Wednesday 11 December 2013

Eggs Benedict

I have never made Hollandaise sauce before, but the other night Ollie and I were talking about eggs Benedict, so i decided to try to make some considering we were having a lazy Saturday free from sailing, which almost never happens. I googled a few recipes and found Julia Child's blender version then though screw this i should really try to make the proper one the first time. I googled it and ended finding Michael Ruhlman's recipe for Classic Hollandaise sauce, and decided to give it a try as i am currently reading his book "The Making Of A Chef".  I made a shopping list and Ollie went to the grocery store for me :), and then made a second trip for me... oops i didn't realize i needed soooo much butter...... It's lucky there is a grocery store downstairs!

My recipe slightly differs from Michaels, I didn't have bay leaves so i used thyme, and i found i needed a bit more vinegar because the shallots were not caramelized at all after the 1/4 cup of vinegar had evaporated.

1 Tablespoon minced shallot
10 pepper corns cracked
Crumbled thyme
3 finger pinch of salt (i used freshly ground sea salt with habanero)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon
8 ounces of butter (2 sticks)

1. First step is to make the reduction, combine minced shallot, pepper corns, thyme in a pan with vinegar and simmer until vinegar has dissolved. Onions should be slightly caramelized.
2. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan with shallots,  bring to a simmer, stir then strain liquid into whatever you will be making your hollandaise sauce in, either a double boiler or a metal bowl over a sauce pan with water in it works well. I used the latter.

3. Ok this is when you want to make sure you have everything ready to go for making the recipe, first butter needs to be clarified to do this melt butter and skim of white stuff, which floats on the top. Best to keep the melted butter in a measuring cup with a spout, as it is easy to pour from. Next juice your lemon and remove any pips.

*You can also cut your english muffins in half and place in toaster, so it is ready to turn on. Also get an additional pot ready with simmering water to poach your eggs in. Make tea or coffee, set table, get BF to stop playing Candy Crush ect ect......

4. Remove egg yolks from egg white this can be done by cracking egg and carefully transferring yolk back and forth between sides of shell while letting the egg white drip off.

5. Bring saucepan with water to a simmer (very low, you don't want to scramble the eggs, I had to take the bowl off a few times while whisking eggs as it was too hot), place metal bowl with reduction on top. Add egg yolks and start to whisk, add a big squeeze of lemon juice. Whisk eggs until they are creamy (you can overcook them, be careful!) they will turn hard if they are overcooked, try not to do this, I had a small freak out at this stage I thought i had overcooked them but pulled them off the heat in the nick of time.  TAKE EGG MIXTURE OFF HEAT

6. First add a few drops of butter and whisk quickly to establish your emulsification, then whisk the rest of the butter in continuously in steady stream. I believe this is when it is possible for the sauce to break, this didn't happen to me but in Michaels blog it says if you notice the sauce becoming rough on the surface add a few drops of cool water to rectify the situation.

7. When the butter is all added, taste it and whisk in some more lemon juice or salt if needed.

Eggs Benedict
Hollandaise sauce, from above
2 English muffins (toasted)
Smoked salmon
Freshly ground salt & pepper

1. Poach eggs. To poach eggs bring a saucepan of water to a simmer. Next I place one egg in a small bowl, then use a spoon to stir the water in the sauce pan around in a circle so a small cyclone forms, then i carefully pour egg into center. Cook for about 2 minutes and carefully remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towel. Repeat with each egg, don't worry about small pieces of egg floating in pot.

(While poaching eggs, toast english muffins)

2. Place smoked salmon on toasted english muffin, scoop hollandaise sauce on top then carefully place poached egg on top. Freshly grind salt and pepper on top and enjoy.

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