|Food 99/1: Thanks Mom!|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 09:49|
Mother’s Day is fast approaching and for most people it means getting together with the special moms in our lives over brunch. Brunch is a term coined to bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch allowing you to choose either style of food or to mix breakfast ingredients and lunch ingredients together into something new! Personally, I’m not much of a breakfast guy but mixing breakfast ingredients into something new is definitely up my alley.
Here at Flying Fish Modern Seafood, we use some rather advanced modern cooking techniques to prepare eggs. On our new brunch menu we have what we call a 64 degree egg. It is just that. Eggs cooked in their shells at 64 degrees celcius for 75 minutes in a water bath using an immersion circulator. The result is the most amazingly creamy egg yolk you could imagine. But for those of you at home without those kinds of tools here are a couple tips for poaching eggs.
First make sure to use a high sided pot of water with lots of water in it. Shallow poaching of an egg results in uneven cooking. Then be sure to add a small amount of acid to the water. It could be lemon juice, white vinegar or my favourite white wine vinegar. It adds a gentle acidity to cut the richness and also helps the egg whites to set quickly so they don’t disperse in the water. And lastly, make sure the water is at a gentle simmer and stir it slightly to get it moving before dropping your eggs in. A rolling boil will blow your eggs apart where as a simmer is very gentle. Stirring helps to form the shape of a good poached egg.
So now let’s put these into practice.
Here are some classic recipes for my favourite brunch dish. Eggs Benedict. You just can’t beat the flavour of a good eggs bennie. These are some of my favourite variations.
Classic Eggs Benedict
Boil a large pan of water, then reduce to a simmer. Using a large balloon whisk, beat together the yolks in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan.
Beat vigorously until the mixture forms a foam, but make sure that it doesn't get too hot. To prevent the sauce from overheating, take it on and off the heat while you whisk, scraping around the sides with a plastic spatula. The aim is to achieve a golden, airy foam (called a sabayon), which forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted.
Whisk in a small ladle of the warmed butter, a little at a time, then return the bowl over a gentle heat to cook a little more. Remove from the heat again and whisk in another ladle of butter. Repeat until all the butter is incorporated and you have a texture as thick as mayonnaise. Finally, whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste plus a little warm water from the pan if the mixture is too thick.
A tasty variation of basic hollandaise would be to add a couple tablespoons of white wine vinegar, black peppercorn and tarragon reduction at the yolk whisking stage. Very similar to a Béarnaise.
Bring a deep saucepan of water to the boil (at least 2 liters) and add the vinegar. Break the eggs into 4 separate coffee cups or ramekins. Split the muffins, toast them and warm some plates.
Swirl the vinegar and water briskly to form a vortex and slide in an egg. It will curl round and set to a neat round shape. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.
Repeat with the other eggs, one at a time, re-swirling the water as you slide in the eggs. Spread some sauce on each muffin, place a slice of ham on top, then top with an egg. Spoon over the remaining hollandaise and serve immediately.
Melting the butter
Heat a 250g pack chopped butter in a shallow pan. As it foams, scoop off the froth and scum using a small ladle or large metal spoon. Don't use a slotted spoon or the scum will slip back into the butter. (Don't waste the froth - it can be used in potatoes or for dressing hot vegetables). You should have around 200ml of warmed butter for the sauce. You can melt the butter in a microwave, but keep it covered as it melts or it will spit. Leave to cool a little before adding to the eggs.
Salt breaks down the yolks if you add it too early, so season your sauce at the end and don’t use salted butter.
If the sauce mixture starts to 'split' or curdle, immediately scrape the mixture into a clean bowl and whisk in 1 tbsp ice-cold water, then continue whisking in the remaining butter just a ladleful at a time.
Apart from the many self-explanatory variations (like Lobster Benedict), there are a number of dishes that need further description:
Oeufs a la Benedictine
Eggs à la Commodore
Country Eggs Benedict
Eggs Waldorf Style
There is literally no limit to the variations you can do with this dish. We have quite a few versions here at Flying Fish but all with a twist. Come this Sunday to check out our versions or make your reservations now for Mother’s Day brunch and save yourself the work!
And as always if you have any other wine or food questions drop by our website at www.ninetynineone.com and drop us a line in the Q&A section of the site. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have.
Follow us on Twitter @ninetynineone
Yours in good eating,
99/1 Food Service Management in Freeport is owned & run by Tim & Rebecca Tibbitts. 99/1 is a full service catering business serving scrumptious offerings with top quality ingredients. 99/1 also specializes in cooking classes, guided wine tastings & tutorials, drop off dinners & in home catering. www.ninetynineone.com 242.359.5053
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