Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eggs Benedict

Haven't been posting dinners much this week. Why? Well, we have been eating salmon cakes and ham for every meal. For Easter brunch, I ended up only serving 1 salmon cake per person. That left me with 12 + bonus salmon cakes. Everything in my heart was telling me to throw them away. But Scot does not allow me to waste food (thanks). So, I whipped up some brown rice, and we have been eating brown rice with one salmon cake and asparagus for just about every lunch this week. I made a ham, au gratin potatoes and broccoli one night because I LOVE that combo and growing up, we always had it for Easter dinner. And I needed my fix. Hams are big. Lots of ham sandwiches.

For breakfast this morning, I made eggs benedict. One of my favorite breakfasts ever. I like the variations too, with greens, tomatoes, fish, etc. Since I still had leftover ham, I did the traditional version (which I love). I was hoping to have leftover hollandaise from my Easter brunch, but that disaster forced me to remake the hollandaise. Which is actually good, because the originally recipe I used had way too much lemon juice for my liking.

I made more latkes to serve with the eggs benedict. So, this entire meal took me about 1 hour 45 minutes to make. But, I love when I have time to make kind of complicated things. I made sure everything was well prepped and took my time, so as to not make any mistakes. I made the latkes first, kept them warm in the oven, cut the ham, grilled it quickly and put it in the oven with the potatoes. Then, I measured everything out for the hollandaise. Then, boiled water for the poached eggs. Poached them and set them in warm water until I was ready to assemble. Then, I made the hollandaise. This recipe keeps it off the heat for most of the time, so I didn't have any problems with eggs getting overcooked. Even as it sat off the heat for a while. Then, I toasted the English muffins and assembled everything.

Everything was pretty good. Two of the eggs were a little overcooked (the first two I poached). The two Scot got. Ha. Actually, I purposely gave them to him because I thought he didn't like runny yolks. He says he does like runny yolks, but doesn't mind themcooked either. Figs. Easy to please.

Eggs Benedict

from Joy of Cooking

Prepare and drain well, and keep warm:

4 poached eggs (see direction below)

Place on warmed plates or a warmed serving platter

2 English muffins, split, toasted, and buttered

Cover with:

4 thick slices of ham or Canadian bacon, warmed

Top with the well-drained eggs, then top the eggs with:

1/2 cup Hollandaise sauce (see recipe below)

Serve immediately, passing extra sauce on the side.

(Servings: 2-4, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 10 min., Difficulty: Intermediate)



Melt over low heat:

10 tbsp (1.25 sticks) butter

Skim the foam off the top and keep warm. Place in the top of a double boiler or in larger stainless steel/glass bowl:

3 large eggs

1.5 tbsp cold water

Off the heat, beat the yolks with a whisk until light and frothy. Place top of the double boiler or bowl over – not in – barely simmering water and continue to whisk until the eggs are thickened, 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to let the eggs get too hot. Remove the pan or bowl and whisk to cool the mixture slightly. Whisking constantly, very slowly add the butter, leaving the white milk solids behind. Whisk in:

1/2 to 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

dash of hot pepper sauce (optional)

salt and white pepper to taste

If the sauce is too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water. Serve immediately, or cover to keep the sauce warm for up to 30 minutes by placing the pan or bowl in warm (not hot) water.


Poached Eggs

Poached eggs are cooked in simmering liquid until the yolks are thick yet still liquid in the center. They can be poached in water, stock, sauce, milk, heavy cream, or soup. Although there are various rings and egg poaching sets available, all that is really necessary to poach eggs are a sauce pan and a slotted spoon. The challenge when poaching eggs is to prevent them from spreading when they are added to the poaching liquid. For best results, use very fresh eggs, which best hold their shape. Adding vinegar and salt to the water helps the whites set more quickly. Use scissors or a small knife to trim away any thin streamers of white. Bring to a rolling boil in a large non-stick skillet:

2-4 inches of water.

Reduce heat until the water is barely simmering. Add:

1 tbsp vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Have ready:

4 eggs

One at a time, break each egg into a small bowl or cup, bring the edge of the bowl level with the surface of the water, and slide each egg in gently. Simmer until the whites are set, about 3 minutes. With practice, you will be able to judge right degree of doneness. Remove the eggs with a large slotted spoon, and drain well before serving. If cooking for several people or a crowd, prepare eggs in advance. Transfer the finished eggs to a wide shallow bowl of water warmed to 150° F and

hold for up to 30 minutes. They can also be poached well ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Transfer the poached eggs to a bowl of cold water the moment they are done and refrigerate. When read to reheat and serve, with a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a large pan of 150° F water, cover, and let stand for at least 5 minutes, or up to 20 minutes. Return the pan to a very low heat if the temperature of the water drops below 145° F.

Printable Version

And of course, whenever we indulge ourselves, we like to give Copper something special. My dog is a foodie. No doubt in my mind.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't let you throw away salmon cakes either! And I'm jealous of your egg poaching skills - that's one I definitely have yet to master.