The recipe, though, that I enjoy most in Breakfast & Brunch is Cheesy Olive English Muffins. In the book it’s paired with an Oyster and Bacon Omelet, melon balls, and an Apricot Upside-Down Cake, but it’s perfectly satisfying on its own. It’s not the tastiest or most sophisticated recipe in the book, but it captures everything I love about Breakfast & Brunch and encapsulates Ms. Childress’ approach to cooking.
The recipe is straightforward – it’s a simple white sauce with cheddar and olives served over English muffins, essentially a simple breakfast sandwich. The pimento olives are a charmingly retro inclusion, but they add a meatiness that obviates the need for ham or – dare I say – bacon. The final broil makes for a pleasing presentation and the comfort of a little bit of browned cheddar cheese.
I’ve added sliced tomatoes and a little bit of horseradish to round out the flavors. If you don’t have the wherewithal for the recommended four course brunch, serve with a couple of crispy sunny-side up eggs.
Breakfast & Brunch is no longer in print and is not consistently available on the used market.
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup pimento olives (chopped)
- 1/8 tsp hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco brand work well)
- 1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp prepared horseradish
- 6 thick slices tomato
- 3 English muffins
- freshly ground black pepper
- Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour to form a roux and continue stirring until lightly browned.
- Drizzle in milk, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add seasonings and stir a couple of times, then add cheese and olives. and continue cooking and stirring until cheese is melted.
- Slice English muffins in half. Place a tomato slice on each muffin, then top with the cheese sauce. Place under a hot broiler 2-3 inches from the heat and broil until bubbly.