Yes, I know that it's Wednesday, but I am already thinking about the weekend (don't judge). And when I think about the weekend, I think about brunch, the most important meal of the day. I love everything about brunch- the delicious variety, the laid back pace, the mimosas. I even loved cooking brunch back when I was a line cook. Other people complained, but I would bike my way into work listening to Lionel Richie's "Easy Like Sunday Morning" like it was my own personal theme song. The best of the best meal, to me, is Eggs Benedict, and what makes it so special is that magical hollandaise sauce. I understand that some people are intimidated by it, but it's basically 3 cheap ingredients you almost certainly already have in the fridge, so why not take a chance and give it a whirl. And when you get it right, not only will it taste amazing, but it will make you look like a dang culinary rockstar. Just take a deep breath, keep the mimosas coming and dive in.
Perfect Eggs Benedict
For the Hollandaise
4 large egg yolks
1-2 tsp. warm water
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, melted and warm (I use whole butter, not clarified. I find that the milk solids add flavor and achieve a better consistency. It also saves a step)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
For the base:
8 large eggs
2-3 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar (the vinegar is crucial! I use more than most people, but my eggs always look better than most people. The two are related.)
4 English muffins, toasted
8 pieces Canadian bacon, heated
For the sauce: over a medium saucepan of gently simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice and water vigorously in a medium metal bowl. Whisk for about 1-2 minutes, until warm, then begin slowly drizzling in the melted butter. Very slowly. If mixture becomes too thick, add another teaspoon of water. Continue whisking until all the butter is incorporated. Season to taste with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired. Set aside at room temperature while eggs poach.
For the poached eggs: In a wide saucepan, bring 2-3 quarts of water and distilled vinegar to a gentle simmer. Carefully crack the eggs into the water and allow to poach for 2-3 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolk is still soft. Remove gently with a slotted spoon and place on top of toasted english muffins and canadian bacon. Ladle a generous spoonful of hollandaise over each egg, garnish with chives or parsley if desired, and enjoy.
Once you get the hang of the sauce, you can go nuts with combinations for the base (crab cakes, zucchini fritters, polenta cakes...) and really show off
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