Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eggs Benedict!

I have always been a breakfast lover, which is too bad because my family doesn't do big breakfasts (now, that is - don't worry, Dad; I remember your huge made-to-order breakfasts on Sundays!) and also because I don't usually even have time to eat my favorite meal.  On weekdays, I grab a yogurt or some cereal in a baggie (and those are the good days); on weekends, frankly I sleep late enough to consider my first meal lunch.  So breakfast for dinner is a very appealing topic for me.

Imagine my joy when I stumbled upon a recipe for eggs benedict casserole! I love eggs, I love hollandaise sauce, and I love casseroles.  Apparently I do not love reading recipes before  I run out to buy the ingredients, because when I got home, I noticed that it said "refrigerate overnight."  Crap.  But my heart was set on eggs benedict, so even though the casserole is significantly easier, I decided to try the real deal.

I made the hollandaise sauce first.  Who knew that you could make something so delicious out of a few ingredients?  I did have a moment of panic when I thought I had ruined the sauce.  You have to whip together egg yoks and lemon juice, then put that over a double boiler and whisk melted butter into it.  If you let it get too hot, you end up making scrambled egg yolks with lemon juice, and I was 100% sure that had happened.  It looked gross: curdled and clumpy and so not like hollandaise.In the picture, look at the sides of the bowl.... that is what it all looked like! I kept whisking it like crazy, in sheer denial, and before my eyes it actually turned into thick, glossy hollandaise sauce!  I was thrilled.  And this was by far the best part of the meal.  You could taste the hint of lemon, and it was so buttery and rich... I will definitely be making this sauce again.

Then it was time for the eggs, and that was a bit tougher.  I am not a fan of runny egg yolks.  In fact, I am not even a fan of yolks themselves.  Dad used to make me my egg sandwiches without yolks :) So, traditional runny-yolk eggs benedict is not my idea of something to go with my amazing hollandaise.  I was planning on just frying my eggs, but Mom was in the mood for real deal benedict.  We decided to work together on poaching our first eggs!  It was certainly an interesting process.  We boiled water in a skillet, and cracked eggs into it!  Then we realized that resting slotted spoons in the boiling water helped the eggs stay a little more together, hence the crazy photo to the right.  Bizarrely enough, it worked!  We tried to poach mine a little extra, but it was still a bit runny. I will stick with eggs fried hard from now on, but Mom and Alex both liked theirs just the way they were!

Unfortuntely, traditional eggs benedict calls for Canadian bacon, which our local grocery store did not have, so I bought ham steaks and cut them up.  Not the prettiest thing in the world, but it did the trick.  I tossed them and buttered English muffins into the oven and broiled them, and then assembled our dinners. 

Like I said, Alex and Mom were both very happy with all parts of the meal.  Alex even had 2 helpings!  I wished my eggs were fried, but Mom and I loved the dinner too.  Rachael said she "wasn't sure" about it, but she has never been a big eggs benedict fan.  All in all, I would say this dinner was a success. 

hollandaise sauce
eggs benedict

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