Bacon Eggs Benedict

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone and welcome to an all new theme for the month of May on Amcarmen’s Kitchen! For the month of May, I will be sharing recipes and renditions of a classic go-to foolproof Eggs Benedict! The thing I love about a good ol’ Eggs Benedict dish is its versatility – if you like pork, then go for a Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict accompanied with a Sriracha hollandaise sauce *drools* Or maybe you prefer beef, chicken, lamb, or seafood? The options are endless! You can even take a vegetarian spin to this and go meatless if you prefer. Get creative with the classic hollandaise sauce that makes an Eggs Benedict what it is. Fuse cuisines and cultures.

All this will be covered on the blog this month so do stay tuned on how you can tackle the endless possibilities to make your Eggs Benny experience one to remember! Tonight, I will be starting off with a classic with a slight twist, and as the month progresses, we’ll delve deep into creative fusions that have been inspired from my café adventures back when I was still studying in Australia.

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Now forgive me if I’m giving out false information as I am relying on the world of Wikipedia here. I guess my teachers from high school and uni haven’t taught me well enough to not source from wiki *cheek grin* but anyway, though there seemed to be conflicting recounts on the exact origins of the Eggs Benedict, this one in particular speaks out to me:

Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, said that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise”. Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast — “Talk of the Town”. The New Yorker. December 19, 1942.

Therefore, you could safely say (I guess) that the original main ingredients found in a classic Eggs Benedict dish are eggs, bacon, hollandaise sauce, and an English muffin – popularised by Oscar Tschirky. Okay well, when I said that it speaks out to me, I don’t mean in a sense that I’ve ever been hungover, but that this is what I imagined a morning-after hangover meal would be.

Bacon Eggs Benedict Ingredients

Before we dive in, there’s a slight twist to the classic recipe that I will be sharing with you guys tonight – and the twist is basically just a few extra ingredients to bulk it up and add some zing and tang to it. Tanginess from the balsamic reduction and a slight zing from the chimichurri sauce!

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs benedict

  • 6 slices of streaky bacon
  • 3 English muffins, halved, slightly toasted, and butter
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and smashed*
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • Chilli flakes, to top

*Squeeze a touch of lemon or lime juice to prevent it from browning

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

For the chimichurri sauce (by Karina from Cafe Delites)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

For the balsamic reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

So I know that there are a heck load more ingredients mentioned in the list above than what is shown in the shot – apologies! If you want a classic Bacon Eggs Benny without the fancy schmancy reductions and sauces, then feel free to omit. They’re really just optional for an extra boost of flavours to an already flavoursome dish.

METHOD

  1. Chimichurri Sauce: Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to release all of the flavours into the oil before using, but I think that the longer it sits, the better it tastes, so prepare this first before everything else to ensure this!
  2. Bacon and Tomatoes: Heat a medium size non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon  strips and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and fry in the bacon fat for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Set aside in an oven to keep warm before serving.
  3. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour the 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you have impatient tendencies like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess.
  4. Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  5. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  6. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  9. Assembly: Spread the smashed avocado on the toasted and buttered English muffin half and top with the crispy bacon strips, tomato slice, and then the poached egg. Top a generous amount of the hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with a bit of chilli flakes to pack a slight kick. Finally, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and chimichurri sauce around the plate. Serve and enjoy!

Bacon Eggs Benedict

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone! Today’s post will actually consist of two recipes; one leading to the other that is. So I’ve been debating whether I should actually post them as two separate posts but then I thought to myself that I wouldn’t be able to do a proper write up (i.e. a story for Vidhya) if I had just posted the first recipe. She would’ve been so mad at me if I didn’t have a story for her! But I do have a good story to tell about the second, which I kind of already mentioned it to Vidhya briefly when I saw her in the kitchen on Monday afternoon.

