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Eggs Benedict

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recipe adopted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook.  [Recipe serves 2].

In my opinion, Eggs Benedict is the king of all breakfast foods not only due to its appearance and the richness from the Hollandaise sauce, but also due to the preparation and timing that goes into the dish.  Immediately after your Hollandaise has reached perfection, you need to get your poached eggs in and out of the simmering water while also ensuring that the English muffins are toasted and warm, the bacon is seared but not overcooked, and the Hollandaise sauce has kept both its temperature and consistency.  It's one of those dishes that when everything goes right and you're staring at the final product, you can't help but smile.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
2 large egg yolks
4 1/2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

4 large eggs
2 English muffins, split and toasted
4 slices Canadian bacon, ham, or equivalent substitute, lightly seared
2 tablespoons chives, finely snipped

DIRECTIONS:

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a simmer.  Place a large heat-proof bowl over the saucepan to create a double boiler.  [Side note:  Make sure the water is low enough so that it doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl].  Add the lemon juice, water, and egg yolks to the bowl and begin to whisk.  While maintaining a gentle simmer, whisk constantly for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Remove the bowl from the heat and bring the water to a boil for the poached eggs.  Continue to whisk off the heat for an additional minute.  While whisking, slowly incorporate the warm, melted butter.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve just until the poached eggs are ready.

For the poached eggs, add 1 teaspoon white vinegar to the boiling water.  Crack the eggs into four individual cups with handles.  Remove the pot of water from the burner and gently pour the eggs into the water at the same time.  Cover and let them cook for up to 5 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a pile of paper towels to soak up any water.

To assemble, place the bacon on the toasted (and buttered if desired) English muffins, followed by the poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce.  [Side note:  If the Hollandaise sauce is too thick to pour, thin out with additional lemon juice or water and whisk].  Garnish with the chives and serve immediately.  [Side note:  Hollandaise sauce is meant to be served immediately after it's been made, due to food safety reasons.  You can keep the sauce up to 30 minutes after making it by keeping it warm using a double boiler, if needed].

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