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Monday, April 21, 2008

eggs benedict

eggs benedict

While on vacation in Anguilla, I decided to try eggs benedict for the first time. I'm not a big fan of egg yolks, and other than eating around what some people consider the "best part" of a poached egg, I loved them. When I suggested to my boyfriend that I might try them at home, he was skeptical -- why try something so involved, so unhealthy? Ahh, a challenge -- can I make eggs benedict, and at least a little healthier than the original? Of course, and it wasn't nearly as involved as I thought it would be. It'll be part of the weekend brunch rotation from now on...

Grocery list: whole wheat english muffins, canadian bacon or ham slices, eggs, butter, texas pete hot sauce, vinegar.

poaching eggs 2

Start by slicing and toasting all the english muffins, and pan fry the ham slices in a nonstick pan (using no oil) over medium-high heat. Flip after a few minutes, till brown on both sides, and lay 2 slices of ham over each slice of english muffin. To make it easier to poach the eggs, find 4 ramekins and crack an egg into each one (this will allow you to get all the eggs into the water at the same time). It's good to get this prep out of the way -- it will all cool to room temp, but when you add the hot egg and hollandaise later it will all warm back up to perfect.

starting hollandaise sauce

Fill a large saucepan with water 1 1/2 - 2 inches deep, add a splash of white vinegar, and bring the water to a gentle boil. Set up a double boiler for the sauce: using a small saucepan with a shallow layer of water, find a glass or stainless steel bowl that will fit into the top of the saucepan so the bottom doesn't touch the water. Bring the water to a simmer -- it will heat the contents of the bowl and cook it indirectly. To the bowl, add two egg yolks, 1 T of warm water, salt, and a few splashes of texas pete hot sauce. Whisk well to start, and continue to stir every minute or so for about 5 minutes.

poaching eggs

To poach eggs, you want to carefully slip whole eggs into the boiling water all at the same time, which is why you want to crack all the eggs into individual bowls ahead of time. Slip all 4 eggs into the water at the same time. Cook for 3 minutes (longer if you want the yolks cooked a little more), then remove carefully with a slotted spoon. The first one I placed on a paper towel to absorb the water, but it can get stuck easily. After that trial and error, I just removed each egg with the slotted spoon and patted the spoon against the paper towel -- doesn't dry the egg completely, but it also doesn't destroy it in the process.

hollandaise sauce

To finish the hollandaise sauce, melt 4 T of butter, then slowly pour that into the bowl with the sauce, whisking at the same time. Add a poached egg on the top of the ham and english muffin, the pour the hollandaise sauce across the tops. Garnish with a little bit of chopped parsley, if you're feeling overly ambitious.

1 comment:

Alexa Johnson said...

I can't wait to try your hollandaise recipe. I'm usually not a total idiot in the kitchen, but for some reason have just never had success with hollandaise. But I'm always up for another try!