AS PROUD AS I MAY of my very remedial cooking skills, I am fully aware I will never be on Top Chef or on any of those pop cooking shows that feature real chefs and cooks who have years of kitchen experience and/or culinary instruction. But I do value my creative instincts when it comes to putting many of my dishes together. And having just bought some new plates from Crate & Barrel, I couldn't wait to christen them with something worthy of my present food prep knowledge, the festiveness of the holidays, and the curiosity of you, my PHUDE fans and supporters.

So after finally having enough coin to indulge my culinary whims, this morning, I present to you a recipe that has been knocking around in my head for a couple of months: Eggs Alaric!

Simply, I chopped some bacon and rendered its fat in a skillet. I cut two slices from a baguette, slightly toast them, and brush them lightly with the bacon fat.

I mixed some chopped fresh dill with some goat cheese and spooned that on top of each piece of toast. I sliced two sections of Scottish smoked salmon and place them on top of the dill goat cheese.

I put some regular butter and some truffle butter in a glass bowl and placed the bowl in a high skillet half filled with water over low heat. I squeezed half a lime worth of juice into the butter and slowly stir in one egg yolk until the mixture became a nice sauce consistency.

I fried two egg yolks (with some residual egg white still on them) sunny side up in another skillet. I placed the warmed egg yolks on top of the smoked salmon, spooned some of the truffled hollandaise on top of the egg yolks, and garnished each with a small sprig of fresh dill and the end-of-a-spoon-tipful of black lumpfish caviar.

I tossed some baby arugula with salt, fresh cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a tablespoon of orange. I placed the egg toasts on one of my new plates with the arugula salad and the now crispy bacon bits.

I then wondered what Padma would think.








And here, of course, the obligatory "first bite" shot....


With no pretense of objectivity, this was the best breakfast I have ever had! Or, at least, that I've ever made. Chock full of all the things I love (truffles, bacon, goat cheese), with all the tastes that I like (salty bacon and caviar, sweet OJ, peppery arugula, umami truffle, sour dill, and acidic vinegar), all the texture (crunchy bread, soft yolk, crispy arugula, smooth goat cheese) and temperatures (hot bacon, cool greens, room temp goat cheese, etc.); this dish hit on all cylinders, which was the intent.

I now wonder if this dish, Eggs Alaric, would be worthy of Top Chef, or if Padma would have been impressed to tell me I had just won a challenge with this dish. I'd be happy if she just said my name.

Say my name, Padma, say my name...! :)

Bun Apple Tea!