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Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict


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For hollandaise sauce: Use a glass bowl that you can place on top of another pot of boiling water. Mix the yolks with the vinegar until they lighten a little in color, then place the bowl over the bowl with hot water. Pour the melted butter, little by little over the yolks, stirring constantly. When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper powder to taste. Keep the sauce warm.

Put the bacon in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until crispy. then fry the slices of english muffins, if you don't have muffins you can use bagels.

At the end boil water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a saucepan to pass half of it, when the water starts to boil carefully break an egg and let it boil for about 2-3 minutes then remove with a spatula on a clean kitchen towel . Do the same with the remaining eggs. Place the bacon over the fried muffin slices then the egg and finally pour the hot hollandaise sauce.

GOOD APPETITE!!!


Gather your ingredients for eggs Benedict

A full-on ideal meal of eggs Benedict is a filling affair indeed. To serve four people a breakfast they'll long remember, start with the sauce. For the Hollandaise sauce, you’ll need a half cup of unsalted butter, four large egg yolks, one tablespoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for the sauce. For the main event, you’ll need eight large eggs, a tablespoon of white vinegar, four English muffins, eight slices of Canadian bacon, and chopped chives for topping.

No Canadian bacon? Regular bacon or sliced ​​ham will do nicely, though these types of bacon are clearly distinct from one another. And no English muffins or even crumpets? Well, then off to the store with you, or better yet make some fresh yourself.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces Canadian bacon slices, chopped
  • 6 English muffins, split
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add bacon. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving drippings in skillet. (Do not wipe skillet clean.) Return skillet to medium-high. Working in batches, add English muffin halves, cut sides down, to hot drippings in skillet. Cook until toasted, about 1 minute. Let muffin halves cool slightly.

Chop English muffin halves into bite-size pieces. Place on bottom of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cooked bacon. Finely chop white parts of scallions, and sprinkle over mixture in dish. (Wrap green parts of scallions in a damp paper towel chill until ready to use.) Whisk together whole eggs, milk, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Pour over mixture into baking dish cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 & ordmF. Let casserole stand at room temperature while oven preheats. Bake until top is browned and casserole is set, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make hollandaise. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-low. Keep butter hot over lowest heat (do not let it brown). Process egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a blender on medium just to combine, about 5 seconds. With blender running on medium speed, slowly pour hot, melted butter through center opening in blender lid. Process until mixture is smooth and thick, about 1 minute.

Drizzle about & frac12 cup hollandaise over warm casserole. Finely chop reserved green scallion parts, and sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with paprika serve with remaining hollandaise.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces Canadian bacon slices, chopped
  • 6 English muffins, split
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add bacon. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving drippings in skillet. (Do not wipe skillet clean.) Return skillet to medium-high. Working in batches, add English muffin halves, cut sides down, to hot drippings in skillet. Cook until toasted, about 1 minute. Let muffin halves cool slightly.

Chop English muffin halves into bite-size pieces. Place on bottom of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cooked bacon. Finely chop white parts of scallions, and sprinkle over mixture in dish. (Wrap green parts of scallions in a damp paper towel chill until ready to use.) Whisk together whole eggs, milk, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Pour over mixture into baking dish cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 & ordmF. Let casserole stand at room temperature while oven preheats. Bake until top is browned and casserole is set, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make hollandaise. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-low. Keep butter hot over lowest heat (do not let it brown). Process egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a blender on medium just to combine, about 5 seconds. With blender running on medium speed, slowly pour hot, melted butter through center opening in blender lid. Process until mixture is smooth and thick, about 1 minute.

Drizzle about & frac12 cup hollandaise over warm casserole. Finely chop reserved green scallion parts, and sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with paprika serve with remaining hollandaise.


  • 2 tablespoons butter fed with grass or ghee
  • 1 egg yolk
  • & # 188 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • & # 188 teaspoon sea salt
  • & # 189 tablespoon water
  1. & # 206In a pan with a little sauce, melt the butter or ghee over medium-low heat.
  2. Add all the ingredients in a high power blender until well combined.

Too often, sauces and dressings are treated as after meals. But really, the right topping can take your food from good to great. Think: a good aioli sauce to slip over crispy sweet potatoes & # 238n or mustard dressing to & # 238nmoi the chicken & # 238n. And now there's another one to add to your list: this easy hollandaise sauce recipe.


