Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eggs Benedict in the rays of morning sun

Spring revives everything. Every day, we can see more and more green leaves outside. And more and more new fresh produce at the markets. As for eggs, they are available year round, but if You think of the organically grown chickens and their eggs, and the food they have after winter, spring eggs are definitely more attractive for organic eaters.

If You think of eggs it’s hard to imagine the dish more exquisite, gracious and delicious, at the same time, than Eggs Benedict. Soft creamy texture of an egg, crispy flavourful ham or bacon, whatever You prefer, fresh bun and slightly sour delicate Hollandaise sauce. This is the favourite breakfast of my husband and the easiest way to please him:-)

For 2 poached eggs You’ll need:

2 eggs
1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
2 halves of a fresh bun
2 slices of ham or bacon, whatever You like

For the sauce Hollandaise:
1/2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp of water
2 egg yolks
125 g of butter
Lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

To poach eggs:

Break an egg into a small bowl. One egg at a time. Using a shallow pot, fill 2/3 full with water, bring to the boil. Add vinegar and pinch of salt to the water and turn down the heat that the water just simmers, without bubbles, than bring the bowl with an egg close to the water and delicately slide down the egg into pot. Let it simmer for about 2 min.

TIP: Vinegar helps the egg to coagulate better.

Carefully take the egg out and do the same with the second egg.
In the mean time toast the buns’ halves and fry the bacon or ham until crispy.
Smear toasted buns’ halves with butter, put a piece of ham or bacon on each. Mount an egg on each bun’s half and keep them warm.

For Hollandaise sauce:

In the shallow bowl beat the egg yolks with vinegar, lemon juice, water and salt till foamy and well mixed.
Melt butter in separate pot. Keep it warm.
Place the bowl over water bath. You may use the same pot You were cooking eggs in. Just keep the water simmering, not fully boiling. It’s important that the bowl doesn’t touch water directly. Once You’ve mounted Your mixture over water bath, whisk it vigorously until the yolks become dense.
Start adding warm butter bits by bits and beating it with yolks, whisk constantly until the sauce is thick and glossy. If You add butter too soon and too much at a time the egg yolks will curdle. Remove from the water bath.

If it seems that all lost and Your sauce will curdle any minute, take it off from the water bath and whisk as vigorously as You can, until the critical moment is over.

Try Your sauce, season it well with salt and pepper, and some more lemon juice if desired.

IDEA: You also may use lime juice instead of lemon juice, so the sauce gains more subtle flavour. Also some chopped herbs like tarragon, parsley or even cilantro, if You use lime juice as a sour agent, will revive it.

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