May is National Egg Month and it’s a perfect time to brush up on those basic egg skills. Poaching an egg is easy to do and like riding a bike, it’s a skill everyone should know. Poach an egg and you can quickly add protein to a bowl of ramen, bed of greens, grain bowl or an unassuming bowl of beans, turning just about anything you have on hand into a much better meal.
I love Eggs Benedict. It’s a timeless, classy, elegant breakfast that deserves a cloth napkin and conveys a sense of occasion. It is, however, a dish rife with conflict. Order it out, and it’s not so good for you. Make it at home and suffer. Labor intensive and fussy, it’s a dish that guarantees a challenge and a mess. There’s a better way.
This recipe, with a Hollandaise sauce from nutritionist Joy Bauer, is extremely light, absolutely delicious and a cinch to make. It’s every bit as fancy as the rich, buttery hollandaise sauce you’re used to, but It holds well, reheats perfectly and will keep nicely in the refrigerator which is a huge plus because you are going to get asked to make this again. Bonus for you: you get two breakfasts under control for this week. Substitute bacon, ham, or a tomato slice for the Canadian bacon. No english muffin? A slice of toasted bread, or a bagel works here, too. Eggs Benedict not your thing? Use those poaching skills to make a deliciously easy Huevos Rancheros* out of pantry finds. Spoon warm, canned pinto beans into a bowl. Top with a poached (or fried) egg. Add a spoonful or two of jarred salsa, then top with tortilla chip crumbles or broken taco shells. Add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, or a slice or two of avocado.
Give poached eggs a try. While you’re at it, make extras. Keep them stored in ice water in your refrigerator for up to 1 day, then reheat in simmering water for 1 minute to rewarm. Wasn’t that easy?
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into eighths
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) light or reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 4 English muffins
- 8 slices Canadian bacon
- olive oil or non-stick spray
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 8 eggs
Place bell pepper strips in a microwave-safe bowl and add about 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until bell pepper pierces easily with a paring knife. Drain and transfer immediately to blender. Add cream cheese, lemon juice, mustard, and salt to blender. Puree until the sauce is smooth and has no visible bits of pepper. Transfer to microwave safe bowl and set aside.
Set oven to 250ºF and put 4 plates into oven to warm.
Split English muffins into halves and toast very lightly in toaster or toaster oven, until just golden and warm but still soft. Transfer to pie plate, cover lightly, and hold in warm oven.
While muffins are toasting, warm Canadian bacon in lightly oiled skillet, lightly browning on both sides. Transfer to plate, cover, and hold in oven.
Add about 1 1/2 inches water to a 10-inch nonstick skillet and bring to a brisk simmer (small bubbles rise from the bottom and occasionally break the surface). Add vinegar to water. Crack one egg into a custard cup, then gently lower the edge of the cup into the water and carefully ease the egg into the water. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs, easing each, one at a time, into the still simmering water. Cook for approximately 4 minutes, watching closely, spooning water over yolks to baste, if desired. While eggs cook, rewarm hollandaise sauce, microwaving on high at 30 second intervals until warm. When eggs are done, remove carefully from water with a slotted spoon or small silicon turner, and transfer to a tea towel lined plate.
Assemble one serving at a time. Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each toasted English muffin half, then top each with a poached egg. Spoon warmed Hollandaise sauce over each egg. Serve immediately.
*from Geoffrey Zakarian, foodnetwork.com.