Monday, August 13, 2007

Eggs Benedict

They always come in pairs

Eggs Benedict is more than most, a food to be shared; it’s a brunch for two, a lover’s breakfast, a gift and it always comes in pairs, hence the prénom eggs.

Eggs Benedict may well be one of those truly international classic dishes, that benefits from the tastes of classic cuisine in countries as far a field as Holland, France, Canada and England but for one detail, this classic brunch mainstay was almost assuredly conceived in one of America’s great cooking pots, New York City.

History has it that Eggs Benedict was the inspiration of a NY Socialite in 1893 or conversely, the cure for a Wall Street broker’s hangover in 1894, and at either Delmonico’s or the Waldorf-Astoria respectively. As for that, we’ll let you decide. A history may be found on the site of our friend’s at Brunch.org; in the meantime we’ve got a few eggs to break.


Eggs Benedict

  • 1 English muffin, split, toasted and buttered
  • 2 medium eggs, poached
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 slices Canadian bacon
  • fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Hollandaise sauce
Poached eggs

Break each egg into a small, separate container, carefully not breaking the yolks.

In a medium pan bring 3 cups of water to a slow boil, add vinegar and reduce heat. When boil stops, using a wooden spoon swirl the water clockwise until you create a small whirlpool-in-a-pot. In the northern hemisphere use a clockwise stirring motion; in the southern parts of the globe, stir counter-clockwise (trust us, its physics).

When the whirlpool looks sufficiently dangerous, gently slide 1 egg into the abyss. After the swirl slows and the egg turns white, using a slotted spoon, gently lift the egg onto a clean dry towel to drain. Now repeat the process with the second hapless egg.

Hollandaise Sauce
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 3/4 cup sweet butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

To make the hollandaise sauce

In a double boiler, heat water to a low boil and reduce to a simmer. If the water is too hot, the egg yolks will cook, not a favorable result.

Place the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of water into the top pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick, pale yellow and has doubled in volume. It should form a smooth ribbon when the whisk is lifted.

Add the butter one cube at a time, whisking steadily; add each subsequent piece of butter when the previous bit has fully incorporated. If the butter is added too quickly, it won't mix with the egg yolks. Remove the top pan from the double boiler and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of slightly thickened cream.

Whisk in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.

Assemble and finish

Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each toasted muffin half, followed by a drained poached egg. Smother with a liberal portion of Hollandaise and serve hot.

Serve with a portion of seasonal fruit or better yet, a seasoned Champagne

1 comment:

blim8183 said...

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