Tuesday, April 6, 2010

HAPPY EASTER with Eggs Benedict

Since having my daughter I have been trying to solidify our family holiday traditions.  Two years ago we invited friends over for an Easter brunch of eggs benedict.  That year I bought Williams Sonoma's egg  poacher pan and their fun Easter linens and we decorated cupcake's in the shape of Easter eggs with my egg shaped muffin pan.  It was AWESOME!  I wanted to recreate that Easter brunch of years gone by.  It isn't as though my daughter can appreciate it at 9 months, but it makes me feel better knowing she has something to look forward to at the holidays. 

The first time I made eggs benedict, I used a recipe that called to combine the egg and butter in a blender with the butter cooking the egg.  It emulsified FABULOUSLY, but while I was keeping it warm on the stove as my friends were showing up, it separated.  It was still GREAT...what isn't great smothered in egg and butter?...but it didn't make for a pretty presentation. 

This recipe ROCKED!  I cooked up the hollandaise sauce in a homeade double boiler using a metal mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water.  The key to this recipe is whisking the sauce the entire cooking time as you slowly add the butter.  AND....it didn't separate!  I left it out ALL DAY expecting it to separate and it didn't!  I had to throw it out afterward, but at least I was reassured that this recipe is fail safe. 

I poached (HAHAHAHA) this recipe off Allrecipes.com.  This truly is a handy website.  I LOVE that the recipes are rated.  There is nothing worse that spending a huge amount of time creating a dish only to find that it BLOWS! 

Eggs Benedict
4 egg yolks
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pinch ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 eggs
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
8 strips Canadian-style bacon
4 English muffins, split
2 tablespoons butter, softened

To Make Hollandaise: Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water.

Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate.  (FYI - This pan from Williams Sonoma makes poaching eggs so EASY!  Sadly, the pan has doubled in price since I bought it two years ago.)
While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

My only complaint about this recipe is that I thought it tasted a little too lemony.  Alex and my mom LOVED it!  Sometimes I wonder if they say that stuff to make me feel better about slaving away in the kitchen.  You'll have to let me know what you think!


Cabot said...

Thank you for posting this, Sarah. Your Easter breakfast must have been a lot of fun.

I don't have a double boiler, hence the challenge I have in making the hollandaise sauce. Instead, I use a stainless steel mixing bowl set atop a sauce pan, which has a little boiling water.

Yours was too lemony? Yum! I can't get enough of that tartness. (My idea of lemonade is 1 part lemon juice and 1 part cold water... My wife hates it.)

With vinegar and tarragon, I'll try a bernaise sauce next.

rubybean77 said...

My double boiler is the EXACT same as yours. :) Never fear...JUST DO IT. That's my philosophy.

Tronner said...

Sarah - I'm going to have to try your Hollandaise recipe. I love making homemade Hollandaise sauce (it tastes a ton better than the powder and it is almost as easy). I don't use Worcestershire sauce, though - that's an interesting take and I'll have to try it for sure. (I use cayenne pepper instead of white pepper).

The only problem I have is curdling! The sauce will look and taste AMAZING and then I turn around for 10 seconds and it starts to curdle. I add a tiny bit of milk or half/half and it's back to creamy goodness, but what am I doing wrong to make it curdle?

Keep up the good work! (and I'm with Cabot on the bernaise sauce - that's next!)