Shut Up and Eat!

Yesterday, Matt and I decided to have breakfast at a Toms River favorite: Shut Up and Eat. As soon as we got out of the car, we saw a sign letting us know that this little spot has won Best Breakfast in Ocean County for ten years in a row! Now, that’s impressive.

When we got inside, the waitresses (who were dressed in pajamas) greeted us cheerfully and told us to have a seat. The walls were decorated with eclectic knick-knacks. It was so fun to look around at everything.

Next was the hard part – deciding on what we wanted to eat. The menu was incredibly extensive, with everything from breakfast classics to “shoe-sized schickhaus dogs” and “the bread filled with stuff section.” I loved how every aspect of dining here was whimsical and fun!

Matt and I started with two BIG cups of coffee (in mismatched mugs, of course). I went with the stuffed french toast (with cream cheese, strawberries, and chocolate chips). Matt decided on the South Toms River scrambler with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and avocado. It also came with toast.

18121420_10154704877168074_5607733263641424875_o

The portions were huge. So huge, in fact, that I had to take half of mine home (and that never happens). Even so, the french toast was phenomenal – crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside. It was exactly what I was craving. We left feeling so satisfied, and can’t wait until next time!

Shut Up and Eat also serves lunch and their hours are 6:30 to 3:30 Monday through Saturday and 6:30 to 3:00 on Sunday. They’re located at 804 Main Street in Toms River, NJ 08753.

Are there any award-winning breakfast spots in your area? What’s your favorite thing to get there?

Advertisements

Let’s Do Brunch: Matt Talks Eggs Benedict

16931055_10154516229858074_1710279495_o
Matt getting excited about Eggs Benedict!

Eggs Benedict is a staple of brunch dining and, in my opinion, one of the most versatile of all egg dishes. It might even be more versatile than the omelette! The concept seems like a simple one: eggs, some sort of protein (usually a type of ham), toasted English muffins, and Hollandaise sauce. However, given these simple constructs it allows the individual cooking to get a little creative and maybe even bend some rules.

I have always had a fond interest in this saucy, buttery dish. I have actually created several variations, but today I’d like to share with you my most recent, and perhaps most succulent: Sweet Chile Shrimp Eggs Benedict.

Now, Eggs Benedict may seem like a simple, easy to prepare dish on the outside – but do not be fooled. There are a few classical French cooking techniques present in this dish that may pose a challenge to the amateur cook. The perfect example of this is the Hollandaise sauce. This gorgeous, buttery beauty is one of the 5 Mother sauces in French cuisine, and certainly the most fickle. Seeing that it is a simple combination of butter and egg yolk leaves very little margin for error. This sauce can break or curdle on you in a heartbeat, so be wary, but don’t let this discourage you!

Have you ever made Eggs Benedict before? Do you keep it classic, or get a little crazy?

Sweet Chili Shrimp Eggs Benedict

16819056_10158265023960582_2817501696725160489_o

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 12 41/50 count raw cleaned, shelled shrimp
  • 4 (1″) thick slices of crusty Italian bread
  • 6 eggs
  • Scallions sliced lengthwise
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Sweet Chili Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp. miso paste
  • Cornstarch slurry to thicken
  • 1 tbsp. neutral oil (like vegetable oil)

Miso Sriracha Hollandaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 oz. clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp. miso paste
  • 1-2 tsp. Sriracha (to taste)

Directions:

To start, gather your eggs. You can’t have Eggs Benedict without them. In this case, they are going to be soft boiled. Classically, the eggs are to be poached, but this method is more efficient in regards to both time and energy.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and place 4 large eggs gently into the pot. Make sure not to crack the egg as it will ruin the shape and, potentially, the entire egg. Cook them at a rolling boil for 6 minutes. Then, place them in an ice bath and peel the shells off when they have cooled. Set aside in a bowl for later use.

Next, it is time to make the sweet chili sauce for the shrimp.If you are using fresh shrimp, make sure that you have them deveined and shelled. If you are using frozen shrimp, you can buy them shelled and deveined.

For the sweet chili sauce, first place a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Next, add in the oil and let it get hot. Add the chili garlic paste and stir quickly. Wait 15-20 seconds, and then add the sugar. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon until dissolved. After the sugar and the chili paste are bubbling nicely, add the soy sauce and miso paste. Stir until the mixture bubbles again, and then add your cornstarch slurry. Only add enough to thin the sauce. Then, allow it to thicken via the cornstarch.

After the starch has come together, add the shrimp and saute them until cooked thoroughly. If your sauce gets too thick, add a little water to the pan. You want it to coat the shrimp, but not evaporate away and burn in the pan.

Now that two of the four main items are prepared, it’s time to prepare the bread. Make sure you have a fresh loaf of bread – preferably one with a thick crust, like Italian bread. The slices should be a little less than an inch thick. The bread can be toasted, but it can also be left soft and chewy in order to absorb all of the sauces.

Now for the hard part: the Hollandaise.

The first step to any Hollandaise is tempering the egg yolks. In order to do this, separate the yolks and the whites. In a small metal bowl, prepare the yolks by breaking them with a whisk. Turn on one of the burners on your stove and slowly add a little heat to the bottom of the bowl while steadily whisking. Do this until the egg turns a lighter shade of yellow. If this method seems too complicated, the same thing can be accomplished with a double boiler.

Once the yolk is tempered, slowly start whisking in all of the butter. Make sure to add the butter in parts – ideally three or four. If you add it all at once, or aren’t whisking swiftly enough, the sauce will separate.

Once you’ve succeeded in making the Hollandaise, whisk in the miso paste and Sriracha.
The only step left is to compile all of the items in the appropriate fashion. Using the bread as your base, layer the shrimp, egg, and sauce on top. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!