Eggs Modenese with Tomato Hollandaise & Spinach

Ouvo ModeneseThis past Sunday Reed and I went back to our favorite brunch spot Locanda Verde. I hate what I do there now. I always order the same thing. Its such a boring habit but their Ouvo Modenese (poached eggs over cotechino hash, spinach with tomato hollandaise) is just so tasty I can’t help it.

Locanda Verde's Spring Flowers

Locanda Verde's Spring Flowers

Locanda Verde

Reed was just as bad as me, he ordered the pancakes with lemon curd and fresh blueberries which he’s probably had at least ten times.  We shared the delicious fresh sheep’s milk ricotta with burnt orange toast that I already posted about. Such a good brunch!

To make it even better we scored an outside table. Here’s to getting there early and by early I mean 10:00am (I’m not a morning person).  Brunch doesn’t really get going there until 11:00am but then you have to wait forever for a table.

Ricotta with Burnt Orange Toast

Fresh Ricotta with Burnt Orange Toast

Brunch at Locanda VerdeAll this week I’ve been trying to find this very particular sausage, called cotechino sausage that Locanda Verde uses in their Ouvo Modenese with Tomato Hollandaise and Spinach. Cotechino sausage originally came from Modena, Italy and is a fresh pork sausage seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It might sound like odd seasonings for a sausage but the spices are just background flavor creating a creamy mild pork deliciousness.

I didn’t have any luck finding the sausage so instead I opted to make my own- well sort of I’m not that DIY – I purchased  a mild plain Jane pork sausage and added the spices too it which was much better than running all over the city in search of cotechino sausage.

Ingredients for Eggs Modenese

Messy Tomato Hollandise Blender & Sausage with Spices

A messy blender after making tomato hollandaise & sausage with spices before blending

I made the hollandaise sauce the easy way, in a blender. I wrote the recipe for two servings but I was making it just for me so please note that the quantities in the pictures are for one serving (granted a big serving) except for the hollandaise sauce. I don’t think you can make hollandaise for one.

Anyway, you can make this as an indulgent low carb breakfast if you skip the bread.

Spiced sausage & spinach keeping warm while I poached the eggs

Spiced sausage & spinach keeping warm while I poached the eggs

Eggs Modenese with Tomato Hollandasie Sauce

Eggs Modena with Tomato Hollandaise & Spinach makes a great breakfast and it’s a welcome change from Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine which you can find everywhere.

Eggs Modena with Tomato Hollandaise & Spinach (serves 2)

(Total Time:  30 minutes)

Quick Tomato Hollandaise

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 stick of melted sweet butter, heated until bubbling but not browning
  • juice of half a lemon

Sausage, Spinach and Eggs

  • 1/3 lb mild pork sausage
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 2 pinches cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 6 cups spinach
  • 6-8 toasted slices of a baguette
  • 4 eggs poached

For the Tomato Hollandaise: Place egg yolks, salt, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste in a blender, blend for a few seconds at high speed until you have a smooth frothy mixture. Still at high speed, start adding hot butter in a thin, steady stream. The sauce should start to thicken. When half the butter has been added, add the lemon juice. Continue blending until all butter is in. Set aside.

For the Sausage & Spinach: Remove the sausage from the casing. Discard the casing.  In a bowl mix sausage, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves until well blended.

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Add spiced sausage mixture. Cook the sausage, breaking it up into little bits with a spatula, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sausage starts to brown and the onion is translucent but not brown. Remove the sausage mixture, set aside.

Add the spinach into the same skillet still over medium heat. Add a couple teaspoons of water and stir the spinach, scrapping the bottom to deglaze the pan. Cook 2 -3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.

Divide the sausage mixture onto 2 plates. Top with the wilted spinach and 2 poached egg per plate. Pour hollandaise sauce over everything and serve with toasted bread.


