Saturday, May 5, 2012

Swinophile



When my family was in New Orleans for the SEC tournament, we found this little gem of a restaurant, The Ruby Slipper, that was so good we ate there for breakfast two days in a row. The first day I was intrigued by a dish called Eggs Cochon. It sounded like eggs benedict, but instead of Canadian bacon, it included something called "pork debris". Hmmm. Not feeling adventurous, I opted for a traditional breakfast, complete with cheese grits. While that filled my belly, my mind kept going back to the pork debris, so on day two at the Ruby Slipper, I went all in. And it was amazing. A light breakfast it is not, but it was unmitigated deliciousness. Pork debris consists of the crispy bits of meat that fall off a pork roast and into the cooking liquids. And we've reached number 852 in the ways I love pork.

Fast forward to this morning, when I'm lying in bed, contemplating what I'm going to make for breakfast, a beloved lazy morning tradition in my household. And like a lucid dream, the eggs cochon came back to me. Now mind you, my options are a bit limited, as I still have one week before I can go back to the grocery. (Disclaimer: I made a chocolate pie for a friend's birthday, so I went last week for milk and eggs. But when Grandma's chocolate pie calls, you can't exactly let that go to voicemail.)

So I'm thinking of my pantry and fridge, and the different ways I could adapt the recipe. Pork? Check. Eggs? Check. Biscuits? Hmm. I am not a scratch biscuit maker. I have tried numerous times, but I always end up with hockey pucks. I still have some frozen corn, so my mind went to corn cakes. And that sounded downright magical. A star is born, and I'm calling it Juevos Benedictos.


Juevos Benedictos
Corn Cake: I simply followed the recipe on the back of the corn meal for cornbread. I prepared some fried corn, in my favorite method, but left off the lime juice. I mixed a couple tablespoons of corn with 1/4 cup of the batter and fried it into beautiful patties in my iron skillet.

Pork Debris: I used about 1/3 of my frozen pork butt leftovers. I reheated the shredded pork in a hot pan in canola oil until it got brown and crispy.

Eggs: I think poached would have been best, but I'm not an expert poacher, and I only have two eggs left. I wasn't about to risk losing one in a poaching accident, so I went with over easy.

Toppings: A sprinkle of paprika and salsa verde. This is where this dish could improve. I'm not a huge fan of Hollandaise sauce, so I didn't miss that, but I think some sour cream or Greek yogurt mixed in with the salsa verde would be a fantastic addition. And you can't go wrong with a sprig of cilantro.