June 12, 2014

Hollandaise Breakfast

Out of all the things on my "must master" cooking list, poaching eggs was the one I'm most afraid of. I had watched many food shows, YouTube clips and what not on how to do it, but never wanted to attempt it after a very failed first attempt a few years ago, resulting in scatters of little scramble-y white bits floating around in a saucepan full of water.

The test of a great cafe for me would be seeing if an Eggs Benedict had been made well. While I'm afraid of making poached eggs, I'm the world's harshest critic when it comes to ordering them off a cafe menu. If the egg yolk is not runny, you'll see my face screw up. If there is even a quiver of uncooked egg white, get me out of there!
But after gathering enough tips to last me a life time, it was time to put what I have learnt to practice and this Hollandaise Breakfast was a result.

While Eggs Benedict is traditionally poached eggs on top of bacon, on top of an English muffin, there are several variations on the theme, of which I am happy to take part of.
My version replaces the muffin with a sourdough toast, and while I love bacon, I also love me some Italian Prosciutto. If you're a vegetarian, replace the protein with some wilted spinach and you'll have Eggs Florentine :)
I've also had a failed attempt at hollandaise sauce whilst impatiently and unsuccessful whisking by hand over a bain-marie (hello scrambled eggs), but after being inspired by the Pioneer Woman, the method I'm about to share is basically foolproof as long as you have a stick blender or normal liquid blender on hand!
The swirly 62-65 degrees Celsius water bath method is a must to poach eggs, I'm definitely no qualified chef, but this method works people!

Hollandaise Breakfast recipe

Serves 1 (sauce is enough for 2-3!)

For the Hollandaise sauce
  • 3 Egg Yolks 
  • 200gm Unsalted Butter
  • Half a Lemon's juice
  • Half an Orange's juice
  • Good pinch of Hot Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
For the remainder of the breakfast
  • 2 x Eggs (Room temperature)
  • 2-3 TBSP White Vinegar
  • One slice Sourdough (Soy & Linseed preferable) or Light rye bread, toasted
  • A few slices of good Italian Prosciutto or a good handful of wilted spinach
  • Italian Parsley to garnish
Equipment required: Stick blender / Blender and a wide saucepan or flat bottomed wok


Poached egg method

  1. Fill the large wide saucepan or flat bottomed wok with 2/3 water and place on the stove on low heat until you see small bubbles form around the saucepan/wok. 
  2. Pour in your White Vinegar and create a whirlpool by stirring the water clockwise with a wooden spoon.
  3. While the water is whirling, crack one egg into a small bowl, then slowly pour the egg into the whirlpool. Continue stirring the water until the egg is folding around and on itself. The whirlpool will stop the egg from sinking and sticking to the bottom of the pan, while forming a nice ball shape. Crack your second egg into a small bowl, and slowly pour this into the whirlpool as you have done with the first egg. Continue cooking these eggs for about 5-6 minutes. Use a thermometer to ensure the water doesn't get above 65 degrees or eyeball the water and ensure it doesn't start to heat up to a boil.
  4. Once the egg white looks cooked, and an oval or ball shape is formed, use a slotted spoon to lift the eggs out of the water and set aside in a bowl.
Tip: You can make your poached eggs ahead of time and then just dip them in a bit of hot water before serving.

Hollandaise sauce

  1. Place the 3 egg yolks in your blender and whizz them up for a few seconds
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan until sizzling. Then turn your blender on low and while it is running (leave the cap on, but open up the small middle enclosure), slowly dribble pour in the sizzling hot butter. As you slowly pour, the hot butter will 
  3. Once all butter is incorporated into a thick pale yellow, shiny, mayo-like sauce, pour in your lemon and orange juice and pinch of Hot Paprika and whizz this mixture until all mixed in. Your sauce should be a nice runny silky texture, if it isn't, squeeze in a little more lemon juice to thin it out a little bit more.
  4. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste
Assemble your breakfast board by cutting your toast in half and laying this down first. Then stack on your prosciutto or spinach ( or leave on the side like I did), then your poached eggs and then finally a good drizzle of hollandaise sauce to finish.

Have a FABULOUS weekend guys!!

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