[ed: After recovering from fast food day and sticky bun day, Sarah is back with another healthful post!]

You know that scene in “Julie & Julia” where Julie attempts to poach an egg for the first time?  Well that was me the other night.  I am a big – nay, huge – fan of eggs benedict and I have purposely been putting off actually making them for myself because who needs that kind of enabling, self-destructive knowledge?  In the name of 365foods though, I made the sacrifice.

It wasn’t the hollandaise that made me nervous, it was the egg poaching.  What if everything breaks apart and then I’m left with egg soup?  Yick!  I was finally up for the challenge though so I looked up a few eggs benedict recipes on the internet, chose the shortest one and dove in.  (Small insert here – I have much newfound respect for all those cooks who can construct these little suckers and have them actually be *warm* when they are served!)

First up: egg poaching.  I filled my largest, deepest frying pan with a couple inches of water and a generous splash of vinegar.  Apparently vinegar makes all the difference.  I let the water boil, then turned down to medium.  My recipe said to crack the egg into a small bowl and then pour into the water.  I tried this … and then watched in horror as the egg white merrily made its way around the pan.  There was enough still stuck to the yoke so I left it alone.  I tried turning up the heat with the next one and that worked better.  I made eight in all (we had company – I wasn’t that out of control!) and while some had more egg white than others, all of them turned out just fine.  I left them in for about four minutes, at medium-high heat, and the yokes were soft-ish and not runny.  A success I’d say.

Next: the hollandaise.  I found a recipe that did not involve whisking ingredients in a double boiler so I very happily chose that.  Two egg yolks, two teaspoons of water, some lemon juice (I squeezed a whole lemon in) and a pinch of cayenne into the blender and turn on low for about a minute.  Next, take the wee middle part out of the blender lid, turn blender back on (carefully – because it could splash out – and it did) and pour in half a cup of melted butter.  Blend on low for about a minute and you’ve got delicious hollandaise!  Add some white pepper if you have some (I had only black, which I added but then had spotty hollandaise).

Meanwhile, you should be frying up some back bacon or black forest ham and toasting the English muffins (in my case, I was defrosting the English muffins then toasting them).

Now here’s my question: how the heck do you do all of the above and keep everything warm??  Maybe I need to practice more (in the fall maybe – it’s getting to be bathing suit season!) but I could get the egg poaching and the ham frying going at the same time, but the English muffin toasting and the hollandaise making had to wait until the first two were done.  Perhaps if I made the hollandaise in the double boiler that would heat things up when I poured it over to but alas, I didn’t.  I also had company and may have been doing a bit of visiting!

In any event, the eggs benedict were very tasty, if a bit cold.  I recommend trying this with perhaps four eggs benedict instead of eight because then you might have a chance of keeping everything warm.  Go forth with hollandaise!

~Sarah

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