Monday, April 26, 2010
Full disclosure: I did do a bit a whining to J when I first cracked open the New Cookbook (Red Plaid Cookbook)--the sauce looked complicated and called for a stick of unsalted butter (which I did not have) and directed me to let it sit out for fifty minutes (which I didn't do). I ended up measuring out 1/2 cup of our tub o' butter--glamorous NO, time saving and much easier to work with YES.
I used several of the Liberty Prairie eggs, which, as always, did not let me down. I also used prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon. The recipe, from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook Bridal Edition, is as follows:
Eggs Benedict, taken from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
For the Hollandaise sauce:
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
For the Eggs Benedict:
2 English muffins-split
4 slices of prosciutto
Fresh spinach (Arugula would also work well)
First, prepare the Hollandaise sauce. The original recipe calls for you to cut the stick of butter into thirds. I just divided the 1/2 cup of soft tub o' butter into thirds.
Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, water and a third of the butter in a small sauce pan over a double broiler. The bottom of the broiler should be about half full--you do not want the top pan to touch the water.
If you don't have a double broiler, you can use a glass bowl over a sauce pan--which is what I did and it worked great! Bring the water to a slow boil, with big bursting bubbles. Whisk the ingredients until they combine. The sauce will be very thin and slightly orange at this point since the yolks have yet to fully cook.
Once it combines, add another third of the butter, mixing thoroughly and whisking constantly. Once this is combined, add the final third of the butter. Continue whisking rapidly until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve the hot water in the bottom pan.
Meanwhile (I had J finish stirring the sauce while I prepared this next part) add eggs, one at a time, in a medium skillet, filled half full with water. Red Plaid Cookbook recommends lightly greasing the pan to start to prevent the eggs from sticking--I did a once over with a small stick of butter I had in my fridge.
Once the water is boiling, I cracked each egg individually in a small measuring cup and added carefully to the hot water. I highly recommend this method as it allows you to get the lip of the measuring cup very close to the water, which ensures the yolk will not break and gives you a very round poached egg. You also will want to space your eggs accordingly so that none of them are touching one another. These will cook 3-5 minutes (mine took 5) until the whites are set and the yolks are thick but not quite firm. A slotted spoon works best for removing the eggs once finished.
Meanwhile, place sliced English muffins--I used whole grain--on a cookie sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until toasted. Once toasted, place 2 slices of prosciutto on top of each and allow to crisp under the broiler for another minute. Remove, serve over a bed of spinach and place one egg on each muffin. Top with Hollandaise sauce and paprika, if desired.
If you have some dead time between preparing and serving, place the eggs in a shallow bowl with some of the reserved water from the hollandaise double broiler--this will keep them warm but prevent them from drying out or getting hard.
Note: If the Hollandaise sauce becomes too thick, add a teaspoon or two of the reserved warm water to loosen.
The combination of the salty prosciutto and the buttery Hollandaise sauce is heavenly. I envy your first bite!