Anyway, so what happened was that somewhere during the beginning-mid year, my friends and I went out for brunch on a fine weekend. I suggested that we head on over to John Smith Café in Waterloo specifically because I saw a whole lot of Instagram posts about this heavenly Pulled Pork Cronut with Hollandaise Sauce! I was seriously drooling all over my phone, so naturally I made it my mission to head on over and drag my lovely ladies Jialing and Yvonne along too. We planned to meet for brunch, and but of course brunch turned into late lunch as Jialing and I adjusted our timings to suit Yvonne. When we got to the café the waiter (possibly owner) showed us to the table and said that he had good news and bad news. I honestly forgot what the good news was, but the bad news was indeed BAD news. So bad that I just can’t even. They ran out of pulled pork. I was so devastated that I even told the guy serving us in a sort of like sad little girl voice “but I came specifically here for that!” To which he replied “I am very sorry about that, but here’s a cronut on me!”

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Oh well, at least I got a free cronut. But what I really wanted to say is that I really wanted to go back another time to devour this Pulled Pork Cronut of theirs – but sadly it’s already nearing the end of the year and I have no been back! So I thought to myself, why wait to go back if I can possibly just whip one up of my own at home? Minus the cronut that is; just the pulled pork, eggs benny style. I know it’s not the same thing, but who doesn’t love pulled pork eggs benny for a big Sunday breakfast/brunch/lunch?

First things first, the pulled pork. This recipe for beer-braised pulled pork is just so great. Why I have chosen to braise the pork in beer is because, well I’ve had a 6-pack of Corona lying in my closet for quite possibly 7 months now. For those of you who know me, I don’t drink beer. I just don’t like the taste of it. So why do I have beer in my  closet do you ask? I bought it for a prank video I filmed for my Major Design Project for an anti-binge drinking campaign. So instead of drinking it, or giving it away, I decided the only way I can ‘consume’ it would have to be incorporating it into my cooking – hence the beer-braised pulled pork. So technically you don’t have to follow this pulled pork recipe, you can find another one to use, or if you have one of your own up your sleeve then be my guest!

*Note: my casserole dish was a wee-bit too small for the meat I had. Oops! I didn’t have anything bigger so I ended up using only half of the vegetables and half a bottle of beer. Ideally you would use all! Also, you can find the original recipe for this beer-braised pork shoulder over on The Kitchn. I tweaked the recipe a little bit, and of course to suit my not-so-good oven that jut takes double (sometimes triple) the amount of time to cook anything. I also kept the fat on the pork shoulder – that’s where the goodness is!

Beer-braised Pulled Pork

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 HOURS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg pork shoulder
  • 355ml beer of choice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground rock salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Combine the brown sugar, cumin powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the pork with the spice mixture and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear and brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and transfer to the casserole dish. Sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant. Then add in the tomatoes and cook until soft before adding the carrots and celery. Scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing to bring up any browned bits.Transfer the vegetables to the casserole dish with the pork.
  3. Pour the beer over the meat and vegetables and cover. Cook in the oven for 5 hours, checking once or twice, until the meat is extremely tender. Once done, transfer the pork to a plate and shred using a fork.
  4. Strain juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the flour in and stir continuously to get rid of any lumps. This will be your gravy to go with your pulled pork eggs benny.

Beer-braised Pulled Pork

Beer-braised Pulled Pork


Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict with Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

This is where shit gets real. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce? Yes please! Also, please see the original ideas that I got form Pineapple & Coconut (basically where I got the idea to use English Muffins and Sriracha Hollandaise sauce for this recipe).

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

For the Eggs Benny

  • 1 cup pulled pork
  • 3 tbsp pulled pork gravy
  • 2 English muffins, lightly toasted
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • Handful of snow pea shoots
  • Pinch of paprika

For the Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 tbsp sriracha sauce (depending on how hot you want it)
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce: Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  2. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  3. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  4. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, sriracha sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
  6. Assembly: Combine the pulled pork and gravy in a small bowl. Spread each English muffin with mashed avocado and top with the pulled pork. Place the poached egg on each and top with a generous amount of sriracha hollandaise sauce. Crack a a little pepper on top, sprinkle with a bit of paprika, and decorate with  snow pea shoots. Serve immediately!

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

The Ultimate Brekkie

The Ultimate Brekkie

Hello Everyone! Back with a quick one since I feel like you guys deserve another upload after being away for so long. Today I wanted to make a really filling and unforgettable brekkie where I can just sit down and enjoy it instead of packing it with me to bring to the office or even just skipping breakfast altogether. Well okay, I ended up having these for lunch after a deserved Sunday sleep in, but breakfast for lunch (even for dinner) is just the best thing ever!

