One of the things I miss most since becoming a mom is brunch: leisurely, roll-out-of-bed, consume copious amounts of hot coffee and enjoy food I didn’t prepare kind of brunch. These days, “brunch” looks more like cereal, lukewarm coffee, and maybe some French toast if we’re really going all out.
So when we decided to have friends over for brunch, I knew I wanted to shake up my typical fare. I decided to make Easy eggs Benedict … and really hoped that when Chatelaine’s Holiday 100+ best recipes cookbook titled it “easy,” they meant it.
I was curious about hollandaise sauce (what the heck is in that stuff anyway?), and intimidated by poaching eggs without the security of an egg poacher. But the steps seemed doable, so while the kids played I filled the coffee cups and got to work. Peameal cooked – check. English muffins toasting — check. Water and vinegar (a critical ingredient for proper egg poaching) simmering — check. Hollandaise sauce … coming up.
As I melted the butter (an entire cup…for four people…wow), I realized I didn’t have a slotted spoon. And I needed one to skim the foam off the melted butter and to remove the eggs once poached. But I made do with a regular teaspoon for the butter skimming. I added the yolks, lemon juice, hot water, salt, and butter into the blender and hit start — right in the middle of my friend telling a story. Note to self: Relocate guests to dining room when blending hollandaise. And wear an apron. Conversation killer and splatter machine aside, the blender worked wonders at turning the mixture into a creamy sauce.
Next step was the eggs. I peered into the simmering pot and gently tipped the first egg in. There was a cloud of egg white, but then it started to take shape. Success! The other eggs behaved themselves just as well, and while I did have to dab quite a bit to get the water off (really need that slotted spoon), the eggs were perfect. I plated the eggs and topped them with hollandaise sauce (sans tarragon because, well, I forgot to put it on my list). I even managed to chat and drink coffee while I prepped breakfast. Easy is right. These eggs Benedict impressed the guests and will be filed under decadent, but worth it.
Here they are!