Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eggs Benedict that gives a fitting benediction to all other recipes!

Well, this Saturday morning we arose late (after being up late the night before, of course!) and had a sudden hankering for Eggs Benedict.
 We had been longing for some for quite some time, but always stopped by the fact that no English muffins are made/sold here! We've been looking for them for months, but unavailable as fresh cilantro or bagels (see earlier postings). Even our favorite British store, Tesco, does not carry them!
Since it was late, we decided against making English muffins this time, but will do so in the future (they're really not that hard to do, just 'putsy').

Eggs Benedict are not difficult to make, it just requires very careful chemistry and impeccable timing. It just consists of sacred, homemade Hollandaise Sauce (don't let those most restaurants fool you that they made their own! Most use that awful premade mix they get from the wholesalers!). But, this can't be made too soon or too late, or rushed. Along with it you need to make poached eggs (don't over cook them!) to go onto toasted bread or English muffins (should you be so lucky). So all three things have to come together with symphonic coordination.

Hollandaise Sauce Extraordinaire.
So, start out by separating three eggs. Keep the whites for something later, like meringue or Angel Food cake?
Whisk the egg yolks in a double boiler (you can make it ok without one, but the risk of burning or overheating becomes extraordinarily high).
Add ~1 tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, drizzle in ~180 g (~1 stick) of butter (maslo) only until it can't hold anymore. Save the remaining melted butter for spreading onto your muffins or toast.
Add a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of Hungarian paprika (some use Cayenne's a matter of taste).
Then, here comes the secret ingredient.....lemon zest! Neil hates to not use the rind of lemons....goodness think of the lemon zest potential uses--so we dared to incorporate it.
Zest in the rind of 1/2 a fresh lemon. Whisk away just until thick. Set aside and keep marginally warm until you're ready to plate up.
You won't believe what the lemon zest will do to lift the flavors of this Hollandaise Sauce from ordinary to extraordinary!

Next, Poach the eggs! We prefer home-raised ones when they're available and...yes...always the non-white ones! The key here is pH to do this properly. I know many of you have egg poaching cups, etc. but all of these things are completely unnecessary. Fill a large skillet 2/3 full of filtered water; then add in 3 tablespoons of your favorite it apple cider, distilled white, Balsamic, or rice. They will all work and add spectacular flavors. Bring to a boil. Now, crack in each egg quickly. They will fall to the bottom of the pan. Carefully loosen them from the base with a large spatula or turner after you get all of the eggs in the pan. Cover. Let them poach for 1-1.5 minutes but no more. Carefully turn each one over, for just 20 seconds...enough to finish cooking the whites.
Pull these out with the spatula or turner and place each one onto hot, buttered toast or muffins. Drizzle the Hollandaise Extraordinaire over the top. Garnish with fresh ground pepper (red, green, black) and enjoy immediately!
 Let us know what you think of the lemon zest in the Hollandaise. We couldn't believe how incredibly tasty it made the sauce......a fitting benediction to all the other Hollandaise Sauce recipes.
Next, we're sure this will be a tasty sauce for poached fresh spring asparagus, perhaps?

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

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