Eggs Benedict

Tawn and I enjoy poached eggs and find Eggs Benedict to be a nice weekend brunch treat.  For some reason, though, we haven’t had a lot of luck learning how to poach eggs.  Everyone has a special secret or tip to share – put vinegar in the water, stir the water in a clockwise motion before introducing the eggs, use only the freshest eggs, put the unopened egg in the hot water for ten seconds to firm up the whites – but we still come up with wildly inconsistent results.  So we recently bought a non-stick poaching tray and set about learning to make Hollandaise sauce.

P1050810 

The Hollandaise sauce was surprisingly easy, employing a technique similar to making the wonderful French dessert sabayon, also known in Italian as zabagione.  You whisk egg yolks with lemon juice (I managed to use a little too much, thanks to eyeballing it rather than measuring) in a baine-marie – a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  The gentle heat of the steam cooks the eggs slowly and as you whisk them, you keep them from scrambling.

Then, once doubled in volume, you add a stream of melted butter, whisking all the while to emulsify, or incorporate, the butter into the egg yolk mixture.  This produces a thick, rich sauce that can then be seasoned with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

P1050819

On the back burner, the sauce is set to a low heat to keep it warm and I’ll add a few teaspoons of water to thin it out before serving.  The egg poacher in on the front burner, with simmering water halfway up its side.  In about four minutes, the eggs will be nicely done with firm whites and liquid, but warm, yolks.  On the right, Tawn fries some ham slices.

P1050825

The finished Eggs Benedict, employing a slice of homemade whole grain bread in lieu of an English muffin, accompanied with some fresh papaya.  Tasty.

 

0 thoughts on “Eggs Benedict

  1. Eggs benedict is possibly one of my most favorite breakfast dishes, ever. Love pairing it with thick slices of Canadian ‘bacon’ aka ham. One of these days though, I’m thinking of trying eggs benedict with some prosciutto… Looks delicious, glad you put up the entry as I was thinking the recipes looked a tad bit intimidating!

  2. @everyday_yogi – With the nonstick egg poaching dish, it actually was quite easy.  If I had had to poach the eggs in a pot of water, the traditional way, it would have been a pain in the neck.@Passionflwr86 – Well, at least it brings you pleasure, even if you wouldn’t like to eat the actual dish!@kunhuo42 – Actually, it is only recently that I’ve come around to eggs benedict.  A nice scramble with some mixed veggies and a slice of toast appeals more to me.@Fatcat723 – Oh, I am eager to hear how it turns out!

  3. My mother had a poaching pan, it was a flimsy pan to hold the water and then 4 little triangular holders that set inside… in the days before teflon. I can’t recall ever having poached eggs except when ill… Yours look tasty. The upscale version of the egg McMuffin! hehehe!

  4. I remember when I made eggs benedict and tried poaching the egg by adding vinegar to the water and stirring the water before putting the egg in; it was an absolute mess!  I ended up using a different method which I saw a chef at a restaurant do which was place water in a small pan, just enough to cover the egg and let it poach that way.

  5. @christao408 – Prosciutto ‘chips’ are the best thing I discovered while in Vienna. Prosciutto chips in asparagus cream soup is absolute heaven… so much better than bacon sometimes (not that I complain about bacon though, heh, especially when it’s fresh from the smokehouse! double smoked applewood bacon ftw ^_^ )

  6. regarding the bowl set over the simmering water, is the bowl touching, or just hovering above the water?how does the texture of the poached egg white, compare to the traditional way.

  7. @turningreen –  I’m jealous that you have a master egg poacher in your house.@M_1 –  I leave about an inch or two between the water and the bottom of the bowl, otherwise you can easily scramble the eggs.@M_1 –  @yang1815 –  The tray works well enough in terms of how it cooks the eggs – the texture is similar to poaching the traditional way, except that the yolk remains more centered. My main complaint is that without a handle it is kind of a pain to lift the pan out of the water. There are some slots around the side and I think if I used a wider saucepan or maybe even a saute pan, it would be easier to lift it out with some tongs. There are other models of egg poachers that have handles, so I might get one of those eventually.@murisopsis –  Now I just have to go back and perfect the homemade English muffin recipe I tried three years ago!@Ikwa –  @Sinful_Sundae –  @decembriel –  Thanks! I hope you enjoyed reading it.@osmundaregalis –  Your comment just made a lightbulb go off in my head. Normally, I use a fairly large pan when making poached eggs the traditional way. A smaller pan might help keep things well-contained. Thinking, thinking, thinking…@foggysunnymorning –  Yes, it has a few more steps than a normal breakfast, certainly. Reserved only for weekends when I have the time.@wereallylikefood –  Well, shoot, it would have been perfect for you, then!@ElusiveWords –  Interesting question, Matt. When we lived in the US, Tawn was studying and I was working and traveling a lot, and so he had more time to cook. Since we moved back to Thailand, I’m the primary cook. Since I work from home, I also have a bit more flexibility in my day, so I can start things that need some advance prep work during the day. Tawn does cook, though – in fact, this eggs benedict attempt was preceded a few days earlier by his practicing to poach eggs the traditional way. Had it worked out, I wouldn’t have bought the poaching pan.@moolgishin –  Mouth watering…@New_Egyptian –  A perfectly acceptable alternative. Tawn likes them with smoked salmon instead of ham, but that’s quite p-r-i-c-e-y here!

  8. Hey Chris,Your poacher insert sits IN the pan touching the bottom of the pan? That is your problem. I have an ancient poacher that hangs above the water from the rim of the pan and the lid fits on that. Works perfectly all of the time. Yours is getting too much direct heat at the bottom. I LOVE Eggs Benedict.

  9. @Toro69 – Actually, the picture doesn’t show it very well.  There are legs on the sides and per the instructions, the water only goes up to the bottoms.  This one produced perfectly good eggs, it was just difficult to lift out of the pan because I used a high-sided saucepan.@yang1815 – Exactly.  Sautee pan instead of a saucepan.@Senlin – Hard-boiled eggs are a pain to get right.  I finally followed Julia Child’s original recipe in her “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and have been fine ever since.@ZSA_MD – Now I will know what to make when she comes to visit!

  10. it’s been ages since the last time i had eggs benedict, let alone make a hollandaise sauce. i like mine a bit more lemony than what you would regularly get. i think i had eggs benedict last when i was back in the states. in a BOSTON diner i think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s