I always get a ton of food wishes this time of year for
creative brunch ideas, and I was thinking about doing some new type of eggs Benedict, when I happened to see a photo of a Monte Cristo sandwich. At first,
it just made me want a Monte Cristo sandwich, but after that wore off, I
started thinking about how I’d seen these topped with fried eggs before.
Long story short, I decided to simply make an open-faced
version of the famous stuffed sandwich, and top it with poached eggs, and
hopefully a new American brunch classic was born. Of course, I’ll let you decide, but there was nothing I didn’t
love about this plate of food. Okay, the salad was kind of phoned in, but the rest was awesome.
The base is a variation of our famous Restaurant Style French Toast recipe, which marries perfectly with the ham, cheddar and havarti.
It was so tasty you really don’t even need the poached eggs. Actually, forget I
said that. Do the eggs. If only so you can pop those yolks, and watch them run.
Besides the eating, that has to be the best part.
I’ve also re-posted a poached eggs demo below, since
poaching your eggs ahead of time is the only way to go, especially if you have
a larger group. By the way, you can hold the Monte Cristo bases in a warm oven while
you pull the rest of the meal together. I hope you give this new Benedict a try
Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 large eggs
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
4 thick slices of French bread
1 tbsp butter
8 slices ham
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 slices havarti cheese
8 poached eggs
chive to garnish
How to Poach Eggs
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When I was asked to take part in a special holiday YouTube
playlist called, “Christmas Morning Breakfast,” I started thinking about
seasonal variation on things like eggs benedict, quiche, and French toast. But
then I realized…you can’t wrap those things up and give them as an edible gift,
so I decided to do this granola instead.
We’ve covered the edible gift topic before, and discussed
the fine line between, “Wow, what a creative and thoughtful gift!” and “Wow,
what a cheapskate!” Happily, when it comes to this delicious, crunchy treat,
one taste and the lucky recipient will forget about any ulterior economic
Since this was a Christmas-themed recipe, I went with lots
of festively colored dried fruit, but the beauty of the granola technique is
that it pretty much works with anything. I love the looks of the green pumpkin
seeds, but things like hazelnuts and pecans would also work wonderfully.
As I mentioned in the video, it’s really up to you to
determine the cooking time. I tend to like mine just golden-brown, but many
enjoy the deeper, nuttier flavor of a longer roasting. Since you are pulling
and tossing every 10 minutes, this is pretty easy to monitor, but just be
careful towards the end, as it can get bitter if you go too far.
Anyway, whether this is for a quick and easy holiday
breakfast, with milk or over Greek yogurt; or you are going to package some up
as a stocking stuffer for the foodies in your life, I hope you give this a try
Ingredients for about 6 cups of Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (pure coconut, not candied)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped candy covered chocolate pieces (like M&M’s)
1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped
1 cup mixed dried fruit (any combo of cranberries, cherries,
strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
*Bake at 325 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes or until browned.
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