by Eva Felis on June 4, 2014
The downside of moving to a different city every year is you have to leave your friends behind every time. The upside is you have friend to visit and very good reasons to come back. Last weekend I had been walking in Memphis again. It had been a couple of months since my last visit, but we picked up our friendship right where we left off.
The list maker in me couldn’t resist planning ahead every possible meal in different restaurants during my short stay. Right at the top of this list had been Hog & Hominy. Since I saw their cookbook Collards & Carbonara, I needed to eat there. How on earth could I have missed this restaurant before? How tempting sounds: “…blending traditional southern ingredients with classic Italian techniques for a truly unique style of cooking”. YES! I had been sitting at one of their table just after arriving in Memphis, and I wasn’t even hungry. I gazed at the cook shaping my pizza, tossing the dough, topping with mushrooms and quickly pushing into their wood fired pizza oven. Shortly after that, the pizza sat in front of me and then was gone. Hog & Hominy are not kidding around, their pizza is outstanding. This pizza adventure changed my plans for the rest of my stay in Memphis. I had to come back. This time for lunch and their version of hot brown left a big impression.
Hot brown is an open-faced sandwich with turkey and/or bacon, Mornay sauce, cheese on white bread, how I recently learned… actually 5 minutes ago. I didn’t know hot brown was a thing. At Hog & Hominy they serve it mile high, a thick cut of good bread, turkey and bacon, gravy and crowned with an egg. I skipped the meat and used mushrooms instead, simplified the sauce and here we go, an easy and fast recipe for a weeknight dinner.
- ½ pound brown mushrooms
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 80 ml / ⅓ cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. water
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2.5 cm / 1 inch. thick slice of white bread (I use San Francisco sourdough)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 large egg
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp. clarified butter or oil for the mushrooms + 1 tsp. for the egg
- Clean the mushrooms, remove the stems and slice. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the fat of your choice and the mushrooms and stir-fry until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add green onions and continue cooking 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium and pour the heavy cream into the saucepan. In a small bowl mix flour and water, stir well no lumps allowed. Add this mix to the saucepan and bring to boil while continuing stirring. Cook for 1 minute, remove from the heat. The mushroom sauce should be very thick, but we are not aiming for concrete. Add more cream or continue cooking if necessary. Season to taste.
- Toast the bread or brown it slightly in a pan. Rub the whole garlic clove vigorously over one side of it.
- Fry the egg in a pan with the oil. I like mine sunny side up, a little brown and crispy on the edges and the egg yolks still runny, but that’s up to you.
- Assemble the hot brown: put bread garlic side up on a plate, cover with mushroom sauce (reheat if necessary) and top with the fried egg.
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