Poached eggs... Somehow I've always considered them a very difficult task, something only a pro could make. I mean, properly poached eggs, in a pot with simmering water, not on a pan with the help of a ring that would hold the egg whites together. However, I always wanted to try. At the end, what's the worst thing that could happen? A couple of wasted eggs? Oh well, this is really far from a disaster. So, I thought I would give it a go and see. I googled a lot in order to find a perfect technique. Apparently, all of them involved adding some vinegar to a pot of simmering water and them pouring the egg inside. Well, doesn't sound too difficult, does it? Let's see what I could make...
I already had in mind an evil recipe which involved poached eggs. Benedict eggs! On one hand, poached eggs do not require any fat to cook. But, the Hollondaise sauce for the eggs is almost entirely made of butter! So it kind of ruins the healthy, low-cal profile of the dish. Therefore, I would not encourage you to make them your "usual" weekend breakfast. But once in a while, I guess there is no harm.
When I eventually manage to put the whole dish together, I realized that the only real difficulty was to make everything simultaneously. You really should have your eyes on the eggs while poaching. At the same time, the sauce requires constant stirring. So you either need an assistant that you can trust or a place where you could keep the sauce hot while poaching the eggs. I went for the second one (No offence! :P), placing the bowl with the sauce in the warm (about 50 degrees) oven. Worked pretty well :)
INGREDIENTS (2 servings):
4 large eggs
2 slice smoked bacon, either fried or just the way it is :P
2 slices of toasted bread (the original recipe requires toasted English muffins instead, but in Holland it is impossible to find them, so... bread it is!)
Slices of cheese and fresh tomato to serve
1/2 cup white vinegar
For the Hollonaise sauce:
150 gr butter
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Prepare the sauce. In a small sauce pan melt the butter and set aside
2. In a bowl beat the egg yolks with lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper.
3. Slowly start adding the melted butter and hot water, while constantly stirring.
4. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook over a VERY low heat, while CONSTANTLY stirring. It is very important that you keep the heat as low as possible and stir the sauce all the time. Otherwise, you risk cooking your eggs, so you will end up with pieces of cooked yolks swimming in melted butter. Be patient, it will take some time, but eventually the sauce will start thickening. It took me about 15 minutes!!! Remove from the heat and keep warm until serving.
5. Now poach the eggs. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Lower the heat, so that the water is simmering but not really boiling. Add the vinegar (it helps the egg whites to stay together istead of "dissolving" in the water).
6. Break an egg in a cup, taking care not to damage the yolk.
7. With a spoon swirl the water around to create a whirlpool. Bring the cup with the egg close to the water surface and very carefully pour it in the middle. Continue moving the water around. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, remove the egg with a slotted spoon and set aside.You eggs should be firm outside but still runny inside. Proceed with the next egg. Some people manage to cook all the eggs at once. I thought I would stay away from this at least at my first attempt. :P
8. Assemble your final dish: First place a toasted bread on a plate, next a slice of bacon, next 2 poached eggs and top with half of the sauce. Garnish with some cheese and tomato slices and enjoy!