this photo is a mess even after i instagramed it…

I once dated a guy who never wanted me to cook breakfast.  Or anything really.  For a while I thought maybe it was because I was a bad cook? But I think cooking is one of the only talents I will never ever really question (please pardon my ego, but im just.that.good). I think he meant it as a way of being sweet: “no honey, I don’t want you to have to cook, let’s just order bagels”.  I later told him after we broke up that I actually don’t like bagels (truth). Yes yes, I know, I’m a terrible New Yorker. I only really crave bagels when I am out of New York actually.  Example: the second after I stepped off a train in Washington DC last week, I immediately craved a bagel!  I mostly crave the taste of a plain bagel that has canoodled with an everything bagel (I wonder if I could order that at Murray’s?)

What this guy didn’t understand was that cooking is the way I express my affection.  (Please wait while I take a mental note to remember “man allows me to cook them breakfast” as a necessity in future relationships.)  My dream would have been to cook breakfast while he put on the CBS News Sunday Morning (I love Charles Osgood), and then we sit in our pj’s sipping coffee out of giant mugs, and cheating to complete the nytimes crossword… Therefore, because most weekend mornings were spent with him ordering bagels I never mastered the art of “family breakfast” (However, bridal shower brunch for 50 women I have mastered).

But recently, after scouring my empty cabinets for something to eat, after I finished the last nibble of the Trader Joes pumpkin granola left over from Thanksgiving, I settled on continuing the breakfast theme.  Breakfast for dinner.  I read about people preparing breakfast for dinner constantly, but the concept was off-putting for me. My friend grumpy is constantly preparing breakfast for dinner, but for some reason it took me nearly 27 years to try it out myself (im weird).

What I learned was to how to poach an egg. Can you believe it?! I have never until that fateful night ever poached an egg! (Truth be told I had to call my mother a couple of years ago to confirm how to boil a potato).  It was much easier than I had anticipated, and I only over cooked it slightly.  And the best part about breakfast for dinner? Eating it with beer!

Now I only wish I could prepare this for someone special one sleepy Sunday morning, while my hair is still a.mess. and I’m still wearing my pajama socks, because he knows, I don’t like bagels. Any takers?

Crispy Polenta with Sauteed Cherry Tomatos, Poached Egg, and Parmesan Beschamel

(Adapted from thekitchn.com)

Crispy Polenta
18-ounce roll of cooked polenta
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Poached Eggs
2 to 6 fresh large eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Béchamel
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons of flour
milk… er…. Whatever you think is best
Parmesan cheese (to taste, depending on saltiness)

Tomatoes (can be prepared in advance)

  • Put tomatoes on baking sheet in oven set at 350 F.  lightly drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in oven until caramelized.

Crispy Polenta

  • Slice the polenta into about 10 slices, each about 1/2-inch thick. Pat each dry as thoroughly as you can.
  • Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium high heat. When it is quite hot (smoking) lay the polenta slices in the pan, carefully.
  • You can do 5 at a time; it’s best not to crowd the skillet. Cook the polenta for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until crispy.
  • Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Poached Eggs

  • Make as many poached eggs as you need to serve.  I would recommend smitten kitchen for those of you who also do not know how to poach an egg.

Béchamel:

  • Melt butter in skillet over medium high heat. When melted add the flour and stir frequently until combined and flour taste is gone (may become slightly brown)
  • Add milk and whisk until combined.
  • Whisk slowly and frequently until thickened.
  • Add parmesan cheese and mix until well combined.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

To Assemble
For each person you are serving, place two slices of fried polenta on the plate. Top with roasted tomatoes, and a poached egg or two. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and liberally ladle béchamel on top.

Eat and Enjoy!

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