BRUNCH RECIPES: Eggs Benedict . . . Classic Hollandaise . . . Asparagus-Parmesan Frittata
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports,
4 slices Canadian bacon or ham
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 large eggs
2 English muffins, halved
Hollandaise (recipe follows)
Grill or fry the bacon or ham just to heat through. Cover and keep warm.
Fill a deep skillet with water, bring to a boil and add the vinegar. Reduce heat to a simmer. Break eggs, one at a time, into a cup and slip them into the water. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
Toast muffins and spread with butter while eggs are cooking.
Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon in the order you added them to the pan. Place on a folded kitchen towel or paper towel. Trim off any ragged whites.
Place half an English muffin on each of 4 warm plates. Top each with a slice of bacon or ham and a poached egg. Spoon Hollandaise over the top. Serve immediately.
Variation: For Vegetarian Eggs Benedict, replace the Canadian bacon or ham with a sauteed portobello mushroom, a roasted red pepper half, a slice of grilled or baked eggplant or a slice of fresh tomato.
Yield: Serves 4.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons strained, fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or table salt to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (optional)
Place butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Keep hot.
Whisk the yolks in the top of a double boiler or in a round-bottomed metal mixing bowl that will fit snugly over a large pan. Slowly whisk in the boiling water and then the lemon juice.
Heat (but don’t boil) about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler or saucepan large enough to hold the mixing bowl. Place the yolk mixture over the hot water. Slowly dribble in butter, whisking constantly. Continue whisking over hot water until sauce is very thick and smooth. Remove from heat. Add salt and white pepper and taste. Add more lemon juice if necessary. Keep pan over hot (not boiling) water until ready to serve, up to 1 hour.
Yield: About 2 cups.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds of asparagus
½ teaspoon salt
12 scallions, minced
1 bunch parsley or chives, minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups (about ¾ pound crumbled feta cheese)
2 cups halved, sweet cherry tomatoes
Xc cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with a pizza stone on the oven floor. Brush a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Set aside.
Snap off and discard ends of asparagus spears and cut spears into ¼-inch-thin rounds, leaving the tips whole. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil to a hot saute pan and saute rounds for 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan and saute tips for 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl.
Break the eggs into the large bowl with asparagus rounds and beat well with a whisk. Add the scallions, parsley or chives, black pepper and feta cheese.
When the oven reaches 450 degrees, switch oven to broil. Transfer egg mixture to Pyrex dish and place on pizza stone on bottom of the oven. Let cook about 10 minutes or until slightly set. Remove from oven, sprinkle with asparagus tips, halved cherry tomatoes and parmesan. Return to pizza stone and finish broiling until eggs are set and frittata is lightly browned on top. Let cool a bit before slicing.
Note: If you don’t have a pizza stone, try making your frittata in a cast iron pan, starting the cooking on the stove and finishing under the broiler or in a hot oven.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 300 calories, 20 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams fat, 63 percent of calories from fat, 425 milligrams cholesterol, 680 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.