Updated Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
Total Time: 35
Yield: 2 servings
Eggs Benedict is elegant on the plate and offers a complete meal in a neat little package. Here you will poach your eggs, while also using them as an emulsifier in the hollandaise sauce.
Fill a 4-quart pan with 3 inches of water and heat until bubbles barely form on the bottom of the pan (about 200° to 205° on an instant-read thermometer). While the water is heating, make the No-Hassle Hollandaise Sauce.
Next split and lightly toast and butter English muffins. Divide cooked spinach among the four halves, then top each with about 3 tablespoons crabmeat. Place two muffin halves on each plate.
When the water has reached the desired temperature, mix in vinegar and reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, tilt the edge downward toward the water, and gently immerse it as you slowly release the egg. Gently gather the white toward the yolk with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the other 3 eggs. Allow eggs to remain undisturbed in the water 4 minutes each, gently removing with a slotted spoon. The whites should be firm and opaque and the yolks quite soft and liquid. Blot each egg dry with a paper towel, trim off ragged edges if desired, and place one egg onto each of the English muffin halves. Top each egg with 2 to 3 tablespoons hollandaise sauce and garnish with diced red pepper and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
*Note: The USDA recommends eating egg-based sauces only when cooked to a temperature of 160°. While the hot butter in this sauce lightly cooks the eggs, this method does not necessarily meet government standards. However, buying fresh eggs from a reputable source and handling them carefully greatly reduces any risk of food-borne illness, and we make this sauce regularly with no problems. As in all such matters, use your best judgment.
In a small saucepan, heat butter until melted and bubbling, but don’t let it brown. Warm the bowl of a blender by filling with hot tap water and then draining and drying it. Working quickly, blend egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper (if desired) together until the mixture turns light yellow, about 30 seconds.
With the blender running, start adding hot butter at no more than a trickle, until sauce starts spattering in the blender, indicating that an emulsion has formed. Continue trickling butter at a slightly faster rate, pausing briefly every 5 seconds or so, until incorporated. The mixture will thicken considerably. Scrape down the walls of the blender bowl and blend 5 seconds longer; cover. Keep sauce warm by immersing the covered blender bowl in warm water.
Yield: 1-1/2 cups
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