If you might recall, last year I shared with you the grand opening of a Smart & Final in downtown L.A., this time I was lucky enough to get to visit a brand spanking new location on Pico Blvd. in L.A. as well. I love shopping at Smart & FInal, it's like a warehouse store without a membership, but you don't have to buy all bulk items. Instead Smart & Final lets you do your regular shopping, and you can grab only the bulk items you want. That is why Smart & Final is a one stop shop, which is super convenient, especially when you have to do your shopping pretty quickly.
Let me share a bit about this fantastic new location with you, this store is HUGE, sparkling clean and so well appointed. The first area that catches your eye is the amazing produce section, which is stocked with only the freshest fruits an veggies. As for the prices? All of these apples were $1.29 or less per pound, I am a sucker for a beautiful apple and these are gorgeous.
Along with regular brands, at Smart & Final you can find even better prices on their private labels: First Street, Ambiance and La Romanella. The savings on these brands versus larger brands, are pretty significant. We buy a lot of coffee, cheese and dairy, so it's nice to see such low prices.
While I was there, I decided to take advantage and do my shopping for Easter breakfast. We usually spend Easter day with relatives but we like to have a nice breakfast at home before leaving. Taking advantage of the super low price on the dozen of eggs, I grabbed those and the rest of the items needed for making Eggs Benedict. This is a treat that we only have about twice a year and I knew it would be a perfect breakfast for the family on such a special morning.
I found First Street Soy Sauce, First Street Vinegar and some huge First Street Bacon slices. Eggs Benedict can be a tad tricky (the sauce) but it really doesn't take that many ingredients to make them. To give our Eggs Benedict a Mexican twist I also bought some aguacates (avocados) which were 2 for a dollar and some chiles serranos. In our house, we like to put aguacate and chile on everything!
Eggs Benedict a la Mexicana
4 egg yolks
3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup of melted butter
8 slices of bacon
4 plain english muffins cut in half
2-3 avocados (garnish)
2 chiles serranos (garnish)
2 tomatoes (garnish)
Instructions for the sauce: whisk egg yolks, lemon, pepper, salt, soy sauce and water in a bowl vigorously until it has thickened. Grab two small saucepans (or a double boiler) add about 1 cup of water and start to simmer it, add your sauce to the second pan and place that over the simmering water, never allowing the pan with the sauce to touch the water. Add in butter as you continue to whisk for a few minutes until sauce has thickened.
The egg, bacon and muffin: fill a skillet/pan half full of water and add vinegar bringing water to a boil. Once water is boiling break your egg into the water very carefully so as not to break the yolk. Cook 2-3 minutes until the egg is set but you can tell that the yolk is still soft. Scoop out egg allowing it to drain as much of the water as possible.While your egg is cooking, cook your bacon on another skillet and toast the muffins.
Assemble: Place muffin halves on a plate and add your bacon to the muffin. Gently place your egg on top of the muffins and spoon sauce to liking. Now you can add garnish of avocado, sliced chile serrano and tomato slices on the side.
I admit that this recipe sounds a bit tricky, but as with all cooking, practice makes perfect. The first time we made Eggs Benedict, the sauce was a complete failure. But I've noticed that the more we make it, the less lumpy it becomes and the tastier it gets. Don't be scared to give it a try! Get more great recipe ideas for Easter and every other day using First Street and other Smart & Final brands by connecting with Smart & Final on Twitter and Facebook.
And don't forget to stop by the new Smart & Final location, you will be thrilled with this store, the pleasant shopping experience, and all the sale prices!