Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A very loving breakfast.

Before I get to breakfast, let's talk cheesecake. The cheesecake came out wonderfully. It was a ton of work, but completely worth it. I sliced strawberries to put on top. Here is the recipe again, thanks Martha. Above is a picture of my beautiful creation.

Now, breakfast. So for our lovely Valentine's day breakfast I made Eggs Benedict with homemade biscuits (a twist on your classic baking powder biscuits). For the meat, I used lean Canadian Bacon, the small thin circular kind. I ended up making 5 eggs (1 for me, 4 for the boyfriend), 8 biscuits (I used 3 for breakfast), and 10 pieces of the bacon (2 for each half), plus homemade hollandaise sauce (a recipe which I halved and modified from Williams and Sonoma, original recipe here)

First, make the biscuits:

Buttermilk Biscuits:
2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter
2⁄3 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the butter into small pieces. In a medium sized bowl, use your fingers to rub butter into the flour as quickly as possible. I actually used the bread hooks of my new hand mixer (which I am obsessed with)and finished with my fingers. The goal is to handle the dough as little as possible so that the butter stays cold (which creates flaky biscuits), you could also use a food processor. Add the baking powder, salt and baking soda and combine. Stir in the buttermilk until just absorbed. Lightly flour your hands and a small patch of counter. Gently mash the dough into a ball and push it out on the floured surface so that it is about 1/2 inch thick. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Use a drinking glass to cut out circles in the dough. Cut them as close as possible, those cut from the first roll out taste best. Re-roll dough and cut out additional biscuits, don't re-roll more than once. Trust me, they will not be good. You will be able to taste which biscuits came from the re-roll as it is. Bake for 12 minutes until golden on top. Yum.

While the biscuits are baking, you can make the hollandaise sauce...

Hollandaise Sauce
2 egg yolks
half a lemon
half a lime
1 stick of butter
salt, pepper

In a microwave, melt the butter. While the butter is melting, over low heat whisk the egg yolks and the lemon and lime juice (I again used my new mixer, with the whisk attachment) for about 3 minutes. Let both cool slightly, then combine in a bowl. Whisk together (you could also use a blender, high speed is key). Add salt and pepper to taste. If it looks to thick, you can thin it out with some water.

While this sauce is probably one of the most unhealthy things I have ever made, it is so good, and well you can't have Eggs Benedict without it. Next, we heat the Canadian bacon and poach some eggs. I cooked the bacon in the oven after the biscuits came out, it is pre-cooked so you just need to heat/caramelize it. To poach eggs, I like to use a big pan, with decently high sides. Fill it with water and bring that water to a consistent simmer. Crack eggs and drop in. At first I would recommend doing one at a time, but as you get better at it, you can do 2 or 3 at a time. The trick is to keep the water at a consistent simmer. The eggs will need about 4 minutes each to cook.

To assemble the whole thing. Cut a biscuit in half. Place 2 pieces of Canadian bacon on each side. Top each one with a poached egg and a few spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce. Serve and enjoy your decadent, savory, and truly delicious breakfast.

Happy Eating


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