National Egg's Benedict Day - April 16, 2012

Gordon Ramsay's eggs Benedict


I had no idea that every day of the year is assigned it's own holiday. Well, at least they are over at Bizarre Holidays. I'm really sorry I missed Blame Somebody Else Day on April 13, but I am really looking forward to April 18, International Juggler's Day, and April 24, National Pigs in a Blanket Day.

Breakfast for dinner is always good.

Master Chef and expletive slinger extraordinaire Gordon Ramsey's recipeis featured on BBC's Good Food. or head over to The Pioneer Woman Cooks for her eggs benedict recipe.

Eggs Benedict
Ingredients:3 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 large free range eggs
2 toasting muffins
1 batch hot hollandaise sauce
4 slices Parma ham (or Serrano or Bayonne)

Directions:1.Bring a deep saucepan of water to the boil (at least 2 litres) and add the vinegar. Break the eggs into 4 separate coffee cups or ramekins. Split the muffins, toast them and warm some plates.
2.Swirl the vinegared water briskly to form a vortex and slide in an egg. It will curl round and set to a neat round shape. Cook for 2-3 mins, then remove with a slotted spoon.
3.Repeat with the other eggs, one at a time, re-swirling the water as you slide in the eggs. Spread some sauce on each muffin, scrunch a slice of ham on top, then top with an egg. Spoon over the remaining hollandaise and serve at once.

Basic Hollandaise
500ml white wine vinegar
1 tbsp peppercorns
bunch tarragon
3 large free-range egg yolks
200ml melted and skimmed unsalted butter (see Secrets for success, below)
squeeze lemon juice

1.Boil the vinegar together with peppercorns and tarragon, reduce by half. Strain and reserve (see Secrets for success on storing, below).
2.Boil a large pan of water, then reduce to a simmer. Using a large balloon whisk, beat together the yolks and 2 tsp of the reduced wine vinegar in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan.
3.Beat vigorously until the mixture forms a foam, but make sure that it doesn't get too hot. To prevent the sauce from overheating, take it on and off the heat while you whisk, scraping around the sides with a plastic spatula. The aim is to achieve a golden, airy foam (called a sabayon), which forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted.
4.Whisk in a small ladle of the warmed butter, a little at a time, then return the bowl over a gentle heat to cook a little more. Remove from the heat again and whisk in another ladle of butter. Repeat until all the butter is incorporated and you have a texture as thick as mayonnaise. Finally, whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste plus a little warm water from the pan if the mixture is too thick.

Melting the butter
Heat a 250g pack chopped butter in a shallow pan. As it foams, scoop off the froth and scum using a small ladle or large metal spoon. Don't use a slotted spoon or the scum will slip back into the butter. (Don't waste the froth - it can be used in potatoes or for dressing hot vegetables). You should have around 200ml of warmed butter for the sauce. You can melt the butter in a microwave, but keep it covered as it melts or it will spit. Leave to cool a little before adding to the eggs.

Olive oil hollandaise
Use 200ml of medium flavour olive oil (not extra virgin oil) instead of the butter, and heat until warm. Perfect with roasted vegetables and grilled fish.

Storing reduced wine vinegar
When vinegar has reduced, strain back into the bottle, cool and store as usual.

Salt breaks down the yolks if you add it too early, so season your sauce at the end.

Curdling tips
If the sauce mixture starts to 'split' or curdle, immediately scrape the mixture into a clean bowl and whisk in 1 tbsp ice-cold water, then continue whisking in the remaining butter just a ladleful at a time.

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