The Perfect Brunch

The first week back in New York after India is always awful. I am not talking about jet lag. I am talking about missing it here. Missing it like crazy. Missing it so much that there are days that getting out of bed seems almost impossible because what I really want to do all day is look at back-logged photos on Facebook and imagine what I would be doing if I were there at that moment. Come on, give me a break! If you had just hung out with these four for three weeks what would you wanna do? Get up and go out in an ugly mix of snow, rain and sleet that has covered most of the country for, oh, I don’t know, AN ETERNITY IT FEELS LIKE to your stressful/boring day job or curl up in bed with a cup of freshly brewed chai and your laptop, greedily waiting for the next picture, comment or like so that you can profess again and again how much you love and miss SRA. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

And on top of everything the Boyfriend leaves for a week bound for a Caribbean cruise with his family…I am blowing this popsicle stand!

So I escaped to Northampton, MA into the warm and loving home of IPL and Matt for a weekend of good cooking, Scrabble, Wii, chatting with old childhood friends via video chat and icicle breaking. Between buying Girl Scout cookies, making Valentine’s and yogurt and eating Herrell’s ice cream in the dead of winter, Matt managed to whip up some amazing meals. I have included the recipe below for an old favorite jazzed up Matt-style – Eggs in a Frame (or Hole, Basket, Blanket, etc). Please don’t be a fool and delay making this recipe. It will enhance your whole weekend experience and make India (almost) a distant memory for the 25 minutes it takes you to enjoy it.

IPL and Matt’s Perfect Eggs in a Frame

Serves 4

1 large onion, sliced thinly

4 1.5 inch thick bread slices from an artisan or homemade loaf of bread

4 eggs, preferably organic

4 oz fresh goat cheese **not pre-crumbled

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

6 cups mixed greens

1 tbs lemon juice

5 tbs olive oil, separated

salt and pepper

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs oil over medium low heat. Add sliced onions and begin to “sweat” the onions so that they release some of their liquid but do not turn brown. Continue for about 10 minutes, stirring once. After 10 minutes, turn the heat up to medium high and begin to brown the onions until they reach a nice caramel color, about 7 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and reserve for serving.

In the meantime, cut out a football-shaped piece out of all four slices of bread. Depending on the size and shape of your loaf this piece should be roughly two inches wide by one inch tall. In a large bowl combine lemon juice, one tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and whisk or stir vigorously with a fork for 30 seconds. Add mixed greens and toss gently with clean hands or tongs. Divide equally onto 4 plates.

When the skillet is freed of the onions, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, allow to heat, then add two pieces of bread. Make sure that both pieces of bread can lay flat on the bottom of the skillet. Crack an egg into each of the holes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for two minutes. Using a spatula gently flip one piece of bread at a time, allowing to cook two minutes on the other side. When the egg has reached your desired done-ness, transfer one piece of bread atop the salad mound on each plate and repeat process with remaining two pieces of bread.

To serve sprinkle onions, goat cheese and olives evenly among the four plates and get your hands out of the way before you are speared with the fork of your hungry companion.

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