So after my visit to Paper Plane Café 2 weeks ago or so (again as I mentioned in the previous post, I will do a review soon-ish), I really wanted to recreate their breakfast board at home. It looked simple enough to be able to do so just by glancing at the board and even pin-pointing the obvious ingredients. I must say that it was a huge success in the kitchen this morning, even though I may have burnt my balsamic reduction and the other side of the toast, oops! But nonetheless a brekkie so worth the time and effort spent in the kitchen. I invited my housemate Lydia as well for breakfast/brunch/lunch, so basically today’s lunch was a joint effort between the two of us. She’s now a professional chef! Under my guidance and supervision, as well as the Taste recipe being read to her, she made the Hollandaise Sauce all by herself for the very first time to go with the poached eggs. Her sauce was to die for! Apart from that, she helped wash and cut up the tomatoes, mushrooms and chorizo sausages, and also did a fair bit of the cleaning up. I took care of the rest. (This note is for Vidhya – don’t stop reading here, there’s a small paragraph/story at the end of the post!)

The Ultimate Brekkie

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 hash browns
  • 2 hickory-smoked bacon rashers
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 slices of Country Grain bread
  • 2 field grown tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally
  • 250g cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Handfull of rocket leaves
  • Small thumb-sized ginger, grated
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Olive Oil

For the Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place the hash browns and slices of bread on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle the slices of bread with a bit of olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to about 50C to keep the food warm while you prepare and cook everything else.
  2. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you are a hopeless impatient person like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess – basically what I did for the first batch of balsamic reduction. I was also stupid enough to try it and see if it was still edible, and it ended up sticking to the front of my teeth (not a very pleasing experience might I add).
  3. Meat, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms: Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add the bacon and chorizo and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Place the bacon, chorizo slices, and tomatoes in the oven to keep warm. Add the mushrooms to the grill pan with a bit of olive oil and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and lemon juice, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and then set aside in the oven to keep warm.
  4. Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  5. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  6. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
  9. Assembly: While the Hollandaise Sauce and Poached Eggs are almost done, assemble your dish, this part is entirely up to you on how you wish to present it. Drizzle your balsamic reduction over your rocket leaves. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the eggs from the saucepan. Place on top of the toast and bacon. Then top with a generous amount of sauce to your poached eggs. Crack a little salt and pepper and serve immediately!

While having our lunch, all Lydia could talk about was how good it all tasted. She was already full, but she still wanted to eat more. We also talked about how in cafés you’d get an average dollop of hollandaise sauce, which is sometimes not enough with the amount of serving your get from the rest of the food. We had a whole bowl of it and basically drowned our eggs in them, and had them with everything basically. Also, the best thing about eating at home is that we get to be barbaric in a sense that we didn’t care about using our forks and knives, we ate our toast with our hands and weren’t afraid to have them smothered over the sides of our mouths or dripping down the side of our fingers.

The Ultimate Brekkie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Big Breakfast for One

Big Breakfast for One

The most wonderful thing about life when it comes to food is breakfast. I always look forward to breakfast, but I think 90% of the time I actually go without having a proper breakfast, or no breakfast at all – which does sadden me a bit. This is either because I get up too late for breakfast and just skip to brunch, or when I do get up early, I’m rushing off to Uni and usually grab a banana or whatever fruit I have lying around on my way out (which also rarely happens so I just end up waiting until class is over and then packed left-over lunch it is).

What makes me happy though is that I can have Breakfast for Lunch or Breakfast for Dinner. Breakfast all day everyday (please excuse my apparent over-excitement over breakfast). Today, I had my breakfast for lunch, and man it was so good. Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs for lunch?

Big Breakfast for One

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 slice of wholemeal bread, toasted, buttered & cut diagonally in half
  • 2 slices of gourmet tomatoes, grilled
  • 2 fresh free range eggs at room temperature, poached
  • 3 slices of rindless bacon, grilled
  • Handful of loose leaf baby spinach, wilted
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Poaching the eggs:

  1. Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir.
  2. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!

I honestly think that the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Big Breakfast for One

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com