Recipe: Easy Eggs Benedict
When one speaks just enough French to be dangerous, the degree to which “one” can put “one’s” foot in “one’s” mouth knows no bounds. And who are we kidding here…by “one”…I most decidedly mean me.
There are many traditional French language faux pas, and I’m proud to say that as I roll into week three I have expediently ticked through nearly all of them.
I have exclaimed to 70 year-old waiters that “Je suis très excitée” as they have set down my escargot course, meaning to share with them my enthusiasm, but instead emphatically telling them just how aroused I was. [Je suis excitée VS Je suis impatiente].
I have dramatically declared myself both pregnant and dead at the end of dinner (meaning to say full and finished respectively) [Je suis plein VS j’ai plein and Je suis fini VS j’ai fini).
And I have earnestly inquired at the boulangerie if the pork sausage is made with condoms, rather trying to find out if it was organic or had some “preservatives”. [Des préservatifs VS des conservateurs].
These french faux pas however, are a small price to pay for the chance to be immersed in a magical landscape where everywhere I turn there is another exquisite sight to behold.
One of the parts I am enjoying most about the French lifestyle is the commitment to small pleasures; a picnic shared in a park, a cup of coffee sipped while the Paris winter rains fleck against the windows. Meals are a chance for artful expression, and however simple, they are paid attention to with the utmost care.
When I think about eggs benedict I immediately picture the american version, where griddled english muffins soaked in butter submissively give way to a hunk of ham that is then topped with a poached egg and positively doused with a buttery laden hollandaise sauce. Not one to judge, I’ve enjoyed more than my fair share of this rendition, but it does make it the kind of thing one should only seldom enjoy if one hopes to make it a day past 45.
This simplified version of the dish is bare bones and yet delicious. A hearty, crusty wheat bread is toasted and then spread with just a hint of Dijon mustard. Atop this rests a few pieces of crispy bacon serving as the base for which to sit the perfect poached egg, which then has just a dollop of hollandaise to elevate this from the everyday to the extraordinary.
Easy Eggs Benedict
- Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)
- Eight slices cooked bacon (I prefer to do in the oven which results in very crispy ending without all the mess)
- Four slices whole-wheat bread
- Dijon mustard
- Four farm fresh poached eggs (the use of PoachPods makes this easy breezy, and again without all the mess)
- In a large cast iron skillet, put the eight slices bacon. Put in a cold oven and turn on to 400 degrees. After 15 minutes, check and flip bacon. Finish another 10-15 minutes pending on desired crispness and remove to papertowel lined plate to dry.
- Meanwhile, warm prepared hollandaise and set aside.
- To make the poached eggs with the pods, fill a small sauce pan, one-third with water and bring to a boil. Lightly grease the pods, reduce water to a simmer, put pods into pan and crack one egg into each pod. Return lid to pan and cook 4-5 minutes until desired doneness is achieved.
- To assemble, toast the bread and spread with Dijon mustard. Then top each piece of bread with two pieces bacon and one poached egg. Finish with a small spoonful of hollandaise and a sprinkle of paprika if desired.
- Place in the top of a double broiler 3 large egg yolks and 1 1/2 TB cold water
- Off the heat, whisk the egg mixture until it becomes light and frothy.
- Place the top of the double broiler over, not in, barely simmering water and continue to whisk until eggs are thickened, 2 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the eggs get too hot.
- Remove from heat and whisking constantly slowly add in 1/2 cup warm butter.
- Whisk is 1 – 3 tsp lemon juice, a dash of hot pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
Note: The trick with making Hollandaise is the emulsion, or adding the butter to the egg, you must do it slowly and whisk like your life depends on it. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water. Sauce may be kept warm for up to 30 minutes on a very low simmer.