Eggs almost Benedict

The breakfast I propose to you today has, in addition to the special air, a slightly exotic, slightly noble and the essential feature of this meal of the day, namely speed.
Let me tell you how and why.
To build the ensemble, somewhat similar to the well-known Benedict eggs, you need a good quality white bun, two eggs, two thin slices of smoked salmon, a tablespoon of butter and a few sprigs of dill. You definitely have salt, pepper and any cayenne pepper in your closet.


We start with the preparation of the eggs. Put a saucepan not very wide, but deep enough with water, salt and a drop of vinegar to boil. Vinegar and salt act as coagulants. The moment the water reaches the boiling point, the fire is adjusted in such a way that the water does not bubble violently, but calms down. Break each egg into a cup and let it slide easily into the water. In 4 minutes, the consistency is ideal. However, depending on the vessel, flame, pressure conditions, the time until the complete and beautiful coagulation of the egg white can vary slightly. Use common sense as a chef.
I recommend them for breakfast because the eggs prepared in this way can be kept overnight in the refrigerator, in a bowl with very cold water. The next day you will only warm them up, which, you have to admit, considerably shortens and makes the work easier. The magic part is that the yolk will still remain soft and the egg white firm and immaculate.
Butter for this treatment can also be prepared beforehand. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add pepper, a pinch of hot paprika, a few chopped dill sprigs. Mix well.


Early in the morning or later in the afternoon if it's a weekend, cut the bun in half lengthwise and put it in the toaster for warmth and light browning.


Grease each half with the flavored butter and place the slices of smoked salmon on top. Heat the eggs and arrange them over the salmon. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, I also recommend cayenne pepper.


It's crunchy, fragrant, slightly smoky, divinely caressed by the yolk. It's the beginning of a good day.

Text & Photo: Costin Barbutz

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11 Comments

What a comeback, Costin! What can that yolk look like on the bread ... food porn at its best! : P

I like to eat Benedict eggs, but it always puts a strain on my hollandaise sauce. I will eat this variant without remorse. Thanks!

The recipe looks very good, I only have one question: what kind of toaster do you have to fit the bun in it? :)


Eggs Benedict

Which came first? Easter or the egg? Did early Christians give up eggs for Lent, or did they simply run out? The ability to keep birds laying year-round is relatively recent. It seems likely that over the years, it became traditional to celebrate Easter by eating eggs because the Christian Holy Week falls at the peak of bird-nesting season.

Either way, no other food is better suited to feasting. Eggs are so versatile, they amount to their own cuisine. Given the sheer number of dishes that depend on eggs, from angel food cake to zabaglione, the odd thing is that we have no words to describe their flavor. There are the viscous subtlety of the white and the rich barnyard flavors of the yolk, that combination of dandelions, sweat and spring that somehow amounts to egginess.

If the right words existed, they would have to run the gamut from pleasure to pain. Consider for a moment how profoundly the flavor changes from the teasing delicacy of a soft-boiled egg to essence of burnt rubber as aromas of overcooked egg waft up from beneath cafeteria heat lamps.

At their best, egg dishes never depart the register of sumptuous, lactic flavors of their rightful partners in the dairy - milk, butter and cheese. It’s no coincidence that the great Easter dishes almost always involve milk products. Just as hens start laying in spring, cows calve and come back into milk while grazing on new pastures.

The timetable is so deeply imprinted in the way we cook that in my family, even growing up far from a farm, supplied with year-round eggs, Easter was about eggs. I can still feel the excitement that ran through the house when my mother would pull down Volume 1 of the two big brown gourmet cookbooks from the shelf. It meant - goody goody goody - eggs Benedict. For dessert - oh, yes! - meringue layer cake. My brothers and I would come in from our network of backyards and playing fields and stay close to the kitchen, wolfish helpers. Carton after carton of eggs would come out, eggs for poaching, egg yolks for hollandaise, egg whites for the meringue dessert and icing.

In adulthood, as eggs Benedict became a standard brunch in restaurants, my version of the same feast changed to spinach and Parmesan tart. A signature dish of a beloved friend, Jeremy Lee, chef of the Blueprint Cafe in London, it is a kind of savory egg custard in a pie shell. In Jeremy’s manner, there are not a few eggs in this dish but eight of them are not a little cream but a pint. The resulting filling is a perfect marriage of flavors, on a par with basil and tomatoes. One friend was so taken by its jiggle, she thought it should be served in ramekins, with toast, or on brioche. Jeremy’s delivery system is pie crust.

