#1 – 48 Recipe Challenge: Recipe 17: Eggs Benedict
Time for me to finally get around to one of those recipes I’d previously filed in the ‘too difficult’ box: Hollandaise Sauce. The fact that a) you use raw eggs, b) there’s a very high likelihood of splitting it and c) it has an exceedingly short shelf life so needs to be prepared pretty much at the moment you want to use it are all things that have put me off in the past. But, I absolutely adore Eggs Benedict so when I set myself this challenge they were one of the recipes I knew I would have to try. I love Eggs Benedict so much that if it’s on the menu when I go out for breakfast it’s always what I order because when I eat out I like to have things I wouldn’t cook for myself. Maybe it’s time to change that…
I’ve been waiting for a suitably lazy Sunday, where I could take my time preparing and enjoying what would be, for me, a special breakfast. Today was that day. The first decision I had to make was which recipe to use. Normally, I go to Delia for classics like this but the recipe in Delia’s Complete Cookery Course (my first ever cookbook and normally brilliant for basics) sounds inordinately complicated and involves creating a reduction of vinegar, water and various spices before adding egg yolks then laboriously whisking in 175g of butter in 10g chunks whilst the sauce is suspended over a pan of boiling water. There’s a lot that could go wrong here and I suspect I also lack the patience… However, a Bill Granger recipe was recommended to me which was far simpler (and has the added benefit of using a food processor rather than a hand whisk to do the hard work).
Turns out all I had to do was blitz the egg yolks with lemon juice and some water in the processor then gradually add melted warm butter with the motor still running. Genius. It worked a treat. After that, it was a simple job of toasting the muffin, adding a slice of ham, poaching an egg and assembling the finished Eggs Benedict. In fact, the hardest part was keeping the Hollandaise warm whilst I faffed about with the muffins and the egg, as I had to do this in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and that is when you seriously risk splitting the sauce by overheating it. I managed not to though, and ended up with a finished product I was very happy with.
The sauce was nice and smooth and glossy and above all it was tasty – sharp and tangy. I was chuffed I also got a perfect runny yolk on the egg to compliment it. A real treat.
Accordingly, my scores on the doors are:
Ease of preparation – 9/10 (Using the food processor made this really simple. The only difficult bit is keeping it warm without splitting it)
Flavour/taste – 9/10 (Excellent sauce, perfect egg, lightly toasted muffin. If I had had some better ham to honour it with this would have been a 10!)
Healthiness – 0/10 sadly (None of your five a day and a HUGE calorie count since it’s basically a ton of melted butter. I couldn’t really find a reason even to score it one. An occasional treat, but one worth having because it tastes so heavenly)
This is definitely something I’ll make again. Despite my fears, it was actually very easy to do (although the clearing up was less fun – handy hint, don’t let the leftover sauce in the food processor dry as then you’re trying to clean off a sheen of solidified butter). I’m so glad I had a go, but also glad I found the recipe with an easier method! This may well become a feature of breakfasts on special days in my house and I may even get brave with recipes like Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. Maybe…
If you fancy trying it, here’s the recipe I used: