Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Easy Eggs Benedict (Cumberbatch)

It's a new year, time for recollections and resolutions, and the realization that it's been 14 years since the year 2000 which still seems super weird.  Millenium babies are in high school now, guys.  Crazy.

And, if you're a nerd, it may also be a time to celebrate for an entirely different reason.  After over a year and a half wait, the BBC's Sherlock series will return for its third 3-episode long season today on BBC, and January 19th on PBS.

The show stars everybody's favorite British actor with the ridiculous name, Benedict Cumberbatch, as Sherlock, and Martin Freeman as Watson.  Both actors have been busy being movie stars during the show's hiatus, acting in other nerd properties like Star Trek and The Hobbit, but they're finally back in the Sherlock saddle and I, like many other fans, am eager to see what happens next after the season 2 cliffhanger The Reichenbach Fall.

So, to celebrate the new year and the return of my favorite consulting detective, I'm making Eggs Benedict.  What makes these Eggs Benedict easy is the method for the Hollandaise sauce.  Previously, I've always made my hollandaise sauce by whisk whisk whisking the bowl for minutes on end over a simmering pot of water (or double boiler).  No more!  This Hollandaise is made in the microwave and you'd never believe it.

I made English muffins using the King Arthur Flour recipe, but feel free to use store-bought

That leaves the most difficult part of the recipe the poached eggs.  I've previously used what I call the swirly pan method with good results, but I've recently become a fan of the Alton Brown shallow pan method.  The only note I'd add is that I wouldn't trust a timer with poached eggs.  Maybe my thermometer was off, but when I left my eggs in for Alton's recommended time I ended up with hard poached eggs, and everyone knows the whole point of Eggs Benedict is that nice runny egg yolk.  Instead, just keep an eye on the eggs and take them out when they look done.  I wait until the yolk stands out from the whites but is still squishy (just poke it with your finger).

Of course, you could also get a fancy egg poacher and make this even easier.  And now, to the recipe!

Easy Eggs Benedict (Cumberbatch)

2 English Muffins, split in half length-wise
4 Slices Canadian Bacon
4 Poached Eggs
Hollandaise Sauce for Two (below)

Butter the cut sides of the English muffin and place cut-side down in a frying pan over medium heat until browned.  Similarly, you can set them on a cookie sheet under a broiler until browned, you just want them nice and buttery and toasty.  In the same pan, you can fry the Canadian bacon for about a minute on each side, just until lightly browned and a little crispy.

Top each half of the English Muffin with a slice of bacon and a poached egg.  Spoon hollandaise sauce on top and garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or parsley.

Microwave Hollandaise Sauce for Two
2 Egg Yolks
2-3 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice (from a quarter to a half lemon)
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

In a microwave safe bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 teaspoons lemon juice until uniformly yellow.  Slowly incorporate the melted butter while whisking (this is to ensure that you don't get scrambled egg yolks if the butter is hot enough to cook them).  Cook in the microwave for 10 seconds, then whisk well.  Continue to microwave in 10 second increments, whisking well each time, until the sauce is thickened (usually takes me about 3 turns, or 30 seconds).  Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

This sauce comes together so quickly that you can make it after you've assembled the rest of your Eggs Benedict,  but if you're still waiting on your eggs to poach and the sauce thickens while it sits, just whisk in a little more lemon juice or water (shouldn't take more than a teaspoon) to make it a little thinner. 

Happy New Sherlock!

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