There are endless recipes for eggs. Eggs a la everything. But the art of getting the best out of eggs isn’t a profusion of recipes, it’s appreciating the structure of the egg itself. This is, says UC Davis veterinarian George West, "nature's most perfect biological package." Egg cartons now carry instructions to refrigerate eggs, but they don’t need it, says West. The egg evolved tough enough to remain viable to produce baby birds in scorching heat, in rain, in conditions that make postmen pale, he says. It manages for many reasons, not least because it emerges from a chicken coated with a protective film saturated with antibodies to protect the egg. If you get eggs from a farmers market, or backyard coop, don’t wash them until just before you use them the coating will keep protecting your egg. In fact, the vacuum effect of putting eggs in and out of refrigerators is probably stressing them, says West. But eggs are so tough, they’ve been able to take it.

The shell itself is porous, which allows evaporation, but its weave also repels incursions from bacteria. The Irish butter eggs, to stop evaporation and to give the eggs a butter flavor. Northern Italians go one better and store white truffles in egg baskets to help trap the aroma.

Inside the shell, the white, or albumen, is protected by membranes that keep anything that might have got past the shell from getting any farther. Where the white appears to thicken at top and bottom are the chalazae, rope-like structures that anchor the yolk inside the white and shell to keep it from bouncing around. Protecting the yolk is another membrane.

The egg’s compartmentalization is exactly what makes it so versatile in the kitchen. It allows us to separate the white and yolk. The two components have entirely different but wholly compatible natures. Yes, whites lack flavor, but they bring a mix of protein and water that somehow just begs to be whipped. Miraculous things happen when you do. The proteins trap air, forming a satiny foam that can be folded into souffles or buttery cake batters to help give them body without using yeast or the often bitter-tasting baking powder. A whisked egg white is a delightful thing stirred into hot chocolate for a frothy head or breathing air into whipped cream. Or egg whites can accept almonds, sugar and a touch of flour and become a meringue or the gooier pleasure, the macaroon.

As gratifying as it can be, beating eggs is not a good way to thrash out stress. One must stop beating when they reach the proverbial soft peaks. Beat more and the proteins break down, water spills out, and the egg is finished.

When you cook meringues, the whites continue to be tricky. Baking on humid days can add hours to cooking times. Push meringues too fast, and the ephemeral batter turns to sticky glue. Cook them too long, and they crumble. If this happens, all is not lost. Break them up, cover them with fresh strawberries and cream and declare them the English boarding school dish Eton Mess.

And so to the yolk, the heart of the egg, a luscious mix of protein and fat that can be more or less yellow depending on how much green alfalfa went into the chicken feed. The yolk evolved, of course, as a medium for life, nature’s recipe for making a chicken from scratch. For the cook, however, the beauty of the yolk is that the white has essentially come with its own sauce. Italians take advantage of this with the perfect spring dish: poached eggs lightly seasoned with sea salt, pepper, maybe Parmesan - served with steamed asparagus. They puncture the egg yolk with asparagus spears, dipping and eating, then eat the sauced white, mopping up the last with a good chunk of bread.

The yolk is the test of an egg cook. Although it is the richest part of the egg, it has so little fat that when overcooked, it quickly takes on the burnt-rubber flavors of stressed protein. Nancy Silverton, co-chef of Campanile restaurant, is so serious about eggs that she keeps her own chickens. She jokes that the way to test a restaurant is to go in, order a hard-cooked egg and, if it’s not good, leave. Perfect hard-cooked eggs will be firm but will retain their fresh barnyard flavors.

The art is packing the eggs tightly in a pot just big enough to hold them, she says, then covering with well-salted water (if there is a crack in the egg, it sets the white right away). “Bring it to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook from five to seven, maybe eight, minutes,” she says. You want to quickly drain and set them on ice to stop the cooking when the yolk is not quite set but runny in the center, because it will keep cooking for a while under its own heat. The only way to catch it at the right minute, she says, is the “sacrificial egg,” a test egg pulled at five minutes and ripped open under a running cold tap to check for done-ness.

Once cool enough to peel, the next key to a gutsy egg salad, she says, is never reducing them to a nasty dice but ripping them up in big, attackable chunks.

Countless sauces rely on egg yolks, and in every case, the integrity of the sauce comes back to how tactful the cook is in referring back to the basic egg flavor. In recipes for hollandaise, in which butter is melted into egg yolks, the butter must be fresh and sweet, the lemon bright and the hand with salt and pepper sure. There is nothing worse than ordering eggs Benedict in a restaurant and discovering that some fiendishly original chef has added curry powder to the sauce.

