My husband is chef extraordinaire in our household when it comes to cooking eggs.  He raves about my hard-boiled eggs (ooh, what an accomplishment!), but then he turns around and makes amazing omelets, poached eggs on toast, and eggs over easy, which I don’t even attempt anymore (mostly because runny yolks gross me out, but that’s another story).  On vicarage, we used to laze around on Saturday mornings and whip up big fancy breakfasts together (or maybe I lazed around and he cooked the breakfasts–I can’t quite remember).  It was during that year of newlywedded bliss that my husband introduced me to eggs mornay–a cross between a giant breakfast platter and the welsh rabbit (or rarebit, if you prefer) that my dad used to make on Sundays after church.  Basically, you take an English muffin, cover it with fried ham, top it with an egg, and smother it in a wine-infused cheese sauce.  Pure bliss.

We still make this dish together, mostly so one person can whip up the cheese sauce, toast the English muffins, and fry the ham while the other works his magic on the eggs (just kidding–I usually make the cheese sauce and he does the rest).

This recipe can be dressed up with higher-quality ingredients.  Thick-sliced ham (leftovers work great), sharp cheddar or Gruyere, and poached or over-easy eggs make for a more gourmet version, but lunch meat, mild cheddar, and hard-over eggs will do in a pinch (and if you’re lame).  You can also substitute nutmeg for the mustard powder if you prefer.

Eggs Mornay

Eggs Mornay
Time:  15-20 minutes
Serves 3-4

3 T. butter
3 T. AP flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup melting cheese, such as sharp cheddar or Gruyere
paprika, for garnish

For each person:
1 English muffin, toasted
2 eggs, poached or fried
1 large slice ham or Canadian bacon, lightly browned in pan (no oil needed)

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a large skillet (one with sides is preferable) over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour to create a roux; cook, whisking continually, until yellow, 1-2 minutes (don’t let it brown).  Slowly add milk, continuing to whisk until smooth.  When mixture thickens and starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium low.  Add wine, mustard powder, and salt and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add cheese and combine well.  Cover and keep on very low heat until other components are ready.

To assemble, open toasted English muffin and top with ham.  Cover each muffin half with an egg, then cover generously with cheese sauce.  Garnish with paprika if desired.

Eggs Mornay2