Situation: Friends are coming over for an impromptu brunch, you have an hour to make breakfast, tidy up and make yourself look presentable. What do you? If you’re anything like me you’re more than prepared, don’t sweat at all and make it all look effortless – ha! I’m completely joking.
The reality of the situation is that I ran around in circles for ten minutes looking through all my cabinets, running menus through my head, deciding on Eggs Benedict than shaking my head for being a fool, pouring myself a mimosa for liquid courage and ultimately deciding in the classic pancake with a side of fancy potatoes. The fancy potatoes came from none other than the notable Jacque, who has become my faux grandfather, fairy chef-father or something of the sort. “Jacque, help me in my time of need!” I clicked my tongs together three times and opened up my food bible to reveal Potatoes Gateau.
Making pancakes from scratch is relatively stress-free but for an even speedier way – use the box and just add lemon zest and fresh chopped rosemary. These take boring pancakes to the next level. Top with Texas Pete Hot Sauce and you have yourself some damn good pancakes. That may have been passed on to me by my bestie chef friend Lauren who makes these for me often enough that I crave them weekly.
As for the potatoes, use Yukon Gold.
Heavy Whipping Cream
Boil the potatoes for 30-35 minutes until tender. This gave me time to make the pancake batter and have another mimosa. Once done, drain and let cool. I was impatient and so played hot potato for a hot minute until I could chop them up. I added them to the pan with butter and canola oil and cooked them lightly for 5 minutes. At this point you are supposed to mash them and smash them together in the pan and then place in the oven. Due to the time, I did that but not quite in the way Jacque would have wanted. I then took the pan and set them in the oven for 20 minutes. I decided brunch wouldn’t be brunch without eggs but instead of making them scrambled and playing with time trying to keep them warm, I made classic ouefes en cocotte. Using ramekins, you crack the egg inside, preferably rubbing the interior of the ramekin with butter but if you don’t, it’s ok too. Add salt, pepper, some smoked paprika, chives or herbs de provence and goat cheese or any cheese you would like. I made one with goat and the rest with feta, which works too. Pop them in the oven for just a few minutes as the center should remain slightly runny but if you prefer you eggs well done, you can leave it in a few moments longer.
I had just enough time to chop some fruit, pull the potatoes out of the oven, and add the heavy cream. Here is where you are supposed to flip the pan over into a round bowl to form the circular shape. I could not procure a round bowl so I used my white baking dish instead. I added the heavy cream and parmesan and put the dish back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.
Guests arrived. I had started heating the griddle on low so it was already warm. The whole thing took little effort and it all tasted great. The potatoes were the star (Thanks, Jacque), even if they weren’t exactly presented the traditional way.