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Eat and Drink

Make a restaurant-style brunch at home! (With help from Williamsburg's Egg)

Long lines, rumbling stomachs, undercaffeinated personalities -- waiting in line for a New York brunch isn't easy. Combine the two-hour wait for eggs and bacon with pretty much every stereotypical New Yorker and you'll be ready to chug down several mimosas by the time you finally get a table.

While weekend brunch in NYC is definitely a tradition for the ages, take a break and chill out at home with a restaurant-style brunch in the comfort of your waitlist-free apartment.

Owner George Weld and Chef Evan Hanczor of Williamsburg's Egg (109 N. 3rd St.) --notorious for weekend lines and their ridiculously yummy Southern dishes-- debuted 'Breakfast: Recipes to Wake up For' this week, with 200 pages of reasons for New Yorkers to slow down and enjoy their morning meal.

"The most important part of breakfast is knowing how to cook an egg properly," says Hanczor of his restaurant's namesake ingredient. "Once you can do that, you can do anything."

Take a breath, crack an egg and learn to make a restaurant-worthy brunch with no wait, no bill and as much bacon as you can handle.

Every good breakfast starts with eggs

Hanczor recommends buying eggs from the farmers' market,
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Hanczor recommends buying eggs from the farmers' market, as the freshest, freest chickens result in the most flavorful eggs. Look for stands that sell eggs along with other produce, meaning they have fewer chickens on the farm and the chickens probably eat tasty food scraps and wander freely!

When making eggs, Hanczor also always cracks the eggs into a separate container, and then transfers them to the pot -- always on low heat!

Restaurant-style eggs cook slowly, over low heat

For sunny-side up eggs, you'll want to heat
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

For sunny-side up eggs, you'll want to heat your pan and add some grease, try clarified butter or bacon fat (which you can reserve after cooking bacon on a baking try or a pan -- we'll get to that).

Then, pour the eggs into the pre-heated pan -- and don't mess with them! Hanczor says this biggest problem home cooks run into with eggs is trying to do fancy tricks or some type of shortcut. Just stick to simple.

The eggs will take approximately five minutes to cook.

As the outsides start to whiten, you can
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

As the outsides start to whiten, you can cover the pan, but leave the heat low! If your oven is hot from making bacon, you can also slide a cast iron skillet into the oven to finish the cooking process -- just watch to make sure the yolk still looks runny!

When the whites are set, slide the egg onto a plate

That's it -- no spatula needed! Seriously, the
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

That's it -- no spatula needed! Seriously, the less touching, the better. Season with salt and pepper if you wish...

You'll probably want some biscuits with those eggs...

And yes, you can poach eggs just
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

And yes, you can poach eggs just as easily too! Just add eggs to almost-boiling water with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (no salt!) and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Remove one at a time with a slotted spoon and set on a plate to drain.

Here's what you'll need to make 18 biscuits (you can freeze the dough and bake as needed!):

3 1/4 cups pastry flour

2 cups bleached all-purpose flour

3 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp turbinado sugar

6 oz cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups soured milk (to sour, add 2 1/2 tbsb apple cider vinegar to 2 3/8 cups milk)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar and blend well.

Toss the butter pieces into the flour and blend well with your fingers—you’ll squeeze and pinch the butter into the flour until it’s well mixed and no piece of butter is larger than the fingernail on your smallest finger. The flour should resemble cornmeal. you want to do this step as quickly as possible so the butter does not begin to melt, but be thorough. Getting the butter right is your best hedge against tough biscuits!

Add 2 1/4 cups of the soured milk to the flour and butter.

Working quickly, mix the milk in with a
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Working quickly, mix the milk in with a rubber spatula, mixing only until the dough begins to hold together. If the mix seems dry, add the last 1/4 cup of milk.

Dump the dough onto a floured work surface

Gather it together and pat briefly to flatten.
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Gather it together and pat briefly to flatten.

