Cooking School: Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict Why yes, I do like Hollandaise sauce

Protein! After several weeks focusing on vegetables, we moved onto eggs for the week six class in CulinAerie’s Masters Series. And who doesn’t like eggs? Or even better, eggs served with a creamy delicious sauce that is also made out of eggs?

Eggs Benedict, a brunch favorite. And DC is a brunch town. But did you know that most restaurants take the lazy route and use prepared or powdered Hollandaise sauce? That stuff is junk. Did you also know that if you make your own Hollandaise in the comfort of your own home, while potentially still wearing your pajamas on a Saturday morning, it will not only taste better but also save you money? And how many times have you been served super runny or way overcooked poached eggs?  I’ve got a solution for that too – poach the eggs yourself and you can get them just the way you like them (with a little practice).

Sounds like a few good reasons to skip the brunch lines this weekend, stay at home and cook your own brunch. Start here with Eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict
Serves 4

8 eggs
White Vinegar
4 English muffins, cut in half
8 slices Canadian bacon
Hollandaise sauce (see below)
Chives

 

First you need to poach the eggs. Fill a high-walled pan with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a simmer and add 1 ounce of vinegar per quart of water used. Crack an egg into a ramekin or small cup – be careful not to break the yolk. Slowly slide the egg into the water. Repeat for the rest of the eggs, working in batches depending on the size of your pan. Be sure to maintain a simmer in the pan and poach the eggs until the yolks are slightly set, or to your desired level of firmness. Remove the poached eggs with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan, cook the Canadian bacon over medium heat until each side is nicely browned. Also toast the English muffins.

Depending on how long it takes to finish the eggs and prep the rest of the ingredients, you might want to add the poached eggs back into the water for a few seconds to warm them up just before assembling. To assemble the Eggs Benedict: start with an English muffin on the bottom, add one piece of bacon, one poached egg and top with Hollandaise sauce. Repeat. The recipe makes for two stacks per person. Garnish with sliced chives.

For more details on poaching eggs, click here for a video from the Culinary Institute of America.

Hollandaise Sauce
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
Makes about 1 cup

3 egg yolks
6 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt

 

First, set up a double boiler. Add about 1 inch of water to a medium-sized sauce pan and place a metal mixing bowl over the top. Heat the water to a low boil, which will create steam to warm the mixing bowl.

Add the yolks to the bowl, a pinch of salt and a splash of water and whisk until the eggs form small ribbons, about 3-5 minutes (If the egg yolks begin to curdle, remove from the heat and whisk until the yolks even out). Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in about 1 tablespoon of butter. This will help temper the egg yolks. Return the bowl to the heat and slowly add the butter, constantly whisking. Continue whisking until the Hollandaise becomes thick and a nice yellow color.

Stir in the lemon juice. You basically want to use enough lemon juice to lightly flavor the sauce, but not so much that it over powers. Adjust seasoning as needed and feel free to season with a little cayenne pepper if you’d like.

Serve immediately, or keep over low heat for up to 30 minutes, stirring often.

For more info on setting up a double boiler and making Hollandaise, click here for another video from the Culinary Institute.

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