Eggs Benedict with my rather runny homemade Hollandaise Sauce

Man, I just love Sundays.  A perfectly lazy day can be made even better with a ludicrously delicious brunch and a copy of The Observer Food Monthly.  I’m so happy right now.

In Alex James’ column in OFM, he mentions Kate Moss’ mantra “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”   Having once been rather slender (and infinitely hungrier) I can sort of understand where she’s coming from.  However, this fleeting feeling of sisterhood with the famous waif evaporates once I remember that her comment is inherently wrong, if not completely mental.  What the hell is she talking about?

She has clearly never eaten Arancini, gobbled a Monte Christo sambo or made her own Hollandaise Sauce.  Of course, it’s lovely to fit perfectly into all your clothes and to never have to hide bumpy bulges behind flowing tops.  However, I’m of the opinion that the satisfaction of feeling slim can in no way compare to the feeling you get when something you’ve cooked has made you and your partner/friends really, really happy.

But, of course, it’s all about balance.  Obviously, you don’t want to be eating Egg’s Benedict every other day, as it’s full of artery-clogging-heart-bashing butter.  But one should allow oneself to enjoy it once in a while, without thinking of the consequences to one’s backside.

Anyway, I made my own Hollandaise Sauce this morning to make my Egg’s Benedict complete, using Antony  Worrall Thompson’s Cheat’s recipe.  It has a lottttttt of butter in it.  But what the hell, you only live once.  I’d prefer to be content and plump than thin and miserable, any day. So take THAT Kate Moss. Heh heh.

What you need for Antony Worrall Thompson’s Cheat’s Egg’s Benedict

For the Holladaise Sauce (this made enough sauce for four servings so the next time I might just halve everything and see how it turns out)

2 free range eggs

Juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp of cold water

225g of unsalted butter (yes, that’s right, 225g. Bloody hell.)

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

For the Egg’s Benedict bit

2 English muffins, sliced in half

2 poached eggs

4 slices of Parma or Serrano Ham

So, I’ve never made Hollandaise Sauce before, but I’m aware that it’s a bit of a nuisance.  I’m not sure how W-T’s recipe is a Cheat’s way of making it, but I can tell you that the result was pretty spot on, and it was a doddle to do.  What I will say is that the consistency was slightly runnier than I would expect but it was truly rocking in flavour.  Any tips on  how I should have thickened up the sauce?

I actually saw him make this on the TV programme he has during the week – I caught it when I was in bed with a cold recently.  I’ve always been a bit afraid of making poached eggs, because of the whole spinning water and difficulty factor etc, but W-T was really nonchalant about it and pulled down the wall of difficultness that has kept me from ever trying to make poached eggs.  After the programme, I gave it a go, and sure enough, it’s a doddle.  Proof again that one of the most important ingredients in cooking is the cook’s confidence.  I really believe that.

Anyway, back to the recipe.

Start off by melting your 225g of butter in a pan.  I did this on a medium low meat over about 5 minutes, so the butter wouldn’t burn.  This is so ridiculously unhealthy that I had to take a picture of it.  I mean, you could catch a heart attack just by looking at this.  But still, everything in moderation…

My word.

Put all the other sauce ingredients in the bowl of your food processor.  When your butter has completely melted and is bubbling slightly, gradually pour it into the feed tube of the food processor, keeping the motor running the whole time.  This was quite fun as a good bit of the Hollandaise escaped as it jumped back out through the feed tube.

It’ll come together quite quickly, but it will be quite runny.  To try to thicken it up a bit, I kept the motor going for about a minute or two.  Then I added the cayenne pepper and a bit of salt.  I let it sit while I got the eggs et al together.

Put the Parma or Serrano Ham in a dry frying pan and fry it at a medium heat until nice and crispy.

Have a pan of water boiling and add a glug of vinegar to it.  I’ve found that Red Wine Vinegar works the best, although sometimes it leaves a pinky hue to the poached eggs, but we can live with that.  There’s no need to spin the water or anything like that, just gently drop the egg into the boiling water and leave it there for 3 minutes.

Get your English Muffins in the toaster.  Get a bit of butter on those babies.

When your eggs are done, place them on a plate with kitchen towel to pat them dry a bit.  Because we all know that soggy toast/muffins are GROSS.

Place your crispy Parma/Serrano Ham on top of your buttered muffin.  Pop the egg on top and drizzle over a generous amount of Hollandaise Sauce.  Grind a bit of pepper on top, pour yourself a cup of tea, and chomp down the Benedict goodness.  Alleluja.

Let’s get a good look at this beauty…

Yep, it looks good from all angles.  Just like Kate Moss.

TUNE

You can follow the link to listen to a song from one of my favourite Irish bands, The Holy Roman Army.  Geddit?  Geddit?  Egg’s Benedict?  The Holy Roman Army?  Geddit?

Actually, that doesn’t really make sense as Egg’s Benedict doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Pope Benedict.  Have a look over at this Wiki Page on the origins of Egg’s Benedict.  Fascinating stuff.

The Holy Roman Army – Elegy (The Hype Machine)