One of America’s Favorites – Eggs Benedict

November 18, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Posted in Egg Beaters, Eggs, One of America's Favorites | 4 Comments
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Eggs Benedict with a slice of bacon on the side.

Eggs Benedict with a slice of bacon on the side.

There are conflicting accounts as to the origin of Eggs Benedict, including: In an interview recorded in the “Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death, Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claimed that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise.” Oscar Tschirky, the famed maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast.

 

 

 

Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon

Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon

* Eggs Blackstone substitutes streaky bacon for the ham and adds a tomato slice.
* Eggs Florentine substitutes spinach for the ham. Older versions of eggs Florentine add spinach to poached or shirred eggs

* Eggs Mornay – substitutes the Hollandaise with Mornay (cheese) sauce.

* Eggs Atlantic, Eggs Hemingway, or Eggs Copenhagen (also known as Eggs Royale and Eggs Montreal in New Zealand) substitutes salmon (or smoked salmon) for the ham. This is a common variation found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom . This is also known as “Eggs Benjamin” in a few restaurants in Canada.
* Huevos Benedictos substitutes either sliced avocado or Mexican chorizo for the ham, and is topped with both a salsa (such as salsa roja or salsa brava ) and hollandaise sauce.
* Eggs Hussarde substitutes Holland rusks for the English muffin and adds Bordelaise sauce.
* Country Benedict, sometimes known as Eggs Beauregard, replaces the English muffin, ham and hollandaise sauce with an American biscuit, sausage patties, and country gravy. The poached eggs are replaced with eggs fried to choice.
* Irish Benedict replaces the ham with corned beef or Irish bacon.
* Portobello Benedict substitutes Portobello mushrooms for the ham, and is a popular alternative for Catholics observing the Friday Fast.
* Oscar Benedict, also known as Eggs Oscar, replaces the ham with asparagus and lump crab meat.
* Eggs Provençal replaces the Hollandaise sauce with Béarnaise Sauce.
* Russian Easter Benedict replaces the Hollandaise sauce with a lemon juice and mustard flavored Béchamel Sauce, and is topped with black caviar.
* Eggs Chesapeake substitutes Crab cake for the ham.

 

 

 

Preparing Eggs Benedict

Preparing Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is prepared with a lightly toasted English muffin using an oven, toaster oven or traditional toaster. If toasted too long, the muffin can be difficult to slice. This is then topped with Canadian bacon cooked in the oven or on the stove top. On top of this, a poached egg is added. Poaching an egg is to simply drop the egg into a boiling pan of water until cooked (preferably with the yolk still soft). This is then all covered with Hollandaise sauce that requires some amount of practice to perfect. For a single, two-egg serving of this dish, four eggs are used: 2 for the individual servings of poached eggs and 2 yolks for the sauce.
Using a double boiler, slowly heat up the four egg yolks with about a tablespoon or more of lemon juice (to taste) and about 3/4 cup of melted butter, beginning with only half the amount in the double boiler to begin. Whisk this together with about a tablespoon of water and a dash of white pepper until it begins to thicken slightly, then add almost all of the rest of the butter while continuing to whisk. If the sauce begins to separate or is too thick, simply add a tablespoon (or more, as needed) of warm water or use lemon juice.
An alternate Hollandaise preparation, which is faster and uses less butter: two egg yolks, one teaspoon lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, lightly blended. Add 1/4 cup melted butter and blend again. Tabasco may be added for extra flavor.

 

 

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Poached Eggs

September 2, 2013 at 8:23 AM | Posted in Eggs, One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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Poached eggs sprinkled with matcha and salt, served on sourdough bread.

Poached eggs sprinkled with matcha and salt, served on sourdough bread.

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, that is, in simmering liquid. This method of preparation is favored because a very consistent and predictable result can be attained with precise timing, as the boiling point of water removes the temperature variable from the cooking process.

 

 

The egg is cracked into a bowl of any size, and then gently slid into a pan of simmering water and cooked until the egg white has mostly solidified, but the yolk remains soft. The ‘perfect’ poached egg has a runny yolk, with a hardening crust and no raw white remaining.
Fresh eggs will yield the best results. Broken into simmering water, the white will cling to the yolk, resulting in cooked egg white and runny yolk.
To prevent dispersion of the white of the egg, a small amount of vinegar may be added to the boiling water. Stirring the water vigorously to create a vortex may reduce dispersion. Special pans, with several small cups, allow a number of eggs to be poached at the same time. These were a popular utensil for many years but the resultant rubbery texture and “bun-shaped” eggs they produced saw their popularity fade as TV shows and books – especially those on traditional French cooking as exemplified by Julia Child and Elizabeth David – revived interest in basic domestic cookery techniques . Other methods of producing poached eggs, such as using cling film to keep the egg perfectly formed have been documented.
Cooking time is about two and a half minutes if the eggs begin at room temperature, about three minutes if taken from a refrigerator. The exact time depends on the size of the egg, and other factors such as altitude and the design of the poaching apparatus. Dipping the eggs into cold water for a few seconds immediately after taking them out of the boiling water helps prevent over-cooking.

 

 

The term is also applied to a method whereby the egg is placed in a cup, suspended over simmering water, using a special pan called an “egg-poacher“. This is usually a wide-bottomed pan with an inner lid, with holes containing a number of circular cups that each hold one egg, with an additional lid over the top. To cook, the pan is filled with water and brought to a simmer, or a gentle boil. The outer lid holds in the steam, ensuring that the heat surrounds the egg completely. The cups are often lubricated with butter in order to effect easy removal of the cooked egg, although non-stick egg poachers are also available.
The result is very similar to the traditional coddled egg, although these steamed eggs are often cooked for longer, and hence are firmer. Eggs so prepared are often served on buttered toast.

 

 

Poached eggs are used in Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs are the basis for many dishes in Louisiana Creole cuisine, such as Eggs Sardou, Eggs Portuguese, Eggs Hussarde and Eggs St. Charles. Creole poached egg dishes are typically served for brunches.
Several cuisines include eggs poached in soup or broth and served in the soup. In parts of central Colombia, for instance, a popular breakfast item is eggs poached in a scallion/coriander broth with milk, known as changua or simply caldo de huevo (“egg soup”).
The Libyan dish Shakshouka consists of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
In Italy poached eggs are typically seasoned with grated parmigiano reggiano and butter (or olive oil).
Turkish dish Çılbır consists of poached eggs, yogurt sauce with garlic and butter with red peppers.
In India, fried eggs are most commonly called “poached,” but are sometimes also known as bullseyes, as a reference to “bullseye” targets, or “half-boil” in Southern India, indicating that they are partly cooked. They are commonly served alone or as accompaniment to a variety of dishes including roti, dosa, or paratha. Bullseyes are commonly prepared over pans smeared with a variety of oils such as mustard oil and vegetable oil. During or after the frying stage, they are sometimes sprinkled lightly with condiments such as black pepper, chili powder, green chilis and salt. Bullseyes are a common street vendor dish in South India. Some restaurants also refer to them as “egg fry” (over hard) or “egg half fry” (sunny-side up).

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