Saturday foodie: Breakfast of Champion | PostIndependent.com

Saturday foodie: Breakfast of Champion

Jordan Callier
Column

Eggs Benedict

Serves two to three people.

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 egg yolks

4 complete eggs

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 strips bacon, vegetarian or pork

2 English muffins, toasted

1/3 cup chive onions, chopped

salt and cayenne paper to taste

pinch of ground black pepper

garnish of chive onion and thyme

Directions

Separate egg yolks from whites and place them in small bowl.

In small saucepan, melt butter and coconut oil over medium heat. Remove from heat when mixture starts bubbling.

In a small food processor or blender, gently beat the egg yolks and water together. Once blended, slowly stir in the melted butter and coconut oil. Gently blend on low setting and add lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Blend until mixture is fluffy.

In a large frying pan or skillet, heat water over medium high heat until it starts to steam. Do not bring to a boil. Slowly drop in eggs from a small bowl or ladle. Make sure the eggs are submerged in the water and do not touch the bottom of the pan. Immediately turn off heat, and cover for about three minutes, or until egg whites are completely cooked.

While eggs are simmering, toast English muffins in toaster. Also finely chop a chive onion for garnish.

Once eggs are cooked, gently remove them and place them on top of the English muffins. Then top with bacon, sauce, chive garnish, coarse black pepper and a pinch of thyme. Serve immediately.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and nothing beats a well-rounded meal with coffee, bread, eggs and fruit.

Unfortunately, it is also the easiest meal to skip, because who has the time to eat anymore? I have a bad habit of forgetting to eat breakfast, and I usually regret my poor choice later in the day.

Our moms are correct when they lecture us about the importance of our first meal. So I have decided it’s OK to have breakfast at any point throughout the day. Breakfast for lunch or breakfast for dinner. It’s all good, and everyone’s happy.

According to the research of the NPD Group, about 30 million Americans skip breakfast. That’s a whopping 10 percent of the population. Somebody has to do something about this, so I propose a solution. We should simply not care when we eat breakfast.

Sure, you could at least have a piece of fruit or bowl of granola when you kick off your morning. But if you like a fancier and more complicated breakfast, then you should be able to eat it whenever you please.

I enjoy eggs Benedict for dinner. If I want to make it from scratch, then I usually need a little extra time to prepare. Eggs Benedict is also good for dinner because it is filling, savory and satisfying. Most of us have had it before, but some may not know its ingredients and history. I like recipes that tell stories and are mysterious. Eggs Benedict do both. Why are they so savory? And do they have anything to do with Benedict Arnold?

Spoiler alert. They don’t seem to be named from nor have anything to do with Benedict Arnold. For my entire life, I have assumed there was a connection. My preconceptions were shattered when I researched this column. I only found a passing reference that claimed the eggs are considered traitorous, because they traditionally contain Canadian bacon and English muffins.

According to more reputable sources, eggs Benedict possibly originated from three different sources: Delmonico’s in Manhattan, a hungover stock broker or adapted from Commodore E. C. Benedict.

One of Delmonico’s chefs published a recipe called Eggs à la Benedick in a contemporary recipe book in the 1890s. Next, the drunk stockbroker was interviewed in the “Talk of Town” column for the New Yorker in 1942, where he claimed he made a special order from the Waldorf Hotel with “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and … hollandaise.” Greasy food seems to work wonders for a hangover. Finally, a 1967 food columnist of The New York Times stated that the recipe was received from his uncle, who had adapted it from Commodore Benedict.

No matter which story is accurate, these eggs are delicious. They are even considered umami, which is the mysterious flavor recently defined by scientists as one of the five basic tastes. It is a savory flavor that makes your mouth water. For eggs Benedict, umami comes from the combination of butter, lemon juice, chives with salt and pepper.

There are actually many variations of this dish from eggs Blackstone to eggs Atlantic. It depends on how treacherous you want them to be, and what kinds of meat (or lack thereof) that you use.

The traditional style closely follows the drunk stockbroker’s recipe of toasted English muffins, fried bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise sauce is essentially egg yolk, melted butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Of course many of these ingredients can be substituted or modified, depending on your personal preferences.

You can try using different kinds of bread, such as sourdoughs or biscuits, instead of English muffins. If you don’t eat meat, or don’t like Canadian bacon, then you can certainly substitute with another protein as I did. Butter is essential, but it’s possible to use a blend of butter or coconut oil too. For extra spice or flavor, try adding some red pepper or coconut shavings to the sauce. Not only can you eat this at any time of day, but there are so many flavor possibilities. Hollandaise sauce also goes well on vegetables, seafood or other kinds of meat.

For this recipe, I stayed true to the original as much as possible. Overall, it took me about 35 minutes to make and is probably longer than what I would want to spend making a weekday breakfast.

The ingredients are very affordable and commonly available. Even though it has an exotic name, this is a rather simple meal to make. I had this for dinner and found it very filing.

Breakfasts like this are comforting and make me happy at any time of day. I can also now eat this meal proudly, because they are not traitor’s eggs. I will now enjoy them, without shame, anytime time of day I want.


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