Considering it was one of my new years resolutions I have done really badly. My chef skills series was suppose to document my attempts at trying and practising professional kitchen techniques but I have so easily stumbled back into my usual healthy, big bowl based veg meals which although pack a punch of flavour don’t teach me anything new. I am quite use to creating these meals and know how to season and spice correctly but for me they don’t have the precision that I want to advance my cooking with. So to get back on the horse I thought I would attempt a relatively easy task with ingredients I already had, a classic hollandaise sauce, atop a poached egg, i.e. Eggs Benedict. And boy was it the best brunch I’ve made in a while (other then my classic eggy bread nom nom)
Ingredients Serves 2
2 or 4 Eggs , 1 tbsp White wine vinegar, 2 English Muffins
For the hollandaise
2 Egg yolks
1/2 tsp White wine vinegar
A splash of water
A pinch of salt
Juice of half a lemon
To make the Hollandaise
1. Gently heat the butter in a pan till melted. Scoop any white solids off the top and discard. Keep warm
2. Whisk the egg yolks, vinegar, salt and water till combined in a heat proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.
3. Gently whisk the egg mixture over the heat till it starts to thicken and becomes paler in colour
4. Take off the bowl off the heat and slowly whisk in the still warm butter. The most important thing here is to do this very slowly, like when making mayonnaise, add the butter in a little at a time and wait till combined before adding more butter.
5. Add the lemon juice in a little at a time to taste. I don’t like it too lemony but others like alot. Keep the sauce warm till your ready to plate.
There is no mystery with a poached egg, just a little bit of practice and then sometimes there are just eggs which are evil and won’t behave
1. Use your biggest pan and fill with at least 1.5 litres of boiling water and add the vinegar.
2. Once the pan is boiling, stir it in a clockwise direction (this will bring the water to just under boiling and allow the egg to wrap around it self.
3. Once you’ve got a whirlpool going, slowly slip an egg into the centre of it. ( I first break the egg into a little bowl to slip it into and always use eggs that have come to room temperature)
4. Allow the egg to cook for 2-3 minutes, the white will curl around the yolk to form a circular egg.
5. Lift out of the water with a slotted spoon and rest for a minute before putting it on toasted muffin slathered in your home made hollandaise. mmm tasty. Repeat with your remaining eggs.
The only problem with poached eggs is that you have to do them one at a time which renders them a bit cold if your trying to serve them all in one go. I would recommend maybe trying to keep them warm in a very low temp oven till your ready to serve but be careful about over cooking them. A poached egg is nothing without a gooey centre. I added some cooked salmon to one half of my muffin for a bit of decadence and a sprinkling of dill or parsley goes very well in the sauce as well as on the egg and any fish you might use. Don’t forget to season your egg before you put the sauce on, it makes all the difference.