Saturday, 28 June 2014


70 degree C. Egg yolks, Poached whipped egg whites, House hollandaise, Crispy parma ham, Maple bacon curls, Toasted English muffin, Olive herb and Tarragon sprigs.

                    Eggs Benedict is a classic breakfast dish that has stood the test of time and the basic four ingredient combination of bacon and poached eggs on an english muffin with hollandaise sauce, has been a target for deconstruction, reconstruction by many a modern day chef. In this version (1.1) I've employed some of the techniques to the eggs made famous by chef Wylie Dufresne's Eggs Benedict served at his world renown WD-50 restaurant. Wylie does his egg yolks sous vide 70C for 17 minutes producing yolks that have a texture of soft dense fudge that coats your mouth. And another of his techniques is to poach whipped seasoned egg whites in barely simmering water, forming a savoury meringue that is delicate and dissolves in your mouth. This plate took me back to the days at Acland St.
St.Kilda in Melbourne where I served time as a breakfast chef, starting my commute to work at 4am to get to the restaurant to set up for busy breakfast crowds of Eggs Benedict and some its variations. My main task and one of the two main tests I had to keep my job was the big batches of 2 dozen egg hollandaise sauce, there would be two to do sometimes three. My first morning on my own after earning the trust of head chef to make the sauce I split the sauce halfway through, a bit of panic set in with the time I had lost not to mention the eggs. I managed to get it back with a little cold water and I was saved, since then I've never had to make such large quantities of the sauce so I use a quick method which is fail proof using a blender.                                                                                                                    
                    I've outlined the techniques and methods to this dish below in order of execution .
70C SOUS VIDE EGG YOLKS- For the yolks I lightly beat the yolks breaking the membrane up and then seasoned them with a little salt and pepper. I then placed the yolks into a sealed piping bag and in a 70 degree C. water bath for 17 minutes but after cutting the tip of the bag and trying to pipe the yolks were still runny so the piping bag was sealed again and placed in for another 30 minutes at which I achieved the texture of fudge.
POACHED WHIPPED EGG WHITES- In a mixing bowl I placed some egg whites with a little seasoning and using the electric whisk, I whipped the whites to a soft peak before adding a little cream of tartar and whipping to a stiff peak. Using two dessert spoons I made quenelles and placed them gently into an 85 degree C. water bath to poach, turning over after 2-3 minutes and then removing with a slotted spoon.
HOUSE HOLLANDAISE- This is my quick, fail proof easy blender version and not the traditional over the stove whisking until your arms drop off in hope through the whole 10-15 minutes that you don't split it and ruin your work. So here goes on the stove I gently melted 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter without letting to much liquid to evaporate off the butter. In a blender I placed 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, a pinch of both salt and cayenne pepper, blending on a medium speed until the mixture becomes lighter in colour about 30 seconds. The friction from the blades heats the yolks up a bit and the blending motion adds air making the mix light and fluffy. I then turned the blender to low and drizzled the melted butter in slowly while the blender was running, continuing to blend for further 5-10 seconds until the butter incorporates. Store beside the warm stove top until ready to serve.
CRISPY PARMA HAM- I placed thin slices of the parma ham on to a lined baking tray and baked the ham lightly on both sides in a 160 degree C. oven until crispy.
MAPLE BACON CURLS- To make these which give a sweet element to the dish I simple rolled maple cured streaky bacon and fixed them with a tooth pick before basting in maple syrup and pan frying until caramelised and crispy, removing the tooth pick to serve.
TOASTED BREAKFAST MUFFIN- To make this I simply sliced thin slithers of the muffin, rubbing them in the rendered fat from the bacon and maple syrup, before lightly toasting both sides under a grill.
OLIVE HERB & TARRAGON- Both these herbs make the perfect match for egg dishes and were both harvested from our veggie garden to be used as finishing garnish for this plate.

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