Of the other great egg sauce, mayonnaise, even our most discriminating food writers often miss the point. Elizabeth David used to recommend using strong green oils. She was wrong. Sharp Tuscans clash with the egg’s basic floral flavors, creating a bitter, nay, entirely vile new taste. The French have it right, using vegetable oil, vinegar and a touch of mustard.

In both instances, hollandaise and mayonnaise, do not make the mistake behind so many sickening church social potato salads and make the sauce bland. Eggs are a medium for life. Once they are broken, this includes bacterial life. The vinegar or lemon are not there just for their bright acidity. The change in pH arrests pathogen growth.

Two egg dishes appear on the menus of most restaurants, from greasy spoons to Michelin three-stars: scrambled eggs and the omelet. In texture and flavor, they go from rubbery to ambrosial. Made well, each dish needs just a touch of fat added. In the case of the omelet, this is a splash of milk. Whisk it in briefly you don’t want to fold in air. Heat the omelet pan to the smoking point, add oil, then butter, drain excess and add egg. Remove completely from heat. Turn with a spatula, rolling quickly so the egg doesn’t fry but remains fluffy and smooth, blameless and yellow. Omelet masters can cook the dish on just residual heat, flipping without a spatula. Most of us will need to return it to heat, but we should do so carefully and only briefly. At its best, the center will remain slightly runny - or, as the French call it, baveuse.

The most elegant, delicious addition to an omelet isn’t a filling but a good pinch of chopped spring herbs - chervil, parsley, chives maybe, straight from the garden. Their just-snipped perfume is perfect with the fresh egg flavor. This dish, which had to be French and whose proper name is omelette aux fines herbes, is best with wine, a dry one, a Chablis or Pinot Gris.

Scrambled eggs are an altogether lustier proposition. These can stand up to an accompaniment of vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and tomato juice. For this, the egg mix needs more than milk. It needs cream. Stop pouring after you say “luxury.” Whisk eggs five or six beats, no more. You don’t want to trap air in this instance. Heat a saucepan, add oil, drain excess, then melt a knob of butter. When this is melted, add eggs, stirring as they set, never letting the mixture brown, stick or congeal but keeping it moving, keeping it moist, intermittently removing it from heat and walking it around the kitchen as it slowly sets into sumptuous buttery folds . Serve immediately on good, hot toast.

One can’t seem to write about eggs these days without taking a microbiological turn, or printing rote warnings from federal agencies about the dangers of eating eggs that haven’t been cooked to Washington, D.C., and back. Suffice it to say here that my own route to safe eggs is to eat them in places where cooks don’t need signs in bathrooms telling them to wash their hands.

In short, I’m not worried the egg is out to get me I’m worried about what I might do to the egg. It’s all too easy to ruin eggs and altogether more difficult to capture their delicate fresh flavors. Maybe there’s more to giving up eggs for Lent than the chickens being out of lay. Maybe we need to give up eggs every year to rediscover something exquisite.

Eggshell color is dictated by the breed of chicken. Brown eggs usually come from Rhode Island red birds favored by organic farmers. White eggs come from White Leghorn hens. Green, blue and pink eggs come from Araucana chickens.

Organic eggs come from chickens fed corn, soybeans and peas produced without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers.

Free-range organic eggs come from birds raised on an organic regime and also given access to the outdoors to forage and roost.

Free-range eggs come from birds housed in sheds rather than in cages and given room to exercise in adjoining yards but fed conventional feed.

Farm-fresh is a marketing term for conventional eggs from caged birds. However, eggs from farmers markets are often organic and almost always fresher than supermarket eggs.

Fertilized eggs are from hens kept with a rooster.

Omega eggs were developed in the wake of the vogue for diets high in fish oil. Hen feed is supplemented by fish oil and algae so their eggs provide some of the fatty acids normally found in oily fish.

Grades A and AA reflect the condition of the egg. Buy Grade AA for pert eggs with strong shells. Grade A are less strong. There is also a Grade B, but those eggs rarely get to the retail market and are usually pasteurized and used in cooked commercial products. Federal regulations demand that from point of collection, eggs from large commercial producers be kept no warmer than 45 degrees. However, in intact Grade AA eggs, the shells, albumin and series of membranes should be enough to keep bacteria from reaching the yolk naturally. Egg lovers prefer to buy few eggs and often, storing them at room temperature.

Dating reflects the date the eggs were packed. Eggs sold in food stores will have been washed, dried, “candled” (held against light to inspect for cracks and blood spots), sized, packed and refrigerated.

