Cook the Book

Pastrami Benedict from 'The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home'

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[Photograph: Caren Alpert]

Eggs Benedict is not something I would normally make at home. I usually prefer to let the experts whisk hollandaise and poach eggs for me. But Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman's latke-based, pastrami-topped rendition in The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home was too tempting to pass up. Because Zukin and Zusman call for a blender hollandaise sauce (a seriously great technique), the Benedict itself is easy to put together—provided you're not nervous about poaching eggs (and you shouldn't be because we have a foolproof method for poaching eggs). And if you've got extra latkes laying around from, say, a Thankgivukkah or Hanukkah dinner the night before, it's even easier.

Why I picked this recipe: I had to try making eggs Benedict at home at some point, so why not start with this twisted Jewish deli version?

What worked: Somebody should start a campaign to have pastrami permanently replace Canadian bacon on eggs Benedict everywhere.

What didn't: As written, the hollandaise is very thick. I needed to add a few tablespoons of water to make it into a spoonable sauce.

Suggested tweaks: If you really want to DIY this, make your own pastrami first.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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