Sunday, April 1, 2018

Books, Easter, April Fool's,

I am still pursuing the Madeleine l'Engle books of which A Wrinkle in Time was the first in the series I am reading. I have read three of them so far and am finding them quite delightful stories to read. Also with a few challenges in them for the children who were intended to read them. I have just ordered book 4, Many Waters, from the library. OK, I know they were not intended for my age group, but I am really enjoying them. I gather the movie has not done very well  which is a pity.

There is a short interview with the author and one thing that struck me was her response to the question "What is the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received?" the answer "Just Write" wasn't that from Mark Twain? It is still an excellent piece of advice I think.

Been a relatively quiet weekend again although the weather has been pretty putrid. It rained practically every day except Sunday but at least we didn't get the forecast snow which many people did get in the States. Quite a lot of it in some places. I cooked my leg of lamb for Saturday and tried roasting it in a slow oven for a longer time. It turned out pretty well but I think another time I would take it out of the oven sooner. Been munching hot cross buns from the local baker. Pretty good except for the icing crosses because the icing just melts when you warm them up. Waste of time really.

Of course, Easter Sunday was also April Fool's Day but nobody played any pranks. Helen Venn posted about April Fool's pranks and how cruel some of them could be. She also linked with a BBC show which I saw many years ago and which was extremely well done - go take a look - and which a lot of people were dumb enough to believe.

I have never made Eggs Benedict and, in fact, I don't remember ever having eaten them. This is an easy version and although it is for 12, can obviously be scaled back.

Eggs Benedict for a Crowd

We tackled every element of the classic eggs Benedict recipe to optimize it for a crowd. Poaching eggs in advance. A hollandaise that will stay luscious for hours. A tray of perfectly toasted, buttery muffins. Yep—it’s all here. This recipe comes together in under an hour and much of it can be
prepped in advance, leaving you free to entertain.

Eggs
12 large eggs
Hollandaise Sauce
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
2 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp (or more) kosher salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
Assembly
6 English muffins, split
12 slices cooked ham, thinly sliced (about 12 ounces)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs thinly sliced chives
Cayenne pepper (for serving)

Eggs

Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water and bring to a bare simmer. Set up a large bowl of ice water and place near stove.

Working one at a time, crack egg into a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl and shake gently to allow the more liquid part of egg white to pass through. Gently transfer egg to a medium bowl (eggs are more resilient than you think, but be careful not to break the protective ring of egg white surrounding yolk). This step might sound insane, but it eliminates the thin tentacle-like strands of egg whites that form when the egg hits the hot water.

Once you have 6 strained eggs in bowl, gently position bowl over pot of simmering water and, one at a time, slip each egg into pot. Cook eggs, gently encouraging each to rotate with a slotted spoon so they cook evenly, until whites are set and yolks are still runny, 3 minutes. Transfer to ice bath and let cool (you’ll reheat them later on).

Skim off and discard any foam or bits of egg white in pot. Return water to a bare simmer. Repeat poaching process with remaining 6 eggs.

Do Ahead: Eggs can be poached 1 day ahead. Store in ice bath in fridge.

Hollandaise Sauce

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over low until melted. Set aside ¼ cup melted butter for assembly. Transfer remaining butter to a small liquid measuring cup.

Fill a blender pitcher with very hot water and let sit 3 minutes to warm blender (this will prevent the sauce from separating). Drain pitcher; dry well. Blend egg yolks and lemon juice in blender just to combine. With the motor running, slowly stream in melted butter in liquid measuring cup until hollandaise is thickened, glossy, and pale yellow. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in salt and cayenne. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed (it will need a fair amount of salt to balance the acidity and fat). If sauce seems too thick, thin with 1–2 Tbsp. warm water and adjust seasoning as needed.

Do Ahead: Hollandaise can be made 1 hour ahead. Transfer to a heatproof container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set in a small saucepan of very hot water to keep warm. Whisk until smooth before serving.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange English muffins, cut side up, on a sheet tray. Brush with reserved ¼ cup melted butter. Toast muffins until golden brown around edges, 6–8 minutes.

Divide ham among muffins. Return sheet tray to oven and toast until ham is warmed through, about 1 minute. Transfer muffins to a large platter.

To reheat eggs, bring a large pot of water to a bare simmer. Remove each egg from ice bath and lower into pot, then turn off heat. Cook eggs 1 minute, then gently transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet tray to drain.

Place 1 poached egg atop ham. Season eggs with salt and black pepper. Spoon hollandaise sauce over. Top with chives and cayenne.

Servings: 12

Source: Bon App├ętit

Have a great day

14 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - Happy Easter ... and yes a few jokes around ... glad you're enjoying those books - I've sort of been put off - but will give them or the film a go sometime. Interesting eggs benedict in England seemed to be 'the thing' - not to say I go to hotels often ... but on a few trips I did - they were on the menu ... must be 'a change' thing - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. They are written for children of course, but I think they are a good read anyway. Just never come across them for some reason.

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  2. I love eggs Benedict and have made them many times. Played an April Fool's joke on my middle son when he arrived at the house first around 12:30. Told him brunch was at 10 and didn't he get my email. He checked his phone, looked around wondering why everyone else had already gone and I finally said April Fool. Then I felt bad about it. Typical Mom I guess.

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    1. BTW, I roasted my lamb at 275 and it was tender and delicious. Took it out at 125 degrees F.

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    2. I must try making them one of these days Denise. Poor son LOL. I read 275 to 325 so took the middle figure. Came out well but not pink at all. Still good.

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  3. I guess because it was also Easter April Fool's was played down yesterday.

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  4. I know this won't shock you, but I've never made eggs benedict either. Hehe.

    Weather here was awful the last few days. Our back yard is such a mud pit with too many dogs that they've had to have extra baths and paw washing every time they come in. Talk about a nuisance!

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    1. Have you never tried training your dogs to wipe their own paws. You can do it Liz.

      No I'm not shocked, if I've never made them I would be surprised if you had.

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  5. I love eggs bennie but I always order it out. Never tried to make it.

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    1. Like I said, don't think I have ever eaten them JoJo. I guess I should try them somewhere sometime.

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  6. I don't think there is anything wrong with reading books aimed at the youngies. It's good to know what sort of books interest them these days. I listened to Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn recently. Wow, could Mark Twain write! They were hilarious too.

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    1. That's interesting Pinky. I read Tom Sawyer many years ago and don't remember enjoying it particularly. Maybe I should try reading it again. And Huckleberry Finn of course.

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  7. I haven’t read that book but books are fab no matter what. I believe Mark Twain to be brilliant and that sta5ement is so true. As for the weather...yup it sucks but so typical

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