I wanted to start the New Year off on proper footing, and what better way than with Eggs Benedict for breakfast? Instead of my usual Hollandaise, I'll be making a Cajun Hollandaise. Instead of my usual English Muffins, I'll be using Arnold's Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins. I had the Food Network on this morning and Booby Flay was making Eggs Benedict with a Cajun Hollandaise, hence my inspiration for the Acadian accent.
I squeezed in the juice of half a lemon. Oh gosh. I just realized, hours later, that I have 4 yolks in the pan. Should've used 2 sticks of butter, sliced in half-tablespoons.
I didn't have all the Cajun ingredients Booby used, so I used what I had: onion powder chile powder garlic powder Hungarian hot paprika oregano Cajun seasoning Lea & Perrins cayenne pepper flakes, homegrown
Before I started heating, I decided to add in my new favorite spice to the Hollandaise - the annatto paste.Making Hollandaise is not hard or tricky. It just demands your full attention. If you're sketchy about doing this, use a double boiler. Barely simmering water underneath your pan of eggs, not touching. I use a hovering pan over very low heat. You do NOT want to end up with scrambled eggs so this is where you need to pay attention. Heat the eggs, whisking constantly, until yolks get lemon-colored and thickened. Mine aren't lemon-colored since I have so much annatto paste in there.
I hovered my pan over very low heat, whisking the entire time, until my yolks thickened. Then I whisked in 1 pat of butter at a time, stirring until the butter was incorporated. Keep adding small pats of butter, one at a time, whisking to emulsify. All in all, for three yolks, I used 3/4 stick of butter. You could use more. Probably the three yolks could take up to 1 1/2 sticks of butter, but I'm not Pauler. I just realized I used four yolks. I could have emulsified two sticks of butter, easily.
I added in a few drops of that new thick Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. And my Cajun Hollandaise is done. And it's quite tasty. Lemony with a bit of heat and spice. Nice contrasts.Now, on to the poached eggs:
The swirling water wraps the white around the yolk making a lovely little package. Cook for 2 minutes.
Assemble. Pretend that's a homemade English muffin on the bottom, not a Benedict Arnold. Place a slice of ham on the muffin. Make a nest of spinach. Put the poached packaged egg in the nest. Spoon on Cajun Hollandaise.
This is my favorite part - puncturing the delicate, fragile shell of albumen, and releasing the lovely liquid yellow yolk.