Dec 07

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict





I am ill. I have been ill for the past four days and I have begun walking around the house clutching a box of tissues. Two days ago I couldn’t even smell or taste food so I simply ate to keep myself fed. Litres of lavender tea has been consumed since then and I do believe some progress has been made. R. has been wonderful … he’s been going out to walk the dog and getting the grocery shopping done. Last night he stopped by the Marks & Spencer store and brought home some English muffins along with some English back-bacon and chocolate Bourbon biscuits, my favourite.



The English muffins in our house usually get turned into egg and bacon breakfast rolls for the boyfriend, but today I decided to treat myself to a decadent plate of Eggs Benedict. You cannot find this in any cafe anywhere in this city. Such a shame coz they are undoubtedly delish! Having come from Melbourne city where breakfast cafes serve up a vast array of delectable food, it has been quite a shock to the system when I got here only to find the food selection, for want of a better word, underwhelming. Only solution therefore is to make some for myself.




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Making eggs Ben involves three stages: making hollandaise sauce, poaching eggs and final assembly. Thankfully for me I have seen how it’s done (once) when I attended a cooking class in Paris. Egg yolks, some lemon juice, LOTS of clarified butter and a little bit of heat will get you the most delicious sauce known to man. Done right and you will be rewarded with lusciously creamy hollandaise with no lumps and no greasy streaks. I once got served eggs Ben at a cafe in South Yarra, Melbourne that came with dallops of mayonnaise straight from a jar … oh, horror of horrors!! To top it all off the cook thought it would be “fancy” if he topped it off with shavings of parmesan cheese. I really should have sent it back to the kitchen but I was afraid my next order would be tempered with in ways I’d rather not say. I never like to piss off people who cook my food plus, the guy behind the counter did not look like the type who would humour me and make me real hollandaise from scratch.







– 3 egg yolks

– ½ tbsp lemon juice

– 200 g melted butter

– salt and pepper

Separate eggs into a heat-proof bowl large enough to sit on top of a pan of gently simmering water. The heat from the steam will help cook the yolks without scrambling them. To this, add the lemon juice and keep whisking until the mixture thickens slightly. Now add the clarified bit of the melted butter in a slow drizzle, while whisking continuously with the other hand. I am not sure why some recipes say ‘melted butter’ and some say ‘clarified butter’ but when I was taught the chef was very clear on this subject: clarified butter only; none of that creamy white stuff that settles on the bottom. So I went with his method.

When you start adding the butter something magical happens ~ the mixture starts to thicken. You can fix this by adding two tablespoons of hot water. Once you have added all the butter, taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Take it off the heat and cover the bowl to keep it warm until time to use it.

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Poaching Eggs

Poaching eggs isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s more technique than anything else and I suppose the only way to be good at it is to keep trying. When I first started I would poach eggs one at a time and there would be a mess on the kitchen counter: slotted spoon, kitchen towels, saucers, broken egg shells, trails of raw egg and a bowl full of failed poaches.

The one thing that I find helpful the most is to first crack the egg into a teacup then lower it into the pan of water. This helps reduce splashes and keeps the egg whole. The water should be hot enough to immediately start cooking the whites before it has time to float about in a stringy mess. Obviously, a couple of tablespoons of vinegar does most of the work for you. Once the egg is in the pan, coax the whites to the centre and over the yolk to create a nice cocoon. Eggs will take about 4 – 5 mins to cook to the right doneness. Gently remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place eggs on kitchen towels to drain. Cover and keep warm while you assemble the rest.



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Assembling the rest is pretty straightforward after this. The ham or bacon goes into a hot pan to cook, the muffin goes into the toaster. When the muffin is done, slather it with butter and place the ham/ bacon on top. Poached egg comes next, followed by a generous coating of hollandaise. Garnish with chives and brunch is served.



Admittedly, this was way more effort to make than I bargained for but in my case beggars can’t be choosers. I am no longer spoilt for choice here when it comes to brunchtime options, therefore I gladly whisked until my arm almost fell off.




~ Enjoy! ~


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