Thursday, March 24, 2011

eggs benedict - hollandaise

                                                         (bigger picture at the bottom)

This may or may not be embarrassing, but I'll admit that I've never actually had eggs benedict before. Mainly because I don't eat out for breakfast much and making hollandaise has always scared me. I never really realized how incredibly easy it was though, until now.

I had to render the fat on my bacon for my boeuf bourguignon that I was going to make the next day, so I decided to start cooking up some bacon with the intention of saving my leftover fat. By some bacon...I actually mean a 16oz pack.

Yes,I'm one of THOSE people....

I decided to cut the bacon into three separate segments so the small pieces would be able to be completely submerged in bacon fat. Here is half of my bounty.

I've always preferred bacon that was cooked slowly compared to the burnt strips of unrecognizable black and red that most places will give you. The oven is my usual method, cooked at 375 until they're done. The result is much more tender and it, god forbid, actually tastes like a meat!

So after cooking up the bacon, the next logical step in creating eggs benedict is to tackle the hollandaise sauce. I've never had hollandaise, but I think my version is pretty good. I used a recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I slightly halved the recipe, but kept all the instructions in order. Here is the ingredient list:
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 tblsp water
  • 3/4 tblsp lemon juice
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1 tblsp cold butter - divided into two 1/2s
  • white pepper
First, melt the butter in a separate saucepan/bowl. Next, crack the eggs and drop it into your hand. Let all of the fluids fall out beneath the cracks in your fingers and keep the yolks. Now put them into a saucepan.

Now, whisk the yolks for about 30 seconds. Add the cold 1/2 tblsp of butter to the pan and put the saucepan over low heat. Whisk until a smooth cream is achieved. When you can see the bottom of the pan in between strokes, then you're ready for the next step. Take it off the heat and beat in another cold 1/2 tblsp of butter, this stops the yolks from cooking. Slowly pour in the melted butter and keep whisking. Leave the milky white residue in the pan from the melted butter when pouring. When you're done you should have something like this!

 Now you're ready to plate. Put your choice of bread on the plate (I used the french bread from the last recipe). Next put your bacon on top of the bread. Now you should heat up a pan with some of the leftover bacon fat (or butter) and fry an egg sunny side up. Put this egg on top of the bacon and drizzle hollandaise sauce all over. Mince some parsley and put it on top. Now serve your girlfriend breakfast in bed! 

Or rather, dinner at 9:45 at night....