Life is very, very stressful for me right now, some of which is unbloggable, and some I’ll tell you about soon. But if I don’t get some time to decompress in the very near future, my head may pop right off my shoulders. There is just so much going on.
I haven’t had much opportunity to do much in the way of “creative” cooking lately, and that’s part of my problem – it’s hard to do a blog-worthy recipe when you’re constantly on the run. But this Sunday I went out of my way to make something special for brunch, and I’m so glad I did.
Beloved is a huge Eggs Benedict fan; if you ask him what he wants as a special occasion breakfast or brunch, that will probably be his first answer. Me? Not so much, but I still make some version of the dish a few times a year, simply because he loves it so much.
I forget where I ran into this particular version – in the 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking, I believe – and have been meaning to make it for quite some time. Now is the perfect opportunity, since the cool weather is keeping our abundant crop of tomatoes from ripening quickly. In other words, I’ve got green tomatoes out the wazoo in the back yard, so why not fry them up?
I have to say, out of all of the versions of Eggs Benedict I’ve made over the years, this is one of my favorites, right up there with the Crab Cake Benedict. Beloved devoured it (in fact, he devoured thirds), and while I’m not a fan of poached eggs, this was just as good with softly scrambled eggs. Just delicious, and while it’s a tad labor-intensive, it’s a marvelous special occasion brunch paired with some fresh fruit.
- 4 large eggs
- 8 ounces bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
- 1 recipe Fried Green Tomatoes
- 1 cup clarified butter or ghee, melted
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 dash Tabasco sauce
- kosher salt, to taste
- Make the Fried Green Tomatoes; set aside and keep warm.
- Make the Hollandaise: Bring two inches of water to a simmer in the bottom half of a double boiler. Whisk the eggs with the cold water in the top half until light and foamy. Add a few drops of lemon juice and continue whisking over the simmering water until the egg yolks have begun to thicken.
- Begin whisking the clarified butter into the egg yolks slowly – just a few drops at a time. As an emulsion forms, begin adding the butter in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Once the butter has been completely incorporated into the egg yolks and the sauce is smooth and thickened, add the remaining lemon juice and Tabasco. Season to taste with salt and keep warm.
- Poach the eggs: Pierce the large end of each egg with the pin about 3/8 of an inch deep; lower the eggs into a saucepan of boiling water for exactly 10 seconds, remove immediately and set aside – this will help the egg keep it’s shape during the poaching process. Pour 1/4 cup of plain, white vinegar into a wide, fairly shallow pan of simmering water; the vinegar will also help the egg retain it’s shape when poaching. Crack an egg sharply against the side of the pan and, holding the egg as closely to the surface of the simmering water as you can manage, break open the egg quickly and slide it into the water. Set a kitchen timer for 4 minutes and quickly repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Increase the heat slightly if you need to in order to keep the water simmering, and when the 4 minutes is up, remove the eggs with the slotted spoon, one at a time, in the order you dropped them into the water – depending on how quickly you got them into the water, you shouldn’t need more than 15 seconds between each egg – and place them in a large bowl of hot water. This will help keep them warm as well as remove the taste of the vinegar.
- Divide the Fried Green Tomatoes between 4 plates; top with the crumbled bacon. Place a poached egg on the tomatoes and bacon, then spoon the hollandaise sauce over the egg.
- Serve immediately.
- Nutrition (per serving): 593 calories, 51.5g total fat, 399.3mg cholesterol, 957.9mg sodium, 378.4mg potassium, 11.4g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 2g sugar, 19.9g protein