Freshness counts. While usually safe to eat, old eggs will have lost some water to evaporation and won’t perform as well in the kitchen. Fresh eggs will feel heavy in the hand, and they are when cracked, the yolk will stand up pert in the pan.

Blood spots are not from fertilization but from a tear in the hen’s oviduct during egg formation. It is a harmless defect usually but not always caught in candling.


Ingredients

Step 1

Fill a large three-quarters pot full with water and bring to a bare simmer. Set up a large bowl of ice water and place near stove.

Step 2

Working one at a time, crack egg into a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl and shake gently to allow the more liquid part of egg white to pass through. Gently transfer egg to a medium bowl (eggs are more resilient than you think, but be careful not to break the protective ring of egg white surrounding yolk). This step might sound insane, but it eliminates the thin tentacle-like strands of egg whites that form when the egg hits the hot water.

Step 3

Once you have 6 strained eggs in bowl, gently position bowl over pot of simmering water and, one at a time, slip each egg into pot. Cook eggs, gently encouraging each to rotate with a slotted spoon so they cook evenly, until whites are set and yolks are still runny, 3 minutes. Transfer to ice bath and let cool (you’ll reheat them later on).

Step 4

Skim off and discard any foam or bits of egg white in pot. Return water to a bare simmer. Repeat poaching process with remaining 6 eggs.

Step 5

Do Ahead: Eggs can be poached 1 day ahead. Store in ice bath in fridge.

Dutch Sauce

Step 6

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over low until melted. Set aside ¼ cup melted butter for assembly. Transfer remaining butter to a small liquid measuring cup.

Step 7

Fill a blender pitcher with very hot water and let sit 3 minutes to warm blender (this will prevent the sauce from separating). Drain pitcher dry well. Blend egg yolks and lemon juice in blender just to combine. With the engine running, slowly stream in melted butter in liquid measuring cup until hollandaise is thickened, glossy, and pale yellow. Transfer to a medium bowl stir in salt and cayenne. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed (it will need a fair amount of salt to balance the acidity and fat). If sauce seems too thick, thin with 1–2 Tbsp. warm water and adjust seasoning as needed.

Step 8

Do Ahead: Hollandaise can be made 1 hour ahead. Transfer to a heatproof container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set in a small saucepan of very hot water to keep warm. Whisk until smooth before serving.

Assembly

Step 9

Preheat oven to 450 °. Arrange English muffins, cut side up, on a sheet tray. Brush with reserved ¼ cup melted butter. Toast muffins until golden brown around edges, 6–8 minutes.

Step 10

Divide ham among muffins. Return sheet tray to oven and toast until ham is warmed through, about 1 minute. Transfer muffins to a large platter.

Step 11

To reheat eggs, bring a large pot of water to a bare simmer. Remove each egg from ice bath and lower into pot, then turn off heat. Cook eggs 1 minute, then gently transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet tray to drain.

Step 12

Place 1 poached egg atop ham. Season eggs with salt and black pepper. Dutch spoon sauce over. Top with chives and cayenne.

How would you rate Eggs Benedict for a Crowd?

Xcellemt recipe great time saver

I didn’t bother with the egg straining part. I make poached eggs often. I just rotate them in the boiling water so that the strings are minimal. I then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon, let them drain a few seconds on a paper towel, and then set them on the ham with any string underneath. They can’t be seen and if by chance they can be seen, they won’t be seen once you spoon the sauce over. If you’re doing them in advance, just cut the strings off before you heat them the second time.

I & # x27m not a hollandaise expert, but I thought it tasted really good once it mixed with the egg yolk. And it was incredibly easy. I didn & # x27t need to cover it and place in hot water, keeping the sauce on top of my oven while it pre-heated and the toasted muffins kept it pretty warm. The poached eggs also turned out perfect. They were the best part. I did make them about 6 hours in advance. I strained the egg, but I didn & # x27t bother placing all the eggs in another bowl before poaching. I went straight from strainer to simmering pot. All eggs cooked for between 3-4.5 min, and they all turned out the same. I didnâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; t want to dirty another bowl! Speaking of dishes, I didn't use a new dish to catch the strained egg either. I used some already dirty dish from breakfast. And when re-heating the eggs, I placed the eggs on my serving platter on the paper towel, then I assembled on my baking sheet, dried off my platter, then plated (rather than using a plate just to dry the re-heated eggs ). Finally, I just made sure to leave 1/4 of melted butter in my measuring cup after streaming into blender, rather than set aside in advance in yet another dish. Is it just me who is crazy about dishes? If so, sorry! Great recipe, but if you donâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; t have a dish washer be careful. So many dishes if followed exactly as written!

