( My version under the cut )
I hope you enjoyed this trip through my hungover cooking abilities. The breakfast really was very good.
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Yes, I know the egg challenge was last week, but it only just occurred to me that Eggs Benedict exists and that, as a result, this needed to be created. Version #1 involved poaching eggs in the plastic microwaveable dish borrowed from the commercial kitchen upstairs. It was an unmitigated disaster and, while photographs exist, none of them capture the full horror of what was created, so I shan't post them here. Version #2 involved use of the clinging film method, which rocks. I can't believe I've never done this before.
Thus, with recipe steps in approximately the right order:
- Take Cumberland sausagemeat and form into patties. The woman in the butchers just slit open a couple of Cumberland sausages and handed me the stuff out of the insides, so that's what you can do, too, if you don't happen to have sausagemeat to hand. Two (gigantic) sossinges made four generously-sized patties.
- Fry patties over a reasonably high heat. They should take eight to ten minutes, so when they're half done, turn them over and put the eggs on to poach.
- Seriously, use the clinging film method. It's amazing.
- Put muffins on to toast.
- Steam some spinach. Not too much!
- Since I am a posh New Town bastard, I own a steamer now. It was left in the flat by the previous occupant. It's all right, but no better than holding a sieve over a pan of boiling water. It does however save on using another hob.
- Arrange items as follows: one half of toasted muffin, atop which a pile of spinach, atop which a sossinge patty, atop which a negg.
- Since I am not yet totally degenerate, debauched, depraved, and other words beginning with ‘de-’, not to mention perverse, effete, and wanton, which don't, I get my Hollandaise out of a jar. Frankly, it's about the worst Hollandaise I've ever et, but it beats the hell out of melting butter at exactly 45°–60° in the vain hope that some proteins might emulsify—especially while simultaneously trying to toast bread and wilt spinach. Jarred Hollandaise works much better if you warm it up first, though. Ladle it on.
- Serve the other muffin half on the side.
Keep a nice plate of it in your kitchen, to entice Benedict.
The Cumberland sausage is for phonetic consonance and the spinach is because there's something Sherlocky about it. It might just be the colour of his coat, but for some reason it reminds me of his hair, too. On reflection, the Hollandaise is in this recipe purely for hysterical raisins of a Benedictine nature: I think it might work better with some sort of smoky tomato sauce, instead.
One serving constitutes an extremely substantial brunch. Two servings are probably more than you want to eat for dinner.
eggs are great for protein, but they are also bad for hearty/circulationy things because of their high nasty fat content. How can I make them better? I know! GARLIC!
Makes 4, serves 2
1 egg yolk
1tsp white wine vinegar
100g salted butter
2 English muffins (split) or 4 crumpets
4 eggs 4 rashers unsmoked back bacon
First, make your Hollandaise. Wait, what? I have to explain this? Oh, cock.
Now, prep the whole thing. Each person gets two crumpets (or one muffin, split). Toast them to your satisfaction. Fry the bacon and place one on top of each crumpet. Top each with a poached egg.
Oh, fuck off.
Right. Two crumpets. One rasher bacon per. One poached egg per. A really generous spoonful of sauce over each one.
Get it down you.
Since I'm now a big-shot manager I've had no time to do anything and I've been eating a lot of take-away pizza. Additionally, I now live in a flat with the worst antiquated electric hob since they bulldozed the last postwar prefab. I think the people at the end of Threads had a better cooker. As a result, the most exciting thing I've cooked in the last three weeks has been a Bachelors Pasta ‘n’ Sauce. So while this might not be the most inventive brunch you've ever seen, it's infinity per cent better than my regular fare:
Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon
There are eleventy billion ways to cook scrambled eggs. This is my way. It works.
- Turn on the heat under the frying pan. The high end of medium but not full blast. Go away and read a book for half an hour.
- Stick a knob of butter and a small splash of milk into the pan. Not too much milk or you'll get wet eggs. The only difficult bit in this recipe is guessing in advance how much milk is too much, and that's what practice is for.
- When the butter's melted, give the pan a shoogle to mix it all up. Grind a generous amount of black pepper into the pan (do it now because you won't have time in a minute). No salt. Never add salt to eggs until you're finished cooking them. In any case you're about to add salty, salty fish.
- A dash of chilli sauce (I'm never going back to Tabasco, I can't, I won't, but you can use it if it's all you have). This step is optional, but trust me.
- Crack three eggs into the pan and, by the time you've washed the egg goop off your fingers, they'll have started to set. Scribble about in the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Dump in a generous handful of smoked salmon chopped up into scraps. I've got some fantastic oak-smoked stuff from the farmers' market, but Tesco Value smoked salmon does the job perfectly well. (Don't get that because it's Tesco, but the equivalent cheap stuff from non-Workfare-using supermarkets is fine.) This step is also optional, but it wouldn't be much of ascrambled eggs with smoked salmonif you skip it.
- Continue scribbling.
- Take the pan off the heat half a minute before it's done to your liking. The eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat.
Served with crumpets because I didn't have any muffins. And it was fabulous.