Whenever I go for brunch (now how poncy does that sound?), I muse for ages over whether to go for the Huevos Rancheros, the pancakes or the French toast, but come waitress-standing-in-front-of-me time, I almost always order Eggs Benedict. And every time I’m sorely disappointed, as either the muffins are too doughy, the ham is too dry, or the hollandaise sauce is just bland slop. So my resolution for 2016 is to stop this cycle of madness, and venture into new uncharted territories on the ‘ole menu, and stick to my Eggs Benedict at home. Because, quite frankly, none have come close to the beauties I concoct at home every now and again (no arrogance here). So that you lovelies can partake in some Sunday brunch delectation, here’s my recipe for this delicious classic:
INGREDIENTS: (per serving)
2 Slices of Brioche
Knob of Butter
4 slices of Parma/Serrano Ham
2 Large Egg Yolks
1-2 tsp. Lemon Juice
There are quite a lot of things going on at the same time (perfect for all you mult-taskers), so prepare everything first, as the eggs only take a few minutes.
- First, heat up a pot of water big enough to host the poached eggs.
- Heat the grill.
- Prepare the Hollandaise Sauce. Don’t be daunted by this, it is actually quite easy. Melt the butter in a small pan. Put the egg yolks into a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk with a teaspoon of the lemon juice. Whisk slowly but constantly to prevent the mixture splitting. Pour the now-melted butter into the egg mixture until it has combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a tiny splash of water to loosen. Season to taste. Based on your own preference, you may want to add more lemon juice, but I personally don’t like the lemon taste to be overpowering. When it’s ready, turn the heat off and keep warm over the pan of water and stir occasionally while you’re getting the rest ready.
(Now if you haven’t got time, or have a tendency to be a bit of a lazy Maisie (I’m not judging), then you might prefer to skip this whole stage, and buy some ready made stuff. Try to get the Hollandaise sauce that comes in a carton, rather than the packet variety, which just gives me the heebiejeebies)
- Heat a non-stick pan with a small (and I mean small) knob of butter and gently “toast” the brioche slices. Don’t use too much butter, you don’t want to turn it into fried bread! You may prefer to toast the brioche under the grill, but I find this makes the bread too dry.
- Put the slices of ham under the hot grill. As they are thin, they will only need about 3-4 minutes to crisp up.
- When the water has come to simmering point, add a pinch of salt, and lower the eggs into the water from a cup. The eggs only need 3 minutes to be nice and soft, so be ready with your slotted spoon to fish them out when they’re ready. Once out, put them on some kitchen paper to absorb the excess water.
- Now to the assembly. Place the softly poached eggs on top of the toasted brioche, smother with lashings of gorgeous Hollandaise sauce, and finish off with the beautifully crispy Parma ham. Sorted!