Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eggs Benedict

When I think of Eggs Benedict, I think of a delicious, indulgent and relaxing breakfast.  However, if you are making it for more than two people, getting it together in a timely fashion is anything but relaxing.  I learned a very useful trick last month from our Bed & Breakfast Chef  when we were in Taos, New Mexico.  Steam your eggs a day ahead of time.
You can buy egg poaching pans for four, six or eight eggs.  The most important thing to remember, is that your pan must have a glass lid, so you can tell when your eggs are nearly done.  I happen to have these two silicone egg poaching pockets, so I thought I'd give them a try. To insure my eggs would come out easily I sprayed the pockets with a non-stick  coating.
When the water was boiling I slid the pockets into the water, and then covered the pan. You cook them until the whites barely jiggle and the yolks are only half cooked, between five to seven minutes.
Immediately place the eggs in a small cold water bath, and cover with ice cubes.  Put saran wrap tightly over the bowl, as eggs absorb other flavors easily, and set in the refrigerator.  I have even let them set for two days before using them.
When you're ready to serve, while the English muffins are toasting, use a slotted spoon to gently place the eggs in a pan of water that is just less than boiling.  You want them to cook slightly but at the same time, you don't want to overcook the yolks.  Another tip from our Chef Lou, is to slip the rounds of Canadian ham into the water.  According to him, that heats and moistens the ham just enough so that it isn't dry. 
I used turkey bacon and leftover asparagus along with shaved white cheddar on top.  A couple of shakes of smoked Spanish paprika and garlic pepper and oh my gosh, it was good.  
Have you ever really thought about the delicious Hollandaise sauce that is traditionally served with Eggs Benedict?  It's rich, creamy, buttery and has anywhere from three to five egg yolks in it.  That's eggs poured over your eggs...Makes me wonder how someone came up with that.  I'm going to work on a non-traditional sauce.

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