I love Sundays.
AO + I can typically be found wandering the Hollywood Farmers’ Market with a tradition of stopping over at the Farm Fresh Shellfish stall for freshly shucked oysters.
Today, however, he’s stuck at some training facility with a bunch of other camera nerds [and by stuck I mean happily filling his brain with knowledge]. So no Farmers’ Market tradition today but that’s ok with me because my other favorite thing about Sunday is brunch food, specifically THE BENEDICT. How can you resist something with meat + bread + egg all covered in a buttery sauce that oozes goodness? You might be able to but I DEFINITELY can’t.
One of my many faults is not being motivated enough to go outside the confines of home unless I have a very specific plan and today is no exception. So instead of popping over to one of the many wonderful restaurants in my area [try Blu Jam Café for a classic eggs benedict or get the Poached y Papas Benedict at The Griddle for the much more over-the-top approach], I decided to make eggs benedict for one instead.
I won’t lie to you: the one thing I hate about making this dish at home is the dishes. Typically piles of them. I somehow cut it down to half, mostly because I don’t like washing dishes.
Ena’s Eggs Benedict for One [or what I call a Sunday in Heaven]
what you’ll need / things you’ll eventually need to wash:
(1) baking sheet
(1) 3qt sauce pan
(1) stainless steel bowl
(1) microwave safe bowl
(1) slotted spoon
for the base
2 slices of bread [I used an Italian loaf]
2-4 slices of ham [I like honey baked]
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
Start by pre-heating your oven to 400ºF. Place the bread on the baking sheet, followed by a layer of ham which is then covered with a layer of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Once your oven is heated (it takes about 10 minutes), pop it in the oven until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown (approx. 7-9 minutes).
for the hollandaise sauce [adapted from Tyler Florence found here]
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tspn lemon
cayenne pepper to taste
Put 2 tbpn of butter into a microwave safe bowl and zap it in 20 second intervals until melted. Set aside.
Fill the 3qt sauce pan with enough water to reach the middle of the pot and bring to a simmer [it’s that point just before it boils when you see little bubbles in the water but it doesn’t look like a storm is raging quite yet]. In the steel bowl, combine the egg yolk + lemon and whisk until it doubles in thickness.
Slowly add the melted butter while whisking continuously. Place the steel bowl over the simmering water and continue to whisk until the sauce once again doubles in thickness. You’ll know it’s coming together when the sauce begins to form peaks / sticks to the sides of the bowls. Remove the bowl from heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste and keep in a warm place until ready to serve. If your sauce becomes too thick add a bit of water to thin out. **Note: don’t throw out the simmering water! You’ll use it in the next step.
[Disaster Strikes! If your sauce begins to separate — which means the egg yolks have cooked too much — don’t fret because all is not lost. Immediately remove from heat, crack open another egg and add that yolk to the mix and whisk, whisk, whisk. Bring it back to the heat for only a few minutes and hopefully your sauce from the gods will have been saved. Your hollandaise sauce will be a bit eggy-er, which you can temper by adding a little more lemon. If you can’t salvage it, toss the mixture into a skillet with a whole egg for super decadent scrambled eggs.]
for the poached eggs
2 tbsp vinegar
There are many, many ways to poach an egg from using the microwave, to “egg” cups, to simply dumping the egg into simmering water. This, however, is the version that works best for me.
Rinse out the butter bowl from the last section, and fill with cold water then set aside.
Using the same simmering water, add 2 tbsp of vinegar and a good helping of salt. The vinegar helps tighten up the egg + salt helps water keep a simmer [or when making pasta, a boil]. Using the slotted spoon, stir the water to create a whirlpool then crack a whole egg into the middle of the mini-water-tornado. It’s gonna look a little crazy and a whole lot messy for a second, but the swirling action of the water will help bring your egg together and after about 3-5 minutes you’ll have a poached egg! Take the egg out of the pot using the slotted spoon and place in the water bath you set aside earlier. This will stop the cooking process and also get that yucky vinegar taste off the egg. Repeat steps for your second egg!
put it all together
grab a plate: bread + ham + cheese + eggs + hollandaise sauce = heaven!
Happy Sunday everyone!