Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Breakfast. Eggs Benedict.

It's 5:09 Saturday afternoon. Mr. Hawthorne just turned to me from his seat across the counter and said, "By the way, thank you for the Eggs Benedict this morning." I so appreciate being appreciated. Ah. Such praise. Thank you, Mr. Hawthorne. That meant a lot to me. I've been having fun in the kitchen all day starting with breakfast. Just one of those days I had things on several burners, literally and figuratively. I had an agenda of sorts. For breakfast, I made Eggs Benedict - a special breakfast for us. We don't do this often. Then I wanted to venture into mozzarella cheese making. My third attempt at this. I also had two types of chicken salads on the list, but only got as far as baking the chicken, taking the meat off the bone, Tupperwaring it, and bagging the dregs of the chicken for stock later. I've been looking forward to making granita. I've never made granita before, always wanted to, and today I did. I accomplished a lot today.
Let's start with breakfast. But first, a couple of pictures to whet your appetite.
Toasted whole wheat English muffin (! Kathy) Pan-fried ham steak. Steamed fresh spinach. Poached egg. Lovingly made Hollandaise sauce. And now ... the piece de resistance ... the climax, so to speak ...
The invasion of the yolk.
The ham we chose was a hardwood smoked, thick center cut, more like a steak, on sale at Food Lion for $1.99/pound.
Mr. Hawthorne put a nice slice of ham in the skillet and tended to it.
Am I the only one that puts spinach on Eggs Benedict? Mr. Hawthorne says he's never heard of spinach on Eggs Benedict. I paused to read the back of my spinach bag. There's actually a very user-friendly salad guide with a 1 -5 rating scale for taste and texture. Taste got a 3 on the mild to bold scale. Texture got a 1 on the tender to crunchy scale. My question: Does someone at the Dole company (This was spinach from Dole.) have an actual job rating the taste and texture of greens? Is there a panel of taste and texture technicians?
The base for my breakfast - Thomas' ...
... 100 % whole wheat English muffins. (! Kathy)
Spinach is ready to steam.
Turn the ham over and brown. We tasted the ham and thought it extremely salty. I instructed Mr. Hawthorne to add more water and boil it off and it worked. Mr. Hawthorne later commented that there were three textures of meat in the ham. I got two of 'em. Must cut a slice next week and find the elusive third texture.
Start on the hollandaise. 2 egg yolks and juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well. Then HOVER over low heat, constantly whisking.
Spinach needs to separated. Take off heat.
Whisk yolks and lemon juice.
Briskly whisk eggs and lemon juice, hovering over heat, until the mixture gets lighter and kind of poofy.
At that point, whisk in a small pat of butter.
Constantly whisk until the butter is incorporated into the mixture.
I used one half stick of butter, adding in small slices to 2 yolks and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Constantly whisk not on direct heat.
Add one small slice of butter, whisking, until you've used about one half stick of butter, and you have a lovely, smooth, creamy emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To poach an egg, bring water to a boil and add in some white vinegar.
Stir to make a vortex and drop in the egg. The vortex should wrap the white around the yolk and encapsulate it. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
I toasted the 100 % whole wheat English muffin, added a slice of ham, then topped it with a healthy bed of dark green spinach.
Better shot of the ham.
Perfectly poached pristine package of ova.
Hollandaise sauce. The crowning glory.
This is absolutely decadent.
The way the Hollandaise caresses the egg. The way the plump egg nestles in the spinach. The way the fresh spinach embraces the slightly salty ham. The way the ham and the toasted brown bread provide the base for this luxuriousness. I love tiered dishes where each tier adds more to the whole, where each is just fine on its own, and where all the tiers make more than the sum of their parts. Synergism.
Here's the moment I've been waiting for. The piercing of the yolk. The exquisite oozing of yolkiness.
This is sublime.
A proper Eggs Benedict for breakfast is a wonderful reason for waking up.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Proud & happy Rosie.

ps - Otty Potty