Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Amazing brunch dish combines two classic favorites

What a combination of two favorites—BLT and Eggs Benedict! Southern Living magazine seemed really to have scored a coup when it featured a recipe that combined the classic flavors of a bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwich with the New Orleans-popularized egg dish.

Now if I could just pull off this creation to help make Hubby’s birthday celebration (which officially ended yesterday, to his relief. I mean, how many times does one want to be reminded about turning 65? I think he’s saving up his arsenal for me now when I roll over that grand age—many years hence, of course) memorable.

We started off the day with our promised run both ways across the Two-Mile Bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard (four miles total). Then, back home, I thought the BLT Benedict with Avocado-Tomato Relish sounded great for birthday brunch. For the base of this concoction I used some thick slices of homemade wheat bread that I toasted and spread with mayo on top. Over that went a layer of spinach (subbing for lettuce) and a layer of crisp bacon (turkey bacon for us). The next layer was to be the poached egg.

Now, that created an interesting dilemma. For health’s sake we’ve almost totally switched to using egg substitute when egg is called for. In fact I'm not sure I remember the last time I purchased a dozen actual eggs at the grocery—may have been several years at least. But for this recipe only a poached egg—the real thing—would do, so six actual eggs were poached in a little red-wine vinegar/water mixture and flopped atop the spinach and bacon layer on the bread.

Now for the crowning glory—the avocado-tomato relish, to which I added a smattering of orange bell peppers I had left over from a previous meal. Diced avocados and tomatoes had been marinating in a dressing of basil, garlic, olive oil, and red-wine vinegar. This was a divine, flavorful topping. This whole process was quick and easy to throw together. The Southern Living recipe says sunny-side up or sliced boiled eggs would work just as well for this dish, which could be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as well as for brunch.

This little treat certainly wasn’t something we’d feast on every day, but then a 65th birthday isn’t an everyday kind of day—a perfect time for God’s bookmark (that popular term for bacon in the South).

BLT Benedict with Avocado-Tomato Relish

1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
1/2 orange Bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt (or salt substitute) to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, divided
6 large eggs
1/4 cup lite mayonnaise
6 (3/4-inch-thick) bakery bread slices, toasted
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
12 bacon slices, cooked (I used turkey bacon)

In a small bowl combine tomatoes and next six ingredients and 2 1/2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar. In a large saucepan or skillet add water to depth of 3 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and maintain at a light simmer. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon red-wine vinegar. Break eggs and slip them into water, one at a time, as close as possible to the surface of the water. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Use a slotted spoon to remove. Spread mayonnaise on one side of each bread slice. Layer each slice with 1/2 cup spinach, 2 bacon slices, and 1 egg. Top with tomato relish mixture. Makes 6 servings.

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