Eggs Benedict

For our first cooking class in culinary school, it was Stocks, Sauces, and Soups.  I’ve heard about Hollandaise, how it’s very easy to mess it up…and quickly.  Not beating the eggs enough, overcooking the yolks so they end up scrambling, not using the right temperature, etc.  So, to be honest, that first class we made Hollandaise, I was intimidated and a bit nervous.  With our instructor standing by our sides through the process, I made it through that first time, and it turned out perfect!  I would associate that with luck, but knowing our chef instructor was standing right there, taking me through the steps was what did it.  Part of our final exam for the class was to make Hollandaise, and after a second try in class, I felt semi-comfortable whipping up a batch of this stuff for the final.  It turned out a little thick, so I whisked in warm water, a little bit at a time, and BAM!  Perfect consistency.  🙂

Once my friends and family found out about the Hollandaise experiments in my class, they started talking about Eggs Benedict.  I’ve heard of it before, but never had it…and this was my perfect opportunity to start experimenting on my family, using them as guinea pigs.  While we were in class though, our instructor talked about how sometimes in restaurants when they’re making big batches of Hollandaise, they’ll make it in the blender.  This floored me, so I asked how it was done….and tried it out.  Just remember to keep the lid on the blender.  I ended up with bits of Hollandaise in my hair.  It’s the new style.

IMG_5644

I ordered the egg poachers online, since I’ve never tried it before.  These little guys were rated pretty high, and they worked SO well with poaching eggs.  I highly recommend them.  Just don’t leave them in the water after they’re done cooking, because they will continue to cook.  I learned this the hard way when my cousin cut into a hard boiled egg with a solid center.  Oops!  Although she ate the entire thing anyway and raved about the sauce and how well it was put together, I wanted to poach another egg to make sure it was done better.  This time, it had a slightly runny center…so it was closer to where it needed to be, but not perfect.  Practice makes perfect.  Oh, and my cousin tested out the second one…and finished it.  Her son helped her eat it, and even a 6 year old kid approves.  😉

*Safety Tip:  If there will be small children or elderly people eating the Hollandaise, use pasteurized eggs.  (Pasteurize is to expose (a food, as milk, cheese, yogurt, beer, or wine) to an elevated temperature for a period of time sufficient to destroy certain microorganisms, as those that can produce disease or cause spoilage or undesirable fermentation of food, without radically altering taste or quality).  Since I took the Food Sanitation course, I’m a lot more careful about germs and ways to prevent food poisoning in any way possible.

For the English Muffins:

4 English muffins

Split muffins into two pieces each, making 8 halves.  Lightly toast muffins in toaster or toaster oven.

For the Canadian Bacon:

8 slices Canadian Bacon

1 tablespoon butter

Melt butter in skillet on medium heat, sautee Canadian Bacon until lightly browned and crisp.

For the Poached Eggs:

8 eggs

Fill a saucepan with about 1 1/2 inches water, bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.  Lightly spray poaching pod with cooking spray, crack open egg and put in pod.  Place in pot of water and cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, remove from water (they will overcook if you leave them in the water).  Using a fork, remove egg from pod and place on top of Canadian Bacon on the muffin.  Top with Hollandaise, serve warm.

*You may want to practice this one or two times to get the right consistency that you want.

For the Hollandaise:

8 egg yolks (pasteurized)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter

salt, white pepper, and cayenne to taste

Melt butter in small saucepan on low heat until completely melted.  Once butter has melted, scrape the top thick layer off, using a spoon.  This process is called making clarified butter (this makes a better consistency of the Hollandaise).  Make sure the butter stays warm, 125-130 degrees.  Place yolks and lemon juice in blender.  With the lid on (don’t do what I did and end up with it in your hair), turn the blender on.  After it’s running for about 10 seconds, SLOWLY start drizzling the melted clarified butter in the blender.  Once all of the butter is added, stop blender to check consistency.  If it’s somewhat thick (yet still pourable), add your seasonings and stir together.  Drizzle over top of poached egg, Canadian Bacon and muffin.

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