I was very, very, very happy when I found out about this month’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge. This time around, Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose an Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num. I chose to make Eggs Benedict because I’m quite convinced that it is the epitome of deliciousness.
This was only the second time in my life that I’ve made Eggs Benedict, which is a bit of a tragedy if you ask me. The first time was in high school NFS (a.k.a. Nutrition and Food Science) class. This heavenly concoction of melting egg, hearty ham, and buttery hollandaise sauce served as a gleaming beacon of hope in the midst of spice cakes made with tomato soup and poor food sanitation practices. It allowed me to experience joy completely unrelated to that which I felt from stealing illicit spices from the teacher’s cart and rebelliously going off-recipe. The instant that first bite hit my lips, I was transported into a semi-conscious state much like that experienced by Remy in Ratatouille that carried me away from the windowless angst of high school.
In short, I was hooked. How could a person not be? Eggs Benedict combines one of the greatest things on earth, namely, gooey, semi-cooked egg yolks, and hollandaise sauce, which is basically just more eggs and oodles of butter! There’s pretty much nothing on earth that wouldn’t taste good when it’s filled with twelve tablespoons of butter.
Beyond the poached egg on top and the traditional hollandaise sauce, I accompanied my version of Eggs Benedict with a thick slice of smoked ham and a round of wheaty, nutty bread that I picked up at my local wheaty, nutty bread shop. It was speckled with pecans, walnuts, and flax seed that gave it a slight sweetness that really played well off the savory ham and egg.
The customization possibilities are endless with this dish. If you’re not a ham person, I bet it’s incredible with sausage. If you’re not a wheaty, nutty bread person, you can go the traditional route with half an English muffin or just a slice of your favorite bread. If you’re not a semi-cooked, eggy, hollandaise sauce kind of person, you can use a pasteurized egg product and it should work just fine (that’s what I use in Caesar salad dressing, actually.) The point is, you should definitely try Eggs Benedict. It’s awesome.
All the info can be found at the Daring Kitchen.