Fold the dough over itself three or four times

You want to see layers of flaky dough
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

You want to see layers of flaky dough and butter. Pat into a rough rectangle about 1 1/2-inch thick, make sure the dough isn't sticking to the table!

Dip a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or similar size cup) in a little flour

Press into dough. Lift the cut biscuit out
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Press into dough. Lift the cut biscuit out without twisting the cutter and place on a well-buttered baking sheet. Biscuits should be almost touching. brush tops lightly with soured milk. Repeat until you’ve used all of the dough.

If you'd prefer, you can also cut the dough into rectangles, ensuring you use all the dough and saving some time!

Bake for 15–20 minutes...

...until the biscuits are golden, well risen and
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

...until the biscuits are golden, well risen and light. If they feel wet or heavy, bake them longer. If you want to wake up to fresh biscuits every morning, freeze the dough rounds and bake them to eat. Alternatively, you can heat a day0old viscuid in a warm oven or toaster oven.

It's gravy time!

You'll need: 2-4 sausage patties or 1-2
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

You'll need:

2-4 sausage patties or 1-2 large links or 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms

1 tsp flour

2 cups milk

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Cayenne pepper

Heat a small or medium stainless steel sauté pan over medium-high heat --don't use a nonstick pan for this recipe. When the pan is hot (test it with a small piece of sausage—it should sizzle right away), add the sausage all at once. Use a wooden spatula or spoon to mash the sausage down on the pan while breaking it up into chunks (or bite-size pieces). Brown the sausage and get a little of it to stick to the pan to create what fancier cooks call a “fond.” When the sausage is nicely browned (but not necessarily cooked through), about 5 minutes, you should see three things: well-browned chunks of sausage, a nicely browned residue on the bottom of the pan, and some rendered fat. (If there’s not much rendered fat, you can add a little vegetable oil or bacon fat.) For vegetarian gravy, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a steel or cast-iron pan until it is hot enough that when you put a mushroom in it, it sizzles immediately. Add all of the mushrooms to the pan and stir so they are coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and a grind or two of black pepper and cook undisturbed until they're well-browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Then turn to cook further on the other side. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, stirring it into the fat. Cook the flour in the rendered fat and sausage/mushrooms for a minute, turning down the heat if necessary to keep the flour and pan residue from burning. Pour milk into the pan, being careful not to splash. Use the end of the spatula to scrape the residue from the bottom of the pan, then stir the cooked flour, the deglazed fond and the sausage/mushrooms together. Bring the gravy to a boil, lower the heat and cook until it thickens, about 8 minutes. When it’s ready, gravy will be the thickness of heavy cream.

Split your biscuits and arrange in shallow bowls.
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Split your biscuits and arrange in shallow bowls. Taste the gravy and add salt, ground black pepper and cayenne to taste. Pour gravy over the biscuits and serve immediately. Some people like eggs on top, while others, like egg owner George Weld, think that too much of a good thing is not always as good.

It's brunch time!

Along with your eggs and biscuits, you'll probably
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Along with your eggs and biscuits, you'll probably want some bacon (and coffee). At egg, the bacon is served candied, but Hanczor recommends cooking bacon in the oven for ease and crispness! Simply heat your oven 400 degrees, line a tray with foil, and cook bacon for 15-20 minutes, checking for crispiness-- just don't overcook and let it burn! Voila, brunch!

And for a sweet finale: sweet tea!

A Southern staple, skip the orange juice and
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

A Southern staple, skip the orange juice and enjoy an ice cold glass of sweet tea with, or after, your brunch.

You'll need:

8 bags black tea

2/3 cup white sugar

1 quart water ice

Put tea bags and white sugar in a heat-proof container that can accommodate 2 quarts of liquid.

Boil 1 quart of water and pour over the tea and sugar combination. Stir briefly and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Discard teabags. Add enough ice to bring the level of the tea up to 2 quarts.

Cheers!

All recipes adapted from 'breakfast: recipes to wake up for' by George Weld and Evan Hanczor.

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