Eggs Benedictos

Eggs Benedict – one of the brunch staples among young Singaporeans in recent years. My personal forage into this calorie-laden (250-300 calories for 1/2 portion) dish happened during my last few months at Ann Arbor, Michigan where I was brunching pretty often at the famous breakfast diner – Angelo’s. They have the best version of every possible American breakfast food imaginable. But then again, I might be biased.

IMG_1382

Well, I am now going to let you in on something. It is humanly possible to whip up some yummy self-created Eggs Benedict at home under half an hour(surprise surprise!) and most importantly, you wouldn’t break the bank while satisfying your cravings.

Before I go into the recipe proper, there are some interesting variations of Eggs Benny (whacky names ahead!) that I would love to enlighten you.

So, as we all know, the proper Eggs BENEDICT includes the following: English Muffin + Ham/Bacon + Poached Eggs + Hollandaise Sauce

When you substitute ham for :

  • Streaky Bacon + Tomato Slice –> Eggs BLACKSTONE
  • Spinach –>Eggs FLORENTINE
  • Salmon/Smoked Salmon –> Eggs ATLANTIC or HEMINGWAY or ROYALE or MONTREAL
  • Avocado or Mexican Chorizo –> Huevos Benedictos (inspiration for my blog post)

When you substitute the english muffin for:

  • Holland rusks and add Bordelaise Sauce –> Eggs HUSSARDE
  • Crumpets and add Brown Sauce –> Eggs HUNTER
  • Arthichoke (yew?) –> Eggs SARDOU or ARTICHOKE BENEDICT

When you overhaul the entire dish with:

  • American biscuit, sausage patties, country gravy and friend eggs –> COUNTRY Benedict
  • Cornbread, bacon, baked beans, fried eggs –>CAMPFIRE Benedict (oh yeah!)

My impromptu creation yesterday for lunch drew much inspiration from the Gordan Ramsay’s Eggs Benedict recipe on BBC Food. However, I replaced the English Muffin with some excellent Fougasse Bread from The Swiss Backer @ Frankel Ave and also added some Avocados on top of the ham.

There are a few tips to making some decent Eggs Benedict. Poaching the eggs and making the Hollandaise Sauce are the trickiest parts.  Follow the pointers below:

  • add a few drops of vinegar into the pot of boiling water before you slip in the eggs to be poached
  • use a longish spoon and stir the pot of boiling water so you get a nice vortex before slipping the eggs in. once the eggs are in, leave it alone!
  • 2-3 minutes: time required to poach the egg. thats the magic timing.
  • never allow the egg yolk in your Hollandaise sauce to over-cook. always take the mixing bowl off the pot of boiling water once in awhile as you continue whisking.

Basic Hollandaise Sauce

Serving size: yields 300ml – enough for 4 servings of Eggs Benedict

Side Note: I personally find step 1 a little too troublesome and redundant. However, in the spirit of the Kitchen Nightmare, I shall replicate the entire recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 1 bunch of tarragon
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 200g of melted butter
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Steps:

  1. Boil the white vinegar with the peppercorns and tarragon. Reduce to half, strain and set aside
  2. Set a pot of water to boil and find a mixing bowl (metal) that fits snugly on top of the pot.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and 2 tsp of the flavoured vinegar in the metal bowl on top of the pot.
  4. Beat vigorously until the mixture starts to foam. Make sure it doesnt get too hot. Remove it from heat momentarily as you are whisking. Keep alternating.
  5. Once you achieve a ‘golden, airy foam’ (a sabayon) which forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, add in a ladle of butter and continue whisking. Taking it on and off heat once in a while. Repeat until all the butter has been incorporated and the resulting mixture resembles mayonaise.
  6. Whisk in a dash of lemon juice. Flavour with some salt and pepper.

Keep it warm while you assemble your Eggs Benedict.

IMG_1383

Eggs Benedict

Serving Size: 4 Eggs Benedict (1/2 muffin + 1 egg = 1 serving)

Ingredients:

  • 2 English Muffins (i used Fougasse Bread)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp of vinegar
  • 4 pieces of thick baked ham
  • 1 avocado – sliced
  • some butter
  • basic hollandaise sauce (above)

Steps:

  1. Slice the english muffins into half and lightly butter it.
  2. Toast the english muffins (buttered side down) on a grill pan, you could lightly grill the ham at the same time too
  3. Once the english muffins are crisp and the ham slightly grilled, assemble them on your serving plate, top with the sliced avocados
  4. Break the eggs into small individual receptacles
  5. Bring 2 L of water + vinegar to boil in a large pot
  6. Create a vortex by using a long spoon and stirring it
  7. Slip the eggs in (1 at a time). Let centripetal forces complete its job 🙂
  8. Cook the eggs for 2 to 3 minutes (depending on how runny you want your yolks to be)
  9. Use a slotted spoon to haul it out of the pot.
  10. Place it on top of your assembled English Muffin + Ham + Avocadoes
  11. Drench it with the hollandaise sauce
  12. Sprinkle with a dash of black pepper and mixed herbs (as you please)

There you go.

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