Friday, November 26, 2010

Eggs Benedict with Rustic Lyonnaise Potatoes and Grilled Tomato

This recipe can be easy or frustrating to cook.  I took no shortcuts in this recipe.  This is the original Eggs Benedict Recipe that was cooked at Antoine's of New Orleans.  Some historians say that the recipe was created originally in New York City but that is incorrect.  Many great recipes were invented at Antoine's famous French Restaurant.  Oysters Rockefeller, Peaches Melba, Cherry's Jubilee, Strawberry's Romanoff, Omelette Alaska, Cocktail Sauce and many more great recipes were invented by the chefs of Antoine's.
     The New York story is that this eggs benedict recipe was invented for a regular customer who was hungover.  I doubt that that tale was true.  The 1800's and the early 1900's were full of stories about chefs who laid claim to other chefs recipes.  News did not travel fast or far in those days.  The recipe that is attached to the wild New York City eggs benedict tale is nothing like the New Orleans recipe.  The New Orleans eggs benedict is an authentic superior original recipe.
     Rustic Lyonnaise Potato Recipe:  Saute sliced onion and thin sliced Purple Peru Potato, Red Yukon Bliss Potato, and Yukon Gold Potato over medium heat in unsalted butter.  Leave the skins on the potatoes for the rustic effect.  Season with thyme leaves, sea salt and white pepper.  Cook and stir the potatoes till the onions caramelize and the potatoes become lightly browned.
       Hollandaise Sauce Recipe:  Melt 3-4 ounces of unsalted butter in a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Cook till the butter gives off a light hazelnut aroma.  
     Clarify the butter and discard the butter solids on the bottom of the pan.  
     Keep the butter warm over very low heat. 
     Place 2 egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. 
     Add a teaspoon of warm water to the egg yolks while stirring.  (Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of warm water per egg yolk.  This will make the eggs easy to control while whisking.  Too much water added will later cause the whisking process to take way too much time.  Do not add lemon juice at the beginning of making a Hollandaise Sauce.  The sauce will be disproportionately lemon flavored if you do so.  That is the mistake most young chefs make.) 
     Whisk the egg yolk and water in a mixing bowl over a double boiler set on medium low heat.  
     Constantly whisk, non stop, till till the eggs souffle (puff up) and ribbons appear in the eggs from the whisk. 
     Remove the mixing bowl from the double boiler and immediately whisk the eggs while adding the warm butter one teaspoon at a time till the eggs start "grabbing" the butter.  
     Return the start of the hollandaise to the double boiler.  (You can not stop whisking at this point!)  
     Thin stream the melted butter into the eggs while whisking till the egg sauce is formed.  (The proportion of butter to eggs is 1 1/2 ounces of butter to one egg yolk!) 
     Now, whisk in a small squeeze of lemon juice. 
     Add a pinch of white pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt. 
     The sauce should have a hint of lemon flavor and not taste like a lemon sauce.  The cayenne pepper flavor should be barely noticeable.   
     Place the Hollandaise in a ceramic ramekin.  
     Set the ramekin in a bain marie that is set on very low heat and stir the sauce occasionally. 
     Hollandaise is a French mother sauce that is used for hundreds of recipes.  The basic hollandaise recipe never changes.
    Eggs Benedict Recipe:  Mix a little bit of anchovy paste and and some softened unsalted butter together to create a Beurre Anchois.  (Anchovy Butter)

     Slice a Holland Rusk loaf into 2 half inch thick slices.  (Use English Muffin or trimmed French Bread if you can not make or buy Holland Rusk.)
     Butter the Rusk slices with the anchovy butter.
     Grill both sides of the rush till toasted.
     Grill 2 thin trimmed slices of lightly smoked ham with a little bit of unsalted butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  (The original for eggs benedict was French ham that was lightly smoked and cured in a mountain cave.  A top quality piece of smoked ham is an acceptable substitute.  Canadian bacon is completely wrong to use in a Benedict recipe!)
     Place the 2 grilled slices of Holland Rusk on a plate.
     Place the ham slices on top of the Holland Rusk.
     Place 2 poached eggs on top of the ham and Holland Rusk.
     Generously spoon the Hollandaise Sauce over the eggs.
     Serve with the Rustic Lyonnaise Potatoes and grilled thick tomato slices seasoned with sea salt and white pepper.
     Garnish the eggs with a thin black truffle slice on top of the hollandaise sauce on each egg.  (Truffles are not available where I an located, so that ingredient was omitted in the pictures)
     This is the original Eggs Benedict!  Don't be scared of the anchovy butter!  It really adds to the flavor and is part of the original recipe.  Anchovy is used like salt in most of europe.
     Holland Rusk is similar to English Muffin.  Rusk is available as a canned bread in import food shops too.  You can make a Holland Rusk if you are a skilled baker.
     I am very famous for my Hollandaise sauce in clubs and restaurants.  I have made Hollandaise for a party of 765 people at one time, for a two ounce portion for each plate and I did not have a teaspoon leftover.  Hollandaise is made with an exact proportions of ingredients.  If you treat a Hollandaise with care, then it will not break or separate.  Too much heat, too little stirring and too hot of a clarified butter will break a Hollandaise.  Adding the lemon juice last is the way to get the perfect amount off lemon flavor.  Hollandaise actually has a very light hint of lemon and it has a very light mild cayenne flavor.  The lemon flavor should not be overpowering at all.  The texture of hollandaise is a medium bodied sauce.  Never mention instant Hollandaise mix to me!  I only cook the real thing!  Yum!  ...   Shawna

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