I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it explicitly, but we have some pretty outstanding neighbors. Monthly happy hour, meet-ups at the neighborhood bar, impromptu wine/beer/whiskey on the patio/front porch/street… and now we can add “friendly knock down drag out no holds barred potluck brunch” to the mix. We were invited over to our neighbor’s house along with another couple to flex our brunching muscles.
Some of the key details included coming up with a team name (Team Vicious and Delicious), voting on: taste, creativity, presentation, and “bonus points”, and adhering to the theme: Cracker Barrel Chic. Yep. With about 10 days to prep, there was a lot of menu planning and email trash talk going on. But ultimately it came down to the food, so here’s a recap of how things went down.
Note: Due to the obscene number of photos I took documenting our epic brunch, I’ve tried to reduce the length of this page by creating gifs, slideshows, and self control.
Though our original plan was to keep it simple and make some of Jeff‘s epic biscuits and a variety of jams, that idea was squashed when someone else said they were making biscuits. Things escalated quickly and we went from “biscuits and jam” to “waffles two ways” that included six components. And we made some iced coffee for everyone for good measure.
First and certainly foremost, I decided now was the time to try Fried and True‘s chocolate covered candied bacon. The recipe is in Trailer Food Diaries Volume 3 and surprisingly simple to make. Rather than drone on for 6000 words about it, here’s a step-by-step gif!
Which, when topped with sea salt, ended up like this:
To avoid any game time disasters, I tested the recipe earlier in the week with resounding success. But we couldn’t just put that bacon on a plate… well I suppose we could have… so I tested out an overnight yeast waffle recipe, but it didn’t really hit the mark. Instead I grabbed this classic Belgian Waffle recipe to act as the base for half of our waffle duo.
And what’s a big, sweet waffle without syrup? So obviously we made
Maple Bacon Coffee Whiskey Syrup. You read that correctly. The process: add maple syrup, cooked bacon, coffee grounds, and whiskey to a sauce pan, simmer for a few minutes, and go into a diabetic, drunken, caffeinated meat coma.
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Let’s just say this was poured over just about everything. (Recipe in the comments)
Now, on the other side of the waffle duo we went a little less traditional. The waffle itself was really a “waffle” in shape alone. What we actually made was a hashbrown waffle, which was nothing more than shredded potatoes and an egg to hold it together.
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On top of the waffle we placed some thick peppered bacon and a 63° Sous Vide egg. I let the eggs cook at 63 degrees Celsius for about 90 minutes to get an oozy, luxurious yolk to slowly pour down onto the “waffle”.
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And like I said, we made some cold brew iced coffee to wash it all down. Recognize this?
So now we can finally get to the brunch itself! Competing against Team Vicious and Delicious we had Team Ambitious and Capricious and the home team, Team Tasty Palooza.
While it’s fresh in your mind, here’s what Team Vicious and Delicious brought to the party. On one side, a hashbrown waffle topped with thick-cut peppered bacon and a 63° egg, and on the other is a Belgian waffle topped with chocolate candied bacon and that syrup.
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As for Team Ambitious and Capricious, they whipped up a homemade biscuit sandwich filled with deep fried cheese curds (straight from Wisconsin #gopackgo), a bacon-studded fried mashed potato patty, tomato-jalapeño jam, and topped with a fried quail egg. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Stiff competition!
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And the home team, Team Tasty Palooza, actually put together two dishes to hedge their bets, but it was their “Ben’s Benedict” that got my vote for best dish. A poached egg on top of an English muffin with homemade basil pesto, an oven-roasted tomato, habanero Gouda, and roasted red pepper-saffron Hollandaise. Come. On. And then they also made a pancake filled with sausage and topped with salted caramel sauce. But that Benedict. Ugh.
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And with competition this fierce, of course there was a trophy on the line: The Golden Pepper Mill! The final winner was Team Tasty Palooza!
We had an incredible time planning, prepping, trash talking, and eating. There’s talk of a rematch brewing already and Team Vicious and Delicious will be there. And that trophy will be ours. Oh yes, it will be ours.
