Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Trio of Eggs Benedict

WOOHOO!
Hot Brown Benedict on the left
Corn Beef Hash Benedict on the right

We had a marvelous leisurely morning noshing on a trio of eggs Benedict.  The preparation was far simpler this morning after a bit of "investment cooking" yesterday.  Not to beat a dead horse, and considering that my Derby pick made a valiant effort and still lost, investment cooking is a terrific way to have a lovely meal without resorting to prepackaged mixes.

Investment recipes:
Kicked Up Mornay sauce:
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. of unsalted butter and 1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil over low heat in a large saucepan.  Whisk in 3 tbsp. of flour and cook a few minutes.  In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup of 1 % milk  (see note) with one half of a small peeled onion, a bay leaf, and a half dozen of whole black peppercorns, over gentle heat, do not scald. Strain hot milk into a quart measuring cup (discard solids) and add one teaspoon (or cube) of chicken base and stir to mix.  Off the heat, stir the seasoned hot milk into the butter/oil/flour mixture.  Back over low heat, cook slowly whisking all the time until thickened.  Add 1 tsp of worchestershire sauce, 1 tbsp of dijon mustard, a generous scraping of nutmeg and one cup of shredded parmesan cheese.  Stir well, reserve.

Note: for each tablespoon for flour and equal tablespoon of fat (bacon grease, oil, butter, schmaltz) and an adjusted liquid measure of liquid of choice will determine the the thickness of the creamy base.  For a souffle base, I use only 3/4 cup of liquid to basic flour/butter mix to make a very thick base.  For a sauce base, I use 1 1/2 cups liquid to flour/butter mix to make a sauce for the cheese sauces to drape sandwiches, macaroni, eggs bennie, roasted veggies.  For a cream soup base, I would use 2 1/2 cups of milk and/or liquid stock to create the creamy soup.

Base Recipe:
Blender Hollandaise
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
!/2 tsp of salt
generous pinch of white pepper
1 cup of melted butter
Melt butter until foaming (not browned), add in a slow stream to egg yolks, lemon juice and seasoning in a blender cup base. Blend until foamy and thickened. Reserve in a thermos.

Egg poaching:
In a deep skillet of simmering water, add 1 tbsp. of white vinegar to the three inches of simmering water.  Break in whole eggs and cook until just below a solid yolk setting.  don't poach more than four eggs to control doneness.  Whites firm and yolks runny is the goal.  Use a slotted spoon to remove eggs from poaching liquid, drain well, before topping toasted English muffin.

Now it is all a matter of assembly:

Eggs Benedict
One English muffin, split and toasted
4 slices of Canadian Bacon, pan fried in a touch of butter
2 poached eggs, well drained
1/2 cup of hollandaise sauce

Split and toast muffin.  Top with two pieces of Canadian bacon.  Gently position poached eggs and ladle hot hollandaise over eggs.  Serve.

Hot Brown Benedict
One English muffin, split and toasted
2 thick slices of roasted deli turkey, heated gently
2 slices of fresh tomato
2 slices of precooked bacon
1/2 cup of "investment" mornay, slowly heated with a bit of  extra minced turkey and bacon with a 1/4 cup of sharp grated cheese stirred in to emphasize the "Hot Brown" aspect of the eggs Derby style.

Split and toast muffin.  Top with thick tomato slices, season with salt and pepper.  Top with turkey slices.  Position eggs gently on top.  Ladle hot seasoned mornay over eggs.  Add a criss-cross of bacon slices.  Serve.

Corned Beef Benedict
One English muffin, split and toasted
1 can of Corn beef hash heated
2 poached eggs
1/2 cup of hollandaise

Split and toast muffin.  Top with poached eggs.  Top with hollandaise mixed with the heated crumbled hash.



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