Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Foodie Files

I attempted to put off today’s Foodie Files for as long as possible due to the fact that I have yet to perfect a key item in the meal.  I tried, failed, researched, tried again and now have to face the facts.  As the score stands, it’s Hollandaise sauce-2, Gabby-0.  I know I know, sometimes you learn more through mistakes than success and not everything can be perfect all the time and blah blah blah.  The point is, the Hollandaise sauce wins the battle.  It remains to be seen who will win the war but I’ve still got some fight left in me so don’t count me out just yet.

All the other more cooperative parts of the meal were delicious.  In truth, the Hollandaise sauce was actually quite tasty…it just looked ugly, and that’s not acceptable.  So here’s the recipe for fried green tomato Eggs Benedict…along with a few ways to NOT make Hollandaise sauce.  *sigh*

 Ingredients (to serve 4):

4 English muffins
4 slices of turkey bacon
8 eggs
8 oz butter
1 TBS lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 green tomato
Extra virgin olive oil

The key to a success here is timing.  Since the final product involves combining a few different elements (and you’ll want to serve all those elements while they’re warm), it’s best to invest a little time prepping. 

First, slice and bread the green tomato, dredging them in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs (side note: I learned the word dredge while reading Martha Stewart Living over the weekend and have been excited to use it ever since…I know…I couldn’t be more of a nerd if I tried).  Set the breaded tomatoes to the side for now.

Next, prep your turkey bacon.  I usually cook mine in the microwave, so for me this is just a matter of putting it on a plate in between two paper towels (double up on paper towels if you want your bacon crispier).  Place in the microwave but don’t turn it on just yet.  We’re still prepping, remember?

Around this time, you’ll want to cover the bottom of a large skillet with oil (for the tomatoes) and set on medium high.  Put 1TBS of oil in another pan (for the eggs) and heat on medium.’s time to start the dreaded sauce.  Separate the yolk of three eggs and set it aside.  Melt butter in the microwave and (you guessed it) set it aside as well.

Okay- time to start some actual cooking.  Pop your English muffins in the toaster, start the bacon, and fry up the eggs and green tomatoes.  Hollandaise sauce should be served immediately and requires your full attention, so don’t get started on the sauce until the rest of the sandwich is fully intact.  Once it’s all together say a prayer and give my arch nemesis a go.

Most Hollandaise recipes require a double boiler.  In fact, I’m beginning to think my lack of double boiler might be the root of my woes, or at the very least an excellent scapegoat.  I searched for a recipe that allowed me to use direct heat with a regular pot.  I whisked the eggs and lemon juice together over medium low heat.  While still whisking, I slowly added the butter.  Things were going well until a layer of oil began forming at the top of the pot and I realized the sauce was separating.  So I did the only thing I could think of.  I yelled at the Hollandaise.  Needless to say, it didn’t listen. 

I served the sandwiches anyway and decided to put the Hollandaise sauce on the side to give folks the option of using it.  The taste was there for sure, so if you stirred it up real good, then poured it on it definitely served it’s purpose.  Still, I was somewhat infuriated that it wouldn't cooperate. 

The second time I tried, there was a homemade double boiler involved.  I don’t even want to go into this one although I do have two words for what went down: scrambled eggs.  I’m going to keep trying and I’ll let you know if I’ve got a win in me.  


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