Di Curtin’s – Eggs Benedict

by Di Curtin – The Weekend Foodie – The Evening Echo

With all the pizazz of a Royal Wedding and the long weekend coming up – I’m in the mood for some romantic celebratory food!

It’s a glamorous bank holiday brunch fit for a prince and his new bride – or anyone who is tying the knot this time of year: Of course you don’t have to be tying any knots to enjoy a touch of elegance in food this weekend. Eggs Benedict is an all time favourite – good, fresh, free-range effs softly poached and perched on muffins, dressed with a classic Hollandaise sauce and some crisp pancetta is a real long weekend treat.

Jack McCarthy of Kanturk makes his own version of the Italian pancetta, which crisps up wonderfully when you fry it in a pan. Hollandaise is not as scary to make as some would have you believe.

When I was training as a chef I made buckets of the stuff every morning for our room service menu.

I made it by hand as the head chef always insisted, but you can make it in the blender for ease – just put the blender on slow speed to add the butter very gently so the sauce emulsifies properly. I like the pancetta on top of the eggs and sauce but you can pop it underneath in traditional style if you like.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the sauce:
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 large free range egg yolks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g butter

To Finish:
8 thin slices of Pancetta
8 large free range eggs
4 muffins halved
Parsley for decoration.

Method:

  • For the hollandaise sauce, place the vinegar in a pan and simmer to reduce to one tablespoon of liquid.
  • Place egg yolks in a blender with seasoning and whizz till blended. Slowly melt butter in a pan.
  • Pour the vinegar into the eggs and blend again. Pour the melted butter into a jug with a spout.
  • With the blender running on slow add the butter in a trickle to begin with, then a thin steady stream, till all is incorporated and the sauce has a creamy fairly thick consistency.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice and check the seasoning, then place in a bowl, cover and stand the bowl in a pan of warm, but not boiling water – if the water is too hot the sauce will curdle. This will keep the sauce warm while you poach the eggs and cook the pancetta.
  • Fry pancetta crisp in a dry frying pan. It shouldn’t need extra oil.
  • At the same time, poach the eggs in water with a splash of vinegar added. They should be soft so the yolks are still runny when eaten.
  • Pop the eggs on warm lightly toasted muffin halves and pour over some sauce.
  • Perch the crisp pancetta on top to serve. Decorate with parsley sprigs.
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