4 thoughts on “Brunch with Team Vicious and Delicious”
I think that a requirement for brunch competitions is that all recipes be included so your readers can enjoy 🙂
I’m happy to oblige! I tried to link to recipes where I could / recipes exist.
As for the syrup (the one that really matters), here’s what I did:
Maple Bacon Coffee Whiskey Syrup
12oz maple syrup
1oz whiskey (i used rye)
1.5 tsp ground coffee
8oz cooked, crisp bacon (i think i went light on the 8oz)
Simmer a few minutes, cover for a bit, bottle and eat.
My-Brain-On-Drugs Breakfast Biscuit Sliders
This fluffy, crunchy, gooey breakfast sandwich will leave you craving another. Once you give in to the urge and eat your second, it’ll leave you curled on the couch for a long nap with a smile on your face. Fair warning: don’t prepare and eat these sliders if you have big midday plans.
You’ll start with some freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, slather on some spicy+sweet+savory tomato jalapeño jam, gently lay down a pan-fried bacon-infused mashed potato patty, pile on a few deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds, and top it off with a sunny-side-up quail egg. Don’t forget to add some jam to the other half of your biscuit before squashing it all together and gettin’ busy.
• Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits – use your favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe (no cutting corners here; leave the Dough Boy at the store). We used this one, but they didn’t rise very much, so wouldn’t recommend it: http://www.southernliving.com/food/how-to/our-best-buttermilk-biscuits – then again, it probably isn’t the recipe’s fault, considering that I have no idea how to bake.
• Jam. So easy. Used a variation of this recipe: http://www.everydaysouthwest.com/recipes/tomato-jalapeno-jam-recipe/
– Used a bit of powdered ginger instead of fresh because fresh ginger makes me sick
– Used more jalapeños because more jalapeños is always better than fewer jalapeños
– Used half the garlic because I don’t want garlicky jam, ever
– Bake a couple of potatoes (don’t boil, they’ll be too wet), then mash with salt, pepper, and milk or cream.
– 4 slices extra-crispy bacon, plus bacon grease
– Canola oil
Crumble bacon to small bits, then combine along with the bacon grease into the mashed potatoes. Heat canola oil in frying pan, then form mixture into patties, and fry in pan – suggest medium to medium-high heat, you want them sizzling but don’t want them to cook too fast. Don’t try to flip them too early or they will fall apart. Let them crisp up fully on the first side before gently flipping them and crisping the other side.
• Fried Cheese Curds:
We used this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/real-wisconsin-fried-cheese-curds/ and it worked out great. We’ve eaten our fair share of fried cheese curds and these definitely hang with the best of them. Make sure you cook them long enough to get some crunch in the batter. Cannot be made ahead of time, must be made on-the-spot and put directly onto the sliders.
• Fried Quail Eggs:
Same pan used for potato patties but make sure it’s not super hot, just crack in the quail eggs and cook until nicely browned on the bottom. Tip 1: Quail eggs aren’t easy to find. Whole Foods says they don’t even stock them b/c they can’t find a good source. Central Market says they stock them in the deli, but you have to call ahead of time and make them go physically look and verify how many they have in stock, because they often run out. Between the two Central Market locations in Austin, at least one usually has enough. Tip 2: Quail eggs are a little tricky to crack – they have a tough film just under the shell that is hard to break with your fingers. I suggest using a small, sharp knife run about half way around the egg through the film, being extremely careful not to puncture the yolk. Then, crack the egg straight into the pan. These little rascals are so great, worth the hassle.
To assemble: Slice biscuit, slather both sides with the jam, then lay on a potato patty. Stack cheese curds on top of the patty, and gently lay a sunny side up quail egg. Sprinkle with sea salt, and serve with the other half of the biscuit leaning against the side so the eater can squash it down right before eating. If your competitor just served Ben’s Benedict with saffron hollandaise sauce, go steal the rest of the sauce and dip your breakfast sandwich in it.
YES! Thanks for sharing everything! Especially the jayum 🙂