The Poached eggs were definitely not foolproof and I donâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; t recommend this method of putting them in the same bowl and then separating because itâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; s hard to give each yolk the right amount of white as you slide them in. My sauce didn't thicken, but that was probably just my fault.

I am an Eggs Benedict connoisseur. I am extremely picky, I hate it. I pay top dollar for a delicious hollandaise sauce (secrets in the sauce) with that said I thought I would surprise wifey this morning with a nice breakfast since we had leftover smoked Salmon. I made the sauce per video and recipe word for word, dressed the homemade biscuits (no English muffins in home) with smoked Salmon, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, cayenne, capers and a couple of thinly sliced ​​red onion. This is the way itâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; s served at a high-end restaurant. It looked lovely, the eggs were perfect only I did not like the Hollandaise sauce. To me, it was too much lemon. I am not sure what is missing. I served wifey and she loved it. I had a bowl of cereal, big sighs. I will give it one more try when I am feeling adventurous and use less lemon. I appreciate your video and recipe. But for now, Iâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; ll continue to pay top dollar for my beloved Eggs Benedict & Salmon. Angel from The Bay

I made this for 6. Really good process for getting everyone served together. I did not make ahead but will next time. You just keep the cooked eggs in the melted ice water in the frig for a day or two, put them in warm to hot water for about 45 seconds and place the Canadian bacon. This is even an easier method for toasting the muffins and heating the bacon. Straining the eggs is a real bonus on serving presentation and they donâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; t cook as long either. For ease, the eggs should be broken, strained, and kept separate otherwise the whites all want to mix together.


Eggs Benedict

Which came first? Easter or the egg? Did early Christians give up eggs for Lent, or did they simply run out? The ability to keep birds laying year-round is relatively recent. It seems likely that over the years, it became traditional to celebrate Easter by eating eggs because the Christian Holy Week falls at the peak of bird-nesting season.

Either way, no other food is better suited to feasting. Eggs are so versatile, they amount to their own cuisine. Given the sheer number of dishes that depend on eggs, from angel food cake to zabaglione, the odd thing is that we have no words to describe their flavor. There are the viscous subtlety of the white and the rich barnyard flavors of the yolk, that combination of dandelions, sweat and spring that somehow amounts to egginess.

If the right words existed, they would have to run the gamut from pleasure to pain. Consider for a moment how profoundly the flavor changes from the teasing delicacy of a soft-boiled egg to essence of burnt rubber as aromas of overcooked egg waft up from beneath cafeteria heat lamps.

At their best, egg dishes never depart the register of sumptuous, lactic flavors of their rightful partners in the dairy -- milk, butter and cheese. It’s no coincidence that the great Easter dishes almost always involve milk products. Just as hens start laying in spring, cows calve and come back into milk while grazing on pastures new.

The timetable is so deeply imprinted in the way we cook that in my family, even growing up far from a farm, supplied with eggs year-round, Easter was about eggs. I can still feel the excitement that ran through the house when my mother would pull down Volume 1 of the two big brown Gourmet cookbooks from the shelf. It meant -- goody goody goody -- eggs Benedict. For dessert -- oh, yes! -- meringue layer cake. My brothers and I would come in from our network of backyards and playing fields and stay close to the kitchen, wolfish helpers. Carton after carton of eggs would come out, eggs for poaching, egg yolks for hollandaise, egg whites for the meringue dessert and icing.

In adulthood, as eggs Benedict became a brunch standard in restaurants, my version of the same feast changed to spinach and Parmesan tart. A signature dish of a beloved friend, Jeremy Lee, chef of the Blueprint Cafe in London, it is a kind of savory egg custard in a pie shell. In Jeremy’s manner, there are not a few eggs in this dish but eight of them not a little cream but a pint. The resulting filling is a perfect marriage of flavors, on a par with basil and tomatoes. One friend was so taken by its jiggle, she thought it should be served in ramekins, with toast, or on brioche. Jeremy’s delivery system is pie crust.

There are endless recipes for eggs. Oeufs a la everything. But the art to getting the best out of eggs isn’t a profusion of recipes, it’s appreciating the structure of the egg itself. This is, says UC Davis veterinarian George West, “nature’s most perfect biologic package.” Egg cartons now carry instructions to refrigerate eggs, but they don’t need it, says West. The egg evolved tough enough to remain viable to produce baby birds in scorching heat, in rain, in conditions that make postmen pale, he says. It manages for many reasons, not least because it emerges from a chicken coated with a protective film saturated with antibodies to protect the egg. If you get eggs from a farmers market, or backyard coop, don’t wash them until just before you use them the coating will keep protecting your egg. In fact, the vacuum effect of putting eggs in and out of refrigerators is probably stressing them, says West. But eggs are so tough, they’ve been able to take it.

