Monday, April 26, 2010

Eggs Florentine Salad

I've been wanting to learn to make Eggs Benedict, because I have a joke with someone (lets call him Feesh) about how one of these days, we're going to finally make them for each other. I somehow had this idea that all of the parts of it (poaching eggs, making Hollandaise sauce), were beyond the capacity of a normal person and entirely in the realm of restaurants. Then, on Sunday, I watched Feesh poach eggs like it was no big deal! That was the moment when I realized the legendary E.B. were close to being within our grasp, and decided to tackle Hollandaise as my end of the bargain.

Looking around, I found a recipe by Tyler Florence that looked pretty do-able. Basically here is what you need:
4 egg yolks (aye caramba)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 melted cube unsalted butter (aye caramba #2)
a pinch of salt
some cayenne, or a dollop of mustard

You whisk the eggs and the lemon juice until they double in size and become thick (they really do, they also get lighter). Then, you need a double boiler. Or maybe you're like me, and you don't have one, so you do a double boiler hack, as seen here:
Yes, this is a pan with simmering water, and a metal bowl, which I held over it with my own little hand.
 Hold the bowl over the simmering water (or, you know, use the double boiler with simmering water), and whisk the eggs. Stir in the melted butter gradually, stirring all the while. It will get smooth, and pale, and increase in volume. This site had good recommendations for what to do if things go awry. Fortunately, mine did not scramble or separate and the sauce was a lovely pale yellow.

 Then, I poached the eggs (look at me go!), I didn't even have Feesh there for backup, I just had to remember what he did. Basically, I started some water at a high simmer in a small saucepan, and added a teeny bit of olive oil. Then cracked an egg into a cup, and carefully slid it in the water (repeat for egg 2). Then I cooked it for... awhile. I do not like my eggs runny.
Note the combo of poached eggs and awesome sauce. This is the money shot.
Now, it was a little much to do the whole E.B. thing, ham and all, so I opted for a "lighter" option (as if something involving this many eggs could be light), in a French-inspired salad.
 What you see here is a bed of spinach, with the poached egg on top, some sliced Persian cucumber, and some slices of roasted red potatoes to give it a Salad Nicoise type vibe (it looks like a lot of slices, but the potatoes were teeny), and a dressing of black pepper and the Hollandaise.
 This was... delicious. I think this would make an amazing entree on a hot summer night, or for a nice fancy lunch- I had it with a nice glass of wine and certainly felt very ladylike.


Stephanie said...

tasty! I love eggs and eggs bennie.. so this salad is right up my alley

Rachel said...

Hey there lurker! Thanks for commenting to tell me about the grilled cheese fest and making me SUPER jealous. Oh I will be there next year. MARK MY WORD! (finger emphatically pointed to the sky.)

I made E.B. for the first time about a month ago. I too was overwhelmed by the thought of making it but it ended up being easier than anticipated. I have to say I was slightly underwhelmed. I was imagining it tasting rich and velvety but it tasted just sort of...I don't know...not rich and velvety. Though I have a feeling it may be due to the freshness (or unfreshness, rather) of the eggs I used. I'll give it another shot. I like the salad idea but I have to say that english muffins are in my all time favorite food group. That being Things I Can Toast.


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