Event Hangovers and the Magic of Hollandaise


If I could swim in my cup of coffee this morning, I totally would.   It has been a looooong week of Homecoming activities, which is one of my "productions" throughout the year, and I have a huge event hangover this morning.  For those of you that don't know what that is, it is where your mind and body ache so much from being "on" for however many days in a row and then pulling an 18 hour work day to put on whatever event you are doing and you wake up the morning after feeling like you have had a bottle of Dark Eyes vodka and were in some sort of wrestling competition (which you lost), your body hurts so much.  I used to get this feeling frequently when I catered.  I always remember why I left that business on these mornings.  Ugh.

To cure the hangover, I decided that mimosas and Eggs Benedict were on the menu this morning and, I must say, they are certainly helping.  I only cook Eggs Benedict a few times a year.  For some reason, they are a "special occasion" dish in my mind.  Probably because they are a wee bit labor intensive. I usually do this dish on Mother's Day when I have my family over for obnoxious amounts of breakfast and mimosas and Bloody Marys.   I have so many eggs to use right now and I always forget how many eggs the dish uses until I get into it, so that was a bonus.  Today my spirit needed some "special occasion" juju, so I pulled out Julia and started my hollandaise. 

If you have never made hollandaise before, I am going to need you to go and make it right now.  This minute.  Homemade hollandaise is a food of the gods and when you get the hang of making it and how much heat is enough without curdling the eggs, you will have a sauce that is in your arsenal of "fabulous-things-I-make-that-no-one-has-any-idea-how-easy-they-are-and-I'm-not-telling-them". 

Between the poached eggs and warm English muffin and Canadian bacon and then the totally decadent sauce over it, oh...my...goodness.   Divine dish.  DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT use poor ingredients here.  If you have white, grocery store eggs and are using some cut rate butter, it is not the same dish at all as when the ingredients are fabulous and fresh from the beginning.  I recommend Plugra or another European butter with a higher fat content.  The sauce has a luxuriousness with that butter that cannot be repeated with some generic, Kroger brand butter.   

Hollandaise
(Julia Child)

3 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 Tbs Lemon Juice
4 Tbs Cold Butter
1 1/4 sticks melted butter
Salt and White Pepper to taste

Whisk 3 egg yolks and lemon juice in a pan until they are pale yellow.  Add 2 Tbs cold butter.  Place pan on medium low heat and whisk until the egg mixture begins to thicken, but not cook.  The egg will pull away from the bottom of the pan when stirred at this point.  Remove from heat and add the remaining 2 Tbs cold butter to stop cooking.  The goal is to warm the sauce, not cook it.  Continue whisking and add melted butter a ladle-full at a time until incorporated.  

The rest of the dish is toasted English muffins, topped with Canadian bacon (I pan fry my really quickly), and then poached eggs.  Finish with the hollandaise and prepare to be in a food coma shortly.  Good Lord the goodness.  This morning I had no English muffins and didn't really want to thaw and open a whole package of Canadian bacon for two servings, so I did it with a crusty artisan bread and regular old bacon.  Mostly I just needed a vehicle for the Hollandaise and poached eggs.  It was still really good, but nothing beats the original.  It's just hard to top that perfection. 



The rest of today I will be moving very, very slowly and enjoying some of the stunning fall foliage with the boy.  Not a bad hangover remedy, if I do say so myself.
 

 

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