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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Make breakfast a treat

Breakfast or brunch in New Orleans restaurants can be a real treat. More often than not, there is no need for lunch after one of these large morning meals. Recreating these first meal dishes are easy and very rewarding.

To bring the taste of New Orleans to your tables, I’m sharing two classic New Orleans breakfast dishes: Pain Perdu (French Toast) and Cajun Eggs Benedict. Both dishes are a great way to start your morning. They are packed with flavor and are sure to please your family. Let’s head to the kitchen.

Here is New Orleans version of French Toast. Pain Perdu translated to Lost Bread. This dish was a way to use up bread before it went stale. It’s best to use older bread, as it soaks up the custard better.

Pain Perdu

8 slices stale French bread sliced on a bias (angled) about

1½-inch thick

1 cup half and half

4 eggs beaten well

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Nutmeg and cinnamon to taste

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the half and half, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; mix thoroughly. Soak the slices of French bread in the custard mixture until they are thoroughly soaked. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the oil. When the butter-oil mixture is very hot, fry the soaked bread slices on both sides, until they are golden brown. Sprinkle powdered sugar on bread before serving.

Poached egg dishes are very prominent on New Orleans breakfast and brunch menus. The twist here is the use of andouille sausage in place of the Canadian bacon. For an added flavor, add some tasso to the hollandaise. It’s Cajun flavors at its finest.

Cajun Eggs Benedict

8 poached eggs

2 tablespoons butter, divided

8 4-inch links andouille sausage, sliced in half

4 English muffins split

Hollandaise Sauce (Recipe to Follow)

Heat oven to 200 ℉. Heat one tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add Andouille and cook for 6 minutes, 3 per side, until browned. Divide and toast muffins. Spread remaining butter on muffin halves. Place muffin halves in oven and keep warm.

To assemble:

Arrange 2 muffin halves on a plate. Top each half with 2 halves of Andouille. Top with eggs. Make sure to drain them well before plating them. Top with Hollandaise Sauce and serve immediately.

Poached Eggs

Fill a large deep skillet with water. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Break one egg in a small cup. Stir the water to create a whirlpool. Gently slip the egg into the center of the slowly boiling water. Repeat with remaining eggs, keeping track of the order the eggs are going in. Reduce heat; simmer eggs for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm near the yolk. Remove with slotted spoon in the order you put them in and place in a pan of ice water. Set aside.

If you need to reheat the eggs, fill deep skillet with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add eggs with slotted spoon and heat for a minute.

Hollandaise Sauce

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

2 sticks (1/2 pound) margarine

1 stick (1/4 pound) butter

1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melt margarine and butter over medium fire. Bring to a boil, remove from fire and allow to cool. Blend egg yolks, egg, vinegar, cayenne, white pepper, and lemon juice. With blender on, pour melted margarine/butter slowly into other ingredients. Blend to thick.

I find that these dishes are better served on the weekend. They can be filling and rich. Since many are on the go on those days, you’ll have plenty of things to do to burn off the extra calories. These recipes are worth it.

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Tracy Gray
Feb 12, 2023

Thank you for sharing these recipes. Cajun/Creole dishes are my favorite regional cuisine. I look forward to reading your blog each time one is posted!!

Tommy Centola
Tommy Centola
Feb 12, 2023
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