Brunch is served!
The best meal of the week is, without question, Brunch! Its a required start to any lazy day set aside to relax and decompress. A fritatta, some fresh fruit and a spicy bloody mary - what else is there in life? I'll tell you what else.....a good benedict.
This recipe was inspired by the "country benedict" found on the menu at Stephen Anthony's Restaurant and Sausage Co. in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Victoria and I spent many a brunch there sampling the homemade maple sausage and benedicts. Unlike a traditional benedict that uses English muffins and Canadian Bacon as a base, this southern-fried variation relies on a hearty biscuit and a sweet and smokey slab of REAL ham.
After trying to eat "right" all week, it is time to throw caution to the wind and indulge a little, for crying out loud.
Grab the washboard and fetch me my fiddle - its time to "rustle up" some Country Bears Benedict.
Country Bears Benedict
8 poached eggs
sliced maple ham
1 tablespoon white or white wine vinegar
I cheated a little - generally I make my own but these herbed biscuits from Whole Foods caught my eye and begged to come home with me. Just a little crispy on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle. The fresh herbs baked throughout complimented the flavors of the benedict perfectly.
Here is an easy biscuit recipe to get you to the next step: www.recipezaar.com/135930
Hollandaise sauce is a decadent but integral part of the Benedict. Use sparingly.
Key Lime Hollandaise
1/2 cup butter
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon key lime juice
1/2 tablespoon key lime zest
pinch of salt
splash of hot sauce (Tapatio or Tabasco Chipotle)
2 tablespoons hot water
Heat butter in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with lime juice, salt, and hot sauce. Very slowly mix in butter, then water. Return mixture to saucepan and whisk over very low heat until hollandaise is slightly thickened. Sprinkle zest over the top. Serve immediately or let stand over warm water for up to 30 minutes.
Before poaching the eggs, prep each plate with a sliced biscuit. I popped these in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up a little.
The next layer is the maple ham. Warm in a skillet or microwave and place a generous portion on each slice of the biscuit.
Step 3 is to poach the eggs. I have a few tricks. The first is to add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the boiling water. This helps the eggs keep their shape. The next trick is to use teacups to transfer the eggs to the large skillet of boiling water - 2 eggs per cup, up to 8 eggs cooking at the same time. Slowly tilt the eggs onto the surface of the water, gently guiding all the eggs into the pan and the same time. Be careful! That steam is hot!
Cover and turn the heat off. Let them sit for 3 minutes for medium-firm yolks. 2 minutes longer if you want them cooked all the way through. Remove each perfectly poached egg with a slotted spoon and gently place one on top of each side of the sliced biscuit.
All that is left is a little drizzle of hollandaise. Give it a good whisk before spooning onto the poached eggs.
Eat them quick before they get cold! You do the dishes, I'll be in the hammock.