Chrissy Summers, Dartmouth, NS
By Alain Bossé
Food photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire
Chrissy Summers from Dartmouth, NS has a very hectic schedule. When she’s not working at her job as office manager for an IT company, she’s doing consulting work for a company that she owns with her partner.
Several years ago, Chrissy realized that she needed a hobby that was just for her—something that wasn’t work related but that she did just for the sheer enjoyment of doing it—and cooking fit the bill perfectly.
Twelve years ago she was diagnosed with celiac disease and made the decision to begin experimenting more in the kitchen. She was not content settling for average foods that would placate her disease but leaving her feel less than satisfied. She knew that with a little experimentation she could still enjoy delicious food and live a life free from pain—it didn’t have to be one or the other.
One of Chrissy’s favourite pastimes is cooking breakfast, and two of her favourite meals are eggs benedict and any type of breakfast skillet. This recipe was born when she combined the two of them into one delicious dish. In fact she says that mashups are her favourite type of experimentation in the kitchen, combining ingredients that one would necessarily think of putting together with an end result of a flavour explosion. That description sums up this dish perfectly.
4 Polish sausages, diced
3 cups (750 mL) breakfast home fries
1 red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) spinach
1 cup (250 mL) cheese curds, divided
2 tbsp (30 mL) white vinegar
4 large eggs, poached
2 cups (500 mL) Hollandaise sauce (prepare recipe below or use packets)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 egg yolks
¼ lemon, juiced
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup (50 mL) butter, melted
Add diced sausage to a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly browned (flipping once). Add breakfast home fries and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Next add onion and red pepper, cooking for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Turn down heat and toss on the spinach to cook until just slightly wilted. Simmer/keep warm until ready to serve.
Note: I don’t use oil as the sausage provides enough naturally so the rest of the ingredients don’t stick, but you can add 1 tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil if necessary.
While the skillet is cooking, fill another pan with just enough water to cover an egg, about 2-3 inches. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) white vinegar and stir. Bring to a boil and give it a small stir in a clockwise direction creating a whirlpool effect. In small prep bowls, break each egg and slowly drop into boiling water. Shut off heat. Poach eggs for 4 minutes. Once complete, use a large strainer spoon or slotted spoon to remove eggs from pot onto paper towel.
Beat egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Slowly stream melted butter into the egg yolk mixture while whisking to incorporate. Heat in microwave for 15 to 20 seconds; whisk.
Assembly: Scoop out skillet on to plate, add cheese curds, poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Season with pepper to taste and enjoy!