The mere thought of it and I envision lazy Sunday brunches with mimosas…or at least something like that. I don’t imagine myself making this super rich dish that sounds so difficult to master. Instead, Eggs Benedict is a dish I would indulge in and say-“Let’s go out for brunch.”
But when my friend Ginger says she wants to try and make it, we have this agreement that there is no judgement in the kitchen. So whether or not the risotto is so salty you could melt the ice on your windshield with it on a cold day in January (in NY of course) or we end up having scrambled eggs hollandaise-I say we should give it a whirl. And since she knows me well enough, she knows I always like to try new things in the kitchen WITH friends. So, Betty, Dasha, and Ginger came over on a Friday afternoon so we could cook together and blow off some steam from the week’s work.
I know how to poach eggs. I enjoy poached eggs. In fact, growing up I would have poached eggs for breakfast quite often. I would eat them the same way my dad would. Perfectly nestled on buttered toast with the runny yolks cut open and ketchup lightly weaved in between the fluffy soft whites and the creamy runny yellows of the egg. The poaching wasn’t the part of Eggs Benedict that intimidated me. It was the Hollandaise sauce. The Hollandaise sauce is way beyond my edge because, I have heard oh so many times that if you don’t do it right-you end up with scrambled eggs.
Because we got a late start to our #cookfest, Ginger and I were both worried that we might be starving by the time our experiment was finished. So we both prepared snacks for us to nosh on while we prepped for our real meal. I threw together some sweet potato pancakes to dip in yogurt and Ginger prepared a no fail meat and cheese platter that we added hot peppers and olives to complete it. ( And YES. I forgot to snap pictures of both. *sigh)
This was really a group effort with everyone taking charge of different parts of the prepping and cooking. Ginger found this Salmon Eggs Benedict recipe on another site she frequents for recipe inspiration, Canadian Living.
We didn’t change much of anything from the recipe for our little get together, but in the future I might cut back on the lemon juice just a bit. (like only put in half)
1 TBS white vinegar
4 english muffins, croissants, or focaccia
8 oz smoked salmon
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter
2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 TBS chopped fresh dill
This is the time I get to use my gadgets. When still in NY, I would always love visiting Crate and Barrel. I loved picking through all the different gadgets they would have in the little crates on the wall. I was able to snag 6 of these egg poachers years ago. Unfortunately, since we moved to Manila, many of our appliances have since been retired, and quite a few of my pots and pans and kitchen tools have seen better days. My collection of 6 egg poachers has withered down to only 3 because after 10 years (7 of which are here in Manila) some of my egg poachers developed rust. I have just figured out that things don’t last as long here as they do in the States. I wonder it if has something to do with the heat and humidity. (It’s good for the skin…just not good for egg poachers I guess.)
To make the Hollandaise Sauce you have to simmer water in small pot. In a heat proof bowl over the simmering water, whisk the egg yolks until they coat the back of your spoon. I made the mistake of having the water boiling pretty hard so once the bowl got hot-it was too hot TOO QUICK. If you don’t catch it right away you will end up with scrambled eggs, (mine got a little chunky but I removed it from the heat and whisked it like nobody’s business and nobody noticed!) remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in butter 2 TBS at a time. Your sauce will become thick already. (Keep over warm water) Stir in lemon juice, fresh dill and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
By now you will have everything assembled on the english muffin, so all you have to do is drizzle the Hollandaise sauce right on top.
*Hint-My grocery store near me doesn’t always have fresh dill. You can use dry but you should always cut back on the amount called for if you are using dry because it’s so much stronger. When my grocery store DOES have dill-I buy one pack. I take it home and will use what I can right away and then the left over I will wash, dry and then put in the freezer, for the next time I need it. It keeps it’s color and still tastes fresh as long as I use it within the month. I put it in a sealed container so the leaves won’t get squished.