Easter Sunday Eggs Benedict

Happy Easter!  We had a big pot luck family dinner last night with the in-laws for Easter.  Since I wasn't responsible for anything other than dessert and I am posting on Easter Sunday I thought it was more appropriate to share my favorite thing about this day, specifically Easter Brunch.  My favorite brunch dish will always be Eggs Benedict.  I love all the creative treatments you can get when you go out for brunch, but at home since I had never made hollandaise or poached an egg before, I wanted to keep it simple.  This ended up being a good idea since one of our friend's had a 40th birthday bash last night and let's just say the boy isn't exactly up to eating a rich and delicious brunch right now and if I went all out with crab cakes or something else I'd be pretty annoyed to be eating it alone. I did add tomato to my benny since I think tomatoes make everything better.  But if you have great ingredients, make your hollandaise from scratch and have access to peameal, real Canadian Bacon, classic is really pretty perfect.  The only thing that would have made this better was if I had made the English muffins, something I hope to tackle in the next few months.

Easter Eggs Benny
serves 2

4 slices of peameal bacon
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 fresh eggs
2 English muffins
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup or more hollandaise - recipe below
smoked paprika

1.  Heat the oven to 200F.  Heat a 10" skillet over medium heat and melt the butter.  Place the slices of peameal into the heated skillet.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.  Carefully flip and cook on the other side.  Place in an ovenproof dish and into the oven to keep warm.
2.  Toast the English muffins, spread with a bit of butter and keep warm in the oven.
3.   Poach the eggs (I used Julia Child's method from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and it worked perfectly.  Susan over at Doughmesstic also did a great video tutorial too)
4.  Slice the tomato into 4 slices.
5.  On 1 plate place 2 halves of English muffin.  Top each muffin half with a slice of peameal, 1 slice of tomato, 1 poached egg and 2 Tbsps hollandaise.  Finish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to make a second serving.

adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups

6-8 oz of butter - cut into pieces
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsps lemon juice (plus extra for seasoning)
2 Tbsps cold butter - separated
salt & pepper

1.  In a sauce pan melt the butter that's cut in pieces over medium heat (Julia recommends only using 6oz if it's your first time making hollandaise so that's what I did). Then set aside.
2. In a small sauce pan beat the eggs yolks, with a whisk, for about 1 minute until they just become thick and sticky.
3.  Add the water, lemon juice and a big pinch of salt and beat for 30 seconds more.
4. Ad 1 Tbsp of cold butter, but don't beat it in. Place the sauce pan over very low heat or barely simmering water and stir the egg yolks with a whisk until they slowly thicken into a smooth cream, about 1-2 minutes. If it thickens too quickly or suggests lumps, plunge the bottom of the pan into a cold bowl of water, beating the yolks to cool them. Then return to heat and continue beating. The mixture will have thickened enough when you can see the bottom of the pan between strokes and the mixture forms a light cream on the whisk.
5.  Immediately remove from heat and beat in the last Tbsps of cold butter, which will cool the yolks and stop the cooking.
6.  As you beat the eggs yolks with the whisk slowly add in the melted butter, either a droplet at a time to 1/4 tsp at a time until the sauce begins to thicken into a very heavy cream.  Then pour the butter in a little more rapidly, being careful to not add the milk residue at the bottom of the pan.
7.  Season to taste with salt, pepper & additional lemon juice as necessary.

April 23 - Easter potluck with the in laws