This morning just seemed like a something-special-for-breakfast kind of morning. I thumbed through some books looking for inspiration. What to make, what to make…
Then I had an apostrophe!Like lightening hitting my brain. (Hook reference). I had plenty of eggs. I had butter and lemon. I even had English muffins and Canadian bacon, although regular bacon would do…Eggs Benedict!It was one of my favorites that I usually reserved for ordering at restaurants. I had the goods, so what was to stop me?
Skill for one thing.
Fear for another.
Hollandaise sauce? It had been a long time since I had made some of that. Usually it meant following the directions of the back of an envelope.
The recipes I looked up all included the use of a blender. My blender broke. I am blenderless. I have a food processor, but it would not work as well with such a small amount of liquid.
Then I thought of Mrs. Patmore. (Downton Abby fans anyone?) I am pretty sure she would have whipped up a hollandaise sauce, blindfolded. No blenders mind you. She would have used the ‘strongarm’ method. Or had Daisy do it.
If she can do it…well, then she can do it. Maybe I can do it too.
And I did. And it was easy. So I am here to share.
There are several steps for eggs Benedict. Like toasting the bread and poaching the eggs. But its the sauce that is the real trick. Hollandaise sauce can be used on asparagus too, or fish so it is a good little sauce to learn.
You will need egg yolks, lots of butter, lemon juice, salt and maybe a little water to help thin it out. You can use a blender. You can use a double boiler. The egg yolks are not really cooked, but the double boiler helps keep them warm while things get ready. But if you use a double boiler, you must keep the water at a bare minimum simmer.
Basically it is a matter of whisking the eggs yolks, lemon and melted butter to within an inch of its life. Well, here you go.
· 3 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for a different use)
· 1 ½ sticks of butter, melted
· Juice from ½ of a lemon
· Water, on standby if needed to thin out, about ¼ cup
Lets say you are using a blender. Put the 3 egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in it. Melt the butter. With the blender on, pour the melted butter in a steady, slow stream until it is all incorporated nicely. If too thick, pour in a wee bit of water.
Either use right away or put in a double boiler to barely keep warm.
Wasn’t that easy?
Or, put the eggs yolks, lemon juice and salt in a double boiler that is not on yet. With a whisk, beat the dickens out of it. Then, while still whisking, pour the melted butter in, ever so slowly (you do not want to really cook the egg yolks or get them too hot or they will curdle). Keep whisking until done, then use right away or keep barely warm while you poach the eggs and toast the toast.
Now, lets say you, like me, are hungry for eggs Benedict.
You will need to toast an english muffin, warm up some ham or Canadian bacon and poach an egg. That part is easy too. Take a shallow skillet and put about an inch and a half or more of water in it, bringing it to a gentle simmer. Add a small dollop of vinegar (because that’s what granny said to do). When simmering, gently crack the eggs into the pan, cracking close over the water, so it slides right in. Now cover with a lid and time it for about 2 minutes or longer, depending on how runny you like it. Usually you want the whites barely done and the yolks runny. Unless you are my husband. Then you want the yolks hard as rocks.
Then you just layer on a plate, the English muffin, toasted, butter optional. Then the ham/bacon, topped with the poached egg and then pour your amazing sauce over the whole thing!
Voila! Heaven on a plate.
Side note: I originally tried to half the recipe, using 2 yolks, half the butter and half a lemon, since the recipe called for a while lemon, juiced. But I don’t think they were taking into consideration the Pampered Chef citrus press. Even half a lemon gave up a bunch of juice and it was too lemony. I ended up adding another yolk and more melted butter to dilute it. That is why my recipe starts with half a lemon. You can even use less, if your lemon squeezer is as awesome as mine.