"Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num."
While these kind ladies did provide us with recipes, the mandatory part of this month's challenge was the art of poaching an egg. I chose to forgo the recipe and cook up some eggs benedict the way I like it to taste. When out to breakfast, I'm always torn between the florentine and the classic benedict because I want the meat and the greens. So I decided that my recipe would definitely have both. One staple that is always in my refrigerator (and in my garden!) is arugula. I thought the delicate peppery flavor of these sautéed greens with a few slices of shallot and some butter would make a great addition to my benedict dish.
Before we dive right into the recipe let's talk about "the art of poaching an egg", which for me, is definitely an art. There are a few factors that need to be set in place to procure the perfect poached egg. First of all, you need a skillet that will hold approximately 3 inches worth of water. Adding a pinch of salt and tsp of white vinegar to the water will help the whites harden more quickly and stay together better. Other tips include breaking the eggs into a shallow bowl or coffee cup to ensure that you do not crack the yolk, and also to make the process of pouring the egg into the water easier. I experimented with using a large deep spoon to ladle the egg into the water and found this technique worked best for me. Another trick is bringing the water to a boil and then reducing it to just under a boil before you add the eggs. And finally, gently swirling the water before adding each egg will help to keep the whites together.
For this recipe you will need a double boiler or two saucepans that fit inside each other, a 3+inch deep skillet, a whisk, a frying pan, a large spoon or small bowl, a slotted spoon, and a good knife.
Eggs Benedict with Sautéed Arugula and Shallots
- 4 Eggs
- 2 English Muffins, halved
- 4 Slices Canadian Bacon
- A handful of Arugula Leaves
- 1/2 Shallot, sliced
- 1/2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Hollandaise Sauce:
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Chilled and cut into Tbsp.
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
- 1/2 Tbsp Warm Water
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- Cayenne, Salt and Pepper, to taste
*Begin by making your hollandaise sauce. Using a double boiler or two slightly different sized saucepans that can rest one inside the other, bring about 2 cups of water to a light boil. In the smaller saucepan whisk the egg yolks with the 1/2 Tbsp of water. Reduce the boiling water to a simmer and place the pan containing the yolks over the water (without touching the pan to the water!) and heat, whisking rapidly. As the yolks begin to thicken, squeeze in the lemon juice, whisking continually.
*Whisk in the butter, one Tbsp at a time, allowing it to completely melt before adding the next Tbsp. As the yolks thicken and meld with the butter add the sugar and garlic powder. Continue whisking until all butter is added and melted. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
*In a frying pan melt the 1/2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the arugula and stir to coat with the butter and shallots. Sauté until arugula has wilted, about 1 minute, and then remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.
*Return the frying pan to the stovetop and heat on high. Add the Canadian Bacon and cook, approximately 2 minutes on each side. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
*While the canadian bacon is cooking, fill your skillet with water 3 inches deep. Add a pinch of salt and a tsp of white vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce to just under boiling and add the eggs following the techniques mentioned above. Depending on how you prefer your yolks cook anywhere from 3-4 minutes. When finished remove your eggs from the water using a slotted spoon and place on a bed of paper towels to dry. Gently pat the edges the egg to remove any excess stray whites.
*Slice the english muffins into two pieces and toast. I toasted mine in the oven under high broil.
*Serves 2-4 People*
|Someone else thought it looked mighty good too!|
I served our benedicts open-faced with a side of pan-fried red potatoes and garnished with thin slices of green onions.
One big Holiday tradition for our family is good food; Christmas morning, after we've opened all our presents, we start the day off strong with a benedict breakfast. Thanks to this month's Daring Cook's Challenge, I will have the most perfectly poached eggs!