Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict "Eggs Benny"

Now THATS a breakfast!
Friday night fun can often lead to a Saturday morning of silly exhaustion. Went out drinking last night, but drank a bit too much. I was feeling very tired and hungover this morning.  It reminded me of my years in college, when my favorite hungover cure was eggs benedict from a small local breakfast place in Cambridge. I wish I craved something slightly healthier, but alas, I was having an intense yearning for a buttery, eggy overload.

If you read this blog regularly you probably notice I tend to indulge myself on the weekends. I would love to just desire vegetables and grains, and often I do, but I find if I dont make some of my classic favorites every now and then I get food cranky.
I hope to continue to eat healthier, while also learning how to make the classic dishes that I have always loved. I do try to keep my indulgent dishes to the weekends, and keep the weekdays full or vegetables and all that healthy stuuuuff.

Usually eggs benedict, or eggs benny as a friend refers to them, is made with canadian bacon. When cooking with healthy boyfriend everything has to be vegetarian because he is. I think the avocados were great, but next time I think Ill try a little roasted asparagus. I ate asparagus four days in a row this week, so needed a bit of a break(literally my pee smell was becoming out of control. TMI I know, and don't care).

For this recipe you do have to poach eggs which can be a bit of a crap shoot. If you have never done it, do not worry if your first attempt is an egg white disaster. I did not take a picture of my first attempt, but it was a nightmare. Luckily healthy boyfriend was there to help, and after watching some videos and getting tips, we figured out a way to do them right. I can see now why people have fancy egg poaching devises, though with a little patience and practice, I think anyone can get the hang of it.

Here is a link to video of how to poach an egg, its helpful to watch someone do it: Poach an egg

Note: Three things that seemed to be crucial in poaching an egg. 1. Have the egg cracked and in an individual bowl before it goes in the water. 2. Using a generous amount of vinegar in the water. 3. Having the water simmering, not boiling and stirring it right before adding the egg, creating a mini vortex so the whites form around the egg and don't separate.

Instead of using all butter I used half butter, half earth balance. Using a butter substitute makes it slightly healthier, but no matter what, this dish is a calorie, fat disaster. If you are trying to lose serious weight, do not make this dish.

Hollandaise is easy to mess up if you whisk it by hand, so I have found using a food processor or blender insures a delicious sauce every time.

This dish is a bit difficult, but lots of fun, and I hope you enjoy it.

This is based on a few different recipes, and as always with a bit of my own ideas.

"Eggs Benny"
A buttery indulgent heart stopping treat

The Goods: Makes 1 cup, serves 4

Hollandaise Sauce:
5 tablespoons earth balance
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
a few dashed of cayenne(add more or less depending on your desire for heat)
1 teaspoon of sea salt, more to taste

Other ingredients: 
4 english muffins, sliced in half
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
8 eggs
1/2-3/4 cups white vinegar

The Deal:
1. To make the hollandaise, melt the butter on medium high heat in a small saucepan. Do not boil the butter, just warm it until completely melted.

melted butter. mmmmmm.....
2. Place egg yolks, cayenne, salt and lemon juice in the food processor. Pulse until the yolks lighten in color, about 8-10 pulses. Once the color is lighter, place food processor on the lowest speed setting and drizzle the butter in slowly, keeping the motor running. Continue to mix once all the butter is added for another few seconds, making sure the butter is fully mixed.
egg yolks anyone? 
3. Taste the sauce, if too buttery, add more lemon juice and salt, adding slowly, only pulsing the food processor a few times to blend. You do not want to overly blend the sauce. Once it tastes as you desire, place in a pan you melted the butter in and keep covered on the stove to keep warm until the rest of the dish is ready.

eggs in their own bowl, no sharing!
4. Bring a pot of water to a simmer and add vinegar. Crack each egg in an individual small bowl. Stir the pot creating a vortex with the water and add your egg to poach. Remove from heat and cover for 4 minutes. Repeat until all eggs are cooked, keeping your poached eggs in a covered dish.

Poached egg, much better than poached animals :)
5. While poaching your eggs, toast your english muffins. Once all the eggs are poached, plate your dish in this order. Toasted muffin, then avocado, followed by the poached egg and drizzle the hollandaise sauce over, covering the entire dish. Place additional sauce in a dish for people who desire extra.
Muffin and avocado

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