J-BAR-H Crispy Eggs Benedict

I have to be honest, I don’t like most Eggs Benedict.  So many times it is an afterthought with thrown together ingredients and instant hollandaise sauce.  Every now and then one stands out, but I think people have just grown complacent with what should be an amazing dish.

My recipe comes from a place of love and respect for ALL of the ingredients.  Nothing is a throwaway, and certainly nothing comes from a packet.  It takes a little planning and a bit of time, but your guests will remember this breakfast for a long time.  Notice that there aren’t any quantities in this recipe.  That’s because it will work for 2 or 20.  Whether you are making a romantic breakfast for your favorite snuggle bunny, or a crowd of folks who are depending on you to come through for the most important meal of the day, the recipe scales wonderfully.

J-BAR-H Eggs Benedict



  • Cold Jalapeno Cheese Polenta, cut into cakes
  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • Spinach
  • Minced Garlic
  • Farm Fresh Eggs, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • Red Eye Gravy
  • Home Grown Tomatoes, sliced


  • Cook Bacon in Cast Iron Skillet until crispy, reserve drippings.  Crumble & set aside.
  • In a small saucepan make Red Eye Gravy from your favorite recipe, set aside
  • Saute garlic just until fragrant in bacon grease & then throw in 1 handful spinach per serving & sauté until wilted.  Set aside some place warm.
  • IN A CLEAN SKILLET Melt butter in skillet until it just starts to brown and place polenta cakes carefully into the bubbling butter.  Cook until you see the bottom edges beginning to brown.  With a clean flat spatula, carefully get under the cake and turn.  (It’s very important that the skillet be clean and the spatula be clean because the polenta really wants to stick to the skillet something fierce.  It might take a few shots to get this right, but the mess-ups are just as tasty as the ones that work.)  When the other side is finished browning, carefully remove to the center of the plate.
  • In clean skillet, pour a few tablespoons of the bacon grease in and warm until shimmery. Cook the eggs until crispy around the edges and sunny side up in the middle.  Season with salt & pepper.   (one helpful trick if you are frying a whole mess of eggs is to crack them into a mason jar and then pour them into the hot skillet one at a time.  Believe it or not the yolk and white stick together and it makes sure all your eggs cook about the same time.)


  • Divide the spinach and place on top of the polenta cakes (you did put them on the plates right?)
  • Place an egg on top of each cake & then a ladle of gravy over the top of each.
  • Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the whole thing and serve with the sliced tomatoes.



Stroke Or Not?

So for a few minutes I was freaking out and thought I had a stroke. I THOUGHT, but wasn’t sure, that if you smelled burning hair that you might be having a stroke. A little while ago I DISTINCTLY picked up the singular odor of burning hair. I went right to the computer to look it up and see what I should do if I was having a stroke… as I was reading, I ran my fingers through my hair and it felt weird in one spot. Went to the bathroom and there was a little spot where the hair was burned, right where I bent down to check the oven in front of the range that had a burner going. So, if you smell burning hair, it MIGHT be the sign of a stroke, unless in fact you ACTUALLY burnt your hair then it would NOT be a stroke. This has been a JBARH Public Service Announcement.

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J-BAR-H Employee Manual

Rule #1- Show up on time

Rule #2- If you are on time, you are late

Rule #3- Move with alacrity, have a fast pace

Rule #4- Leave your cell phone in the car

Rule #5- I do not care about your self esteem- the food business is a tough business, if you can’t take the heat, get out of my kitchen. If you want to feel good about yourself and the fact that you FINALLY processed 10 pounds of onions 30 minutes later- call your mother.

Rule #6- You are free to express yourself through body art, multiple piercings, freaked out haircuts and using crystals as deodorant- I am free to judge you and not give you work.

Rule #7- There were 800 people that responded to the ad you were hired off of, work like you want this job or beat it.

Rule #8- There are no prima donnas in my organization- if you need special treatment please see #7

Rule #9- Do not ask me for a raise, if you haven’t noticed, we are in a recession, I will come to you and offer you more when your value exceeds your compensation. If you get the urge to “negotiate” please see rule #7.

Rule #10- My clients pay your bills- you are not required to like them, but you ARE required to love them. If you are not capable of this, please see rule #7.


Time For A Hard Talk

TO ALL MY 40 SOMETHING PEEPS: If you haven’t already, it is time to sit down with your parents and have a hard talk. While it is uncomfortable to approach the topic, you need to know what plans they have made for their future care and eventual passing. Many of you know that my father had a tragic accident last fall, suffering brain trauma, and is incapable of managing even his most basic needs. Prior to his fall I asked him casually about insurance & other things that came to mind and he vaguely responded, and that was it. He was only 63 when it happened and had not really planned for everything, making it a quagmire of epic proportions to even have basic discussions in his behalf. Nobody likes to face their own incapacitation or demise, but they don’t get to do this on their own, someone is left tending to their business, and it could be you. If your parents were in a car accident tomorrow, is your family prepared to deal with their affairs? Do you know where their bank accounts are? Do you know what insurance they have? Does someone have power of attorney to talk to their bank, dispose of their assets if needed or make medical decisions? Do you know how they want their remains to be handled? Cremation? Burial? Where? Do you know their medical history as well as your families so that you can communicate to a Dr. in an emergency room? Do they have a safety deposit box? Where are their key documents kept? (Birth/marriage/death certificates, insurance policies, bank statements, wills, etc.) Do they have an advance directive so that you can legally substantiate how for to go with care for them? Do they have a will? Do they have the insurance they need for their care and burial and the disposition of their estate? Do you know who they want to take care of their business? The answers to these questions must be settled for people of all economic situations. A will can be written on a legal pad. Powers of attorney can be granted from forms downloaded from the internet. (Here is one example: ) Critical documents can be brought together into one place and organized even in a shoe box. Don’t think that you have time. On September 25th last year my dad went from being a reasonably normal human being to brain damaged in a second. All it takes is a car that doesn’t stop in an intersection, a trip and fall, a diagnosis of cancer, etc and your life changes in an instant. We are not in control of the environments we move through, but we can be in control of how things go after a tragedy. For yourself, for your family, have the hard talk. Get everything out and known because we never know where life will take us. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is but a promise, today is the only thing that is real, and it is fleeting.