Bennies!!

10 Aug

Okay, I’ve been leading up to this all week! The king of breakfast favorites. Eggs Benedict!! Once you try this at home it will ruin going out for breakfast for you. It is so easy and I promise that anyone can do this at home so much better than what you get in your average restaurant.

Basic Benny

What you need:

  • Eggs (free range preferably)
  • Vinegar
  • Butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Mace (optional)
  • Paprika
  • Oil (for frying back bacon)
  • English muffins
  • Back bacon/ Ham
  • A slotted spoon and towel (for the poached eggs)
  • Bowls (for eggs)

Get your pot of water with vinegar simmering for your eggs and another pot of water simmering for your Hollandaise. While you wait for them to come up to the right temp start the back bacon or ham frying so that it’s warm and hopefully a bit crispy by the time your eggs are ready for it. Once your back bacon is frying crack your eggs into separate bowls so that they will be ready when the water is. Next separate the yolks for the Hollandaise and set the whites aside for another application (perhaps some Swiss meringue butter cream!)

By this time the water should be ready for you to poach your eggs. Be sure to put the English muffins into the toaster and start it before dropping the eggs into the water. The toaster will be your timer to let you know when your eggs are ready. Drop your eggs into the water and immediately start preparing your Hollandaise. Everything should line up perfectly for English muffins to be ready, buttered, with the back bacon added. Scoop the eggs out of the water (one at a time) rest the spoon on a towel for a moment and then transfer the eggs on top of the back bacon on the English muffin. At this point the Hollandaise should be good to go so grab a spoon and ladle some over top. Just sprinkle a little paprika over each and there you have it the perfect classic Benny.

Variations

Get creative with your Bennies! Try whatever you think might taste good. My favorite is to put a huge scoop of mashed avocado under the back bacon and then a generous scoop of crab (or artificial crab) and shrimp on top of the egg and cover the whole thing with Hollandaise. Delicious!

You could use real bacon, sausage, steak, salmon, the sky is the limit. You could also add tomato slices or cheese. Maybe add some tarragon to your Hollandaise and make it a Bearnaise Benny instead.

Bennies are perfectly paired with asparagus and tomato slices. It’s a good idea to have fresh, bitter and acidic flavors to help cut through the richness of the fat in the Hollandaise and the yolk of the egg on your palate. I would also recommend that you accompany this breakfast with orange juice and coffee for the same reason.

I really do hope that you try these! Bennies are amazing and so easy to make.

Enjoy!

Hollandaise!

8 Aug

There is no breakfast superior to Eggs Benedict. If you are going to make an amazing Eggs Benedict you are going to need to know how to make hollandaise sauce. A person could always go to the store and buy one of those packets of instant hollandaise. They are pretty good too. However, I think that it’s important to at least try a from scratch recipe at least once before you decide if it’s not your thing. So without further ado Hollandaise!!

You will need:

4 egg yolks

4 Tbsp of water

1/2 cup of cold butter chopped into pieces

2-4 tsps lemon juice

Cayenne pepper

Mace

Salt

Pot of simmering water

Whisk

Start a pot simmering on the stove and separate your yolks while you are waiting for it to get to the right temperature. Add the yolks and the 4 tbsp of water to a bowl and whisk them while holding the bowl over the simmering water. Be sure that the simmering water is not actually touching the bottom of the bowl as you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs. It is very unlikely that your eggs will scramble if you just whisk them continuously. I’ve actually seen people make hollandaise without a double boiler and it turned out just fine because they stirred it really fast.

After about two minutes or so the yolks will start to thicken. Once the yolks are thickened start adding your butter one piece at a time until the sauce is the consistency that you would like it to be. In my experience you might want to leave it a little on the thin side as it will thicken up while it sits.

At this point remove it from the heat and add the lemon juice and seasonings to taste. If you don’t have mace don’t worry about it but it really is worth trying with mace so if you like making hollandaise maybe think about picking some up the next time you’re at the store.

You can leave the bowl sitting covered over the simmering water OFF the heat while you wait for the rest of the meal to be ready for the awesome sauce you just created.

The sauce can curdle if it gets too hot. If this happens you have to cool it down ASAP add an ice-cube or two and stir it with the bowl sitting on ice or in cold water. Be sure to whisk the sauce as fast as you can to bring it back together.

Good Luck!! Enjoy!

 

How to Poach an Egg

7 Aug

Poaching is one of the easiest ways to cook an egg and I’m always surprised to hear how many people have not been taught how. So for those of you who have always wanted to know. Here you go!

You will need:

A pot of simmering water

Vinegar

Eggs

A bowl

A slotted spoon

A towel or paper towel

Bread for toasting

Bring a pot of water to a simmer on your stove. Be sure that the water is deep enough that the eggs won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add a splash of vinegar to the water. I like the taste of the vinegar so I usually add about a quarter cup but adding a few tablespoons is fine too. The vinegar will stabilize the white of the egg and prevent it from spreading around the pot. Vinegar makes egg whites slightly firmer than usual; some people find this unappealing. You can always choose to omit the vinegar but in my opinion it is the best part of poached eggs. Personally I love the crisp fresh flavor the vinegar gives to the eggs. I find it especially refreshing to the palate when poached eggs are accompanied by a heavy sauce like hollandaise in eggs Benedict.

Next crack your eggs into separate bowls and have them ready for the water. It takes 3 to 5 minutes to poach an egg depending on your preference. If you want a perfect medium egg use your toast as a timer. Simply put your toast down just before you add your egg to the water and by the time it pops you will have a perfect egg. Using your slotted spoon scoop your egg out of the water and touch the bottom of the spoon to the towel or paper towel before sliding it on to your toast.This will prevent you from getting a soggy spot on your toast. Add salt and pepper and enjoy!

Just like anything else practice makes perfect. You will find the perfect speed of simmer for your water and your favorite amount of vinegar. Play with this technique and make it your own.

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Lazy Cakes!

1 Aug

I have to say most of the time when I think about making a cake I just want to decorate it. I tend to use boxed cake mixes the majority of the time. I’m sure this will change when my daughter wants to help me bake but for now I want something quick and easy and reliable. having said that there is no reason not to be as creative as possible with those cakes.

If you want a boxed cake mix to taste deceptively decadent it’s easy; just do some simple substitutions.

  • Use yolks instead of what ever kind of eggs it calls for.  Yolks add richness to the cake that makes it seem too good to be from a box. This works perfectly if you use the left overs from the Swiss Meringue Butter-Cream and leaves nothing to go to waste. Adding yolks to a white cake rather than whites will technically make the cake a yellow cake but really unless you are baking a white wedding cake who cares?
  • Add an extra egg. This adds richness if you don’t happen to have yolks to use up.
  • Substitute fruit juice, beer or milk for water. This will also make the cake richer. Fruit juice or beer will leave people wondering what your secret ingredient is. I’m sure you could use pop too but I have never tried that one.
  • Exchange butter for oil. Butter is always better.
  • Add fruit puree mixed half and half with your liquid of choice.
  • Add flavors. Cinnamon, mint extract, coconut, nuts, dried fruit, banana. the sky is the limit!

Have fun! The very worst case scenario your cake will flop. Not a big deal. You may even discover something new!

 

Irish Dream Cake!!

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