The shell itself is porous, which allows evaporation, but its weave also repels incursions from bacteria. The Irish butter eggs, to stop evaporation and to give the eggs a butter flavor. Northern Italians go one better and store white truffles in egg baskets to help trap the aroma.

Inside the shell, the white, or albumen, is protected by membranes that keep anything that might have got past the shell from getting any farther. Where the white appears to thicken at top and bottom are the chalazae, rope-like structures that anchor the yolk inside the white and shell to keep it from bouncing around. Protecting the yolk is another membrane.

The egg’s compartmentalization is exactly what makes it so versatile in the kitchen. It allows us to separate the white and yolk. The two components have entirely different but wholly compatible natures. Yes, whites lack flavor, but they bring a mix of protein and water that somehow just begs to be whipped. Miraculous things happen when you do. The proteins trap air, forming a satiny foam that can be folded into souffles or buttery cake batters to help give them body without using yeast or the often bitter-tasting baking powder. A whisked egg white is a delightful thing stirred into hot chocolate for a frothy head or breathing air into chantilly cream. Or egg whites can accept almonds, sugar and a touch of flour and become a meringue or the gooier pleasure, the macaroon.

As gratifying as it can be, beating eggs is not a good way to thrash out stress. One must stop beating when they reach the proverbial soft peaks. Beat more and the proteins break down, water spills out, and the egg is finished.

When you cook meringues, the whites continue to be tricky. Baking on humid days can add hours to cooking times. Push meringues too fast, and the ephemeral batter turns to sticky glue. Cook them too long, and they crumble. If this happens, all is not lost. Break them up, cover them with fresh strawberries and cream and declare them the English boarding school dish Eton Mess.

And so to the yolk, the heart of the egg, a luscious mix of protein and fat that can be more or less yellow depending on how much green alfalfa went into the chicken feed. The yolk evolved, of course, as a medium for life, nature’s recipe for making a chicken from scratch. For the cook, however, the beauty of the yolk is that the white has essentially come with its own sauce. Italians take advantage of this with the perfect spring dish: poached eggs lightly seasoned with sea salt, pepper, maybe Parmesan -- served with steamed asparagus. They puncture the egg yolk with asparagus spears, dipping and eating, then eat the sauced white, mopping up the last with a good chunk of bread.

The yolk is the test of an egg cook. Although it is the richest part of the egg, it has so little fat that when overcooked, it quickly takes on the burnt-rubber flavors of stressed protein. Nancy Silverton, co-chef of Campanile restaurant, is so serious about eggs that she keeps her own chickens. She jokes that the way to test a restaurant is go in, order a hard-cooked egg and, if it’s not good, leave. Perfect hard-cooked eggs will be firm but will retain their fresh barnyard flavors.

The art is packing the eggs tightly in a pot just big enough to hold them, she says, then covering with well-salted water (if there is a crack in the egg, it sets the white right away). “Bring it to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook from five to seven, maybe eight, minutes,” she says. You want to quickly drain and set them on ice to arrest the cooking when the yolk is not quite set but runny in the center, because it will keep cooking for a while under its own heat. The only way to catch it at the right minute, she says, is the “sacrificial egg,” a test egg pulled at five minutes and ripped open under a running cold tap to check for done-ness.

Once cool enough to peel, the next key to a gutsy egg salad, she says, is never reducing them to a nasty dice but ripping them up in big, attackable chunks.

Countless sauces rely on egg yolks, and in every case, the integrity of the sauce comes back to how tactful the cook is in referring back to the basic egg flavor. In recipes for hollandaise, in which butter is melted into egg yolks, the butter must be fresh and sweet, the lemon bright and the hand with salt and pepper sure. There is nothing worse than ordering eggs Benedict in a restaurant and discovering that some fiendishly original chef has added curry powder to the sauce.

Of the other great egg sauce, mayonnaise, even our most discriminating food writers often miss the point. Elizabeth David used to recommend using strong green oils. She was wrong. Sharp Tuscans clash with the egg’s basic floral flavors, creating a bitter, nay, entirely vile new taste. The French have it right, using vegetable oil, vinegar and a touch of mustard.

In both instances, hollandaise and mayonnaise, do not make the mistake behind so many sickening church social potato salads and make the sauce bland. Eggs are a medium for life. Once they are broken, this includes bacterial life. The vinegar or lemon are not there just for their bright acidity. The change in pH arrests pathogen growth.

Two egg dishes appear on the menus of most restaurants, from greasy spoons to Michelin three-stars: scrambled eggs and the omelet. In texture and flavor, they go from rubbery to ambrosial. Made well, each dish needs just a touch of fat added. In the case of the omelet, this is a splash of milk. Whisk it in briefly you don’t want to fold in air. Heat the omelet pan to the smoking point, add oil, then butter, drain excess and add egg. Remove completely from heat. Turn with a spatula, rolling quickly so the egg doesn’t fry but remains fluffy and smooth, blameless and yellow. Omelet masters can cook the dish on just residual heat, flipping without a spatula. Most of us will need to return it to heat, but we should do so carefully and only briefly. At its best, the center will remain slightly runny -- or, as the French call it, baveuse.

The most elegant, delicious addition to an omelet isn’t a filling but a good pinch of chopped spring herbs -- chervil, parsley, chives maybe, straight from the garden. Their just-snipped perfume is perfect with the fresh egg flavor. This dish, which had to be French and whose proper name is omelette aux fines herbes, is best with wine, a dry one, a Chablis or Pinot Gris.

Scrambled eggs are an altogether lustier proposition. These can stand up to an accompaniment of vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and tomato juice. For this, the egg mix needs more than milk. It needs cream. Stop pouring after you say “luxury.” Whisk eggs five or six beats, no more. You don’t want to trap air in this instance. Heat a saucepan, add oil, drain excess, then melt a knob of butter. When this is melted, add eggs, stirring as they set, never letting the mixture brown, stick or congeal but keeping it moving, keeping it moist, intermittently removing it from heat and walking it around the kitchen as it slowly sets into sumptuous buttery folds. Serve immediately on good, hot toast.

One can’t seem to write about eggs these days without taking a microbiological turn, or printing rote warnings from federal agencies about the dangers of eating eggs that haven’t been cooked to Washington, D.C., and back. Suffice it to say here that my own route to safe eggs is to eat them in places where cooks don’t need signs in bathrooms telling them to wash their hands.

In short, I’m not worried the egg is out to get me I’m worried about what I might do to the egg. It’s all too easy to ruin eggs and altogether more difficult to capture their delicate fresh flavors. Maybe there’s more to giving up eggs for Lent than the chickens being out of lay. Maybe we need to give up eggs every year to rediscover something exquisite.

Eggshell color is dictated by the breed of chicken. Brown eggs usually come from Rhode Island red birds favored by organic farmers. White eggs come from White Leghorn hens. Green, blue and pink eggs come from Araucana chickens.

Organic eggs come from chickens fed corn, soybeans and peas produced without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers.

Free-range organic eggs come from birds raised on an organic regimen and also given access to the outdoors to forage and roost.

Free-range eggs come from birds housed in sheds rather than in cages and given room to exercise in adjoining yards but fed conventional feed.

Farm-fresh is a marketing term for conventional eggs from caged birds. However, eggs from farmers markets are often organic and almost always fresher than supermarket eggs.

Fertilized eggs are from hens kept with a rooster.

Omega eggs were developed in the wake of the vogue for diets high in fish oil. Hen feed is supplemented by fish oil and algae so their eggs provide some of the fatty acids normally found in oily fish.

Grades A and AA reflect the condition of the egg. Buy Grade AA for pert eggs with strong shells. Grade A are less strong. There is also a Grade B, but those eggs rarely get to the retail market and are usually pasteurized and used in cooked commercial products. Federal regulations demand that from point of collection, eggs from large commercial producers be kept no warmer than 45 degrees. However, in intact Grade AA eggs, the shells, albumin and series of membranes should be enough to keep bacteria from reaching the yolk naturally. Egg lovers prefer to buy eggs few and often, storing them at room temperature.

Dating reflects the date the eggs were packed. Eggs sold in food stores will have been washed, dried, “candled” (held against light to inspect for cracks and blood spots), sized, packed and refrigerated.

Freshness counts. While usually safe to eat, old eggs will have lost some water to evaporation and won’t perform as well in the kitchen. Fresh eggs will feel heavy in the hand, and they are when cracked, the yolk will stand up pert in the pan.

Blood spots are not from fertilization but from a tear in the hen’s oviduct during egg formation. It is a harmless defect usually but not always caught in candling.


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