Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce recipe and how to poach eggs! Part one of Breakfast and Brunch series!

LG's wicked ham, avocado, cheese eggs benny on a mini croissant
I love sleeping in.  I love breakfast food... so it makes sense that I love sleeping in and having the best of both worlds: brunch! One thing I enjoy having for the sit down brekkie or brunch is eggs benny.  The softly poached egg that you get to poke so the yolk mixes with the Hollandaise sauce and you sop it all up with the toasted English muffin or roast or croissant (if you're feeling particularly indulgent!)... and if you add in anything else like cheese, avocado, smoked salmon, ham, bacon, leftover Peking duck, you can really bring it over the top!  The pics are of Eggs Benedicts our talented LG test kitchen whipped up for a potluck brunch!!

Tips on poaching the perfect poached egg
Step 1: get an egg poacher set.  Seriously.  Either get an all in one stainless steel egg poacher set like this one, or if you have a deep wallet, you can invest in Paderno's egg poacher or pick up a non-stick holder version that fits into most pots or even a silicone floating version! - make sure you grease it up or spray with some oil prior so it releases your egg! Then you can churn out these babies without a thought and have something like this for brunch.  LG's test kitchen made an entire platter of these babies for a brunch potluck.  I had to suppress the urge to grab the platter and run away with the entire platter lol!
Platter of LG's wicked ham, avocado, cheese eggs bennys on mini croissants
Tips on poaching the perfect poached egg the hard way
1) Make sure your pot you're using to poach your eggs is deep enough to hold enough water to submerge your egg.. you don't want just the bottom half of your egg to cook and leave the top raw.  Easy trick is to shove a ladle into the pot and add water at least 1/2 inch or 2 above the level of the ladle.... or while the water is cold, fill the pot with ~1.5x the width of the egg.. using the egg to measure.
2) Add a tinny tiny splash of white vinegar to the poaching water.  It'll help the egg set nicer
3) Wait and wait and wait until the water is just simmering (lots of tiny bubbles) but not boiling (lots of big bubbles) as you don't want to boil your egg into egg noodles.
4) Crack your egg into a cup, bowl or ladle, then transfer gently into water bath.  This helps you to pick out any broken shell bits or if you broke the yolk, you can pop that egg into a separate bowl for omelettes or baking later.
5) You can try gently swirling the water with a ladle and then putting the egg into the centre for a more rounded egg
6) Gently swirl the water around the egg about 30s after you put it in to make sure the egg doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot
7) It may take you a couple tries (and/or a lot of eggs) until you figure out how fussy hot/cold your stove is for the prefect poached egg. I just gently take it out with a slotted spoon and give it a jiggle.. the jigglier, the more raw, the less jiggly, the more cooked.
8) Gently transfer to some paper towels and gently dry, then place on your toast, bread, English muffin etc!
LG's wicked ham, avocado, cheese eggs bennys on mini croissants!

Toppings/Add ins for Eggs Benedict
Sky is really the limit here:
-cheese: Swiss, cheddar, mozza, brie, Camembert...
-bacon
-ripe avocado
-fruit: apple, pear, berries
-back bacon
-ham
-lump crab meat
-smoked salmon
-left over Peking duck, chicken, roast beef
-salsa and beans
-sausage
-bell peppers
-caramelized onions
-greenery: chives, parsley, green onions, dill, arugula, sprouts, cilantro, basil, cucumber
-sauces: hollandaise, sriracha, mustard, maple syrup, fruit syrups...


LG's wicked ham, avocado, cheese eggs benny on a mini croissant
Change up the "English muffin" layer for some fun
-mini croissants: butter/cheese
-baguettes
-potato bread
-sweet breads like brioche
-waffles
-bagels

Ingredients for Hollandaise sauce
-2 large egg yolks
-2 tablespoons water
-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot sauce
-1 stick (1/4cup) salted butter, cubed, cold from fridge

How to make Hollandaise sauce
1) In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (med heat), whisk the egg yolks with the water, lemon juice, mustard, and cayenne/hotsauce until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes
2) Gradually add the cool butter, whisking constantly until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in warm water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the sauce is just pourable. 
 3) Spoon sauce over your eggs benny and enjoy!!

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