Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Daring Cooks challenge - Eggs benedict

Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

I chose to do the eggs benedict as I love them and it is something I never make. I varied the recipe slightly as I was cooking for a crowd, two of whom do not eat pork so I used smoked salmon to replace the ham (often done here on the west coast)

There were several people who not only poached the egg and made the hollandaise sauce, but also made the English muffins.  I am afraid I bailed on that and bought the muffins.

My recipe for hollandaise sauce is from my text book from when I was going to college back in 1977 learning classic french cooking.  This method is not for wimps as there is no double boiler you have to regulate the heat by pulling off and on the burner, and you need a good pot with a heavy bottom (which is what you will have if you eat these too often)

Hollandaise sauce.

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb of butter Melted(yes half a pound)
2 egg yolks

Place vinegar, lemon juice and fresh ground pepper in a small heavy bottomed pot and reduce to half.  1 1 tablespoon of cold water, allow to cool.

Mix in the yolks with a whisk and return to a gentle heat  and whisking continuously cook until they are thickened about the consistency of whipping cream. Remove from the heat.

Then very gradually whisk in the melted butter a little at a time until all the butter has been absorbed and it has the consistency of sour cream .

The very rich very delicious sauce
This sauce will keep for a while on the side of the stove off of the heat, just whisk it once in a while and if it gets a little too thick thin down with a little hot water.

Poaching the egg.  I read lots of hints of the best way to poach an egg in the traditional way, which was very important for this challenge.  This was the method I settled on.

Bring  water with a tablespoon of vinegar in a medium pot to a simmer. Drop a round cookie cutter in to the middle and then drop a whole raw egg in to the centre of the cookie cutter.

Cook for 3 minutes for a cooked white and a runny yolk. lift the cookie cutter out and then the egg with a slotted spoon.

A perfect poached egg.
Toast the english muffin then add a layer of smoked salmon a fresh poached egg and spoon of the sauce.  Yum.

The finished Eggs Benedict
Since I was making eggs benedict and a good friend was in town from the Okanagan, I decided to invite a few people over and make it a brunch party, we had champagne and orange juice and Dov produced the most delicious pop overs as an accompaniment.  I poached the eggs one at a time and after the 10th I was done.  I would not make a very good short order cook.

Pat with a very happy satisfied look on her face she got the first Eggs Benedict
These were a fair bit effort for a Sunday after a big party, but they were delicious and a good excuse to get together with some friends.


  1. that indeed looks divine...wouldn't mind joining to taste your eggs benedict with the hollandaise and maybe some brioche to go!

    All the best with the Punjabi Mutton Curry -its a delight with some indian flat bread or plain rice!

  2. Love that last photo the dish looks so delicious and I bet it was superbly tasty well done on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.