Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eggs Benedict

I decided the other day that I was going to learn to poach an egg. I never thought that I'd ever try this, but Piyush loves them, so sometimes I decide to surprise him. Before I met him I thought that only old men ate poached eggs. They just seemed so yucky. Not to say that only old men eat yucky things, I guess that's just who I associated them with.

Anyway, before I put my foot in my mouth any further...

I did a little research first. I saw that some people use a big pot and fill it with water. They let the water simmer, then using a spoon they swirl the water around and crack the egg in the water. This allows the egg to spin around in the water and causes the egg white to fold over the yolk. Sounds like a pretty good idea. I tried one, and it worked, but I lost quite a lot of the egg white. It wasn't even that I lost a lot of the egg white, because it turned out okay...see:

I mostly didn't like that they looked kinda weird.  There were whites sagging all over the place.  Maybe I just haven't got the hang of it yet, I'm not sure.  I just knew this wasn't going to be the right method for me.

So I turned to an old friend, a book that I know won't fail me. It's a little hard to read sometimes and you really have to understand the method before you attempt the recipe. But, Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck haven't let me down yet and Mastering the Art of French Cooking is the book I go to when I just can't figure something out.

I read the directions, grabbed a 2 inch deep fry pan and filled it up with water. I let it heat until it started to simmer and then I cracked an egg as close to the water as I could. Using a wooden spoon I gently scooped the egg white over the yolk a few times. Then I just left it alone for a couple minutes. Using a slotted spoon I turned it, and left it on it's other side for about 2 more minutes. I don't know that you really have to do this, I just wanted to make sure it cooked through correctly. After about 4 minutes it should be done!

Meanwhile I had cut a couple circles out of a loaf of homemade brioche bread. It's a real buttery, sweet bread. It's so delicious! I use the technique found in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. This book is amazing, and the bread tastes so good. You should try it!

This is a loaf of white Brioche, for the eggs benedict, I used wheat, but I didn't take pictures, sorry!

I took the circles I cut and fried them in a little butter to toast them up and give them a nice crust.

I didn't have any canadian bacon on hand, but I did have soy sausage, so I put that on top of the little brioche circles, topped with my beautiful poached eggs and then drowned them in homemade hollandaise sauce. I think I'll save the hollandaise sauce for another post though. It really wasn't hard to make, it was just really time consuming. I guess you can make it in a food processor or a blender too, but Julia says you lose flavor. I don't know. I've never tasted the stuff before, but I wanted to impress my I did it the old fashioned way.  It involves a lot of butter...I used 1 1/2 sticks plus 2 tbsp. cold butter to keep the sauce from curdling and to stop the cooking, 3 egg yolks, some lemon juice, salt and pepper---so the ingredients are way easy.

He loved it! And I think it looked pretty!

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