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This morning was Sunday (I know these posts come a few days late) and Sunday calls for brunch and one of my favourites is Eggs Benedict. There’s something about the Hollandaise that makes it feel really decadent and it’s even better when you make your own from scratch (avoiding all the thickeners and additives that extend its shelf life!)
A lot of people are worried about making their own hollandaise but all it involves is patience and hardly ever goes wrong if you don’t try to rush it and you keep the temperature low. Also, it’s one often first things I ever taught Dan to cook when we first started dating, and he’s got it down to a fine art now so I usually leave it to him.
I use Mary Berry’s Hollandaise Recipe which she says is foolproof and as long as you don’t overcook the egg yolks I’ve never had a problem with it. This is how I do it…
Start by melting the butter in a pan or the microwave so that you have it ready for when you need it. Then, using room temperature eggs, separate the egg whites from the yolks (the whites can go into any smoothies, or frittatas or can bulk out scrambled eggs so keep them in the fridge – for up to a few days – until you find a recipe you can throw them into.) Whisk the yolks up with the white wine vinegar and lemon juice in a heat-proof bowl. Once the mixture has become light and frothy, place the heat-proof bowl on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water, creating a bain-marie (make sure the water is not bubbling too furiously!) Whisk the mixture constantly as it is sitting over the simmering water until it thickens slightly (enough so that it leaves a trail when you lift the whisk up). Then take the mixture off the heat completely and start to whisk in the melted butter, a little at a time until the sauce becomes thick and silky. I like to add black pepper too but it’s not technically an ingredient of hollandaise sauce. Put the sauce to one side while you prep the rest of the dish (it can be kept in the fridge for a few days but it best eaten on the day it’s made.)
Next I dry-fried 3 slices of bacon in a frying pan. Bacon releases so much oil that I find it isn’t necessary to add any extra. Dan and I often have ‘the bacon argument’ when it comes to cooking. I like mine very crispy and he likes his just cooked which I can’t stand. The fat has to crisp up, otherwise it’s chewy and rubbery right? Tell me I’m not wrong in the great bacon debate in our house!!
Now for the eggs. I also have a foolproof poached egg recipe which never seems to fail me. To start, make sure the eggs are at room temperature or they will cool the water down too much and not cook properly. Then I boil the water in a kettle and add it to the pan – use a deep frying pan (or large saucepan) so it’s easy to remove the eggs at the end and fill it about 2-3ins full. Wait for the water to boil so there are large bubbles popping on the surface and then turn the heat off completely. Crack the eggs into the pan – don’t crowd the pan, maybe 3-4 at the most each time and then just leave them for 5 minutes. the residual heat from the hot water will cook them with out overcooking them and after 5mins or so you can check them by lifting them out. If the white is cooked all the way through then the yolk will be perfect. It always produces the most amazing gooey yolks and this time was no different! #yolkporn
Then it was time to put everything together:
I toasted a couple of slices of my Grain Free Bread and topped them with a small scraping of butter. I like to use Kerrygold butter as the cows are grass-fed, but that’s just personal preference. I added a slice and a half of bacon to each piece of toast, topped each with an egg and drizzled a tbsp of hollandaise over the top of each one. A generous sprinkling of black pepper and the dish was complete.
It’s always great to break into the yolk and have it run out all over the dish. This was an easy breakfast that feels so much more special than the energy required to create it. Buttery and rich and salty, it’s everything that you need on a Sunday morning (when you’ve been out late the night before at a friend’s all night BBQ – oops) and with loads of protein and healthy fats it’s enough to keep you going until dinner. Definitely a special weekend brunch meal to set you up for the rest of the day!
After brunch we decided to head to Granary Square at Kings Cross to watch the Wimbledon Finals in the sunshine on the big screen. We packed a picnic blanket and a bottle of champagne and headed out. Well, the place was rammed – we only just manage to find a tiny patch of floor for ourselves in the massive sea of people. We popped open the champagne and sat back to watch the match. It was a really lovely afternoon, with a great atmosphere there and of course, it was amazing to see Murray win!!