Friday 11 January 2013

This Is The Day the Lord Has Made

This is a simple presentation of Eggs Benedict.  Traditionally, Eggs Benedict is a breakfast dish that has poached eggs and ham on top of an English muffin, drizzled with a smooth Hollandaise sauce.  I didn't know my children like Eggs Benedict until recently, as we hardly have breakfast together at home or outside. The family leave for work and school at different times and breakfast is usually grab and go filled buns or cereal. If I prepare breakfast for the family, it will usually be scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and toast.
 I made this breakfast dish not in the morning but in the late evening for my two sons as supper. It is my first time doing poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. It is not as daunting as some says, I did not encounter any broken egg yolks or split sauce. For the Hollandasie sauce, I have shortlisted two recipes, Delia Smith and Tyler Florence. I decided to use Tyler Florence's recipe because it looks more straight forward using hand whisking method over a double boiler, and his recipe has no white wine vinegar.  Most recipes call for vinegar in the sauce as well as in the poaching water to make the whites firmer and also to prevent them from dispersing. I omitted this step after reading in a forum that it is not necessary to add them. My eggs turned out fine.
Now that I can easily make Eggs Benedict at home, I will substitute ham for smoked salmon, or Eggs Royale as this is called.  I will serve this as weekend brunch with Arugula Salad,  Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, and Asparagus.

Hollandaise Sauce
Adapted from Tyler Florence,  Food Network

2 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
50gm unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of cayenne(omitted. To serve, I used a pinch of paprika sprinkle on sauce)
Pinch of salt


  • Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume
  • Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water or use a double boiler. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.

  • Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in salt.

 Poached Eggs
 Adapted from WikiHow

  • The pan must be shallow and wide, as the trick to poaching well without an egg poacher is to gently slip the egg into a wide, shallow pan filled with simmering water. The pan should be able to take about 1.5L of water, or 10cm depth of water. (I used a 20cm Daiso saucepan filled with 3/4 lightly salted water)
  • If you like the eggs to set, add 5-10ml of white vinegar to the water. It's not essential but it improves the egg's appearance because the vinegar coagulates the egg white. (omitted)
  • For best results, only poach one egg at a time. More than one egg risks merging into other eggs when cooking. 
  • Crack an egg into a small bowl. Note that by cracking the eggs separately into a cup and not straight into the water, the cracked eggs have the chance to set back up into their little "protein cocoon".
  • Turn down the gently boiling water to a simmer. Make sure that you do not drop the egg into boiling water as this toughen the eggs and make them unpalatable.
  • Spin the simmering water to cool down the water before you drop in the single egg
  • Carefully lower or drop the egg into the center of the barely simmering whirlpool. To help maintain the shape of the egg, swirl around it in a circular motion.
  • Wait 3-5 minutes until cooked. You will know that the egg is cooked when the whites are set and yolks begin to thicken.
  • Remove the poached eggs with a slotted spoon. if the edge isn't neat enough, trim with kitchen shears.
  • (I placed poached eggs on paper napkins to absorb excess water)

Popular Variations: Eggs Royale, which substitutes salmon for the ham; Eggs Florentine, which has spinach instead of ham; and Eggs Blackstone, which comes with streaky bacon for the ham.

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."               Psalm 118:24

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