Sometimes you have an idea for breakfast the night before that just must be made. Getting up my typical 2 hours before Steven does, gave me plenty of time to reconsider eggs Benedict, but thankfully I wasn't dissuaded from my path by my own better judgement. Plus, I just can't see spending the $16+ each it would be to go out for Eggs Benny in Seattle. Crazy.
In spite of a few roadblocks (i.e. Not having any ham in the fridge nor English muffins and only 4 eggs), the eggs came out pretty well for this impromptu morning. Here's how I coped.
I remembered I had a spare 1lb package of deli sliced ham in the freezer...easy, just plunge it in some warm water and wait a while to thaw enough; no muffins? No problem, substitute King's Hawaiian Rolls (also in the freezer) by cutting one in half and lightly toasting it in my new Christmas carbon steel sauté pan by Matfer Bourgeat (http://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/black-steel-round-frying-pan-10); eggs you say? Well I had 4 as I said, so I decided to just cut our breakfast portions down....thereby helping us both keeping to our New Year's resolutions - 1 egg and 1/2 roll for each of us, leaving 2 eggs for the hollandaise.
A time and pot saving note: instead of having separate pans out for melting butter, poaching eggs, browning the toasts, and making the hollandaise, why not combine some tasks using just 2 pans and a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup? I melted the butter needed for the hollandaise in the glass pitcher in the microwave at 80% power (full power explodes all the water in the butter too easily..such a mess); used the carbon steel pan to toast the roll halves and reheat the slices of ham; a poaching pan (in this case a 8" All-Clad [http://www.all-clad.com] sauce pan) did double duty as a bain marie for making the hollandaise and for poaching the eggs.
The hollandaise was quickly done as my first step, but needed to be reheated slightly over the now cooling water used to poach our eggs. And there you have it, all done in under 15 minutes. A little fresh ground white pepper and some salt flakes and it's time to tuck in.
1. Hollandaise - Make hollandaise using a small, rounded sauce pan for making the sauce placed in the makeshift Bain Marie of slightly simmering water awaiting the eggs for poaching. I saved seasoning and acid addition (lemon) for the very last.
2. Rolls - Split and toast rolls in the same pan intended to reheat your ham. No need to drag out the toaster or toaster oven.
3. Ham - After you've removed the toasted roll halves, slide two slices of deli ham in same pan. It will be fine just using the residual heat from toasting the buns and prevent the ham from drying out.
4. Poach eggs - We like ours very, very running, so this took a mere minute or two tops of gently simmering them in the water turning them over once or twice in the water. I scoop out the eggs with a slotted spoon, and quickly dry them off by rolling them in my paper towel covered hand equally cautiously.
5. Plating - pretty straight forward as I did it here, but get creative! Maybe deconstruct the elements for an avant-garde approach?
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