover immediately, and let sit for 4 minutes (or until the whites appear set).
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the water.

To assemble:

  1. Place biscuit/toast/muffin with melted mozzarella and tomato on plate. 
  2. Place kale mixture on top, using a slotted spoon to let remaining liquid drain.
  3. Top with the poached eggs.

 

No one said anything against brunch for dinner either.

Open-faced Biscuit Sandwich. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.
Open-faced Biscuit Sandwich. Photo by Emma Love Suddarth.