Friday, March 18, 2011

Breakfast - Eggs Benedict with Bacon on Buttermilk Biscuits

I made this for her because I was flipping through Marco Pierre White's "Wild Food From Land and Sea" which I borrowed from the library, and found a Hollandaise sauce recipe on page 127 and had recently learned how to make delicious Buttermilk Biscuit from John Mitzewich's blog and I had some recently purchased bacon and eggs, so it seemed like a good fit. I think I've also had a need to make Eggs Benedict every once in a while after having really good Eggs Benedict at The Hoof Cafe with my girlfriend a while back. Which is apparently now closed, curious. I guess all the more reason to make Eggs Benedict. Anyway, here are the recipes in the order that I prepared them.

Buttermilk Biscuits

I happen to have a ridiculous 3HP Blendtec HP3A Blender which I used to help me make these. Since I haven't bothered to get a pastry blender yet (I also never really clued into what they were for when I saw them in stores), I don't know which would deliver better results. The recipe is slightly modified from John Mitzewich's to include the blender, it should be noted that his look, and probably taste better than mine. I cut them to size with an 8cm (3") ring-form. You should really watch John's video for how to knead them and form the dough. You should also really check out his blog. His recipes are really, really, really, really good, and he's funny.

2 Cups All Purpose Flour (260g)
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
100g Salted Butter, Diced.
200 ML of Buttermilk

1. Place the dry ingredients in the blender and pulse a few times to blend them. Add the butter and pulse until a fine crumb forms then dump into a mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre of the crumbs and pour in the buttermilk and with a really big spoon or spoonish spatula mix the crumbs and buttermilk and try to roll into a sphere-ish dough.
3. Dump the sphere onto a floured worksurface (in my case, granite countertops) and gently "fold-knead" (kind of like folding a letter) about 3 times then roll out into a 1/2" thick rectangle then cut into biscuits.
4. Transfer the biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet, press your thumb into the centre of the top of each of the biscuits, brush with buttermilk and place in a 425F oven for 20 minutes.


While the biscuits are in the oven, take a sheet of aluminum foil, fold it in half, then form it into a rectangle with 4 vertical sides, kind of like a baking sheet, lay four slices of bacon into it, and place that in the oven with the biscuits. Depending on when you put the bacon in the oven, and how thick it is, and how crisp you like your bacon, it might be done before, at the same time, or after the biscuits, but just keep a mindful eye on it, then transfer to a bowl with paper towel when it's done.

Hollandaise Sauce

Marco Pierre White's Recipe is for a large batch, I converted some of the measurements and divided it by three for a smaller batch. I really only needed a few tablespoons of the finished sauce in the end.

1 Egg Yolk
30 ML of Water
10 ML of Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
60g of Butter, diced

1. Whisk everything except the butter in a small saucepan till blended.
2. Add the diced butter. And put the saucepan on medium heat.
3. Whisk until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened.
4. Reduce heat to low and leave covered while preparing the poached eggs.

Poached Eggs

I've had ups and downs making poached eggs, for a while I wouldn't make them at all because they kept turning out terrible. I think the problem was I was obsessed with swirling the water, (or putting the eggs into plastic wrap) which is really not necessary. But one day I was having breakfast at Sunrise Grill with my girlfriend and I ordered poached eggs because the restaurant has a completely open kitchen and I was at a table where I had a perfect view. The cook, cracked the eggs into a pot of boiling water one at a time, waiting maybe 10 seconds or so between eggs and just left them to boil. And a little while later, I was given a plate of three perfect teardrop shaped poached eggs. So, I realized that swirling the water is really not at all necessary, and making the eggs one at a time is really not necessary either. I guess it should be noted, he's probably extremely experienced at making breakfast and making poached eggs. He was using a tall windsor pan, and it probably had the perfect balance of vinegar and perfectly tempered water and he was probably using really fresh eggs. So, although my eggs are not perfect globes, or teardrops, they're better and simpler to make than they used to be.

1. Heat a large saucepan of water to about 82C.
2. Crack the eggs into the water, one at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between eggs.
3. Turn down the heat slightly and boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from water, drain, and plate.
4. Repeat for four eggs total.

Final Plating
2 Servings of 2 eggs each

1. Cut two biscuits in half and place two halves each on two serving plates.
2. Break each slice of bacon in half and place two halves in a cross on each biscuit.
3. Place the drained poached egg on the bacon and season with salt and pepper.
4. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce onto each egg.
5. Top each egg with a little bit of diced green onion.

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