Food on Friday – Eggs Benedict


It all started out so hopeful

The ingredients were simple – eggs, butter, english muffins, canadian bacon, lemons, vinegar and some parsley (we completely forgot to add the parsley garnish at the end so you can too – it was not missed).  Everyone had a job.  Vash would do the eggs, Jesse the canadian bacon, Markus the english muffins and I would do the hollandaise sauce.

What I learned is that, when teaching kids how to cook, you have to pick recipes with longer time frames because you need instruction time and they need time to work on how to actually do each technique.  And with Eggs Benedict, everything has to be done quickly and timed to end at the same moment – which is all within the 5 minute period that the eggs are poaching.  While I think we can do this, it will take a few more tries to get it down.

So here is what you do.  The first thing we did was almost fill the large saucepan with water (you need 2-3 inches of simmering water to poach the eggs),added the vinegar – a 1/2 cup, and turned on the heat to bring it to a boil.  We also filled the blender with hot water to warm it.  We pulled out two tea cups to break the eggs into and then pour them into the water.  Jesse and Vash would both be breaking eggs.

Here was the first problem – you needed to get 10 eggs into the water quickly as they need to be finished at the same time.  In order to keep the eggs together, we were going to crack them into cups and then pour each egg into the simmering water.  Both Jesse and Vash were initimidated by cracking the eggs on the tea cups (and granted, organic eggs have harder shells) so neither one could crack an egg without getting little shell pieces mixed in.  It took five minutes just to work with them on how to crack the eggs into the cups and get them in the water.  We were already in trouble.

Jesse then had to get his canadian bacon warmed up.  He religiously counted to 60 slowly for each side.  Everyone agreed that the canadian bacon was the best part of the meal.  Good job Jesse.

I still had to get the hollandaise sauce made, so at this point I am yelling for Chip.  He took over the poached eggs, though I was in such a rush I forgot to tell him when they had to come out – so they cooked for at least 10 minutes more instead of five.  Sigh.

After Chip finally found my butter melting All-Clad pot for me (can I just say that I get really grumpy when I cannot find my pots and pans when cooking – Sorry Chip) Markus melted the two and a half sticks of butter I needed for the hollandaise sauce while I emptied and dried the blender and then added two egg yolks, juiced a lemon to add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and then started to mix them on the lowest speed in the blender.  We made the blender hollandaise sauce that you can find both in the May, 2011 Bon Appetit magazine and on their website at www.bonappetit.com.  MUCH easier than standing over a pot with a whisk while pouring the butter in.

When making hollandaise sauce you are basically creating an emulsion which is egg yolk, lemon juice and clarified butter.  This means that after heating the butter you want to remove the white foamy part that is on the surface and use only the clear butter that is left.  Likewise, you don’t want any of the milk solids that will remain in the bottom of the  pot in your sauce either.  Markus did a good job removing the white foamy part on the top.

Then, with the blender on low, I poured a steady thin stream of the clarified butter into the blender.  This should form the sauce.

Here is where it is tricky though – because you can’t really see inside of your blender when you are doing this (though I am going to try doing it when I am elevated next time to see if it helps) as the sauce is being thrown on the sides of the blender, so you don’t really see when it attains the right consistency.  As a result, mine was blended too long and came out too thick.  Still tasty but thick.

We had to scoop it out with a spoon onto the eggs.

Markus and Chip got the english muffins toasted and onto plates and assembled everything – muffin, then canadian bacon then hard poached egg.  I added the scoop of thick hollandaise sauce – and that was our first attempt at Eggs Benedict.

As we were having this at dinner time, we added watermelon for our vegy/fruit addition.

Oddly enough – the boys really liked eating it – they just were not that thrilled with making it.  My boys love lemon so the sauce was actually a big hit.  Plus they like hard boiled eggs so they did not miss the soft runny yolk of a poached egg – though they knew it would be different if we made it right.

So here is what I will change when we do this again.  First – I will have 12 cups out and we will pre-break and prepare our eggs first so we can put them in all at once.  I will also have the butter melted, the eggs separated and the lemon juiced before we put the eggs in to be poached so the sauce will likewise be ready at the right time.  I will also make sure Chip is in the kitchen with me throughout to watch the clock.

In the end, it was the overcooking of the eggs which spoiled this meal – but I have a plan.  We can do this.  Mom – next time you come to visit we will have Eggs Benedict!!  Prepared by my – by then – more accomplished little chefs.

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About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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3 Responses to Food on Friday – Eggs Benedict

  1. danielle says:

    Oooohhh…I LOVE eggs Benedict. That’s what I get almost every time we go out for breakfast. I might try to do this one….but this weekend I’m making the Blue Ribbon Cream of Chicken soup! It’s in mom’s recipe book and it’s probably the fanciest thing I make…takes me about 2 hours!

    • Shelly R. says:

      This will not take you two hours – if anything the problem was that it all had to get done in such a short period of time – but I think that if you prep all the ingredients first before making it you can do it easily. The sauce is two egg yolks, two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and two and a halfsticks of butter that is then melted and skimmed. That should be enough for 12 servings so you can probably cut that in half if just for your family. After the eggs go into the water have one of you do the canadian bacon and the english muffins and the other put together the sauce and you should have it all done in 5 minutes.

  2. Barbara Antonelli says:

    Can’t wait for a fancy breakfast…even though it might not happen till dinnertime! Go Boys Go!!! Looked good to me….Love,Grandma

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