Roast Asparagus Milanese

Asparagus Milanese from the Greenwich Grill

Bread with Tuna Infused Cream Cheese from the Greenwich Grill

Bread with Tuna Infused Cream Cheese from the Greenwich Grill

Up in Connecticut my mother’s asparagus is already coming up. It’s almost a month early but with such a mild winter and a warm spring everything’s off schedule. At the Greenwich Grill where I had the chicken with bacon and pine nuts from the last post, Reed had asparagus milanese, a.k.a. roast asparagus with a fried egg. It was delicious and since I have wonderful fresh asparagus on hand I thought it would be a great time to give it a try.Ingredients for Roast AsparagusAsparagus prepped for roasting

Sadly a few years ago voles decimated my parents’ asparagus beds but they put in new ones surrounded by wire cages to protect the roots. The wire cages seem to be doing the job because the new plants are flourishing.Asparagus ready to roastFrying an Egg
Generally, when I roast asparagus I go with olive oil, sesame seeds, and garlic salt but the Greenwich Grill’s version was delicious and substantial enough to be a light lunch. The Greenwich Grill is an interesting place. It specializes in Italian food with a Japanese touches. For instance our bread was served with tuna infused cream cheese (I’m not a fan) instead of the usual olive oil.  I preferred their Italian focused dishes like asparagus or the chicken with bacon.Roast Asparagus Milanese

Roast Asparagus Milanese (serves 2)

(Active time: 10 minutes    Total time: 25 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10-15 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • a couple grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Toss the asparagus on a baking sheet with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about 15 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the oven group into two equal groups. Sprinkle cheese over the groups and roast until the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes. Plate the asparagus and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet and melt the butter. Once the foam subsides, fry the eggs.  Gently transfer an egg on top of each group of asparagus. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

*Roast Asparagus Milanese would be great for breakfast or as a side dish along side ham or roast chicken.



Fruit Salad with Pineapple & Mango

Fruit Salad with Pineapple and MangoWhy can’t bodegas ever make a good fruit salad? I won’t name names but yesterday I ordered a fruit salad from my local bagel shop/bodega. Now this store does a phenomenal job on bagels and offers quality sandwiches, soups and salads. There’s always a long line to get to the counter and generally everything’s quite good until yesterday when I ordered their fruit salad. From past experience at similar establishments I’ve learned to avoid fruit salads.Ingredients for Fruit Salad with Pineapple and Mango

Normally, I know better but yesterday I was lured in by those pithy chucks of melon because I wanted something light and fresh to accompany the mac & cheese with greens leftovers that I’ve been having for lunch for the past three days (by the way its still delicious and reheats wonderfully). Three days in and I still love it.

As I see it, the main problem with commercially produced fruit salad is that the honeydew and cantaloupe, which comprise 80% of the salad, are never ripe. They’re so far from being ripe that they’re crunchy and flavorless. The two slices of strawberry and three blueberries that round out the salad just can’t compete against that much bland melon. The other problem is that the chunks of fruit are too big so you can only savior one tasteless piece on melon at a time.Peeled Mango before dicingPineapple peeled and diced

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Soft Scrambled Egg Sandwich with Goat Cheese & Chives


Sarabeth's Scrambled Eggs with Cream Cheese and ScallionsLast Saturday morning when we getting ready for brunch and a full afternoon at Barney’s sample sale, I thought about the first time I entered that warehouse they take over on West 18th Street…. I’d only been in the city a few weeks and hadn’t even heard the term until my new boss showed me the cute shoes she’d just scored at a sample sale downtown. ‘Sample Sale?’ What sort of magical creature was this? A quick Google search elated me: Major designers 80% off?!? What could be wrong with that?

Sarabeth's bar during brunch

The first time I walked past security at the infamous sale, it never accorded to me to make a mental note of my undie situation. After wading through all the other eager young ladies and snatching one of the few dresses that didn’t look it came from Lady Gaga’s closet, I was crushed to learn there weren’t any fitting rooms. I’d assumed the girls who were stripping down among the racks just lacked impulse control in the face of such steep discounts. Neither my modesty nor my sensible bikini briefs were ready for that much exposure. I’d learned my first and most crucial sample sale rule: always wear good undies. I spent the rest of my lunch hour checking out the accessories.

Goat Cheese Scrambled Egg Sandwich Ingredients

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