Deliciously simple, this dish from The Food Gays will be your go-to dish for winter brunches.

As the holidays approach (or is that gallop toward us?), we’d like to point you in the direction of the new release (and great gift idea) Cooking in Color: Vibrant, Delicious, Beautiful Food, from Vancouver’s Adrian Harris and Jeremy Inglett of The Food Gays blog. There’s a fantastically apropos section inside called “Company,” all about easy, beautiful meals for big groups (hello, visiting relatives). The duo’s debut cookbook also serves as an intro to food styling and photography, with details about f-stops, angles and props for their gorgeous recipe photos. Another added bonus, which is going to come in handy Christmas morning, is this Mac and Cheese Eggs Benny. You can make the mac and cheese the night before to get a head start, and although it may seem wrong, this pasta-meets-breakfast pairing is all kinds of right.


1 tsp butter1 tsp all-purpose flour¾ cup whole milk1½ cups shredded aged cheddar cheese½ tsp ground smoked chipotle pepper½ tsp freshly ground black pepper¼ to ½ tsp salt, to taste1 cup dried macaroni1 tsp white vinegar4 large eggs4 slices sourdough bread, toasted1 to 2 tbsp Classic 30-Second Mayonnaise (recipe follows)1 cup red lettuce, sliced


  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and heat until golden (1 to 2 minutes). Add flour and whisk together for 2 minutes, or until a smooth paste has formed and flour has cooked. Slowly drizzle in milk, whisking constantly, and cook until mixture has thickened. Once mixture can coat the back of a spoon, add shredded cheese in handfuls, stirring constantly until smooth. Add chipotle and black pepper. Taste, and season with salt, as needed.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 tbsp of the starchy water. Add pasta and reserved starchy water to cheese sauce, and stir everything together. Set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to set or, for best results, cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat a dry frying pan on medium-high heat. Add about ½ cup mac and cheese per person and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until it begins to get crispy. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add vinegar. Crack eggs into separate small bowls then carefully, one at a time, add to the simmering water. Cook for 3½ minutes. While eggs are cooking, toast the bread.
  4. Spread mayonnaise over each piece of toast. Top with lettuce and a few spoonfuls of the crispy mac and cheese, finish with a poached egg and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Tip When making the cheese sauce, be careful not to add the milk to the pan too fast; otherwise, the mixture will have to sit on the stove for at least 5 to 10 minutes to thicken while you stand there and whisk. Our method of slowly drizzling in the milk while whisking works to quickly thicken up the sauce, saving you time.